On Saturday, April 26, the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society will present a discussion by society president Rev. Robert A. Parent on the “filles du roi,” or “daughters of the king,” the 770 or so single women and girls who, from 1663 to 1673, underwent the long and perilous ocean crossing from France to Quebec to become wives and mothers in the New World.
The presentation will take place at 11 a.m., after a general business meeting at 10:00, in the Androscoggin Community Room at Auburn Public Library. Both the meeting and presentation are free and open to the public.
Since its founding as a French colony in 1608, Québec’s population had been overwhelmingly male. This became a problem when French authorities wanted the colony to grow. While sporadic efforts were made to encourage women to emigrate, it was not until the advent of Louis XIV, when the king began to subsidize the passage of young women and girls to the colony, that they began to do so in significant numbers.
To a great degree, the families these women helped to establish played a crucial role in populating and securing the future of New France. Today, nearly everyone of French-Canadian descent has at least one, if not several, of these women as an ancestor.
Born in Lewiston and currently residing in Auburn, Fr. Parent has been doing genealogical research since he was a young boy. Besides being president of the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society, he is a member and genealogist of the Association des familles Parent d’Amérique and a member of the Société de généalogie de Québec.
The Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society is located on the second floor at 217 Turner Street in Auburn. For more information, call 786-3327.