Pierre Boucher, along with his father Gaspard Boucher and relation Marin Boucher are the common ancestors of a large proportion of Bouchers, Bowchers, Butchers, and other similar families in Canada and United-States. Gaspard came to New France with his family in 1635, from the region of Mortagne-au-Perche in lower Normandy. New France had just been made a royal property and colonisation was encouraged. Québec, the first city of New France, had only been founded 26 years earlier, and the total population of white habitants summed to a few hundreds.
Pierre was 13 when he crossed the Atlantic. He quickly learned a few amerindian languages, and became an interpret for religious missions trying to convert the natives. He later established himsef at Trois-Rivière, the third oldest and today third largest city in the province. In the militia Pierre was later choosen as responsible of the city defences. Louis XIV ennobled him when he traveled back to France in 1661 for writing the first book on Canada, a first in itself for a colonist. The book is "L'histoire véritable et naturelle des mœurs et productions du pays de la Nouvelle-France, vulgairement dite le Canada" (a mouthful) published in Paris in 1664.
The new noble returned to Trois-Rivière in 1662 as governor of the city. He left the charge in 1667 to establish himsef on his land of Boucherville, given to him by the King. The area is today a city, a suburb of Montréal, still known as Boucherville, just South of the Saint-Laurent facing the métropolis.
It is not before 1717 that the Seigneur Pierre Boucher de Boucherville died, at the venerable age of 95 yeas old. Despite not having any children with his first wife, a native american, his second bride, Jeanne Crevier, bore many, giving him later 26 grand children.
With such a large family so early in the history of Canada, it's not too surprising that some important figures are related to him. The gray nuns of Montréal were founded by his great granddaughter, Marguerite d'Youville who was canonized in 1990. The first white man to reach the Rocky Mountains, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye, was the husband of one of Pierre Boucher's granddaughters.
I'm one of thousands also somewhere down the line from one of them. As indicated on my profile, my name is Etienne Boucher.
This statue is in front of the Québec Parliament. I had a hard time taking this photograph because of the 8 feet high temporary fense installed during the renovations of the building. I was standing on the marble railing, on the tip of my toes, but there it is, slightly cropped.