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Thread: Les Filles du Roi: Reality, Myth, and Ignorance.

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    Les Filles du Roi: Reality, Myth, and Ignorance.

    Hello all,

    Considering nearly everyone in Quebec has ancestors who were of the Filles du Roi it would be nice to clear up some persisting foolishness about prostitutes among them and the even more ignorant perception that prostitutes were significant in number among them.

    http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/index...?DetailID=4918

    Filles du roi, good-time girls
    If it is true that out of some 800 Filles du roi not all were models of virtue, it should be said that the majority never created any problems at all.

    In spite of that, from the start of the 17th century, the morality of those unmarried women who emigrated in the hope of finding a husband in New France was often questioned. Some of their contemporaries have claimed that they were prostitutes, forced aboard ships leaving for the new world. In subsequent centuries, others endorsed this view which was widely broadcast. Those who suffer most from this are the descendants of these pioneer women who, for generations refused to mention the special status of their courageous ancestors...

    The start of a rumour

    One year before Montréal was founded, the superior of the Jesuit mission to New France reacts to the doubly false rumour circulating in France, that several girls had been sent to Canada in 1639 who were prostitutes.

    « We were told, we read in the Relation des Jésuites (1641), that there was a rumour in Paris that a vessel had been brought to Canada laden with girls whose virtue had not been attested to by any doctor: it is a false rumour, I have seen all the vessels».


    http://everything2.com/title/Les%252...2520du%2520Roy

    In the 1660s, the lustrous king of France had consolidated his power at home. He had moved his court to Versailles and gotten his nobles under control. Now he looked around to see what else he could improve. His eyes turned to the west, to la Nouvelle France. Unlike the English colonies in America, his just didn't seem to prosper. What could be the problem? Not enough girls, his advisors replied. Not enough marriages, not enough children, not enough people. So the King sent them some girls.

    Les filles du Roy, the daughters of the king, they were called. They were sent to the newly founded settlements of Québec with one purpose: To marry and settle there. The first batch arrived in 1663, the last in 1673. Their transportation and settlement expenses were paid for of the king's treasury, and many of them received a dowry as well. They are some of the first foremothers of the Canadians, for most of them did marry, and they did multiply, and their father the King was satisfied.

    Jean Talon was the intendant of New France at the time. He ordered the first census of the colony, and learned that while it had 719 eligible bachelors, there were only 45 marriable females to go around. As if the numbers didn't speak for themselves, Talon reported in a letter that several men had asked him to get them wives. The intendant communicated with Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the King's minister of finance, and together they devised ways to get more women across. The first shipload of 38 young ladies arrived in 1663. A few months later, most of them were married, and Talon noticed with satisfaction that most of them quickly became pregnant.

    The girls sent to New France were selected with care. They had to be healthy and capable of bearing children, of course. They should be reasonably pretty so that the settlers would want to marry them. Also, since most of the girls would end up on a farm, they needed to be acquainted with farm work, or at least willing to learn and adapt. The girls also received education to further make them suitable for peopling the colony. They were taught to sew and embroider; about religion, of course; and some even learned how to read and write, a rare skill in those days.

    Many girls were recruited from orphanages and poorhouses in Paris, especially la Salpêtrière in the capital where they had been taught by nuns. This was a good move for the girls - from owning nothing and having few prospects, they had money, a royal patronage, and the hope of a future on the other side of the ocean. In America, these girls were not the main choice, however. Few of them knew how to run a farm, and so were no good to the settlers. The elite who lived in the cities, the officers and noblemen, wanted women of class and family, not just any city girl. Jean Talon did his best to cater to their tastes.

    In the beginning the colony was happy to accept any girl they could get, but later they became more specific about what they wanted. In his letters to Colbert, Talon declared that the girls must be able to stand the climate and the hard work of the farms. Colbert sent word to the parish priests to look for village girls who might want to settle in the new land. They did, and Normandy, Aunis, Poitou, Champagne, Picardy, Orléans, and Beauce became the highest contributing regions.

    Many of the unmarried men were recently dispatched soldiers from the Carignan-Salière regiment, retired from the army after conquering the Iroquois. They could either clear themselves a farm through hard toil, or go into the lucrative fur trading business. Too many chose the latter. The trapping and killing of small furry animals does not a good empire make, and so the authorities decided to make more choose the agricultural option. They established pecuniary incentives for those who married, while they used harsh measures to control those who did not. Talon reported to Colbert:

    «I have ordered that the volunteers (who on my return I found in significant numbers earning their living through banditry) be deprived of the right to trade and hunt, and that the honours and privileges of church and community be withheld, other than by decree, if within fifteen days of the arrival of vessels from France they are still not married».

    As for the girls, they were taken care of from the beginning of their preparation in France to their entrance into blissful wedlock. The authorities arranged balls where prospective brides and grooms could meet each other. Girls who did not marry immediately, lodged with "good families" who looked after them, Talon assured the people at home. Since most of the new immigrants arrived with very few clothes and accessories, they were given some of what they needed, often in the form of dowry when they married.

    For many of the girls, perhaps it was the freedom of choice that attracted them. At the time, all women were expected to marry unless they wanted to starve, and usually it was their family who made the choice for them. In Nouvelle France, however, they could write their own contracts of engagement and marriage. Marie de l'Incarnation, the mother superior of the local Ursuline nuns, chronicled the arrival of the King's Daughters and their rapid absorption into the colonial society. Not only did the girls marry fast, she noticed, they also seemed to encourage more French men to try their luck in the colonies.

    Jean Talon eventually began to feel like a victim of his own success, however. The girls were a major cost to his budget, and he always seemed to get more than he requested. Suddenly he found himself with more girls than suitable matches, girls who still needed to be clothed and fed. He asked the minister Colbert to please be a bit less generous.

    There was some resistance to the sudden onslaught of girls who were so willing to marry. Many priests refused to give them that particular sacrament unless they could prove they were free to enter a union. Talon therefore suggested the girls who were brought across should have a statement from their local priest or judge proving that they were widows or unmarried. There were also rumours about the girls' virtue: Some claimed that they were prostitutes, rounded up and put aboard ships bound for the colonies. Although it may have been the case for some of the king's daughters, most of them were just normal girls with few opportunities at home, looking for a better life abroad.

    The last Filles du Roi were sent to Canada in 1673. The programme had been a success. The colony's population had risen from an estimated 2,500 in 1660 to 6,700 in 1672. The name "Fille du Roy" was not used about them until about 1700, in an account by the pioneer Marguerite Bourgeoys. They were usually just called "girls" or "young ladies". However, as more girls and young ladies arrived and grew up to build the country, the ones who were first sent by the king were given a separate appelation. Of about 1000 women who wanted to go, almost 800 daughters of the king actually travelled, settled and helped build Canada.


    So any "women" arriving before 1663 and after 1673 were not Filles du Roi. And only designated ladies numbering less than 800 (774) in these years were Filles du Roi.

    Cheers,

    Merlot
    Last edited by Merlot; 12-24-2008 at 07:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by My_dingaling
    Thank you! I saw that thoughtless post in another thread labelling these women as prostitutes which they weren't!
    These women chose to live here not for money as pros do but for love of life .
    Hello My Dingaling,

    It's too bad someone "thoughtlessly" had to insult all of Quebec of which nearly everyone has at least one of these brave women in their family tree who faced a great risk for the chance of
    something better than they had. I have a few. But I have gotten the impression this is a common mistake in Quebec, a myth like everyone in the American West of the 19th century was a gunslinger and all the women out there were prostitutes too. Some people like to believe such things for some odd thrill...and some are just very poorly informed.

    Cheers,

    Merlot
    Last edited by Merlot; 12-26-2008 at 11:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by My_dingaling
    Thank you! I saw that thoughtless post in another thread labelling these women as prostitutes which they weren't!
    That is not true. For one, the topic is one of historical debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by My_dingaling
    These women chose to live here not for money as pros do but for love of life .
    Wrong again. They were paid to come to Canada.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_filles_du_roi

    "The title "King's Daughters" was meant to imply state patronage, not royal or even noble parentage, and most of these women were commoners. They received monetary support from the King of from 50 to 100 livres and had the costs of their transportation covered. Many Daughters were poor, especially from Île-de-France and Normandy. They were considered "orphans" by virtue of having lost at least one parent, though not necessarily both. "
    Now, some historical revisionists might be embarrassed to be the offspring of prostitutes, but really, what employment opportunities were there for orphan girls?
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot
    But I have gotten the impression this is a common mistake in Quebec, a myth like everyone in the American West of the 19th century was a gunslinger and all the women out there were prostitutes too.
    I have to ask. What's wrong with a woman being a prostitute?
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    I have to ask. What's wrong with a woman being a prostitute?
    Well YVO,

    If you don't know the answer to that then it's your task to know not mine.

    But that is not the point. You are just plain wrong and your own reference says so. Did you actually bother to read it, or do you just interpret contrary facts your own way? It says here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_filles_du_roi

    Rumours and urban legends

    There exists an occasional misconception that many filles du roi were recruited from among the dregs of the population of Paris, and that many were prostitutes. This story, while untrue, comes about from the fact that a few Parisian prostitutes in the 17th century were arrested and transported to a penal colony in the Antilles islands, and a few later writers mistakenly lumped them in with the filles du roi, as if ridding France of criminals by banishment to Caribbean farms was part of the same program as recruiting women of childbearing age to help populate its Canadian colonies. According to author Peter Gagné, there is no record of any of those women having gone to Canada, and that out of nearly 800 filles du roi, only one, Catherine Guichelin, was actually charged with prostitution while living in Canada; whether or not she was actually convicted is unknown.

    Do you think the Antilles are an old suburb of Montreal...lol. As for the money they received of 50-100 livres, did you ever consider that it was a dowry. The soldiers also received pay, and farm tools and land when discharged if they chose to stay in Quebec. Here is a story from my own files I researched myself with the help of a genealogical expert on French-Canadians to the U.S. of two of my own ancestors, a soldier named Jean Besset dit Brisetout (Wrecker) and his filles du roi wife Anne Seigneur. It confirms that the money was part of a dowry specifically:
    IN 1681 THE BESSETS WERE LIVING AT CHAMBLY BETWEEN ETIENNE RAIMBAULT AND LOUIS BARITEAU, WHER E THEY OWNED A GUN, 3 HEAD OF CATTLE AND HAD 6 ARPENTS UNDER CULTIVATION.

    More About JEAN BESSET DIT BRISETOUT (WRECKER):
    Burial: January 07, 1706/07, Chambly, Chambly, Pq.
    Immigration: 1668, CAHORS, FRANCE.18
    Military: 1665
    Occupation: LANDCLEARER, FARMER.
    Record Change: December 08, 2002

    More About JEAN BESSET DIT BRISETOUT (WRECKER) and ANNE SEIGNEUR:
    Marriage: July 03, 1668, Chambly, Chambly, Pq.

    Marriage Notes for JEAN BESSET DIT BRISETOUT (WRECKER) and ANNE SEIGNEUR:
    NOTARY AT FORT ST LOUIS WAS ANTOINE ADHEMAR DIT SAINT-MARTIN.

    SHE HAD A DOWRY AND A GIFT OF 50 LIVRES FROM THE KING. THE SQUIRE JACQUES D'HARCINVAL, NOBLE MAN AND OFFICER IN THE REGIMENT ACTED AS WITNESS IN HER FAVOR.

    Children of JEAN BESSET DIT BRISETOUT (WRECKER) and ANNE SEIGNEUR are:
    i. MARGUERITE BESSET, b. Abt. 1664, <, Ont>, d. date unknown.
    ii. MARIE MADELINE BESSET, b. 1669, Chambly, Chambly, Pq, d. May 18, 1714, Laprairie, Laprairie, Quebec.
    iii. JACQUELINE MARGUERITE BESSET, b. February 15, 1670/71, Chambly, Chambly, Quebec, d. date unknown.
    iv. +JEAN BESSET, b. December 27, 1672, d. date unknown.
    v. ANONYMOUS BESSET, b. December 27, 1672, Contrecouer, d. January 01, 1672/73.
    vi. SIMON BESSET, b. January 13, 1675/76, Montreal, Montreal, Pq, d. Aft. 1681.
    vii. MARIE ANNE BESSET, b. 1679, , , Quebec, d. date unknown.
    viii. PIERRE BESSET, b. July 09, 1682, Chambly, Chambly, Quebec, d. November 16, 1687, Sorel, Richelieu, Quebec.
    ix. FRANCOIS BESSET, b. July 26, 1685, Chambly, Chambly, Pq, d. June 03, 1764, Chambly, , Quebec, Canada.
    x. THERESE CHARLOTTE BESSET, b. February 01, 1689/90, Montreal, Montreal, Pq, d. April 03, 1707, Chambly, Chambly, Quebec.
    [/I]

    And here is a current reference confirming my files:

    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb....jeanbesset.htm

    http://bessettefamilies.com/narrativ...s_bessette.htm

    Now, I don't know why you seem to want to insist on a gross falsity, but your own reference defeats your claim. If the idea of prostitution as part of YOUR origins appeals to you...sorry...it just isn't true. Get over it. Of 774 filles du roi 737 were married. "Many filles du roi were married within a month of their arrival in New France." "Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada." The only debate about it is in the minds of those who like to indulge in myth and have a fetish for rumor.

    Geeeez,

    Merlot
    Last edited by Merlot; 12-27-2008 at 11:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot
    Now, I don't know why you seem to want to insist on a gross falsity, but your own reference defeats your claim. If the idea of prostitution as part of YOUR origins appeals to you...sorry...it just isn't true. Get over it.
    Not my origins, Son. And, as I said, the topic is open to debate. You will notice that much of the material found online addresses that point with an eye to refuting it. Why would that be, precisely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot
    Of 774 filles du roi 737 were married. "Many filles du roi were married within a month of their arrival in New France." "Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada." The only debate about it is in the minds of those who like to indulge in myth and have a fetish for rumor.
    How does the fact that they were married upon arrival speak to their origins? (Also, for some colour to the nature of those marriages, look into the films of Anne Claire Poirier, specifically les Filles du Roy (1974)).

    Let's look at a better citation than one in ALL CAPS, The Museum of Civilization. Again, one wonders why the rumour existed in 1639, and why so much effort was spent refuting it.

    I asked a question before. What profession do you suppose orphan girls engaged in.

    http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/index...?DetailID=4918

    Of specific issue that is problematic to the assertion that they were not prostitutes are the comments made late in the game by Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de la Hontan, who travelled to New France, and witnessed a baptism off the coast of Newfoundland that was intended to restore the virtue of the 'livestock' cargo. Even he laughs at it.

    http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/index...?DetailID=4926

    I guess the question here is why the present-day people such as yourself regard prostitution as a pejorative, and why you think that the King of France would do anything different from the King of England with regard to removing what was deemed at the time to be the less desirable members of society and shipping them elsewhere.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    I have to ask. What's wrong with a woman being a prostitute?
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot
    Well YVO,

    If you don't know the answer to that then it's your task to know not mine.
    I am asking you exactly what you find to be wrong with a woman being a prostitute because you keep suggesting it to be a negative. It is not mine to know (ergo the question), I want to know why you keep implying that. Why all the effort to re-write history, and deny even the potential, the possibility of this being true?
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    Why all the effort to re-write history, and deny even the potential, the possibility of this being true?
    YVO,

    You really have a wall in your mind on this don't you. All the sources say the same thing. So the question for you should be...why was I taught the wrong information or why did I come to believe this. I have shown you proof from the web and proof from first hand sources. You have shown nothing supporting your point. Sorry some unprofessional teachers gave you the rumor instead of researching the facts. All YOU have is hearsay.

    Useless,

    Merlot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot
    YVO,

    You really have a wall in your mind on this don't you. All the sources say the same thing. So the question for you should be...why was I taught the wrong information or why did I come to believe this. I have shown you proof from the web and proof from first hand sources. You have shown nothing supporting your point. Sorry some unprofessional teachers gave you the rumor instead of researching the facts. All YOU have is hearsay.

    Useless,

    Merlot
    You have posted some citations from unknown sources. I posted discussion from the Canadian Museum of Civilization website underscoring and demonstrating the fact that the subject is clearly debatable, and was as early as 1639. If that is to be considered useless then clearly this discussion is over.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    You have posted some citations from unknown sources. I posted discussion from the Canadian Museum of Civilization website underscoring and demonstrating the fact that the subject is clearly debatable, and was as early as 1639. If that is to be considered useless then clearly this discussion is over.
    Hey YVO,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_filles_du_roi

    You posted here from the Wiki. It refutes your claim:


    There exists an occasional misconception that many filles du roi were recruited from among the dregs of the population of Paris, and that many were prostitutes. This story, while untrue, comes about from the fact that a few Parisian prostitutes in the 17th century were arrested and transported to a penal colony in the Antilles islands, and a few later writers mistakenly lumped them in with the filles du roi, as if ridding France of criminals by banishment to Caribbean farms was part of the same program as recruiting women of childbearing age to help populate its Canadian colonies. According to author Peter Gagné, there is no record of any of those women having gone to Canada, and that out of nearly 800 filles du roi, only one, Catherine Guichelin, was actually charged with prostitution while living in Canada; whether or not she was actually convicted is unknown.

    You posted from this link from the "Canadian Museum of Civilization" which I first posted on another thread. After describing the confusion about these women it refutes your claim.

    Filles du roi, good-time girls

    If it is true that out of some 800 Filles du roi not all were models of virtue, it should be said that the majority never created any problems at all.

    In spite of that, from the start of the 17th century, the morality of those unmarried women who emigrated in the hope of finding a husband in New France was often questioned. Some of their contemporaries have claimed that they were prostitutes, forced aboard ships leaving for the new world. In subsequent centuries, others endorsed this view which was widely broadcast. Those who suffer most from this are the descendants of these pioneer women who, for generations refused to mention the special status of their courageous ancestors...

    The start of a rumour

    One year before Montréal was founded, the superior of the Jesuit mission to New France reacts to the doubly false rumour circulating in France, that several girls had been sent to Canada in 1639 who were prostitutes.

    « We were told, we read in the Relation des Jésuites (1641), that there was a rumour in Paris that a vessel had been brought to Canada laden with girls whose virtue had not been attested to by any doctor: it is a false rumour, I have seen all the vessels.


    You posted this link also from "The Canadian Museum of Civilization". It's an account by someone who visited New France 10 years after the last ship carrying any of les filles du roi landed. So he could not possibly have witnessed anything about the actual selection he purports to describe. He generalizes about the experience in a gross stereotypical manner, and he ridicules some perceived cleansing process which he derisively attaches those he casually labels as all "depraved women" who go overseas. Clearly he thinks very little of these women of whom he could have met very few who went through a process he did not witness and still decided to make a lot of negative presumptions. Then even with all of that he never makes any allusions to prostitution.

    http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/index...?DetailID=4926

    The slanderous baron


    The hardest blow is struck in 1703 when Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de la Hontan, publishes, in Holland, the account of his travels in North America. He stayed in New France from 1683 to 1693, ten years after the end of the Filles du roi period. The man is educated and curious. Some of the descriptions of the places where he stayed, the people he met and the customs he described pleased historians who recognise in them the authenticity of eye-witness accounts. On the other hand, everything he wrote on the subject of les Filles du roi is accepted as a tissue of lies and gossip. Who is right?

    « Several vessels were sent from France loaded with girls of average virtue, in the charge of some old devout women who divided them into three classes. These vestals were piled one on top of the other in three different rooms where husbands chose their wives in the way that a butcher chooses sheep from the middle of a flock. There was something for every fantasy in the diversity of the women in these three seraglios, for there were large, small, blonde, brown, fat and thin; finally everybody found something to fit his needs. At the end of a fortnight there wasn't one left. Someone told me that the fattest ones were taken before the others, because it was thought that being less active they would have more difficulty deserting their home and would be better able to withstand the extreme cold of the winter, but this principle misled a lot of people. Whatever the case, at this point I would like to make a rather strange observation. It is this: in whatever part of the world where the most depraved women of Europe are taken, the overseas population believes in all good faith that their sins are so completely obliterated by the ridiculous baptism I spoke to you about (initiation to the new world imposed on passengers on vessels sailing off Newfoundland) that they are subsequently considered to be girls of virtue, honour and of irreproachable conduct. Men who wished to marry addressed themselves to the leaders to whom they were obliged to declare their possessions and their faculties before taking those they found more to their taste from one of these classes . The marriage was carried out straight away by the priest and notary, and the following day the governor general had donated to the married couple a bull, a cow, a boar, a sow, a cock, a hen, two barrels of salted meat, eleven écus bearing the coat of arms that the Greeks call Keras ».

    As the millenium comes to a close, no study has yet produced evidence to completely invalidate the Baron's sarcastic explanations...


    You suggest any orphan girl (orphan designated in the record as anyone losing one parent) must have become a prostitute.

    You cite a film by Anne Piorier as if making a movie about something makes the film story fact.

    You suggest that the existence of any effort to refute something means the object of that refutation could be fact.

    But when you add all of your ideas up you have nothing that comes anywhere near to proving your assertion, your own sources refute it, and you use the realm of simple possibility to say it could all be true even when an explanation of the erroneous link between the filles du roi of New France and prostitutes deported to a penal colony in the Antilles clarifies the mistake. But "possibility" lends itself to anything. That is why it is firmly distinguished from fact. Giving credence to possibility as fact is the surest way to error, especially when there is ample evidence to the opposite. In any case, believing in rumor and possibility never proves anything except that some enjoy the indulgence for it's own sake.

    Cheers,

    Merlot
    Last edited by Merlot; 12-27-2008 at 11:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    Wrong again. They were paid to come to Canada.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_filles_du_roi
    Now, some historical revisionists might be embarrassed to be the offspring of prostitutes, but really, what employment opportunities were there for orphan girls?
    Les Filles du Roy recevaient une dot de 50-100 livres du Roy, elles n'étaient pas payées pour venir en Nouvelle-France. Un dot est un bien, pas un salaire. Les filles du Roy étaient des orphelines ou des célibataires, non pas des prostituées.

    Encore un autre bouffon qui dit n'importe quoi, qui ne connaît pas les sources historiques véritables (et les consulte encore moins) et qui régurgite, en bout de ligne, n'importe quoi. Ce bouffon a même,...et c'est la cerise sur le sundae, le culot d'appeler "historical revisionists" ceux qui ne partagent pas son "opinion", si on peut appeler cette régurgitation une "opinion".

    Le sujet des Filles du Roy a déjà été discuté ad nauseam dans un autre fil de discussion. Cette discussion est inutile.

  12. #12
    It would be great to have a time machine!

    For those who would be interested to do a seach, there is a website that has the list of all the ladies who were sent to Nouvelle France. Most of the ladies who were sent lived at la Salpêtrière which is a section of Paris's general hospital (there must be some existing archives from that time unless it lost during the French Revolution).

    At la Salpêtrière, the orphan girls (most of these girls lost their father and were sent to the nuns because their family couldn't support them) would share space with prostitutes and other women from the streets. The hygienic conditions were horrible and the access to food was very limited; fruits and vegetable were not part of their diet which caused most of them to have a lack in vitamin and calcium. Therefore, the transmission of diseases such as scabies and scurvy was very high. One more reason to send the "good girls" to the new colony where they would have a more adequate life and nutrition.

    Before the women were sent to Nouvelle France, they would be examined and approved to make sure they were healthy enough and able to bear children (the King was giving a dowry to each women who were "approved", it couldn't only be a gamble!). Back then, the STI were quite common among people of little virtue; the women who had engaged in prostitution were mostly unfertile (after contracting an STI) and therefore, useless for populating the new colony. Also, from the registers, most of the ladies who were married after being shipped were able and did bear children, which leaves little space for the theory that most of them were prostitutes.
    Last edited by Lilly Lombard; 12-28-2008 at 03:16 AM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by My_dingaling
    Good website ( http://www.fillesduroi.org/French/Fi...es/filles.html ).... I found my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.

    I guess she was fertile!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilly Lombard
    Before the women were sent to Nouvelle France, they would be examined and approved to make sure they were healthy enough and able to bear children (the King was giving a dowry to each women who were "approved", it couldn't only be a gamble!). Back then, the STI were quite common among people of little virtue; the women who had engaged in prostitution were mostly unfertile (after contracting an STI) and therefore, useless for populating the new colony. Also, from the registers, most of the ladies who were married after being shipped were able and did bear children, which leaves little space for the theory that most of them were prostitutes.
    Hello Lilly,

    Yes, excellent point. Your post helps point to the real purpose and origins of les filles du roi. It certainly refutes any idea that Nouvelle France was used in any manner as a dumping point, like the Antilles, for prostitutes considered criminals in France.

    Quote Originally Posted by My_dingaling
    Good website ( http://www.fillesduroi.org/French/Fi...es/filles.html ).... I found my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.
    Hello My Dingling,

    I have copied the information in the link you posted into my files long ago. I have discovered a number of filles du roi such as Anne Seigneur, Catherine Pillat, Jeanne Charton, and Marie-Medeleine Plouard. Just scrolling down through the names one can hardly find anyone who was not married. The daughter of Catherine Pillat and Pierre Charron married my grandmother's namesake Claude Louis Lemaire "sergent dans la compagnie de Mons Marin arrivé 1684" (Les Pionniers De Longueuil). These women and nearly everyone of les filles du roi had children, often many children like Anne Seigneur, belying any idea that they were the infected prostitute dregs of Paris or anywhere as Lilly indicated.

    LOL...it's funny what one finds when researching genealogy as I was writing this post. I don't take it all as gospel of course. It's a great trap to believe everything without corroboration. But in looking for some more information on the Mons Marin I found this link by inputting the keywords..."Claude Louis Lemaire Quebec"...and it came up with notice of the name variation of "Demaire" from Bourgogne and a family crest (amusing). I had traced Claude back to Burgundy/Bourgogne through my local city library in the French-Canadian section in 1992. French-Canadians are the second most common ethnic group, behind the Irish, in Massachusetts, and here is his name noted as (a variation of Demaire), his wife, and the same marriage date and place are specifically mentioned.

    http://www.houseofnames.com/xq/asp.f...mily-crest.htm

    "Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variant were; Claude Louis Lemaire, of la Bourgogne, who settled in Quebec and married Marie-Charlotte Charron in Boucherville in 1686;..."

    Well, it's all entertaining. Just be careful to corroborate.

    Cheers,

    Merlot
    Last edited by Merlot; 12-28-2008 at 09:09 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilly Lombard
    the women who had engaged in prostitution were mostly unfertile (after contracting an STI) and therefore, useless for populating the new colony. Also, from the registers, most of the ladies who were married after being shipped were able and did bear children, which leaves little space for the theory that most of them were prostitutes.
    Salut Lily,

    Tout cela est bien évident. Ça ne prenait pas un génie pour comprendre ça. De plus, le Roi Louis XIV n'aurait jamais donné 50 ou 100 livres, des sommes considérables à l'époque, à des prostituées. Ça aussi, c'est une évidence.

    On ne commencera pas à jouer aux hypocrites ici et on peut se questionner sur les motivations de certains à ramener sur le tapis ces vieilles saletés. Tant qu'à moi, on ne commencera pas à salir la réputation de ces 775 femmes, qui sont des modèles de courage et de véritables héroïnes. Le Canada français doit tout à ces femmes.

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