PAYEN DE NOYAN, PIERRE-BENOÎT, officer in the colonial regular troops; b. c. 1700 in Normandy, France, son of Pierre Payen* de Noyan and Catherine-Jeanne Le Moyne de Longueuil et de Châteauguay; m. Marie Faucon Dumanoir on 14 March 1739 in New Orleans, Louisiana; d. 1765 in Avranches, France.
After Pierre Payen de Noyan’s death in 1707 the king granted his widow an annual pension of 500 livres for the support of her four sons, among them Pierre-Jacques*, who became king’s lieutenant of Trois-Rivières, Gilles-Augustin, who became king’s lieutenant of New Orleans, and Pierre-Benoît.
The latter arrived in Louisiana in 1722 as half-pay ensign because of the “good reports about him and the man’s value.” He came to join his brother, Gilles-Augustin, who had held a post there since 1717, and his uncle, Bienville [Le Moyne], commandant general of the colony. His first stay in Louisiana was short, since he returned to France in 1726 after a new administration’s purge of Bienvillists. On 8 May 1730 Noyan was appointed ensign on the active list on Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). He served in Charles de Saint-Étienne* de La Tour’s company until the latter’s death in 1731 and for some years after that.
In 1732 Bienville was appointed governor of Louisiana, and in 1735 Noyan obtained permission to return there as a lieutenant. The following year he was appointed assistant adjutant of Fort Condé (Mobile, Ala.). As a soldier he concentrated his activity upon the struggles between the French and the Indians. He took part in several expeditions against the Chickasaws and the Natchez and was even slightly wounded. In 1739 he was sent to map a route to the Chickasaw country for an impending French attack. He was at that time commandant of Fort de l’Assomption (Memphis, Tenn.).
On 1 Oct. 1740 the king recognized his services by promoting him captain. Although the documents make no mention of him, Noyan may have distinguished himself on a few occasions, since he was appointed town major of New Orleans around 1750. He received the cross of the order of Saint-Louis in 1752.
Noyan returned to France in 1760 and died in 1765 in Avranches. His military career was uneventful. His different ranks and posts were probably often obtained through his family relationship with Bienville.
Archives du ministère des Affaires étrangères (Paris), Mém. et doc., Amérique, 1/1–2, 7/2. AN, Col., B, 43, ff.124, 629; 64, f.464; 78/1; 96, f.171; C11B, 12, 15, 16, 21; C11C, 11–15; C11G, 12; D2C, 2; 222/2, p.121 (PAC transcript); F3, 24, f.270; 50/1; Marine, C7, 238, f.30. Bénard de La Harpe, Journal historique de l’établissement des Français à la Louisiane (Nouvelle-Orléans, 1831). L. Lindsay, “Souvenirs de Quiberon,” La Nouvelle-France (Québec), V (1906), 20–32. Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. [François Daniel], Nos gloires nationales, ou histoire des principales familles du Canada . . . (2v., Montréal, 1867).