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Filles du Roi


Between 1663 and 1673, 768 Filles du Roi or "King’s Daughters" emigrated to New France under the sponsorship of the French government as part of the overall strategy of strengthening the colony until it could stand on its own without economic and military dependence on France.

In 1663, the King took over direct control of the government of New France and initiated an organized system of recruiting and transporting marriageable women to the colony. On September 22, 1663, thirty-six girls –the first group of Filles du Roi– arrived in Québec.

The recruiting of Filles du Roi took place largely in Paris, Rouen and other northern cities by merchants and ship outfitters. A screening process required each girl to present her birth certificate and a recommendation from her parish priest or local magistrate stating that she was free to marry. It was necessary that the girls be of appropriate age for giving birth and that "they be healthy and strong for country work, or that they at least have some aptitude for household chores."

The cost of sending each Fille du Roi to New France was 100 livres: 10 for the recruitment, 30 for clothing and 60 for the crossing itself. Upon arrival, the Filles received suitable clothing and some provisions.

All of the Filles du Roi first landed at Québec City where 560 remained, with 133 being sent to Montréal and 75 to Trois-Rivières.

When selecting a Fille du Roi, the suitor looked beyond outward appearances and considered the practical attributes of a bride that would be adapted or disposed to the rigors of the colony. The preference seems to have been for peasant girls because they were healthy and industrious, as opposed to city girls who were often considered lightheaded and lazy.

Every Fille du Roi had the right to refuse any marriage offer that was presented. In order to make an informed decision to accept a would-be husband, the girls asked questions about the suitor’s home, finances, land and profession. Having a home of one’s own was one of the most important considerations for a Fille du Roi.

In addition to any dowry of goods that the bride may have brought with her from France, each couple was given an assortment of livestock and goods to start them off in married life: a pair of chickens and pigs, an ox, a cow and two barrels of salted meat. The King’s Gift of 50 livres is believed to have been a customary addition to the dowry, but only 250 out of 606 known marriage contracts make reference to an additional dowry given by the King. Once married, there was an incentive to have large families. A yearly pension of 300 livres was granted to families with ten children, rising to 400 livres for 12 children and more for larger families.

In September 1673 the last shipment of Filles du Roi arrived from France, and the program ended. The population of New France had risen to 6,700 people, an increase of 168% in the eleven years since the program had begun.

Source: Peter J. Gagné, King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001)


Histoire du Québec 6 - Les Filles du Roi (in French)


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Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BELLEHACHE (1652, , France - 7 December 1718, Charlesbourg, Québec, Québec, Canada (Bourg Royal))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne BELLESOEUR dite LUCAS (1640, Paris, France - 11 December 1710, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BENOIT (1653, , France - 11 December 1733, Contrecœur, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Trinité-de-Contrecoeur))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BÉRARD (BIRARD) (2 April 1639, , France - 4 November 1719, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne BERAUD dite DUBREUIL (1656, Presle en Brie, Île-de-France, France - , )
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Louise BERCIER (1649, , France - 3 March 1699, La-Pérade, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite BERGER (1652, Paris, France - 19 November 1728, Lauzon, Lévis, Québec, Canada (Saint-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-de-Lévy))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BERNARD (1651, , France - 22 June 1715, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite BERRIN (1650, Paris, France - 5 April 1679, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne BERTAULT (1636, Paris, France - 17 December 1700, Saint-Laurent-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BERTIN dite BREVAL (1653, , France - 16 February 1716, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BESCHE (1644, Chaumont-en-Bassigny, Champagne, France - July 1672, Boucherville, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Famille-de-Boucherville))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BESNARD (BERNARD) (1642, Paris, France - 11 March 1724, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine BEUZELIN (1650, , France - , )
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine BILLOT (1645, Paris, France - , )
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Geneviève BILLOT (1650, Faubourg Saint-Marceau, Paris, Île-de-France, France - , , Québec Province, Canada (Quebec))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Lucrèce BILLOT (1641, , France - 22 November 1706, Charlesbourg, Québec, Québec, Canada (Bourg Royal))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BILODEAU (1646, , France - 26 August 1684, Champlain, Québec, Canada (Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite BINAUDIÈRE (1638, , France - 11 May 1705, Sainte-Famille-de-l'île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Renee BIRET (1646, La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, France - 14 March 1715, La Durantaye, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Anne BLAIN (1645, St Germain-L' auxerrois, Paris, Île-de-France, France - , , Québec Province, Canada (Quebec))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne BLAINVILLAIN (May 1643, Maligny, Bourgogne, France - 1702, , Québec Province, Canada (Quebec))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Isabelle (Elisabeth) BLAIS (BLAY) (1648, , France - 28 November 1692, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite BLAISE (29 April 1653, , France - 15 June 1726, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BLANCHARD (15 January 1647, Rouen, France - 29 January 1722, Lachine, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Saints-Anges-de-Lachine))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BLONDEAU (1646, , France - 2 November 1680, Sorel, Québec, Canada (Saint-Pierre))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Antoinette BLUTEAU (1644, , France - 20 January 1681 , La Durantaye, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BOILEAU (BOISLEAU) (1641, , France - 20 July 1721, Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada)
(Rene BOILEAU IV & Joachine FERRAND DITE SERRANT)

Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Françoise BOIVIN (1653, , France - 13 April 1717, Boucherville, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Famille-de-Boucherville))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Louise BOLPER (1651, , France - 17 November 1728, Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Helene BONNEAU (1637, Saint-Martin-des-Noyers, Poitou, France - 1685, Champlain, Québec, Canada (Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite BONNEFOY (1648, Rouen, France - 14 November 1700, Neuville, Portneuf, Québec, Canada (Saint-François-de-Sales))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BONVILLE (BONHEUR) (1651, Paris, France - 10 February 1687, Beauport, Québec, Québec, Canada (Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité-de-Beauport))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BOUART (22 February 1649 , St-Savin, Poitiers, France - 15 September 1712, Batiscan, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan) (Saint-François-Xavier))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BOUAT (BOETE) (31 March 1652, Rouen, France - 20 March 1687, Sainte-Famille-de-l'île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne-Marguerite BOUCAULT (1651, Paris, France - 23 January 1696, Beauport, Québec, Québec, Canada (Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité-de-Beauport))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BOUCHARD (1640, Dieppe, France - 12 June 1674, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec, Canada (Beaupre))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Louise BOUCHARD (1647, , France - 31 August 1703, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Madeleine BOUCHER (1645, , France - , )
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BOUILLON (BOUILLOU) (1641, Saint-André de Landes, Saintonge, France - , )
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine BOURGEOIS (17 February 1633, Rouen, France - 28 September 1702, Beauport, Québec, Québec, Canada (Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité-de-Beauport))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Françoise BOURGEOIS (1646, Paris, France - 21 July 1704, Saint-Laurent-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BOURGEOIS (1644, Paris, France - 16 January 1730, Beauport, Québec, Québec, Canada (Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité-de-Beauport))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BOURGEOIS (1646, Rouen, France - 2 October 1700, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie BOUTARD (1647, , France - 26 April 1728, Boucherville, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Famille-de-Boucherville))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Madeleine BOUTET (1645, Paris, France - 1707, , Québec Province, Canada (Quebec))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BOUVEAU (BEAUVEAU) (1653, Champagne, France - 7 January 1737, Saint-Ours, Québec, Canada (Immaculée-Conception))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Barbe BOYÈRE (BOYER) (9 March 1655, , France - 9 December 1730, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne BRACONNIER (BRANCONNIER) (1651, Paris, France - 20 February 1711, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne BRANDON (28 August 1634, , France - 9 August 1689, Lachine, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Saints-Anges-de-Lachine))
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