But things were to take a different turn in the spring of 2012 when Jean-Marie Germe, a French genealogist, was examining the archives of the Protestant parish of Saint Yon de La Rochelle.
In Champlain’s time, La Rochelle was a neighbouring town and rival of Brouage. Germe found there was the baptismal record of Samuel Chapeleau, son of Antoine Chapeleau and Marguerite Le Roy, dated August 13, 1574.
Thus Champlain sailed from Honfleur on the fifteenth of March, 1603, and prepared to follow the route that Jacques Cartier had opened up in 1535.
What are the chances of finding another baptismal certificate dating from this era where the names are identical to those we find in other historical documents? However, even though the family names of Chapeleau and Champlain are similar, this small difference — understandable as it may be — cautions us not to jump to conclusions.
He visited Porto Rico (now Puerto Rico,) Mexico, Colombia, the Bermudas and Panama. He was an indefatigable explorer – and an assistant to other explorers – in the quest for an overland route across America to the Pacific, and onwards to the riches of the Orient.
[“Concerning the Primitives: Or Travels of Samuel Champlain of Brouages, Made in New France in the Year 1603”], Samuel de Champlain indicated that he was a native of Brouage in the Saintonge region of France.
But unless there is another discovery to equal the one made by Mr.
Germe, a complete mystery will continue to surround Samuel de Champlain’s date and place of birth.
From 1604 to 1607, the search went on for a suitable permanent site for them.