Edward(Ted) Desaulniers, the 14th & final child of Eugene Alphonse Desaulniers and Laura Agnes Hogan Desaulniers reports on his genealogical roots as recorded by his brother Lionel & Gerald Desaulniers circ 2000:
Charles Lesieur, within two years of his arrival in new France in 1668, became a notary for the Jesuits taking care of their land transactions and acted as their fiscal procurer. At twenty six, circa 1672, he was given the seigneurial title of "Sieur de La Pierre by the Jesuits who had large seigneurial holdings in new France. Very shortly afterwards in the same year, he married Francoise Lafond, daughter of Pierre Lafond and Marie Boucher.
Marie Boucher was the sister of Pierre Boucher, governor of Trois-Rivieres and Sieur de Grandbois. Pierre owned the land which was later around 1704 to be the town of Yamachiche and surrounding areas.
From genealogist F.L. Desaulniers, it appears that Charles Desaulniers is the first settler in Yamachiche at a first clearing of land in the Grande Riviere area. Business interests of Charles Lesieur expanded to Batiscan area. The records suggest that he lived in Batiscan sometime after 1686 and prior to his death circa 1697. This conclusion was reasonably made by Lionel & Gerard Desaulniers since records showed that his second son Jean-Baptiste was baptized in 1697 St. Genevieve de Batiscan. As was the custom in those times, many sons of large families changed their surnames. The following are the sons of Charles Lesieur who changed their names (dit means “said to be”)
Julien ( dit Duchaine )- married Simone Blanchet on Jan 10, 1701 Jean-Baptiste ( dit Desaulniers )- married Elizabeth Rivard on Jul 30, 1707 Joseph (dit Coulomb )-married Catherine Adouin (date unknown): the daughter of an illinois indian chieftan ( will be significant in many deaths in circa 1756). Antoine (dit Lapierre )-married Anne Angelique Rivard on April 16,1719. When Francois-Severe Desaulniers published "Les Vieilles Familles d'Yamachiche" in 1898, it was thought that the Desaulniers name evolved as follows: that Jean-Baptiste Lived along the "Petite Riviere” on whose banks the willow or alder bushes ( in French named “Des aulnies”) grew in great profusion. Sometime after Jean- Baptiste became a seigneury in 1702 through a land grant from his uncle, the governor of Trois-Riviere, Francoise-Severe Desaulniers suggested in 1898 that Jean-Baptiste was referred to as Jean-Baptiste Lesieur- Des aulnies (dit Desaulniers) and this later evolved to Jean –Baptiste Desaulniers. This term “des aulnies” to Desaulniers is not explained other than it was the custom of males changing their family names in the seigneurial system to facilitated identification especially where many members of the same family surname lived in close proximity. In 1702, Jean-Baptiste Lesieur (dit Desaulniers) and his older brother, Julien, acquired the “seigneurie of grosbois est” from their uncle, Pierre Boucher. Charles Lesieur, the father of Julien and Jean Baptiste, had died six years earlier. Pierre Boucher, the governor of Trois Riviere, decided to grant this seigneurie of grosbois est to the two eldest sons of his sister, Marie Boucher-Lesieur, for having taken such good care of their mother. The governor felt that his sister had struggled very hard to bring up her children properly while simultaneously taking care of the land seigneurial holding of her deceased husband, Charles (deceased circa 1697). This land grant by the governor to Julien and Jean-Baptiste abutted the original land held by Charles Lesieur, circa 1672, as Sieur de Pierre, and was geographically situated on the St. Lawrence river north shore at Yamachiche . Thus, Julien and Jean-Baptiste became seigneurs with the absolute rights to cede land to tenants and to assure that the land area under their possession was developed and populated. The implication of all of this in regard to the Desaulniers family name is that since Charles Lesieur had his seigneurial land on the north shores of the St. Lawrence river about 10 miles east of the city of Trois-Riviere in a town today called Yamachiche where “des aulnies’ flourished (willow or alder brushes), and the genealogical name of Desaulniers evolved romantically therefrom. According to this folklore, maybe Charles Lesieur never changed his name to Lesieur-Desaulniers but Jean–Baptiste did!
However, in 1902, R. Bellemare reported that he found evidence in the writings of " La Seigneurie de Lauzon" which was later authenticated by Francois-Severe Desaulniers that when Jean-Baptiste was baptized in St. Genevieve de Batiscan on July 27, 1686, his godfather, Antoine Trottier- Desaulniers gave his family name, Desaulniers, to Jean Baptiste. By piecing together assorted date gathered by Lionel & Gerald Desaulniers , it appears that Antoine Trottier-Desaulniers was a brother in law of Charles Lesieur, Jean-Bapiste Lesieur Desaulniers’ father. Both Francois-Severe Desaulniers and R. Bellemare accepted this genealogical version in keeping with the then existing custom for a god father to give his family name to his godson. As our illustrious and learned cousin, Francois-Severe Desaulniers accepted this last explanation of the evolution of the Desaulniers family name, Lionel and Gerald Desaulniers accepted this version without hesitation. Despite the lack of historical clarity about the name Desaulniers, it is an irrevocably fact that this name is founded on the aulnie trees which abounded on the land that bordered the northshore of the mighty St. Lawrence some 10 miles west of town of Trois- Riviere and the inland town of Yamachiche.
It is reported that the Trottier and Desaulniers families had longstanding ties probably stemming from the above described marriage of the sister of Charles Lesieur to Antoine Trottier. In 1697, a few months before his death, Charles Lesieur formed a transport company with two others, one being Jean Trottier, his brother-in-law. Lionel and Gerald Desaulniers report that the Lesieur and Trottier families were prominent ones in the St. Genevieve de Batiscan diocese. Given Jean- Baptiste’s birth in this geographic area in 1686, the Lesieur family presence there had to be over a decade or more in duration prior to the death of Charles Lesieur in 1697. Whereas Yamachiche is about 10 miles east of Trois-Riviere, St, Genevieve is maybe only 5 miles west! This theory that Jean-Baptiste assumed the family name of Desaulniers at birth is supported indirectly by his contract of marriage to Elizabeth Rivard on January 7, 1707. For that reason, the following is an extract of this marriage document translated from French to English: The marriage of Jean-Baptiste Lesieur (Desaulniers said) and Elizabeth Rivard of Laglanderie. 1707 in the records of notary Trotain dated July 26, 1707, you will find this contract of marriage. We declare, Witnessed by Julian Rivard (Sieur de Laglanderie, Batiscan capita) and his wife Elizabethe Thuny, confirm and stipulate for Elizabethe Rivard lenoir, 18 years old Regarding her wedding and agree to Francoise Lafond lady, wife of Louis Fafard (Sieur de Lonval, bourgeois merchant of the city of three rivers) affirms with Jean Baptiste Lesieur (son of the deceased Charles Lesieur (Mr. Stone said Batiscan of living, royal notary, tax attorney, and the clerk said Batiscan) and by Mlle Lafond That he is 21 years old and Chartered to marriage. At the present and consents With Their witness and agree and consent to this wedding Namely to wit from the said Sieur de dieur Laglanderie, his wife and their daughter Giulia; Rivard their daughter Catherine Rivard, widow of Stone Gaillou; Rivard m. Magdalene, their children, Rivard Stone, Jean Rivard lady Guillet m. Magdalene, widow of the late Robert Rivard, Sieur de la row, Mathieu Rivard, Sieur leaf-green Joseph Francois Rivard lady Maria Magdalena of Chavigny, widow of the late Mr. Jean Lemoyne, vivanf lord St. Mary and on the groom's side lady Lafondet, the sons of Mr. Charles Lesieur, Julian Lesieur (lords of the manor of Grosbois is ) Antoine et Marie Genevieve Lesieur Lafond and Their Children (widower of the deceased Sieur Jean Trottier), Augustin Trottier, Joseph Trottier, Jacqueline Fish, Stone-Lafond this paper Being signed by Jean Baptiste Lesieur, Augustinian Trottier Guillet Madeleine, Frigon Jean Rivard , Mr. Julian Charles Rivard, Rivard Mathurin Josepha Trottier Marie, Jacqueline Stone Rivard Fish and Genevieve Lafond Trotain, royal notary.
This marital document supports the view that Charles Lesieur never changed his name to Desaulniers whereas his son, Jean-Baptiste did!
Therefore our north american genealogical blood line started with the birth of Jean-Baptiste Lesieur (dit Desaulniers) in 1686 and our European blood line ended with his father Charles Lesieur who was born in 1647 and immigrated to new France in 1668.