MSS-029-Acadian History-Part 1A: Pre-Deportation

Episode 029-March 3, 2015

According to the Gaspesian Heritage Web Magazine, “It is estimated that today, among Québec’s population, more than a million people (or more than 15%) bear Acadian origins.” Add to that the descendants who moved to America and other places around the world and there are quite a few of us that can trace our French-Canadian lines back to Acadia.

Acadia (1754)  by Klaus Mueller

Acadia (1754) by Klaus Mueller

So today Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, well-known “font” of Acadian knowledge, shares with us the history of the Acadians before deportation. It is a history that includes great achievement and unimaginable tragedy.

In Language Tip #29, we take a look at various possible spellings for names ending in ERT as well as tips for locating these names in online databases and indexes.

French-Canadian News

French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 11 a.m., at the Mount Clemens Public Library- the annual get acquainted meeting. Bring your charts for at least one member of the Carignan – Salières Regiment or an ancestor who lived in the Detroit River Region circa 1760-1763, and introduce them to the group.

Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society

Upcoming classes at the Vermont Genealogy Library on Online Newspapers: Chronicling America: Using Historic Newspapers in Genealogical Research with Ernest Anip on March 7; Researching Your Irish Ancestors – Irish Heritage Festival on March 10 (that’s a Tuesday evening at 7pm); Recording Your Ancestry with Family Tree Maker with the Library Staff on March 14; and Finding Cousins with Autosomal DNA (Part 2) with Ed McGuire on March 21.

The Franco-American Centre, Manchester, NH

March 11 from 7:30 – 8:30 pm at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College-“The French & Indian War – Rogers’ Rangers and the Local Derryfield (Manchester) Connection” by Aurore Dionne Eaton. The talk will provide an overview of the war, focusing particularly on the local New Hampshire men who served in the irregular British unit, Rogers’ Rangers. In particular, it will look at the roles these men played in the war, including taking part in the burning of Quebec farms in 1759 prior to the Battle of Quebec.

The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California

Spring Meeting on Sunday, March 22, 2015, 10 AM, at the SCGS Family Research Library in Burbank, California-”Influences and Contributions by French-Canadians in New England and New York.” See website for complete details.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

April 15-18, Providence, RI-more information and registration

New England Family History Conference

April 11, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Franklin, Massachusetts-free, all-day conference. I will be presenting a talk on Beginning French-Canadian Genealogy: Crossing the Border. Register on the website.

Quebec Family History Society Conference, Roots 2015

June 19-21, 2015, at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec- the largest ENGLISH LANGUAGE genealogical conference held in Quebec. You can take advantage of talks such as ‘How to Find Land And Probate Records in Quebec,’ ‘The Military Origin of “ Dit “ Names in Quebec,’ and ‘Coroners Files at the BAnQ.’

Language Tip #29-The Sound of ERT

Reminder:

In French, in general, a final consonant is not sounded unless;

  • that final consonant is a C, R, F, or L (remember the consonants in the word ‘CaReFuL’)
  • the final consonant is followed by a silent E

So the surname Robert is pronounced /RO-BAIR/ in French. The T is not sounded.

When searching in indexes or online databases, think of how it sounds and look for all those possible spellings (images from HeritageQuest Online).

Joseph Robair

ERT-Robair

 

 

Adeline Robear

ERT-Robear 1

 

 

Dolphus Robare

ERT-Robear

Albert Robert

ERT-Robert

 

 

 

 

If you are researching in a database’s Soundex-based search function, the code for Robert is R163. The Soundex code for the other three spelling variations is R160. (See episode # 4 for a review of the soundex system.) Keep this in mind when searching.

Other anglicized spellings of surnames ending in ERT are:

Hébert

ERT-Hebert

 

 

Hobert/Aubert

ERT-Hobert

 

 

 

Boisvert

ERT-Boisvert

 

Joubert

ERT-Joubert

 

 

Gilbert

ERT-Gilbert

 

 

Acadian History-Part 1A: Pre-Deportation

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino is well-known for her collection of Acadian material on her website at http://acadian-home.org/. In our discussion, we covered the following topics:

History

1604-The first Acadian settlement took place on St. Croix Island but was short-lived. The first settlers under Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, came not only to farm, but to gain hold of the fur trade. Forty-three men died of scurvy.

1605-The settlement was moved across the Bay of Fundy to Port Royal (today Annapolis Royal). Louis Hébert, an apothecary, traveled with de Mons to Port Royal, returned to France, and then eventually settled Québec with his family.

1607-The colony was abandoned.

1610-Poutrincourt established a new colony.

1612-Samuel Argall from Boston destroyed Port Royal. Some colonists left for France; some stayed among the Natives. Fur trade and fishing continued, however. A fort was built on the St. John River (Frederickton).

1621-King James I gave Acadia to Sir William Alexander, the Earl of Sterling, who was Scottish. Acadia was renamed Nouvelle Écosse, or Nova Scotia, although the Acadians continued to refer to it as Acadie.

1632-The Treaty of St-Germain-en-Laye gave Nova Scotia back to France. This is when the real settlement with families began. Isaac de Razilly put together a group of about 300 settlers, mostly artisans who were to build the infrastructure of the settlement, but some with wife and children. They came on the ship St. Jehan in 1636. Many of the artisans returned to France when their work was done.

1639-1649 and 1651-Other settlers arrive.

There is confusion regarding where these settlers were from. The port of departure is not necessarily the person’s place of residence or birth.

Lucie began her Mothers of Acadia DNA project because so many records were missing or destroyed that could have told us a settler’s place of origin. It has especially been useful in determining which Acadian mothers were European and which were Native. This project has dispelled many false assumptions.

1655-Port Royal is captured by the British.

1667-More pioneers came.

1671- First enumeration of Acadia-population 340. There was the need to spread out so the next generations had enough land to farm.

The Acadians built a strong relationship with the Natives, who helped the Acadians to survive in the wilderness.

With such a small group of people in the settlement, cousins intermarried. The dispensations in marriage records helped to identify family relationships.

Archaeological digs at Beaubassin indicate trade between the English and Acadians.

1710-When England gained control of Acadia for the last time, the early English “governors” allowed the Acadians more freedom to retain their religion and remain neutral. The name was changed to Annapolis Royal after Queen Anne.

As time went by, the Acadians were expected to sign an oath of allegiance to the English monarch swearing to take up arms, if needed, against the French. The Acadians would not do that and were called the French Neutrals.

Some Acadians fled to the Kamouraska and surrounding regions. Many worked their way to St-Basile where there was a large, early settlement. These people totally avoided the upcoming deportation.

The Acadians were skilled at reclaiming the land from the ocean by building dikes. The result was very fertile crops. They were terrific fisherman and navigators.

Records

Priests kept excellent records, but most were lost or destroyed during the deportation resulting in the lack of knowledge of the settlers’ origins.

Some records from Grand-Pré survived because an Acadian carried the records with him throughout his exile to Virginia, England, France, and finally to Louisiana in 1785. He gave the registers to the Bishop of Baton-Rouge who refused to return them to the Bishop of Halifax. After some of the records were destroyed in a flood, the Bishop of Baton-Rouge sent a copy to the Bishop of Halifax. Extant records cover the period from 1707 to 1749. These records were transcribed and published in book form and can be purchased from the diocese of Baton-Rouge.

Acadia was always under the authority of the Bishop of Québec due to its small size. In 1687, Grand-Pré was large enough to build its own church, the church of Saint-Charles-des-Mines.

Some registers from St-Jean-Baptiste in Port Royal also survive. They can be found on the Nova Scotia Archives website under the heading of ‘An Acadian Parish Remembered.’ Surviving records from 1702-1755 have been transcribed, and you can view the actual record.

Nova Scotia Archives

From Nova Scotia Archives, http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/acadian/

Resources

Lucie’s website: Acadian Ancestral Home at www.acadian-home.org.

Many books on Acadians have errors. However, she would recommend The Acadians Before 1755 by Regis Brun.

For the descendants of Michel Boudrot, there is the Histoire de la Famille de Michel Boudrot, 1641 to 1780, by Stephen A. White, published by the Boudreau Family Association (in French).

A book with terrific photos is Acadian Roots: Images of the St. John Valley by Dottie Hutchins.

She also suggests reading anything written by Stephen White, a genealogist at the Centre d’Etudes Acadiennes, Moncton University, New Brunswick. In 1999, he published Le Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes, currently out of print, covering 1636-1714, which will be republished with updates and corrections in the future. These updates and corrections are in a 197-page PDF document that you can download on the Centre d’Etudes Acadiennes website. Also set for future publication will be a multi-volume set covering the period from 1715-1780.

Also on the CEA website is Stephen White’s ‘Les Trente-Sept Familles,’ or ‘The 37 Families.’ This includes the genealogies of the thirty-seven families who hosted one of the early Acadian World Congresses in Moncton.

For more on the history of Port Royal, see the Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History website.

To be continued in Episode #30.

Upcoming 2016 Acadian Tour/Research Trip

Lucie and I are planning an Acadian research trip to the Maritimes for late spring or early summer 2016. This would include research opportunities at the Centre d’Études Acadiennes as well as trips to historic/cultural sites. Immerse yourself in the lives of your ancestors.

As we are in the planning stages, send us the locations associated with your ancestors so we can try to include them in the itinerary. Help us make this tour as valuable to you as possible. Details will follow. Let us know if you’re interested at feedback [at] maplestarsandstripes [dot] com. And sign up for the Maple Stars and Stripes newsletter (http://www.maplestarsandstripes.com/newsletter) so you’ll be the first to receive details and reserve your spot.

 

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