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The Company LaTour

Jean Besset dit Brisetout

Anne Seigneur

The Land Around Chambly

Various Land Transactions

Nine Children

In The Shadows Of The Past



Jean Besset dit Brisetout,

soldier, Latour Co.

Carignan Reg, arr. Nouvelle France 1668,

landclearer, farmer, born.~1642, Cahors, Quercy,

buried.05-01-1707 C,

married.03-07-1668 C,

Anne LeSeigneur,

(Guillaume & Madeleine Sauvé),

King`s Daughter,

baptised.01-03-1649 St.Maclou, rouen,





1. Marie. Madeleine,

born.~1669, buried.19-05-1714 Longueuil (L),

married. 26-11-1690 Ft.St. Louis,

Laurent Perier

(Laurent Olivier-Perier & Francoise Naurice, 290-291-M).

2. Jacqueline dite Marguerite,

born.15-C, baptised.18-02-1671 BV,

married.~1699 C,

Jacques Poissant dit La Saline.

3. Jean, (twin),

born.27-12-1672 C, baptised.01-01-1673 TTC,


Marie, Anne Benoit

(Paul & Elisabeth Gobinet, 262-263-M),

widow. of Jean Bourdon.

2nd.marriage.08-09-1700 SM,

Madeleine Plamondon

(Philippe & Marguerite Clément).

4. Anonomous, Masc. (twin),

born.27-12-1672 C, baptised.died.& buried.01-01-1673 TTC.

5. Simon,

baptised.13-01-1676 Mtl, died.aft.1681 census.

6. Marie-Anne,


married.15-09-1708 c,

Louis Haguenier,

widower. of Thérèse Martin

(Macé & M.Thérèse David, 162-163-P).

7. Pierre,

born.09-07- C, baptised.02-08-1682 TTC, buried.16-11-1687 Sorel.

8. François,

born.26-09- C, baptised.29-09-1685 TTC,d.03-, buried.04-06-1764 C,

married.07-02-1716 C,

M.Claude Dubois

(François & M.Marthe Moral, 194-195-P).

9. Thérèse-Charlotte,

baptised.01-02-1690 Mtl.,

drowned 03-04-1707,

found 10-05-1707, bur.11-05-1707 C.


Ref : Dict. Jetté,p.97;

Dict.Tanguay, Vol.1,p.49; DNCF, Vol.1,p.197,198; J.Paul Malo;

Filles du Roi,p.333, by Silvio Dumas;

PRDH, Vol.28,p.268, Vol.5,p.3;

Pionniers de Longueuil, p.78; Loiselle M-cards.


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Have you seen this one from Thomas J Laforest's Series?




When an average person introduces himself to someone, he usually pronounces

his first and last name in the same manner. Certainly, so did ancestor

Jean Besset dit Brisetout.

But those who listened did not always hear the name the same way.

Therefore, in the old manuscripts you will find written variations,

such as Bessede Becette, Bessestre and others.

Today the surname Bessette is the one most currently in use.

The Latins used the word bettius to mean a grove of birch trees.

The Gauls then created beto to identify the bouleaux --birch trees.

From this has come Besse, Bessede and Besset

We know very little about the French origins of Jean Besset.

Through his marriage contract, one single detail has come to us.

He was from the town of Cahors, today the head town of the arrondissement

of the department of Lot, in the Midi-Pyrenees in Guyenne.

Few immigrants have come here from this beautiful corner of France.

Cahors is situated at the south end of a peninsula formed by the Lot River,

a tributary of the Garonne.

This average-size town had been flourishing for a long time,

even during the time of the Celts. The Romans, like the poet Ausone

boasted about its spring called Divona and made it the capital of the Cadurci,

which became, phonetically, Ouercy.

The extraordinary fountain of Divona became the famous fontaine des Chartreux

which gushes from a pit more than 40 meters deep. It is said that it feeds one-fifth

of the waters of the river Lot.

Cahors, a fortified town, quickly became the prey of invaders.

Italian bankers from Lombardy established the first banks there.

King Henri IV abolished the privileges of the wine warehouses,

which the town enjoyed; this dried up the source of its prosperity.

By the time of Ancestor Besset, Cahors was in full decline.

Was Jean Besset a member of the cathedral congregation of Saint-Etienne

or did he belong to one of the four parishes Saint Barthelemy,

Notre-Dame, Saint-Urcisse, or Laberaudie?

This is an enigma which needs to be cleared up. It was this land, which enjoyed

a very mild climate, that Jean Besset left to join the army.


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When, how and why did Jean Besset enlist under the flag of his country?

No one can give us the answer.

He came to New France with the Carignan Regiment in 1665.

This is what history has left us, with any accuracy.

The last eight companies of the famous regiment dropped anchor at Quebec

in the beginning of September. Monsieur de Courcelles and the Intendant Talon

arrived in company with them.

Leading the troops was the lackluster Captain LaTour. A French nobleman,

Rolland de Lafons, was the junior officer

of the Company in the rank of Ensign, which he bought before his departure

for New France on 29 May 1665.

Perhaps the most noteworthy of Jean's companions was the surgeon

Jean Martinet dit Fonblanche.

Upon arrival, what did the Company de LaTour and Jean Besset do?

Flat boats built at Trois-Rivitres, used for going up the Richelieu River,

were ready and waiting. The forts of Sorel, Chambly and Sainte-Therese

still needed good manual labor. It is normal to think that some of the

soldiers would be directed to these defense posts.

However, historians affirm that after more than one hundred days of a

difficult crossing, the LaTour Company, along with seven others, remained

in the region of Quebec where they refitted their force and spent the winter.

Soldier Besset, like the others, owned a hat with a ribbon, a cloth suit with a tie,

a shirt, a vest, a pair of breeches or old-fashioned culottes, stockings and shoes.

And add a cloak, to complete what modern folk would call his garb.

Jean owned two needles and some thread to make his own repairs,

as was the custom.

The first official mention of Jean Besset in Canadian history was in the

spring of 1668 On 20 May.

Msgr de Laval appeared a Fort Chambly to meet the soldiers and to speak to them.

He administered the sacrament of confirmation to 66 people, all men,

including Jean Besset, Jean Piet dit Trempe and Jean Poirier dit Lajeunesse;

the latter from the diocese of Cahors.


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Jean Besset dit Brisetout


The ancestor Jean Besset is said to have been a prisoner with the Iroquois at the

marriage contract of his daughter Marie, with Laurent Perrier, passed the

25-11-1690 in Chambly, and deposed to the office of [notary] Adhemar,


Of a violent character, Jean Besset was opposed to the marriage of his son Jean

with the widow of Jean Bourbon, Marie-Anne Benoit dit Nivernois (262-263-M).

The pastor served notice that it was the last publication of the marriage bans,

and that one dispensation had been obtained from Mr. Dollier de Casson.

Because of the fierce opposition of Jean Besset, Sr., the pastor of Laprairie

summoned, before two witnesses, to go and tell his reasons to

Mr. Dollier de Casson, who had attarded the said marriage by eight days,

and who ordered to proceed and take the mutual consentment of the couple.

Because of the threats and violence of the father, Jean Besset. The pastor of

Laprairie had to go to Ville-Marie at 6:00 AM. to celebrate the marriage.


Jean Besset, Jr., was scalped by the Iroquois at St. Lambert in 1691,

His wife, Marie-Anne, was killed by the Iroquois and buried in

Laprairie the 09-08-1697. Ref: Mem. Soc. Gen., April 1956.

He lived to tell about it., and remarried.


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On 3 July 1668, Antoine Adhemar dit Saint-Martin himself a former member

of the Sorel Company, was at Fort Saint-Louis to draw up his First notarial act,

the marriage contract between Jean Besset soldier at present living at fort

St. Louis and Anne le Seigneur.

The young notary perhaps a little nervous forgot to record the names of the

groom's father and mother.

As for the bride, Anne Seigneur native of the parish of Saint-Maclou

in Rouen Normandy daughter of the, late Guillaume and of Marguerite Serre

it is necessary to classify her among the serious girls protected by the king.

However the marriage contract breathes not a word concerning her dowry

and her gift of 50 livres from the king Something else forgotten!

The squire Jacques D'Harcinval, nobleman and an officer in the regiment,

acted as witness in her favor. He was also from her native town, Rouen.

Jean-Baptiste de Poitiers, Sieur du Buisson. a soldier from Picardy

in the Chambly Company, was the best man for Jean Besset dit Brisetout,

his companion-in-arms

Alas! the nuptial blessing presided over by a traveling missionary days or a few

weeks later, was not recorded in our registries.

Where did the Besset couple spend the winter of 1668-1669?

Undoubtedly at the fort where soldier Jean was busy guarding army

property because Fort Saint-Louis was used mostly as a warehouse

for supplies and munitions,

Perhaps the 29 year old Anne Seigneur added a touch of home cooking in helping

to prepare the meals destined for the soldiers.

The Seigneur-Besset life began humbly, but self-confident enough.

After all more than three centuries later, their descendants are still

on the soil of North America.


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The Land Around Chambly


The seigneurs like the soldiers, after the breakup of the Carignan Regiment,

were drawn to farming the land, without officially owning it. Monsieur de Chambly

received his title seigneur on 29 October 1672.

The following year, the master of the seigneury granted several concessions

before his final departure from the colony.

Thus, on 14 October 1673, it was Jean Besset’s turn to receive title to his land,

undoubtedly already under cultivation.

The text of notary Adhemar tells us that de Chambly ceded a piece of land with

nineteen perches of frontage along the basin by forty arpents in depth,

on the Huron coast, today in the territory of St-Mathias de Rouville.

At that time, the designation of boundaries was made by mentioning the

neighboring land-owners.

On one side, was noted the presence of Jan Peladeau and Charles Robert;

on the other side, Louis Bariteau, and in the back were the lands not yet ceded

and seigneurial rents to be paid each year were nothing special,

except for the minot of wheat to be given for each arpent of this frontage ",

in the winter on the day and feast of St-Martin..

The agreements were signed at the house of the said seigneur before witnesses

Philippe Goyau and Gilbert GuiIleman, surgeon and soldier in the

St-Ours Compmy of the Carignan Regiment


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Various Land Transactions


It is not always easy to follow the trail of Jean Besset and family.

On 22 July 1674, he sold his first concession to some one named

Brosherieux dit LaSoulaye. This unknown seems to be identified by others

as Jean Merienne, a soldier from the Grandfontaine Compmy.

Brocherieux came forth as purchaser of the Besset farm

"consisting of two arpents in forty arpents in length:

The neighbors were Charles Robert dit Deslauriers and Bariteau dit Lamarche

" planked wood cottage twenty feet long by sixteen wide covered in thatch

watched over the seven arpents of land described as workable with a pickaxe.

The buyer was to pay Besset 40 minots of what from the present harvest.

The price of the transaction 80 French silver livres.

At the end of the same month, on 29 July, Jean Besset bought a concession from

Francois Prudhomme. ii consisted of 80 arpents of land in a place

called Sault St-Louis. it was bordered on one side by Pierre Godin dit Chatillon

and on the there by Jan Roy dit LaPensee an of it in the district of the island

of Montreal Price: 80 silver livres.

Witnesses: Jean Grenet and Pierre Caille dit LaRochelle, a master tailor.

After perhaps three years of absence, the Bessets returned to Chambly,

in the summer of 1677.

This is what we have learned in a contract signed by Adhemar on 19 July 1678,

before the administrator of the seigneury, Philippe Goyau dit Reste-a-Boire.

This official report informs us of what Besset,Raimbault, Bariteau and Robert

could owe the seigneur.

Then, it was stated that Jean Besset will henceforth own half of the concession

of four arpents of frontage abandoned four or five years earlier

by Arnaud Fiat dit Lafleur.

The neighbors were Jean Peladeau and Jean de Paris dit Champagne,

on the Belllair coast, which others have written as Beloeil Besset

promised to pay 70 livres, an amount which he didn't possess at the moment.

On 6 April 1680, the exact division of this half-concession was officially

carried out In the beginning of the year 1681,

the Bessets were indeed living at Chambly,

between Etienne Raimbault and Louis Bariteau, where they owned a gun,

3 head of cattle and had 6 arpents under cultivation.

It was not a success to report in the Guinness Book o fRecords,

but the economic situation of the other censitaires in the seigneury

was hardly more glowing.


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Jacqueline dit Marguerite,

Jean and his stillborn twin,







Four sons, four daughters and an infant of masculine sex.

Such were the nine children who succeeded each other in the family cradle:


1, Marie, the eldest confirmed by Msgr de Laval on 31 May 1676,

promised at Chambly on 26 November 1690,to be the faithful wife of

Laurent Perrier dit Olivier, a Breton by origin from Brest.

The contract drawn up under a private agreement mentions that at that time

Jean Besset was a PRISONER of the Iroquois.

How was our ancestor able to break away from the grasp of these savages?

Obviously he was not called Brisetout break everything for no reason.

The home of Marie and Laurent increased by eight.

On 19 May 1714, Marie was buried at Laprairie, leaving behind her a wanting

and disconsolate home .

2. Jacqueline, known by the alternate first name of Marguerite had her baptismal

act recorded in the registry of Boucherville, on 18 February 1671.

Captain Jacques de Chambly was her honorable godfather.

A former soldier in the Noyan Company,

from Saintonge Jacques Poissant dit Lasaline,

a Huguenot converted to Catholicism after his arrival in Canada,

won Jacqueline's heart, at Chambly about 1699.

Nine children, including two twin girls, enriched the lives of this good couple.

3. Jean arrived ,, 27 December 1672,

on the feast of the apostle by the same name. On the following first of January,

Jean Dupuis served as his godfather, accompanied by Marie Vara,

wife of Louis Bariteau Son Jean grew up and worked mostly in the vicinity

of Montreal It was there in 1691 at St-Lambert that he was surprised by

Iroquois scalped and lived to ten the tale,

What unusual luck!

Marie-Anne Benoit, widow of Jean Bourdon, mother of three children,

daughter of Paul dit Livernois and twin sister of Barbs, caused his heart to spin.

Ancestor Besset vigorously opposed this marriage and showed his

"dit Brisetout character. He didn't even want to explain himself to the

grand-vicar Dollier de Casson. In order to avoid "the threats"

of Brisetout the local priest Onophre Godfroy, a Recollet

"went to the church of Ville-Marie at six o’clock in the morning"

to perform the marriage on 16 May 1695, according to the registry of Laprairie.

Jean and Marie Anne had a daughter, buried on 25 May 1697.

In August of the same year, the Iroquois tried to take Marie-Anne Benoit captive.

She must have defended herself like a lioness, but succumbed to her wounds.

She was buried on 9 August 1697. What misfortune!

Jean was remarried a year later to Madeleine Phamondon.

daughter of Philippe and of Marguerite Clement.

She gave him seven children. Jean and Madeleine were buried at Saint Mathias:

she on 5 May 1750; he on 18 May 1751.

4. Simon, who became the godson of Simon Gulllory and Jeanne-Cecile Closse

at Montreal, disappeared after the census of 1681.

5. Marie-Anne, born about 1679, was married on 15 September 1708

at Chambly to cabinetmaker Louis Haguenier,

widower of Therese Martin father of two children.

Four sons and five daughters blossomed in this home.

6. Pierre, born at Chambly on 9 July 1682, was buried on 17 November 1687,

according to the registry of Sorel.

7.Francois saw the light of day on me feast day of Ste-Anne in 1685,

and was married at Chambly on 9 February 1716 to Marie-Claude Dubois

daughter of Antoine and of Marie-Marthe Moral.

They had at least eight children.

Francois bought the "rights to succession" from the Besset family

on 3 August 1712.

8. The youngest Therese-Charlotte Besset, was baptized at the church of

Notre-Dame in Montreal on 1 February 1690.

This seventeen year old girl drowned on 3 April 1707.

Discovered on 10 May at Sorel, she was buried at Chambly the next day.

Anguish and tragedy haunted the first two generations of Bessets.

They needed a will of iron in order to emerge without deep trauma.


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Anne Seigneur and Jean Besset did not know any great abundance of material

wealth, but they did enjoy strength of character and compassion for humanity.

In 1685, Jean Peladeau let his bull chase some cows across the grain fields

particularly those of Besset In addition, Peladeau took advantage of this.


Bibliography Adhemar, 3 July 1668; 14 October 1673; 19 July 1678;

6 April 1680; 5 August 1690; 16 August 1702

Basset, 22 July 1674; 29 July 1674.

Catta, Etienne , Frere Andre 1845-1937 (1943 ) page 49

Dauzat . Albert .. DENFPF (1951 ) page 40

Elie de Salvail 366 anniversaires canadiens ( 1943). Pages 447-448

Godbout, Archange AGA, in RAPQ Volume 36-37, pages 447-448

Lafontaine, Andre Ranf1681 (1981 ) page 167

MSGCF, Volume 7, page 184 Volume 11,page 179-180;

Volume 16, pages 27, 44 41; Volume 331 pages 83-92 ·

RAPQ Volume 49 page 38

RHAF, Volume 13,pages 569-570

L'habillements des soldats venus de France Roy,

Reds & GERARD Malchelosse,RC (1925), page 98 Suite,

Benjamin & Gerard Malchelosse LE Fort de Chambly ( 1922 ), pages 21, 53.