President's Message, December 2022
I am pleased to report that your Société is operating well with a great team of volunteers who are meeting the needs of members and applicants for membership, and that our organization has taken the needed steps towards stabilizing its financial circumstances and reorganizing itself to operate in a sustainable manner. This could only be accomplished with the hard work of our volunteers, new and established, and with the ongoing support of our members.
The current volunteer leaders of your Société include the following:
* Christine Racine, our Genealogy Chairperson and Coordinator of our PO Box as of last year, who is doing a great job of assembling, reorganizing and leading a new Genealogy committee, processing both our new applications for Full membership and requests for additional certificates of lineage, and reviewing and answering our snail mail through our PO Box. Her hard work has re-established the high quality and effectiveness of one of our primary objectives, the certification of lineages and support of good genealogical practices. Also, Christine is a Director of our association and has effectively taken on projects in that role.
* Michele Nadeau Hartmann, is the co-Editor of our Journal, Sent By The King and brings her high level of quality to all aspects of its publication. We continue to have a journal to be proud of, and it is thanks in large part to Michele’s hard work and talents. As well, she has taken on important projects in her role as a Director, including filling in as our Acting Secretary during this past year and undertaking the major and arduous task of reviewing and processing the Société’s old records. We’re very fortunate to have Michele as the volunteer in these positions and the positive results of her efforts are reflected in the high quality of our journal issues.
* Susan McNelley is our Website Manager, and she maintains and updates our website, responds to your website requests. Susan also serves on our Finance committee and takes on projects as one of our Directors. Susan’s wisdom and experience is highly valued in our group, and the high quality of our website reflects her talents and hard work.
* Rick Hudon, our new Treasurer as of last year, has processed and reported on our financial data on a monthly basis, has significantly upgraded our financial reporting and is leading us in a transition of the Treasurer position and Finance committee’s operation. He also has organized the Zoom meetings for our Directors, which has increased our effectiveness as the associations trustees. His skills and hard work have led to very important positive changes for the association and have secured our financial position.
* Lisa Elvin-Scaltari, our new Membership Chairperson and Coordinator of our webmail as of last year, who is doing a wonderful job leading our Membership committee, updating our membership database, and processing and responding to our webmail. Her enthusiasm and experience are a major asset for our association. We’re very pleased that Lisa is now a candidate for a Directorship and look forward to realizing her plans for membership growth and popularizing our association.
* Brian Montpellier, a new volunteer who prepares and mails out our certificates. Brian is providing high quality certificates to our members and is a valued addition to our group.
* Pamela Rawson continues to do excellent work in the role of desktop publisher of Sent By The King, providing us with the benefit of her skills and experience in this vital role in providing members with a high quality and lovely journal.
* Bill Kane is our Historian and helps us resolve issues and questions concerning our mission and historical data, as well as contributing content for our Journal. His wealth of knowledge and experience have been vital to our ongoing effort of highlighting the important role of the Filles du roi and soldiers of the Carignan Salières Regiment in the flourishing of New France for our French-Canadian ancestors.
These are the leaders who have safeguarded our Société and brought it through a difficult transition to new leadership and a bright future. I thank Christine, Lisa, Michele, Susan, Rick, Brian, Pam and Bill for their hard work and devotion to the association during the past year. I am very pleased and proud to be working with this wonderful group of people to serve our members.
Also, I thank Steve Arter, outgoing Director, for his dedication to our association and his past work to establish our group’s insignia and make medals and pins available to members. And I thank the many other volunteers who have contributed to this effort, including Margie Fuller (Membership), Jacques Toupin (Journal), Brenda Ozog (Membership), Helen Gibson Ugiccioni (Journal), Cathy Schott (Journal) and Sean O’Neil (Journal). Thank you for your valuable assistance and contributions (or offers of assistance) to our ongoing effort to serve our members. My apologies if I’ve inadvertently left out any volunteers – please send me an email so I might correct my omission.
Importantly, I also thank you, our members for your patience and support during our transition to new leadership over the past two years. The changes we have undergone have posed challenges to many of you, and we greatly appreciate your tolerance and the fact you stayed with us throughout this overhaul of our operations.
Part of the transition to a brighter future for the association is to reestablish financial stability. Our first step was to reinstate annual dues contributions from our members in the Fall of 2022. Also, the Directors increased annual dues to $20 US per year, starting in the Fall of 2022, to address our deficit position and the inflation in expenses. We introduced payment of renewal dues through PayPal in the Fall of 2022 for ease of payment and to save international members the cost of purchasing bank drafts for renewal payments. Most importantly, the Directors are introducing the electronic distribution of the Journal (by email) to most members, to start in 2023, in order to save money on expenses for costly printing and mailing of a paper copy.
NOTE: It is extremely important for all members to be aware of the change the Directors effectuated for the distribution of an electronic copy of our Journal issues to our members starting in 2023, as published to members in the Fall of 2022. UNLESS the member specifically requests to continue to receive a paper copy of each issue, the member will be sent a digital version of each journal issue by email, starting in the Spring of 2023. To continue to receive a paper copy of the journal, you must have responded to the survey sent to you in the Fall issue of Sent By The King and by email sent to all members (and by letter being sent to members for whom we do not have a valid email address), designating your choice of paper copy (or one could choose a digital copy). If you have not notified us of your choice of digital or paper issue of the journal, you will be deemed to have chosen digital copy. Again, this change is vital to our financial stability given the significant rise in costs. If you have not yet notified us of your choice, please do so now by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to our PO Box (be sure to be using our new PO Box in Sebring, Florida – see the website).
As I noted previously, much remains to be done, and we ask that you consider volunteering to help us, whether with the Journal, with the work of reviewing applications, or with Membership committee’s efforts. However, currently our operations have vastly improved over the state of affairs in 2020 and we have a wonderful set of leaders who are working hard to bring you the services you need and expect. Please advertise our association wherever you can to help us recruit new members.
There is always room for improvement, and we ask you to send us your recommendations and comments to help us in our mission. Your responses mean a lot to those of us who are working hard to keep the ship on course, and we are grateful to hear from you.
Dave Toupin, President
President's Message, December 2021
As members know from my messages to you by email in August and in the journal in September 2021, our Société faced a crisis regarding our future ability to operate as a result of a lack of volunteers and needed to transition to new leadership in essential areas such as our finances, communications, the review of applications/provision of certificates and the publication of our journal. I am very pleased to report that your overwhelming response and offers of assistance have been very heartening and have given new life to our organization. We now have new volunteers and existing volunteers in new positions so that we are able to operate at this time, and as a result, the future is hopeful and exciting.
Much is still to be done, but we have wonderful new volunteer leaders for our genealogy committee, as Treasurer and as manager of our PO Box. We also have a new Membership chairperson and committee and new help with the journal (though we still need a new leader for the journal – I’m filling in temporarily while still president). We finally are able to engage in setting up an electronic payment system via PayPal and are in the midst of planning for the receipt of electronic applications and a new system for membership and for communications (including our website email). There is hope for a bright future with our new volunteers and existing volunteers in new positions, and I thank them and encourage anyone not yet assigned a task to hang on and follow through with their offers once contacted. We even have offers of help to commence positions during the coming year, for those not yet free to assist us.
In terms of our volunteers, I wish to thank the ongoing and outgoing leaders of our Société:
First, thanks to Michele Nadeau Hartmann, Christine Racine and Pam Rawson for their hard work as the editor and assistant editors of the Journal in 2021, including their hard work obtaining content, editing, desktop publishing and managing the printing, and to Christine for accepting new duties as Interim Genealogy Chairperson and Correspondence Secretary.
Next; thanks to Bev Sherman as both outgoing Treasurer and Genealogy Committee Chairperson, who handled the important tasks of processing our mail and applications and our banking until recently, while facing very significant personal circumstances.
Thanks to Susan McNelley, our ongoing webmaster/website manager, for updating and maintaining our wonderful website, which is the face of our association to the public.
Thanks to Harriet Kankash, the outgoing volunteer who prepared our certificates of lineage, for providing and mailing our lovely certificates.
Thanks to our outgoing Secretary Rick Hudon, for his timely and accurate Minutes, and for accepting the new duties as Interim Treasurer.
Thanks to Bill Kane, our ongoing Historian, for his invaluable assistance and for sharing his knowledge and experience.
And thanks to the Directors concluding their 2020-2021 terms in office, Steve Arter, James Conway, Susan McNelley, Bev Sherman and Rick Hudon, for their dedication and leadership.
Specifically, I offer our heartfelt thanks to Bev Sherman, a member since the beginning of this association since 1994, who has served in so many positions over the years: newsletter editor, author of articles, treasurer, correspondence secretary, genealogy committee chairperson and Director. Bev took over some key positions in 2002, another time of leadership turnover, and without her, our Société may not have survived. Bev had been our Treasurer for 19 years until this Fall. Many of you (and many past members) may owe your membership certificate to Bev’s hard work to help you complete your research and successful full membership applications. Bev has suffered many personal hardships over the few past years but had striven to continue to serve you as best she could. Bev has now been replaced in her major roles of Treasurer, Correspondence Secretary and Genealogy Chairperson, and we wish her well and hope she remains part of our association.
I also specifically thank Harriet Kankash for her many years of volunteer service to our group both on the journal committee as an editor and desktop publisher, and as the outgoing volunteer who has prepared our beautiful certificates for members for many years. Harriet has done wonderful work and we very much appreciate her efforts on behalf of our members. Harriet very likely is the person who prepared your certificate(s). Harriet started out with us as a volunteer as a tribute to her late father who had been a long-time member and a volunteer for our organization. There is no doubt she made her father proud with her efforts on our behalf.
I further thank James Conway for his service to our association as a Director for the past three years and joining in January 2018 as a full member. James brought to his role as a Director his many years of experience in the field of genealogy and as a professional. He had more than 40 years of commercial and academic work experience including in financial, operational, and administrative functions. We greatly appreciate his work with us. James is no longer able to be an active volunteer with us. We wish James well and hope he remains a member for years to come.
I welcome the new Interim Treasurer Rick Hudon and the new Interim Genealogy Chairperson and Correspondence Secretary (PO Box manager) Christine Racine, who both took over duties from Bev Sherman in September. I thank them for their hard work as part of an important transition by your Société to an updated and revised approach to doing our work for you, our members. Rick, along with website manager Susan McNelley, are working to set up a PayPal button on our website for easier membership renewals in 2022 (payment by check to our PO Box will still be accepted, though use of PayPal will be strongly encouraged). Meanwhile, Christine has been working hard on reorganizing our genealogy committee and clearing a backlog of applications, along with setting up a Genealogy committee and arranging for quicker, more efficient and effective review of applications for new certificates.
I also thank Christine for her hard work handling our new PO Box in Sebring, Florida (please see our website for the new address – the previous PO Box address in Chantilly, Virginia has been closed) and for setting up a new Genealogy operation. I also thank volunteer Margie Fuller (a long-time member) for her help with Membership committee duties.
I further welcome new Interim Membership chairperson Lisa Elvin Staltari and the new members of the following committees: in genealogy (joining Christine Racine and Bev Sherman), active members Cathy Naugle, Jolene Mullen, Brenda Ozog and Tim Stanley, along with Sherri Copeland, Anita McConnell, Jeanne Attales, Roberta Tower; for certificate preparation and mailing, Brian Montpellier; in membership (joining Lisa Elvin Staltari, Margie Fuller and me), Brenda Ozog; and for the journal (joining Michele Nadeau Hartmann, Pam Rawson, Christine Racine and me), Jacques Toupin, Cathy Schott, Sean O’Neal and Helen Uguccioni. My apologies if I’ve inadvertently left out one of our new volunteers.
The revival effort for our association includes the following: the establishment of a proposed Finance committee, to be made up of Treasurer Rick Hudon, Director Susan McNelley and me; a fully staffed genealogy committee; setting up online banking, electronic receipt of applications, and an electronic payments system; a new Membership committee with efforts including the retention of members; Zoom meetings for our Directors and committees (we’ve already had a few); and more and regular meetings of the Directors, among other steps.
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 and your recommendations. Without you, our members, there would be no Société. As you know, all work for our association is done by volunteers and no one is paid; we only reimburse necessary expenses incurred on behalf of the group, such as postage and printing.
Although our revival includes more participation on our Journal Committee, and we have some new volunteers, we still need more assistance to fairly distribute the workload on this and the other committees. For the association generally, we are looking for new ideas/suggestions for our overall systems processes, such as for handling applications and the types of membership. Please send us your suggestions and offers of assistance, as you are able.
One step we took (as you may have noted in my email and journal article seeking help) is the suspension of the requirement for dues payment for November 1, 2021 for the fiscal year Nov. 1, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2022; every member in good standing was automatically renewed as a member for 2022 without paying dues. If you already had paid for 2022 or future years, your membership was credited accordingly for one year. The Directors will be conducting a full review of our dues and fee structure and of our types of membership in 2022 and we will be instituting dues renewals via PayPal. At this time, I fully expect that we will be asking you to renew your dues by notice sent to you in August/September 2022 and that you’ll have the option of doing so via PayPal at that time. Questions arise such as: should we add an option for Lifetime Membership via a one-time payment? Should we change to only one type of membership (instead of “Full” and “Associate” memberships)? Your ideas about dues and the types of membership are welcome.
As an association, we managed to get through this difficult time but our work to transition to a bright future is ongoing and there are still volunteer positions to be filled and work to be done to assure our success in the 2020s. Our mission is to honor our filles du roi and Carignan soldier ancestors and to ensure education about their history and times, along with the topics of French-Canadian culture and history, good genealogical practices and historical research. It is an important cause and worthy of our efforts and support while being duly respectful of other cultures and histories, such as those of indigenous peoples who were here in North America before us.
Thank you to all who responded to my appeal, whether or not you’ve been able to volunteer at this time. Your responses and continued membership have meant a lot to those of us who are working hard to keep the ship on course and we are grateful to hear from you. Now on with the Annual Meeting.
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 email@example.com) 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.