Carignan-Salières Regiment Officers and Soldiers
who settled in Canada
The pleas of the colonists of New France for assistance in their struggle with the Iroquois were answered in 1665 with the arrival of the first French regular troops in Canada, the Carignan-Salières Regiment. Between June and September 1665, some 1200 soldiers and their officers arrived in Quebec, under the leadership of Lt. General Alexander de Prouville, Sieur de Tracy.
The series of forts established by the Regiment along the Richelieu River, along with the success of its second campaign into the land of the Mohawk Indians, led to a long period of peace for the French colony, which permitted it to prosper. However, King Louis XIV's plan included the permanent settlement of many of the soldiers and officers in Canada. Over 450 of these troops remained in the colony, many of whom married the newly arrived filles du roi.
Most persons of French Canadian descent can claim one or more of these brave soldiers as ancestors. In addition to the list of soldiers and officers on the official "roll" of the Regiment, there were many others who participated in the successful campaign against the Iroquois, including many militiamen who resided in the colony but whose names were not recorded for posterity. We honor all these 17th century men who paved the way for growth and prosperity of New France.
The term “Carignan-Salières regiment” should be taken to include the 20 companies that formally made up the regiment plus the four companies (Berthier, La Brisandière, La Durantaye and Monteil) that arrived in Canada with the Marquis de Tracy. The reason is simple: while only the first 20 companies can truly be called members of the Carignan-Salières regiment, all 24 companies arrived during that summer, with the same mission, under the same command structure, and they were all demobilized at the same time and given the same benefits and incentives to settle in Canada. As such, we can refer to them as one group, and the easiest way to refer to this group is by the name that identifies the majority.
By “Canada,” we mean the French colony in the Saint Lawrence Valley. The term “New France” encompasses a larger area, and includes the Mississippi Valley/Louisiana and also Acadia. While some soldiers and officers of the Carignan regiment did settle in Acadia, they are not included in the soldier-settler list, because little factual information is known about them or their descendants, for lack of records from this area at that time.
As has been noted elsewhere, the list of soldiers of the Carignan-Salières Regiment featured on this website are primarily the work of Peter Gagné, historian, author, and honorary member of the Society.
In the October, 2008 issue of Sent by the King (Vol. XI, Issue II) Peter Gagné supplied two lists of soldiers: A list of soldiers from the Carignan-Salières regiment who later settled in Canada, whether they left descendants or not. The second is a list of possible, but unconfirmed, soldier-settlers.
In this article Gagné states,
"No list of Carignan soldier-settlers will ever be perfect, since no contemporary list was made – other than one with only nicknames, made at an unknown date – we can never be sure of the identity of all the members of the regiment. ... I have attempted to compare the sources at my disposal and to use this combined information to add, delete, and correct names and information on the list. ...
"Peter goes on to say that, “In the mean time, there is the “unconfirmed” list. ... These are men who are unconfirmed as being soldier-settlers from the Carignan regiment. That could obviously mean two things: that they are either unconfirmed as having been Carignan soldiers or they are soldiers who are unconfirmed as having settled in Canada. The reason why we have decided to publish this list is to incite members and others to submit documented proof that a man on this list was or was not a Carignan soldier who settled in Canada after 1668. That way, we can all work together to improve the list and share our knowledge about the regiment.”
Peter Gagné also observed that some of the sources used previously in determining who should be included on the list are the PRDH and Parchemin databases, as well as the book Carignan-Salière, 1665-1668 by Michel Langlois (Drummondville: Maison des ancêtres, 2004, 517 p).