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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  Michelle DE LAHAYE (LAHAIE) (1650, Rouen, France - 28 February 1723, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine DE LALORE (1654, London, England - 5 January 1705, Sorel, Québec, Canada (Saint-Pierre))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DE LAMARRE (DELAMARRE) (16 August 1650, Rouen, France - 23 December 1708, Charlesbourg, Québec, Québec, Canada (Bourg Royal))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite DE LAPLACE (1643, Paris, France - 7 October 1735, Saint-Sulpice, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Anne DE LAPORTE (1643, , France - 28 June 1718, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Charlotte DE LARUE (1646, , France - 22 March 1711, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine DE LEHAIE (LEHAYE) (LAHAIE) (1649, Paris, France - 14 September 1690, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Suzanne DE LICERANCE (1644, , France - 25 December 1723, Laval, Québec, Canada (Saint François-de-Sales-de-l'Ile-Jésus))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DE LIMOGES (1650, , France - 6 November 1673, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada (Three Rivers))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine DE LOSTELNEAU (1655, Paris, France - 13 October 1698, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Claude DE MANGEON (1643, - , )
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne-Judith DE MATRAS (1645, Vendôme, Orléanais, France - 1681, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada (Three Rivers))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite DE NEVELET (1643, Troyes, Champagne, France - 9 April 1720, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Angélique DE PORTAS (14 April 1650, Paris, France - , , France)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Marguerite DE PROVINLIEU (1650, Bourg St-Maurice, archevêché de Sens, Bourgogne, France - , , France)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DEBURE (1631, Rouen, France - 11 October 1700, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne DÉCHARD (1641, , France - 6 August 1686, Batiscan, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan) (Saint-François-Xavier))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Claude DELAHOGUE (1651, , France - 25 August 1687, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Adrienne DELASTRE (1645, , France - , )
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Madeleine DELAUNAY (1635, , France - 6 February 1699, La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, France)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne DELESTRE (29 September 1649, St-Aubin, Maine-et-Loire, France - 25 January 1685, Boucherville, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Famille-de-Boucherville))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite DELORME (1644, , France - 31 March 1679, Batiscan, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan) (Saint-François-Xavier))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne DENOT (1645, Paris, France - 10 October 1710, La Prairie, Québec, Canada (St-Philippe) (St-Jean-François-Régis) (La Nativité))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DENOYON (NOYON) (1643, Elbeuf, Rouen, Normandy, France - 20 June 1709, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne DEQUAIN (23 April 1645, Usseau, Poitou, France - 7 February 1734, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Claude DESCHALETS (22 August 1645, , France - , )
(François DESCHALETS (DESCHALAS) & Jacquette CHEVALEREAU)

Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Elisabeth DESCHALETS (1648, , France - , )
(François DESCHALETS (DESCHALAS) & Jacquette CHEVALEREAU)

Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Madeleine DESCHALETS (28 August 1647, Fontenay-le-Comte, France - 16 November 1708, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
(François DESCHALETS (DESCHALAS) & Jacquette CHEVALEREAU)

Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DESCHAMPS (1647, Paris, France - 13 May 1682, Charlesbourg, Québec, Québec, Canada (Bourg Royal))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Louise DESGRANGES (1648, , France - 11 November 1721, Neuville, Portneuf, Québec, Canada (Saint-François-de-Sales))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marguerite DESHAYES (1646, Rouen, France - 17 November 1709, Repentigny, Québec, Canada (La Purification-de-Repentigny) (St-Paul-l'Hermite))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DESHAYES (1643, Rouen, France - 18 December 1707, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Françoise DESPORTES (1653, Paris, France - 13 April 1736, Grondines, Québec, Canada (Saint-Charles-des-Grondines))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Madeleine DESPRÉS (1655, , France - 18 December 1712, Saint-Jean-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada (Saint-Jean))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie-Agnès DESTOUCHES (1648, , France - 20 February 1728, Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada)
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DEVAULT (DEVEAU) (DEVEAULT) (3 April 1647, , France - 6 December 1687, Repentigny, Québec, Canada (La Purification-de-Repentigny) (St-Paul-l'Hermite))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne DODIER (1646, , France - 4 February 1706, Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Québec, Canada (Sainte-Marie-Madeleine))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Anne DODIN (DAUDIN) (1649, , France - 25 October 1700, , Québec Province, Canada (Quebec))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Ambroise DOIGT (DOIGHT) (1644, Paris, France - 19 February 1709, Charlesbourg, Québec, Québec, Canada (Bourg Royal))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Barbe DORANGE (1650, , France - 14 September 1717, Beauport, Québec, Québec, Canada (Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité-de-Beauport))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine DORIBEAU (12 December 1650, Bretagne, France (Brittany) - 25 February 1710, Saint-Jean-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Québec, Canada (Saint-Jean))
(Michel DORIBEAU & Antoinette Olivier LOUVIE)

Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Élisabeth-Isabelle DOUCINET (17 May 1647, La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, France - 15 November 1710, Charlesbourg, Québec, Québec, Canada (Bourg Royal))
(Pierre DOUCINET & Fleurence CANTEAU)

Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine DROUET (1631, Paris, France - 26 September 1699, Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DUBOIS (20 March 1640, Lisieux, Saint-Desir, Normandie, France - 27 September 1734, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montréal, Québec, Canada* (L'Enfant-Jésus-de-la-Pointe-aux-Trembles))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Catherine DUCHARME (1657, Paris, France - 21 February 1719, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Barbe DUCHESNE (1650, Geneva, Switzerland - 10 July 1710, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Jeanne DUCORPS dite LEDUC (1649, , France - 19 December 1727, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Sault-au-Récollet) (Côte-St-Michel) (Côte-St-Paul))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Marie DUCOUDRAY (1650, Paris, France - 9 September 1710, Lauzon, Lévis, Québec, Canada (Saint-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-de-Lévy))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Françoise DUFAYE (1641, Rouen, France - 17 December 1705, Charlesbourg, Québec, Québec, Canada (Bourg Royal))
Fille du Roi  female ancestor  Helene DUFIGUIER (1643, Paris, France - 14 May 1673, , Québec Province, Canada (Quebec))
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