Zacharie Cloutier

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Zacharie Cloutier
Born c. 1590
Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Mortagne-au-Perche, France
Died September 17, 1677 (aged 85 or 86)
Château-Richer, New France
Occupation carpenter, colonist
Spouse(s) Xainte Dupont
Children Zacharie
Parent(s) Denis Cloutier and Renée Brière
Marque de Zacharie Cloutier, 1636.jpg

Zacharie Cloutier (c. 1590 – September 17, 1677) was a French carpenter who, in 1634, immigrated to New France in the first wave of the Percheron Immigration from the former province of Perche, to an area that, today, is part of Quebec, Canada. He settled in Beauport and founded one of the foremost families of Quebec.[1]

Early life[edit]

Many sources state that Zacharie Cloutier was born about 1590 in the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Mortagne-au-Perche, France.[2] Cloutier was one of several children of Denis Cloutier and his first wife Renée Brière.[3]

The notary Mathurin Roussel of Mortagne called Cloutier the "family peacemaker," describing how Cloutier helped his father and brother solve a dispute involving inheritance.[4] In the parish of his birth, Cloutier wedded Xainte (aka Sainte) Dupont, on July 18, 1616.[2][5][6] Xainte had been born around 1595 in Mortagne[2] to Paul-Michel and Perrine Dupont, and was the widow of Michel Lermusier.[7]

In 1619 Henri II de Montmorency purchased the New France colony from his brother-in-law Henry II of Bourbon. Included amongst the laborers hired to assist Samuel de Champlain in “inhabiting, clearing, cultivating and planting” New France were the names of Zacharie and his father Denis. This group was not a group of settlers, but a group of laborers, who would return to France once their work had been completed. Several years later, however, Cloutier returned to Canada to help establish a new settlement at Beauport.[4]

Life in New France[edit]

Cloutier was one of the first Frenchmen recruited by Robert Giffard de Moncel to expand the colony of New France by settling the Beauport area near Quebec City. Cloutier arrived in 1634 (at the age of about 44)[5] and either arrived with or was soon followed by his family. This was an important addition to the colony's population which numbered about 100 prior to his arrival. Cloutier worked with fellow immigrant Jean Guyon du Buisson to construct Giffard's manor house (the oldest house in Canada) and other colonial buildings.

Cloutier and Guyon resisted for several years paying the fealty and homage owed to Giffard under the Seigneurial system of New France until the Governor of New France explicitly ordered them to do so. This was one of the first disputes against transplanting Old World hierarchy to the New World that would carry through the centuries even past the time of the British conquest.[8]

In 1652 Cloutier received a grant of land from Governor Jean de Lauzon in Château-Richer, Quebec. The land on which Cloutier lived in Beauport was known as La Clouterie (or La Cloutièrerie). In 1670 Nicolas Dupont de Neuville purchased this land from Cloutier. This action resulted in disagreements between Cloutier, his neighbor, Jean Guyon, and Giffard, his Seigneur, resulting in the Cloutier family's relocation to Château-Richer.[9]

Zacharie Cloutier died on September 17, 1677[10][11] at the age of about 87. His wife died three years later on July 13, 1680 and was buried with her husband in Château-Richer.[2][8][12]


Together Zacharie and Xainte had six children, one of whom died in childhood.[6] The marriage of his daughter Anne to Robert Drouin is the oldest recorded marriage in Canada. In 1636 when her marriage contract was drawn, Anne was merely ten years of age. The religious sacrament of marriage was not performed until a year later on July 12, 1637. However, according to the contract drawn the year prior, the couple would only be allowed non-conjugal visits for the next two years.[13]

Name Birth Death Notes
Zacharie August 16, 1617 February 3, 1708 Married Madeleine Emard on April 4, 1648 in La Rochelle.[2][5]
Jean May 13, 1620 October 16, 1690 Married (1) Jeanne Duval, evidently prior to 1634 in France.
Married (2) Marie Martin on January 21, 1648 in Quebec.[2][5]
Xainte (aka Sainte) November 1, 1622 September 19, 1632 Died at nearly 10 yrs old in France.[5]
Anne January 19, 1626 February 3, 1648 Married Robert Drouin (officially) on July 12, 1637 in Quebec.[2][5]
Charles May 3, 1629 June 5, 1709 Married Louise Morin on April 20, 1659 in Quebec.[2][5]
Marie-Louise March 18, 1632 June 22, 1699 Married (1) François Marguerie on October 26, 1645 in Quebec.[2][5]
Married (2) Jean Migneault dit Châtillon on November 10, 1648 in Quebec.
Married (3) Jean Matthieu on February 3, 1684 in Quebec.

Notable descendants[edit]

Zacharie Cloutier is the common ancestor of the Cloutiers of North America, some with spelling variations.[14] By 1800, Cloutier had 10,850 French-Canadian descendants, the most of any Quebec colonist, according to marriage records studied by the Historical Demography Research Program of the Université de Montréal.[15]

Cloutier is a common ancestor of:[16][17][18]


Little is known about the Cloutier ancestors. Most genealogists agree that Zacharie Cloutier was the grandson of Nicolas Cloutier of Perche[citation needed]. The most common variation of the surname is Cloustier. Most sources state the surname was originally given to a person who crafted and sold nails, coming from the Latin word "clavus" meaning nail ("clou" in French). Some descendants of Cloutier who immigrated to the United States from Canada changed their surnames to Nailer in this respect.[citation needed]


In 1972, a house originally built and lived in by Cloutier was reconstructed and named a provincial heritage site.

In 1984, a monument was erected in Beauport (which has since been merged into Quebec City as of 2002) to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Cloutier's arrival.

An award-winning artisanal cheese bears his name, the Zacharie Cloutier (cheese) (fr).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Percheron Immigration". Marjorie Lizotte. December 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Charbonneau, Hubert; Jacques Légaré; Bertrand Desjardins. "Répertoire des Unions (Directory of Unions)" (Pay Site). Programme de Recherche en Démographie Historique (PRDH) (Research Program in Historical Demography) (in English and French). Montreal: University of Montreal. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Lemieux, Louis-Guy (2006). Grandes Familles du Québec. Google Books (ebook) (in French). Quebec City: Les éditions du Septentrion. p. 145. Retrieved 29 October 2014. Translated from French: It all started in Saint-Jean of Mortagne, in Perche. Zacharie was born around 1590. He is the son of Denis Cloutier, probably a carpenter like his son will become, and Renee Briere. We know that he had several brothers and sisters but we do not know the exact number since the first register of Saint-Jean of Mortagne is dated in 1600. 
  4. ^ a b Mark Rabideau (August 29, 2009). "Zacharie Cloutier". Many Roads. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Jetté, René (2003). Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles du Québec (Print) (in French). Montreal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal. ISBN 978-2-89105-815-5. 
  6. ^ a b Lemieux, Louis-Guy (2006). Grandes Familles du Québec. Google Books (ebook) (in French). Quebec City: Les éditions du Septentrion. p. 145. Retrieved 29 October 2014. Translated from French: On July 18, 1616, Zacharie married Xainte Dupont, widow of Michel Lermusier, in Saint-Jean of Mortagne. From their union are born six children, five of whom will be accompanying them to New France. The sixth child died at a young age. 
  7. ^ "Genealogie of Zacharie Cloutier". 
  8. ^ a b J-Roger Cloutier. "ZACHARIE CLOUTIER and SAINTE DUPONT, Generation 1" (PDF). Histoire des Cloutiers. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ Provost, Honorius (1979) [1966]. "Cloutier, Zacherie". In Brown, George Williams. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. I (1000–1700) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 
  10. ^ "Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979" (Digital Image (2nd entry from bottom of page)). (in French). Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. September 18, 1677. p. 141. Retrieved 4 November 2014. Translated from French: The year of Our Lord, one thousand six hundred seventy-seven; the seventeenth of September has died Zacharie Cloustier, after having received the holy sacraments of Eucharist and extreme unction; he was buried in the cemetery of the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation the eighteenth of the same month. 
  11. ^ "Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979" (Digital Image). (in French). Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. p. 116. Retrieved 4 November 2014. Image is an officially transcribed version in French of the original record. 
  12. ^ "A Summary of the Cloutier - Clutchey Genealogy". Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ "ANNE CLOUTIER". 
  14. ^ "Clouthier Family Crest and Name History". Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Pioneers". 
  16. ^ Hillary, Meet Your New Cousins: Angelina and Madonna - Angelina Jolie, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Madonna :
  17. ^ "Zacharie Cloutier". 
  18. ^ "Bloodlines of Descent from Zacharie Cloutier". 
  19. ^ "Genealogy Louis-Stephen St-Laurent". Genealogy of Canada. Retrieved 6 January 2012.