|Racine Families' Association|
THE HISTORY OF THE RACINES IN AMERICA
Beginning in the 17th century, many Racines chose America as their promised land. There were at least twenty Racines that decided to come and live in this new continent. They came mostly from France, Switzerland, as well as many other European countries. This document will focus on the most illustrious and the best known of the large Racine family, Étienne Racine, the ancestor shared by the majority of Racines in America.
Étienne Racine was born around 1606 in Fumichon, Normandy, France. He was the son of René Racine and Marie Loysel. He had three brothers: Jean, Pierre, and Marguerin, as well as one sister, Marguerite.
Étienne's family was the only Racine family in the commune. It is believed that he was related to the Racines located in the villages of Morainville and Neuville sur Authou. Étienne's brother, Marguerin Racine, would have children and his descendants lived on into the 20th century. Unlike his brothers, Étienne was educated, in that he could sign his name and knew how to write. We also believe that Étienne's close relationship with the Jesuits of New France originated from the bonds he developed during his earlier days spent at one of the Jesuit colleges in Normandy.
Étienne Racine arrived in Québec around 1634 after having been hired for three years in France as an indentured servant for Guillaume Hubou, a resident of Québec. Hubou was originally from the village of Mesnil-Durand, which is located near the commune of Fumichon, Normandy.
On November 16, 1637, the notary Guilet drew up Étienne’s marriage contract with Étienne's future spouse Marguerite Martin, who was 13 years old at the time, having been born in Québec in 1624. She was the daughter of Abraham Martin, a ship captain, and Marguerite Langlois. Because of Marguerite’s young age, they were only married one year later, on 22 May 1638. The couple had ten children, 4 boys and 6 girls, who produced numerous descendants. Among the girls, Marie Madeleine married Noël Simard, who is the ancestor to the Simard family in America. Marguerite married Jean Gagnon and Jeanne married Jean Paré, both of whom are ancestors to numerous Gagnon and Paré families in America.
Étienne left the Québec area for two years (1644-1646) and worked as a carpenter for the Jesuits at St. Marie Among the Hurons mission on Georgian Bay. In 1647, he returned to France with Robert Giffard in order to recruit new settlers. He landed at LaRochelle, France and returned to Québec the following spring. For his participation in this recruitment effort, his friend Oliver LeTardif, Co-lord of Beaupré, granted him a large property, 710 meters wide and 7200 meters deep, on 27 March 1650. The land was located in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré. Because this land was the first to be granted and cultivated, Étienne could rightfully claim the title of "Founder" of the city of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré. This would eventually become a famous site for many pilgrimages. Marguerite Martin died on November 25, 1679 and Étienne Racine died on April 24, 1689 at the age of 83.
Étienne Racine divided his land among his four male heirs. Here are some genealogical notes:
He married Marguerite Gravelle in 1667 at Château Richer. They had 10 children. His descendants can be found mostly in Québec, British Columbia, and the United States.
In Québec, his descendants can be found mostly in the regions of Québec City, Côte de Beaupré, Charlevoix, Saguenay-Lac St-Jean, La Montérégie, Cantons-de-l'Est, Chaudière-Appalaches, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec.
In the United States his descendants can be found mostly in the states of Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
He married Marie Bauchet dit Morency in 1676 at Ste-Famille, Ile d'Orléans. They had 12 children. His descendants can be found in Québec and the United States.
In Québec his descendants can be found mostly in the regions of Québec City, Côte de Beaupré, Montréal, Laval, Charlevoix, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Outaouais, Montérégie, Mauricie, Lanaudière, Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches.
In the United States his descendants can be found mostly in the states of Michigan, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, Montana, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois and California.
He married Louise Guyon in 1683 at Ste-Famille, Ile d'Orléans. They had nine children. His descendants are primarily found in Québec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the United States.
Note: Today a few of the Racine descendants bear the surname of Beauchesne only.
His Québec descendants can be found mostly in Montréal, Laval, Montérégie, and Lanaudière. In Ontario, his descendants can be found in the communities of Russell, Stormont, Prescott, Cornwall, and Ottawa.
In the United-States his descendants can be found mostly in the states of Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Vermont.
Étienne Racine (son)
He married Catherine Guyon in 1683 at Ste-Famille, Ile d'Orléans and the couple had 13 children. His descendants are primarily in Québec, Ontario, and the United States.
His Québec descendants can be found mostly in the regions of Québec City, Côte de Beaupré, Montréal, Laval, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Mauricie, Centre-du-Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Montérégie, Outaouais, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Bas-St-Laurent. His Ontario descendants can be found especially in the communities of Welland and Ottawa.
In the United-States his descendants can be found mostly in the states of Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
· Of this number, there are approximately 15,000 who bear the Racine name, 8500 of which are in Québec.
· In the Canadian telephone directories we find 3000 Racine entries, compared with 2000 in the United States.
· Based on the number of people bearing the name, the Racine family ranks 155th in size among Québec’s families.
· In 1993 and 1998, the Québec Commission of Topography designated two hilltops in the Côte de Beaupré vicinity as Mount Étienne Racine and the Marguerite Martin summit. They forever memorialize the Racine family name.
· These new geographical entities are part of the Laurentians Mountain range and are located on Seminary of Québec lands, at the limits of the cities of Château-Richer and Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré.