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David Ledoyen
Industry Professional

Location: Montreal Quebec
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
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Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject: French 17th and early 18th c. military sword aficionados?         Reply with quote

Happy New Year to all.

I was wondering if there were other people on this board interested like I do in French 17th and early 18th c. military swords?

Being involved in New France re-enactment, my main research and collecting interests are focused on this time and geographical frames, but not limited to them.

So is anyone here intrested in pre-revolutionnary fusilisers swords, grenadier sabers, boarding sabers, spontoons and halberds?

David Ledoyen
Montréal QC

David Ledoyen

Man is nothing but dust. This gives some importance to the duster. — Alexandre Vialatte
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Alan H. Weller

Location: Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 31 Oct 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an interest but my few attempts to learn more have not been successful. My ancestor came to New France in 1669 as a Sergeant, and I have often wondered what kind of weapons he would have carried as well as what kind of uniform and equipment he would have had. He was with the company of Laubia (or Loubia), I am not sure of the spelling.

Do you have any idea where I could get more information? The museum of the 22nd Regiment in Quebec City was interesting to visit, but I wonder if you know of any publication which deals with this subject?
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Jean-Carle Hudon

Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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Posts: 450

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: sgt weller ?         Reply with quote

The Carignan Sallieres regiment had a company named Laubia, and the oficer in charge was the Seigneur de Varennes, a lieutenant. He had two sergeants listed: La Roze, and La Badie, both names have survived till today, with different writing. It is important to note that the roll call refers to their military names, which were nicknames, not their names at baptism. You might have heard of this tradition living on into modern times with the french foreign legion, a military life was a new life and as such merited a new name, also a way to leave the past behind, which lead many to conclude that entering into La Legion Etrangere was a way to evade the law .... My ancestor is listed, we believe, as BeauLieu, in the Grandfontaine company. Until today, we are known as the Hudon dit Beaulieu line, whereas those who kept the Beaulieu surname, say that they are Beaulieu dit Hudon. The ''dit'' is simply the french verb ''dire'', to say , in the present tense. English speaking people use the expression 'also known as', or 'a.k.a', to express the same thing.... of course, to someone who doesn't know this, and who comes from a place where the preposition ''de'' (as in Madame de Pompadour, or the Conte de Monte Cristo, etc) indicates noble lineage, tehy could think that the ''dit'' indicated something more lofty. My father had fun with this in England from 40 to 44, and since he was an officer, it made sense to the Brits that he would be a blue blood.
Are you sure of the Laubia connexion? There were swiss raised regiments in Canada and also both Acadia and Louisiana, and Weller does have that swiss/germanic twang to it, or is it an american spelling adaptation of another old french name ?
For more research , google Rene Chartrand, or go check out the Museum Restoration Service series in their Historical Arms Series. They are situated at Alexandria Bay, NY, 13607-0070 , at least I hope they are still there. Cheers et bon succes.

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Alan H. Weller

Location: Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 31 Oct 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 03 Jan, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From my research, I have found that there were two companies raised by Arnould de Laubia.

1. The first company was part of the famous Carignan Salieres regiment which was sent to New France in 1665 to protect the colonists and to fight the Iroquois.

According to the Canadian Military Heritage website (see below) : "The Carignan Regiment was one of the first in the French army to wear uniforms. Its soldiers were outfitted in brown and grey, with those who came to Canada carrying matchlock and flintlock muskets with bayonets, another novelty of the era. They left their pikes in France, since they were of little use against the Iroquois, but they all carried swords. "

The regiment was very aggressive in attacking the the villages of the Iroquois and destroying their crops. As a result, a treaty was reached in 1667.

The soldiers were then offered inducements to stay in New France, which included large tracts of land for the officers and lesser inducements for the enlisted ranks. About 442 officers, non-coms, and soldiers left the army and stayed on in New France, thus simultaneously increasing the number of colonists and decreasing the military strength of the colony. Among those who stayed from the Laubia company were Lieutenant. Varennes, and the two sergeants, La Roze, and La Badie.

All but four companies of the regiment returned to France.

2. The second company was raised by Laubia back in France and sent to Canada in 1670 (I have also seen 1669) along with four other companies to reinforce the colony's military strength. My ancestor , Joseph Petit dit Bruneau, was a sergeant in this second company. This is explained in material to be found on Canada's excellent "Canadian Military Heritage" website, which I have just discovered and recommend to all:

On that website, it is stated:

"These four companies (NB: these are the four companies that remained in Canada when the rest of the regiment returned to France) mounted guard until 1670, when they were reinforced by five companies of 50 men each, dispatched from France and commanded by officers of the Carignan-Salières Regiment. These troops apparently remained affiliated with their regiment back in France through a kind of detached company status. Intendant Jean Talon noted that Captain de Laubia "of Carignan-Salières" commanded one of the "companies ... sent back to Canada in 1670." However, all these companies were disbanded in 1671, with the officers urged not to return to France and "all soldiers strongly encouraged to work on clearing and cultivating the land." My ancestor did not return to France.

The website goes on to inform the reader that the now seriously weakened military caused the Canadians to lean on their new militia system which, in turn, adopted Amerindian tactics of raid and ambush, which was revolutionary for Europeans at that time.

I am just beginning to study Canadian history, and I request any of our Canadian members and anyone more knowledgeable than myself to correct any misstatements I have made. I would appreciate the education.
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