Davids of New France

Marie Magdelaine David

Fortress of Louisbourg, Île Royale, Nouvelle France


Marie Magdelaine David, the 5th daughter and 14th child of Jean Pierre David and Marie Magdelaine Monmellian, was born on 16 January 1741 at Louisbourg and baptised the following day, 17 January 1741. Her godfather was Jacques Vincent, and her godmother Marie Parmantier. Fre Isidore Caulet, R:R:, presided at her baptism for the Father Superior. The witness attending the baptism was P. Jouin.

Baptism Record of Marie Magdelaine David - 16 January 1741


This baptism record is the 2nd of 3 primary source recordings of the signature of Jean Pierre clearly illustrating an "X" over the "mark of the father, i.e., "marque du pere" at the end of the baptism record.

All that is known of Marie Magdelaine's brief 10 years of life at the Fortress of Louisbourg is recorded in 3 primary source records. Her name is listed in her baptism record in 1741 and her burial record in 1752. Her presence in Louisbourg is also directly listed in the Louisbourg 1749 - 1750 Census.

1741 to 1745

The Birth of Jeanne Angelique

The last of Marie Magdelaine's siblings to be born at Louisbourg was Jeanne Angelique born on 21 December 1743.

According to the Fortress of Louisbourg Historical Memoranda Series 1964 to Present H F 25 1989 titled Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel: Blacksmith authored by Eric Krause of Krause House Info-Research Solutions, Jean Pierre and Marie Magdelaine were still living at Louisbourg in 1744 along with their surviving children of "5 boys for certain, possibly 6 and 5 girls." These children would probably have included their 5 or 6 sons Jean Jacques, Jean Baptiste, Francois, Louis, Claude Thomas and Jacques Andre and their daughters Marie Josephe, Francoise Charlotte, Jeanne Olive, Marie Magdeleine and Jeanne Angelique. Michel, their oldest surviving son, had married Genevieve Hebert on 20 January 1744 in Grand-Pré, Acadie and was probably living there with his wife in 1744. This memoranda also states "In 1749, David returned to Louisbourg with 9 children and an orphan. Additional sons and daughters were: Joseph, Joseph and Anne Bernard (orphan)". However, it is believed that the Louisbourg 1749 - 1750 Census may have been misinterpreted and that Anne Bernard was not part of this family.

France, Acadie or Quebec

1745 to 1748

The 1st Siege of the Fortress of Louisbourg in 1745

After the 1st siege and capture of the Fortress of Louisbourg on 16 June 1745 by British forces commanded by Sir William Pepperell during the War of the Austrian Succession, it is believed that Jean Pierre, Marie Magdelaine and their children left Louisbourg but it is not known if they were deported to France by the British with most of the other Louisbourg French and Acadian inhabitants or escaped to Acadie or one of the Quebec, Nouvelle France communities along the St. Lawrence River.

Capture of Louisbourg by British in 1745, German Engraving

The Whereabouts of Jean and Marie's Children

Since it is recorded that there were 11 surviving children in 1744 at Louisbourg prior to the families deportation or escape from the Fortress in 1745, it is not known for certain which children accompanied Jean Pierre and Marie Magdelaine from Louisbourg since only 7 are recorded in the Louisbourg 1749-1750 Census along with the 2 new additions to the family, Joseph and Jacob.

During this period between 1745 and 1749, it is unclear where 4 of Jean Pierre and Marie Magdelaine's children may have spent these years or if any had parished while in exile. It is highly likely that Michel was living in Grand-Pré, Acadie with his new wife, Genevieve. However, the whereabouts of Marie Josephe, Francois, Jacques Andre and Jeanne Angelique during this period are unknown. The Louisbourg 1749-1750 Census indicates that these 4 children were not living with Jean Pierre and Marie Magdelaine after they were repatriated to Louisbourg in 1749 from their exile. From later discovered source documents, we do know that Marie Josephe survived until 1758 and Jacques Andre was still living in 1763. As for Francois and Jeanne Angelique, how their life stories unfolded remains a mystery.

No records of the David family's life between 1745 and 1749 has been yet uncovered after the 1st siege of the Fortress at Louisbourg by the British in 1745. The records of their lives pick up once again with the Louisbourg 1749-1750 Census and the marriage of Marie Josephe to Jean Paul Pouilly on 1 June 1751 at Louisbourg.

David Children Born in Exile

During their exile from Louisbourg, Jean Pierre and Marie Magdelaine were not deterred from continuing to grow their family. For when the family returned to the Fortress in 1749, as mentioned above, they did so with 2 new boys, Joseph and Jacob.

Fortress of Louisbourg, Île Royale, Nouvelle France

1748 to 1752

In 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended the War of the Austrian Succession, restored Louisbourg to France in return for the British trading post at Madras in India. The New England forces left Louisbourg, taking with them the famous Louisbourg Cross which had hung in the Fortress chapel. This cross was only rediscovered in the Harvard University archives in the latter half of the 20th century and is now on long-term loan to the Louisbourg historic site.

The Davids are Repatriated to Louisbourg

After Jean Pierre and Marie Magdelaine returned to Louisbourg in 1749, they did so with 9 children. According to the Louisbourg Census of 1749-1750, it appears that these 9 children living at home included Joseph, Jean Jacques, Jean Baptiste, Louis, Claude Thomas, Jacob, Francoise Charlotte, Jeanne Olive and Marie Magdeleine.

The Louisbourg 1749-1750 Census

Louisbourg 1749 - 1750 Census


The Death of Marie Magdelaine

On 29 January 1752 at the age of 10 years, Marie Magdelaine David died and was buried the following day, 30 January 1752, in the Cemetery of Louisbourg. Fre Isidore Caulet presided at the burial. alt=""

Burial Record of Marie Magdelaine David - 29 January 1752

The cause of Marie Magdelaine's death at such a young age is unknown. Ironically according to documented abstracts, her death followed exactly 12 years to the day of the death of her older brother Pierre at the young age of 11 years on 29 January 1730. Both were buried the following day of their deaths.

The Unknown Life Events of Marie Magdelaine David

Besides what is recorded here, no other life events recordings have yet been uncovered which tell of the infant and adolescent years of Marie Magdelaine David.

Other Compiled Abstracts

Marie Magdelaine's documented presence in Louisbourg is recorded in a Family Reconstitution File of her father, Jean Pierre David, which is archived at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada. This Family Reconstitution File was abstracted and compiled from original source documents archived at the Archives of Canadian and the Archives Nationale.


Other Recorded Events









History of Updates

The following chronological history of updates document the changes that have been made to this ancestorial life story and the date those changes were made by the author.

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Earl Joseph David, New Orleans, Louisiana 70125

Last Update: 1/14/21