Timeline of Francois Bourassa and Marie Leber

John Fisher    - Dec 2011


Francois Bourassa  was born in St Hilaire de Loulay, in the arrondissement of La Roch-sur-Yon, Vendee, (Diocese of Lucon), Poitou,  France about 1659, son of Francois Bourassa and Marguerite Dugas.


Marie Leber was baptized at Notre Dame church in Montreal on 6 Dec 1666, the daughter of Francois Leber and Jeanne Testard. Marie was first wed to a Carignan Regiment soldier named Charles Robert dit Deslauriers at Chambly on 9 Jan 1681 when she was 14 years old and he was 36. After he died, she married Francois Bourassa at Chambly on 4 Jul 1684. Marie was 18 and Francois was 25. After Francois died in 1708, she remarried in 1714 to Pierre Herve. Marie died at the age of 90 on 24 Dec 1756 in Laprairie, Quebec.





An Event in his Life



BORN in Ste Hilaire de Loulay, Vendee, Diocese of Lucon, Poitou, France

29 Sep 1683


-- Godfather at the baptism of Francois Lamoureux at Chambly

02 Feb 1685


-- Godfather at the baptism of Jeanne Bariteau at Chambly

04 Jul 1684


MARRIAGE to Marie Leber at Fort St Louis at Chambly, Quebec

26  Jul 1685


BIRTH of Francois who was baptized 30 Sep 1685 at Chambly

8 Mar 1687


NOTARY - Conveyed by Francois Bourasseau 300 Livres to Jacques Leber, merchant of Montreal.

23 Jun 1687


-- At the baptism of Francois Xavier Brilleau with wife Marie Leber

25 Jul 1687


-- Godfather at the baptism of Thomas Hebert

27 Jun 1688


NOTARY - Voyageur Engagement of Joachim Leber to Francois Bourassa and Rene Le Gardeur de Beauvais [probably to the Outaouais]

31 Jul 1688


NOTARY - Obligation of Francois Bourassa to M. de Beaulieu

21 Dec 1688


BIRTH and Baptism of Rene at Laprairie

02 Jun 1689


-- With Marie at the baptism of Rene Bariteau

11 May 1690


NOTARY -  Voyageur Engagement of Sieurs Bourdeau, Babeu, Bourassa and Leber to Sieur Le Gardeur de Beauvais to go to Michillimackinac (Michigan) or Bay de Puants (Stinking Bay, then eventually Green Bay, WI)

12 May 1690


NOTARY - Legal Agreement by Andre Babeu, Joachim Lebert and Francois Bourasseau, voyagers, being on their departure to go to Outaouais, to Pierre Bourdos for 142 Livres, 10 Sols and 8 Deniers for merchandise sold and delivered.

27 Jan 1693


NOTARY - Legal Agreement between Claude Caron of Ville Marie and Jeanne Testard wife of Francois Leber presently absent and among the enemy, and Marie Leber her daughter, widow of Sieur Bourassa, by which the said Caron is obliged to feed and lodge the said Testard, Marie Leber and her son, over the year. Were the enemy the Iroquois or the English? (1691 Attack on Laprairie)

22 Sep 1693


NOTARY - Legal Agreement of Jean Testard and Francois Leber her spouse, presently absent, and Marie Leber, widow of Bourassa, their daughter, to Claude Caron

27 Jan 1694


PISTARD COLLECTION -  Francois Bourassa was appointed as a witness in the case of Marie Vanneck (Dutch - married to Eustache Lambert dit Dumont) to counter the statements of people who said that she was not married in the church. (Pistard collection)

When did Francois Bourasssa return?? Between September & January??

14 Sep 1694


NOTARY - Concession of 4 by 25 arpents at Fontarabie (St Claude) to Francois Bourassa by the Jesuits. Charles Boyer on one side and the Commune on the other. [some records say 1695 which I believe is an error]

25 Feb 1695


BIRTH and Baptism of Marie Elizabeth  at Laprairie

19 Nov 1697


-- Witness at the marriage of Claude Caron dit Lafontaine and Jeanne Cusson

26 Feb 1698


NOTARY - Power of Attorney of widow Frs Leber to Frs LaRonde Bourassa her son-in-law. [Jeanne's husband died in 1694]

10 Apr 1698


BAPTISM of Francois Joachim at Laprairie; our ancestor

01 Jun 1699


-- Burial of Marie's son Charles Deslauriers

27 Sep 1699


NOTARY - Lease to farm a land situated at LaFourche de LaPrairie by Francois Lebert & spouse living in the Fort at Laprairie to Francois Bourassa and Marie Lebert his spouse, living in the fort.

13 Jun 1703


BIRTH and Baptism of Charles Joseph at Laprairie

14 Nov 1703


NOTARY - In decree obligation and account balance between Pierre Perthuyis, merchant living at Notre Dame street Montreal, between Francis Bourasseau and Marie Leber, his wife of Laprairie de La Magdeleine.

18 Apr 1704


NOTARY - New financial bond by Francois Bourasseau and wife to Francois Hertel

22 Mar 1705


BIRTH of Antoine at Laprairie, baptized the 23rd

20 Apr 1705


NOTARY - Exchange of a share of land in the Seigneury of Chambly, coast of Huron in return of land located in the Seigneurie of Laprairie in Fontarabie between Francois Bourasseau and Marie Leber his wife of Laprairie de la Magdeleine, previous wife of Charles Robert dit Deslauriers; and Jean Bessed and Madeleine Plamondon his wife of Laprairie.

17 Oct 1705


NOTARY - Declaration by Francois Bourassa, Francois Leber etc

18 Nov 1705


NOTARY - Duty of Francois Bourasseau and Marie Leber his wife, of Laprairie de La Magdeleine to Pierre Perthuyis, merchant of the town of Ville Marie, Notre dame Street.

8 Jul 1706


NOTARY - Exchange of land situated at Laprairie, coast of La Tortue in return for land in Chambly between Louis Bariteau dit LaMarche, inhabitant, of Chambly, with the consent of Julien Bariteau and Jacques Bariteau their children, and Jean Cusson, Royal Notary, of Chambly, doing for and on behalf of Ange Cusson and Jeanne Bariteau his wife, his son; Francois Bourasseau and Marie Leber his wife of Laprairie.

24 Mar 1707


BAPTISM of Suzanne at Laprairie

09 May 1708


DEATH of Francois Bourassa (Father) in hospital in Montreal of yellow fever

3 Jun 1708


NOTARY - Final accounting between Francois Leber and Marie (his sister) Leber, widow of Francois Bourassa

12 Aug 1708


DEATH of Francois Bourassa (son - age 23) in Laprairie of yellow fever

20 Jun 1710


NOTARY - Inventory of Goods of the Community of the deceased Francois Bourassa and of Marie Leber, made at the requeste of the aforesaid Leber.

4 Feb 1714


NOTARY - Reduction of land to 2x25 arpents by the Jesuits for Marie Leber widow of Bourassa; and Jacques Poissant & others.

22 Jan 1714


Marriage contract of Marie Leber (age 46) and Pierre Herve (age 37)

22 Apr 1714


MARRIAGE to Pierre Herve

30 May 1729


Sharing of parcels of real estate situated at Laprairie de La Magdeleine and Fontarabie between Marie Leber and Pierre Herve; previous wife of Francois Bourassa; to Rene, Francois [Joachim], Antoine and Marie Bourassa, wife of Jacques Pinsonneau. [Note: this was their inheritance of Francois Bourassa's lands]

23 Dec 1756


DEATH of Marie Leber at Laprairie at age 90



Where was Francois Bourassa and why did Marie believe he was dead?


You probably have noted the 2 legal agreements in 1693, made by Jeanne Testard and her daughter Marie Leber. Jeanne's husband is absent and Francois Bourassa is assumed to be dead, and they are seeking money from Claude Caron so that they can survive. What happened to them? Nothing more is found in the records, so we must look at what was happening in Laprairie and Montreal at that period of time. Did someone tell Marie that Francois was killed by soldiers or Indians? Was he captured by soldiers or Indians and later escaped? I wish that I knew the story.


There was plenty happening! Most of these events were part of King Williams War 1690-1697 against the French and Catholics.


- In 1689 all the residents of LaChine, Quebec were massacred by the Iroquois, no doubt with   encouragement by the English and the American colonists.


- In 1690 the American colonists tried to attack Quebec via Lake Champlain but failed. They also sent a large fleet of 32 ships and thousands of English and American Provincial troops up the St Lawrence to attack Quebec City in October. Frontenac had strongly defended the city and the attack was repulsed after the attackers suffered hundreds of casualties.


- In May of 1690, Francois signed on to a voyageur trip up the Ottawa river. Did he return safely?, we don't know. Was he captured by the Iroquois? Was he captured when returning in 1691? They frequently wintered over and returned in the Spring. Could he have been recruited as a militiaman to go and defend Quebec City?


- In 1691, Peter Schuyler of Albany led a force of about 400 troops and attacked Laprairie. There were many French and English casualties and many French were missing for a while due to having 2 main battle sites. Thirty-seven French were killed. Sixteen of the unnamed deceased were buried in Laprairie, Marie may have thought that Francois was one of those. Jacques Poissant was a French Marine in Laprairie at that time and I must assume that he was involved in this battle. Marie Leber's 1st cousin,

Jean-Vincent Leber, Sieur Duchesne was killed at age 25 on 11 August 1691 in Laprairie by the English and was buried on the 13th at Montreal. Was Francois Bourassa involved in the battles?


- In 1692 the Iroquois were around again. Two men were scalped nearby. One was the young Jean Besset, the brother of Marguerite Besset who married Jacques Poissant. Jean survived the scalping. Two other Canadians were killed.


- In 1693 the Canadian Intendent Frontenac decided to strike back at the Iroquois in order to reduce their attacks on the Quebec cities. His force consisted of about 100 French Marines [was Jacques Poissant one of those?, again I must assume that he was] and 524 Canadian Militia, and Mission Indians who were friendly with the French Canadians. They left Montreal on January 25 and went to the Mohawk Valley just west of Albany and Schenectady. They successfully attacked and destroyed 3 Mohawk castles, killed about 30 braves and captured all the inhabitants which were mostly women and children and began marching them back to Montreal. The militias from Albany and Schenectady pursued them and there were several battles. On the way home they ran out of food and many were unable to make it back. After the first had returned and knowing the plight of the remainder, they sent 150 more Canadians out with food to go their aid. The remainder of the survivors drifted back over some time.


The two legal agreements were made on 27 Jan 1693 and on 22 Sep 1693. The 27th of January was only 2 days after the troops left Montreal and Marie Leber would not have gone to a Notary just 2 days after they left. I must assume that Francois was involved in some earlier event, but it is still a mystery. However, as you can tell above, he received a land concession of 100 arpents (about 7/8 of an acre) on 14 Sep 1694. However, we have no idea when he returned. His father-in-law, Francois Leber who was absent, also returned and he died on 19 May 1694 in Laprairie at the age of 72.


The Bourassa family must have celebrated heartily and thanked God when Francois Bourassa and Francois Leber returned home!


Francois Bourassa's sons and grandsons created a dynasty of Voyageur and Bourgeois [Merchant] activity in Montreal and Michillimackinac (today Mackinac Michigan). But that is another story.