n the marriage
contract that Suzanne Aubineau signed with Mathias Campagna, it is specified
that her sons Pierre and André will be fed and kept until both have
reached the age of 15. At that time, Pierre was 12 years old and André
5. During the following winter, when the census taker showed up on l’île
d’Orléans, Pierre was not with his family. His name appears nowhere.
He finally appeared at the age of 19, when he established himself.
the summer of 1674, he bought a land in Petite-Auvergne, south of Charlesbourg.
He dedicated himself to farming, but not enough to be able to reimburse
the loan on a short term basis that he had contracted. He sold his farm
the following year. Two years later, he was conceded a grant at Saint-François
de l’île d’Orléans, next door to his family. He remained there
for only one year.
spring of 1678, he bought a land in Saint-Bernard, seigniory Saint-Ignace,
west of Charlesbourg. This time he was satisfied and got married. The spouse
he chose was Marie-Madeleine Sédilot, the oldest of a family of
four children, from Sainte-Foy.
her parents were poor, Marie-Madeleine had the privilege of boarding twice
with the Ursulines of Québec. totaling 240 days. Not only did she
learn how to read and write, but she also became a good wife. She was an
exceptional mother, not only for the number of children she gave birth
to, but also for the christian values she taught them.
got married she was only 14 and Pierre was 24. The signature on the contract
took place in Québec, at one of her uncle’s homes. The bride and
groom-to-be signed their contract in March, but it is highly probable that
they were married in April, when Lent was over, although no one knows where
and when the marriage took place.
wedding, it is probable that Pierre carried on with his work on the farm
and the building of a temporary house. However, one is not certain that
Marie-Madeleine lived there. In the fall of 1680, when the census was taken,
she was at her parent’s home in Sainte-Foy. Pierre’s name did not appear
anywhere. However, in the following May, in Québec, he received
the sacrement of confirmation from the hands of Mgr. de Laval, bishop.
Although the couple claimed to live in Charlesbourg, it is in Québec
that their first two children were baptized. From 1684, their other children
were baptized in Charlesbourg. This tallies with the belief that the ancestral
house must have been built that year.
Pierre Auclair bought a farm next to his, on the west side. The owner,
Pierre Meunier, who was to become a rich flour grower in Québec,
intended to build there. Was it possible that the plans to build an immense
stone house came from him, likewise the wood that would have been used
for the first stage of the construction? On this farm, the Sisters of l’Hôtel-Dieu
intended to build the communal mill. The delay in the building of this
mill, that was not be built until 1695, may have led Meunier to leave.
The house built by Pierre Auclair still exists.
have believed that with two lands to bring into cultivation, Pierre would
put an end to his business transactions, but not at all. Ten new contracts
reveal that he continued to buy, sell, trade and rent lands. His main revenue
did not come from agriculture, but from wood. He sold cedar shingles and
perch fences. He made charcoal. He also made firewood and timber.
couple gave birth to seventeen children. This is not uncommon, for during
the French regime no less than thirty-eight families number as many as
seventeen children by the same couple. What is exceptional with the Pierre
Auclair family is the number of children who dedicated their lives to the
Church. Two boys became priests and five girls joined the Sisterhood, four
in l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec and one in l’Hôtel-Dieu de
the two Auclair’s often met with Mgr. de Laval. Father Pierre Auclair,
pastor of Saint-Augustin church, inherited a skullcap having belonged to
the holy bishop. At the death of the pastor, his personnal belongings returned
to the family estate in Charlesbourg.The skullcap was stored in the attic.
In 1877, Father Joseph Auclair, pastor of the Québec Basilica, while
on a visit to the ancestral house, learned of the existence of the relic.
He obtained it and donated it to the Seminary. As a souvenir of this donation,
two photographs of the skullcap were taken at the Livernois studio. These
photos are kept at the Auclair-L’Heureux mansion. As for the skullcap,
it is now preserved at Musée de la Civilisation in Québec.
the children died at a very young age in 1703, during a smallpox epidemic.
Three girls married and lived close to their parents. Two boys married.
Charles settled not far from his parents and had many descendants. The
parents lived a long life. All of their children left the house, except
for Jean-Baptiste, the fifteenth, who inherited the paternal estate. Having
married in 1733, he brought to the household a young wife who enlivened
it with many children.
Auclair died in 1741, at the age of 86. Marie-Madeleine Sédilot
died in 1745, at the age of 79. Due to their longevity, we have concluded
that they were endowed with exceptional vitality.
© Association des Auclair d'Amérique