Marie Grandin is a
“Sent by the King” Story

A Book Commentary by Juliana L’Heureux

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Almost every Franco-American can find at least one relative to write a book about. Franco-American and Canadian history is loaded with interesting stories to write about colonial wars and the difficulties encountered by those who forged a French speaking society in North America.

One particular historic episode about the young French women who were “Sent by the King” to help populate New France is popular among writers. That’s because thousands of Franco-Americans living today can point to at least one the hundreds of these brave and pioneering “files du roi” (daughters of the king) as an ancestor. Indeed, the young women agreed to sail to New France in the early to mid 17th century because the King of France asked them to marry soldiers who were guarding French territories against the Indians and the English.

These courageous young ladies were supposed to come from respectable families. Furthermore, they were usually adopted by the King of France, who gave them dowries for the purpose of attracting a husband when they arrived in New France. There’s lots of historic documentation about the lives of these trail blazing women. Their bravery, independence and self-sacrifice are evident today in their many thousands of descendants. A popular Broadway musical, "No, No, Nannette" is loosely based on Les Filles du Roi.

Recently, Elise Dallemagne-Cookson, a New York writer, published a novel based on the life of her ancestor Marie Grandin, one of “une filles du roi” (daughters of the king). Moreover, Dallemagne-Cookson is a contributor to the official “Sent by the King Newsletter of La Société des filles du roi et soldats du Carignan, Inc.” (A Newsletter of the Daughters of the King Society and the Soldiers of the Canadian Carignan Regiment.)

“I wrote about my ancestor Marie Grandin because of my French heritage,”
says Dallemagne-Cookson. “My mother’s family can be traced back to Jean
Baudet, who was born in Poitou, France, in 1650 and left for Canada in 1664 at the age of fourteen. Approximately one hundred years later, the name came to be spelled Beaudet. My family told me stories about how Beaudet married Marie Grandin in 1670. She came to Québec from Orléans in France at the age of nineteen. She was among those women, numbering approximately 768 in all, who were sent to Canada by King Louis XIV of France over a period of ten years (1663-1673) to provide wives for the male settlers of La Nouvelle France.”

Actually, Dallemagne-Cookson first learned about her ancestor Grandin from family stories told orally from generation to generation. “Marie Grandin: Sent by the King” describes Dallemagne-Cookson’s ancestor’s story with the colorful flair of a Hollywood screen writer. Vivid storytelling is Dallemagne-Cookson’s style whereby she descriptively sets the stage for a page turning read with an eye toward an adventurous movie script. Written as if it were a diary, Dallemagne-Cookson begins the story in 1670, when the heroine Grandin is sailing from La Rochelle, France aboard the ship Helene de Flessinge. Extensive research helped Dallegmagne-Cookson describe the details of daily life in colonial New France portrayed throughout the novel’s attractive plot. Building on her family’s oral traditions learned while growing up in Peekskill, New York, Dallemagne-Cookson even spins a ghost story in her heroine’s plot, probably for the entertainment value but also because the French settlers, like many other colonials, were inclined to believe supernatural phenomenon.

For information about “Marie Grandin: Sent by the King”, check out the Xlibris website or call 1-888-995-4274. For other books by Elise Dallemagne-Cookson, see

More information about the “filles du roi” society can be found on the website Membership in La Société des filles du roi et soldats du Carignan, Inc., is $10 a year and includes a subscription to the newsletter.

Marie Grandin was written by Elise Dallemagne-Cookson and published by Xlibris ISBN: 1413407528

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Copyright 2004, Juliana L'Heureux