12 March 2005

Royer Familiy History

I recently got in touch with my father again, and promised to send him the details of the family research I had made a breakthrough on. So here is the summary of the Royer/ Rogers family line I have finally finished, representing everything I have been able to find from Florida and free internet sources. Finding any more information will require traveling, or ordering records, but my head hurts from trying to read French, so I am taking a break for awhile.

I. Jean Royer
was born about 1636 to Jean Royer and Marie Paise at St. Cosme-de-Vair, in a small province of France known as Perche. Perche was originally the Silva Pertica, a large forest on the borders of the old Celtic centres of Sees, Evreux, Le Mans, and Chartres. The Percherons were often caught up in the medieval conflicts between the French and English kings as they fought over the territories south of Normandy. Current residents still retain a Percheron identity, though the old province had been split into four separate departments during the French Revolution.

Efforts to encourage emigration from Perche to the new colony of Quebec began in 1634, when Robert Giffard began to recruit settlers from his native province. Over the next thirty years, 146 Percherons tried their luck in the New World, ultimately accounting for 5% of the total colonists, but those that stayed proved to be very prolific. At the time of Jean Royer's birth, Quebec had a population of 132, 35 of whom were from Perche. In 1662, Pierre Boucher, the son of one the earlier Percheron settlers, came to France to encourage further settlement and succeeded in bringing a large group back with him. It is not known when Jean Royer arrived, but he appears to have anticipated this group, as he was already in Quebec as early 1661. The baptism of Marie-Madeline Baugis on 27 February 1662 reveals she was the natural daughter of Jean Royer and Madeline Dubois, wife of Michel Baugis.

Jean Royer was properly married at Chateau-Richer on 22 November 1663 to Marie Targer, one of the "Daughters of King." The "Daughters of the King" were French girls of various classes who were encouraged to emigrate to New France. Louis XIV paid for their transportation and provided them with a dowry. Marie Targer was the daughter of Daniel Targer and Louise Martin, and was born in the great port city of La Rochelle on 22 February 1642. Her family appears to have been Protestants, as she was baptized at the Calviniste Temple on 2 March 1642. Daniel Targer was listed as a Marinier, but it is unclear if this means he was a local bargeman, or perhaps one the sailors who frequently fished off the coasts of Canada. In any event, Marie's sister Elisabeth had left for Canada in 1659, and Marie followed her example in 1663, provided with a dowry of 150 livres.

Jean and Marie settled on the Ilse d'Orleans, the large island in the St. Lawrence river across from Quebec, residing in the township of St. Famille. They had six children there, but only four survived, and Jean himself died sometime after the burial of his youngest daughter on 4 March 1675. Marie was remarried to Robert Tourneroche on 17 February 1676, and had six more children by him. At some point they relocated to Beaumont, where Marie died sometime after 9 March 1712, and Robert died in May 1722.

II. Jean Royer was born at St. Famille (baptized 6 November 1671), and married Catherine-Marguerite Dumont 10 October 1694 at Chateau Genaple. Catherine was the daughter of Julien Dumont dit Lafleur and Catherine Topsan. Julien Dumont was born in 1648 at Bernieres-le-Patry, Normandy, the son of Jacques Dumont and Marie Maubert. He joined the French army at an early age, and received his nickname of La Fleur during his traditional recruitment hazing and was known officially by this name during his service. He was part of the Maximy Company of the Carignan regiment, which arrived in Quebec on 12 September 1665 to counter the Iroquois threat. Julien elected to be discharged from the army in order to receive a land grant at St. Jean on the Isle d'Orleans in 1667. He married Catherine Topsan, a "Daughter of the King" at Quebec City on 2 November 1667, and they raised seven children on the Isle d'Orleans. Catherine died about December 1693, and Julien married Marie Madeline Tourneroche on 19 October 1694, the same day his daughter married Jean Royer, and they raised ten more children. They moved to La Durantaye about 1702, and Julien died there on 17 May 1715.

III. Augustin Royer was born at St. Jean on 12 July 1703. He married Angelique Pepin dit Lachance (born 1711) at St. Jean on 26 May 1732. Angelique died at St. Jean on 26 January 1790, and Augustin died there on 19 May 1790.

IV. Joseph Royer was born about 1734. He married first Genevieve Therrien at St. Jean on 20 January 1755, and second to Therese Turgeon at St. Charles de Bellechasse on 13 August 1781. He died in St. Jean on 19 August 1821.

V. Jean-Baptiste Royer was born at St. Charles on 14 October 1762. He married first Marie Lepage at St. Michel on 2 July 1786, and second to Marguerite Lacroix at St. Michel on 30 August 1802.

VI. Pierre Royer was born at St. Michel about 1795. He married first Angele Pouliot at St. Charles on 25 September 1821, and second to Marguerite Couture at St. Charles on 15 November 1825.

VII. Barthelemi Royer about 1844, possibly at St.Charles. He married first Marie Malvina Laflamme at St. Gervais on 13 September 1864, and second to Marie Gourgue at St. Germaine on 6 November 1894. According to the 1881 Census of Canada, he was a farmer at Buckland West, in Dorchester County, Quebec.

VIII. Ferdinand Royer was born about 1877. He emigrated to America about 1885 (as stated by the 1910 Census). It is unknown at this time how many of his family came with him, or if he came alone. If he came alone, it was at a very young age, and we can see above that his father remarried in Canada in 1894, when Ferdinand was about seventeen. It is most likely that Barthelemi emigrated, but returned to Canada, and Ferdinand was old enough to decide to stay in Amesbury and work in a shoe factory. He was married on 15 December 1897 in Newburyport to Eve Dionne, daughter of Eli Dionne and Celina Cauoette, who worked at a spinning mill in Amesbury. He appears to have changed his name to Rogers sometime after his marriage.

Ferdinand and Eve Rogers have not been located in the 1900 Census, but they appear in the 1910 Census for Newburyport as Frederick and Eva Rogers, leading me to assume Ferdinand Sr. also went by Fred. If this is our man, the Census taker must have misinterpreted the names. Otherwise, everything else fits. They are the only Rogers couple with a son named Fred of the right age. Fred Sr. was working out as a farm laborer, and he and Eva had 8 children, but only six lived to 1910, Beatrice, Lorranna?, Frederick Jr., Eva, Rose, and Wilfred.

The 1920 Census finds them in Haverhill, Mass., with Fred working as a coal teamster, and his brother-in-law, David Dionne, working in a shoe factory. Fred and Eva have 9 children still living at home, Fred Jr., Rose (both working in a shoe factory), Willard, Victorine?, James D., Olive, Paul A. and Edmond or Edward.

IX. Ferdinand Philip "Fred" Rogers was born 25 November 1902 at 1 Ship Street, Newburyport. He was living with his parents in Haverhill in 1920 and working in a shoe factory. The 1930 Census places him as a private at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, and he was probably a trooper in the Third Cavalry. He married Bernice Evelyn Dow about 1939 and worked a series of odd jobs, usually driving large trucks, until their divorce about 1946. After this, nothing more is known of Fred.

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