Helene Desportes is my 7th great grandmother. She had 2 husbands, 15 children and 75 grand children.
Helene’s parents, Francoise Langlois and Pierre Desportes arrived in New France in 1619 along with Francoise’s sister Marguerite Langlois and her husband Abraham Martin from the port city of Dieppe, France. The party from Dieppe numbered only 13. Their arrival meant there were now 6 women among the 60 individuals that made up the settlement. Samuel de Champlain and his wife and her maid, were also numbered in this group as well as the Heberts.
Helene was born on July 7th, 1620 to Pierre Desportes 1594-1629 and Francoise Langlois 1599-1629. She was named after Champlain’s wife who also stood as her godmother at her baptism. At this point, 1620, the only other child in the settlement was Guillaume Hebert. The conditions were harsh to say the least and it is a miracle that the infant Helene and Guillaume survived their first winter.
Both Helene’s parents died on May 18 1629. I have not been able to find out their cause of death as yet but I find it very interesting that they died on the same day. This is one of the aspects of research that I find so fascinating. I can imagine all sorts of reasons, a fire, a disease, a skirmish etc. It makes the finding of the actual cause all the more intriguing.
Helene was 9 years old when her parents died. She was left in the care of her Aunt Marguerite Langlois and Uncle Abraham Martin. At the age of 14, she married her first husband Guillaume Hebert and had three children with him, Joseph, Francoise and Angelique. He died on September 23 1639 at the age of 35, leaving Helene a widow at the tender age of 19 with 3 small children. Her parents had already died and as she was an only child, it was vital that Helene find herself a new husband as quickly as possible as she would have had very little means to support herself and her children. On January 9 1640, 4 months after the death of her first husband, Helene married Noel Morin 1616-1680. She was 19 and he was 24. They were married for 35 years and had the remaining 12 children over a period of just 15 years. Noel Morin was a cart-wright, also known as a wainwright, a person who made carts. Helene became a very practised Sage Femme, or mid-wife.
Here is a list of Helene’s and Noel’s children:
Agnes Morin 1641
Germain Morin 1642
Louise Morin 1643
Nicolas Morin 1644 passed away at age of 23
Jean Baptiste Morin Rochebelle 1645
Marguerite Morin 1646 passed away before she was 1
Helene Morin 1647 passed away at age 13
Marie Morin 1649
Alphonse Morin Valcourt 1650
Noel Morin 1652 passed away at age 13
Charles Morin 1654 passed away at age 17
Marie Madeleine Morin 1656
Helene Desportes died on June 24, 1675 in Quebec at the age of 54 having outlived 7 of her children. Noel Morin lived another 5 years and died in 1680.