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6.The first Richers in Ste-Geneviève.

A brief history of the establishement of the Richers dit Louveteau at Côte Sainte-Geneviève, a territory now corresponding to the Montreal districts of Ste-Geneviève and Pierrefonds.

Several hundreds of Richer were born and/or dead in Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds) and, among them, almost all my ancestors. Consequently, I tried to find out where and when these Richer settled in this part of Montreal Island called Côte Ste-Geneviève.

The two sons of our ancestor Jacques who have had offspring, François and Jean-Baptiste, did not settled in a fixed place in early adulthood.

François lived in different places in the Seigneurie of Montréal. We first trace him in 1726 in St-Laurent where he acquires a land at Côte des Vertus. Shortly after, he is in Rivière-des-Prairies, before settling definitely in 1734 in Bizard Island where he exploited his land until his death in 1763. Bizard Island was under the jurisdiction of the parish of Pointe-Claire until 1741, this was changed when the parish of Ste-Genevieve was established.

Regarding Jean-Baptiste, he is living at Côte Saint-Pierre when Marie-Amable, his first child, is baptized in 1731. Starting from 1734, all his other children were baptized in Pointe-Claire. In the 1765 Census, Jean-Baptiste is living in Pointe-Claire with his wife, a son younger and another older than 15, and four of his daughters. He owns 90 arpents of land (43 of these are seeded), 3 cows, 2 heifers, 2 sheep, 2 horses and 3 pigs. Both Jean-Baptiste and his wife Marie Jarry are buried in Pointe-Claire.

We know that some of the offspring of Jean-Baptiste established themselves in the new parish of Ste-Geneviève. Almost all of the other descendants of Jean-Baptiste and François settled in the area of St-Eustache and St-Benoît.

The following documents, and others that we can expect to find, allow us to draw some conclusions and comments about the first Richers of Ste-Geneviève.

It was the Sulpicians who were owners of the seigneurie of Montreal and who granted the land to those who wanted to work on it. All the land alongside Rivière-des-Prairies, from Anse à l’Orme to Saraguay, was part of Côte Ste-Geneviève. Consulting the list of  lots and concessions allotted by the Sulpicians, no Louveteau nor Richer can be found on it.

Following the Britain’s conquest of New-France in 1760, the new authorities ordered a census which took place in 1765. In Ste-Geneviève’s census, three Richer families are identified, but without any indication regarding where they lived exactly.

  • The first is identified as Bte Riche, who lives with his wife and two daughters younger than 15 ; he owns 50 arpents of land (17 are seeded in 1765), one cow and one horse. He is supposedly Jean-Baptiste, son of Jean-Baptiste Richer and Marie Jarry, who married Charlotte Letourneur Tourneux January 10, 1763.
  • The second is named Bte Louvetaut. He owns 60 arpents of land (8 are seeded in 1765), one cow, two heifers, one sheep, one horse and one pig. This man is Jean-Baptiste, son of François Richer and Marie-Anne Brunet, who lives with his wife Marie-Louise Victoire Coderre-Émery and their daughter Marie-Amable.
  • The third is identified as fs Louvetaut and he lives with his wife, another man and a girl older than 15 ; he owns 60 arpents of land (14 are seeded in 1765), two oxen, one cow, one horse and one pig. Who is this François Louveteau ? He can only be the son of François and Marie-Josèphe Normand Jolicoeur who just married on February 11, 1765. Who is the other man in this house and the girl ? Probably they are his brother Pierre Amable and his sister Marguerite, who never got married and perhaps were obliged to leave the paternal home after the death of their father and the remarriage of their mother.

At the beginning of the XIXth century, according to the terrier, there is no Richer in the village of Ste-Geneviève. There are some on the lands of the parish surrounding the village, but it does not seem that a terrier exists for this territory, so it is impossible to have an overview neither of the lots that are occupied at that time nor of their occupants.

The 1825 Census shows that at that time, many Richer families were living, for most of them, around what is known today as a commercial place named “Richer & Fils Enr.” at 12584 Gouin Boulevard West. In the 1825 Census, we find in Saraguay and Côte Ste-Geneviève :

  • At the house number 15 : The widow of Joseph Richer, namely Marguerite Nus dit Laventure. Joseph Héricher, son of Joseph-Marie and Élizabeth Guittard, married Marguerite Nus dit Laventure at Ste-Geneviève in 1789 and all of their 11 children were born there. Several descendants from this couple still live in the district of Ste-Geneviève and Pierrefonds, now annexed to Montreal.
  • At the house number 41 : This Joseph Richer is the son of Marguerite Nus and Joseph Héricher of the house number 15 above mentioned. He married Catherine Robert Fache at Ste-Geneviève in 1816 and all their 4 children are born there.
  • At the house number 43 : Charles Richer is the brother of Joseph, just mentioned, and is thus a son of Marguerite Nus and Joseph Héricher. He married Julie Cousineau (daughter of Louis Cousineau of the house number 42) at Ste-Geneviève in 1820 and all their 10 children are born there. This house now corresponds to the street address 12695 Gouin Boulevard West in Pierrefonds.
  • At the house number 1 : François Richer who married Catherine Baulne at St-Benoît in 1804. He is the son of Joseph-Marie Richer and Élizabeth Guittard and is thus the brother of Joseph of the house number 15 above mentioned. François and Catherine had 8 children and most of them were baptized at Ste-Geneviève.
  • At the house number 56 : Janette Leroux, widow Louveteau. She was the wife of Charles Richer, son of Joachim Richer and Marie-Amable Dubois. Charles was buried in Ste-Geneviève in 1820 and his widow will join him in 1860. They had 14 children, 2 of them baptized at Ste-Geneviève, most of the others at Pointe-Claire.
  • At the house number 85 : Jacques Richer dit Louveteau, son of Joseph Ériché and Suzanne Cardinal. He married Marianne Brisebois in 1816 at Ste-Geneviève. All of their 7 children were born and died at Ste-Geneviève. At the time of the census inn 1825, Jacques and Marianne, with their first daughter born in 1824, were apparently living in the house of Jacques’ father and his second wife, Rose-Amable Lalande and their daughter born in 1817.

Today there are still some Richer on this territory of the former Côte Ste-Geneviève. Throughout the years, more than 300 were born, about 100 married and about 160 buried there, without counting their descendants which did not carry the name of Richer.

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