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Zacharie Cloutier


Ancestor on the Clement, Madore, Pitt and Presse lines.


One of the founders of New France.


Was Raoullin Cloustier, brother of Denis (father of Zacharie) murdered?


"Memoires de la Societe genealogique canadienne-francaise" volume 24, in 1973. In it, is described a document originally written by notary Sebastien Roussel in Mortagne and dated 16th June 1619. Part of the document in the article translates as follows:


...Martine Laigneau, widow of Raoullin Cloustier living in this parish of Loize in Mortagne, with permission from her father Jehan Laigneau, from Denis Cloutier, paternal oncle of her children and of the said deceased Roullin, hands over to Charles Petitbon, all the rights belonging to her and to her children for the pursuit and vengeance of the commited homicide on the person of the said deceased, her husband,,,


So, from this, we can conclude that Raoullin, brother of Denis (father of Zacharie married to Sainte Dupont), was indeed murdered. The document also shows that Denis was looking after his brother's children after his death.


It must be said too as Mrs Montagne mentions in the article that this is the only known document that reveals the existence of this brother of Denis. No new information has been added since.


On March 16 1634, Zacharie & Jean Guyon agreed to go and work in Canada, in a contract drawn up by notary Mathurin Roussel.  The former was a master carpenter and the latter a master mason, two essential trades in a new country. When Zacharie signed his engagement to leave for New France, he was to be accompanied by only one of his sons. But, when he did embark at Dieppe at the beginning of April 1634, we find him accompanied by his wife and their five children:  three boys and two girls.  


At Quebec, in early June, the four ships which made up the flotilla of the "Cent-Associes", were welcomed by Samuel de Champlain.  As soon as they had arrived, Zacharie Cloutier and Jean Guyon set about to work on the construction of Giffard's manor.  But the former did not get along with the seigneur, even refusing to render "faith and hommage" to Giffard, as was the custom, for his fief (la cloutiererie) that had been granted to him in the weeks preceding his departure from France.  Zacharie ended his association with Giffard and put himself in the service of those who wanted houses built.  He undoubtedly contributed to the raising of several primitive cottages for those early settlers, both in Quebec and on the Beaupre coast.  We believe that he also worked on the construction of fort St-Louis, under governor Hualt de Montmagny.

Sources:  Robert Prevost "Genealogie:  Portraits de familles pionnieres"; 315 pp.;published by Editions Libre Expression, ISBN 2-891111-567-8                  


Zacharie Cloutier was thought to have been born at Mortagne au Perche a small hamlet about 150 kilometres southwest of Paris, France, the son of Denis Cloutier and Renee Briere. He was one of seven siblings and through the second marriage of his father after the death of Renee, he had three additional step siblings.


At the age of 28, Zacharie married Xainte Dupont in the year 1616. Together they raised six children.


It was about the year 1632 when Robert Giffard, who had previously sailed to New France with Samuel D. Champlain, came to Mortagne to recruit settlers for his Seigneurie in New France.  Intrigued by the option, Cloutier a master carpenter, sailed in the year 1634 along with his family to New France. After a two year period of working for Giffard, Zacharie took possesion of the 'fief' granted to them by Giffard and named it 'La Clouterie'.


Notes for Zacharie Cloutier:

Originating from St-Jean de Mortagne au Perche, FRANCE, where he married Xainte Dupont. He was contracted to join an expedition to New France led by Robert Giffard on March 14, 1634. (Mortagne, Notary Mathurin Roussel).


They set sail from the port of Dieppe in mid-April 1634, accompanied by his family. The fleet consisted of four ships under the command of Duplessis-Bochard. Arrived in Quebec on August 08,1634.


They settled at Beauport in at the manor of Robert Giffard. Zacharie helped to establish the settlement at Beauport. On February 03, 1637, he was granted 1000 arpents of land at Beauport, situated on the St. Lawrence River, with two-tenths of a mile of frontage on the river, extending north for four and six-tenths miles.


This land was sold to Nicolas Dupont on December 20, 1670 for 4,500 livres Tournois, plus an additional 600 livres to the children.  Zacharie and his wife went to Chateau-Richer to live with their son, Zacharie. Where he later died, at the age of 87 years. (Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties)


Once in New-France, Zacharie does not waste his time.  He immediately starts to organize the establishment of his children.  On July 27 1636, he promises his daughter Anne to take husband.  She’s only ten and a half years old!  Her marriage contract with Robert Drouin will be the first document of the kind written in Canada.  The religious ceremony will proceed only one year later, but before Anne is twelve years old.


Married at the house of Robert Giffard.  The contract is the first to be signed in Canada on July 27 1636.  Jean Guyon took the role of notary in order to perform this marriage.  Part of the marriage contract was that since the bride, Anne Cloutier, was only 10 years old, the newly weds would live for a period of three years with her parents and under her parents guardian.  We can tell by this that the parents were making sure that their child did not take her role as a woman immediately.  They were married by the church the following year, July 12 1637 at N-Dame in Quebec City.  The young wife died at the age of 22, after having given birth to six children, of which four died at birth or soon thereafter.


After the death of their daughter, Anne, Zacherie and Xainte raised their grandaughters, Genevieve and Jeanne Drouin, as their own.


Xainte's name is also spelled Zainte, Sainte in different documents.

She died when she was 97 years old.




Born at Mortagne in 1617, Zacharie II travelled with his family and worked with his father in the building of the Giffard manor and a number of churches. Upon receiving the 'fief' he helped his father clear the land. He returned to France and there married Magdalene Esmard. Meanwhile Le Tardif, Zacharie's friend had obtained a part of the Seigneury of Beaupre. He pursuaded Zacharie and two of Zacharie's brothers to help him develop this land where the village of Chateau Richer stands today, and where a number of Cloutier families live to this day.