Zacharie Cloutier was born on February 2, 1589, in St. Jean, Perche, France; the son of Denis Cloutier and Renee Briere. His mother died on May 1, 1608, and his father then married Jeanne Rahir-Gaultier on November 3 of the same year.
A carpenter by trade, Zacharie’s interest in the ‘New World’ began early. When Henry De Montmorency purchased the colony from his brother-in-law, Prince De Conde, in 1619; he began to recruit labourers to assist Champlain in “inhabiting, clearing, cultivating and planting” New France; and when the St. Etienne arrived at Tadoussac on July 7, 1619; included on the passenger list of the 80 colonists, were the names of Zacharie and his father Denis. Xaintes remained at home with their two-year-old son, Zacharie Jr..
Most of this group did not remain in Kebec long, and the Cloutiers were no exception. However, when several years later Robert Giffard was recruiting tradesmen for his new siegneury at Beauport, Zacherie and Xaintes decided to give it another try. In the aftermath of the Religious Wars, destruction was everywhere, and many young men knew that they could be called into military service at any time, and at the whim of the leaders.
They had also just undergone a bit of unpleasantness with regards to settling the estate of Zacharie’s recently deceased father. On March 2, 1633; the notary Mathurin Roussel wrote the following in the records of Mortagne.
“…Zacharie Cloutier, carpenter, resident of Mortagne, Midsummer’s Day parish, and Jacques Cloutier, his brother, rope-maker….Zacharie Cloutier being eldest son of Denis Cloutier…promises that the proceedings will be more pleasant and he will help to ratify for the heirs of Renee Briere, their mother, claims against Jeanne Gaultier, his (Denis) wife in second marriage…”
Obviously the two families were at odds over settling his father’s estate, and Zacharie was asked to assume the role of peacemaker.