Francois Hamel 1600-1656

Born on October 1, 1600 in La Fresnais, Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France, (Avremesnil, Rouen, Normandie, France).

‪The Hamel family genealogy is well documented in the book “Genealogie de la Famille Hamel 1656-1956” by Father Adrien Hamel.  The word hamel means hamlet or little villiage. it comes from the Saxon word “ham” taken from Hebrew meaning clan or tribe. The earliest records of the Hamel family originate in Picardy in northern France. Hamel, a commune of Somme, in the district of Amien, is located eleven miles from the city of Amiens, on the plateau of Santerre, not far from the Somme River.

In 1914 it had 621 inhabitants. It was entirely destroyed during World War I. It was taken by the German army in 1918 and re-taken by the Americian army onJuly 4, 1919. The ancient bourg of Hamel was located southeast of Corbie. It was once very large. Some ruins of the fortifications can still be seen today. The Hamel linage can be traced back to Wauthier I of Hamel in the year 1202 through church records (Wauthier of Hamel, knight, married to Ermine Crevecoeur in March 1202).‬‪

Coming to North America

During the first half of the 1600’s there was much turmoil in France and many peasants took the opportunity to start a new life in Quebec and Acadia (now the state of Maine) in New France. During this time there was war, high taxes, inefficient farming, a series of crop failures, famine, disease, unemployment, poverty. At the same time French sailors were exploring and setting up settlements in Quebec and Acadia. The French government wanted to establish settlements and increase trade in New France and actively they recruited both men and women to populate their new colonies. The turmoil in France and the opportunities in New France were probably the major reasons for immigrating.‬ Source.

Francois married Marie Anne Hayot in 1620  in Rouen, Sein Maritime, Normandie, France. They would have three children. Charles, Jean Francois, Francois and Anne.