Canadian Besner Family of French Origins

He was first part of Mr. De Muy's company

Everything indicates that on his arrival to New-France, Jean Bézanaire was not incorporated into a company right away and that, when he was, he was first part of Mr. Daneau de Muy's company. What makes us say this is the fact that Mr. Le Borgne succeeded to Mr. Daneau de Muy at his death in Detroit on May 18th 1758, less than two years before the marriage of the ancestor of French Canadian Besner family. It is interesting to follow this officer's career, since the ancestor of French Canadian Besner family, from 1752 to 1758, probably marched under his command or of those of an officer with the same profile.

Jacques-Pierre Daneau de Muy, born in Boucherville in October 1695, son of Nicholas Daneau de Muy and Marguerite Boucher. He married Louise-Geneviève Ruette d'Auteuil in Montreal in January 1725. He devoted himself to military life, but the long period of peace in north America from 1713 to 1744 meant for him and his professional colleagues a very slow rise in officer ranks. He was promoted to Captain in 1748. He was appointed commander of Fort Chambly from 1752 to 1754. During this last year, he was granted a seigniory on the east shore of Lake Champlain, which made him a "seignior" at the same time as a military officer.

He was however impatient to return in the "west", what they then called all French territory situated around the Great Lakes, the Ohio valley and Illinois country. His wish was granted in May 1754, when he was promoted to the command of Fort Pontchartrain in Detroit to replace Céleron de Blainville. For his great qualities and his loyalty, he was decorated with the Saint-Louis Cross on April 1st of the same year.

An order of battle, established in Fort St-Frédéric (Crown Point, New York) in 1755, tells us that Mr. de Muy's company then belonged to the second brigade of Mr. Louis Liénard de Beaujeu, the father of the hero of Monongaëla.

Daneau de Muy practices his military career in the Canadian fashion, in the way that Montcalm condemned; a "skirmish or not serious war" assessed the officers coming from Europe. A war of borders, comprised of surprising attacks that had nothing to do with traditional theories of military art. A war lead jointly with the allied American Indians from whom we borrowed some sometimes cruel methods and almost encouraged to perpetrate: scalping, for instance. A war where the uniforms were put aside. A war, in short, that American historians referred to as "the French-Indian War", while the Europeans named it " The Seven Year War".

The Canadian militiamen were habitants that were forced to serve the King

Along the borders to defend, fortifications were built

Fort Chambly is an area that the ancestor of French Canadian family probably frequented; he may have stayed there for a while


If it is true that the ancestor of French Canadian Besner family has really earned his salary under command of such a man or one of his kind, there is a strong possibility that he covered the same never-ending journeys through the "American French Empire", and knew the same dangers. These troops, called Canadian, had learned a lot about the Native Americans that they lived with and fought. In every season, even winter, these soldiers moved swiftly, often over long distances, most of the time in canoes on rivers and lakes before they froze, and otherwise on foot; they also knew how to survive in nature if they were left to themselves.


Concerning the Seven Year French-Indian War


Strong places under the French Regime

- Fort Niagara

Carillon now Ticonderoga


Lakes Champlain and George in the state of New York

The ancestor of French Canadian family must have certainly faced up to the dangerous rapids of Coteau du Lac...

As he must have set camp on this point in Coteau-du-Lac, area where the native Indians sojourned and the «Voyageurs» had to portage.

See the site of the Coteau-du-Lac Historical Society

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