Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Mortagne-au-Perche, France
|Died||September 17, 1677 (aged 85 or 86)
Château-Richer, New France
|Parents||Denis Cloutier and Renée Brière|
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.
Many sources state that Zacharie Cloutier was born about 1590 in the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Mortagne-au-Perche, France. Cloutier was one of several children of Denis Cloutier and his first wife Renée Brière.
The notary Mathurin Roussel of Mortagne called Cloutier the "family peacemaker," describing how Cloutier helped his father and brother solve a dispute involving inheritance. In the parish of his birth, Cloutier wedded Xainte (aka Sainte) Dupont, on July 18, 1616. Xainte had been born around 1595 in Mortagne to Paul-Michel and Perrine Dupont, and was the widow of Michel Lermusier.
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.
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) 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.
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.
Together Zacharie and Xainte had six children, one of whom died in childhood. 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.
|Zacharie||August 16, 1617||February 3, 1708||Married Madeleine Emard on April 4, 1648 in La Rochelle.|
|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.
|Xainte (aka Sainte)||November 1, 1622||September 19, 1632||Died at nearly 10 yrs old in France.|
|Anne||January 19, 1626||February 3, 1648||Married Robert Drouin (officially) on July 12, 1637 in Quebec.|
|Charles||May 3, 1629||June 5, 1709||Married Louise Morin on April 20, 1659 in Quebec.|
|Marie-Louise||March 18, 1632||June 22, 1699||Married (1) François Marguerie on October 26, 1645 in Quebec.
Married (2) Jean Migneault dit Châtillon on November 10, 1648 in Quebec.
Married (3) Jean Matthieu on February 3, 1684 in Quebec.
Zacharie Cloutier is the common ancestor of the Cloutiers of North America, some with spelling variations. 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.
Little is known about the Cloutier ancestors. Most genealogists agree that Zacharie Cloutier was the grandson of Nicolas Cloutier of Perche. 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.
|Ancestors of Zacharie Cloutier|
In 1972, a house originally built and lived in by Cloutier was reconstructed and named a provincial heritage site.