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History of Charlesbourg - Quebec

Updated on May 22, 2017
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I started my genealogy search when I was in 8th grade. DNA testing led me to Cherokee, Saint Luke, Napoleon Bonaparte, & Marie Antoinette.

Historic home in the village that was later owned by my Great, Great Uncle Olivier
Historic home in the village that was later owned by my Great, Great Uncle Olivier | Source


Mathurin Roy, Marguerite (Bire) Roy and their four children (an older daughter, a son, and two younger daughters) migrated to Charlesbourg, which is a village in Quebec, overlooking the St. Charles river, 5 miles north of the city of Quebec, on the Canadian National Railway. The village dates back to the 1660s when the Jesuits organized the colony in a place known as the Trait Carre, meaning "perpendicular, or The only star shape village in Canada." The village site had a triangular characteristic radiating outward from a central square, in the center, where the church was located. The land fanned out from the point in an isosceles triangular shape away from the town square. Doing so, the farmhouses would all be situated close to the town center, which made it easy for the community to help each other out and to participate in tasks and festivities, and being in a position to defend the village against attacks. Its earlier name was Bourg Royal, but the name was changed to Charlesbourg, in honor of St. Charles Borromée, its patron saint.

The village and its neighborhood contain many interesting old houses, some of them more than 200 years old, (in which one was the Roy Family Horse Farm, in which my paternal grandfather, Lucien Roy, was born.). There are only two examples of this kind of settlement layout in all of Canada; Charlesbourg and Bourg-Royal. Charlesbourg is rich in architectural landmarks: the church, which was built between 1827-1833; the Jesuits grist mill and 15 other houses dating back to before 1830; and about 40 other buildings dating back to the second half of the 19th century.

Pictured: "Located at two steps of the Trait-Carré, along the Southeast, Bédard House Ephraim invites you to reconnect with the past. Built around 1830, but perhaps older still, home was built by the Jesuits to Philibert Chauvin in 1665 and sold to Olivier Roy (my Great Great don't know how many Uncle) shortly after."

"Since 1988, the House hosts the showrooms and consultation of the History Society of Charlesbourg. She invites you to its various activities: thematic exhibitions, monthly conferences, concerts in the garden, cultural outings. In addition, it makes its archives available to people who want to do some research on the history of Charlesbourg or their Charlesbourgeois ancestors.

In the beginning of Bourg Royal, Mathurin Roy "was entrusted with the building of the chapel and the sick-ward of the Hotel-Dieu of Quebec." He was most likely involved in the construction of many other buildings in Quebec City.

Famous residents

Despite its growing size there are only two notable residents; former NHL hockey player Marc Chouinard and Olympic gold medalist speed skater Gaetan Boucher.


Charlesbourg became a part of Quebec City in 2002. The population has increased about 20,000 in the last 25 years.

Québec is about 400 years old (which is around the time when my Great (x10 or 11) Grandfather arrived from LaRochelle France with my Great (x10 or 11) Grandmother and their 4 children). Four centuries of history marked by feats: meetings with native Americans, the battles between the French and the English, terrible epidemics or gestures posed by famous men and women that our streets are today named after. (There is a street named after Mathurin Roy.) Four centuries during which Québec also became the city as we know it now, is forging its own: a cultural dynamism of the economic successes of urban transformations.


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