Returning to Canada

Returning to Canada


This is a short family and personal history. Please see the other biographies for detailed information on the different facets of my career. The above photo is from the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax.

My ancestry can be traced back to Jean Royer (1634 -1675/76).  Son of Jean Royer and Marie Pais, Jean Royer was baptized in France on March 29, 1634 in the church Notre-Dame de Vair of Saint-Cosme-de-Vair located in the diocese of Le Mans. He migrated to New France (Canada) and would be mentioned for the first time on August 10, 1659 when he obtained a concession from Charles de Lauzon in the seigneury of Liret (Sainte-Famille). Jean Royer and Madeleine Dubois gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Marie-Madeleine Royer, who was baptized on February 20, 1662. Having signed a marriage contract in October 9, 1663 in Quebec City, he married another woman, Marie Targer, born in France on February 22, 1642. She was one of the King’s Daughters (French: filles du roi; filles du roy), a term used to refer to the approximately 800 young French women who immigrated to New France between 1663 and 1673 as part of a program sponsored by King Louis XIV designed to boost New France’s population both by encouraging male colonizers to settle there, and by promoting marriage, family formation and the birth of children. Jean Royer died at Ste-Famille between 1675 and 1676. He had 86 descendants by 1729.

My great grandfather, Napoleon Royer (1878-1950), moved to the USA in 1896 and settled in Lewiston, Maine. My father, Richard Royer, was born in Lewiston, Maine, and moved to Los Angeles after serving in the US Air Force. I was born in Hollywood in 1959. My mother, Virginia DiTullio Royer, was a pianist and several members of her family were professional musicians. I was surrounded by music growing up and this inspired me to become a musician.

I began my career as a professional freelance cellist, working in Los Angeles from 1980 to 1985. I met my wife Kaye, a clarinetist from Canada, in a music festival in Siena, Italy in 1982. We married and I immigrated to Canada, both in 1985. For the next 5 years, we split our time between Burlington, Ontario and Los Angeles, before settling full time in Toronto in 1990. A Royer has come full circle back to Canada.

For more information on Jean Royer and his descendants, go to:

For more information on the King’s Daughters, go to:

Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, Quebec City. Ron’s family can be traced back to Jean Royer, who immigrated to the Quebec City area in 1659.
Famed landmark in the mountains above the city. Ron was born in a hospital on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.
Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy. Ron met his wife Kaye at a music festival in this historic medieval city