From  Montreal  to  Pointe-Claire

The lives of Sébastien Cholet and his wife do not seem to have changed very much after their departure from Montreal for Pointe-Claire. When consulting the religious and notarial records it can be seen that they continued to have children and carry on transactions. But, in the midst of all that, one had to carry out his duties as a citizen of “The Top of the Isle”. Considering that Montreal had to be protected, administrator Bégon issued an order on November 6th 1714 : “to put up a surrounding wall around the town of Montreal, by forced labour”. It read in part as follows :

      “Michel Bégon, Knight Lord of Picardière, Murbelin and other places, advisor to the King in his court and to the parliament of Metz, Administrator of Justice, Police and Finance in New France

      Since the King wants that the town of Montreal be surrounded without delay by high defensive walls instead of replacing the posts forming the present surrounding wall, and that all the inhabitants of the government of Montreal participate in its construction


     We have decided that the least inconvenient way for the inhabitants to erect the said surrounding wall is to proceed by forced labour at the times when they are least occupied and to group the said inhabitants into brigades in order to carry out the task


     We order that it be done by the captains of the militia and by six of the oldest inhabitants of the place in the presence of Ramezay, governor of Montreal and commanding officer in this country, and of Sir Raimbault. (We order that) each of the said inhabitants be required to take part in the said forced labour in proportion of his belongings and capacity. Those who want to be exempted will be able to so provided they pay the amount of three pounds daily and eight pounds in the case of a day’s work with two horses … “


       The fact that Sébastien Cholet was among those covered by the above order confirms the fact that he was living in Pointe-Claire in 1714 because this place was situated at “The Top of the Island”. It was under the name of “La Violette weaver” that Sébastien Cholet was to be part of the brigade assigned to work on March 25th 1715. There is no information available as to whether Sébastien Cholet actually worked or preferred to pay the number of pounds required in the case of abstention.

        Since both family life and different transactions are to be considered, one may perhaps deal first with the family life because the first transaction took place only on July 10th 1722. Here are the births registered in the records of Pointe-Claire :

      Marie-Joseph, on March 25th 1714. Godfather : Antoine Dubois, mason, and godmother : Marie-Louise Boileau, step-daughter of Antoine Dubois. This little girl was buried in the church of Pointe-Claire on April 21st 1714.


     Sébastien, on March 7th 1715. Godfather : Mathurin Chartier dit Lamarche and godmother :  Louise Plumereau, wife of Antoine Dubois.


     Louis, on January 24th 1717. Godfather : Louis Chartier and Godmother : Marguerite Bénard, wife of Mathurin Chartier. Louis, when aged twelve and being in danger of death, was baptized in emergency at home by Louise Plumereau, wife of Dubois. He was buried on July 12th 1729 in Notre-Dame cemetery in Montreal.


     Joseph, on April 19th 1719. Godfather : Joseph Dubois, son of Antoine and Godmother : Marie Cholet, the eldest sister of Joseph. He barely lived more than a month and was buried on May 27th 1719 in Pointe-Claire.


     Marie-Joseph, on May 10th 1720. Godfather : Jean-Baptiste Charlebois and Godmother : Marie-Madeleine Dubois. Marie-Joseph was also going to die young, at eight years old. She was buried in Pointe-Claire on April 8th 1728.


     Jacques, on March 25th 1723. Godfather : Jacques Séguin and Godmother : Marguerite Césire. Jacques, the eleventh child and the youngest of the family was luckier than many of his brothers and sisters. He was married on January 30th 1747 to Toinette-Amable Legault, daughter of Charles Legault dit Délaurier and of Marie-Joseph Dubois. Their marriage contract was drawn up by Father Jacques-Joseph Gladel, at the presbytery of Pointe-Claire on January 28th 1747. It was deposited in the registry of notary L.C. Danré on March 21st of the same year. The deed says in particular : “The future spouse declares that he owns a piece of land in Pointe-Claire of 2 acres by 20; 1 acre by 20 that he received from his mother Marianne Prévot, in consideration of a pension. The other, 1 acre by 20, was bought from Jean-Baptiste Legault, his brother-in-law. One end borders on Lake Saint-Louis and the other on the lands of Côte Saint-Jean. The neighbour on one side is Jean-Baptiste Cholet and Joseph Trottier on the other. There is a house, a barn and 14 acres of plowable land”


       Sébastien Cholet certainly worked hard on his farm since his arrival in Pointe-Claire in 1714. He improved his property to the point where in 1722 and 1723 he was in a position to make two important transactions. They consist in each case of concessions or sales by the Noblemen of Montreal to Sébastien Cholet.

        The first deed, dated July 10th 1722, had a preamble somewhat similar to that of the deed of January 20th 1707. In this deed one can read in part :

      “ … has voluntary recognized and confessed having leased and sold, in consideration of manorial rights, now and forever, to Sébastien Cholet dit Laviolette, inhabitant of the Large Bay, who now accepts for himself and for his heirs, the continuation of the land that the said Cholette already owns at the said place and of those of Bigras and Lamarche, respecting the rhumb of the compass. In depth from the extremity of the lands of the said Lamarche and Bigras to the side of the lands and buildings of Côte Saint Remy, provided that none of the continuations has already been conceded or sold to others. Sir de Belmont does not want the sale to be prejudicial to previous sales concerning the said lands of Cholet Bigras and Lamarche and those at the other end on the side of the lands of Côte Saint Remy. And everything so that the said buyers and their heirs enjoy the property and dispose of it as they wish from this day on, subject to the following conditions : reclaim land and give space as required to his neighbours, keep up all the roads on the said lands as required by the said noble clergymen, open up a road at the front of the property where indicated and keep it in good condition, have his grain ground at the mill of the said noble clergymen and not elsewhere in which case the said grain will be confiscated and the buyer and his heirs will pay the milling rights to the millers of the noble clergymen of Montreal for the grain that was milled at other mills and the noble clergymen reserve the right to remove from the said lands the milling stones that might be there and all the timber they may require for their buildings, fences and public works. And also an acre of standing trees which they can take, have cut and removed by whom and when they wish. Once only by taking the said acre as close as possible to the land that has already been cleared, without paying anything, or else each one will pay to the said noble clergymen of Montreal at the reception of their hotel in Villemarie ten and a half pennies for a bushel of clean and dry wheat delivered at the granary. The charges for each twenty acres of  the said lands will be payable on the eleventh day of November of the year 1723, and so on thereafter as long as the owner and his heirs will own all or part of the said lands. In the case of non-payment the owner will be subject to seizures and fines. The buyer will also have the responsibility of having the said lands surveyed in all their width and depth and remit an account or proceedings of the alignments and measures carried out by a certified surveyor and will otherwise be subject to penalties. The said seller has also reserved the right of first preference to withdraw the said lands in the case of their sale in whole or in part in order to recover the price of the sale … “

        With all the experience he had acquired on his land in Pointe-Claire since 1714, Sébastien Cholet surely knew what to expect when he signed that contract with such constraining clauses. Such a contract is an occasion for us to have an idea of the very difficult conditions prevailing at the time and of the hard life which was the lot of those who reclaimed the land of the island of Montreal with the rudimentary tools at their disposition. Sébastien Cholet had reached a certain degree of development when he was required to have his grain milled at the seigniorial or manorial mill, to upkeep his road and his fences, to have his land surveyed by a recognized surveyor, etc.

        Less than a year after the above notarial deed, Sébastien Cholet was again “In front of the Royal Notary of the Isle” for another concession or sale by the noblemen of Montreal to Sébastien Cholet. The preamble of the deed, dated May 18th 1723, was almost the same as those of the two preceding concessions or sales. It read in part as follows :

 “ … from now and forever to Sébastien Cholet, inhabitant of the Large Bay of this island, who is present and accepts to buy for himself and his future heirs a land three acres wide situated at Côte Saint-Jean in this island with measurements of three acres wide and a depth corresponding to half the distance between the lands of Côte Saint-Jean and those of Côte Saint Remy. One side is next to the land of Jean-Baptiste Parant and the other next to the lands intended for Côte Sainte Geneviève. Sir de Belmont also grants to the buyer, who accepts, the right for his cattle to graze on the land. The grant also extends to the other inhabitants of the Côte, for the said  land as well as for those that may be sold in the future at the said Côte. The buyer will have the right to enjoy his property and dispose of it as he pleases …

       In order to fulfill the conditions of a previous contract, Sébastien Cholet had to have his land surveyed by a certified surveyor. Thus, the deed of May 18th 1723 is accompanied by a certificate of demarcation delivered to Sébastien Cholette and dated May 17th 1723. It was written in part by sound and it is best interpreted in French when read aloud. The very first words, for example “Jay Soub Signé” mean : “Je, soussigné” or, in English : “I, undersigned”. The available tools were quite rudimentary as can be seen :

     I, undersigned, certified surveyor residing in Ville Marie, attest to all who may be concerned that on this fourteenth day of April of the year one thousand seven hundred and twenty-two, at the request of the Sir procurator of the Seminary, I have gone especially to Côte Saint-Jean in the Island of Montreal, in the land behind the large bay to survey a piece of land sold on this day to Sébastien Cholet three acres wide and a depth corresponding to half the distance between the lands of Côte Saint-Jean and those of Côte Saint Remy, meeting on the northwest the end of Côte Sainte-Geneviève and on the south side the land promised to Baptiste Parant. Two parallel lines were drawn that run from the east to the northeast of the compass and I placed on each line two markers made of stones. The first two about eighteen feet from the side of the said Côte and the other two at a distance of half an acre from the first. And as witnesses to the said markers I placed crushed stones. I have signed this certificate drawn up in Ville Marie on the twenty fourth of April one thousand seven hundred and twenty two. J. B. Angers


       Sébastien Cholet must have had great aspirations for the future because he again bought another piece of land. The deed was drawn up on May 27th 1725 by the royal Notary, P. Raimbault. In this case the sale was by Marie Prézeau, the wife of Pierre Clément, to Sébastien Cholet. Here is a brief description of the new acquisition :

 “ … to Sébastien Cholet dit Laviolette, weaver who resides on the shore of the large bay in the parish of Pointe-Claire in this island, here present, who accepts to acquire for himself and his future heirs a land four acres wide and twenty in depth situated in the same place, one end bordering on Lake Saint-Louis and the other end next to the lands sold to the said Bône, one side next to the land of François Bône and the other side next to that of Girard. Half of this land belongs to the said Clément and his wife Marie Prézeau who inherited it from her father and mother after their death, the other half belongs to both Clément and his wife who bought it from the sister of Mrs. Clément, Marguerite Prézeau, who also inherited it from her father and mother after their death …


       The time had come for Sébastien Cholet to put an end to his various transactions and attend  rather to the future of his children. The marriage of his daughter Marie-Anne to Jean-Baptiste Legault was the occasion for him to be involved in the marriage deed dated December 27th 1725. The future spouse, son of Noël Legault and Marie Ménard, owned a land in Pointe-Claire three acres in width and about twenty-five in depth, located near the “Côte des Sources” or “slope of the wells”.

        Sébastien Cholet was present on January 24th 1727 at the office of notary P. Raimbault who drew up the deed whereby François Beaune sold his land to Jean-Baptiste Cholet. The seller was accompanied by his wife. Here is a brief description of the land in question :


     “The size of seven acres wide situated at Pointe-Claire in this island with a depth extending from the lands of the said seller and of that of the said father Cholet, to the side of the lands of Côte Saint-Jean. On one side to the land of Charles Parent and on the other to the side of the remaining lands of the sellers.


       Like his father, Jean-Baptiste Cholet had eleven children all born in Pointe-Claire. His youngest son, Thomas, was born there in 1750. The land that he had bought was certainly not large enough for all his children to settle there. Two of them went to Vaudreuil. Thereafter a migration took place westward, starting with Rigaud, Saint-Polycarpe and other near-by places. The numerous descendants of Sébastien Cholet and Ann Heard are now to be found all over Canada,  parts of the United States and also in the rest of America as well as in Europe.

        The ancestor Sébastien Cholet died on April 14th 1728. The funeral rites were performed by the parish priest Jeam-Baptiste Breul, Sulpician. Were present as witnesses, Joseph Charlebois, Jean Beaune and Antoine Dubois, husband of Louise Plumereau. As to Ann Heard, she was married a second time in Pointe-Claire on August 1st 1730, to Claude Sansart, called the “Small Claude”. He was a soldier belonging to the Marine. After his death on December 25th 1739, Ann Heard went and lived with her youngest son who was married in Pointe-Claire on January 28th 1747. She lived there until her death on January 2nd 1750. The funeral ceremony was celebrated by father Simon-Louis Perthuis, sulpician, who signed the burial certificate kept in the records of Pointe-Claire.