TERRIOT, PIERRE (he signed thus; early forms were: Terriau, Terrio, Thério, Therriot, Thériot, Thériaud, Terriault, and in the feminine: Terriote), one of the founders of Les Mines (Grand Pré, N.S.), last-born of the seven children of Jehan Terriot and Perrine Ruau (or Ban), and husband of Cécile Landry, the daughter of René Landry and Marie Bernard; b. 1654 or 1655; d. 21 March 1725 at Grand-Pré, in the parish of Saint-Charles des Mines, without leaving any issue.
As the name Terriot was borne by copyholders of Charles de Menou* d’Aulnay who lived at Martaizé (department of Vienne), one may assume that it was under this same seigneur’s influence that Jehan Terriot and his wife emigrated to Acadia around 1635. Their children, born in Acadia, married into the oldest families already established at Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.) before 1671. Pierre, who was the only “unmarried” member of the family at that date, was 16, and his brothers and sisters had already settled on tracts of land at Port-Royal. Consequently, when the time came for him to look for a farm, he probably found no more suitable land in this area.
A man of adequate schooling – his signature appears in the parish registers – he seemed to possess a spirit of decision and initiative which prompted him to draw other young men into the great adventure that the founding of a new settlement represented. The majority of these young people were related to him, which caused Mathieu de Goutin, his nephew by marriage, to say: “Pierre Theriot [’s] wife embraces two thirds of the colony.”
Terriot chose the rich lands in the Minas Basin, and in a short time the new settlement was populated. We do not know the date of the founding of Terriot’s settlement at Les Mines; it is possible, however, that Pierre Melanson (brother of Charles Melanson*) had settled in this place before him. Be that as it may, the 1686 census enumerates 57 persons there.
In 1693 Pierre Terriot, at the age of 39, was prosperous. Yet this prosperity did not come to him from the profits that he might have made at his fellow-settlers’ expense. In a letter dated 9 Sept. 1694 de Goutin said that Terriot “is the most notable person at Les Mines, of which he is so to speak the founder, for he has assisted almost all those who have come to establish themselves there, and his house is the refuge of all widows and orphans and people in need.” Having no children of his own, Terriot took an interest in the affairs of his nephews. Four or five of them lived with him “until such time as their own dwelling was habitable.”
The prosperity of this agricultural settlement continued to grow until the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755.
AN, Col., B, 17, f.23v; C11D, 2, f.233. Section Outre-Mer, G1, 466 (Recensements de l’Acadie, 1671, 1752). PAC, MG 9, B 8, 12. Geneviève Massignon, Les parlers français d’Acadie, enquête linguistique (2v., Paris, 1962).
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Cite This Article
Yvette Thériault, “TERRIOT, PIERRE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed May 29, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/terriot_pierre_2E.html.
The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:
|Author of Article:||Yvette Thériault|
|Title of Article:||TERRIOT, PIERRE|
|Publication Name:||Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2|
|Publisher:||University of Toronto/Université Laval|
|Year of publication:||1969|
|Year of revision:||1982|
|Access Date:||May 29, 2023|