Filles Du Roi

The Contribution of the Filles Du Roi in The Creation of Quebec, Canada

For centuries, Quebec, Canada has achieved great cultural significance to the preservation of a unique representation of people. In this article, we will discover the roots of this dignified state and how it came to be.

With themes like sacrifice, loss, and sheer ambition, there comes a greater understanding of an era filled with much anticipation.

Establishment of a State

A charming illustration of Vieux Quebec. One of the first locations The Filles Du Roi passed through when migrating.
A charming illustration of Vieux Quebec. One of the first locations The Filles Du Roi passed through when migrating. Image Source: (fineartamerica.com)

With the discovery and establishment of the newfound territory of Quebec in the seventeenth century, many French settlers migrate. Here they make the foundation to land abroad in hopes of spreading their influence in the new world.

By the coming of the years 1663-1673, a large plan derived from the monarchy to better the colony. Moreover, King Louis XIV sponsors young women to migrate to Quebec for a balance of population and assurance of French presence.

These women became known as the “Filles Du Roi” (Daughters of the King). Furthermore, these girls were offered stability and grand status as they got the chance to sail to the colonies.

As exciting and nice as the offer appeared to be, the main purpose was to populate the new territory and expand. In summary, as we delve further into this article, we will see the impact these women played into forming Quebec.

Who were the Filles Du Roi

An orphanage in France. The origin of these young women who were chosen by the crown to migrate to Canada.
An orphanage in France. The origin of these young women who were chosen by the crown to migrate to Canada. Image Source: (saymedia-content.com)

Next, comes the interesting and slightly mysterious origins of the Filles Du Roi that came to populate Canada. Although the true identities of these women remain in the dark, for the most part, historians have uncovered birth locations.

To illustrate, a vast majority of these women derived from Paris, Brittany, Normandy, and western parts of France. Another detail to the Filles Du Roi was that they were orphans or children that became spared by large families.

As sad as these beginnings appear, these girls became the perfect candidates for the King’s grand plans. Furthermore, it is estimated that at least eight hundred young women became chosen to migrate into Quebec.

They received proper funding from the monarchy and a promise for living a more positive life abroad. Another name they became identified with is the “Kings Wards”.

In brief, the Filles Du Roi earned status as they consulted with the government.

Selection Process of Migrant Women

Filles Du Roi adapting to colonial life and becoming selected by suitors in New France.
Filles Du Roi adapting to colonial life and becoming selected by suitors in New France. Image Source: (pinimg.com)

Moreover, when it comes to the selection process of sending the perfect candidates to Quebec, the French Government remained demanding. One can see this example when the government tested young women with survival skills.

If they were not physically fit to sail across a vast ocean and work, they became deemed unworthy. For a fact, some women found themselves sent back to France after being observed as not fitting the criteria.

Indeed, the process became very particular and frustrating as there came many candidates to fill the role properly. Another main factor used to recruit the Filles Du Roi for settling in Quebec was age.

It becomes estimated that fifty-seven percent of the young women sent abroad were between the ages of twelve to twenty-five! To add, anyone older to these criteria made the second largest percentage of women to settle in Canada.

In essence, the French government did everything possible to assure quality success in their long-term ambitions.

Adaptation to a New Land

A young woman from the funded program with a child in New France during the colonial era.
A young woman from the funded program with a child in New France during the colonial era. Image Source: (groupehmh.com)

Besides the origins, demanding requisites, and plans the French government imposed on the Filles Du Roi, adaptation served a test. As the chosen young women migrate to Quebec, Canada, they soon diverge into different cities for complete integration.

For example, some moved to Montreal, Quebec City, or Trois-Riveres to continue with their total purpose and find husbands. Moreover, life in Quebec, Canada proved to be more challenging than originally planned.

To illustrate, many Filles Du Roi established marriages at largely diverse rates. While some took three months, for others it became up to three years!

Interestingly, the marriage process in Canada required couples to become engaged in front of a priest and witnesses. From there, the couple then signed their official documents to declare their marriage while celebrating at the women’s residence.

In all, seven hundred and thirty-seven marriages became officially recorded in New France.

Issues Within the Colonies

An example picture of a marriage certificate from Quebec, Canada. One of the Filles Du Roi main purpose for migrating to the new world.
An example picture of a marriage certificate from Quebec, Canada. One of the Filles Du Roi main purpose for migrating to the new world. Image Source: (pinimg.com)

Furthermore, as we learn more of the Filles Du Roi adaption to Canadian society, there comes a highlight of issues. While most marriages secured women finically, there came to be a number of these official unions canceled in Quebec.

Part of these problems roots back to the survival skills women needed to properly adapt in New France. For example, many Filles Du Roi was not accustomed to performing farm work as they originated from large towns.

Meaning that the marriages between these couples proved to be insufficient and overall incompatible. Besides possessing necessary skills, other personal factors played role in the dissolving of unions.

With couples displaying constant disagreements and conflicts, New France becomes challenged in its formation. As a result of these issues, the government began to recruit girls from rural areas in later years.

To summarize, the French government’s grand plans for Quebec proved to further cause delays in instant success.

Further Problems in Colonial Quebec

Interestingly, there are three hundred recorded Filles Du Roi that never established unions. One reason goes to young women having a last-minute change of hearts in the ports of France.

The next would be recruits tragically dying along the journey on ship as they sailed great distances at sea. Another is some individuals never settling down in the new world and ultimately choosing to return homeland.

Last, would-be having candidates remaining single and overall, not fulfilling their intended role. Without a doubt, colonial Quebec shares a downside to its grand pursuit of success.

Things became tough for many young women as they had to quickly adapt to the new world. Followed by adhering to the demanding elements to properly thrive amidst constant setbacks.

Even though this occurred in the state’s history, it proves how to every success there is a failure of some sort. In essence, the Filles Du Roi remain motivating figures in history as they teach and display lessons for many.

End of Enlisting and Expansion of Culture

A flag to the state of Quebec hanging with pride on the streets of the region.
A flag to the state of Quebec hanging with pride on the streets of the region. Image Source: (middleeasteye.net)

Besides the hardships and various other circumstances, the Filles Du Roi faced when integrating into Quebec, Canada, their purpose flourished. The program funded by the monarchy proved to become a success as most young women that arrived found themselves fruitful.

Furthermore, within a year from arrival, a total of seven hundred children became born to the Filles Du Roi. On the other hand, there came one last wave of young women in 1673.

This brought an additional seven hundred and seventy-three marriages! These events became a huge advancement for the aspiring colony as its purpose was sprouting in action.

To illustrate, by 1672 the population of New France had risen to six thousand seven hundred doubling the colony’s power! Another detail to these events was Quebec gaining adequacy to function independently without the crown’s constant intervention.

All in all, this became the beginning of what the French monarchy so long aspired for.

Misconceptions of Filles Du Roi

A French colonial boat carrying the Filles Du Roi to the New France in North America.
A French colonial boat carrying the Filles Du Roi to the New France in North America. Image Source: (pinimg.com)

Moreover, with time passing, the reputation of the Filles Du Roi became central to various theories. For example, many military personnel and writers from France viewed the roles of these young women as prostitutes.

Meaning that the persona of them migrating for adding influence and numbers to the colony became a cover. Although this conception was mainly false, there was one recorded account of a Fille Du Roi turning to prostitution.

The woman’s name was Catherine Guichelin who became charged with the crime as she resorted to this path. Next, this most likely created that rumor of the program serving this purpose as she became abandoned by her husband.

Indeed, Catherine’s example served tragic because her first two children were taken away and she had two marriage contracts revoked. Along with this information, she also had several extra children born out of wedlock that would become lost in orphanages.

Altogether, Catherine’s example in Quebec, Canada served a large influence in the shaping of the Filles Du Roi reputation.

Mother’s Curse in Quebec, Canada

A blind French Canadian man with a cane and mobile phone to help him guide around town. An example of a carrier to Lebers Disease inflicted by the Filles Du Roi.
A blind French Canadian man with a cane and mobile phone to help him guide around town. An example of a carrier to Lebers Disease inflicted by the Filles Du Roi. Image Source: (Charity Dynamics)

Next, comes the topic of the infamous “Mothers Curse” that sprouts from the total influence of the Filles Du Roi. As a result of vast generations of children arising from these young women’s actions, genetic diseases become common in Quebec.

To illustrate, Lebers Disease can be found in high degrees in the region. Lebers is a condition that affects mainly men where they slowly begin to lose their vision making them completely blind.

Interestingly, the reason why this trait remains dominant in males becomes an ongoing mystery. However, it is known that the mutation can persist for many generations in time.

Many unaffected female carriers are completely unaware of the condition until it becomes too late for their sons. In sum, these effects serve as downsides to the events of the Filles Du Roi program.

Further Facts of Lebers Disease in New France

Equally important, we discover more important information about this curse inflicted on modern French-Canadian men. Although there is no official cure for Lebers Disease, visual aids provide adequate treatment to cope with.

One fact to this disease/mutation is that the ages begin from eighteen to thirty-five years old. In addition, most men with this condition lose their eyesight completely by the time they reach fifty years of age.

As always, these men are recommended by doctors to adhere to harmful activities like smoking and limiting alcohol intake. One important tool to prevent further heirs from receiving this curse is by having aspiring mothers partake in genetic testing.

This would create the best route for many as it serves to prevent conditions like these from flourishing in a new host. In essence, Quebec remains the largest location in Canada to feature this disease in its population.

Legacy of The Filles Du Roi

An official coat of arms to the region of Quebec. Where many French Canadians can easily trace their roots back to the Filles Du Roi era.
An official coat of arms to the region of Quebec. Where many French Canadians can easily trace their roots back to the Filles Du Roi era. Image Source: (bp.blogspot.com)

As we come to the modern era of the twenty-first century, Quebec, Canada becomes central to French culture in North America. The city earns a grand reputation of being one of the best-preserved colonial regions on the continent.

The courageous women who traveled across the sea may be gone, but their legacy continues to thrive in the land. For example, the French language remains the dominant means of communication for inhabitants as ninety-four percent use it every day!

Another is most of the population becomes descendants of the Filles Du Roi. Some famous heirs include names like Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Tom Bergeron, and Hilary Clinton.

Without a doubt, many French Canadians can easily trace their ancestry/lineages back to this exciting era. In short, the legacy of French colonial powers retains a large influence in the territory.

Final Thoughts on Formation of New France

Quebec’s famous Frontenac castle. A motivating illustration to New France’s legacy in North America
Quebec’s famous Frontenac castle. A motivating illustration to New France’s legacy in North America. Image Source: (travelpast50.com)

Finally, comes the last thoughts and reflections on this crucial period in Canadian history. As mentioned before the influence of France in the land has proved to be successful for many centuries.

Many French Canadians can be proud of their roots as they receive the chance to easily trace their lineages back. In addition, creating and finding a sense of belonging as many traditions persist, become revived, and in total continue.

Quebec, Canada (Formally New France) serves as an example for many other colonial towns and regions because they exceed preservation. Meaning that it becomes possible for anyone to celebrate, connect, and emulate the true nature of one’s soul and overall origin.

Despite migrations, Quebecois emulate a positive path for others. On balance, the Filles Du Roi’s hard work, sacrifices, and actions harvest beautiful presentations of identity.

Significance of The Filles Du Roi

A beautiful scene in the heart of Quebec City during spring. An overall moving homage to the actions of the Filles Du Roi. The flowers represent their contribution for the blooming of a culture.
A beautiful scene in the heart of Quebec City during spring. An overall moving homage to the actions of the Filles Du Roi. The flowers represent their contribution for the blooming of a culture. Image Source: (pinimg.com)

In conclusion, from recruiting, sheer ambition, preservation, and survival, the Filles Du Roi become celebrated in history. To imagine Quebec without their contribution becomes near impossible.

Canada earns a positive and exciting reputation in the eyes of foreigners because there are rich elements that create a character. As witnessed by the events covered on this topic, the young women who hailed from France serve as a guide.

For any inquiring soul on the state’s origins, these figures will always tie back to the genesis of Quebec. Overall, this land becomes highlighted for its unique representation of colorful traditions, rich history, and motivating past that fascinates newcomers.

Leave a Reply