PAPINEAU OF QUÉBEC
and other places
Samuel Papineau dit Montigny
1.7.0 THE SEARCH FOR SAMUEL PAPINEAU
In the search for the first roots of the Papineau family, one discovers that modern technology can shed new light on what was known previously. Essentially, in this case one can exploit the following sources:
- the oral tradition passed on in the family,
- transcriptions by Louis-Joseph Papineau ( 1786-1871 ) of 5000 pages of the archives of the French ministry of Marine during his exile in Paris from 1839 till 1845,
- the search by his son Amédée for Montigny, the village of origin of Samuel, during a trip to France in 1878,
- the considerable research and publications until 1965 by the most prolific genealogist of the family, lieutenant-colonel Denis-Benjamin II Papineau (1890-1965), aide-de-camp to successive lieutenant-governors of Quebec,
- his own research brought archivist and historian Roland C. Auger to write Samuel Papineau's biography, in French and in English, in the famous Biographic Dictionary of Canada ©, published by Laval University of Quebec and the University of Toronto.
A close look at this last document gives a good example of the evolution of techniques in historic research:
this biography, dated about 1965 includes an error on the place of residence of the first ancestor Samuel Papineau, error which was then copied by all the following historians.
Modern techniques permit an easy correction: the microfilms of the notarial deeds of Nouvelle-France, indexed on a search instrument called Parchemin, sponsored by the chamber of notaries of Quebec, indicate that Samuel Papineau always lived in the same farm acquired from the Sulpiciens in 1699 in Côte-St-Michel, on the Island of Montreal.
The farm which he and his wife Catherine sold in 1705, also in Côte-St-Michel, was that of the first husband of Catherine, Guillaume Lacombe nicknamed St-Aman.
And the second farm which they acquired from the Sulpiciens in Rivière-des-Prairies in 1711 was on behalf of his family-in-law, because given up a bit later to Pierre Taillefer and his wife Jeanne Hunault, the mother of Catherine. Moreover one learns from this document that this farm had been repossessed by the Sulpiciens for default of payment and had been offered for sale after notice had been posted on the the church doors on several consecutive Sundays.
Here then is corrected, in priciple, an error that will continue to be spread by several older publications!
For the following Papineau generations, as one will see later, the fame of several Papineau descendants brought numerous researchers, historians and analysts of many tendencies and ideologies to publish a monumental production of which we shall give a bibliography while striving to correct the most striking errors.
One will note also an attempt in 1989 to modernize the genealogy of the best known branch, that of the famous politicians, in the compilation of Norman Pickering-Leblanc's " Mémorial Papineau " with help from writer Claude Lamarche.
Therefore it is with much respect and humility that we started again in the fall of 1998 our research on the first Papineau ancestor. Both on the ground, in Montigny in Deux-Sèvres, and in archives, in Paris, Niort, La Rochelle, Rochefort, La-Roche-sur-Yon in Vendee. We even verified archives in Rouen where a contributor to the data base computerized by the Mormons by mistake had identified the Rouen suburb of Montigny as home of the first ancestor.
This most recent campaign followed contacts and visits made in Montigny and the farm La Papinière as well as in La Rochelle and in Paris between 1965 and 1969 while we lived in Paris.
These inquests helped establish that there were in France in the early 1600s several groups of Papineau families, those connected to America being all in the western provinces of France.
(One finds in the archives of the Mormons a very ancient Papineau family in Annonay, in Ardèche department, with no known link to America).
The America bound ancient Papineau families lived mainly in: Bordeaux, the Island of Oléron and nearby La Rochelle, the South of Deux-Sèvres, that is Niort and its neighborhood, as well as in the North of Deux-Sèvres, of which Montigny and La Boissières.
It is also in this last region that one finds the largest number of localities called La Papinière: in Montigny, of which here is an illustration, but also around Cholet and its suburb of St-Léger and in St-Paul-en-Gâtine. Close to Saint-Prouant, west of Pouzauges, near the prieuré of Grammont and Clémenceau's grave are the Hautes Papinières and Basses-Papinières. As many proofs that numerous Papineau were there.
So we learned a lot on the general circumstances at the time of the departure of the first ancestor, on the religious wars in Poitou, on the soldiers of the Detachments of Marine and on the heroic conditions of their crossing the fierce Atlantic Ocean to the New-World and on the difficult wars they had to wage, and finally on the harsh conditions of their homesteading.
Today the demographers estimate that these young soldiers of the Troops of Marine are the ancestors of at least a quarter of the millions of people of French origin in America.
Despite the devastations caused by revolutions and wars, we found that the French archives still conceal some gratifying surprises.
It is necessary then to bring together this mass of documentation found in France and to confront it with the very rich archives inherited by Québec from the French regime. Fortunately more and more are available in computerized form and even on the Internet.
In spite of all this research and the precious help of French colleagues, we have not yet found in France any official original documents pertaining to Samuel Papineau or his parents.
A young lady at the local archives of Deux-Sèvres in Niort had certainly discovered a document. Before 1939, she informed lieutenant-colonel Denis-Benjamin Papineau II, the official genealogist of the family, that she could not read correctly whether the name of the wife of Samuel Papineau's father, he also named Samuel, was either Delain or Delair. This document is now untraceable.
We shall then concentrate on other documents found in France and on this side of the ocean, as well as on valid oral tradition since the Papineau children were litterate from the first generation born in America.
Here are a few exemples:
1.-EPITAPH IN THE PAPINEAU FUNERAL CHAPEL IN MONTEBELLO,
commemorating the memory of the parents of the young soldier Samuel, as conceived and executed in 1885 by Amédée Papineau, son of the patriot Louis-Joseph Papineau.
The Memory of SAMUEL PAPINEAU,
of La Papinière, municipality of Montigny
in Poitou, of Gallo-Roman Origin
and Marie DELAIN his Wife,
Victims of the wars of Religion.
He, Died before 1686. She after that year
The designation "of Gallo-Roman Origin" is construed by the author of the epitaph who had seen numerous Gallo-Roman ruins during his stay in Poitou in 1878. He will also associate the Papineau name to that of Papinien, in Latin Aemilius Papinianus, one of the best known Roman jurists, put to death in 212 by the emperor Caracalla. This Papinien had served in the Roman provinces on the Rhine and possibly in Gauls.
Strangely, in old Vendé dialect, Papineau is pronounced Papinia.
For Amédé's questionable interpretations of the wording " victims of religious wars ", see: Chapter 1.7.2. Were the ancestors of Samuel Papineau Huguenots?
2.- COAT OF ARMS OF GILLES PAPINEAU, presumed brother of Samuel.
“SABLE, WITH GOLD STARS AND SILVER BARS”
According to genealogist Denis-Benjamin II Papineau, Samuel Papineau dit Montigny
who came to New-France in 1688 in a company of French marines, was probably the younger brother who volunteered to replace : “Gilles Papineau, greffier des rolles de la paroisse de la Boissière", translated as “Registrar of the parish of la Boissière”
He was granted this coat of arms according to the: “Armorial general of Poitou, by Charles D'Hozier, master of arms of Louis XIV, the king of France . For Mauléon, Generality of Poitou. Official collection established according to the edict of 1696.
Editor, L.Clouzot, librarian at Niort, 1878. page 63.”
In today’s French department of Deux-Sèvres, the village of la Boissière and the city of Mauléon are situated a few miles from Montigny and the year 1696 coincides with the presence of Samuel Papineau’s family in Montigny.
A 21st. century Papineau may well borrow his coat of arms from a 17th. century ancestor.
© 2002, Jean-Yves Papineau, eighth generation of this name in America.
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