Françoise HÉBERT was my ninth great grandmother. She was born in Quebec, Canada on 27 January 1637/38. She was the daughter of Joseph Guillaume HÉBERT and Marie Héllène DESPORTES. She was married at the age of 13 to Giullaume FOURNIER. Girls married young in those days. She was 21 when she had her first recorded child born 10 April 1659, a daughter she and her husband named Jacquette. Her next recorded child was a son, Pierre, born 24 Apr 1669. He was followed by another daughter, named Françoise, born 2 May 1671. This was about the time of the Franco-Dutch war in Europe, to give you some historical reference. Jacquette married 5 June 1673 and her mother gave birth to another son, Charles on 13 July 1677. Son, Pierre, married 24 November 1695, not long after the Witch Trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Françoise’ husband died 25 October 1699 in St. Thomas, Quebec, Canada, although he would have known it as New France. Françoise out lived her husband by several years.
I think there may be unrecorded children, because of the gap between their marriage and the first born child, although Françoise and Guillaume may have waited to live together until she was a bit older. Marriage at 13 was common, but I am not sure she was ready for everything that marriage entails. They matured young in those days, but it is by no means certain that they matured physically enough to bear children at 13. It is possible that Françoise gave birth to other, unrecorded children between her marriage at 13 and Jacquette’s birth when she was 21. Birth registration was not compulsory at that time and I am not sure that they would have recorded stillbirths, which was a common occurrence in the seventeen century. That’s why I referred to Jacquette as the first recorded child that I have located.
Françoise lived at the time when France ruled Canada. She would have known it as New France. I use the modern terms so that people know what places I am talking about. She spoke only French. I don’t know if she lived in town or on a farm. I do know that she lived in a time when Canada’s main export was fur. She would have heard about the Great Northern War in Europe as well as the War of the Spanish Succession. During her lifetime, she would have seen conflicts with the English from the south and the native peoples, the Iroquis, and their allies. Her life would not have been an easy one. She would have gone into labor with each child she bore as frightened as the first time. She could never be certain that she would survive the birth. However, she was alive to see the dawn of the eighteen century. She died 16 March 1714/15 and was buried in St. Thomas, Quebec, Canada.