HODIESNE, GERVAIS, Brother Hospitaller of the Cross and of St Joseph, tonsured cleric, royal notary; b. 1692 in France, son of Julien Hodiesne and Renée Hubert; d. 27 May 1764 in Montreal.
We know virtually nothing about Gervais Hodiesne’s life before 2 April 1721, when his presence at the Hôpital Général of Montreal is recorded. He probably came to Canada after the recruiting trip made to France in 1719 by the founder of the Hôpital Général, François Charon* de La Barre. Hodiesne took his vows in the presence of the superior, Louis Turc de Castelveyre, on 2 Oct. 1722. Subsequently he held in succession the offices of bursar and procurator of the community, but it is difficult to determine exactly when. He was bursar in 1728 and 1729, and shortly afterwards procurator. As procurator he made a trip to France at the end of 1733. The minister, Maurepas, had approved Hodiesne’s voyage to the mother country in order to associate the hospitallers of Montreal with one of the French teaching communities. On 23 March 1734 Hodiesne obtained free passage on the Rubis for his return to New France.
His trip seems to have had happy results, since in 1737 Brothers Denis and Pacifique, of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, arrived in the colony. But they came too late; in 1735 the hospitallers had had a disastrous year [see Jean Jeantot], and in the same year Gervais Hodiesne had left the Hôpital Général of Montreal for the seminary of Quebec. On 15 Sept. 1735 he received the tonsure, and on 12 October Bishop Dosquet* made him a land grant in the seigneuries of Bourgchemin or Saint-Herman, to be taken up “at his choice or option and at the moment he will consider proper.” During his years at the seminary, Hodiesne seems to have held the office of secretary to the bishop.
In July 1739 Gervais Hodiesne left the seminary and settled in the seigneury of Chambly. On 12 December he obtained a commission to practise as a royal notary in that seigneury. At Chambly sometime between 25 and 29 November, he had married Marguerite Lareau, the widow of Charles Campagna. Four children were to be born of this marriage. Some years later, on 18 July 1747, Hodiesne obtained from Intendant François Bigot* a second commission as royal notary to practise in the entire government of Montreal except the town and suburb of Ville-Marie. He could not practise in the town of Montreal until 26 May 1752, when he received a new commission. From 1750 to 1759 he acted occasionally as assessor.
The capitulation of Montreal brought little change to Gervais Hodiesne’s life, since on 1 Oct. 1760 Governor Thomas Gage* confirmed him as notary for the town and government of Montreal. Hodiesne practised for four more years and died in Montreal on 27 May 1764.
AN, Col., B, 58, f.398; 60/1, f.174v; 63, f.491. PAC Report, 1918, 23. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Inventaire des documents concernant les frères Charon,” APQ Rapport, 1923–24, 181, 184, 186, 195, 201; “Les tribunaux et les officiers de justice de Montréal sous le régime français,” BRH, XXXVII (1931), 303. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, IV, 115; Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, III, 88; Inv. ord. int., II, 284; III, 95–96, 171. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Vachon, “Inv. critique des notaires royaux,” RHAF, XI (1957–58), 101. L’Hôpital Général de Montréal, I, 65. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Hospitalier, ecclésiastique, notaire et père de famille,” BRH, XLII (1936), 304–9; “Le mariage du notaire Hodiesne,” BRH, XLII (1936), 599.