Native of La Rochelle

In search of the truth...


Gail Moreau-DesHarnais,
SFOHG La Pionnière
du sud-ouest,


Suzette Leclair,
SFOHG Toronto

Johan Robitaille,
SFOHG Toronto


Archives Canada (Girl in buckskins)

Published with the permission of the authors from an article which appeared in the Michigan’s Habitant Heritage, Vol. 30 No 2 – Spring 2009

[This article first appeared in French in Le Chaînon, Hiver 2009, Volume 27, Numéro 1, pp. 53-62.]



Lida Lauzon, General Manager, Société franco-ontarienne d'histoire et de généalogie (Le Chaînon Hiver 2009 Vol. 27 Vo 1]


The adventure of Catherine Pillard continues to occupy our research.


Following the appearance of the first articles in Le Chaînon[1] in the fall of 2007 and in 2008, Gail Moreau-DesHarnais, member of the Société franco-ontarienne d’histoire et de généalogie (SFOHG) La Pionnière du sud-ouest in Lakeshore, near Windsor (Ontario) and also a member of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan (FCHSM), joined a discussion group created specifically to allow genealogists to express their opinions regarding the validity of mtDNA analysis in genealogy, and more specifically, the mtDNA test results of the descendants of Catherine Pillard, which had caused a controversy in the genealogical world.


At the beginning, Gail was one of the genealogists who were skeptical about the real origins of Catherine Pillard.  The lively debates unleashed by the differing interpretations of genetic tests and the negative comments which followed, motivated her to dig deeper  using traditional genealogical research methods.  To verify the precise origins of Catherine, Gail unearthed and dissected all available documents concerning Catherine.  As her research progressed, her skepticism diminished. She is now completely convinced of the validity of the genetic tests of Catherine’s descendants that have been conducted so far.  The results of four of these tests were fully explained in preceding issues of Le Chaînon.


It is sometimes difficult to remain objective after completing exhausting research, but it was necessary to summarize hundreds of hours of research into little more than 5,000 words so that readers can also examine the situation more closely.


The goal of this article is to encourage readers to develop a similar openness of thought, leading to a credible conclusion.  We don’t pretend to hold the whole truth.  We simply hope to convince readers, that in genealogy, it is  necessary to keep an open mind to new scientific methods and new technological tools.  We should not fear to look more closely when new methods present results contrary to established popular genealogical beliefs.


There will always be a place for progress and innovation.  In particular, one should not be afraid of the  truth and to seek  it wherever it might be, even if it is not part of the consensus …


In the present article, we questioned the established conclusions of historians and genealogists concerning the origins of Catherine Pillard.  We arrived at a surprising outcome that we are pleased to share with all the readers, convinced or not, of Le Chaînon and Michigan’s Habitant Heritage. 

Who was the wife of Pierre Charron …?


Who was the real “Catherine Pillard”, wife of Pierre Charron?  What were her origins and who were her parents?  Until recently, according to popular belief, it was presumed that Catherine Pillard, daughter of Pierre Pillard and Marguerite Moulinet, was baptized 30 March 1646 at La Rochelle, France, and confirmed in Montréal in 1664 under the name of Catherine Plate; that this same Catherine, future wife of Pierre Charron, was also part of the contingent of King’s Daughters (Filles du Roi) who arrived in Canada in 1663.[2] However,  the results from mtDNA genetic testing, which is the analysis of genes transmitted from mother to daughter, providing genetic information on our distant ancestors, have led us to questions, the answers to which no longer let us assume “facts” nor take anything for granted.  The results obtained through eight descendants of three of Catherine’s daughters, indicate that Catherine’s maternal line was not of European origin.


Under these circumstances, it was necessary to look at everything more closely.  After a thorough analysis of the documentation available in the parish registers of France (La Rochelle) and New France concerning the family of Catherine Pillard, wife of Pierre Charron, we have concluded that we could not ignore the results of genetic testing of the eight descendants whose genealogies we have verified to date.


It was thus necessary to explore other possibilities of Catherine Pillard’s origins, and to take into consideration the possibility that there could be in New France, between 1663 and 1665, another woman bearing a similar name.  Many researchers have encountered this kind of snare in their research, and experienced genealogists are always on the lookout for homonymous or namesake couples. And God knows there are enough of these in Québec and elsewhere.


From France to New France


A baptismal act, dated 30 March 1646, was found at the Chapelle Sainte-Marguerite of La Rochelle, in Aunis, France, for one named Catherine Pillard, daughter of Pierre Pillard and Marguerite …, the godfather being Pierre LaTouche, merchant, and the godmother, Antoinette Cochette.[3]  The mother’s family name was omitted in the act, which is not unusual for that time period.  Although not conclusive, according to Fichier Origine and PRDH, it was the baptismal act of Catherine Pillard, future wife of Pierre Charron.[4]  An exhaustive search in the parish registers of La Rochelle for the period in question gives a lot of material upon which to reflect.

The family name Pillard is found in a few baptismal acts in Sainte-Marguerite of La Rochelle, France.  Thus, on 25 December 1632, Noël Pillard, son of Pierre Pillard and Marie Palaitte, was baptized.[5]   Another child of the same couple, Margueritte, was baptized there on 1 November 1636.[6]


The second Pillard couple who can be traced in the registers of La Rochelle was that of Pierre Pillard and Marguerite Bouricaud, whose son Pierre was baptized 19 April 1635 in the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Cogne in La Rochelle.[7] 

Another son, Jean, born from the Pillard/Bouricaud couple, was baptized 10 November 1641 in the Chapelle Sainte-Marguerite of La Rochelle.[8]

Perhaps there are other children for the Pillard/Bouricaud couple, but, as of now, they have not been traced in the registers of La Rochelle.  It is very possible that Catherine Pillard, baptized 30 March 1646, daughter of Pierre Pillard and Marguerite (no family name) is a child of the Pillard/Bouricaud couple.  This baptism would easily fit into a pattern with the baptisms of the two known children for this couple.  In fact, if this is the case, this Catherine, a native of La Rochelle in France, could not be the one who married Pierre Charron, in Canada, in 1665, for reasons we will explain later on.


According to the marriage record registered in the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal, dated 19 October 1665, Pierre Charron marries […] Catherine Pilliat, fille de Pierre Pilliat, Maitre Texier et de Marguerite Moulinet de la Rochelle, paroisse Notre-Dame-de Cognes[…]”.  The marriage act also notes an important fact, the explanation for which cannot be found: “[…] Les trois bans publiés et l’opposition faite au premier levée, le dit mariage fait en présence de […]” (The three banns published and an opposition made at the first lifted, the said marriage being done in the presence of …).  We can only guess that an opposition was raised at the publication of the first marriage bann; it would be interesting to know the reason for it.  No marriage contract can be found to corroborate this information.


But, this marriage act indicates to us that the mother of Catherine Pilliat was Marguerite Moulinet.[9]  An exhaustive research in the registers of the Chapelle Sainte-Marguerite and of the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Cogne in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, as well as in the neighboring parishes of Saint-Nicolas and Saint-Barthélemy, demonstrates the absence of the name Moulinet in the acts contained in these registers.[10]  At the same time, the patronyme Moulnier appears there several times.


Through the Registers of New France


Not having found in the registers of La Rochelle or neighboring parishes, any confirmation of the baptism of a Catherine Pillard, born from a Pillard/Moulinet couple, nor even the existence of said couple, we then concentrated our attention on the registers of New France.  Our research targeted another Catherine as being the future wife of Pierre Charron, possibly of Native origin since the results of the mtDNA tests in question correspond to the genetic markers of the Natives of New France.


From 1664 on, we find in the registers and the notarial acts of Nouvelle-France, numerous mentions of Catherine Pillard, also known under the names of Plat, Plate, La Platte, Laplatte, Pillat, Pilliat, Piliate, Peillate, Peillaste.  However, until now, historians have agreed on the chronological sequence of events found in the registers of New France concerning Catherine Pillard.


The first mention under the name of Catherine Plate was consigned to the confirmations’ register of Montréal, dated May 1664.[11]  Since there were duplicate registers, sometimes errors, additions or omissions are noted; it is thus the case of the confirmations’ register in question.  In a first register, the confirmation list of Montréal, of which the exact date has been omitted, is located between the confirmation lists from Trois-Rivières dated 1 May 1664 and 22 May 1664;  it can be deduced from this that it concerns a list from May 1664.  On this list of confirmees, we find in order: Catherine Plate, Louyse Chartier and Charles François, huron.  In the second register, in spite of an unaltered chronological order, the date of this list of confirmees is said to be 11 July 1664.  One also finds the patronyme “Atsanhannonk” is added to Charles François, just above the word “huron.”

Drouin-Ancestry Quebec Dioc./Mtl May 1664 #17/76

Drouin-Ancestry N-D Montreal 1664 #92/233


We are unaware of the exact date of the arrival of Catherine Pillard in New France, and, to this day, she has not been found on any list of passengers originating in France.  Based on the first inscription in the registers of New France,  it is presumed that Catherine Pillard, Fille du Roi, would have arrived at the latest in the fall of 1663, since the first boat expected in 1664 had not yet made its appearance at the time of the May 1664 confirmations.  Since boats arrived between May and September, and an ordonnance limited the period of “fréquentations” to about fifteen days, it was very necessary to contract marriage before the boats left.  If Catherine had in fact arrived in New France in the fall of 1663, as stipulated by the majority of historians,  she would have waited more than two (2) years to get married!  At that period, based on the baptismal record of 1646, she would have been about 17 years old, thus at an age to take a husband according to the rites of the Catholic Church.  Thus, how could she manage to escape the rules established by the French authorities …?


The second appearance of Catherine Pillard in the registers, this time under the name of Pilliat, would be at the occasion of her marriage to Pierre Charron, 19 October 1665, in the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal.  It is interesting to note that on the 1667 Montréal Census, the Charron family is listed as: Pierre Caron, age 31, his wife Catherine Platte, age 18, and one child, age 1.  Based on this census, Catherine was born about 1648.


Catherine Pillard appeared several times in the registers of New France, from 1664 until her death in 1717 in Montréal.  However, based on a thorough study of the documents concerning the Charron/Pillard couple and their children, we have been able to establish that the name “Pillard”, written as such, appeared only very rarely.  The chronological list found at the end of this article can be summarized as follows:

            • Charron (2 times)

            • Variations of Plat according to the usual pronunciation (28 times):

                        •           Plat (3),

                        •           Plate (8),

                        •           Platte (6),

                        •           Laplatte (5),

                        •           Laplate (3),

                        •           Laplat (1),

                        •           La Plat (1),

                        •           Laplacque (1).

            • The 17 variations of soundex of the name Plat (pl-at) give the following results:

                        •           Pillat (6),

                        •           Pilat (3),

                        •           Pilate (2),

                        •           Piat (3),

                        •           Pilliat (2),

                        •           Piliate (1).

• Variations of the name Pillard are found 4 times:

                        •           Pillard (1),

                        •           Pillart (1),

                        •           Pillar (2).

            • And finally, one finds 7 times names that are rather uncertain:

                        •           Pilette (2),

                        •           Pilet (2),

                        •           Peillate (2),

                        •           Peillaste (1).


Looking at this more closely, it can be stated that the name Plat / Plate and its phonetic variant Pilat are used most frequently, 45 times out of a total of 56 official acts, all easily verifiable.


One rather unusual fact caught our attention, and consequently, gave rise to another question: Sébastien Brisson, although married at least eight and a half years to Catherine Pillard/Pilliat, seems to have forgotten on several occasions, the family name of his wife, to only remember the family name of her first husband, Charron.  And, as if this was not enough, he (or maybe the presiding priest) seemed to feel the need to add, at the time of Brisson’s second marriage, that Catherine was “issue de La Rochelle” (native of La Rochelle) …  But, which La Rochelle ?


Catherine Plat or Pilliat, from France or from New France?


A systematic search of the registers of Notre-Dame de Montréal from 1645 to 1655 produced only one pertinent result for that period, but it was a great find: 25 November 1651 was baptized by Claude Pijart une enfant âgée de 5 mois nommée 8enta, fille de Du Plat et de Annengthon, qui a reçu le nom de Catherine par sa marraine Catherine de La Vaux.”[12] (translated from Latin to French and to English: a female child, aged 5 months, named 8enta, daughter of Du Plat and of Annengthon, who received the name of Catherine from her godmother, Catherine de La Vaux).

She would thus have been born about June 1651. Her godmother, Catherine de La Vaux, was the wife of Gilbert Barbier.


At the bottom of the same page of the Montréal parish register, one notes the baptism dated 31 December 1651, “d’un enfant nommé Saentsannen, fils d’un Huron décédé et de Etsa8ontông” (translated from Latin to French and to English: … of a child named Saentsannen, son of a deceased Huron, and of Etsa8ontông”); his godfather, Charles d’Ailleboust, gave him the name of Charles.


During an exchange of the original discussion group, the Canadian genealogist, Denis Beauregard, remarked that this Charles, son of Etsa8ontông cited in the above baptismal act, was quite possibly the same as the Charles who appeared with Catherine Plate in the Montréal confirmations’ register on the list  dated 11 July 1664, where he is recorded as Charles François [Atsanhannonk], Huron.  Phonetically speaking, the similarity is great, and he is probably right to assume that it concerns one and the same person.


Another very interesting detail, and perhaps pertinent to this investigation:  the officiating priest in the two acts of the above-mentioned baptisms, Claude Pijart, a Jesuit missionary, served among the Algonquins from 1635 up until 1650 when we find him in Montréal.  In 1657, he was recalled to Québec to serve amongst the Huron mission at Sillery.  Interestingly enough, Claude was the older brother of Pierre Pijart, a Jesuit missionary, born the 17th of May 1608 in Paris. They were the sons of Claude Pijart and Geneviève Charon.  Is this a matter of a simple coincidence?  Pierre Pijart was a missionary to Huronia from 1635 to 1644, when he and Father Jérôme Lalemant returned to Trois-Rivières, accompanied by a group of Hurons from Ossosané.  In January 1645, Pierre Pijart was named treasurer of the Huron mission until his return to France in the month of August 1650.[13]


It was enough for us to decide to take a second look at all of this.  Our research then concentrated on the parents of 8enta (Ouenta) a.k.a. Catherine, and particularly on her father listed as “Du Plat” in her baptismal record.


Atseña dit Le Plat, Huron Chief of the Bear Nation


A search on Google allowed us to make a link between Du Plat and Atseña, nicknamed Le Plat, a Huron chief also described as the “Great War Chief,” originally from Ossosané.[14]


Quite possibly a member of the Huron contingent arriving at Sillery in 1650 or the one arriving in the fall of 1651, we find Atseña in Montréal in November 1651 when his daughter 8enta dite Catherine is baptized.  A few months later, more specifically, 15 May 1652 in Montréal, a group of 50 to 60 Iroquois took as prisoners three Hurons whom we believe to be his wife, one of his daughters and his four-year-old grandson.  In order to protect the Hurons of the Bear Nation who had been regrouped in a “reserve” on Isle d’Orléans, Atseña, their great captain, chose to retire among the Algonquins at Trois-Rivières.


The first mention of Atseña, captain of the Hurons, is found in the Jesuit Relations.  On 2 July 1652 at Trois-Rivières, as he was picking up some fishing lines with a Frenchman, they were both attacked by a group of Iroquois, who only lightly wounded Atseña, with whom they wished to talk.[15]  The negotiations took place right in the middle of the river, to the great displeasure of the French and Algonquins who were present.


In January 1654, we learn from the Relations that the Agniers “ont des présents à faire en cachette aux Hurons de l’Isle et que leur en ayant fait cet automne, Atseña dès ce temps la leur en avoit rendu trois de leur part aux Trois R.. pour leur faire témoigner qu’ils agroient la proposition d’aller en Annieñé.” […had some presents to give secretly to the Hurons on the Island and that having done so this fall, Atseña, since this time, had returned three of them, on their behalf, in Trois-Rivières, to let them know that they agreed to the proposition to go to Annieñé.] [16]  A promise that the Hurons eventually had to respect in the hope of seeing an end to the incessant Iroquois attacks on the small French colony which did not have the necessary population to combat them with any success.


Still in the Jesuit Relations, we learn that in 1655, after the defeat of the Hurons at Isle d’Orléans at the hands of the Iroquois, the latter intensified their methods of pressure and the noose tightened around the Huron missions of Isle d’Orléans, Sillery and Trois-Rivières.  Obviously, the Iroquois would not stop until they obtained their goal.  On 12 February 1657, we learn that one of two Iroquois staying in the cabane (hut) of Atseña (Atchenha) was hit on the head with a fire-brand by a drunken Algonquin who had arrived shortly before from Trois-Rivières.[17]  On 10 May 1657, the name of Atseña dit Le Plat, Huron chief, again surfaced in the Jesuit Relations, at the time when negotiations took place at Québec between the three Huron nations: the Cord Nation whose chief was Étienne Annaotaha; the Rock Nation; the Bear Nation whose chief was Atseña; and two Iroquois nations: the Aignieronon and the Onontagheronon.  The latter two tried, by all possible means, to convince the Hurons to join their respective nations.  The Jesuit fathers, the Governor of New France and / or his representatives as well as the Algonquins, allies of the Hurons, were present at these negotiations.


In the light of information furnished by the Journal des Jésuites and by the Jesuit Relations, it seems evident that Atseña was the spokesman for the Huron Nation in the course of numerous negotiations between the Hurons and the Iroquois between 1653 and 1657.  The Hurons were completely conscious of the fate that awaited them.  They had not forgotten the perfidity and treachery of the Iroquois, but the die had been cast, and it was impossible for them to turn back.  They had to respect the promises made four years earlier during the peace talks of New France with the Upper Iroquois, which began in September 1653, otherwise it was the end of that so-called peace obtained so dearly by the French.  As the representative of Bear Nation of whom he was the chief and the great War Captain, Atseña knew well the consequences of a refusal at this point in time.  But, no longer having the support of the French who were looking for peace at all cost for their little colony, it was now the Huron’s turn to sacrifice himself in the name of that “peace.”  After several consultations, it was resolved that the Cord Nation would remain in Québec, that the Rock Nation would leave for Onontagé, while the Bear Nation would put itself into the hands of the Aignieronon.[18]  This decision would define the future of these three nations.  After the departure of Atseña dit Le Plat for Agnier country in the month of August 1657, there is no further mention of him in the Journal des Jésuites, the Jesuit Relations, or other documents of the period.


However, Father Boquet informs us, upon his return from Onontagé on 6 October 1657, “le meurtre fait le 3e jour d’aoust 1657, à quatre journées au dessus de Montréal par les Onontageronons, contre les Hurons du Québec, qui montaient avec le Père Ragueneau à Onontagé” [the murder committed on 3 August 1657, four days past Montréal, by the Onontageronons, against the Hurons of Québec who were going up with Father Ragueneau to Onontagé].[19]  For his part, Father Simon Le Moyne confirmed the massacre of all the Hurons from the latter group who were going to Onontagé.[20] 


On 3 January 1658, Québec received news concerning the group of Atseña of the Bear Nation, when three Agnierons, who were passing through, delivered to the Jesuits some letters from Father Simon Le Moyne, coming from Onontagé.  In one of them, he said that he “deplore la calamité des pauvres Hurons qui s’estant confiez à ces perfides, les ont suivis dans leur païs, où ils sont traitez comme des esclaves.  Le mary est séparé de sa femme, les enfans de leurs pères et mères; en un mot, ils servent de bettes de charge à ces Barbares.  C’est un advis aux Hurons qui restent et qui demeurent encore parmy les François, pour ne pas se fier aisément aux Iroquois, s’ils ne veulent perdre le corps et l’ame.” [deplores the misfortune that befell the poor Hurons who, entrusted to these treacherous people, followed them to their country, where they were treated like slaves.  The husband was separated from his wife, children from their fathers and mothers; in one word, they served these barbarians like beasts of burden.  The advice to the Hurons who remain and who live among the French: don’t easily trust the Iroquois, if they don’t want to lose their body and soul].[21]


La Rochelle in New France


In 1615, the old Huronia, located in the region of Georgian Bay, occupied a vast mountainous territory about 800 square miles delimited by Matchedash Bay, Nottawasaga Bay and Lake Simcoe.  The Indian name for this land was Wendake and its people were known as the Wendats.  It was the French, at the time of their arrival, who gave them the nickname of Hurons, based on the way they dressed their hair in ridges or “hures.”  [Today we use the term “Mohawk” for this hair style.]

Location of Huron Villages and Jesuit Missions 1615 - 1650

From: Huronia – A History and Geography of the Huron Indians 1600-1650, Conrad Heidenreich
   Map 17. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Historical Sites Branch. Printed here with the permission of Conrad Heidenreich

According to the Récollet Sagard, “Tequeunoikuaye”, also known under the name of La Rochelle by the French and St-Gabriel by the Récollets, was the headquarters of the region and the guardian of all the villages of the Bear Nation.  Later known under the name of Ossosané, the mission, founded by the Jesuits, bore the name of Immaculée Conception.[22]


The conflicts between the Hurons and the Iroquois had existed for a very long time.  The defeat of the Agniers in 1609 and 1610 at the hands of the Hurons and the Algonquins, their allies, aided by Champlain and his men, contributed greatly to enflame the existing conflicts.  This was the starting point of a long series of relentless attacks which intensified after 1635 when the Iroquois sought to seize the monopoly of the fur trade.  The unending wars and the numerous epidemics eventually decimated the Huron strength.  At the beginning of 1650, with the aid of the Jesuits and French, less than one thousand Hurons found refuge in Montréal, Québec, Sillery and Trois-Rivières.  They were mainly from the Bear Nation, the Cord Nation and the Rock Nation, as one learns from reading the Jesuit Relations.


However, the Iroquois attacks did not stop.  Some negotiations, in which the Hurons and Algonquins participated, were undertaken by the French with the Iroquois with the goal of obtaining a peace treaty.  The departure of the Hurons toward Iroquoisie was the price to pay for a peace which was of a short duration.  It was paid for very dearly.


Atseña had no other choice but to sacrifice himself as well as members of the Bear and Rock Nations. This sacrifice was not in vain as it also had in mind the survival of at least one of three Huron Nations which had taken refuge at Sillery – that of the Cord Nation.  The latter, as well as a few Hurons from the Bear and Rock Nations who had been assimilated by the French and the Algonquins, are evidently the ancestors of the majority of Huron Wendats of Wendake, now located at St-Ambroise and Jeune-Lorette, near Québec.


The Journal des Jésuites as well as the Jesuit Relations of 1657 are full of information on the unraveling of events which determined the future of the Huron Nation.  It is impossible to give an adequate summary here of the events which unfolded in Huronia and which forced some of the Hurons to find refuge with the French and Algonquins.  We advise our readers to consult the many publications available on this subject.[23]  For more details on this article, we invite you to visit the following web sites:  or




Since there is only one single Huron in the registers of New France, as well as in the Jesuit Relations, bearing the dit name of Plat, Du Plat ou Le Plat, there is no doubt that Atseña dit Le Plat, chief of the Bear Nation, who is spoken about in the Jesuit Relations, is in fact the same individual appearing in the register of the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal, under the name of Du Plat, father of 8enta dite Catherine, baptized 25 November 1651.  If one supposes that this Catherine is the one who married Pierre Charron in 1665, this could explain the opposition made following the publication of the first marriage bann, on account of the age of the future bride, who would have been about fourteen-years-old at that time.  In addition, this would explain the use of the name Plat and Platte, and it many variations, as Catherine’s family name, as it appeared in different parish registers and notarial documents. 


In summary, Catherine’s circle of life began in June 1651 as 8enta, daughter of Atseña dit Le Plat, later baptized in November under the name of Catherine, daughter of Du Plat; in 1665 at Montréal, she married Pierre Charron; and her life came to an end in 1717, at Montréal, under the name of Catherine Plat, widow of Pierre Charron.

            •           25 November 1651 – baptism of 8enta[24] dite Catherine, daughter of Du Plat, at Montréal



Chronology of the mentions of Catherine Pillard in the Acts of New France from 1664 to 1733



Confirmation in Montréal – Catherine Plate


19 October 1665 - marriage in Montréal – Catherine Pilliat(act not signed by the priest)


23 September 1666 - baptism of her daughter, Catherine, at Montréal – Pilliat  (act not signed by the priest)


Census- Montréal – Platte – age 18 years(born about 1649)


26 November 1670 - Sorel - baptism of Antoinette - Pilette (transcription with no signature)


26 February 1674 - Sorel – baptism of Thérèse - Pilate (transcription with no signature)


26 February 1675 - Contrecoeur - Pilate (Priest : Louis Petit)


October – Platte - (Notary : Bénigne Basset)


9 April 1676 – Boucherville – Pillard (Priest : Decaumont)


9 April 1676 – Boucherville – Pillart (Priest : Decaumont)


20 October 1677 - Sorel – Platte (Priest : Benoît Duplein)


5 June 1678 - Sorel – Pilat (Priest : Benoît Duplein)


23 July 1679 - at Québec – Pillat / Pillar (?) (Notary : Ménard)


13 July 1680 - Montréal – Plat –  (Notary : Mauge)


Census - Longueuil  –  Pillar- age 30 (born about 1651)


3 November 1682 - Boucherville – Pillat (Priest : Decaumont)


18 October 1684 - Boucherville – Pillat (Priest : Decaumont)


December 1685 - Cap-de-la-Madeleine – Marriage contract of Marie Charlotte Charron – Laplatte (Notary : Cusson)


18 April 1686 – Boucherville - Pilat (Priest : Decaumont); Platte/Laplatte (Notary : Bourdon) 


1 May 1686 - Boucherville – Pillat (Priest : Decaumont)


7 September 1686 - Boucherville – Pillat  (Priest : Decaumont)


29 September 1686 - Contrecoeur – Laplat (Priest : Sennemaud)


30 November 1686 - Boucherville – Pillat (Priest : Decaumont); Laplatte (Notary : Bourdon)


3 July 1687 - Boucherville – Pilat (Priest : Decaumont)


10 May1688 - Boucherville – Pillat (Priest : Decaumont)


21 February 1689 - Boucherville – Plate (Priest : Pierre Rodolphe Guybert De la Saudrays)


7 May 1690 - Boucherville  –  Pilette (Priest : Rodolphe De la Saudrays)


10 November 1690 -Boucherville – Plate (Priest : Rodolphe De la Saudrays)


18 March 1695 - Boucherville – Plate – (Priest : Rodolphe De la Saudrays).

In the transcription of the act microfilmed at the Archives, the name is registered as  Pillard.


4 March 1697 - Boucherville – Plate (Priest : Rodolphe De la Saudrays)


28 October 1697 – Laplatte (Notary : Adhémar)


4 November 1697 – Boucherville – Plate (Priest : Rodolophe De la Saudrays); Laplatte (Notary : Adhémar)


30 May1698 – Piat  (Notary : Adhémar)


31 August 1698 - Boucherville – Plate (Priest : Rodolphe De la Saudrays)

The transcription of the same act omits her family name.


25 September 1698 – Boucherville – Plate (Priest: Rodolphe De la Saudrays)

A transcription of the same act omits her family name.


10 January 1701 – Sorel – La Plat (Priest : Frère Alphonse Droierres)


24 February 1701- Piat (Notary : Raimbault)


14 January 1703 - Plat (Notary : Tailhandier)


15 January 1703 – Pilet (Priest :  Francheville)


19 February 1703 – Pilet (Priest : Francheville


25 July 1708 – Piat (Notary : Adhémar)


25 December 1708 – Peillate (Notary: Lepailleur)


30 January 1709 – Peillaste/Peillate (Priest: Priat), aged 55 ans (born about 1654)


10 February 1709 – Piliate (Priest : Priat)


8 February 1711 – Platte (Notary: Jacques Bourdon)


27 July 1711 – Platte (Notary : Jacques Bourdon)


24 November 1714 – Concession of 60 arpents de terre en bois debout à « Bastien Brisson et Marie Charon sa femme… pour en jouir pendant leur vivant […] » (Notary: Tailhandier). It was noted that Catherine was not present.


23 July 1717 – Caterine Plat –burial (Priest: Rangeard), aged about 70 years (born about 1647)


31 May 1722 – Marriage contract of Sébastien Brisson with Marguerite Rivière – Catherine is called Catherine Charon with no mention that she was the widow of Pierre Charron (Notary : Senet)


2 June 1722 – Marriage of Sébastien Brisson at Repentigny. In the parish register, he is said to be the widower of « Catherine Charon issue de la ville de La Rochelle ». Again, there is no indication that Catherine is the widow of Pierre Charron (Priest : M. Gasnault)


Two of Catherine’s daughters were named Laplate in certain parish registers :



28 February 1717 – Saint-Sulpice - Jeanne Charron est called Jeanne La plate            (Priest: P. Lesueur)


3 March 1717 – Saint-Sulpice – burial of a child – Again, Jeanne Charron is said to be named Jeanne La plate.


8 July 1724 – Verchères- In a baptismal act, daughter, Catherine, is said to be a sage femme (midwife) and is named Caterine La plate (Priest: Bouffandeau)


9 February 1733 – Longueuil- Jeanne Charron is said to be deceased but is called Jeanne Laplacque by the priest, Ysambart.



Baptism of M. Marguerite Guillet by the midwife Caterine La Plate- 8 July 1724 at Vercheres
(Drouin online- –  – image 15 of 268, 1724-1740)

[1] Catherine Pillard, Fille du roi, Algonquienne d’ascendance sibérienne, née en France vers 1651… Où est l’erreur? Le Chaînon, Volume 25, numéro 3, Automne 2007, pages 25 à 35; Volume 26, numéro 1 et Volume 26,  numéro 2.  This article appeared in English in Michigan’s Habitant Heritage, April 2008, Vol. 29, #2, pp. 53-59.

[2] René Jetté, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec des origines à 1730, Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, Montréal 1983, page 233; Silvio Dumas, Les Filles du roi en Nouvelle-France : Étude historique avec répertoire biographique, La Société historique du Québec, Québec 1972, page 313; Joy Reisinger, Elmer Courteau, The King’s Daughters, Revised Edition, Joy Reisinger: Sparta, Wisconsin, 1988, page 165; Peter J. Gagné, King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, Volume 2, Quintin Publications: Pawtucket, Rhode Island, page 458; Yves Landry, Orphelines en France pionnières au Canada: les filles du roi au XVIIe siècle, suivi d’un Répertoire biographique des Filles du roi, Leméac: Montréal, 1992, page 357; web site:

[3] Also found on Family History Library (FHL) microfilm #1896307, items 1-5.  This microfilm includes the parishes of Sainte-Marguerite and Notre-Dame-de-Cogne.

[4] Fichier Origine #243300, accessed 17 August 2008; PRDH #10965.

[5] FHL microfilm #1896307.

[6] Ibid.  The mother’s family name was spelled Paillete in this record.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Archange Godbout, o. f. m., Émigration rochelaise en Nouvelle-France (Archives nationales du Québec, 1970), pp. 190, 191. According to Godbout, Marie Catherine Pillard was born in 1651, daughter of Pierre (Pillard) et Marguerite Moulinet, from Notre-Dame-de-Cogne. He also mentions two individuals with the name Pierre Pillard at this time in La Rochelle: (1) Pierre married to Marie Palette / Paillette; (2) Pierre married to Marguerite Bouricaud.

[10] Les Archives Départementales de la Charente-Maritime are now available free on the internet at :

[11] FHL microfilm #0375840 (Notre-Dame de Montréal); FHL microfilm #1311432, item 14; PRDH #403601 (Mai 1664), #403605 (11 juillet 1664).

[12] PRDH #39463; FHL microfilm #0375840.  PRDH has acknowledged since 10 April 2008 that the name of Catherine’s father is Du Plat.

[13] Dictionnaire Biographique du Canada – Volume I.

[14] Relations des Jésuites, Volume III, (Québec: Augustin Côté, Éditeur-Imprimeur près de l’Archevêché, 1858), Table alphabétique, page 5.

[15] Relations des Jésuites, Volume 37, p. 106.

[16] Relations des Jésuites, Volume 41, p. 18.

[17] Relations des Jésuites, Volume 43, pp. 27-28.

[18] Relations des Jésuites, Volume 43, p. 192.

[19] Relations des Jésuites, Volume 43, p. 58.

[20] Relations des Jésuites, Volume 44, p. 216.

[21] Relations des Jésuites, Volume 44, pp. 202-204.

[22] Les Relations des Jésuites, Volume V, p. 292 (English version only)

[23] In particular: La Société Huronne by Lucien Campeau, S. J. – S. C. H. E. C. Sessions d’étude, 50, 1983, Université du Manitoba; A Chapter in the History of Huronia – at Ossosané in 1737 by Angela A. Hannan, M. A.; Les Saints Martyrs Canadiens by Guy Laflèche, Éditions du Singulier; Les Relations Abrégés by P. F. J. Brussani, 1653;  The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents: Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France 1610-1791, Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites.

[24] 8enta/Ouenta means "the color red".


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