Louise Couillard - A Plowman's Daughter
A Plowman's Daughter
Louise Hebert Couillard
Louise Couillard was born on January 30, 1624 at Kebec, the first child for Marie Guillemette Hebert and Guillaume Couillard.  She grew up around the Kebec Habitation and life on the Canadian frontier was all she'd ever known.

Then so rich in culture, she was exposed to a wide variety of people and languages;
Huron-Canadian, Montagnais-Canadian, French and even British.
She was very young when many of the original French settlers were forced back to France, and for the next few years most of her contact was with the local children and her own extended family, which included her grandmother Marie and her new husband.
At the age of 12, she would marry a close family friend, Olivier Le Tardiff, on November 03, 1637 in Quebec; just a week after her eleven year old sister Marguerite, wed Jean Nicolet.
Olivier Tardiff
Olivier  was a commissioner of the Company of One Hundred Associates and arrived at Tadoussac on June 24, 1618, to act as interpreter and perform clerical duties for the fort.  He was born in 1601 at Etables, Saint-Breux, Brittany, France; the son of Jean Tardif and Clemence Houart. 

However, when the
Kirke Brothers took control of Kebec for the British, he was forced back to France, returning when they were later forced to give it back.  (Remeber that it was only the Kebec Habitation and French posts that were ceded and most of the country was still governed by the Natives).

Louise's marriage to Olivier was no doubt arranged by her parents,  who had the utmost respect for the young man. When Louise's father acquired a young black slave, he named him Olivier in honour of his long time friend.  All had been in the colony almost from the beginning, and they knew that their daughter was in safe hands.  After the wedding, the Tardiff family settled in Quebec, where Louise would die on November 23, 1641; just months after giving birth to their only child, Pierre.  She was just sixteen. 
After several years, Olivier would be married to Barbe Emard, daughter of Jean Emard and Marie Bineau, on May 21, 1648 at
St-Barthelemi, La Rochelle, Aunis, France, and had a long career in New France.   He was named the chief judicial officer for the District of Beaupre and became the founder of  Chateau Richer.  He had also purchased large parcels of land at Beaupre and Ile D’Orleans from Jacques Castillon, which he later sold to Charles Aubert on April 13, 1662.

Olivier Tardif and Barbe Emard would have three children before her death on January 01, 1659; Barbe Delphine, Charles and Guillaume.  His son Pierre, from his first marriage to Louise Couillard, married Madeleine Cauchon in 1671, but does not appear to have had any children.  Therefore, all of the descendants of Olivier Tardif, are from his children with Barbe.

He died on January 28, 1665, at the age of 64, but the Tardif name can still be found in Quebec, Maine and New Brunswick.  Louise's involvement in French Canada would be brief, but indicitive of the life that many of these young girls faced.  Early Wed...Early Dead. An old Canadian motto, after many died 'for the good of the colony'.  Louise's name is carved in the plaque at the Louis Hebert monument as one of the early French settlers of Canada.
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