DAVID, JACQUES, merchant, court clerk, and royal notary; b. c. 1684 at Notre-Dame-de-la-Platée, in the diocese of Castres (province of Languedoc); son of Paul David and Marie Montet; buried 17 Oct. 1726 at Montreal.
The truth of the matter is that we know very little about Jacques David. The earliest evidence of his presence in Canada is his marriage contract, which was received 12 Sept. 1715 by Florent de La Cetière. Five days later, at Quebec, he married Marie-Louise Normandin, who was about 19. She was the daughter of the inn-keeper, Laurent Normandin, dit Le Sauvage, and a niece of the notary, Daniel Normandin. At the time of the Quebec census in 1716 the couple was living on Rue Sous-le-Fort, probably with Marie-Louise’s parents. David declared himself to be a merchant and gave his age as 28, his wife’s as 20.
We know nothing of the circumstances in which David moved to Montreal, where the first of his five children was baptized 9 Oct. 1717. In the summer of 1718 he was acting court clerk there. But on 20 September he took over the Montreal registry on a three-year lease, effective from the following 1 January. On 10 March 1719 Intendant Bégon* ratified the agreement that had been reached between the Sulpician seminary, who owned the registry, and Jacques David; it authorized David to practise as court clerk – which he had already started doing. Two months later, on 8 May, Bégon appointed David royal notary. This was to be expected: the offices of court clerk and notary often went together in New France. At his death David left a minute-book that was quite extensive, considering the fact that he had practised for only seven years, while continuing till the end to have charge of the Montreal registry.
Nothing is known of David’s private life except that he lived in a house on the Place d’Armes that he had rented on 4 Oct. 1720 for 240 livres a year, paying 60 livres in cash.
AJM, Greffe de Jacques David, 1719–1726; 4 oct. 1720. AJQ, Greffe de Florent de La Cetière, 12 sept. 1715. AQ, NF, Ord. des int., VI, 324v et seq., 326v et seq. Édits ord., II, 290f. Recensement de Québec, 1716 (Beaudet). P-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, I, 251, 297. Massicotte, “Les tribunaux et les officiers de justice,” BRH, XXXVII (1931), 190f., 305. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, III, 255.