Against the Odds
Michelle Artus (1628-1698)
Michelle Artus was born about 1628, in the Parish of De Bousse, Malicorne, La Feche, Anjou, France. Her parents were Louis Artus and Renee Testard.

When Maisonneuve began his first recruitment for the proposed settlement at Ville Marie (Montreal), he also signed on several young girls, who would be given instruction and later become the wives of the single men engaged in the defense and construction of the colony.  Michelle was amoung them, and she boarded the Saint-Nicolas-de-Nantes on June 25, 1653; about to embark on an unknown future.
Also on board was Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was in charge of overseeing  the loading of merchandise, and when all was set to go, Captain Pierre le Besson, left the port of Saint-Nazaire with 122 passengers, mostly soldiers, and headed for Quebec.

If Michelle was uncertain of her future before, she certainly questioned it now when the aged and rotting ship began to take on water, after only several days at sea.  Though the men did their best to plug up the holes, it was clear that they had to abandon ship.  De Maisonneuve, fearing that if they went back to France, most of his recruits would back out, instead brought them safely to a small island, with little chance of escape (though a few did try), until he was able to procure another vessel. Marguerite Bourgeoys was able to calm the passengers, and avoid a mutiny; but just barely.
It took several weeks to find another ship and have it equipped, but they finally departed a second time on July 20, 1653, which happened to be St. Marguerite’s day, the patron saint of Marguerite Bourgeoys, so how could they lose.  All made it safely to Quebec, and though it would be another decade before the official King's Daughters began to arrive, the young girls who braved the voyage, became known as the Filles A Marier, just a handful of the 262 women who arrived under various privately sponsored schemes before the Fille Du Roi.
Michelle Artus would marry fellow recruit, Jean Le Houx Descaries on October 5, 1654 at Quebec.  Jean was born in 1621, the son of  Michel Le Houx Descaries and Claudine Desgardes.  The couple would have five children before Jean's death on January 10, 1687 in Montreal.  Michelle followed him on September 14, 1698; leaving behind many descendants.  Things may have been different had the Governor taken the passengers back to France, and there's a good possibilty that Michelle would not have ventured out again. But he did, and she did, and the infant colony of Ville Marie was the better for it.
The Next Generation
Paul Le Houx Descaries - Was born on August 7, 1655 and died Unknown

Michel Le Houx Descaries - Was born on Dec 5, 1656.  He married Marie Cullerier on August 30, 1691 and the couple had fourteen children'

Charles Le Houx Descaries
- Was born on December 15, 1658 and died on April 6, 1671.  He never married.

Louis Le Houx Descaries - Was born on November 8, 1660 and died unknown.

Jeanne Le Houx Descaries - Was born on May 10, 1655.  She married Lambert Leduc.
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