Nicolas Goupil (?-1655)

20121115034504!GlobeThe Pioneers from Mesnil-Durand, France

We have identified five persons who came from Mesnil-Durand in the 17th Century: Guillaume Hubou (about 1627), Barbe Hubou (1639), Mathieu Hubou (1641), Nicolas Goupil (1642) and Françoise Hubou (1662).

Here is the story of Nicolas Goupil.

I’ve always been convinced that Nicolas Goupil, who came to New France around 1642, was related to our Hubou family. Why?

First of all, Jean, Mathieu Hubou’s paternal grandfather, was married to a woman named Jeanne Goupil. Second, as Le Mesnil-Durand is barely a hamlet, I thought chances are that Nicolas may have been a cousin. I now have the proof of that.

Here are some facts revealed by the marriage contract of Nicolas Goupil and Marie Pelletier, passed before Notary Guillaume Audouart, on October 4, 1650. The religious marriage followed soon after, on October 17:

  • Marie’s parents are Nicolas Pelletier and Jehanne de Vosis;
  • Nicolas’ parents are Julien Goupil and Perrette Mélin;
  • Nicolas is from the parish of Le Mesnil-Durand, near Lisieux, in Normandie, in the region called Auge (Pays d’Auge, in French);
  • Guillaume Huboust, cousin, and Mathieu Huboust sieur des Lonchamps, are present;
  • Nicolas Goupil has endowed his future wife with the sum of 300 pounds to be taken on the best of his assets either in Old France or New France;
  • the parents of the bride promise to the newlyweds board and lodging for two years starting from the date of wedding as long as Nicolas Goupil supply them with flour;
  • Nicolas Pelletier promises to help Nicolas Goupil to build a 30 X 18-foot house for them on his concession;
  • the bride’s parents promise to give them one cow and two pigs as well as apparel for the bride, a mattress and two blankets.

Was Guillaume Hubou Nicolas’ first cousin? We have no idea when Nicolas was born as there is no burial act for him. As Guillaume Hubou and Mathieu are uncle and nephew, the degree of relationship between Nicolas Goupil and his cousins is different. May we suppose that Nicolas was Guillaume’s first cousin and Mathieu’s second cousin? At least we now know for sure that they were actually related.

We find in the Catholic Church records the first evidence of the presence of Nicolas in New France: he is the godfather to a Native girl from Tadoussac, baptized Anne Gertrude, on July 10, 1642, in Sillery. The mother’s girl’s name was Ouabanakikoue. Mathieu Hubou was also godfather to a Native boy upon his arrival in New France.

Then we trace Nicolas in Québec on September 28, 1648, where he acted as a witness at two weddings, namely the ones of Urbain Tessier and Marie Archambault and of Paul Chalifou and Jacquette Archambault. One year later, on the same date, Nicolas will be a witness at the wedding of his cousin, Mathieu Hubou, with Suzanne Betfer.

Besides his own marriage in Québec on October 17, 1650, and the baptisms of his two daughters, Anne and Françoise, in Sillery, on March 8, 1653, and February 13, 1655, respectively, there is no other mention of Nicolas in the church records.

We do not know Nicolas’ exact death date. However, we have an idea of the period during which he passed away as he was present at his daughter Françoise’s baptism on February 13, 1655, and, moreover, his widow married Jean Denys on August 30 of the same year.

In 1651, the Jesuits had conceded a land to Nicolas Goupil on the “great Saint Lawrence River” in the seigneury of Sillery, on Saint-Xavier Road. On this document we may read “now to Jean Denys” who is Marie Pelletier’s second husband.

Some Websites give an approximate age for Nicolas Goupil with no source mentioned. Until now, I have found no document providing any hint about his age. I will publish an update on this if necessary.


Bibliothèque et Archives nationales Québec, cote E21,S64,SS5,SSS7,D15, image 5