Autor : Gilles Deguire

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A First Ancestor

 

François Guire

1641-1699

 

Francois Guire was the ancestor to the Deguire and many Larose, Desrosiers and Deguise as well.

 

In the spring of 1665, 1000 soldiers of the Carignan-Sallieres regiment leave the port of LaRochelle in the direction of the New World.  This regiment, under the direction of Colbert, the Louis XIV’s right hand man, has been requested by intendant Jean-Talon in New France by the fear the Iroquois would attack the colony.

 

Among this regiment are Sicaire (called Laprairie) and Francois Guire (called Larose), two brothers from the city of Thiviers in Perigord, France. Both are single and Francois is weaver. Both enrolled like many young men at this time with the idea of protecting French possessions in the New World but also with a desire for adventure.  The New France is a very far place, intriguing, full of promises but mostly so different.

 

Within the army, soldiers were trading their real name for a nickname of their choice.  Francois chose La Rose (The Rose) and Sicaire La Prairie (The Prairie). Since it was the only name used, a lot of them kept these nicknames over time which became the real family name for some of their children and grand children.

 

List of names was limited in New France, so the nicknames came sometimes from an area: durocher (the rock), duruisseau (river), dupuis (well), delariviere (river), dulac (lake), beaupre (nice field), desrosiers (rose bushes)…etc or from a profession: charron (Cartwright), Pelletier (furrier), boulanger (baker), couturier (designer), charpentier (carpenter), marin (sailor)…etc or even from a personal trait: lebrun (brown), leblond (blonde), Lenoir (black), lavertue (Vertue), lafranchise (thruth), lavigueur (sturdiness).

 

Three years later, peace is restored.  Louis XIV offer those young soldiers the possibility to stay in the New France as settlers. A piece of land is always tempting.  In 1669, more than four hundreds of them decided to establish in America on a permanent basis and cutting the umbilical cord with their mother land.

 

The regiment of Carignan’s officers had the privilege of an estate which kept their names (Saurel, Chambly, St-Ours, Legardeur…). Regular soldiers were given land within those estates.  Sicaire Guire, and Francois Guire  were among those soldiers.

 

Sicaire will choose the Lake St-Louis area.  He remained single and we will loose trace of him around 1689.  Francois, which was 24 when he arrived, choose the Montreal area in the St-Ours estate.

 

Because soldiers were all men, the intendant Jean-Talon brought several women as the « Filles du Roi » (King‘s daughters).  A lot of those women were young orphans.  Either their father have died as king’s soldier or they have been abandoned by their parents and taken care of by nuns.  Some documents would describe those women as wild, unwanted in France and of low moral. They have learned reading, writing and housework like cooking and sewing.  It was still a privilege since many young women didn’t attempt school during those years.

 

More the 800 « Filles du Roi » came to New France between 1669 and 1683.  They will be responsible for more than 50% of the  Quebec bread.  They became an asset since school was almost non existant.  They would teach their own kids to read and write.

 

Coming to New France was appealing with the king paying for the trip with the promise of starting a family. To make it even easier, each one of them came with a dot of 50 pound to allow clothing and necessary items to start a married life.

 

This is how Francois Guire and Marie-Rose Colin, a king’s daughter from the town of L’Eprine, close to Reims and about 100 miles east from Paris, got married in 1670.  She was 24.  They got married in St-Ours and started their life there, just outside of Sorel on the Richelieu river.  They had nine kids, five boys and four girls.

 

As it was custom at the time, some of their kids added nicknames (ex. Larose) to their name. This is how Luc, Jean and Jean-Baptiste copied their dad as being Deguire, called Larose. Pierre was different: Deguire called Desrosiers (Rose Bushes).

 

Overtime, some dropt the name of Deguire to only keep Larose or Desrosiers.  At the beginning of the 20th century, government didn’t allow anymore both names.  Choices were made.  This explain why some of the Larose and Desrosiers have Francois Guire as their first ancestor. 

 

For the DeGuire, overtime the capital G was dropped.  From St-Ours, descendants will go in various directions: Sorel, Yamaska, Montreal, St-Laurent, Laval, Laprairie, Richelieu… Andre Deguire, the third generation, went in direction of Illinois where he founded towns.  The name became Degear overtime.

 

Some descendants will become famous. In 1751, Joseph Deguire, called Desrosiers, son of Pierre DeGuire received a lordly estate along the St-Francois river by the intendant Bigot (3).  He became Lord Joseph Deguire,  owner of the estate St-Joseph, also known as David’ river estate.  The David river runs through this land.  Two towns from the Sorel area kept the name Deguire: St-Pie Deguire and St-David Deguire.

 

We will find the descendants of  Francois Guire all over North America.  Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are the most known one.  Also, over 300 families are from the United States, in 31 different states.  Missouri, part of the old French Louisiana is where most of the Degear are.

 

(1)    See the document « The regiment of Carignan »

(2)    See the document « Les Filles du Roi, the King`s daughters »

(3)    See the document « La Seigneurie Deguire »

 

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