President's Message, December 2020
Since we family historians are often fans of matters historical, we know that the year 2020 will go down in the annals as one of the most challenging and tragic years due to the pandemic and its toll on the world's populations, including North America where almost all of our members live. As a result of the public health emergencies declared in all jurisdictions where our volunteers do their work for you, our Directors decided earlier this year to suspend activities that required the volunteers to go out into public places to do their work for you, such as the bank, post office and the printer's office. I wish to thank our volunteers for their perseverance under such difficult circumstances. And I wish to thank you, our members, for your patience with, and tolerance of us, especially if you've submitted matters to us for our review and suffered resulting delays in our responses to you.
In terms of our volunteers, I wish to thank the leaders of our Société: Michele Nadeau Hartmann and Pam Rawson for their hard work as the editors of the Journal, including desktop publishing and managing the printing; Bev Sherman as both Treasurer and Genealogy Committee Chairperson, who has handled the important tasks of processing our mail and applications and our banking, while facing very significant personal circumstances; Susan McNelley, our webmaster, for updating and maintaining our wonderful website, which is the face of our association to the public; Harriet Kankash, for preparing our lovely certificates; our Secretary Rick Hudon, for his Minutes, always on time and accurate; Bill Kane, our Historian, for his invaluable assistance and support; and our Directors, Steve Arter, James Conway, Susan McNelley, Bev Sherman and Rick Hudon, for their dedication and leadership. I also welcome new volunteers Margie Fuller (a long-time member), Membership, and Christine Racine, Journal committee.
Our Société operates with your ongoing support, along with the volunteer efforts of our leaders. We greatly appreciate your financial support in the form of your annual dues and application fees, along with your words of encouragement. Without you, there would be no Société.
Though we have managed to get through this difficult time, including with our first Zoom meeting for our leaders, and the lower number of new members as a consequence of protecting our volunteers, we foresee more challenges ahead in terms of a turnover of volunteers, as we've experience in the past and we know is inevitable. So it is important for the survival of our effort that you consider offering some of your time to help our association and volunteer to do one of the various tasks involved in operating our organization.
Please consider whether you might be able to contribute some time to the Journal: you might write an article, or find an article for publication, or edit an article, or do some other task involved in the publishing of our beloved Journal. Or, perhaps your skills with genealogical research could assist us with reviewing applications for certification of lineages. Please let me know how you might be able to take part in our mission to honor the filles du roi and Carignan ancestors; or perhaps you might simply offer to volunteer and we can suggest a task – just send me an email.
Dave Toupin, President
President's Message, Spring 2019
The mission of La Société des Filles du roi et soldats du Carignan is threefold: to encourage sound genealogical practices and provide certification of lineages; to offer information via our website and personal email correspondence; and to publish our journal with articles about the Filles du roi and Carignan soldiers, their times, and related matters. We are particularly proud to publish articles and brief items by our members and people connected to our members, or to the other organizations to which they belong.
So now I renew the call to you, our membership, to tell your stories in this journal. It must be a story – we no longer print merely lineages or names of ancestors with dates. And it should be a tale with likely interest to our membership.
It could be about one of your Filles du roi or Carignan ancestors; and/or it could relate to the personalities from and history of the world they lived in. It might recall your own adventure into the challenging field of researching your family history, or a trip (perhaps to Quebec, to France, or to the place in the USA or elsewhere where your ancestors settled) to search for your origins. Or perhaps the story could connect your more recent ancestors to those from New France.
Then again, you might choose to write about your experience (or that of your near ancestors) with French-Canadian culture, be it cuisine, clothing, design, music, dance or art. It might show others the techniques and sources you used to overcome a challenge you encountered in your research. Or you might find a topic that fits our mission but one we have not yet entertained.
Your article must contain your original writing; of course, you can quote sources, but the quotes should be brief. We ask that you provide a citation for the information you write about (i.e. where you obtained it) in a footnote or as part of a list of your sources at the end. An article might be one page or ten pages (or anywhere in between). We encourage you to provide an accompanying image or photograph; but it must be one you made, or you will need to show us permission from the artist/photographer.
Another possibility is that you could suggest a great article you read in another magazine or on a website. We will need the author’s (or copyright holder’s) permission to reprint it (same as with any art or photograph) and we might need your help in obtaining it.
On a technical note, we request that an article be provided in a Word document (preferably in Arial 12 font). Our editors reserve the right to edit the length to fit the space in our journal, and to make formatting, grammatical and typographical changes to fit the existing style of the journal. If our editor requests more significant changes (such as to the wording), we will contact you and either request you make the change, or we may suggest a change.
Deadlines for submission of manuscripts for our two annual issues are February 15th and September 15th.
Our journal should reflect the interests of and showcase the hard work and research of our membership in pursuing our cause of promoting the history of the Filles du roi and Carignan soldiers of 17th century New France and their descendants. We emphasize that our published articles display your sources for the information in your articles, just as we show the sources for the genealogical information in our lineages and family histories.
Please consider joining this effort! Send your writing (to firstname.lastname@example.org) so we may all benefit from your fascination with the genealogy and history of the Filles du roi and Carignan soldiers. We’re interested in your journey in pursuing your family’s contributions to the French-Canadian diaspora.
Dave Toupin, President
President's Message, Spring 2018
For some, dealing with the past is not as simple as it once appeared to be. For others, the past was never simple – it was, and is, painful. The history of early settlers in both Canada and the United States is irrevocably linked in many ways – both good and bad – to the indigenous tribes who had lived there for generations before.
You might be asking the following questions: What does this have to do with us? We’re a hereditary association; we’re not political. We just honor our French-Canadian ancestors. But we need to be reminded that these French immigrants invaded and settled on land held by indigenous peoples. The Iroquois defended their territory and trading practices by conducting brutal raids on French settlements. Our association honors, in part, soldiers who conducted war against the Iroquois people in 1665-1666 in defense of these French settlements. Subsequently, French settlers and French troops in New France again fought with the Iroquois in the 1680s-1690s.
Ultimately the wars ended. However, Native Peoples in North America suffered huge losses, not the least being death from disease and starvation. Some native tribes were virtually eliminated.
In the past decade, the Canadian government apologized to the indigenous peoples of the country for the actions by past governments. No less than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada called Canada’s past actions “cultural genocide” towards the native peoples of Canada (the First Nations, Métis and Inuit).
Most importantly, Canada established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which conducted hearings and heard the testimony of many survivors of “residential schools”. These boarding schools, often operated by religious institutions, forced indigenous children to abandon their native language and culture. In addition to losing a connection with their own families, they were also subjected to abuse. The Commission produced a tremendously important report in 2015 with both findings and a list of 97 “calls to action” with specific steps Canadians and their institutions can take to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation between white Canadians and the indigenous peoples.
Now survivors struggle to rediscover their cultures and practices, regain their heritage, save their languages, and restore the health of their communities. They have a significant need for support from the majority population of Canada and the United States in doing so.
Many individuals, including members of our society, are related to both French Canadians and Native Americans. They are either direct descendants of both or have cousins of varying degrees who are descendants of both. Two articles published in our Spring 2018 journal testify to this relationship.
The membership of the SFRSC can play a role in reconciliation. We can learn about the indigenous peoples and their descendants as we learn about our French-Canadian ancestors. We do not need to view them as the “enemy” of our ancestors. We can tell the stories of our forebears but also show respect for the indigenous peoples of North America who were here before the conquest by our European ancestors.
Let us know if you have native or indigenous ancestry, or if you have ideas about how we can both honor our ancestors while showing respect for our indigenous neighbors.
Dave Toupin, president
President's Message, Spring 2016
As a group, and as individuals, we honor our ancestors the Filles du roi and the Carignan soldiers. We do so not just because they are related to us, but because they were early settlers in an unsettled, sometimes dangerous land, and showed great courage and tenacity not only to survive, but seemingly thrive in that harsh reality. Consider the impact that the Filles du roi (and their husbands) had on the French colony of New France: there were only 2,500 French colonists in New France in 1663 (Gagné, 2001), the year the arrival of the first 36 Filles du roi (Landry, 1992). A total of 768 Filles du roi (Gagné, 2001) are known to have arrived in New France from 1663 to 1673; though not all remained in the colony, married or bore a child, the vast majority did so, often marrying very soon after disembarking and having their first child less than a year later (Gagné, 2001). The result: 4,459 births to Filles du roi from 1664 to 1702 (Landry, 1992).
Meanwhile, some 446 men of the Carignan-Salières regiment (including some from four other regiments) chose to settle in New France as colonists once released from their duties in 1668 (Verney, 1991). Already a large number of unmarried men were in the colony at the time – six to fourteen times the number of marriageable men as women (Gagné, 2001) - hence the need to send the Filles du roi to help populate the colony. As we know (and have listed on our website), many of the Carignan soldiers married Filles du roi; but author Jack Verney (Verney, 1991) claims that the dramatic increase in the population was more the result of unions between civilian male workers and women, both recently arrived from France, and that very few soldiers immediately married after leaving the army (likely due to the lure of the fur trade). Nevertheless, the retired soldiers and officers from the regiment (and subsequent retirees from the Troupes de la Marine) brought many skills and a sense of optimism needed for the young colony to survive, including for the formation of an improved militia (Verney, 1991).
Other early settlers from the 17th century were important too, and deserve to be honored, including those prior to the Filles du roi and Carignan soldiers (such as the Filles à marier) and later settlers. Our choice to focus on two particular groups of settlers is not intended in any way to lessen the important contribution by these other immigrants to New France. And though our Carignan soldier ancestors fought against the Iroquois (specifically the Mohawk) in 1665-1666 (and later colonists did so again in the 1680s-1690s), we are fully cognizant that the indigenous peoples then (as now) are entitled to be honored and respected.
In the end, whether it is due to the interesting history, the pride in the exploits of ancestors (or the fascination with their foibles), the curiosity about our roots, the desire to honor a culture that has not always been respected in the past, we have selected these Filles du roi and Carignan soldiers for our research, our writing, our honored spot on the wall in framed certificates.
I invite you to write me with your thoughts: what inspired you to choose this hobby, or devotion? What can you add to describe your involvement in genealogy, and in particular French-Canadian genealogy? What is important to you about the Filles du roi and/or Carignan soldiers? Should we be publishing articles on other, related topics, in addition to the Filles and soldiers?
Thank you for your membership and support. Let me know how we can serve you better.
Dave Toupin, pres.
Gagné, P. J. (2001). King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: the Filles du Roi, 1663-1673. Pawtucket: Quintin Publications.
Landry, Y. (1992). Les Filles du roi au xvii'ème siècle. Montréal: Leméac.
Verney, J. (1991). The Good Regiment. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.