Gagnier (Gagne) History Web Site
by Rev. John F. Gagnier

Section Two: Settlement in New France

After reading this section,
click on the blue link at the bottom of the page to go to
Section Three: Ancestral Documents and Signatures


Most of the Gagne & Gagnier, etc. families in North America
are descended from one of the two brothers, Pierre and Louis Gasnier.
They were born in Ige, France, a town 100 miles or 160 Kilometers southwest of Paris, and 50 miles or 80 kilometers west of Chartres.


Louis Gasnier, the younger brother, emigrated first.
He was born in 1612 at Ige, France.
He was married to Marie Michel at Saint-Martin-du-vieux-Belleme on June 11, 1638.
They had a daughter, Louise, who came to New France with them.
Their remaining seven children were born in Quebec. They had a son, Louis, born in 1639, fate unknown.
This child probably died in infancy since they named another son Louis, born in Quebec in 1651.


Louis Gasnier, the younger of the two brothers arrived in Quebec in 1644
with his wife, Marie Michel and their infant daughter, Louise.
The other children were born in Quebec.

There are no official records of the death and burial of Louis Gasnier.
However, there is much circumstantial evidence about the manner of his death.
On July 14, 1661, there was, "by verbal order of Monsieur the Governor" an official
"inventory of the property and possessions remaining after the decease of the late Louis Gasnier."

The inventory was witnessed by the notary Auber, and was signed with an "X" by the "said widow," Marie Michel.
She would have been 41 years old and the mother of 8 living children at that time.
A translation of this inventory can be found later in this text.

It is said that Louis was among eight persons captured and killed by the Mohawks at Auriesville, New York.
Auriesville today is the site of the Shrine of the North American Martyrs northwest of Albany at Thruway Exit 28.

A neighbor, Louis Guimont, was killed at Auriesville according to a letter dated June 8, 1661 in the Jesuit Relations, a multivolume history of the missionaries of that era.

A similar postmortem inventory was done on the goods of Louis Guimont on the same date as that of Louis Gasnier, July 14, 1661, leading one to believe that the circumstances of their deaths were similar.

Marie Michel Gasnier was born in 1620, the daughter of Pierre Michel and Louise Gory.
After the apparent death of her husband Louis Gasnier, she remarried in September, 1666 to Paul DeRainville.
They had no children. She died on November 12, 1687.

Nine Children of Louis Gasnier and Marie Michel Gasnier:

1. Louis, baptized at Notre Dame de Vair, France September 8, 1639.
fate unknown, perhaps died in infancy since another child born later was also named Louis.

2. Louise, born at Ige, France January 21, 1642.
As an infant, she came to New France (Quebec) with her parents in 1644. She married Claude Bouchard.
As a widow she passed her property to her children on October 16, 1706.
She died April 21, 1721 and was buried at Baie-St-Paul.

3. Marie, born at Quebec September 20, 1644.
She was the first Gagne born in the New World.
married January 26, 1659 to Andre Berthelot
married July 30, 1690 to Jacques Abelin
died at St. Anne de Beaupre November 19, 1717

4. Pierre, born at Quebec March 27, 1647.
married October 28, 1668 to Louise Faure

5. Olivier, born at Cap Tourmente May 7, 1649.
married November 8, 1679 to Isabelle Pepin

6. Louis, born at Quebec July 7, 1651.
married Marie Gagnon
died at Chateau-Richer June 24, 1698

7. Anne, born at Quebec October 27, 1653.
married September 11, 1670 to Francois Lacroix

8. Ignace, born at Quebec March 12, 1656.
Records show that an emergency Baptism was performed
on that date at the Gasnier home by a Jesuit, Father Ragueneau.
married November 5, 1680 to Barbe Dodier
married November 6, 1689 to Louise Tremblay

9. Joachim, born in 1660.
married at Beauport January 12, 1682 to Louise Marcoux
died at Beauport February 7, 1688

The older of the two brothers, Pierre Gasnier, was born at Ige, France in 1610.
He married in 1639 to Marguerite Rosee.
In 1653, they emigrated to Quebec with three sons: Louis, Pierre and Nicholas.
Marguerite was pregnant with their child, Marguerite.
Pierre Gasnier died of recurring fevers on May 1, 1656.

Six Children of Pierre Gasnier and Marguerite Rosee Gasnier:

1. Jacques, born March 3, 1640 at St. Cosme-de-Vair, France,
died in France

2. Jean, twin of Jacques, died November 14, 1648.

3. Louis, born at St. Cosme-de-Vair, France January 28, 1643.
confirmed at Chateau-Richer, Quebec February 2, 1660
married at St. Anne de Beaupre October 4, 1673 to Louise Picard

Louis, third son of Pierre, obtained a title of Signeur as Lord of the Fresnaye and with it a new name, Bellavance.
He chose to give his property at Cap-Saint-Ignace the name La Fresnaye
after a manor located near his former village in France.
He is the ancestor of the Bellavance line.

4. Pierre, born at St. Cosme de Vair February 24, 1645
married November 19, 1670 to Catherine Daubigeon
He was the first Captain of La Prairie.

Robert Gagne, genealogist of the Gagne-Bellavance Family Association has written a book in French:
Instrument de recherche concernant Pierre Ganier, fils de Pierre Gasnier et Marguerite Rosee ($25 Canadian)

5. Nicholas, born at Courcival, France January 29, 1651
died unmarried and was buried at Montreal September 8, 1687

6. Marguerite, born at Quebec September 14, 1653
married January 10, 1667 to Martial Sauton
married September 4, 1673 to Pierre Lefebvre


On October 27, 1646 Louis and Marie leased a farm on the Saint Lawrence River at Cap Tourmente
near the town of Saint Joachim. The farm was known as La Ferme Saint-Charles or La Grande Ferme.
The owner was the "Company of New France."
Its local representative was Olivier LeTardif,
who on March 27, 1647 served as godfather for Louis and Marie's son, Pierre.


Later, on October 20, 1650 the Company of Beaupre granted him a concession
for lot number 96 on the coast of the St. Lawrence River.
He was required to build a house on the property not later than the following year.
The text of his deed to this land is given later in this presentation.

There is a house on this property built on the original foundations built by Louis in 1653.
The current address of the house is 432 Cote Ste. Anne in the town of Sainte Anne de Beaupre, Quebec.
The original house measured 24 by 22 feet including walls two feet thick.

M. Aime Gagne of Montreal has written a book in French:
Pionniers de la Nouvelle-France venus de Perche ($40 Canadian)
This book contains more details on Louis Gasnier and a plan of the original house.

The present owners of this house enjoy dramatic views of the countryside.
The house sits on a cliff overlooking the Saint Lawrence River valley.
From the back porch of this house, facing south, you can see the Isle of Orleans in the St. Lawrence River.
To the left, facing east, the river continues to the Atlantic.
To the right, facing west, is the rear of the great Basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupre.

The left photograph below shows the house now standing on the original land belonging to Louis & Marie Gagnier.
The right photograph shows the Basilica as seen in the valley below
from a point 0.7 miles to the west of the house.

1653 Gagnier House -- & Basilica 0.7 miles to west

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The property remained in the Gagnier family for over two centuries and is now owned by Laureat Goulet.

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Painting of the Ancestral Gagnier House

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Artist Gabriele Gagne Boisvert of Sherbrooke, Quebec

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Below: view from back porch of the house facing south toward the River.

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Below: view from the front of the house facing the road,

Cote Ste. Anne; farmland rises to the North.

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Father Gagnier poses in front of the Gagnier House.


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Section Three: Ancestral Documents & Signatures


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Gagnier (Gagne) History Web Site
by Rev. John F. Gagnier

Last modified on Wednesday February 8, 2012