It was inevitable that one day or the other someone would raise the question: these Turcot, who are they? … From Turcot, as they are often named? From Turquot, as they sometimes are apostrophized? Or … Tureaud, as Sieur La Roque, the first who challenged, in 1752, in Acadia?
Like you, I admit that Tureau to Turcot the connection or logic hardly hits us in the face. But, that is the reason it is necessary to research it seriously.
On these pages, without answering the question, but without halting debate, you can take the opinion that it is all the same, and anyone who claims to know more can write for themselves.
It should be said, first of all, that there are two obvious facts in the historical documents: (1st) - Sieur La Roque, in his Inspection of the Port of Macpec and Anse-aux-Sangliers, in 1752, found a “very poor world” of which our “François Tureaud, nailsmith by trade, but barely having the means of plying his trade; a native of Saint-Pierre-du-Doy, (in the province) of Enjou (for: Anjou), 24 years old; he had lived here for only two years; he is married to Catherine Douaron, a native of Acadia (Pigiguit peninsular) and 35 years old. They have four children, including three boys and a girl”.
(2nd) - the other document (in addition to the fact that Monseigneur Tanguay, VII/382, introduced François to us 1st as being named Turcot, at the time of the marriage of his/her son Anaclet, on January 15, 1771, in Sainte Anne de la Pocatiere) is the marriage, recorded at Saint Ours, on May 24, 1773, of Marie-Josephte Turcot and Alexis Benoit, son of Pierre and Barbe Gazaille; Marie-Josephte is listed as daughter of François Turcot and Catherine Douaron.
What you think of all that? And how to guess with some probability the way in which could be made this patronymic change from Tureaud to Turcot? By the pen of the notaries or priests? Plausible! Possible! But nothing more!
To enlighten us a little or to muddle us more, let us look at the Tanguay dictionary again but, this time, on page 379 of volume VII. Here you will notice variations and nicknames of Turcot: Turcault, Turcotte, Dutaut, Vilandré; despite everything, it is Turcot which dominates; and, with reason, with the word Turcotte you have Turcot. Then, while looking at volumes 1 and 7 of Tanguay, you see that the miller Abel Turcault, born in 1631, comes from Maillezais in the French province of Poitou,… and Jean Turcot is a native of Savanna, in the same Poitou…
Afterwards, with Father Godbout, we note that in La Rochelle there were four similar names: Turcault and Turcot, whereas the Dictionary of French Biographies is extremely discrete concerning this patronym, Sieur La Roque: he, used the form Tureaud; for Turreau of Garambouville and Turreau of Linières.
You should also remember I have met, and worked with readings of occasion, the Turquot and Turcot. It is not necessary, however, to prefer one!
In the final analysis and with any luck, without more evidence, it is my opinion that our Acadian was a Turreau “renamed” Turcot, which was more common in Quebec, as much by pastors and records as by popular opinion, to finally, habit. We should be pleased that our Acado-Québécois will stay at Turcot and not "slip" to the more frequent, but much less distinctive, Turcotte.
There remains, however, in the regions of Nicolet, Beauce, the Isle of Orleans, Rimouski, Trois Rivières and Montreal Turcotte who, in numbers, greatly outweigh the Turcot, they are in significant numbers in the metropolis.
In a 656 page book titled Cajuns to Gervaisians a recently published history of the parish of Saint Gervais of Bellechasse, covering 1780 to 1980. However, the parish has had a long and hard prelude of some twenty-five years, if not for the refugees from Acadia, this corner of Quebec would not be so strong. The authors were careful to talk to us about them in the Pioneers pages, though too briefly.
Upon further reflection can be found here, the reason why so many Acadian Acts recorded at Saint-Charles-de-Bellechasse, following the deportation of 1755, and it is not always easy to follow in the footsteps afterwards . This is due to two main reasons: our refugees "of Boyer River," our gervaisiens, were served by missionaries in the area, like those of Saint Charles in Beaumont or elsewhere who "carried with them, a register, the church papers, starting with baptisms administered on the spot.
However, the introductory chapter of the book begins and reported: "What triggered the opening of the lands in the territory of the future Saint Gervais was the arrival in Quebec City during the winter 1755-56 of a group of Acadians who had escaped the sad tragedy of the so-called great inconvenience. These unfortunate people, who came through the forest, exhausted, wretched, were received with open arms (it has already been said elsewhere in what direction should be taken by this phrase too ... mechanical, if we take into account the specific situation of war and famine damning then Canada) by Quebecers. The governor, Mr. Vaudreuil, immediately placed them on land and appealed to the seigneurs of the country."
The Seigneur of Livaudière, Michel-Jean-Hughes Péant, Sieur of Saint-Michel, was one of the first to grant land to seven Acadian families, the first of which was precisely that of our François Turreau-Turcot. And it was the surveyor Ignace Plamondon the Bigot sent to draw the lines of those concessions: the line from northeast to the southwest, it deliminated 175 metres (190 yards) squarely on 2.3 kilometres (1.44 miles) deep for Francois; the others followed suit.
And so began the colonization of these lands located near the river and away from roads. Soon all the poor, Francois and his fellow pioneers see other Acadians arrive, and settle neighboring land: Jean-Baptiste Trahan, Etienne Trahan, Paul Trahan, Charles Hebert, Jean Henry dit Maillardet, Paul Sire, Charles Gautreau, Pierre Pinet, Joseph Hebert, René Roy, Charles Babineau, Antoine Barriau, Amand Comeau, Paul Larouine, Jean and Simon Hebert, Charles Barriau, Joseph Mazerolles, Honoré Landry, Theodore Brault, Gregoire Poirier, Melchior Buisson, Pierre-Mathurin Gaudrot, Jean-Baptiste and Charles Daigre, Joseph Douaron, Pierre Vincent-Clément, Joseph Savary and others.
Not much time had passed before we see these "concessions" called the First Cadie and the Second Cadie, names which remain in popular use even when, most of these Acadians, accustomed to living on good land, not too far from the public roads, not too far from the water, look for more permanent locations near the river, or at least in more promising places, like those of New Beauce.
Meanwhile happier days, it appeared that the intendant in charge "Mr. Joseph Cadet, the King’s Butcher in Quebec City," to cater to the livelihood of these families and devoid of any suffering, moreover, the epidemic of smallpox contracted by several of their members during their stay in the capital. To this end the contract was over, "November 14, 1756, with Mr. Joseph Roberge, a resident of St. Charles ..., in which he undertakes, subject to twelve hundred louis in advance, supply and deliver to the Acadians (see the Registry of notary Jean-Claude Panet) now refugees in Beaumont and (in the seigneurie of) ... Saint Michel … everyone a half-kilogram (one pound) beef or quarter kilogram (a half pound) of bacon a day and also to each, four ounces of peas a day and it lasted for a mere six months, from December first, etc. ... is obliged to provide the same supplies as above to the Cadiens (note!) at the pleasure of the Intendant to send over the course of the said six months ... "
Already, we have provided enough details on the sequence of events that it is not necessary to repeat here ... We will only note that the authors of the Cadiens of Gervaisiens are mistaken when they write indiscriminately: "This first group of Acadian refugees has only entered the Nouvelle-Cadie. Their land, up to 1 to 1.3 hectares (2.5 to 3.5 acres) cleared, with small, poor buildings, passed into the hands of Canadians; A new wave of colonization, and this much larger, ... will befall ... not only on the seigneurie ... Livaudière but at the same time on the stronghold (of the) Martinière or (from) Beauchamp and (that) ... "Lauzon.”
Implicitly, moreover, they themselves admit, that the names on the following pages, it was not entirely so, they continued, saying: "Among the newcomers, we have some (others) Acadians deported from the English colonies and arrived in Quebec City in September 1766 (like the) other refugees from 1765-57 who had settled elsewhere (previously) ... "
Let us demonstrate with at least a few names: for example, the families of Joseph Dugas, … another Joseph Dugas, … Alexis Douaron, Joseph-Francois Roy, Charles Trahan and others ...
In the personal notes of Father Goulet, former curé of Saint Gervais, now retired, he has said, however, that, "April 10, 1759, before the notary Saillant, François Turcot and Catherine Douaron, his wife, sell (their) land to John Dangeuger dit Le Chasseur, residing at the Moulin of Saint-Michel (Bellechasse)."
Our Francois is to be classified among those pioneers who left this place prematurely to move elsewhere. But where? ... Who can say? ...To Saint Ours of Richelieu? ... Perhaps because of his daughter, Marie-Josephte marriaged May 24, 1773 to Alexis Benoit, as mentioned above, among these notes and in the genealogical fragments that penalty and misery, he was able to recover from this. But everything remains up in the air. To you, therefore, current Turreau-Turcot Quebec!
Le grand arrangement des Acadiens au Québec
: notes de petite-histoire, généalogies : France, Acadie,
Québec de 1625 à 1925
by: Adrien Bergeron S.S.S.
Volume 8, pages 186-190
Library and Archives Canada
Genealogy Ref. - CS88 A33 B47 1981 - 2e ex.