A Marriageable Young Girl
Marthe Arnault (1632-1700)
Marthe Arnault (also seen as Arnu) was born about 1632 and baptized on March 28,  1632 at Ste-Marguerite, La Rochelle, France; the daughter of  Marc Arnault and Louise Brodeur.  In the days before the state sponsored 'King's Daughters' scheme; seigneurs, churches, merhants; or indeed anyone with a vested interest in 'New France' were trying to promote settlement in the colony.

However, moving entire families was costly, so instead they recruited single tradesmen, labourers and soldiers, and then financed sisters, cousins and freinds; or more precisely
"marriageable young girls",  willing to become the wife of a habitant. Their expenses were paid and sometimes a small dowry provided; but as an added enticement, if the young ladies did not find their intended suitable, or could not handle the difficult life; their passage was paid back to France and they were released from their contract; an option rarely available in the days of arranged marriages.
Repentigny, Quebec
If her parents were unable to provide a dowry, her only other option would be to enter a convent, so Marthe; then in her early twenties;,  instead decided to try her chances in Quebec; probably recruited by Maisonneuve or Dauverserie, though she was not listed with the 'Grand Recruitment'. 

We do know that she was in Montreal by the fall of 1658, since that year she married Pierre Richaume on September 16. Pierre and his father Simon were amoung the first group brought to
Ville-Marie by Maisonneuve to help with construction of the fort.  The elder Richaume had signed a contract on May 2, 1644; for a period of three years, where he would be employed as a carpenter and wagoneer, for an annual salary of 100 livres.  (Simon may also have been Pierre's older brother, since no age is given)  After his contract was up, he stayed on in Montreal, but was killed on February 9, 1655, when a tree he had been clearing, fell on him and he was crushed to death. 

By then Pierre was nineteen, and his occupation listed as cultivator of vineyards, though he no doubt also acted as a labourer in the construction around Ville Marie.  By the time he was 22, he must have decided, or at least had it decided for him, that it was time to settle down and raise a family, so a contract was negotiated for a French bride, and Marthe on her way to meet her intended.

Satisfied with each other, they were married soon after and began a family immediately, though there was a gliche.  Pierre Richaume was a hugenot; an unacceptable situation in the Catholic colony, so on August 24, 1660; the 24 year old Pierre took confirmation and changed his faith.   Whether he actually embraced Catholicism, or just did it for the good of family, is unknown; but he did allow his children to be raised as Catholics.

The family eventually moved to Repentigny, Quebec; a Seigneury granted to Pierre Le Gardeur on April 16, 1647; and Richaume joined the Sainte Famille Militia in 1663.  Pierre Richaume died on May 8, 1688 and Marthe on August 26, 1700; and both are buried at Repentigny.
The Next Generation
Marthe Arnault and Pierre Richaume had nine children:

Barbe Richaume - Born June 22, 1659 in Montreal and January 17, 1725 at Boucherville.  She married Pierre LaPierre and had nine children.

Gabriel Richaume - Was Barbe's twin, born on June 22, 1659 and died on December 24, 1659.

Jacques Richaume
- Was born on February 19, 1661 and died April 21, 1713.  He was first married to Marguerite Gratiot, with whom he had a son Jean-Baptiste, before Marguerite's death in 1704.  He then married Madeleine Fouquereau with whom he had a daughter Therese-Marie. 

Marie-Madeliene Richaume
was born on November 23, 1662 and died on January 9, 1722.  She married Jean Brunet and two daughters.

Marie Marthe Richaume - Was born on March 4, 1665 and died July 28, 1703.  She married Gilles Lafleur and had three children.

Elisabeth-Isabelle Richaume
- Was born on August 31, 1666 and died on April 4, 1703.  She married Robert Desmarais but he was killed in an Iroquois Raid.

Jeanne Richaume - Was born on December 3, 1668 and died December 7, 1701.  She married Pierre Janot and a son Leonard.

Marie Richaume
- Was born on March 31, 1671 and died two weeks later on April 13, 1671.

Madeliene Richaume - Was born on March 28, 1672.  She married Pierre Babin dit Lacroix and had three children.
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