The origins of our 185 immigrant ancestors are, for the most part, typical of French
Canadian family trees. Most pioneer settlers came from the north and west of France,
regions that had for centuries been involved with Atlantic seafaring and commerce.
The role of Paris was emphasized during the period 1663-1673, when the French regime
actively recruited young women -- the “King’s Daughters” -- mainly from in and around
Our family tree is distinctive in that virtually all of our immigrant ancestors arrived
before 1700, although at least one-quarter of the overall French settler population
arrived after that year, mainly as soldiers who remained in Canada following their
enlistments. But we are well represented in all of the earlier recruitment episodes
and especially in the establishment of Montréal in the 1640s and 1650s.
The above map presents the origins of the 172 ancestors for whom we have this specific
information, assigned by modern French département. Over half came from just three
regions: Normandy, the areas around the western port of La Rochelle, and Paris. Most
of the rest originated in nearby Brittany, Poitou, and Maine. The Duval line itself
came from the village of Tonnerre in the département of Yonne -- the one on the right
half of the map with two immigrants.
As related in this family history, only two of our 185 immigrant ancestors did not
come from France: André Robidoux, born in about 1640 in Burgos, Spain, of a French
father and a Spanish mother; and Annetje Christiaansz, born in about 1676 in Schenectady,
New York, of a Dutch father and an African mother.
Origins in France of the Immigrant Ancestors of Charles and Sarah (St. Aubin) Duval