MAHEUT, LOUIS, probably the first surgeon born in Canada, son of René Maheut, a bourgeois of Paris, and Marguerite Corrivault; b. 9 Dec. 1650 at Quebec; d. 24 Nov. 1683 at Quebec and was buried there two days later. The name Maheut is the Breton form of Mathieu, which has also produced Maheu, Maheux, and Mayo.
Louis Maheut received the same first name as his older brother, likewise a surgeon who lived at various times in Canada. He had as godfather and godmother Governor Louis d’Ailleboust and Jacqueline Potel, the wife of Jean Bourdon.
In October 1668, after some sort of apprenticeship as a surgeon-barber, Louis Maheut sailed on the Sainte-Anne, proposing to go and continue his surgical studies in France. For this purpose he had borrowed the sum of 146 livres, 13 sols from his stepfather, Jean Maheut, his mother’s third husband. He could not have stayed more than five years in France, since on 12 June 1673, at Quebec, he married his cousin Geneviève Bissot, daughter of François Byssot. The day before, he had obtained from the bishop dispensation from the fourth degree of relationship, thought to be the first of this kind granted in New France. The marriage contract had been signed on 29 May 1673. By this union Louis Maheut became the brother-in-law of the discoverer of the Mississippi, Louis Jolliet, himself the godson of Louis Maheut the elder. Louis Maheut owned a property at Rivière-des-Roches on the St. Lawrence, opposite the Île d’Orléans. He died on 24 Nov. 1683 in the Lower Town of Quebec, in the house that he had received from his father. The inventory of his possessions listed as many nautical instruments as surgical ones, and of the ten books that he possessed only one dealt with medicine. Maheut had no descendants: a posthumous child lived for less than a year.
AJQ, Greffe de Pierre Duquet, Contrat de mariage de Louis Maheust et Geneviève Bissot, 29 mai 1673. ASQ, Séminaire, XCII, 19, p.6. Jug. et délib., passim. Papier terrier de la Cie des I.O. (P.-G. Roy), 101. P.-G. Roy, Inv. contrats de mariage, IV, 118.
Ahern, Notes pour l’histoire de la médecine. Boissonnault, Histoire de la faculté de Médecine de Laval, 40–44. Philéas Gagnon, “Noms propres au Canada français,” BRH, XV (1909), 143. Archange Godbout, “Origines des Cormiers,” SGCF Mémoires, IV (1950), 179–83. “Origine de quelques noms canadiens,” BRH, XI (1905), 269. SGCF Mémoires, I (1944), 219.
Revisions based on:
Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Québec, CE301-S1, 12 déc. 1650, 12 juin 1673, 26 nov. 1683.