Hénault Families in Québec (1620 - 1821)

Special collaboration:  Stephen Charles Eno

             The following is a summary of all unrelated Énaud, Hénault, and Hunault men who have been identified as having established a family in New France and Québec from the earliest days to about 1825.

            Although the family names Énaud, Hénault, and Hunault have different origins, their identical, or very similar, pronunciation has led to confusion and substitution of one for the other from the earliest days of New France. The spellings used below represent conventional spellings that have been used by the more common sources and reference books. In practice, over 50 variant spellings of the name have appeared in actual records.

            According to Canada411, Hénault is by far the most common spelling used by descendents of all of these families today, followed distantly by Haineault, Héneault, Hainault, Hunault, and Esnault. The spelling Eno is rare in Canada, but is more common in the United States, where it may be confused with descendents of the British Eno family which settled in Connecticut in the 1600s.

            In terms of numbers, the descendents of Jacques Énaud dit Canada and of Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps are by far the most numerous Hénaults today, followed distantly by the descendents of Louis Hénault dit Champagne. If you have an Hénault line in your recent ancestry, you are almost certainly descended from Jacques, Toussaint, or possibly Louis, but descent from several other Hénault/Hunault families is possible, especially through female lines.

 The Immigrants

 1. Jacques Énaud dit Canada (parents unknown), origins in France unknown, & Marie LeRoux (parents unknown), of Rouen, Normandie, m. ca.1667, location unknown but probably Sorel or Fort Chambly; children: 1 son

       Jacques and Marie's descendents have inherited the dit names Canada, Delorme, Fresnière, and Portneuf. Jacques and Marie had two grandsons named Pierre, each with a different dit name, Pierre Hénault dit Delorme and Pierre Hénault dit Fresnière, thus founding the two major branches of the Hénault dit Canada family, the Delorme branch and the Fresnière branch. In addition, a minor branch of the Delorme branch, the Portneuf branch, was founded by one of Pierre dit Delorme's sons, Jean-Baptiste Hénault dit Portneuf.

            Almost all of Jacques' descendents eventually abandoned their inherited dit names and use some variation of Hénault today. There are two exceptions. Two Hénault-Delorme men who migrated to the Manitoba region in the early 1800s and their descendents eventually dropped the use of Hénault and have continued to use only the surname Delorme to this day. In addition, several Hénault-Fresnière men migrated to the Georgian Bay area of Ontario where the family dit name Canada became corrupted and transformed to Cada > Cadat > Cadot > Cadeau, the latter being the name by which most of their descendents are known today.

            Jacques and Marie established their family in Berthier County. The family expanded throughout Berthier Co., Joliette Co., and western Maskinongé Co. In the 1800s, members began to migrate south into the counties along both sides of the Richelieu River (Napierville, St. Jean, Yamaska, Iberville, St. Hyacinthe). Eventually, some families moved into northern New York (Clinton and Franklin Counties) and throughout New England. Many of the New York families either returned to Québec or moved on to New England. Some of the New England families also moved back to Québec.

            Of those families that returned to Québec, many settled in the Eastern Townships. If you are searching for your Hénault ancestors in the Eastern Townships and you can't seem to find marriage or birth records for them in the latter half of the 1800's, try searching for the marriage or birth in the parishes of northern New York, Vermont, or New Hampshire. If you're stuck in New England and can't seem to find a connection  directly back to Québec, try the northern New York counties.

            Note that, at present, all Hénault, Héneault, and Eno families in New England that we have been able to trace back to Québec are members of the Hénault dit Canada family.

 2. Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps (Nicolas & Marie Benoist), of St. Pierre des Champs, Beauvais, Picardie, & Marie Lorgueil (Pierre & Marie Bruyère), of Cognac, Saintes, Saintonge, m. 23 Nov 1654, Notre Dame de Montréal; children: 6 sons, 4 daughters

             Toussaint and Marie's descendents have inherited the dit name Deschamps and they have tended to use this dit name, either in combination with the family name or alone, more frequently than the other Hénault families have used their dit names.

       Because they had six sons, three of whom lived to adulthood and married, descendents of this couple form the largest group of Hénaults today, somewhat larger than the descendents of Jacques Énaud. However, note that many of Toussaint's descendents have abandoned their original family name and are known by the name Deschamps today.

            The family established itself in Montreal. It expanded throughout the island, into the surrounding islands and into the counties north of Montréal (L'Assomption, Terrebonne, Deux-Montagnes) and south and west along both banks of the St. Laurence and Ottawa Rivers into western Québec, Ontario, western NY state, and the Detroit region.

 3. Michel Énaud dit Botté (Yves & Jeanne Galiot), of La Ferrière, Vannes, Bretagne, & Geneviève Macré (Jean & Barbe Landry), of Villaines sous Bois, Viarmes, Montmorency, Île de France, m. 8 Aug 1662; Notre Dame de Québec; children: 2 sons, 4 daughters

        Michel and Genevieve's two male children did not live to maturity and, consequently, did not pass on the Énaud name. Some people may be able to trace their ancestry to this couple through two surviving daughters, one of whom married into the prolific Chabot family.

 4. Philippe Énaud dit Barbocant (Philippe & Marguerite Pineau), of Saumur, Anjou, & unknown amérindienne, m. ca. 1676, location unknown; children: 4 of unknown sex

        Philippe established his family on the Baie des Chaleurs, near the present Bathurst, New Brunswick. When Philippe died sometime after the 1709 census, his Native American wife and their four children apparently abandoned their farm and returned to her native village. Nothing further is known about them.

 5. Jacques Énaud dit Beaufrère (Jacques & Catherine Lefebvre), of St. Eustache, Paris, & Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre-Ladouceur (Pierre & Marie Marcot), of Québec, m. 21 Oct 1725, Notre Dame de Québec; children: 2 sons, 6 daughters

        Little is known of this family; only two generations have been traced in Québec. Their first two children were born in Québec City; their later children were born in Montréal, where they may have become confused with the descendents of Toussaint Hunault. Apparently only one son lived to adulthood but no additional information is known at present.

 6. Louis Hénault dit Champagne (Jean & Madeleine Lefebvre), of Rheims, Champagne, & Anne Germain-Magny (Jean-Baptiste & Marie-Catherine Baribeau), of Québec, m. 16 Jun 1749, Batiscan; children: 1 son, 1 daughter

        This family established itself in the Batiscan area and remained largely in Champlain Co. until the 1900's. By that time many members had dropped the Hénault name and were going by the Champagne dit name. This is the smallest of the Hénault families with known male descendents today, but if you have traced your Hénault ancestry back to Champlain Co., then you are most probably descended from Louis and his wife.

 7. Martin Hénault (Charles & Louise Laurent), of St. Jacques de Hautpas, Paris, & Marie-Catherine Charpentier-Bellegarde (Claude & Madeleine Mirault), of Québec, m. 9 Feb 1756, Notre Dame de Québec; children: 4 sons, 4 daughters

        Little is known of this family; only three generations have been traced in Québec thusfar. Martin established his family on Ile Dupas in Berthier Co., so they may have become confused with the many Hénault-Canada families in the area. One son married at Pointe Claire (Montréal) and had two sons of his own before 1799. One son died an infant and the whereabouts of the other two sons remains unknown. Ancestry appears to be possible.

 8. Jean-Baptiste Hunault (Maurice & Jeanne Leborgne), of Ruca, diocese of St. Brieuc, Bretagne, & (1) Marie-Anne Saucier (Joseph & Marie-Madeleine Boucher) widow of Joseph Gauthier, of Québec, m. 7 Jan 1761, Rivière du Loup; children: 1 son, 4 daughters; (2) Angélique Gauthier (Jacques & Madeleine Miville), of Québec, m. 14 Jan 1793, St. Laurent (Montréal); children: 1 daughter

             This family established itself in Terrebonne and later Montréal. Their only son died at age 29 in Montréal, apparently without having been married. Ancestry through several of the daughters is possible.

 9. François Hénault (Jean & Marie Lemaire), of Château Gontier, Anjou, & Desanges Beaudry (Pierre & Marie-Marguerite Casavant-Ladebauche), of Québec, m. 23 Jan 1821, St. Jean-Baptiste, Rouville Co.; children: 2 daughters

        François' only known children were two daughters who married in Laprairie. Ancestry may be possible through them.


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