The "filles du roi" or daughters of the king were French women who agreed to go to New France (Canada) and marry a settler there in exhange for a dowry from the French King, Louis XIV. These women began arriving Quebec in the Spring of 1663 and the last arrived in 1673.
Their dowry was 50 livres and was only paid when they married. This was enough for a family to live on for one year.
There were approximately 767 of these ladies. Their age ranged from 12 years and up. At this time 12 years was a marriagable age for women.
The first women were recruited in the La Rochelle area. However, later many were recruited from Paris at the Hôpital Général. After agreeing to go to New France, they had to walk to the port where they were to debark.
The trip to Canada was no pleasure cruise. There were no passenger ships, only mechant ships. The ladies were in the hold with the livestock that feed everyone on the voyage. Also in the hold were any men who had been hired to go to New France. There were no facilities, so the smell must have been awful.
These ladies were of very sturdy stock!
- Kings Daughters - List of women who are considered King's Daughters who are on the website