QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2011-04 > 1303256017
From: Mona Andrée Rainville <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] RE : Marie DeBure, "Fille du Roi"?
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 19:33:37 -0400
Interesting comment as always.
While we are at it. The notion that it was the king himself who granted
the "dot" to these women obscures the reality that it was, in fact, an
initiative taken by Jean Talon. Not surprisingly, the period ascribed to
the arrival of the "filles du Roy"cohort coincides with Jean Talon's
management of the "colonial herd".
So, yes, technically, these women received money coming from the royal
treasury, but the king really had no say in who, individually, received
We all like to put things in snug little boxes, with nice little labels,
and organize history in a tidy flow of well defined events. But this is
not always possible. And so, there is a tendency to try and bend reality
to fit the box.
While I most emphatically agree with you that some authors were not
careful in their selection criteria, I don't ascribe to the notion that
only orphans and poor widows were herded onto ships bound for New France
- and I use the word herded quite literally.
Not all women who did funding from Jean Talon, that famous 50 livres,
were in fact alone in the world, without a soul to care for them. Some
did have siblings, or even children. And some had families in France
from whom their later inherited. Their common denominator, other than
the receipt of money from Jean Talon (money which they did not actually
ever see, as it was given to their keepers) is their acceptance to
travel to New France for the purpose of marring and remain in the colony.
The term itself, "Fille du Roy", was almost a term of derision as it was
given them by a woman who much profited by their presence...
Desjardins Bertrand wrote:
> Mmm...One has to remember that a «Fille du Roi» corresponds to a specific reality: having been recruited and funded by the authorities to migrate to Canada and marry...Their situation in France then normally corresponded to being without the normal means of surviving: orphaned, widowed without money, etc.
> The reference to a «dot» from the King is a sure identifier of a Fille du Roi, but unfortunately this element is missing in the great majority of cases, so authors had to establish rules to decide if a woman was indeed a Fille du Roi or not. Most just acted as if any woman originating from France who married in the 1663-1673 period was a Fille du Roi. I would hasard that someone migrating with her older married sister and her husband and their daughter born in France might very well not be a Fille du Roi...
> Bertrand Desjardins