Canadian Besner Family of French Origins

The nickname "prêt-à-boire" (ready-to-drink), a memory of his military life

In his marriage contract, February 18th 1760, it is mentioned that the ancestor of French Canadian Besner family already had the nickname "prêt-à-boire" (ready-to-drink). This teasing reveals that he, may be, easily inclined to have a drink. When looking at the list of soldiers names of Montcalm's army, we recount this nickname at least twenty other times. So, this confirms the reputation of the soldiers in those years of being drawn to the bottle... Every soldier had a nickname, describing either a talent, either a fault, either a physical or moral characteristic. Some of these nicknames became Canadian proper names: Vadeboncoeur ( good hearted) , Ladouceur (with gentle-ness), Lavigueur (with vigor) , Lavertu (virtuous) , Vaillant (courageous), etc.

After the transfer of Canada to England, a Franco-English protocol signed in November 1760, specified that the remaining French in the colony could not be forced to raise weapons against France and that they would continue to follow French customs without being subjected to other taxes. Many soldiers preferred to stay in colony than to return to France. Jean Bezanaire was one of those.

Louis XV, king of France in 1750; the Besner ancestor of French origin served under His flag.

The Tower of the Lanterns in LaRochelle, rallying place for the troops departing for the New World.

Louis XV, king of France, coat of arms, as wooden carvesd in 1727 by Pierre-Noël Levasseur (Museum of Quebec)

Amateurs re-enacting the Compagnies franches de la Marine era
The preceding pictures: "Parcs Canada/Jean Audet"


The old Fort Niagara was certainly an area that was visited by the ancestor of French Canadian family during his military career

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