The Trottier family is linked several times to the Guillet family The first time occurs when Pierre Guillet's brother, Mathurin was killed by the Iroquois on August 18, 1652. Pierre sold his brother's land on the Cap in 1652 to Gilles Trottier, the first of this name to arrive in the colony. Louis, Pierre Guillet's son formed the Companie Royale in 1698?. Jean Trottier, son of Gille(?), was part of the group involved in this endeavor. Louis married Jean's daughter(or was it his sistet?), Marie-Catherine in 1684. They had 12 children.
In the history of New France there were many noteworthy Trottiers. Gille's son Antoine was an important merchant in Batiscan. His granddaughter, Marguerite was a Mother Superior in la Congregation de Notre Dame from 1722 - 1729. She was known as Sister Saint Joseph. She was an important missionary at Fort Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. She was the sister of Marie Trottier , the wife of Louis Guillet . Marie, Gille's great, granddaughter was the first Canadian born Mother Superior of the Ursulines of Trois Rivieres. Two of Antoine's sons were Seigneurs:Joseph Trottier Sieur des Ruisseaux was Seigneur of Ile Perrot(1); Michel was Seigneur of Riviere-du-loup. Pierre dit Desauliers, a great grand son was a leader of the merchants association of Quebec. Joseph Beaubien was the founder of Outremont and Jean Baptiste Beaubien is considered one of the founders of the city of Chicago.
Gilles Trottier was born around 1591 and his wife, Catherine between 1595 and 1603.They were married around 1628 since this is approximately the year their first son Gilles was born.They were from Perche. A genealogist, Archange Godbout did extensive work on tracing the steps of this couple in France. He looked at church registers in the parishes of this region of France. Gilles moved around a lot due to his work as a carpenter and cattle breeder. His daughter Sainte was born in Mamers in 1633 (she died quite young), his son Julien was born in Igé in 1636 and Gilles-Antoine in 1640. Around 1643 their 5th child, Pierre was born. In 1646, the family was living in Chemillé between Mamers and Belleme. Godbout states the following:
" It was at La Rochelle, in the study of notary Teuleron, that on 4 july 1646, the destiny of the Trotiers of America was determined. Let's summarize this document. On the morning of 4 July, two people met with Master Teuleron at his home: Pierre Legardeur, Sieur de Repentigny, in charge of finding recruits for New France and Gilles Trotier,master carpenter and cattle breeder,living in the parish of Chemilli in Perche. With no fixed domicile, Gilles Trotier, artisan and farmer, was until then, an itinerant who went where there was work at his trades. In 1633, we find him at Mamers (Sarthe); in1636 and in 1640 At Igé (Orne), and now we find him presently living in Chimilli. Clever and resourceful, although without property--it was necessary to advance him 46 livres at the time of his departure to clothe himself--Trotier was the man for whom Msgr de Repentigny was searching, on behalf of his brother-in-law, Jacques Le Neuf, Sieur de la Poterie."
Around 55 years old at the time, one wonders what Gilles Trottier's motivative was to move his family to New France. It was probably to assure his sons a better more stationary life. His contract to work for Jacque Le Neuf on his seigneury of Portneuf near Quebec for seven years is one of the longest such contracts known in New France. Godbout also mentions that Gille's wife, Catherine was pregnant "porte un enfant sous le tablier". Three ships left together for North America on July 18, 1646; Le Cardinal,le Notre Dame and le Navire Neuf de la Poterie. The journey took two months. If they were aboard the Cardinal, the ship commanded by Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny, it sailed into Quebec harbor on September 23rd. Jean-Baptiste (father of Marie-Catherine,wife of Louis Guillet dit St Mars) born at sea, was baptized here on September 26,1646.
Gilles Trottier worked the farm at Portneuf only for a short while if at all! Iroquois attacks drove the seigneur and everyone else away from the area. Around 1648 all the buildings on these lands was reduced to ashes. In 1648, Gilles was called upon to vote for mayor of Trois Rivieres. He and his family, in consequence, probably arrived here the year before. On June 7 1650, he obtained a land concession in Trois Rivieres, neighboring that of Giuillaume Pepin. On November 24, 1652, Gilles Trottier obtained from Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse and Nicholas Rivard de la Vigne, the land of Mathurin Guillet on Cap de la Madeleine. Mathurin had been killed by the Iroquois on August 18,1652.
Trottier's stay on the Cap would be brief. He died on May 10 1655. The registry of Trois Rivieres states in Latin:
Anno Domini 1655,sepultus est in coemeterio hujus ecclesiae Julius trottier, annorum 64 in Communione santae matris ecclesiae, 10 Maii" From his stated age, Gille was born around 1590. his wife Catherine was buried not long after on January 28, 1656.
Gilles Trottier and his wife Catherine Loyseau did not live in New France ten years but they left through their 4 boys many descendants.
(1) Joseph Trottier married Francoise Cullerier on February 18 1700 in Montreal. He inherited the seigneury of Ile Perrot in the following manner. Francois Marie Perrot was the first seigneur, then his son Pierre then Pierre Francois Perrot who married Marie Anne Trottier of Batiscan on January 16, 1729. When Pierre Francois died he willed his seigneury to the Trottier family, Joseph Trottier sieur des Ruisseaux.
Sources: Gilles Trottier- Chaptrer 21 in Our French Canadian Ancestors (English version of series "Nos Ancetres").
"Les Trottiers" from magazine series "Nos Racines".
"Histoire de l'ile Perrot de 1662 a nos Jours" by V. Carriere 1949.