Jean Descaries (1621-1687) and sons

Jean Descaries (1621-1687) and sons

Jean Descaries is considered to be one of the first colonists to settle on Montréal Island near the middle of the 17th century. At the time, colonization was the objective and the terms by means of which land was allocated, and on November 18, 1650, Maisonneuve gave him one arpent of land inside the boundaries of the future Ville de Saint-Laurent, and another parcel of thirty arpents in Montée Saint-Joseph.

In 1675, approximately ten arpents located along the shores of Lake Saint-Pierre were added to those owned by Jean Descaries.

Lastly, François Dollier de Casson, Superior at the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice, conceded to him eighty additional arpents in 1677.

François Dollier de Casson
 Prêtres de Saint-Sulpice de Montréal Archives

Upon his death in 1687, Jean Decaries left his three sons, Paul, Michel and Louis Descaries - then aged 31, 29 and 27 - land to clear with a view to pursuing the colonization efforts launched by the Sulpicians. The Descaries brothers inherited a considerable amount of land, 25 arpents. The sons decided to clear the area on Coste Saint-Michel (the future Côte Saint-Laurent), near des Prairies River.

The properties cleared by the Descaries brothers were close the area travelled by the Iroquois warriors. This situation lead François Dollier de Casson to transfer them the lots at the very origins of Ville de Saint-Laurent on April 20, 1687, less than four months after the death of their father.

Measuring five arpents by fifteen arpents, this land covered an area that today corresponds to the sector between street in the Côte-des-Neiges district of Montréal, and Côte Notre-Dame-de-Vertu, along both sides of Decarie boulevard. The name of this boulevard as well as that of Decarie street are a reminder of the heritage left by the three brothers.

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