The first Briand we found registered amongst our ancestors is ALAIN BRIAND.

He was born in Saint Père Marc en Poulet around 1550 and died in the same village in 23-12-1642.

Saint Père Marc en Poulet is a community located in Saint Malo, depending on the Département d'Ille-et-Vilaine (35), Bretagne. The ancient Parish was founded between the VI and VII Centuries b.c.  Settlement of marines and fishermen, at the XV Century it was  divided in Feuds or Seigneuries.

ALAIN BRIAND was the Treasurer of the Community, and there is recorded a marriage with Guillaumette Guyheneuc.

From this marriage was born, around  1570:

MICHEL BRIAND, Sieur de la Trunière. His name is recorded on the Church's bell as a Treasurer..

Michel was married with  Guillaumette Bouesnel,  and he dies around  1612 in Saint-Père.

Along the XVI and XVII centuries France was internally affected by the Wars of Religion, Catholics against protestants. These wars happened between 1562 and 1598, but the conflicts followed up until the  Edict of Toleration of 1787.

In 1597, Saint-Père is the siege of a massacre of "ligueurs" (members of the Catholic League), where an entire troop falls down in an ambush and is massacred.

The Lordships

   "Sieur" is not a title of nobility, inherited by blood. A "Sieur" or "Signeur" is an owner of a certain important portion of ground, a Landlord, and, generally, they were heirs to the title of "Chatelain" (Castellans), who were the commanders in charge of a Castle. In any case, a "Sieur" is a noble, but without title. They had the right to fix laws in their territory, to perceive taxes from their vassals, imposing agricultural tasks, to distribute the residences and to impose obligations.
The Segnieurs in their turn were vassals of a Baron or a Count, in its sector, (Marquis, if this sector was a boundary of a kingdom) and this one, of a Duke of its Province, and all of them, the King's vassals.
The treatment of Seigneur is directly in connection with the ground they posses, and their sons can be Seigneur of another different ground with that of the father, or of none if they lose it, or of the father's land, but only if they preserve it. The legal maxim was "pas de seigneur sans terre, pas de terre sans seigneur": "no lord without land, no land without lord"
. All lordships disappeared when the feudalism was abolished in 1789.

The Briands were at that time a family of shipbuilders and navigators.

The naval construction is an ancestral office, inherited generation after generation. In Britain construction factories existed, in centuries XVI, XVII and XVIII, like familiar businesses. They required of several hectares of land to store the wood. The technique was inherited from parents to children, like of master to apprentice. Bretons specialized in construction of boats of inferior stature to the Normans, but with more maneuverability and less depth, which allowed them to sail better by the American rivers without  fear of shipwreck. They brought oak wood and has from Northern Europe, and had to cure it, to treat it and to conserve it to make it apt for the work. Their techniques were complicated, as in the case of the masts, which needed appropriate assemblies to give a proportional height to the sails. Around the arsenals urban centers generated by the workers and auxiliary manufacturers of these constructions were rose frequently.



Michel Briand lived with his family in Saint-Guinoux, a little community 2 miles distant of  Saint-Père, where we find him dwelling the Farm Goriou, at 1580, and recorded as a Notary. The farm's main house was "La Grande Maison", which since 1550 was owned by Jean Bouesnel, Sieur de Launay. On 1602 Michel sells the house and the garden of La Goriou to Sire Thomas Du Breuil.

From the marriage of  Michel Briand and Guillaumette Bouesnel, was born:

Olivier (1583), Jean (1586), Michel (1602) and

LAURENT BRIAND, Sieur de L’Hostellerie,  in Saint Père on 10-1-1588. 

Laurent Laurent was a member of the Noblesse of the Parish of  Saint Père, lawyer, notary and fiscal prosecutor.

He married Hélène Charton, (1591/29-7-1659). They baptized 6 children in Saint Père. He died on 24-9-1672, of "sudden death" , at his house, being 85 years old.

Their 6 children were:

Michel (1621), Pierre (1624), Mathurin (1625), Gabrielle (1626), Jeanne (1632), and

JULIEN BRIAND, Sieur de la Chesnais,

born in St. Père on 6-30-1629. His godfather at his baptism was his maternal grandfather, Jullien Charton, Sieur de la Chesnais, from whom he heritages the land lordship, and his godmother Françoise Lemarchand, Dame du Boisbonnier.

Julien, besides of being a renowned citizen, a nobleman, was the Treasurer of the Community. He was married three times, and he had 9 children throughout 18 years of his prolific life; the younger, Jeanne, in 1682, when he was 53 years old.

His first marriage was on 11-5-1658 with Jeanne Billecocq, in St. Père; his second marriage was  with Jacquette Locquet, on 17-7-1663, and the 3rd marriage was with Gilonne Breal, on 1-7-1676.

Children of his first marriage with Jeanne Billecocq:

LAURENT  BRIAND, Sieur de la Villeroux,  on 10-28-1659

 and Pierre, in 1661.

At Laurent Briand's baptism his godfather was his paternal grandfather, Laurent Briand, Sieur de l'Hostellerie, and his godmother Guillemette Trublet, Dame de Nermont.

Jeanne Billecocq was the daughter of François Billecocq, Sieur de la Begaudière, Lawyer in the Court of Saint-Père. Being widow of Perrine Boulain, he becomes a priest, and is himself, who in the Parish of Saint Coulomb gives the nuptial blessing at the wedding ceremony of his daughter when she is married with Julien Briand in 1658.

Jeanne Billecocq died in 1663, being  only 23 years old.

Children of his second marriage with Jacquette Locquet: Josselin (1664), Pierre (1666) and Jacquette (1668).

Children of his third marriage with Gilonne Breal:

François Julien (1677) Pierre-Henry (1678) Laurence Rose (1680) and  Jeanne (1682).

Julien Briand, Sieur de la Chesnais, was deceased in Saint-Père after 1690.

It was a morning of clean sky in The Villeroux, and the smell of salt and iodine from the sea came into the labyrinths of the gardens blown by the soft breeze of the Spring. Laurent Briand, Sieur de la Villeroux, was walking calmly along the gardens of the dominion. La mer, toujours la mer, he thought, with that melancholy pounding among the beatings of his heart, and his memory was transported beyond the ocean. Some of his neighbors and friends had travelled two months ago toward the Acadia, and there was not any news of them. Maybe he had a premonition about the Canada, as he was feeling that his descendants will be sooner o later living in those distant lands. On that year of the Lord of 1701 things were not equal than before. He became widower few months ago, and only the work of ship's construction, shared with some of his cousins could distract him and make him forget of his pain. The ships they were making were ready to navigate the american seas and rivers, they were faster than those what the Normans made. The Feuds were becoming now too much controlled, he thought, all was rigorously administrated by the King and his Officiers de Robe. And it was so many expenses. To hold a dominion was not like in his grandparent's age: actually the Baroque luxury impossed iluminators, architects, artisans, interior designers; everything was especialized at the maximum level. France was passing by a great moment: Louis XIV, the absolutist monarch, the Sun King, who was reigning since 46 years ago, placed the country at the first position in Europe, with a notorious supremacy in  militar, economic and cultural aspects. That prestige of France achieved that the French language wasspoken in every court of Europe, and the costumes, vestiments and literary french expressions were adopted in all the countries. "Everybody is copying us, and we are in war with all the Nations", was thinking Laurent Briand, because France was isolated at that time in the continent.  At his 42 years of age, he said himself, maybe he also might travel to know the Canada, to try his good luck in the promisory America. But very soon a young breton 22 years old lady, Jacquette Martin, made him to abandon the idea. And he started to enjoy a new life.

Door of XVI Century, Saint Malo.

LAURENT BRIAND, Sieur de la Villeroux, the elder among his siblings, was married for the first time in Saint Malo, where they moved on, in 30-7-1681 with Briande de Louvigné, Dame de Launay, daughter of Jacques de Louvigné, Sieur de Clos. They had 6 children: Jeanne (1682) N (1684), Julien, (1685), Laurent (1686) Georges (1687) and Marie (1690).

As he became widower, he contracted new nuptials on 1701 in St. Malo with Jacquette Martin, daughter of Pierre Martin, Sieur de Sainte Marie, and they moved to Paramé, St. Malo. There were born :

Marie, PIERRE-FRANÇOIS (1706) Laurent (1709) Julien Gills (1711) Jeanne Jacquette (1713) and Marie Perrine (1718).

Laurent died in Paramé on 1724, bequeathing all his properties to PIERRE -FRANÇOIS and to his second son Laurent.

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