« If the contribution of Perche to the settlement of Canada -- approximately 5% of the French emigrants -- can appear modest, it should be stressed
that the Percheron emigration, the oldest one, is characterized by a remarkable prolificity… », wrote Francoise Montagne.
The movement, launched in 1634 thanks to the capacity of conviction of Robert Giffard, represents a certain originality in the French emigration to New-France. It should not be due to misery, but rather to the spirit of adventure. In about forty years, 194 adults who had various jobs, often related to construction (mason, carpenter, brick-maker, etc), undertook the great voyage. Some returned to live and work in their native country but the great majority, despite the Iroquois threat, chose to settle on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River in order to clear and thrive the new territories. Their descendants are estimated today at 1.500.000 people in Canada and much more if we include the United States.
Samuel de Champlain founds Quebec City.
The apothecary Hebert and his family settle in Quebec City.
1621 ou 1622
Robert Giffard, an apothecary in Tourouvre, native of Autheuil, perhaps a friend and classmate of Hebert, leaves for Canada and settles around Quebec.
First Jesuit missionaries arrive in Canada.
Robert Giffard returns to France, convinced that the new colonists must settle on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. The Company of the One Hundred-Associates is founded this same year. Noel Juchereau, a native of Tourouvre and a friend of Robert Giffard is one of the members of this company.
1628 - February
Robert Giffard marries Marie Renouard in Mortagne. As of spring, he goes again to New-France in order to prepare future establishments. The ship on which he boards is intercepted by pirates who are in the English's pay. Robert Giffard must return to France. In Tourouvre and Mortagne, he makes profitable this period to evoke the immense country which extends beyond the Atlantic.
Kirke brothers occupy Quebec for England.
1632 - March
France recovers Canada with the treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Robert Giffard can finally carry out his dream.
Robert Giffard, with the help of the brothers Jean and Noel Juchereau, prepares his expedition.
1634 - January
Robert Giffard gets the concession of the Seigneurie of Beauport by the Company of the One Hundred-Associates. He recruits his first colonists, receives the support of Pierre Le Bouyer de Saint-Gervais, civil general lieutenant and criminal of Perche.
1634 - March
Departure of Robert Giffard, his wife, his children and about thirty colonists for New-France. Among them Jean Guyon, master-mason, Zacharie Cloutier, master-carpenter and Robert Drouin, tile maker (native of Le Pin-la-Garenne). At the beginning of June, the ship reaches Quebec.
1635 - December
Samuel de Champlain dies in Quebec; the colony counts 132 colonists of which 35 come from Perche. In Mortagne, departure of new colonists of which Gaspard Boucher, his wife and his children. Among them Pierre, born in Mortagne in 1622, 13 years old. The first organized colonization of New-France is started. With regard to Perche, the main departures happen between 1634 and 1662. Some emigrants are mentioned at the end of the 17th century and in the 18th century.
Arrival in Quebec of Guillaume Pelletier (from Bresolettes). The population of the colony is 300.
1642 - May
Madeleine de la Peltrie (from Bivilliers) is present at the founding of Montreal.
Arrival in Quebec of 17 young people coming from Tourouvre and the surroundings.
Pierre Boucher defends Trois-Rivieres against the Iroquois. Peace between the French and the Iroquois.
Pierre Boucher returns to France and, in order to save the colony threatened by the Iroquois, requests the support of Louis XIV and Colbert. He returns to New-France bringing back many colonists.
Arrival in Quebec of the first « Filles du roi ». 770 young female emigrants were sent by King Louis XIV between 1663 and 1673, to populate his Canadian colony.
Arrival in Quebec of the regiment of Carignan-Salieres.
Pierre Boucher founds Boucherville.
1668 - April
Robert Giffard dies in Beauport. The colony has 3000 inhabitants.
Death of Pierre Boucher.
1763 - February
The Treaty of Paris brought to a close the Seven Years' War between Great Britain and France, and by which France ceded Canada to Great Britain.
As part of the Entente Cordiale celebrations, « La Capricieuse » flying the flag of France was proceeding upbound in the St. Lawrence River and generated enthusiasm with the French-Canadian descendants of the pioneers.
Publication of La France aux colonies, les Français en Amerique, Acadiens et Canadiens, written by historian Rameau de Saint-Pere (1820-1899) who brought back in France the memory of the founding pioneers of Quebec.
Honore Mercier, Prime minister of Quebec, Canadian Minister of Agriculture, visits Tourouvre. Two stained glasses commemorate this historical visit.
Canada sends a strong contingent in France to fight alongside Allied troops. In April 1917, the Battle of Vimy Ridge proved to be a great success, but it only came at a heavy cost. The some 100,000 Canadians who served there suffered more than 10,600 casualties, nearly 3,600 of which were fatal.
Inauguration of a stained glass in the memory of Pierre Boucher, in the church Notre-Dame de Mortagne, in the presence of Pierre Dupuy, Canadian Government Delegate.
Participation of Canadian troops in the Liberation of France.
H.E. Desy, Canadian Ambassador to France, and his wife Corinne Boucher from Boucherville, visit Tourouvre and opens the exhibition-fair in Mortagne.
Creation of Perche-Canada, a non-profit organization by Edouard Leboucher (1915-1985), founding president, the Reverend Canon Jean Aubry (1904-1986), general secretary and Fernand Fortin. Objective: welcoming the descendants of the Percheron settlers and a better historical and genealogical knowledge. This long-term endeavor was initiated by Ms. Françoise Montagne (1912-1993) and her husband M. Pierre Montagne (1902-1988). Since its foundation, Perche-Canada has affixed commemorative plaques to the churches where the pioneers of New France were baptized.