Canadian Besner Family of French Origins

Initiator of a large family of Vaudreuil-Soulanges

All of Jean Bézanaire and Marie-Anne Gruzelin's children were born in St-Michel de Vaudreuil, but the first christenings were recorded in the registers of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. Eight daughters and only one son, named Jacques, born and christened in Vaudreuil, on July 8th 1768. Being the only son of the family, he inherited the family land and the nickname "Prêt-à-boire". His marriage also took place in Vaudreuil, on January 19th 1792. His wife was named Angélique Poirier, daughter of Michel Poirier and Marie-Louise Génus. Jacques "Bezner" died on December 12th 1827, at age 59 and interred under the church, on the right side, which showed a certain affluence, since this honor was reserved only to nobles and the bourgeois, the common folk being buried in the cemetery yard.

Jacques Bezner carried out an amazing revenge of the cradle: he had only one daughter but nine sons! One of them Michel, inherited the ancestral land and was the only one who lived in Vaudreuil, in what is today called Dorion. Seven of his brothers identified themselves in Coteau-du-Lac between 1815 and 1850, and the other brother Jacques, died in Vaudreuil at the age of 19 from a disease contracted at the "Fortifications" were he was employed. Six of the Besners of this third generation developed land in Coteau-du-Lac, and five have left descendants there. The next generation, two sons from Vaudreuil came to join their cousins. This family was part of the pioneers of Coteau-du-Lac.

The region of Vaudreuil-Soulanges in Quebec were divided in seigniories and their seigniors or landslords granted land to the settlers wanting to establish themselves

It`s in the seigniory of Soulanges, especially in Coteau-du-Lac and at Saint-Clet, that the Besners were the most prolific

The heart of «old» Vaudreuil

Institutional beginnings of Coteau-du-Lac

The nickname "Prêt-à-boire" evolved to "Pot-à-boire" and only Benjamin's descendants, of the third generation, of which I myself am part of, carry it to distinguish themselves from his brothers, those of Paul III being nicknamed the "Paulais", being called after their father, just like the "Michel", the "Antoine"; there are also the "Benjamin" who are really the descendants of Jean-Baptiste and owe their nickname to one his son's given name.

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