Francois Belanger

Francois Horlays Belanger was born on October 02, 1612; at Touque, Normandy, Orne, France; the son of Francois Lisieux Belanger and Francoise Belanger Horlays. According to the church records he was baptized five days later: “On the seventh day of October (1612) was baptized Francois Bellanger, son of Francois Bellanger and Francoise Horlays and was named after the honorable Francois Dumesnil, Squire of St-Teny, and by the honorable Nicolas Bougis, Sieur de Fosses, and mademoisel Loyse Gurou, wife of Squire Guillaume Lepaulnier, Sieur de la Chapelle.”

Like Marie’s father, he was a mason by trade and signed on with Robert Giffard, eventually working a concession with Mace Gravel, on the Beaupre Coast. On September 7, 1647; an agreement is drawn up by Claude Lecoustre, whereby he agreed to pay Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny the sum of one hundred livres for the purchase of some wheat. To guarantee the loan, Francois put up all of his property as security. On August 9, 1653, the Journal of the Jesuits reported that Francois was chosen for the office of mayor of the citizens of the Quebec region who lived at the Longue Pointe, (the future parish of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre), and the council under him were Thomas Hayot, Charles Legardeur de Tilly, Christophe Crevier dit Lameslee, Guillaume Peltier, Pierre Picard and Francois Bissot.

By all accounts, a respectable man. However, Francois Belanger was authoritative, demanding and often violent, a reputation that would remain with him throughout his life. When he wasn’t suing someone, he was threatening suit, and life for poor Marie and her children would be anything but tranquil.
Despite his disagreeable nature, he was considered honest and hard-working; and earned the respect of those in power. In 1662, he was named trustee of the affairs and guardian of the children of the late Olivier Le Tardif, then co-seigneur and justice of the peace at Beaupre. In 1663, when the Sovereign Council was founded, he was referred to by Msgr David Gosselin, as “one of the principal inhabitants of the region and he had the confidence of the authorities and the colonists.” However, this same Sovereign Council would have to decide the affairs of Marie’s father’s estate in 1669, after five years of haggling by his survivors.

In 1669, when the militia was established in the colony, Francois, as municipal chief, was named captain of the Beaupre coast, which meant that he must “carry out the governors’ ordinances, as well as supervise the construction and maintenance of the roads.”

On 1 July 1677, for services rendered, the Belanger family received a vast concession from Governor Frontenac; “a league in frontage by two leages in depth on the south bank of the river”, and Francois became the Seigneur of Bonsecours (L’Islet). This concession was placed on record by the Sovereign Council on October 24, 1680; and was later described by engineer Gedeon de Catalogne: “The land there is rather level, sprinkled with plowed up stones, and marginally produces all sorts of grains, vegetables and pasturage. The fruit trees produce abundantly, and the natural woods are a mixture of all species.”

By the Census of 1681, the Belanger family were listed in the seigneury of Bellechasse, (of which their fief of Bonsecours was a part) They had five arpents of cleared land and four servants: Jean de la
Voye, Barthelemy Gobeil, Pierre Lafaye and Pierre Mataule. The move had been made but recently because Francois had only cleared five arpents.
Francois Belanger died on October 25, 1685; leaving all of his remaining property to his son Jacques, “in return for good and loyal service”. This included his lands at Bonsecours, a house, a barn, a mill, a mare, three oxen, three cows, wagons, etc. This was approved by Marie on April 25, 1687.

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Capitaine François BÉLANGER was baptized in 1612 (1616?) in St-Pierre, Seez, Paroisse Touque, Normandie, France. He was a mason (maçon). His family was one of the first families established in Québec -Une des premières familles établies au Québec.
The names of François BÉLANGER and Marie GAGNON (GUYON) are inscribed on a plaque on the Louis Hébert monument in Parc Montmorency, Québec.
He married Marie GUYON on 12 Jul 1637 in Notre-Dame Church in Québec; the first French colonist to be married in Québec.- le premier colon français marié au Québec. (1) (2) (3)
Historical notes on François.

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