Those of us with French Canadian heritage most likely descend from either a Filles du Roi and/or a Soldat du Carignan. Even more likely is that you will descend from more than one of them.
The Filles du Roi, or King's daughters, were women of marriageable age that were sent from France to help colonize and grow the population of New France. Almost 800 women were sent between 1663 and 1673, with their passage paid for by King Louis XIV of France. A dowry of 50 livres was given to many upon their marriage to one of the unmarried male colonists.
The Soldats du Carignan were of the Carignan-Salieres Regiment. The Regiment were the first regular troops from France, arriving in the summer of 1665. Their presence in the colony was to mainly counter the Iroquois and Mohawk. The second part of the plan was to have the soldiers and officers settle in New France. Of the around 1200 soldiers and officers that came, over 450 decided to stay and make New France their home. Many of the married Filles du Roi.
If you think you have a Filles du Roi or a Soldat du Carignan, a good place to start your research is La Societe du Filles du roi et soldats du Carignan, Inc. You can become a member of the Society, but it is not necessary to view some of their online resources. If you are not a fluent French speaker, don't worry. As you can see in the screenshot above, there is an English version and a French version of the site.
Filles du Roi (King's Daughters)
Clicking under this tab gives you a brief history of of the Filles du Roi. At the bottom are two databases.
The first is an alphabetical listing of the Filles du Roi. Beside each name is their husband(s) and marriage date. The information was obtained through Yves Landry's Les Filles du roi au xvii'eme siecle, and Rene Jette's Dictionnaires geneologiques des Familles du Quebec.
The second is an alphabetical listing of the Soldats du Carignan who married a Fille du Roi. Set up the same way as the first database, it lists the bride and marriage date. it also lists in brackets alternate spellings of the soldier's surname.
This section also has a brief history of the soldiers and officers of the Regiment. It also clarifies that this database concerns the military men who settled in the St' Lawrence region of New France. It does not include those who settled in Acadia. Among the quick links at the top of the page is a link to the database listing soldiers who married Filles du Roi.
Another quick link takes you to a page that gives information on the ships that brought the soldiers and officers. Set up in chart form, you get the following information on the ships:
- Ship's Name
- Captain's Name
- Origin Port
- Arrival date
There is another quick link that takes to a page listing soldiers who married, but did not marry one of the Filles. It is set up the same as the two above, with bride's name and marriage date.
The first database is those who are confirmed soldiers and officers of the regiment. It is set up alphabetically in chart form. The headings are:
- First name
- Dit/ De Name
- Surname variations
- What Company they belonged to
At the end of the confirmed soldiers is the list of unconfirmed soldiers. These are ones that no definitive proof has been found so far to confirm the fact they were part of the Carignan Regiment.
The chart has the same headings as for the confirmed soldiers.
The last database is an alphabetical listing of those soldiers and officers who never married. Besde each name is a description of any information found on the soldier. Here are a couple of examples:
- Flotard, unknown, dit de Lescure, lieutenant-unknown, Witnessed 7 baptisms, 3 marriages in Montreal in 1669-70, probably returned to France after August 1670
- Ménard, Gilles, soldier-Saint-Ours, listed as servant to Jesuits in 1667 and 1681 censuses, d. 2 April 1690-occupation frère donné (monk)
- Vincent, Jean, soldier-Monteil, confirmed 8 April 1670, contract of marriage on 31 Aug 1670 w/ Anne Riviere but they never married
This section is filled with links to Societies, web pages, and web sites to help you further your research. Please note though that not all the links are active. At the bottom of the page is a listing of books and book stores.
There are two types of membership in the Society. The first is a direct descendant's membership. It costs a one time fee of $20US for verification of your lineage, and then a $15US annual fee, for a total of $35US. Membership includes access to data and records, voting rights, and a certificate honoring your ancestry. You also get their biannual newsletter.
The second is an associate membership, for those who do not have an ancestor who was either a Fille or Soldat, but have an interest in them. It is also good for those who are researching, but not have yet confirmed their lineage. Cost is $15US annually. An associate membership includes the biannual newsletter and the ability to exchange information with other members.
If you would like more information on the Filles du Roi check out these sites:
You can find more information on the Soldats du Carignan-Salieres here: