Olivier Tardif & Barbe Émard

2352. Olivier TARDIF (LETARDIF) was born about 1601 in Étables, St-Brieuc, Brittany, France. He was living 1621, from 1622 to 1629 in Québec. (2186) He was living between 1629 and 1632 in France. He was a procureur general de la compagnie de Beaupre au Canada from 17 Apr 1646 to May 1651. He was a juge prevot de la seigneurie de Beaupré from 1652 to 1659. He was also the commis generale (general clerk) de la Compagnie des Cent Associes, and an interpreter. He died in Jan 1665 and was buried on 28 Jan 1665 in Château-Richer, Québec. (2185)He signed a marriage contract on 16 May 1648. He was married to Barbe ÉMARD on 21 May 1648 in St-Barthélemi, La Rochelle, Aunis, France.(2187)

More information about Olivier Letardif from the book Madawaskan Heritage by Leo G. Cyr:

Olivier Letardif (1603-1665), the son of Jean letardif and Clemence Houart, was born at Estables, a seaside village on St. Brieuc Bay, in Brittany, France.  He signed his name in bold letters, with a capital "L" and a small "t".  He is said to have left Honfleur on May 24, 1618, on a ship belonging to La Compagnie des Marchands, and to have landed on June 24 on the banks of the St. Lawrence River at Tadoussac.  Be that as it may, he did attend an assembly of Quebec notables summoned by Champlain on August 18, 1621, where he supported the cause of the inhabitants against two trading companies and, along with Champlain and others, signed a petition addressed to Louis XIII.  As a young man he worked with the Jesuits among the Indians and became proficient in Montagnais, Huron, and Algonquin languages.  In 1623 he became a clerk-interpreter in the employ of the [Royal Superintendant of New France] Guillaume de Caen.

Five years later, a British force led by the Kirke brothers attacked Quebec and, lacking food and munitions, Champlain deputized Letardif to hand over the keys to Quebec's Habitation to them.  Olivier did so on July 20, 1629, and soon returned to France with Champlain.  He spent the first four months of 1630 in London trying to recoup de Caen's losses for furs seized at the capture of Quebec, and several months thereafter pursuing de Caen in Rouen to recoup his own back pay.  He then returned to his commercial work in Honfleur.

Olivier came back to Quebec in 1632 in the employ of the King's Compagnie des Cent Associés.  He served Champlain as interpreter.  In May 1637 he and Jean Nicolet, the discoverer of Lake Michigan, received jointly from Governor de Montmagny, Champlain's successor, a 160 acre (or arpent) land grant, later known as the castellany of Coulonge (Belleborne), on the outskirts of Quebec.  (In New France, an arpent was both a unit of length -- roughly 192 English feet -- and of area -- about 5/6 of an English acre.)  By 1641 Olivier had become the chief clerk of the Cents Associés.  In this capacity he was ex oficio captain of the company's ship, Notre Dame, and went almost annually to France.

When in 1645, the Communauté des Habitants was formed to take over the fur-trade monopoly of the Cents Associés, he began to devote most of his time to the Compagnie de Beaupré, which had acquired a fief and seigneurie over Beaupré (north) bank of the St. Lawrence and the Isle of Orléans.  In April 1646 he became co-seigneur by purchasing a one-eighth interest in these properties.  His holdings on the Beaupré bank had a five-arpent frontage on the St. Lawrence and ran back a depth of five miles.  He made over fifteen concessions to others, including Martin Boucher, and is considered to be the founder of Château Richer.

On one of his trips to France, Olivier married Barbe Esmard (d.1659), the widow of Gilles Michel, on May 21, 1648, at La Rochelle, his first wife having died seven years earlier.  He brought his new bride to Château Richer to live.  They had three children, having each had one in their previous marriages.

In 1653 Olivier and the heirs of Jean Nicolet conveyed Belleborne to Louis d'Ailleboust, who had served from 1648 to 1651 as the third governor of Quebec.  On April 5, 1655, Quebec's fourth governor, Jean de Lauzon, granted Olivier a 20-arpent frontage at Cape Tourmente, on the Beaupré bank, where he had already owned a house since 1648.

On January 30, 1656, Olivier's son Guillaume was born.  This was probably the last happy event of Olivier's life.  His teenaged son by his first wife died about this time.  Although Olivier was in the prime of life, his health began to fail.  He entrusted the management of his affairs to Barbe on August 17, 1656, but she died in January 1659.  Friends and relatives came to the aid of a sick and disheartened man.  François Bélanger became the conservator of his properties, and his brother-in-law, Zacharie Cloutier, Jr., became the guardian of his minor children.  Despite his illness, Olivier continued some activity.  He was able to replace M. de Lauzon as procurator of the Compagnie de Beaupré and to travel to Paris in 1661.  He became ill again, with the result that he sold his one-eighth interest in the Isle of Orléans and the Beaupré seigneurie to Charles de la Chesnaye on April 13, 1662.  Shortly thereafter it became necessary for Rouer de Villeray to replace him as provost judge for the Beaupré seigneurie.

His had been an active life as an interpreter, company official and sea captain, as a landowner and developer, and as a seigneurial judge at Beaupré.  His initiatives in placing colonists on the land gave a much needed impetus to the development of Quebec.  Olivier Letardif died at Château Richer in 1665 after a period of premature senility.  He had moments of lucidity to the very end.  He was buried January 28 under the church of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle in Château Richer. 

2353. Barbe ÉMARD died before 28 Jan 1659 in Adouart, Beaupré, Québec. (Name also spelled "Aymard".) Children were:

child i. Barbe-Delphine TARDIF was born on 28 May 1649 in Quebec-ville, Quebec. She was baptized on 7 Jun 1649 in Quebec-ville, Quebec. (2188)
child ii. Charles TARDIF was born on 4 Mar 1652 in Quebec-ville, Quebec. He was baptized on 9 Jul 1652 in Quebec-ville, Quebec.(2189)
child1152 iii. Guillaume TARDIF.


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