GOURDEAU (Gourdau) DE BEAULIEU ET DE LA GROSSARDIÈRE, JACQUES, merchant and bourgeois; baptized 8 July 1660 at Quebec, son of Jacques Gourdeau, notary and clerk of the seneschal’s court of Quebec, and of Éléonore de Grandmaison*; d. 2 July 1720.
On 26 Feb. 1691, at Quebec, he married Marie Bissot, daughter of François Byssot* de La Rivière, widow of Claude Porlier, by whom he had seven children; she was buried on 24 July 1719 in the cathedral at Quebec.
In Quebec Jacques Gourdeau owned a house on Rue Sous-le-Fort, and on Île d’Orléans he owned the arriere-fiefs of La Grossardière, with a frontage of 40 arpents and running the whole depth of the island, and Beaulieu, with a frontage of 15 arpents and extending for half the depth of the island. He did not work these domains himself; instead he farmed them out and sold certain parts of them. In 1703 he rendered fealty and homage to the Comtesse de Saint-Laurent [Charlotte-Françoise Juchereau] for these two arriere-fiefs which were situated in her countship. In 1698 he had bought from Pierre Rey Gaillard, a commissary of artillery and the guardian of Richard Denys* de Fronsac’s children, a fief measuring three leagues by six in the seigneury of Miramichi; he sold this land again in February 1699, The same year his brother-in-law Charles-François Bissot made over to him the entitlement to profits and revenues which he held over fur-trading rights in the seigneury of Mingan.
Here and there one finds an indication of the activities of Gourdeau in the 1690s with a number of family connections. In 1691 Gourdeau gave up his rights to the estate of his brother Antoine, who had died at sea on board the Saint-François Xavier. With Louis Jolliet*, his brother-in-law, he was appointed in 1694 trustee of the interests of the Montagnais girl Marie-Madeleine Tetesigaguoy, who was involved in litigation over the annulment of her marriage with Nicolas, son of Noël Jérémie*. In 1696 he was named a guardian of the children of Claude Porlier, his wife’s previous husband. During the same year he bought from Louis Couillard, for 17 sols each, all the salmon which the latter had caught. In 1697 he acted as attorney for his brother-in-law François-Joseph Bissot, and was commissioned to go to Sept-Îles to get belongings that had not been lost in the wreck of the Corossol.
From 1702 on, he was away from Quebec, and engaged indentured employees to carry on fur-trading in Acadia (Peremoneoudy). During that time he left the care of his property to his wife. She seems subsequently to have followed her husband, since in 1704 the two of them, “in their projected absence,” gave power of attorney to the notary Jacques Barbel, and in 1715 they gave it to the notary Louis Chambalon. Gourdeau was mentioned as “formerly a merchant in Quebec” in 1707, during proceedings in which he was represented by an attorney. It seems that Gourdeau and his wife were again present in Quebec in 1716, however, when they vainly brought an action to prevent the seizure of their house, which had been sold by court order eight years before. In 1732 Gourdeau’s son Pierre-Jacques, who had long been absent from Quebec, claimed under beneficium inventory the assets which had belonged to his father.
AQ, NF Coll. pièces jud. et not., 3725; Seigneuries, Île d’Orléans. Jug. et délib., I, III, IV. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., XVIII, XIX. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, I, IV, 51; V, 1, 33; Inv. contrats de mariage, III, 132. Régis Roy, “Armoirie de la famille Gourdeau,” Annales de l’institut canadien-français d’Ottawa, III (1924), 2.