While reading Dick's article on the subject, a few things caught my eye. First was the illustration of how the soldiers dressed. To me, they look like traditional depictions of Davy Crockett but with a French hat instead of a coon-skin cap.
|Carignan Soldier, courtesy of Dick Eastman's blog|
The other thing was the fact that there were apparently no restrictions on who could join the regiment, except for one - they had to be at least 5'3" tall. Interesting requirement.
I wanted to see if I had any ancestors among this group, so I went through my file and looked for anyone far back enough to have qualified, and I found one! Jean Bessette, born about 1642 is the most distant paternal ancestor of Eleanor Bessette (who I have written about before), and he just happens to be one of these soldiers.
According to Sandra Goodwin of the Maple Stars and Stripes podcast, when the ladies of the Filles du Roi were brought to Quebec, they lived in convents under the care of nuns. The nuns would organize socials where the local men would come and meet the ladies. The ladies would ask them about their occupations, whether they had a house built, if it was ready to live in, etc. Sometimes there would be an offer of marriage on the spot. The ladies were not under pressure to accept, and could decline if they wanted to. If they declined, they could move on to the next town and attend the social there. They could keep doing this all the way to the end of the settlement, which was Montreal at the time (which actually led the men at Montreal to complain that all the pretty girls were getting married back east). But the end result of all these socials was that most of the Filles du Roi were married very soon after arriving in Quebec.
That seems to have been the case in my lineage. Anne Seigneur, daughter of Guillaume and Madeleine Seigneur, arrived in Quebec on the ship La Nouvelle France on March 7, 1668. She was married to Jean Bessette on July 3 that same year. Just enough time for her to get situated, meet Jean, confirm that he was a suitable match, and go and get hitched.
There's a lot more written about the Filles du Roi and the Carignan soldiers than I've had time to read so far, and it sounds like a fascinating story and time. I wonder if any other of my French lines lead back to the fillies of Roy?