Choquet dit Champagne,
There were two CHOQUET who came to La Nouvelle-France, but there is only one Ancestor to all of the CHOQUET-CHOQUETTE Families.
Antoine CHOQUET, son of Antoine and Claude CAILLET, of St-Eustache, City and Archdiocese of Paris, married Anne TROTTAIN on January 29th, 1691 in Batiscan. They had three children, Joseph-Etienne, Marie and Antoine, but both sons died in infancy, and therefore the line stopped there. [S5]
As to the only CHOQUET-CHOQUETTE Ancestor, his name was NICOLAS. He was the son of Nicolas CHOQUET and Claudine GREUET (see notes about he GREUET name in french). He was baptised on February 14th, 1644 [S10] in St-Firmin-de-la-Porte, in Amiens, Picardie, France. This town is now part of the Somme Department. The Amiens Departmental Archives revealed that Nicolas had four brothers, Jean, Firmin, Jacques and George, and one sister, Elisabeth. Unfortunately, the Marriage Record of his parents, Nicolas and Claudine GREUET, remains undiscoverable (it is believed that the documents were lost in a fire), but we have new developments regarding this.
The Amiens departmental Archives revealed that Nicolas had four brothers, Jean, Firmin, Jacques and George, and a sister, Elisabeth. Unfortunately, to this day, the Marriage Record of his parents, Nicolas and Claudine GREUET, remains undiscoverable. It seems our ancestor's grand-parents would be Nicolas CHOQUET and Jeanne CHASTEL, and that they married in Amiens, France around 1614. We are still trying to verify that information which appears in the International Genealogical Index of the LDS Church.
Nicolas’ arrival in Nouvelle-France
Nicolas Choquet came to Canada as a soldier of the famous French Regiment de Carignan. "In 1665, the regiment was sent to New France to fight the Iroquois who were harassing the French settlers"1. Nicolas arrived in Quebec City on August 18, 1665, aboard the ship « L’Aigle d’or, as a member of the “compagnie Saliere.” He underwent his confirmation in Quebec a few days later, On August 24.
The origin of the “dit Champagne” add on is not clear. The biographical dictionary of Quebec ancestors (Dictionnaire biographique des ancêtres québécois) (1608-1700)2 by Michel Langlois states : “We identify the name “Champagne” to that of a man by the same name in the Regiment. Our own personal research, taken from the work of Gaston Choquette, tend to show that the nickname of CHAMPAGNE comes from the traditional induction into the regiment.
According to lists on Fort Chambly, Nicolas spent some time in that establishment; it is now a national historical site.
His wedding to Anne Julien and his settling in Varennes
Nicolas was married in Notre-Dame-de-Montreal Church, on November 12th 1668 [S10], to Anne JULIEN, daughter of Pierre Julien and Marie de Pien, from Saint-Germain-L'Auxerrois in Paris, France. She was a Fille du Roy. Their marriage certificate is still housed in the Notre-Dame Church vault. A first child, Julien, was born in Quebec City on September 14, 1669.
After peace time returned in the country, Nicolas and his captain (our historical matches indicate this would be Michel-Sidrac du Gué) were given the choice to either return to France with his Regiment or stay here. Those who chose to stay were given land near that of their leader.
Sidrac Du Gue obtained a land grant on Ile Sainte-Therese, where Nicolas established himself as a farmer. The Island of Sainte-Therese is situated in the middle of the St-Lawrence River, about 10 miles downstream from Montreal, directly across from Varennes.
A number of notarized transactions indicate that between 1672 and 1687, our ancestor spent his time between L’Ile Ste-Therese and “a seven acre piece of land at Cap-de-la-Trinite (in Varennes) which included a bakery, as principal residence. In 1701, he settled on a 160 acre piece of land in Ste-Marguerite Seigniory, between the ones from Cap-de-la-Trinite et Vercheres.” 3
A Large Family
Nicolas and Anne had ten children, all born on the Island with the exception of Julien, born in Quebec (* indicates this person died at an early age):
Nicolas lived until the age of 78 (his burial record says 74). He died in Varennes, on February 25th, 1722 [S10] and was buried the same day in the Cemetery of Ste-Anne-de-Varennes Parish. It is to be noted that on the Burial Record, he is simply identified as "bonhomme Choquet".
Nicola's descendants were established first in Varennes, near Montreal, and then, eventually, populated the areas of Vercheres, Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu, Beloeil, Saint-Mathias, Richelieu, the Iberville region, Laprairie, etc., and for 300 years now, are to be found everywhere, in the United States, in New England as well as in the West, and in many regions of Canada.
The first settlers wrote their name CHOQUET but , after a while, it was written CHOQUETTE or CHOQUET, much like the names Paquet-Paquette, etc. (See spelling variations)
In the Village of Varennes, a monument was erected honoring the pioneer NICOLAS CHOQUET during the festivities marking the 300th anniversary of his arrival in the area and in the region. This monument can be seen by all who pass by the corner of Nicolas Choquet Street and René-Gaultier Boulevard.
On the 24th of August 1664, Nicolas Chouquet, 20 years of age, was confirmed in Notre-Dame de Quebec. It is possible that this is a distortion of Choquet, since this corresponds to the age that Nicolas I would have had at that time. However, further research is needed since it is generally recognized that Nicolas arrived in Quebec a year later, in 1665. (Source: P.R.D.H., Vol. 6, p. 269)
Nicolas lived in the parish of Ste-Anne de Varennes. He was 38 years old, and was listed as habitant or farmer. His wife Anne Jullien was 30 years old. They had 4 children:
Many understandably wish to know where the “Choquet” patronym came from. The answers are as varied as there are historians! Here is one of the many versions (excerpt from Gaston Choquette’s work, 1900-1977): From Choques, commune of the Pas de Calais, arrondissement de Bethune, Choquet is a tin cup. In English, Coket means a vase used to measure and the latin coketa gives a similar meaning. Moisy, to the word choquet says "Petit vase en terre cuite servant a boire" a small vase of baked earth or terra-cotta used for drinking. Choquet and choque (a larger vase or tankard) owe their origin to the Norman habit while at a gathering, of never emptying their glass without clinking them against one another, in other words, without clinking or chinking.
Origines des familles
by N.E. Dionne, at the Montreal Municipal Library).
Another definition, sent by Bernard Chqouet, from Leers, France (border with Belgium) : “Vikings, after paying taxes, hit (word used in French is “choquet”, meaning in this circumstance “hit”) their cups together as a sign of payment.”
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