VERON DE GRANDMESNIL, ÉTIENNE, militia captain and notary; b. 31 Oct. 1649 at Trois-Rivières, son of Jean Veron de Grandmesnil, who had come from Saint-Martin-des-Noyers (Saint-Martin-du-Mesnil-Oury) in Normandy, France, and of Marguerite Hayet; d. 18 May 1721 at Trois-Rivières.
Veron de Grandmesnil was only three years old when his father was killed by the Iroquois; soon afterwards his mother, who was Pierre-Esprit Radisson half-sister, married the famous Médard Chouart* Des Groseilliers. However, “as he was the cause of several quarrels and differences between his mother and his stepfather over the question of punishment, Étienne’s guardian, Étienne Seigneuret, assumed responsibility for him in return for 20 livres a year.” When he was old enough to study, the Jesuits were charged with taking him in as a boarder and teaching him “all the necessary subjects.”
In 1667 he was still at Trois-Rivières. The census of that year indicates that he was living there with his mother, his brother Guillaume, his half-brother Jean-Baptiste, and his half-sister Marie-Antoinette Chouart. Veron de Grandmesnil had an interest in the fur trade, since in 1676 Intendant Duchesneau* summoned him, with some 20 other notables of the colony, to a meeting to discuss fixing the prices of beaver furs.
In 1680 his mother shared his father’s land with him and the 1681 census mentions that he had one servant in his employ, and that he owned 7 head of cattle and 45 acres under cultivation. In 1682 he was chosen as churchwarden of the parish of Trois-Rivières, and in that capacity he was involved in the building of a new church. He was also appointed militia captain of the parish. In 1684 and 1685 he signed two contracts for the hiring out of domestic animals.
Veron de Grandmesnil obtained a commission as a notary in 1706, and he exercised this profession until 1720. The document confirming his commission has been lost, but several documents refer to him as royal notary. It is also evident that he was deputy to the king’s attorney.
On 30 May 1677, at Trois-Rivières, Veron de Grandmesnil had married Marie-Thérèse Moral, daughter of Quentin Moral de Saint-Quentin, king’s lieutenant, and of Marie Marguerie, Jacques Hertel* de La Fresnière’s widow. Of the nine children born of this marriage, one was Étienne*, who served as clerk and secretary, and for many years as procurator with power of attorney, to Lamothe Cadillac [Laumet].
AJM, Greffe d’Antoine Adhémar, 26 juillet 1709, 6 sept. 1710, 31 mai 1713; Greffe de J.-B. Pottier, 19 mai 1701. AJTR, Greffe de Séverin Ameau, 30 mai 1677, 5 juillet 1680, 13, 19 juillet, 29 oct. 1682, 3 oct. 1684, 25 janv. 1685; Greffe de J.-B. Pottier, 7 févr. 1702; Greffe d’Étienne Véron de Grandmesnil, 1705–20. Jug. et délib., I, 273; IV, 38; V, 989; VI, 121, 130, 211. Recensements du Canada, 1666 (APQ Rapport), 1681 (Sulte). “Les notaires au Canada,” 34. Vachon, “Inv. critique des notaires royaux,” RHAF, X (1956–57), 388. J.-E. Roy, Histoire du notariat, I, 193, 369. Vachon, Histoire du notariat, 37.
Revisions based on:
A folder of documents from Fort Pontchartrain (Detroit), held at the Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Québec (CN301-S286), has been mistakenly attributed to Étienne Veron de Grandmesnil, père (father) (1649–1721), rather than Étienne Veron de Grandmesnil, fils (son) (1679–1743). Suzanne Boivin Sommerville’s comparison of their distinct signatures in various acts and documents from New France allowed her to correctly link the folder of documents to the son, as well as to trace both his and his father’s movements. The sources and methodology she used for the revision of this biography are outlined in her series of articles titled “Marie Lepage and Étienne Véron Grandmesnil: rush to judgment? An example of misinterpreted evidence,” Michigan’s Habitant Heritage (Detroit), 22 (2001), nos.1–3: 25–33, 72–80, 114–22. In 2020 a revision of these articles with digital images added was posted on the website of the French-Canadian Heritage Soc. of Mich.: https://habitantheritage.org/cpage.php?pt=15 (consulted 5 Feb. 2020).
Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec (Trois-Rivières, Québec), CE401-S48, 31 oct. 1649, 30 mai 1677, 18 mai 1721.