the First Choquet
the help of one of our collaborators, Patricia Weeks, from Dana Point, California, we were able to
trace back to the person we believe is the first Choquet to emigrate to the
United States : Joseph Choquet, son of Julien Choquet and Françoise Daudelin, and grandson ofÂ Nicolas, our ancestor. From the data supplied by Pat Weeks, we were able to
write down this story.Â Keep in mind that most of the time, we had to make
presumptions based on the available facts.
Â From Varennes, Quebec to
Joseph was born in Varennes, Quebec in 1719.Â In 1747, he married Marie-Rose De Guire, in the village of Kaskaskia.Â Patricia has given us information about this
village located in Illinois
â€œAfter LaSalle, Marquet and Tonti, Father
Marest chose the Indian village of Kaskaskia in 1702 to establish his mission close to the Illinois tribe.Â Kas is on the east coast of the Mississippi
River, in Illinois about 60 miles (100 km) south of St. Louis, Missouri.Â One of the reasons for this location was the
fact that French people were already living among the Indians there.Â
Kaskaskia, also called â€œthe establishmentâ€ or â€œKas,â€ was a place where travelers
could take refuge on fur shipping trips, and on the way to Biloxi, a French post on the Gulf of Mexico.â€
Â Fort de Chartres and Ste-Genevieve Fondation
Choquet and Marie-Rose De Guire probably moved to Fort de Chartres shortly thereafter, since this is where their
first child, Marie-Josephe, was born in 1748. Pat tells us more about this
â€œRight after 1720, France became preoccupied with the risk of invasion by the
Spanish in this central sector.Â The John Law Group decided to finance more
posts to garrison soldiers for the protection of the fur trade.Â Fort de
Chartres was built about halfway between Cahokia
Â« These small communities grew
and became very profitable and important because the French who lived there,
(about 90% French Canadian, not European or Acadian),Â worked the land to
provide flour and lead for the Gulf Coast and the Mid-West regions, as well as
for the French & Indian War effort.Â On the west coast of Mississippi, the
French community founded Kas and Fort de Chartres, which is now called St.
Genevieve (in Missouri), a charming and beautiful town still attached to its
French Canadian past.â€
It is possible that Joseph and
Marie-Rose were among those who moved to St. Geneviѐve from Fort de Chartes,
because their third child, Julian, was born thereÂ in 1755.
Â« LaClede and Chouteau came
from New Orleans in 1764 (which was not established until
1721), and chose the opposite side of Cahokia
to found St-Louis, Missouri.Â France ceded these possessions to Spain.Â The â€œAmericansâ€ were moving in ever closer from the
East.Â The French population found itself saying, â€œWhy not move to the other
side of the river where we could be governed by a Catholic country?â€.Â And so
most of them moved across the river to the west coast of the Mississippi, while St. Genevieve and St. Louis began to develop rapidly.â€
is exactly what happenedÂ because Julian, (4th
generation of the Choquets in North America), and his wife, Marie-Louise Boyer, had 11 children after settling in the St.
Genevieve/St. Louis area at the end of the 1700’s and the beginning of 1800’s.
Â A long trip towards Louisianaâ€¦
this time (1755-1759), it seems that Joseph moved to Pointe Coupée in the Baton Rouge’s bishop in Louisiana.Â Following the death of Marie-Rose De Guire,
Joseph married Marie Anne Decoux on May 15, 1759.Â He died a few months later and was buried in Pointe
Coupée on December 26, 1759.
Â« Pointe Coupée is now part of
New Orleans, close to Baton Rouge.Â It’s now called New Roads. It was established in early
1720,Â mostly for its land.Â Several Acadians came to live there afterwards.Â
Most of the settlers came from France as
servants on contract with the John Law Company.Â Several beautiful plantation
homes were built in that region by those French settlers.
Since Pointe Coupée is quite far from
St. Genevieve, it would be interesting to know what motivated Joseph to undertake
such a journey.
Â Other links:
Indians of Illinois :
Genealogy, groups and books :
collaborator , Pat Weeks is editor of the South Orange County
California Genealogy Society's newsletter.
- Center for French Colonial Studies, 339
St. Mary's Rd, Ste. Genevieve, MO. 63670
- La population des forts français
d'Amérique (XVIIIe siѐcle), by Marthe Faribault-Beauregard,
Éditions Bergeron, vol. 1, 1982; vol. 2, 1984.
Return to Choquet-te history
Source : http://www.choquet-te.org/francais/joseph.html