MSS-030-Acadian History-Part 1B: Pre-Deportation

.Episode 030-March 24, 2015

Today we again join Lucie LeBlanc Consentino as she wraps up her explanation of the history of the Acadians before deportation. In Language Tip #30, we’ll see how understanding the pronunciation of IEU will help us to locate ancestors in online indexes. And we update the “Walk in the Steps of Your Acadian Ancestors” tour.

Battle for Fort La Tour

Madame La Tour Defending Fort Sainte Marie – commonly referred to as Fort La Tour; Image : Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, no d’acc 1972-26-606, MIKAN ID number 2899492

French-Canadian News

French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 11 a.m., at the Mount Clemens Public Library- Catherine Cangany, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, will present her new book, Frontier Seaport: Detroit’s Transformation into an Atlantic Entrepôt

Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society

Upcoming classes at the Vermont Genealogy Library on ‘Genealogy Research in New York State’ on March 28th with Gloria and Anastasia Pratt; and on April 11th, Carol Schwenk will present ‘Daughters of the American Revolution: Their History and the DAR Research Process’

The Franco-American Centre, Manchester, NH

March 27th from 4-5 PM- a guided tour of the French West Side of Manchester, New Hampshire

New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

April 15-18, Providence, RI-three days of classes to choose from

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 website.

The French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut

April 26, 2015, spring membership meeting at the Fellowship Hall of the Union Congregational Church on the Green in Tolland, CT, at 1:00 PM. Caren Kimenker will speak on how to organize all your photos, especially now with digital cameras. We all have thousands of digital photos. What do we do with them so they will be preserved for future generations?

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.’ You can view a video with information on some of their speakers and presentations here.

Language Tip #30- The Sound of /IEU/

The sound of /eu/ in French is like the English sound of /er/ without the /r/. Say ER in English, but stop before you fully get to the /r/. For surnames that end in IEU or IEUX, it’s similar. Say the English IER without the /r/.

When an English speaker hears /ieu/ in French, he tends to ‘translate’ it with the R sound at the end. So a name like Beaulieu is found in the records as ‘Bolier.’ (Soundex: Beaulieu=B400; Bolier=B460) {Images from HeritageQuest Online]


We pronounce names that end in X as if the X wasn’t even there (because there is no final E). So names like Levieux, Lesieux, and Lemieux show up as Levier, Lessier, Lemier, or Lemyer. (Soundex: Levieux=L120; Levier=L160).





Something else to keep in mind when searching online databases.

Acadian History-Part 1B: Pre-Deportation

We left off in episode #29 with Lucie LeBlanc Consentino explaining that there was so much more to tell about the Acadians before the deportation. So in this episode, she continued her story.

We discussed:

The building of dikes (aboiteaux) began in 1636 in an attempt to prevent the salt tides from flooding the marshes. The Acadians reclaimed this fertile land and as a result, enjoyed profitable agricultural endeavors.

Seigneuries were granted to members and friends of the governing bodies of the country. Their job was to settle the country, protect the settlers, and support the mission.

Fur trading was a big business. A rivalry grew between Charles la Tour and Charles d’Aulnay, the two big fur traders. Latour was living at the mouth of the Rivière St. Jean. D’Aulnay was living in his fortified trading post on the Penobscot. In 1645 when Latour was in France, D’Aulnay captured Fort Latour. After d’Aulnay’s death, Latour eventually became governor of Acadia.

In 1654, Commander Sedgwick from Boston took Fort Latour and Port Royal. Latour shifted his allegiance to England. In 1667, Acadia was restored to France.

In 1689, France and England went to war again, and in 1690 Port Royal is taken again. In 1710 Port Royal again capitulates to the English. In 1713 Acadia is turned over to the English for the last time. Port Royal is renamed Annapolis Royal after Queen Anne.

In the following decades the Acadians had problems with the British governors wanting them to declare allegiance to the British monarch, and they became known as ‘French Neutrals.’

Life under British rule varied depending upon the assigned governor. Some allowed the Acadians to follow their religion and live their lives. In the 1750s, Governor Charles Lawrence in Halifax and Governor Shirley in Massachusetts hatch plans to oust the Acadians from their lands.

Fort Louisbourg had already experienced a deportation in 1748. When the British captured the fort, the Acadians were sent to France. Since France has begun to put its parish records online, Stephen White has found church records for many of these families. Some of these people moved back to Louisbourg when the fort was returned to the French.

Louisbourg, 1758

Louisbourg in 1758; image copyright held by Charny, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license;

In 1748, some of the Acadians asked permission to move to Île St. Jean, today’s Prince Edward Island, even though life was harder there. Several people escaped the unrest by moving to Kamouraska.

By 1750, the original 340 people had grown to over 10,000 people. Then in 1755, the main deportation took place. The people who had moved to Île St. Jean did not escape. They were deported in 1758.

Recommended books:

If you are lucky enough to have Melanson ancestry, Lucie recommends Melanson-Melancon: The Genealogy of an Acadian and Cajun Family by Michael Melanson.

Many of the Acadians in Louisiana were deported to Maryland first. For descendants of those people, she recommends A Guide to the Acadians in Maryland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries by Gregory A. Wood.

Lucie also cautions people about using Bona Arsenault’s book due to many errors and misinterpretations.

For an overview of Acadian history, she suggests The Acadians Before 1755 by Régis Brun.

Find Lucie:




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