Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2007-10 > 1193507226

From: "Darrell A. Martin" <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] Martin Cote and Suzanne Paget
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2007 12:47:06 -0500
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

> Welcome, Darrell
> Let me begin with a few historical notes. The statutory minimum age of
> marriage in Quebec under the French regime was 14 years old for a young
> man, 12 years old for a young woman. However, if a marriage was
> contracted [a prenuptial agreement about real and personal estate], and
> solemnized [always in the Church, in that era], but one or both parties
> were below the statutory age, the validity of the marriage could be
> challenged only before the person reached the statutory age. So, there
> is nothing illicit, and nothing unusual about the marriage of a 13 year
> old, the age of Suzanne Page when she married Martin Cote.
> The question of whether Suzanne Page was living in the home of Anne
> Martin, widow of Jean Cote, before she married Martin Cote can neither
> be proved or disproved by the fact that Suzanne was listed there in the
> 1667 census, since the census listed persons where they were when the
> census taker came there, not at their place of residence. In fact, it
> was not unusual for a person to be listed at two or more locations, if
> they happened to be present at more than one location when the census
> taker arrived there.
> Finally, speculation is the enemy of scholarship!
> Fr John L


Perhaps I can save some "wear and tear" on the list by restating my
original main point simply: I just do not see any significant issues
with Suzanne being listed in that census household, regardless of her age.

Basically, my argument is that there are reasonable explanations for the
situation. No further analysis is required (although it has proved
interesting) because the information in the few available records is

I have learned a lot from the posts in this thread. I know a great deal
about my maternal New England English colonial ancestors and their
times; and nowhere nearly so much about my father's family, which
identified with the Francophone community until well after their arrival
in Vermont during the American Civil War.

The recent post with detailed statistical summaries was particularly
welcome. Speculation is indeed the enemy of scholarship, even when I'm
the one doing the speculating. Evidence is the best antidote.


Darrell A. Martin
a native Vermonter currently in exile in Illinois

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