The Filles du Roi
After New France became a royal colony, more than 750 marriageable women travelled to New France with the specific intention of marrying a colonist. The filles du Roi arrived between 1663 and 1673. Most individuals with French Canadian ancestry have several filles du Roi ancestors.
English Language Book Recommendation: Peter J. Gagné, King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673 (Quintin Publications: Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 2001). In addition to an introductory chapter, Gagne provides brief biographies of the filles du Roi. The 2nd edition of this book can be purchased from the American-French Genealogical Society for $65. See: http://afgs.org/site/shop-online/
Podcast: Sandra Goodwin of Maple Stars and Stripes broadcast two podcasts about the Filles du Roi. You can listen to the podcast and view the notes for episodes 7 and 44 from the links on this page: https://maplestarsandstripes.com/
Online Lists and Resources: the following list is limited to those websites which list all or a substantial number of Filles du Roi.
The Migrations Website: although this website is in French, it is an excellent resource for immigrant ancestors. For the filles du Roi, they provide a list of the filles, the names of her parents, the names of her spouse(s), and the names of her children with their birth/baptism and death/burial information. The chart includes links to birth/baptism, marriage, and death/burial information for the immigrant if available. See: http://www.migrations.fr/700fillesroy.htm#A
Genealogy of the French in North America – Denis Beauregard’s list of 761 filles du Roi from his website. The list includes the name of the fille and her spouse(s). Clicking on the name of the fille will link you to a page which discusses her origin in France and links to her spouse(s). When you click on the name of the spouse you will be directed to a summary of her children with birth/baptismal, marriage, and death/burial information. In addition, if mtDNA results from her female descendants are known, the mtDNA results are posted. See: http://www.francogene.com/gfna/gfna/998/fdr.htm
Michigan’s Habitant Heritage (MHH) – we have published numerous articles about individual filles du Roi in our quarterly journal. In addition, starting with the January 2014 issue of Michigan's Habitant Heritage, Diane Wolford Sheppard began publishing a series of articles that provide an annotated list of the Filles du Roi. The annotations provide basic marriage information regarding the Filles du Roi and their husbands. Additionally, the annotations have been specifically tailored to provide the following historical information related to the Richelieu Valley, Great Lakes, and the Mississippi Valley: 1. if the Fille du Roi married a member of the Carignan Salières Regiment, the name of his Company is noted; 2. details and sources have been provided for those Filles du Roi whose husbands or children travelled to the Great Lakes or Mississippi Valley as soldiers, official representatives of New France, or as part of the fur trade up to the year 1730. With the exception of the lists published in MHH in connection with Detroit 300, most of the details regarding their travel to the Great Lakes or Mississippi Valley have never been published in English before. Most of the specific details and sources do not even appear in Peter J. Gagné's books about the Filles du Roi.
Example of one entry from the January 2014 issue of MHH: Françoise Aubé, daughter of Pierre Aubé and Françoise Périé, married Michel Roy dit Châtellerault, son of Michel Roy and Louise Chevalier, 8 October 1668 in Québec. Michel Roy was soldier in the Lanoraie Company of the Carignan Salières Regiment. In 1689, Michel Roy formed a partnership with Robert Rivard dit Loranger. The partners entered into a trading agreement with the Compagnie du Nord for the trading rights to the area of Lakes Abitibi and Témiscamingue, but Michel did not take an active role as a trader. All three of their sons (Edmond Roy, Michel Roy, and Pierre Roy) were part of the initial convoy to Détroit. Pierre Roy returned to Détroit as part of the 10 July 1703 convoy. On 25 April 1704, Michel Roy agreed to return to Détroit. Edmond Roy was part of the 28 July 1704 and 30 May 1705 convoys [Gagné, pp. 53-54 – includes information regarding the 1689 trading partnership; Jetté, p. 1018; RAPQ, pp. 205-206 – initial convoy, 208 – 1703 convoy, 209 – 1704 contracts, 210 – 1705 contract].
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Example of an article about an individual fille du Roi: Maternal Ancestry Fille du Roi Marie Grandin, “good wife Baudet,” and mtDNA, by Suzanne Boivin Sommerville. This article originally appeared in MHH in October 2006. In addition to discussing her ancestor, Marie Grandin, Suzanne also discussed the background regarding the fille du Roi program and the voyage from France to New France.
A reenactor at Maison Saint Gabriel dressed as our ancestors would have dressed – courtesy of Maison Saint Gabriel