DEGUISE, dit Flamand (Flamant), GIRARD-GUILLAUME (known as Guillaume Flamand), mason and master builder; baptized 8 Sept. 1694 at Quebec, son of Guillaume Deguise, dit Flamand, mason, and Marie-Anne Morin; m. 7 Jan. 1717 at Lorette, near Quebec, to Marie-Anne Rouillard; buried 22 March 1752 at Quebec.
The Deguise, dit Flamand, family formed a modest but not unimportant craft dynasty in New France. The founder was Guillaume Deguise, the elder, a mason who had immigrated in the late 17th century. Because he had come from Dunkerque in French Flanders, he and his descendants were nicknamed “Flamand.” Guillaume lived in the Quebec suburb of Petite-Rivière. He fathered four sons but was unable to train them completely in his craft before he died in 1711.
In that year, Girard-Guillaume, his oldest son, was apprenticed by his widow to Jean-Baptiste Maillou, dit Desmoulins, the Quebec architect and builder. Young Guillaume was to receive four years of training as a mason and stonecutter, with food, lodging, laundry, and clothes provided by his master. Legal and administrative records show that Guillaume followed the conventional life of a masonry builder: contracting with suppliers of lime, rubble, and stonework; hiring workers; training apprentices in building chimneys, gables, walls, and houses; going to court with creditors and debtors.
In 1716 Guillaume Deguise was living with his wife-to-be on Rue Champlain in Quebec’s Lower Town. They were at Lorette in the early 1730s and back in Quebec in the 1740s when Guillaume was employed as an expert estimator for the intendant. Just before his death he worked on the counterscarp of the Saint-Louis gate. In these years Guillaume lived in the Upper Town, on Rue Saint-Louis and then on Rue Saint-Jean in a small stone house acquired in 1749. Deguise’s only other assets in 1756 amounted to some 600 livres.
Guillaume’s brother, Jacques Deguise, dit Flamand, a masonry contractor in Quebec, perpetuated the family tradition; he built houses for Nicolas Lanoullier de Boisclerc which still stand on Rue des Remparts. Guillaume’s oldest son François was a mason and two of his daughters married into a family equally renowned in this craft, that of Michel Jourdain.
ANQ, Greffe de Jacques Barbel, 28 juin 1734; Greffe de Louis Chambalon, 26 déc. 1711; Greffe de J.-É. Dubreuil, 28 déc. 1716, 3 déc. 1723, 2 avril 1724, 5 août 1725, 11 mars, 27 avril 1728; Greffe de C.-H. Du Laurent, 21 févr. 1754, 18 janv. 1755, 23 déc. 1756; Greffe de P.-A.-F. Lanoullier Des Granges, 8 sept. 1750; Greffe de J.-C. Louet, 29 juill. 1725; Greffe de J.-N. Pinguet de Vaucour, 12 janv. 1748, 19 juin 1749; NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 998, 1389, 1829, 2615, 4229. PAC, MG 8, B1, 20/2. Recensement de Québec, 1716 (Beaudet). “Recensement de Québec, 1744” (APQ Rapport). P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, V, VI; Inv. ord. int., I, II, III. Tanguay, Dictionnaire.