AUBERT DE LA CHESNAYE, LOUIS, officer in the colonial regular troops; b. 8 July 1690 in Quebec, son of Charles Aubert* de La Chesnaye and his third wife Marie-Angélique Denys de La Ronde; d. 20 Oct. 1745 at the Hôtel-Dieu in Quebec.
The career of Louis Aubert de La Chesnaye has been confused with that of his half-brother, Louis Aubert Duforillon, 12 years his senior, and with that of Ignace-François Aubert de La Chesnaye, son of another half-brother. A résumé of the three careers is necessary for clarification.
Louis Aubert Duforillon was born in La Rochelle in 1678, son of Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye and his second wife, Marie-Louise Juchereau de La Ferté. She died in March 1678 and two years later Charles Aubert married Marie-Angélique Denys de La Ronde. By 1700 he foresaw that difficulties might arise with his estates when he died because of his three marriages. A son from his first marriage was dead; to simplify his succession he gave 24,500 livres in property, merchandise, and rentes to each of the sons of his second marriage. Duforillon’s share was the seigneuries of Kamouraska and of Sainte-Marguerite near Trois-Rivières, Île au Cochon and a piece of land called “marquisat du Sablé” near Trois-Rivières, a house in Trois-Rivières, as well as 2,500 livres in merchandise.
Duforillon shortly became engaged to Barbe, daughter of Montreal’s town major Michel Leneuf* de La Vallière et de Beaubassin; his father disapproved and refused to sign their marriage contract. In November 1701 Duforillon gave all he had received from his father the previous year to his fiancée to show his sincerity, and in 1702, less than seven weeks after his father’s death, he married Barbe.
On 15 May 1703 Duforillon and the Quebec merchant Joseph Riverin formed a partnership to share profits and losses in the exploitation of trade in cod, biscuits, peas, etc., with Plaisance (Placentia, Nfld.) via the ketch Prospérité. In 1703 and 1704 Louis travelled to Plaisance on business. The partnership was dissolved in October 1704, and Louis had to return to Plaisance in 1705 and 1706 to settle outstanding debts.
It is known that in 1710 Duforillon took the letters of the governor of Acadia, Daniel d’Auger* de Subercase, to France, but his activities thereafter are sketchy. He sold several properties he had received from his father, and drew 6,000 livres as his inheritance from Paul-Augustin Juchereau* de Maur. He was in France again in 1719, for Barbe Le Neuf was notified of his death by a letter from her cousin in Paris, dated 4 May 1720. Barbe renounced her rights to her husband’s succession, and remained a widow until her death in Montreal on 14 Feb. 1733.
Documentation on the career of Louis Aubert de La Chesnaye is scant. His godparents were none other than Governor Frontenac [Buade*] and Intendant Bochart* de Champigny’s wife, Marie-Madeleine de Chaspoux. Louis Aubert entered the colonial regular troops. He was a cadet in 1705 when Claude de Ramezay*, governor of Montreal, suggested that he be considered for an ensignship.
The career of an Aubert for 1707 to 1733 is detailed in the Archives des Colonies (AN, Col., E, 116) and appears to be that of Louis Aubert de La Chesnaye. This Aubert evidently served in Acadia where he was twice wounded in the English attack on Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.) led by John March* in 1707. He sailed on the frigate Vénus under Louis Denys de La Ronde, took part in the capture of a ship, and then fought with Saint-Ovide [Monbeton] in the taking of St John’s, Newfoundland, in 1709, where he was again wounded. He travelled to Martinique and commanded a ship and 150 men in the capture of St Vincent (Lesser Antilles). He subsequently spent some time privateering against the English, and broke his leg. He later returned to Quebec where, in 1733, he was trying to establish the limits of the King’s Domain in Canada. In 1741, after the death of Richard Testu de La Richardière, port captain of Quebec, Aubert applied for the post but was passed over because of delicate health. Perhaps as compensation, the half-pay lieutenant was appointed captain of the governor’s guards, a position he still held when he died a bachelor in 1745.
The third Aubert active in this period, Ignace-François Aubert de La Chesnaye, was born in 1699, son of François Aubert* de La Chesnaye and Anne-Ursule Denys de La Ronde. In 1730 he married Marie-Anne-Josette, daughter of Alexandre-Joseph Lestringant* de Saint-Martin. Ignace-François Aubert commanded ships taking supplies from Canada to Acadia. In the 1740s he served at Cap des Rosiers near Gaspé observing the movements of English ships and reporting to Quebec. La Galissonière [Barrin] recommended him for the position of captain of the Quebec gates in 1748 and, the following year, La Jonquière [Taffanel] supported Aubert’s candidacy, noting that he was a “poor gentleman.” The position was not created until nine years later, however, when Pierre de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil stressed the importance of such a post and recommended Aubert who had served for a long time as a militia officer. On 1 Jan. 1758 Aubert was appointed captain of the Quebec gates at a salary of 800 livres. He died in Quebec in 1766.
AHDQ, Registres des sépultures, 21 oct. 1745. AJQ, Registre d’état civil, Notre-Dame de Québec, 9 juill. 1690, 8 nov. 1702. AN, Col., B, 22, ff.97v–98; 32, f.128; C11A, 20, pp.107, 109, 121; 22, pp.342–43 (PAC transcripts); E, 10, 116. ANQ, Greffe de Louis Chambalon, 18 oct. 1700, 7 nov. 1702, 16 janv. 1712, 20 juill. 1713; Greffe de Florent de La Cetière, 4 nov. 1712; Greffe de J.-C. Louet, 21 août 1720; NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 612, 831, 3556, 3565, 3566. Bonnault, “Le Canada militaire,” APQ Rapport, 1949–51, 300. P.-G. Roy, Inv. ord. int., I, 99. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. P.-G. Roy, La famille Juchereau Duchesnay (Lévis, Qué., 1903), 49; “Les capitaines de port à Québec,” BRH, XXXII (1926), 75–76.