ESTIMAUVILLE, JEAN-BAPTISTE-PHILIPPE-CHARLES D’, army and militia officer, office holder, and jp; b . 21 May 1750 at Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), son of Jean-Baptiste-Philippe d’Estimauville de Beaumouchel, an officer in the colonial regular troops, and Marie-Charlotte d’Ailleboust; m. 13 May 1782 Marie-Josephte Courreaud de La Coste in Montreal, and they had a son and two daughters; d. 12 May 1823 at Quebec.
Jean-Baptiste-Philippe-Charles d’Estimauville, who belonged to the military aristocracy, was born at Louisbourg shortly after the fortress had come into French hands again. In 1761, after the conquest, the d’Estimauville family emigrated to France. Jean-Baptiste-Philippe-Charles went to the province of Quebec in July 1776. He immediately volunteered to serve under René-Amable Boucher* de Boucherville in the military operations against Brigadier-General Benedict Arnold*’s army in the vicinity of Lake Champlain. From 1778 to 1783 he was a lieutenant in the 60th Foot. While posted at Yamaska and Saint-François-du-Lac he learned the language of the Abenakis, and with their backing he obtained from Governor Lord Dorchester [Guy Carleton*] in 1787 the post of resident Indian agent at Saint-François-du-Lac. That year he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of militia for the District of Trois-Rivières. He recruited a company of about a hundred men for the Royal Canadian Volunteer Regiment in 1796 and served in this regiment until it was disbanded in 1802. From 1804 he held the office of interpreter at Quebec for the Abenakis. He also took part in the War of 1812 as lieutenant-colonel of the Quebec and Beauport battalions of militia. In 1814 he was a member of a court martial at Fort Chambly. Two years later he received the rank of colonel in the Lower Canada militia; Governor Sir John Coape Sherbrooke excused him, however, from taking command of the Beauport battalion “in consequence of his long service and the zeal he has always displayed.”
While pursuing his military career, d’Estimauville also distinguished himself by carrying out the duties of grand voyer (chief road commissioner) for the District of Quebec, an important office. He had succeeded Pierre Marcoux* on 21 Nov. 1809, having faced stiff competition from some of the Canadian seigneurial and military élite, who coveted this prestigious post with its highly attractive remuneration. D’Estimauville had charge of 58 surveyors, and 275 overseers, of highways and bridges. Their responsibility was to supervise the construction and maintenance of roads in their own sectors. The chief commissioner or his deputy had to deal with citizens’ requests and settle disputes. After the date and place of a hearing had been published, he would hear the interested parties, often visit the area in quesion, and then record his decision in a report. During d’Estimauville’s term in office 248 reports were produced. They were a family undertaking, since more than half of them were written by his brother Robert-Anne and by his son Jean-Baptiste-Philippe, both serving as deputies.
In 1794 Jean-Baptiste-Philippe-Charles d’Estimauville had obtained a commission as justice of the peace for the District of Quebec. Five years later a similar commission was accorded him for the District of Trois-Rivières. Widowed in 1821, he died at Quebec on 12 May 1823 and was buried two days later in the Cimetière des Picotés.
ANQ-M, CE1-51, 13 mai 1782. ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 14 mai 1823; CN1-178, 29 sept. 1812. PAC, MG 24, 13: 18517–24 (copies); RG 8, I (C ser.), 228: 66; 254: 382; 1220: 353; RG 68, General index, 1651–1841. L.C., House of Assembly, Journals, 1828–29. Quebec Gazette, 15 May 1823. P.-G. Roy, Inventaire des procès-verbaux des grands voyers conservés aux Archives de la province de Québec (6v., Beauceville, Qué., 1923–32). F.-X. Chouinard et al., La ville de Québec, histoire municipale (4v. , Québec, 1963–83). Paquet et Wallot, Patronage et pouvoir dans le Bas-Canada. P.-G. Roy, La famille d’Estimauville de Beaumouchel (Lévis, Qué., 1903); “Le chevalier Robert-Anne d’Estimauville de Beaumouchel,” BRH, 10 (1904): 112–16; “Les grands voyers de la Nouvelle-France et leurs successeurs,” Cahiers des Dix, 8 (1943): 181–233. “Vieilles poésies,” BRH, 11 (1905): 216.