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Simon Lereau dit L'Heureux

Who is Simon? | Where are his descendants? | Are you one? | Our Database | Genographic Project | Other Links

Who is Simon Lereau?

Certificate Simon Lereau purchased at L'Ile d'Orleans
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The ancestor of the Lereau and the L’Heureux, had a family name with many variations according to notarized writings: Levreau, Lerreau, Leureau, L’Hérault, l'Heros, etc… Of all the spellings maybe only one carries in its veins an historic sense: Héraut, public officer who carried messages. So writes Gérard Lebel in an article reproduced in the collection Nos Ancêtres. View the full text of the article translated in English or view the original French version. 

But the facts are that Simon Lereau, son of René Lereau and Marguerite Guillin, and the ancestor of the L’Hérault and L’Heureux families emigrated from France (Pays de Loire) to the "Nouvelle France" around 1652. He came from Saint-Cosme-de-Vair, Maine, France, a town now named Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais in the department of Sarthe. He most likely sailed from La Rochelle.

Church of Saint-Martin in Igé

New information from the Université de Caen Basse Normandie lists Simon as having been born in the parish of Saint-Martin in Igé and baptized on October 10, 1624. Simon Guiet and Marguerite Lereau are listed as his godparents. Igé is a few miles North of Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais in the department of Orne.

He spent his early years in the Côte-de-Beaupré, possibly at a place now called Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. The first recorded event is his marriage contract on October 31, 1655 - a celebration at the time - to Suzanne Jaroussel, daughter of the late Pierre Jarousseau and of Jacquette Touraude, de Périgny (Charente Maritime), East of La Rochelle. Following their marriage in l'Ile d'Orléans on November 27, 1655, the newlyweds moved in their just finished new house and started farming on a plot of land on the Ile d'Orléans, which at the time was in the Seigneurie de Beaupré. This area of l'Ile d'Orléans later became the parish of Ste-Famille, one of six parishes on the island.

Simon is my eight great grandfather via his son Sixte. See my connection.

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Where are his descendants? What if you are one?

Simon's descendants by now must number about 2,000,000 (313 by my estimate) and are spread all over Canada and the US with the heaviest concentration being in Québec. Of these, I would guess that about 8,000 (213 - assuming an average of 2 sons per family) are descendants with the last name of L'Heureux (and variations). 

At the time of this writing, I now have close to 100 Internet cousins and collaborators. Two in particular are very active. Robert L'Heureux and Martin van Kuilenburg (married to Louise L'Heureux) have become indispensable in the maintenance of this site and of the LHEUREUX database. 

This does not mean that we cannot use your help. 

  • What you can do:
    • If you already have a database of your own, see if your lineage ties up with ours at some point and if it does, send us a gedcom (if your data is in a genealogy program) or otherwise a text file so that your data can be compared and possibly merged with ours. If you do not know how to organize your information, use the forms that we provide for you. 
    • If you do not yet have any data but suspect that someone in your family may be a descendant, go right to our Index of Surnames and see if your family name is in our database. If it is, then start collecting information on your own so that someday you may be able to contribute to this project. My Genealogy Home Page may be a good place to find information as to how to get started.

  • What is currently being done: 
    • Collaboration - There are currently more than 80 of us who have exchanged their data. Our cousin/collaborator tree shows the branches from which we derive, where we live, how we can be reached, and for some of us, how we look. The collaborators also have access to an ftp site where we exchange more personal data. If you would like to be part of this team or just would like to be on the mailing list for update and news, state so in your email to me

    • But before you do so, verify that your return email address is correct. It has been very frustrating for me to receive very interesting messages from possible cousins and cousines and not being unable to respond because of a mistyped Email return address. 
    • List-Served Discussion Group - A discussion group for the sole use of the L'Heureux surname has been created using a List Server at RootsWeb where I am a member. For more information on what it is and how to join, link here
    • Message Boards - Two boards exist on Ancestry.com
    • A Reunion on September 19, 1998 in Montreal was attended by over 100 cousins. A summary of what went on can be found at the Reunion Home Page. You can also view the pictures that I took at the reunion. If you would like to plan a reunion, we will be glad to help you and advertise it.
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Our Database of Descendants

  • HTML Format Database
    • In 1996, I started a database and updated it and it grew to 8,000 entries. Now the LHEUREUX database is maintained by our cousin Robert L'Heureux and contains over 506,000 names with over 116,000 being descendants of René Lereau, the father of Simon.
  • Descendants of René Lereau
  • Missing Links
    • During our research, we have come across numerous branches which we have not been able to connect to Simon. If you are interested in helping us, have a look at our Missing Links Page
  • Surname Statistics
    • The spelling of the last name has changed quite a bit over the years. Our database currently contains about 5,500 + descendants with the L'heureux name and variations: L'Heureux (5,130), L'Hérault (350), Lereau (120), Lurix (51), Happy (46), Louria (38), L'Héreault (17), L'Héros (5), Laraux (5).
    • To learn more about "dit names" and surname variations, see the AFGS Site.
  • The Youngest and the Oldest Descendant
  • Moïse L'Heureux and Sophie Pichette
    • Moïse and Sophie left the good life of Chateau Richer for the wild west of Saskatchewan after marrying in 1881. Their 15 children have now grown to over 2,000 descendants. A centennial reunion took place in 1987 near the ancestral farm in Jackfish Lake, SK..
    • Another reunion is being planned for 2005.
  • Simon's Family and the Bisson Connection
    • Simon is the son of René Lereau dit L'Hérault and of Marguerite Guillemin. His sister, Marie Lereau dit L'Herault married Gervais Bisson in France and sometimes later, they emigrated to Québec at the same time as Simon. Three sons are the ancestors of the Bisson in Québec.
  • Yves Phlem dit Yvon
    • I have also created an information page for Yves Phlem dit Yvon who married Marie Lereau, the daughter of Simon Lereau. 
  • Famous Descendants of Simon and his sister Marie Lereau 
  • Bibliography
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Genographic Project

One of our L'Heureux cousins participated in 2008 in the Genographic Project of the National Geographic to learn about the migrations routes of his ancestor. Since he is a direct descendant of our ancestor Simon Lereau, the DNA testing of his Y-Chromosome also applies to all male descendants of Simon Lereau.

To learn more about this project and to see the migration routes that may also apply to you, click here.

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Other Genealogy Links

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Last modified: July 10, 2013