Marriage  with  Ann  Heard

    The first available information regarding Sébastien Cholet since his arrival in Canada is to be found in the records of Notre-Dame parish in Montreal, dating back to October 19th 1705. According to the wedding contract by the Sulpician priest Yves Prat, he married on that day Ann Heard, a young English girl born in 1681 at Cocheco in New England, near the actual city of Dover in New Hampshire. She was the daughter of Benjamin Heard and Elizabeth Roberts.At the time of Count Louis de Buade Frontenac, Governor of New France, the relations with New England were very tense. Let us recall the massacre of Lachine in 1689 and Phipps' coming in front of Quebec in 1690. Both sides would organize raids in the enemy's territory which resulted in massacres and hostage takings. In the course of such a raid carried out by Indians called Loups and by Canadians, Ann Heard was captured on January 26th 1692 and brought back to Montreal as a prisoner. She was entrusted to the master-gunsmith Pierre Prud'homme and his wife. She was baptized and confirmed on April 10th at the church of Notre-Dame in Montreal. Her godfather was the surgeon Jean Martinet dit Fonblanche and her godmother Anne Châles, the wife of Pierre Prud'homme. No other information concerning her is available except that divulged at the time of her wedding with Sébastien Cholet because nothing has been disclosed about their frequentations !On October 17th 1705, two days prior to their marriage, the future spouses appeared before notary* Adhemar for their wedding contract. Doubtless to spare possible difficulties for the future wife, the notary included the following clause to the effect that they were contracting marriage according to the usual custom of Paris. According to that custom, a stranger who had been naturalized, and all his or her children born outside the country, lost the favour of the king if they went and lived outside the country :

* Before presenting the clause referred to above, one might mention that under French law, and in the province of Quebec even today, the notary is the person entitled to legalize deeds or contracts between different parties. Lawyers are not authorized to receive such deeds. The excerpts of the different contracts which are presented below were written in old French and contain many abbreviations. They are difficult to interpret in French and more so when translated into English, so that a very liberal interpretation will be presented rather than a literal one.

"The future spouses will share in common all the goods, personal and immovable, that they will have acquired together during their marriage, according to the customs of the city of Paris which the said spouses promise to observe, even if they were to move to other provinces where the laws and regulations would be contrary to the customs of Paris".

In this marriage contract the family name of the bride is written as "herde". In the numerous subsequent acts, especially in the baptismal certificates, the name "Heard" caused many headaches to their authors, the missionaries and priests in particular. Thus, when Marie-Anne-Joseph was baptized on February 27th 1711, Father François Vachon de Belmont wrote the name of the mother simply as "Marie-Anne", without any family name. On March 25th 1714 the parish priest of Pointe-Claire, Father Pierre Levasseur, wrote down in the parochial records "Marie-Anne Anglaise", indicating that he could not spell her name but that she was English. On January 24th 1717 Father Pierre-Élie Déperet wrote down her name as "Marianne Anaherde". At least this time Ann and Heard were combined of some sort. Later, in 1719 and in 1720 he inscribed the name as "Marie Anaherde". No doubt with the intention of putting an end to all the difficulties, Father Jean-Baptiste Breul who was then parish priest of Pointe-Claire decided that from 1721 onward Marie-Anne Herd would be known as Marie-Anne Prévost. It would be easier to write and that was the name that she kept afterward.Perhaps the best way to know how to write the name "Heard" is to refer to page 321 of the Encyclopedia of Maine and New Hampshire where the name is indeed written as "Heard" . There can be no doubt as to the identity because the name of the father, Benjamin, is mentioned as well as that of Ann, born in 1681.The wedding took place on October 19th, the ceremony being carried out by the sulpician priest Henry-Antoine Mériel. Among those present was Philippe Robitaille, husband of Madeleine Warren a native of Dover in New Hampshire. She was no doubt a friend of the bride and captured at the same time in 1692. It can be noted that many persons were captured at the time in New England and brought back to Canada where they settled and founded families. In his book De la Nouvelle-Angleterre à la Nouvelle-France Marcel Fournier testifies to that effect : "Four hundred and fifty five war prisoners or captives of Amerindians and the French come from New England and the American colonies. Most became integrated in the population of Quebec, their ancestors having been baptized by missionaries and brought up in French speaking families". There were also present at the ceremony, Nicolas Jenvrin, Jean Lacroix, Jean Hervé and the grand-vicar François Vachon de Belmont".The newlyweds settled in Montreal, on Saint-Paul street. Thanks to well kept documents, more particularly religious records and notarial documents, it is possible now to obtain some information concerning the life and activities of our ancestors. Such is the contract of May 14th 1706, drawn up by notary Adhemar : "Rental lease by Jean Caillault to Sébastien Cholet". It is interesting to reproduce its first lines :

"Was present Mr. Jean Caillaud, free man living in this city, who recognized and confessed having leased by the present, for an amount of money, beginning on the first day of next October and for an ensuing period of nine consecutive years, and promises that during that period Bastien Chollet dit Laviolette and Jean Herve dit Laliberté, weavers both living in this city, will have the full usage of the property …"

One can note that Sébastien Cholet has become "Bastien Chollet" to which was added the surname Laviolette, as in his wedding contract. He is also described as a weaver as in many of his subsequent deeds. Could he have learnt this trade before his departure from France, in the town of Cholet which is well renowned for its famous weaving mills … and the well known handkerchiefs from Cholet ? According to this lease the price of the rental was 180 pounds per year payable in halves at intervals of six months. There must have been some flaws in that deed because the length of nine years specified was cut short to only four days !The following year, on January 20th 1707, another deed by notary Adhemar : "Sale by Jean Régnier to Sébastien Cholet". It was in important deed and deserves that the first part be reproduced as follows :

Was present Jean Reynier dit Brion, inhabitant of this city, who voluntary recognized and confessed having sold and hereby sells, quits, transports and leaves at once and has promised and promises that there will be no troubles with respect to debts, mortgages, evictions and other impediments in general. To Sébastien Chollet weaver living at the said Ville Marie who hereby accepts as buyer for himself, his dependants at present and in the future. A piece of land situated on the shore of Lake Saint-Louis, above Lachine, commonly known as the large bay, the area of which (the piece of land) is sixty acres, three acres wide by twenty in depth, without any buildings and as it is. The said buyer acknowledges that he knows the place because he has seen and visited it. He is satisfied and will not seek to claim anything from the said seller of the whole piece of land, one end of which borders on Lake Saint-Louis and away from standing trees. The other end borders on the unsold lands of the Noblemen of this Isle. The neighbour on one side is Mathurin Chartier dit Lamarche and on the other side … Dubois dit … The said seller owns the land because he bought it from Lafaye as per the deed prepared by the undersigned notary …

It was an important purchase of a piece of land, three acres bordering on Lake Saint-Louis by twenty in depth, at a place which became Pointe-Claire later on. The lack of buildings on that piece of land, bought in 1707, explains why the Cholet family waited until 1714 to go and live there. In other respects, the mention of the two neighbours Chartier on one side and Dubois on the other will be helpful later on.Four years went by before Sébastien Cholet was part to an another deed which took place on July 11th 1711. It consists in a sale by the Noblemen of Montreal, (the Sulpician priests), to Sébastien Cholet. It was the first of three deeds with the same heading and the preamble of each deed read approximately as follows :In the presence of the royal notary of the Isle of Montreal in New France, resident of Villemarie and undersigned, was present Sir François Vachon de Belmont, one of the priests of the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, superior of the clergymen of the seminary of Villemarie, procurator of Sir François Lechassier, priest, doctor of theology of the faculty of Paris, superior of the clergymen of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice of Paris who are the noblemen owners of the said Isle of Montreal and other places, who (Vachon de Belmont) is assisted by Leonard Chaigneau, procurator and purser of the said clergymen in Villemarie, has recognized and confessed having leased and sold, right now and forever to Sébastien Cholette dit Laviolette weaver now present who accepts to buy …Through this deed Sébastien Cholet bought a piece of land forty feet wide only on Notre Dame street, in the direction of Coteau Saint Louis. Was it his intention to build there rather than on the land he had bought in 1707 ? The answer came two years later on September 11th 1713 when in a deed drawn up by notary P. Raimbault he sold the same piece of land to Vincent Tudault, miller.During that time Sébastien Cholet and Ann Heard had five children who were all baptized in the church of Notre Dame in Montreal. They were :

Marie-Anne, on July 26th 1706. Godfather : Jean Hervé dit Laliberté, soldier of Blainville, godmother : Marie Benoist. Marie-Anne was married on January 14th 1726 in Pointe-Claire to Jean-Baptiste Legault, son of Noël and of Marie Ménard of the parish of Lachine.Jean-Baptiste, on November 5th 1707. Godfather : Jean Renier, weaver, and godmother : Suzanne Sire. He was married in Pointe-Claire on October 11th 1728 to Marianne Foucher, daughter of Martin and of Marie-Madeleine Paré.Marie-Marthe, on July 6th 1709. Godfather : Sir Jean-Baptiste Montremont and godmother : Marthe-Marguerite French, daughter of Thomas French, a former notary in Deerfield, in New England. It may be noted here that Deerfield was one of the targets of the numerous raids carried out by Indians and Canadians in New England. The attack on Deerfield took place on February 29th 1704, or on March 11th according to the Gregorian calendar. It was no doubt the most tragic and barbaric. There were 112 prisoners, among which many women and children, who had to undertake an arduous walk toward Montreal, in snow and by cold weather. Many could not support the journey and died on the way. Many of those who survived remained in Canada and became the ancestors of a great many descendants. Marie-Marthe was married in Pointe-Claire on July 9th 1731 to Jean-Baptiste Théoret, son of the late Jacques Théoret and of Marie Roy. She died and was buried in Pointe-Claire on January 21st 1748.Marie-Anne-Joseph, on February 27th 1711. Godfather : Master Louis-Hector Duvivier and godmother : Marguerite Prud'homme. She was buried in Montreal on January 18th 1712.

Joseph-Sébastien, on January 24th 1713. Godfather : Jean-Baptiste Dagueuil and godmother : Mrs. Lericogne, widow.

This is how the Cholet family lived in Montreal until 1714 when they became residents of Pointe-Claire where they continued to be active.