Perche, region of emigration
to Quebec in the 17th century
Perche, region of emigration to Quebec in the 17th century

On the road to the French ancestors of Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He is the third son of French Canadian parents, Joseph Alcide Léon Kirouack (also known as Leo-Alcide Keroack) and Gabrielle-Ange Levesque. There is some confusion surrounding his name, partly because of variations on the spelling of Kerouac, and because of Kerouac's own statement of his name as Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac.

His reason for that statement seems to be linked to an old family legend that the Kerouacs had descended from Baron François Louis Alexandre Lebris de Kerouac. Kerouac's baptism certificate lists his name simply as Jean Louis Kirouac, and this is the most common spelling of the name in Quebec. Research has shown that Kerouac's roots were indeed in Brittany (France), and he was descended from a middle-class merchant colonist, Urbain-François Le Bihan, Sieur de Kervoac, whose sons married French Canadians.

Urbain-François Le Bihan de Kervoach, the unique ancestor of the Kirouacs in New France

The paternal ancestor of Jack Kerouac is Urbain-François Le Bihan de Kervoach, son of a royal notary, born in Huelgoat in Brittany (France). Unique ancestor of the Kirouac in New France, he identified himself and signed Maurice-Louis-Alexandre Le Bris de Kervoach, at his marriage to Louise Bernier, October 22, 1732, in Cap-Saint-Ignace, Quebec. According to the association of Kirouac family, it was the discovery in Quebec of archival documents signed by these two names that resolved the enigma. DNew genealogical research has allowed Patricia Dagier to explain the reasons for the change of patronymic of the ancestor of Jack Kerouac and to put an end to the confusion that surrounded this question. They also explained the fact that Jack Kerouac, born and baptized "Jean-Louis Kirouac", had himself opted for a change of name by declaring to be called "Le Bris de Kerouac". This information, hitherto ignored by most of his biographers, sheds new light on the writer and part of his work and forms the framework of the biography Jack Kerouac, Breton d'Amerique, by Patricia Dagier and Herve Quemener (Le telegramme, March 2009).
Family tree of Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac talks about his French-Canadian parents and his childhood

  • Interview of Jack Kerouac by Fernand Seguin on Radio-Canada "Le Sel de la semaine"
    March 7, 1967

Jack Kerouac, a cousin of Celine Dion, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton, Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall... has discovered that Jack Kerouac has many family ties with other celebrities in music (Celine Dion, Madonna, Justin Bieber), politics (Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau), the film industry (Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie) and royalty (Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall)! a decouvert pas moins de:
 • 434 family links with Celine Dion
 • 421 family links with Justin Bieber
 • 332 family links with Fabienne Thibeault
 • 309 family links with Jean Paul Lemieux
 • 276 family links with Marc Ouellet
 • 265 family links with Madonna
 • 238 family links with André Gagnon
 • 213 family links with Xavier Dolan
 • 212 family links with Isabelle Boulay
 • 184 family links with Diane Tell
 • 180 family links with Jim Carrey
 • 159 family links with Diane Dufresne
 • 155 family links with Angelina Jolie
 • 71 family links with Ryan Gosling
 • 68 family links with Lynda Lemay
 • 58 family links with Alanis Morissette
 • 56 family links with Justin Trudeau
 • 30 family links with Hillary Clinton
 • 6 family links with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

All those celebrities have in common French-Canadian pioneers, and in particular Percheron pioneers.

For instance, the Percheron pioneer Zacharie Cloutier, an ancestor of most of the celebrities mentioned before, who was born in Mortagne-au-Perche.

As strange as it may seem, there is nothing exceptional about those family ties. As the Percheron pioneers were among the very first French settlers to arrive in what was then known as New France, most of North Americans with French-Canadian ancestry have Percheron blood and are more or less related.

Jack Kerouac
Ancestry of Jack Kerouac

French-Canadian ancestry of Jack Kerouac has explored the French-Canadian ancestry of Jack Kerouac. See details here.

Jack Kerouac's matrilineal ancestry

Matrilineal ancestry

Matrilineal ancestry

Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship through the female line. A matriline is a line of descent from a female ancestor to a descendant (of either sex) in which the individuals in all intervening generations are mothers – in other words, a "mother line". It is also sometimes known as the enatic, uterine or umbilical line. This matrilineal descent pattern is in contrast to the more common pattern of patrilineal descent from which a family name is usually derived. Such a mother line is the most certain line in a family tree; indeed, if a man has to recognize a child as his own at birth, it is more difficult for a woman to hide her pregnancy, although there are existing exceptions.

The examination of Jack Kerouac's matrilineal ancestry leads us directly in Perche towards the pioneer Mathurine Robin, born in Mortagne-au-Perche at the end of the XVIth century, wife of Jean Guyon, the direct paternal ancestor of Celine Dion!

ROBIN Mathurine Marie (~ end XVI Mortagne-au-Perche - 1662 Beauport)
GUYON Jean (1592 Tourouvre - 1663 Beauport)
GUYON Barbe Marie (1617 Mortagne-au-Perche - 1700 Saint-Pierre-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans)
PARADIS Pierre (1604 Mortagne-au-Perche - 1675 Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans)
PARADIS Marie (~1639 Mortagne-au-Perche - 1708 Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans)
BAUCHER Guillaume Morency (1630-1687)
ASSELIN Pierre (~1658-1694)
ASSELIN Marie Louise (1690-)
RIOUX Nicolas (~1680-1756)
RIOUX Catherine (1713-)
LEPAGE Paul (1709-)
LEPAGE Veronique Marie (1740-)
BONENFANT Jean Baptiste Louis (1746-)
BONENFANT Isabelle (1771-1840)
GAGNON Isodore (1762-)
GAGNON Elisabeth (1789-)
DUBÉ Pierre (1777-)
DUBE Marcelline (1820-1892)
HUDON Damase (1822-1901)
BEAULIEU HUDON Marie (~1854-)
JEAN François-Xavier (1850-1902)
JEAN Josephine (1875-1896)
LEVESQUE Louis (-1911)
LEVESQUE Marie Adeline Gabrielle (1895-1972)
KIROUACK Joseph Alcide Leon (1889-1946)
KIROUAC Jean Louis
dit KEROUAC Jack (1922-1969)

Jack Kerouac, du Perche aux routes des US

The Percheron ancestors of Jack Kerouac

Even if his direct ancestor Urbain-François Le Bihan de Kervoach is from Brittany, Jack Kerouac has several ancestors whose the origin is Perche. All immigrated in the 17th century.

Emigrants Year of baptism Place of baptism (or birth) Year of migration Year of death Place of death
Aloignon Pierre Denis1621*Moussonvilliers16471690Notre-Dame-de-Quebec
Belanger François 1612*France16341687*Quebec
Boucher Gaspard 1599*Mortagne-au-Perche1634*Canada
Boucher Jean Galeran 1633Saint-Langis-les-Mortagne16341714Riviere-Ouelle
Boucher Marie Marguerite 1631Mortagne-au-Perche1635*1666<>1669Quebec
Boucher Marin 1587*Mortagne-au-Perche16341671Château-Richer
Boulay Robert 1630*Perche16621707Montmagny
Cloutier Anne 1626Mortagne-au-Perche1635*1648Quebec
Cloutier Charles 1629Mortagne-au-Perche1635*1709Quebec
Cloutier Jean 1620Mortagne-au-Perche1635*1690Quebec
Cloutier Louise Marie 1632Mortagne-au-Perche1635*1709Quebec
Cloutier Zacharie 1590*Mortagne-au-Perche16341677Château-Richer
Cloutier Zacharie 1617Mortagne-au-Perche16341708Château-Richer
Cote Jean[1] end XVI - beginning XVII1635*1661Quebec
Cordeau Jean dit Deslauriers 1635*Dangeau1659*Canada
Drouin Robert 1607Le Pin-la-Garenne1634*1685Château-Richer
Dupont Xainte 1595*Mortagne-au-Perche1635*1680Château-Richer
Fortin Julien 1621Notre-Dame-de-Vair16501690*Canada
Fournier Guillaume 1620*Coulimer or Coulmer[2]1651*1699Montmagny
Gagnon Jean 1610Tourouvre1640*1670Château-Richer
Gagnon Marguerite 1598Tourouvre1643*1677Château-Richer
Gagnon Pierre 1612La Ventrouze1640*1699Château-Richer
Gagnon Robert 1628La Ventrouze1655*1703Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans
Gaulin François 1630Saint-Martin-du-Vieux-Bellême1652*1675Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans
Goulet Louise 1628La Poterie-au-Perche1669*1699L'Ange-Gardien
Grenier Françoise Perche16621709Montmagny
Guimond Louis 1ere mid XVIIChamps16471661Canada
Guyon Barbe 1617Mortagne-au-Perche1652*1700Saint-Pierre-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans
Guyon Claude 1629Mortagne-au-Perche1636*1694Quebec
Guyon Jean 1592Tourouvre16341663Beauport
Guyon Jean 1619Mortagne-au-Perche16341694Château-Richer
Guyon Marie 1624Mortagne-au-Perche1636*1696Cap-Saint-Ignace
Langlois Noel 1606Saint-Leonard-des-Parcs1634*1684Beauport
Lemaire Nicole 1595Mamers1635*Trois-Rivieres
Lereau Simon 1624Ige1655*1670*Quebec
Letartre Rene 1626Charencey1669*1699L'Ange-Gardien
Mabille Michelle 1592Tourouvre16411665Quebec
Maheu Pierre, sieur des Hazards 1630Mortagne-au-Perche16511717Beauport
Mallet Perrine 1604*Courgeon ou Courgeoût16341687Château-Richer
Paradis Marie 1639*Mortagne-au-Perche1652*1708Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans
Paradis Pierre 1604Mortagne-au-Perche1652*1675Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans
Pelletier Guillaume dit Globoteur fin XVIeBresolettes16411657Beauport
Pelletier Jean 1627Tourouvre16411698La Pocatiere
Robin Mathurine fin XVIeMortagne-au-Perche1636*1662Beauport
Rocheron Gervais 1634Saint-Cosme-de-Vair1657*1705Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans
Rocheron Marie 1639Saint-Cosme-de-Vair1657*1687Sainte-Famille-de-l'Ile-d'Orleans
Roger Renee La Ventrouze1640*Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre
Roussin Françoise 1631Tourouvre16511691Quebec
Roussin Jean 1597Tourouvre16501682L'Ange-Gardien
Tavernier Eloi[3]end XVI / beginning XVIIPerche1643*
Tavernier Marie dite Soeur Sainte-Monique 1631Randonnai1643*1700Quebec

 [*]  Estimated year
 [1]  The place of origin is not known. To some, Jean Cote was originated from Mortagne-au-Perche but there is no documented evidence.
 [2]  Guillaume Fournier may be originated from Coulimer or Coulmer, both villages located in Orne (France). Coulimer is part of Perche but not Coulmer. The surmane Fournier is still used in Coulimer today but not in Coulmer.
 [3]  There is no documented evidence that Eloi Tavernier moved to Canada. According to Mrs. Montagne, he attended the wedding of his daughter Marguerite on May 1, 1644 in Quebec, but according to PRDH, he is not mentioned in the marriage record.
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