Facts and Events
Marie Morin was the widow of Paul Oudan. She was one of the King's Daughters, listed as being from the Ile-de-France. She married Etienne Dauphin in Quebec, PQ, on 15 Nov 1665; and then Piere Chaignon in Beauport on 10 Aug 1694.
The filles du roi, or King’s Daughters, were some 770 women who arrived in the colony of New France (Canada) between 1663 and 1673, under the financial sponsorship of King Louis XIV of France. They were part of King Louis XIV’s program to promote the settlement of his colony in Canada. Some 737 of these women married and the resultant population explosion gave rise to the success of the colony. Most of the millions of people of French Canadian descent today, both in Quebec and the rest of Canada and the USA (and beyond!), are descendants of one or more of these courageous women of the 17th century.
Most were single French women and many were orphans. Their transportation to Canada and settlement in the colony were paid for by the King. Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada. These gifts are reflected in some of the marriage contracts entered into by the filles du roi at the time of their first marriages. Of the nearly 1000 women who undertook the journey, about 800 made it to Canada. They were promised 50 livres if they married a soldier or farmer and 100 livres if an officer. There were very few of the latter simply because there were very few officers who needed help in finding a girl of their own choice.
The girl was usually selected by her parish priest on recommendation from the Sisters in charge of an orphanage, where she had learned to read and write. It is notable that many of the girls were literate whereas the men they would marry were not. Now she had to be outfitted for the voyage and to begin her future life. Historian Douville and Casanova may be quoted as follows: “To this statutory grant (the dowry) other essential expenses were added. The first disbursement was set at 100 livres: 10 for personal and moving expenses, 30 for clothing and 60 for passage. In addition to the clothing allowance, the following were furnished: a small hope chest in which to put 1 head dress, 1 taffeta handkerchief, 1 pair of shoe ribbons, 100 sewing needles, 1 comb, 1 spool of white thread, 1 pair of stockings, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of scissors, 2 knives, 1,000 pins, 1 bonnet, 4 lace braids and 2 livres in silver money. On arrival in Canada, the Sovereign Council of New France provided the girls with some clothing suitable to the climate and some provisions drawn from the King’s warehouse.”
The men eagerly awaited the arrival of the girls and the selection process was usually concluded in a fortnight. Nevertheless, the girl could pick and choose, often to the point of exercising her prerogative a few times over. When the match had been made, the newly married couple was given 50 livres to buy provisions, plus an ox and a cow, 2 pigs, a pair of chickens, 2 barrels of salted meat and 11 crowns in cash. All this was supposed to give them a start in their new life.
Source: Rabideau – Henss Family Histories & Genealogy