In the year following the arrival of our first two Filles ancestors, another appeared, most likely aboard the vessel Le Sainte-Jean-Baptiste de Dieppe. As unusual as it was for a Fille du Roi to bring a child on the agonizing journey from France, it may have seemed equally odd to bring a parent. But that is what Andrée Remondière did.
She was born about 1651 in the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Cogne in La Rochelle on France’s east coast, the daughter of Jacques Remondière and Renée Rivière. At some point after her father’s death, Andrée left for Canada accompanied by her mother. Their names are among several others who do not appear on the confusing passenger lists that survived the times, notwithstanding that records and logs from all such voyages are notably replete with errors and omissions. (Historian Marcel Trudel states that no Filles du Roi arrived in 1666 at all. Other historians disagree.)
The teenaged Andrée brought her trousseau and goods worth an estimated 100 livres for her dowry, arriving in Québec City on August 11, 1666, at least according to several published sources.
There has always been controversy about Andrée and her mother Renée. Some accounts of the Filles du Roi state that the widowed mother was also sponsored by the king for (re)marriage in Canada and ultimately for receipt of the king’s cash gift — not to mention free passage from Europe. But some scholars disagree. They argue that the mother Renée Rivière had already remarried in France, a man named Mathurin Croiset who had gone to Canada before her, as borne out by the 1666 census, and who awaited her arrival. Records reflect her marriage to Croiset again after her arrival. If it’s true, it would be a wedding ceremony held only ostensibly to collect the king’s payment. But there is no record that either Andrée Remondière or her mother actually received the amounts promised in the Filles du Roi program, and if we knew with certainty, the matter would end there.
At least one source, the Program for Research in Demographic History in Montreal, discounts both mother and daughter as Filles du Roi, but they don’t provide a reason for the daughter’s exclusion. It might be that she is among a small number of Filles whose records do not identify a specific ship that delivered them or that there is no evidence that she received the king's gift upon marriage. In fact there are 852 Filles du Roi accounted for in Québec’s official records, a number that reflects 84 more than the 768 who are academically acknowledged. Still, with numerous other credible sources listing Andrée Remondière as a legitimate Fille du Roi and plenty of data to back them up, then so do we regard her as a genuine Fille ancestor of both Lazare and Clarice Côté.
With an abundance of men about, Andrée wasted no time selecting a husband. It was most likely at the Ursulines convent that she met a 29-year-old nailsmith, Thomas Rondeau, born about 1638 in Sainte-Soulle, Aunis, in France, the son of Jean Rondeau and Marie Fourestier. There is no information offered about his passage to Canada, but it’s likely that he arrived some years before Andrée and was fairly established in his new homeland.
Scarcely more than two months after Andrée’s arrival, notary Paul Vachon drew up a marriage contract on October 31, 1666 at Île d’Orléans, Québec between 15-year-old Andrée and 29-year-old Thomas. Both were sufficiently able to sign the document.
The couple settled in the parish of Saint-Pierre, Île d’Orléans where over 26 years they were blessed with a large family — Andrée spent more than 14 years in a state of pregnancy and gave birth an astounding 15 times.
As we have come to expect casualties, five of the children did not survive. At least one died in infancy and the others before their independence. Disappointingly, records from this century left us nothing to determine why any of them died. Maybe some succumbed to accidents. But it’s also highly likely that some deaths were caused by many sicknesses that were simply incurable at that point in history.
Just as it was with four other Filles du Roi in our family, Andrée Remondière’s surviving offspring would create not one, but two descendant lines to our Côtés through the marriages of her children and their children. The lines of her son François would lead to Clarice Bergeron, and the lines of her daughter Marie-Madeleine would lead to Lazare Côté, albeit six or more generations down the road. It would be highly, highly unlikely that Lazare and Clarice had even the vaguest notion who their grandparents were nearly two centuries ago or that they were once related.
- 1705 François Rondeau
m. Marie-Anne Decaux » François [Jr]
- 1736 François Rondeau [Jr]
m. Marie-Françoise Dubois » Françoise
- 1764 Françoise Rondeau
m. Jacques Bergeron » Pierre
- 1792 Pierre Bergeron
m. Charlotte Dussault » Antoine
- 1826 Antoine Bergeron
m. Louise Genest » Alfred
- 1847 Alfred Bergeron
m. Lucie-Marie Bibeau » Clarice
- 1870 Clarice Bergeron
m. Lazare Côté
- 1705 François Rondeau m. Marie-Anne Decaux » François [Jr]
- 1736 François Rondeau [Jr] m. Marie-Françoise Dubois » Françoise
- 1764 Françoise Rondeau m. Jacques Bergeron » Pierre
- 1792 Pierre Bergeron m. Charlotte Dussault » Antoine
- 1826 Antoine Bergeron m. Louise Genest » Alfred
- 1847 Alfred Bergeron m. Lucie-Marie Bibeau » Clarice
- 1870 Clarice Bergeron m. Lazare Côté
- 1706 Marie-Madeleine
Rondeau m. Jacques Côté » Jacques [Jr]
- 1756 Jacques Côté [Jr]
m. Marie-Josephte Bergeron » Charles
- 1791 Charles Côté
m. Pelagie Croteau » François-Xavier
- 1816 François-Xavier Côté
m. Rose Marion » François
- 1845 François Côté
m. Marie-Desanges Chaurette » Lazare
- 1870 Lazare Côté
m. Clarice Bergeron
- 1706 Marie-Madeleine Rondeau m. Jacques Côté » Jacques [Jr]
- 1756 Jacques Côté [Jr] m. Marie-Josephte Bergeron » Charles
- 1791 Charles Côté m. Pelagie Croteau » François-Xavier
- 1816 François-Xavier Côté m. Rose Marion » François
- 1845 François Côté m. Marie-Desanges Chaurette » Lazare
- 1870 Lazare Côté m. Clarice Bergeron