GUILLET DE CHAUMONT, NICOLAS-AUGUSTE, soldier, royal notary; b. c. 1695 in Paris, France, son of Antoine Guillet de Chaumont and Marie-Louise Esprit; buried 3 April 1765 at Terrebonne (Que.).
Nicolas-Auguste Guillet de Chaumont came to Canada as a soldier. When he arrived is unknown, but in 1721, at the time of his first marriage, he was a sergeant in the colonial regular troops. Since he arrived in the colony without an officer’s commission, the nobility of his family must have been of small consequence. After only a short time with the military he joined the legal circle of Montreal. He began practising law, representing his fellow citizens before the courts. In this role he entered the first two deeds in his minute book in 1727. On 20 July 1728 he obtained his commission as a royal notary, and on 6 Nov. he signed his first document in this capacity.
Guillet de Chaumont, like many other notaries in the colony, exercised other legal and administrative functions. He was writer in the office of Marine, dealing particularly with administrative detail concerning the troops, and occasionally he served as court clerk, king’s attorney, assessor, and lieutenant-general of the jurisdiction of Montreal.
He was not one of the most active notaries in this jurisdiction. His minute book contains only 465 deeds, 440 of which were drawn up before 1736; his last two deeds were entered in 1748 and 1752. Guillet de Chaumont gave up his office during 1752 and retired to Terrebonne. In a letter to the minister of Marine, Maurepas, in 1740 Intendant Hocquart* criticized the notary severely, calling him a “very dull man.”
On 6 Nov. 1721, in Montreal, Guillet de Chaumont had married Marie-Catherine (Catherine) Legras, the widow of Gérard Barsalou. Not only did she saddle him with 11 children, “big and small,” and with a “poorly organized tannery,” but she also brought many vexations upon him. On 14 June 1735, after nearly 14 years of childless marriage, Guillet de Chaumont unsuccessfully demanded a judicial separation, based on the troubles he had put up with during these years. He accused his wife and the Barsalou children of stealing from him continually, taking sums of money belonging to his clients from his cash box. In addition, he claimed that one son, Jean-Baptiste Barsalou*, had tried to murder him. His wife died on 6 Feb. 1737. Four months later, on 17 June, the notary married Félicité, daughter of Jean-Baptiste d’Ailleboust* Des Muceaux, and finally enjoyed the peace of family life. Eight children were born of the marriage, and the descendants bear the name Chaumont today.
AN, Col. C11A, 73, f.300. ANQ-M, Greffe de N.-A. Guillet de Chaumont, 1727–1752 (inventoried in A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., XVI, 90–175). É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les tribunaux et les officiers de justice de Montréal sous le régime français,” BRH, XXXVII (1931), 188, 189, 192, 303, 306, 312. P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, III, 308; IV, 297; V, passim. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Vachon, “Inv. critique des notaires royaux,” RHAF, XI (1957–58), 402. J.-J. Lefebvre, “Nicolas Auguste Guillet de Chaumont (1695–1765), notaire, 1727–1752,” La Revue du notariat (Montréal), 66 (1963–64), 361–66. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Un notaire dans une ménagerie,” BRH, XLII (1936), 132–35.
Revisions based on:
Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. du Vieux-Montréal, CE601-S51, 6 mai 1700, 6 nov. 1721, 17 juin 1737; CE606-S24, 3 avril 1765; TL4, S1, D3496.