Antoine Roy dit Desjardins

by Pierre Le Clercq, vice-chairman of the Société généalogique de l'Yonne

Article written by Monsieur Pierre Le Clercq as Antoine Roy et ses descendants en France et au Canada was first published in two parts in Les Souches by the Association of Roy Families of America (L'Association des familles Roy d'Amérique).

Translated by Ken Roy, an 11th generation descendant of Antoine Roy in the United States. Translation posted with permission of the author, Pierre Le Clercq. Original French version can be found on the Société généalogique de l'Yonne web site. My sincere thanks to Monsieur Le Clercq for his extensive research on the Roy family in France and for permission to publish this translation.

Part 1

First published in the Association of Roy Families of America's publication Les Souches L'Association des familles Roy d'Amérique, Volume 4 Number 1, December 1998 page 16-17

During the 22 nd International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences at the University of Ottawa in August 1996, I met Jean-Guy Roy, a Canadian, who presented himself as one of the numerous descendants of Antoine Roy. Antoine was a cooper, originally from Joigny, France, who left Europe in 1665 to establish roots across the sea on the North American continent. Jean-Guy had just participated in my conference on Les ressortissants de Basse-Bourgogne établis au Canada avant 1730, et leurs racines familiales en France (Translated as Colonials from lower Burgundy, who established themselves in Canada prior to 1730, and their family roots in France). Jean-Guy was looking for additional information on his ancestor from Joigny, whom I had mentioned during my presentation on the forty-five Canadian colonists who were Yonne natives. The following are the actual results of my research on Antoine Roy and his family.

The Tumultuous Life of Antoine Roy

While Antoine Roy might not be an historical character, he is none the less important to the demographic history of Canada because numerous inhabitants of the New World descend from him whether they carry his surname or not. Baptized on 23 March 1635 at Saint Jean in Joigny, France, Antoine Roy was the son of master cooper, Olivier Roy and Catherine Baudard. His godparents were Antoine Baudard and Marie Collard. Around 1657, at the age of 22, the young Antoine married Catherine Byot. He was already working as a cooper like his father. Two children were born of this marriage and both were baptized at Saint Jean in Joigny, France:

1.    Jacques Roy was presented at the baptismal font on 5 November 1658 by Jacques Perdigon and Marie Chacheré

2.    Edme Roy was held over the same baptismal font on 13 March 1660 by Edme Nau and Marie Bourotte

At the time of the first baptism, Antoine's parents were both still living. However, his mother died a year later and was buried at Joigny on 10 December 1659. His father died a year and a half after the second baptism and was also buried at Joigny on 6 December 1661. The funerals of both parents were at Saint Jean, the church attended by both parents while they lived.

A few years after the death of his parents, Antoine left for New France. His wife and two children perhaps were also dead, which would have left him free to pursue a new life on a new continent. During this period of time, the French were experiencing difficulties on the North American continent. Not only were they submitted to murderous raids from the Iroquois since 1658 but they were also the only Europeans left who challenged the English for the East Coast of North America. In 1655, the Dutch had seized New Sweden, founded in Delaware in 1635, but in 1664 they had ceded New Holland, established in 1623 in the current state of New York, to the English. To defeat the Iroquois and contain the English, King Louis XIV decided to send an infantry regiment to New France. This regiment was composed of 1200 men under the command of Colonel Carignan-Salières. It is within this army troop that Antoine found his way to Canada, as a simple soldier in the company commanded by Captain Froment.

This young soldier with the military surname of Desjardins left the port of La Rochelle on 19 April 1665 on board the sail ship Le Vieux Siméon. Two months later on 19 June 1665, he landed on the quays of the City of Quebec. He was part of the advance party for the regiment expedited by the king that included the four companies under captains Chambly, Froment, La Tour, and Petit. While waiting the arrival of the remaining companies of the regiment, which numbered twenty in all, the freshly disembarked troops left Quebec on 23 July 1665 for the foot of the rapids on the Richelieu River near Montreal. There with the other soldiers that made up the advance party, Antoine Roy helped construct a wooden fort named Fort Saint Louis. Two other forts were also raised in the region, facing the English and their allies the Iroquois -- Fort Richelieu and Fort Sainte Thérèse. After the arrival of the rest of the troops, the 24 companies of the regiment were posted to several locations in Canada. Eight companies were garrisoned in Quebec, one at Sainte Famille on l'Ile d'Orleans, three at Trois Rivières, five at Montreal, two at Fort Saint Louis, two at Fort Richelieu, and three at Fort Sainte Thérèse. The company to which Antoine Roy belonged was posted to Trois Rivières, where it remained for two years from the fall of 1665 to the summer of 1667.

As soon as peace between the French and Iroquois was settled on 8 July 1667 at Quebec City, the Carignan-Salières Regiment was recalled to France. Its presence in North America was no longer required since the Iroquois had been pacified and the Algonquins were allies. Both Indian nations formed a protective barrier between the French colony in Canada and the various English establishments further south. On 28 August 1667, the expeditionary force left the port of Quebec on board the Saint Sébastien bound for France. Of the 1200 soldiers who had come in 1665 to fight the Iroquois, only 550 returned to their native country. 250 had died during the French Indian wars, and 400 others decided to remain in Canada. Antoine was among those that remained along the Saint Lawrence River.

On 20 October 1667, he obtained from the Jesuits of the Cap de la Madeleine a land concession within their vast domain in Batiscan. The grant was signed in front of the notary of Trois Rivières, Guillaume de La Rue. The following year, on 11 September 1668 at Quebec City, the former soldier married une fille du roi, Marie Major. She was born on 26 February 1637 at Touques in the current Department of Calvados. The King of France had sponsored Marie's transportation to Canada to marry a colonist as a means of expanding the burgeoning colony in its fight against the English colonies in North America. Neither in the religious marriage entry nor in the contract signed a week earlier on 6 September 1668, was any mention made that Antoine was previously married to a deceased woman named Catherine Byot.

We can wonder with good reason at this serious omission. The parish registers of the three churches of Joigny do not show a death entry for Catherine Byot. Did she die elsewhere? Was she abandoned by her husband in Joigny or elsewhere? Whatever the reason, Antoine did not judge it relevant to mention to either the notary or the pastor of Quebec that he had been previously married. Either his first wife was still living or he was incapable of rapidly producing a death certificate. In light of his pitiful demise, we cannot reject the theory that Antoine might have simply abandoned his first wife as a way out of difficulties in France.

In any case, Antoine lived with his second wife in Batiscan where he worked as a cooper from 1667 to 1683. Not knowing how to manage his affairs correctly, he began acquiring debt in 1674 that finally pushed his creditors to take him to court at Trois Rivières in 1682. Pressed by his lenders, totally unable to honor his debts, Antoine fled his household in June 1683 to live alone at Julien Talua's household in Lachine on the Isle of Montreal. There he pursued his career as a master cooper. Found by Michel Lecourt, his principal lender, he was again dragged before the court, this time in Montreal in May 1684 where he was thrown in jail until June 15th. Two weeks later, on June 30th, he again spent the day in jail. On 1 July 1684 he accepted the terms offered by Michel Lecourt to settle his outstanding debts of several years.

This was a short-lived respite. On 10 July, around six in the morning, Julien Talua surprised Antoine in flagrant adultery, lying in bed with his wife, Anne Godeby. The duped husband revolted by the sight did not hesitate to kill his lodger right then and there. Thus ended the pitiful life of Antoine, a cooper originally from Joigny who had come to Canada to rebuild his life. The foolhardy lover of Anne Godeby was 49 years old when he was expedited violently to the kingdom of the dead.

Villages along the St. Lawrence River where Antoine Roy dit Desjardins and his son Pierre Roy had significant events. (Note this paragraph added by translator to add a link to additional information on the web site.)

Part 2

First published in the Association of Roy Families of America's publication Les Souches L'Association des familles Roy d'Amérique, Volume 4 Number 2, March 1999 page 14-17

Antoine Roy's Family

In consulting the parish registers of the three churches in Joigny for the period prior to 1669, I discovered up to thirty-seven couples where the husband's surname was Roy. I published the list of their children in an article titled Les familles Roy de Joigny, en France (The Roy Families of Joigny, France) which appeared in the January 1998 edition of l'Ancêtre, a Canadian publication edited by the Genealogical Society of Quebec. Amongst these thirty-seven families, only four seem to have any ties to Antoine Roy, based on my current research. A fifth family formed after 1668 also ties into this Roy Family.

Here then are the first four generations of the family tree of Antoine Roy, the cooper from Joigny who left to live in Canada.

I.    Jean Roy is Antoine's grandfather. All we currently know is that he lived in the parish of St André in Joigny and that he married Marie Boucquenier before 1604. She was still alive in 1629 when she became godmother to her grandchild, Marie Roy, who was baptized on 13 February 1629 at St Jean in Joigny, France. Jean Roy and Marie Boucquenier had but one son.


II.    Olivier Roy was baptized on the 2nd of October 1604 at St André, Joigny. He later was a master cooper. Around 1626, Olivier first married Catherine Baudard who was probably the daughter of Antoine Baudard and Marie Champion. Catherine died thirty-three years later and was buried at St Jean, Joigny, France, on 10 December 1659. Within a year of having become a widower, Olivier married Marie Pruneau in 1660. Olivier, died in turn a year later, and was buried on 6 December 1661 also at St Jean in Joigny, France. Olivier and Catherine had ten children, seven girls and three boys, as shown in III.1 below. With Marie Pruneau, Olivier had a single child, a son shown in III.2 below. All their children were baptized at St Jean, Joigny, France.


III.1    Catherine Roy was baptized on 11 July 1627. Her godparents were Mathieu Voinin, son of the late Mathieu (Voinin), and Catherine Mamerot, daughter of the late Jacques (Mamerot)

III.1    Marie Roy was baptized on 13 February 1629. Her godparents were Antoine Guesne and Marie Boucquenier. Her godmother was no doubt the grandmother of Antoine, wife of Jean Roy.

III.1    Charlotte Roy was baptized on 19 August 1630. Her godparents were Jean Michel and Charlotte Baudard. Charlotte is most likely her maternal aunt, daughter of Antoine Baudard and Marie Champion.

III.1    Edmée Roy was baptized on 19 March 1632. Her godparents were Thibault Boullier and Edmée Nau, who were either neighbors or friends.

III.1    Geneviève Roy was baptized on 8 July 1633. Her godparents were Jean Gallimard and Geneviève Chollet, who were either neighbors or friends.

III.1    Antoine Roy was baptized on 23 March 1635. His godparents were Antoine Baudard and Marie Collard. Antoine Baudard could be his maternal uncle Antoine, son of Antoine Baudard and Marie Champion, or his maternal grandfather Antoine himself. As an adult, Antoine became a cooper like his father. He first married Catherine Byot around 1657 and later married Marie Major on 11 September 1668 at Quebec City. Born on 26 February 1637 in Toucques, Normandy, France, his second wife was the daughter of Jean Major and Marguerite Le Pelé.
Antoine Roy was assassinated on 10 July 1684 at Lachine, near Montreal. Marie Major died on 8 December 1689 in the hospital l'Hotel-Dieu in Quebec City. From his first marriage, the cooper from Joigny had two sons as shown in IV.1 below, and from his second marriage, he had a third son as shown in IV.2 below.

III.1    Elie Roy was baptized on 13 July 1636. His godparents were Elie Roy, a merchant living in Joigny who might be part of the Roy Family, and Nicole Puisoye.

III.1    Suzanne Roy was baptized on 31 July 1638. Her godparents were Edme Protat and Suzanne Byot, who were either friends or neighbors.

III.1    Jean Roy was baptized on 30 August 1640. His godparents were Jean Roy, who most likely is a member of the Roy Family, and Jeanne Coquard.

III.1    Catherine Roy was baptized on 19 September 1643. Her godparents were Claude Demas and Catherine Pérille. As an adult, Catherine first married a vine-grower and barrel-maker named Jude Guillerat on 24 September 1675 at St Thibault in Joigny, France. She later married another vine-grower, Edme Girard, on 25 June 1686 in the same church.


III.2    Zacharie Roy was baptized on 1 February 1661. He was the only son of Olivier Roy and his second wife, Marie Pruneau. When Zacharie attained his majority at the age of 25, he married Anne Maure, the daughter of Claude Maure and Marguerite Gallimard. The wedding ceremony was on 23 February 1686 at St Jean in Joigny, France. After the death of his first wife, who died in childbirth at the age of 34 and was buried at St Jean in Joigny on 17 January 1691, Zacharie Roy married a second time to Claude Lalande, less than a month after his first wife's death. This second wedding also took place at St Jean on 12 February 1691. Unlike his step-brother Antoine, who was a cooper, Zacharie became a cobbler (savetier) in Joigny. From his first marriage with Anne Maure, Zacharie had two girls and a boy, who are shown below in IV.3. From his second marriage, there appears to be no children.


IV.1    Jacques Roy was baptized on 5 November 1658 at St Jean in Joigny, France. His godparents were Jacques Perdigon and Marie Chacheré.

IV.1    Edme Roy was baptized in the same church on 13 March 1660. His godparents were Edme Nau and Marie Bourotte.

IV.1    Pierre Roy was born in Canada, no doubt at Batiscan around 1669. He is the only child of Antoine Roy and his second wife, Marie Major. Pierre was most likely baptized at the church in Champlain to which the community of Batiscan belonged at this period of history. In any case, his godfather was Pierre Constant, also living in Batiscan. At the time of the 1681 census, Antoine's young son was already 12 years old. After his father's murder, in 1684, Pierre with his mother left Batiscan forever. They first settled in Quebec City where Pierre worked as a cooper.

After his mother's death in Quebec City in 1689, Pierre first married Marie-Anne Martin, daughter of Joachim Martin and Anne Charlotte Petit. Marie-Anne was born on 4 April 1673 at St Pierre on l'Île d'Orléans, near Quebec. She was baptized on 14 April 1673 at Sainte Famille on the same island. Their marriage was celebrated at St Pierre on 12 February 1691 in the parish where Pierre now made his home and continued to work as a cooper. On 7 October 1696, Pierre finally obtained a land grant at Kamouraska. He would leave l'Île d'Orléans with his family in 1697 like several other colonists at the end of the 17 th century. René Lepage was such a colonist, born at Ouanne near Auxerre, who had left the island in 1696 to found Rimouski downstream on the Saint Lawrence. At Kamouraska, Pierre became a farmer for a period of thirty years from 1697 to 1726.

After the death of his first wife, Marie-Anne Martin, on 6 February 1709, Pierre married a second time to Angélique Hautin, who was born around 1690 at Sainte Anne de La Pocatière in the Province of Quebec, Canada, the daughter of François Hautin and Marie Boucher. The wedding ceremony took place on 25 November 1710 at the church in Rivière Ouelle, which was the first church in the Kamouraska territory. Angélique died a decade later in 1720 or 1721.

Pierre left for Repentigny in 1726 where he married a third time a thirty-two year-old woman named Marie Delugré, who was baptized on 13 October 1695 at Sainte Famille, l'Île d'Orléans, the daughter of Jacques Delugré and Catherine Gendron. The marriage was celebrated at the church of Repentigny on 30 October 1727. Pierre Roy was 58 years old at the time. In his new parish, Pierre was both a farmer and a carpenter from 1726 until his death. Pierre died at the age of 65 on 29 April 1734 at Repentigny, where he was buried the following day. From his first marriage with Marie- Anne Martin, Pierre had four girls and six boys; from his second marriage with Angélique Hautin, he had five girls and one boy; and from his third marriage with Marie Delugré, he had one girl and two boys. Thus it is Pierre and not his father Antoine, who really begins the long line of Roys in North America.


IV.3    Marie Roy was baptized on 22 January 1687 at St Jean in Joigny, France. Her godparents were Louis Collet and Liesse Marchant. On 8 February 1712, at the age of 25, she married Jean Gounon in the same church of St Jean. Their descendants are listed as V below.

IV.3    Laurence Roy was baptized on 10 October 1688 at St Jean in Joigny, France. Her godparents were Pierre Pleyard and Laurence Milon.

IV.3    Zacharie Roy was born and baptized on 14 January 1691 at St Jean in Joigny, France. His godparents were Louis Froncet and Isabelle Paumier. He died the same day and was buried at St Jean.


A Return to the Sources of the Roy Family of Canada

Thanks to Antoine Roy and more specifically to his son Pierre, there are numerous Canadians (and Americans) who on the eve of the year 2000 and the third millenium carry the name of a family that originated in Joigny, France. Amongst them, we find His Excellency Monsieur Jacques Roy, Ambassador of Canada to France, and Father Jean-Guy Roy, President of l'Association des Familles Roy d'Amérique. This last person wrote me on 18 November 1997, announcing that he was organizing a voyage to France for about 40 people who were all interested in retracing their roots and walking the soil where their Roy ancestors were born. Antoine Roy was not alone in establishing roots across the ocean, even though his posterity is abundant. Other Roys established themselves in Canada under the Ancient Regime who did not come from the land of Icaunie (which means the area around the Yonne River in France). The voyage organized by Father Jean-Guy Roy will occur on 26 June through 11 July 1998 under the patronage of His Excellency Monsieur Jacques Roy, with the goal of returning to the American Roy Family roots from Joigny to Paris while driving through Touraine, Poitou, Saintonge, Maine, and Normandy.

It is at the Department of Yonne where the first phase of this genealogical voyage begins. Our far cousins from America will arrive at Joigny on 28 Jun 1998 around 5:30 pm, coming from the cities of Lyons and Beaune. They will spend the day Monday resting in the Department of Yonne and will leave our department on Tuesday for Tours. Our genealogical society, of course, will welcome the descendants of Antoine Roy and the descendants of the other Roy Families when they arrive on Sunday. Our participation will be in the form of a conference and exposition on Icaunais who left France to establish themselves in Canada prior to 1730. We also look forward to greeting our North American cousins upon their arrival in Joigny by joining them for dinner. For this last, we await the exact address of the hotel where they have reservations in Yonne.

Will French and Canadian cousins find their common links during this brief stay? The genealogy of the Antoine Roy Family of Joigny which is detailed above clearly shows that of all the descendants of Jean Roy and Marie Boucquenier, only their grandson Antoine has a posterity that still maintains the Roy name to this day but in North America only. In France, it is under different surnames that we find descendants of the original Roy Family perpetuated through maternal lines. Their grand-daughter, Catherine Roy, younger sister of Antoine, does not appear to have had any posterity even though she was married twice, first to Jude Guillerat in 1675 and then to Edme Girard in 1686. In fact, it is only through their great-grand-daughter, Marie Roy, the daughter of Zacharie Roy, Antoine's stepbrother, that we find any French descendants of Jean and Marie Boucquenier, all carrying different family names. Marie is shown as IV.3 above and her descendants are shown below. This information, which was put together from the marriage indices constructed by our genealogical society, allows us a brief picture of their descendants in Joigny.


IV.3    Marie Roy married Jean Gounon on 8 February 1712 at St Jean. Their descendants are shown as V below.


V.    Jean Gounon married Madeleine Barbier on 4 February 1738 at St Thibault. Their descendants are shown as VI.1 below.

V.    Charlotte Gounon married Edme Nocet on 9 February 1745 at St Thibault.

V.    Marie Jeanne Gounon married Claude Perrier on 5 May 1745 at St Thibault. Their descendants are shown as VI.2 below

V.    Emerentienne Gounon married Claude Philippe Foucher on 8 February 1752 at St Thibault. Their descendants are shown as VI.3 below.


VI.1    Emerentienne Gounon married Jacques Raclot on 6 September 1766 at St Thibault.

VI.1    Edme Gounon first married Anne Noireau on 29 January 1770 at St Thibault and later married Marie Guyou on 24 April 1781 at the same church.


VI.2    Marguerite Perrier married Etienne Thomas on 18 July 1767 at St Thibault. Their descendant is shown as VII below.

VI.2    Marie-Jeanne Perrier married Edme Badenier on 24 September 1770 at St Thibault.

VI.2    Jean-Baptiste Perrier married Elisabeth Maure on 6 February 1776 at St André.


VI.3    Pierre Foucher married Marie-Anne Gendet on 12 January 1779 at St Thibault.

VI.3    Jean Foucher married Marguerite Pavillon on 21 September 1786 at St Thibault.

VI.3    Jean-Philippe Foucher married Marie Goussery on 9 January 1787 at St Thibault.

VI.3    Jeanne Foucher married Jacques Colas on 9 January 1787 at St Thibault.

VI.3    Marie-Jeanne Foucher married Jean-Baptiste Sévenat on 17 January 1792 at St Thibault.


VII.    Marguerite Thomas married Etienne Pavillon on 22 November 1791 at St Thibault.

In the current state of our research, it will be amongst the surnames of Badenier, Colas, Foucher, Gounon, Nocet, Pavillon, Perrier, Raclot, Sévenat, and Thomas, that the North American descendants of Antoine Roy are likely to find distant cousins in France on their trip to Joigny. Is it possible that some members within our Genealogical Society of Yonne are descendants of the couples listed above? If so, then we would love for those members to send us their documented lineage as soon as possible. The information should include dates of births, marriages, and deaths for each generation, as well as occupations, so as to show the relationship with their North American cousins who are descendants of Antoine Roy. It would also be interesting if we could provide our friends coming from the New World a complete listing of our own Roy families living in Yonne. Here also we welcome all detailed lineage to ancient Roy families, even though they are not related to Antoine Roy, expatriated to Canada.

Answers to all the above requests will allow us to better welcome the members of the Association des Familles Roy d'Amérique when they pass through Yonne on June 28 and 29, 1998.

(Translator's note: From the future tense used in portions of the above article, it is evident that those parts were previously published in at least a newsletter to members of the Genealogical Society of Yonne in 1998 prior to the Roy Family visit in the summer of 1998.)
The original French version can be found on the Société généalogique de l'Yonne web site. My sincere thanks to Monsieur Le Clercq for his extensive research on the Roy family in France and for permission to publish this translation.

See also Monsieur Le Clercq's Notice très complète sur la famille ROY on the same web site.

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