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Pointe de Levis, Quebec

Settlement in the New World

Levis, Quebec

Gabriel & Jacques Settle in Quebec, Canada
Upon his arrival to Canada in 1665, Gabriel settled across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City, at the Point of Levis, and began his apprenticeship for land-owner Francois Becquet. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Jacques worked for Gervais Buisson at Sillery, Quebec. Gabriel was an excellent worker and apprentice, and Becquet decided to lease him a piece of land on his farm, upon the completion of his three year contract.
On November 16, 1668, in the presence of the notary Romain Becquet and witnesses, Francois Becquet leased his land for four consecutive years to Gabriel Samson, which contained: “a farm of three arpents (an arpent is about an acre) with a house, a barn, a stable and a shed, on the hill of Lauzon, part cleared and part forested. The lessee promises to deliver on November 30th of each year- 13 bushels of wheat, 30 bushels of green peas, and at the end of the lease, a barn half filled with hay, as it is presently”. The lease also included one cow, an ox, and two young steers, in return for 50 cords of wood.
Now firmly settled, Gabriel was ready to begin a family, and married Francoise Durand. Francoise was the daughter of Martin Durand and Francoise Brunet, of Tour du Chatel, Quimper, France, in the region of Brittany. She was born on June 29, 1656 and baptized the following day, at the church of St. Esprit, in Quimper. At the time of her marriage, Francoise was only 13 years old and an orphan as well. Her mother had died the previous year on July 20, 1668, after migrating to Quebec with an elder daughter Jeanne, and marrying Theodore Sureau in Quebec, on November 8, 1663.
Gabriel and Francoise’s marriage contract was drawn up on November 21, 1669 at the house of Francoise’s step-father Theodore Sureau (see transcription). The following week, on November 29, 1669, Gabriel married Francoise at the church of Notre Dame in Quebec City. Their marriage record reads:
 On the 29th day of the month of November 1669, after the publication of two banns of marriage between Gabriel Sanson, son of the deceased Toussaint Sanson and Catherine Chevalier, his father and mother from the parish of St. Gratien, diocese of Lissieux, on the one part, and Francoise Durand, daughter of the deceased Martin Durand and Francoise Brunette, her father and mother from the city of Quinpercovarrin, in the diocese of Cournaille, on the other part. Monsignor Bishop having given them a dispensation of the third bann, and finding no impediments, I, the undersigned, parish priest of this church of Quebec, have married them and given them the nuptial blessing according to the rites of our Holy Church, in the presence of Theodore Sureau, Jacques Sanson, Louis Begin, and Simon Rochon. Signed J.L. de Bernieres.
After the completion of his three year work contract, Jacques settled at the Point of Levis on property opposite the current church of Bienville. Jacques acquired his plot of land on August 25, 1670 from Etienne Landron, a merchant from Quebec. The land was between that of Michel Bisson dit Saint-Come and Nicolas Droissy. Gabriel would later own the property next to Jacques, and so they eventually lived side by side.
Because Levis did not have its own church at that time, the Abbey Morel performed three marriages by special permission at the Point of Levis on November 26, 1671. One of these was the union of Jacques Samson and Marie-Anne Metru, a “fille du roi” who had recently arrived from France. Marie-Anne was the daughter of Claude Metru and Jeanne Crisset, from the parish of Sainte-Marine, Paris. Their marriage record reads:
On the 26th day of November 1671, after the publication of one bann of marriage between Jacques Sanson, inhabitant on the shore of Lauzon, son of the deceased Toussaint Sanson and Catherine Chevalier, his father and mother from the parish of St. Gratien, diocese of Lisieux, on the one part, and Marie Anne Metru, daughter of Claude Metru and Jeanne Crisset, her father and mother from the parish of Ste. Marine, in the city of Paris, on the other part, by Msr. Bernidres having given them dispensations of the second and third banns, and finding no impediments. I, Thomas Morel, missionary priest from the Seminary of Quebec, with permission, have solemnly married them and given them the nuptial blessing according to the rites provided by the Church, in the presence of the witnesses Gabriel Sanson, Michel Buisson dit St. Cosme, and Simon Rochon. 
Gabriel Samson’s family was a large one with 10 children in all. The seventh child and fourth son, also named Gabriel, left Quebec to settle at Port Royal, Acadia (present day Nova Scotia) and began the Acadian branch of the family. His other siblings remained in Quebec, and are the ancestors of the Samsons of that province. Gabriel Sr. was included in a list of people hospitalized at the Hotel Dieu in Quebec City, on May 11, 1690. He was 46 years of age, and from Normandy, France, and had been in the hospital for 21 days. Gabriel died at the Hotel Dieu on June 30, 1690. His wife remarried in Quebec on February 1, 1699 to Yvon Richard. At 54 years of age, Francoise died on December 5, 1713, and was buried at Quebec.
Jacques had an even larger family, with 17 children! On May 4, 1699, Jacques Samson was buried at Levis. The previous day, his son Francois, aged 14 was also buried. Perhaps there been a disease or accident taking the life of both father and son at the same time. Jacques’ widow lived for several years in Quebec City, on rue Saint-Pierre, before she married Claude Philippeaux, a merchant and tailor, in 1710. Widowed a second time by 1713, Marie-Anne died in 1731, and was buried at Lauzon on March 27 of that year.
Written by Charles Samson, December 1997, and revised in March 2010. 
Source: “Familles Samson, Tricentenaire au Canada”, July 23, 1967; Roger and Marcel Samson,
Drouin Collection of Quebec church records, “The People of New France”, Allan Greer, “History of Canada”, D. G. Creighton, “Histoire Populaire du Quebec”, Jacques Lacoursiere, “Our French Canadian Ancestors, Volume 28”, Thomas J. Laforest, “Programme de recherché en demographie historique”, Universite de Montreal.

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