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The newsletter may be read by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page to each article.


  • Answered Prayers At the Acadian Memorial By Brenda Faye Comeaux Trahan    
  • Archives nationales du Québec/ANQ Records By James Carten    
  • Acadian Tenants in Lower Montague, Prince Edward Island By Georges Arsenault    
  • Declaration of Independence - A Treasure Found By Lucie LeBlanc Consentino    
  • Marie-Rose Daigre By Stephen A. White    
  • Faragher, John Mack. A Great and Noble Scheme Reviewed by William J. Cork, D.Min.    
  • Finding Your French-Canadian Ancestors By Maurice A. LeBlanc    
  • John Hancock President of the U.S. & of the Continental Congress By Lucie LeBlanc Consentino    
  • Happenings at the Acadian Memorial By Shirley Thibodeaux LeBlanc    
  • Késsinnimek - Roots - Racines E-zine Index By Norm Leveilée, Editor    
  • Jean-Claude Landry - Myth or Progenitor By Dr. Donald Landry    
  • Bénoni LeBlanc By Stephen A. White    
  • Pierre Miville By James Carten    
  • Poems: Acadie, Where Art Thou & Hebert's Garden By James Perry    
  • Research in Newfoundland By Peggy Gale Bennett    
  • Summary of 1766 Spanish Census, Louisiana By Roger Rozendal    
  • The Acadian Saga - Part 1: 1604-1713 By Stanley LeBlanc    
  • EDITOR'S CORNER Lucie LeBlanc Consentino    
  • Comments to the Editor    
  • Pennsylvania Gazette July 3, 1755 - The British Prepare for the Deportation    
  • *****Five Star Sites*****

  • Acadie, Where Art Thou?
    My Acadie, Where have thou gone?
    Stolen by a thief, right in the daylight
    My brother Acadie, Where have thou gone?
    Scattered to the four winds
    For refusing to fight.
    My lovely Acadie,
    Where have thou gone?
    Homes and lands pillaged
    Burnt black as the night
    By the King's red coated men
    While our fathers and sons
    Dear husbands and brothers
    Imprisoned in the village
    Stand helpless watching the fire
    Burn bright.

    My darling Acadie, Where have thou been?
    To Dante's hell and back
    Expulsion, Dispersion, Eviction
    Torn from thee dear Acadie
    Ripped from the bosom of thy family
    Sons and daughters, sisters and brothers
    Husbands and wives, fathers and mothers
    Like Evangeline of old
    Your story, my love
    Still needs to be told!

    My heavenly Acadie, Where are thou going?
    Gone to the future
    Come from the past
    Pathways thru the forest
    Strewn with your blood and ashes
    Softly call out your name
    Acadie, Acadie!
    Hidden away for years
    Your ancient land cleansed pure
    By our God's own tears
    Futures forged
    Dies cast Like a pheonix,
    From the ashes
    My Acadie rises from the past!

    My beautiful Acadie, Where art thou now?
    In the stillness of the meadow
    The lark awaits your return
    In the scent of the sunrise
    By the light of the moon
    Where the tide ebbs and flows
    When the apple blossom blooms
    In the shadow of the wood
    The timid deer, ears perked
    Pauses to hear
    Of your coming
    When the west wind blows
    by Blomiden's Cape
    I see thee, dear Acadie
    I feel thee
    You are in my heart
    You are my spirit
    You have finally, finally come home!

    Arsenic, Lavender,
    Hyssop and Thyme
    Clove, Sage and Ginger
    All grow in a line
    Savory for the goose
    Parlsey for the gander
    Oregano for moose
    It could not be grander.

    Rosemary planted next to the Chives
    Their flowers soon pillaged
    By the little honey bee
    Stealing the nector
    To make liquid gold in their hives
    Grapes grow by the pallisade
    Cling to the vine
    Stomped in the vat
    Bottled, it is sweet wine
    Mint for my teacup
    Grows all by its itself
    With a dollop of gold honey
    Its tastes so delightful
    Its flavor so full
    Paris can't offer
    A drink so divine.

    These lovely herbs
    All grow in my garden
    For the Order of Good Cheer
    Needs their flavour
    More than their stale beer.

    Finding Your French-Canadian Ancestors
    Part 2 – More Tools

    By Maurice A. LeBlanc

  • Research Centers and Libraries

    Last month we discussed five tools available online. Today I would like to write about a number of other tools I have found in research centers and libraries. These pertain to research into Quebec parish records.

  • Marriage Indexes

    All research centers have copies of the marriage indexes. These indexes were compiled for most parishes, in many cases by a local priest. I have generally found them to be very accurate; although, on one occasion I have found a difference with information from the PRDH. Whenever possible, it is always better to double check the information published when another reliable source can be easily consulted.

    Indexes for some parishes may not yet have been compiled. It is uncertain at this time if this can still be accomplished, given the changes to the civil code described in last month’s article. I have just learned that the plans of some volunteers from my own local center to compile the records of one of our nearby parishes have been shelved because of an edict issued from the diocesan office. Bishops throughout Quebec have prohibited priests from allowing access to their parish records, even for genealogical and historical research.

    The indexes available at any one location may vary. In most cases, they have indexes for all nearby parishes; centers in large cities generally have a more extensive collection. How you find the right index to consult may vary depending on how each center has cataloged its collection. Most likely, you will need to know the parish or county where the marriage took place. There are various other tools available that can supply that information.

  • The Loiselle Microfilms

    This is a tool which I have found to be of great help in finding most marriages when the location was unknown to me. It is a collection of microfilmed index cards available in two sets; one index for the men’s surnames, and the other for the women’s. When I don’t have a better source to consult, I’ll go here to see if they have indexed the marriage. Surname variations may sometimes be a problem with this tool. Of course, if the marriage occurred before 1800, I’ll first see if I can find it on the PRDH CD. In the case of the PRDH, standardized surnames are used for indexing and this simplifies the search. But if the marriage occurred after this date, it will not be on the CD and I’ll then try Loiselle, or some other tool.

  • The BMS2000 Database

    This is a tool I came across in the Sherbrooke center. The BMS2000 project began in 1998 when 5 genealogical societies decided to pool their resources and produce a computerized database. As the title indicates, the database contains births, marriages and deaths. It is not available for sale, and to consult the database one must visit one of the 25 participating societies. To join the group, a society is expected to contribute data from its local area. The tool includes a search capability, and the results are classified according to reliability. Since more than one society may have supplied information from the same records, I believe an effort is now underway to consolidate duplicate information. For a list of the 25 societies, one may consult the research tools page at this address: Club genealogie Longueil,Quebec

  • Consolidated Index of Marriages and Deaths, 1926 - 1996

    The Québec Genealogical Society has released a consolidated index of marriages and deaths covering the years 1926 thru 1996. Compiled from records supplied by the Statistics Institute of Québec and the Department of Health and Social Services of Québec, it is available on 2 CD’s. It may only be sold in Quebec, and only to genealogical societies or libraries with a genealogical section. Like the BMS2000 tool, it is necessary to visit a genealogical society where this tool is available in order to use it.

  • Drouin Institute Marriage Indexes (1760-1935)

    A basic source for many researchers, the Drouin Indexes comprise an extensive collection. Published in 61 volumes for the men, and 64 volumes for the women, few libraries can afford the $30,000 price tag for the collection of bound volumes. A microfiche edition is available at half the price. (A set of 49 volumes for the men was originally printed, so some source references may not correspond to the 61 volume set). In addition to bound volumes and the microfiche edition, the index for the women is also available on 21 microfilms. A somewhat smaller collection of marriage indexes covering 1760-1825 is also available. It is published in 22 volumes for the men with a 5 volume cross-reference for the women. For marriages before 1760, one may sometimes find the “Red Drouin” collection of 3 volumes, presently out of print.

  • Genealogical Dictionaries

    Most research centers possess a collection of genealogical dictionaries. For Acadian issues, the most authoritative and recent source is Part 1 of the Dictionnaire généalogique des familles Acadiennes published by the University of Moncton. Also available in many centers are dictionaries by René Jetté, by Cyprien Tanguay (7 volumes), and the Complément to Tanguay by J-Arthur Leboeuf. Older works by Adrien Bergeron and Bona Arsenault can often be found.

  • Acadian Tenants in Lower Montague, Prince Edward Island

    By Georges Arsenault

    In the 1770s, a number of Acadian families settled in Lot 59, Prince Edward Island, as tenants. The area was then called Three Rivers. Many of them had been exiled to France during the deportation by the British, others had escaped and had made their way to the French island of Miquelon around 1765.

    These Acadian families were invited to come and settle in an area of Lot 59, now known as Lower Montague, by David Higgins, one of the proprietors of the township. In partnership with James William Montgomery, lord advocate of Scotland, Higgins had established a fishing, lumbering, and mercantile business in the area and was in need of manpower.

    Between 1772 and 1774, fourteen Acadians and eighteen Scots signed small leases to David Higgins. Many of these Acadians were related to each other. For instance, there was François Cormier and his four married sons. The others names were Aucoin, Boudreau, Chiasson, Deveau, Doiron, Maillet and “LePare”.

    In the early 1780s, all the Acadian tenants left Lot 59. Their departure was probably linked to the serious financial problems that beset their employer and landlord, David Higgins, who died penniless in 1783. Most of these Acadian families eventually made their way to Cheticamp in Cape Breton where Charles Robin, a Jersey merchant, ran a fishing station.

    Only two families ended up staying in Prince Edward Island, that of Paul Chiasson and Alexis Doiron. Paul Chiasson went to Bay Fortune after a brief stay in Cheticamp, and later to Rollo Bay. He is the ancestor of the Chaissons from Eastern Kings. Alexis Doiron left Lower Montague and settled in Rustico around 1782. He is the ancestor of all the Island Doirons.

    (For more information on Alexis Doiron, see "The Saga of Alexis Doiron" by Georges Arsenault. On David Higgins, see Canadian Dictionary of Biography Online : http://www.biographi.ca/EN/ShowBio.asp?BioId=36071&query=higgins)

    Archives nationales du Québec aka ANQ Records -

    By James Carten

    These baptismal acts were taken from the micro-films in the A.N.Q. (Archives Nationales du Québec) at Laval University in the Casault Pavillion.

    The Latter Day Saints have done a fantastic job of copying the parish and civil registers in Québec and other areas such as well as a few towns in Acadia. There must be thousands of tapes in the Archives and are there for public viewing and also photocopying. You will find baptismal, marriage and burial acts and these are the best primary sources that you will find. The Archives are open daily six days a week from 10:30 a.m. until 9:45 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, and from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 or 4:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Saturdays they open at 8:30 a.m.

    What is so wonderful about these films is not only their reliability but also you will find the names of the parents, the father's trade or profession oft times, the godparents in the baptisms, the witnesses in the marriages and the burials. This means that if the child was baptized in St-Charles-les-Mines that the godparents were from there, as the distance for them to travel from someplace else would be too great to attend a baptism of a child born that day or the day before. Here is an indiction of who the godparents were and where they resided at that date in time. You will find in the marriages whether the couple receiving the sacrament were of age or not, and in quite a few cases, if the groom might have been from another village or town it would be noted. It will also note the parents and if they are deceased it will be mentioned. Then of course there are the witnesses and finally the signatures of those who could sign, giving us an idea on who was literate and who was not.

    For the godparents, in Acadia as well as in Québec, there seemed to be a tendency to have an influential person as a godfather. We can see that especially around forts, and larger cities. such as Trois-Rivières where you might run across the name of Pierre Boucher as a godfather. We find Charles de Latour in Acadie at St-Charles-les-Mines. I do not know why this was popular but I can only guess that it would either give the family bragging rights or it would be a sort of deal which just might bring prosperity to the child, as the parents were dirt poor and anything they could grasp onto to hope for the better, they did.

    I would encourage you to stop by the A.N.Q. at Laval. An added attraction is that the SGQ is now located next door to the Archives. On the next floor up, there are the Archives where you may view and procure copies of old photographs of various towns, the construction of the Québec Bridge etc.

  • Marie Landry
  • The 30-11-1717, me, undersigned, has baptized Marie Landry, born the same day daughter of Jean Landry and of Claire LeBlanc, legitimate conjoints. She had for godfather Claude Landry and for godmother Catherine Landry, en foy de quoy I have signed the same day and below,

    Fr. Félix Pain, R.M.

  • Marie-Josèphe Babin
  • The 24-11-1717, I have baptized Marie-Josèphe Babin, born the same day, daughter of René Babin and of Élisabeth Gautreau, legitimate conjoints. She had for godfather Claude Babin and for godmother Marie Terriot, en foy de quoy I have signed this same day below.

    Fr. Félix Pain, R.M.

  • Amand Daigre
  • Armand Daigre, born the 28-01-1712, legitimate son of Bernard Daigre and of Marie Bourg has received the baptismal ceremonies the 15-05-1712 in the parish church of St-Charles-les-Mines, by us, undersigned, the godfather was Bernard Daigre, Jr., and the godmother was Marie Granger who declared not being able to sign, en foy de quoy I have signed.

    Bonaventure Masson
    Réc. Miss.

  • Marie-Joseph Gotrot
  • Marie-Joseph Gotrot born the 10-06-1712, legitimate daughter of François Gotrot and Marie Vincent was baptized the same day in the parish church of St-Charles-les-Mines by me undersigned. The godfather was Pierre Gotrot, the godmother Magdeleine Blanchard who declared not being able to sign.

    Bonaventure Masson
    Réc. Miss.

    Jean Gotrot

    Born the 12 9bre 1710, legitimate son of François Gotrot and of Marie Vincent was baptized the same day in the parish church of St-Charles-des-Mines by me undersigned acting in the pastoral functions; the godfather was the Sieur Jean Mouton, the godmother Françoise Raimbault, the godfather signed with me, the godmother declared not being able to sign, en foy de quoy I have signed.

    Fr. Bonaventure Masson Réc. Miss.
    Jean Mouton.

  • Honoré LeBlanc
  • Honoré LeBlanc, born the … 9bre 1710 legitimate daughter of Jacques LeBlanc and of Catherine Landry was baptized the same day by me, undersigned, the godfather was Jean Dupuis, the godmother Marie LeBlanc who declared not being able to sign en foy de quoy I have signed

    Fr. Bonaventure Masson
    Réc. Miss.

    Note : Honoré is a male name as far as I know. Would there be an error in the act?

  • Élisabeth Sire
  • The 13-03-1719, I undersigned, have baptized Élisabeth Sire, born the 12th of the said month, daughter of Louis Sire and of Marie-Joseph Meunier, legitimate conjoints. She had for godfather Claude Boudrot and for godmother Marie Bourg, en foy de quoy I have signed below this day.

    Fr. Félix Pain, R.M.

    Jean-Baptiste Babin

    The 12-03-1719, I undersigned, have baptized Jean-Baptiste Babin, born the 11th of the said month, son of René Babin and of Élisabeth Gautreau, legitimate conjoints. He had for godfather Claude Babin and for godmother Marie-joseph Gautreau, en foy de quoy I have signed below this day.

    Fr. Félix Pain, R.M.

    Note : The name of the parish is not designated because these acts were taken some years ago for a research project and I have lost the reference number of the films.

  • Isabelle Gotrot
  • Isabelle Gotrot born the 14-08-1707, legitimate daughter of Laurent Gotrot and of Françoise Raimbault was baptized the 14th of the said month in the parish church of St-Charles-des-Mines by me, missionary, undersigned, the godfather was Pierre Richard and thegodmother Isabelle J……. who declared not knowing how to sign,en foy de quoi. (en foy de quoi = In faith of which)

    Bonaventure Masson
    Réc Miss. Ind.

  • Charles LeBlanc
  • Charles LeBlanc born the 24 7bre 1707 legitimate son of André LeBlanc and of Marie Dugast was baptized the same day in the parish church of St-Charles-des-Mines by me, undersigned, the godfather was Pierre LeBlanc the godmother Marie-Joseph Dupuis, the godfather signed with me, the godmother declared not knowing how to sign, en foy de quoy I signed

    Bonaventure Masson,
    Réc. Miss. Ind.

    Pierre LeBlanc.

  • Pierre Granger
  • Pierre Granger, born the 06-02-1708, legitimate son of Jacques Granger and of Marie Girouard was baptized the same day in the parish church of St-Charles-des-Mines by me, undersigned, the godfather was Pierre Terriot and the godmother Anne Bourgeois, the godfather signed with me, the godmother declared not knowing how t osign. En foy de quoy I signed.

    Fr. Bonaventure Mason
    Réc. Miss. Ind.

    René Hébert
    Born the 11-02-1708 legitimate son of Michel Hébert and of Isabelle Pellerin was baptized the 12th of the said month in the parish church of St-Charles-des-Mines by me undersigned, the godfather was René Richard and the godmother was Marie-Joseph Dupuis, who declared not knowing how to sign. En foy de quoy I have signed.

    Fr. Bonaventure Masson
    Réc. Miss. Ind.

    The Acadian Saga - Part 1: 1604-1713

    By Stanley LeBlanc

    Between 1604 and 1713, there was constant struggle between England and France for control of Acadia [Maritimes and some of New England].

    In April 1713, the British and French crowns, Queen Anne of England and King Louis XIV of France, signed the Treaty of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The treaty was one of a series of treaties ending the European War of the Spanish Succession. However, under Louis XIV, France was the dominant empire of the early 18th century and England and other Europeans powers welcomed this opportunity to also limit the expanding influence of France in the New World.

    Under the terms of the Treaty, France was stripped of two colonies important to the lucrative cod fishery - Acadia and Newfoundland. King Louis XIV, bankrupted by war, agreed to cede French land in North America to England, so the French passed most of Acadia to Britain. They still possessed a portion, one example being New Brunswick because of difficulties in interpreting Acadia's actual size. As well, France retained Cape Breton Island, Ile St. Jean, the St. Lawrence Peninsula and the St. Lawrence River. France also agreed to restore the drainage basin of Hudson Bay and to compensate England for its wartime losses.

    The Acadians thought that they had obtained the status of "neutrals" in 1713. The English version of the agreement, however, that the Governor sent to England did not contain the clause that the Acadians thought was included. The Acadians were told that they would be free to move and some did. [Note: Some moved to Port "Fort" Toulouse on Cape Breton between 1714-1716 that was mistaken later for Fort Toulouse, Alabama in 1758!]. After a short period of time, however, the British decided that the Acadians were needed to build the dikes and to grow the crops to feed the British and the Acadians were prevented from leaving [Note: Most of those who didn't leave after 1713 really wanted to stay and thought that they were "neutrals" so they probably didn't insist upon leaving.]

    There were several conflicts between 1713 and 1755 and the Acadians insisted upon their "neutral" status. Tensions, however, were building between England and France for control of the Ohio Valley. In 1754, the French established Fort Duquesne [present-day Pittsburg], later renamed Fort Pitt by the British. This started the French and Indian War [known as the Seven Years war in Europe]. This war escalated the British plans that were begun 20 years earlier to exile the Acadians from Nova Scotia.

    Part II of the Acadian Saga will cover the exile of the Acadians in 1755.

    Faragher, John Mack. A Great and Noble Scheme:
    The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians
    from Their American Homeland.

    Reviewed By William J. Cork, D.Min.

    The writing of history is never simply a matter of setting down facts, but is also, and essentially, concerned with the interpretation of those facts. The historian sifts the evidence before him with a bias and with interpretive filters, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. Yale historian John Mack Faragher looks at Acadian history through the filter of 20th century examples of “ethnic cleansing.” It’s an interpretative framework that works, and results in an important volume that gives the Acadian story its widest audience since Longfellow’s Evangeline. Like Longfellow, Faragher makes the story universal; unlike Longfellow, Faragher is not content with telling a tale of beauty and sentimentality, but wants us to learn lessons of empire and bigotry that relate to current world situations. Faragher’s interpretation is not original, of course. He pays particular attention to the work of Robert G. Leblanc in this regard, and the successful13-year struggle of Warren Perrin to wrest an apology from the British crown. Faragher, though, focuses on telling the story with a richness and an objectivity that comes from a thorough review of documentary evidence from all sides.

    Faragher’s work covers more than just the story of the expulsion; in fact, the decision to do so is made only in the chapter which beings on page 313. Rather, Faragher looks at how Acadian society developed as a distinctive culture at odds with the designs of European colonial powers. Then, following the account of the expulsion and its immediate aftermath, he surveys the historiography of the expulsion, and how different partisans related the story—or manipulated it. An intriguing episode in this regard concerns the expurgation of key documents from the Nova Scotia archives, which was discovered first by Thomas Chandler Haliburton in 1829. “The particulars of this affair seem to have been carefully concealed,” Haliburton said, “although it is not now easy to assign the reason, unless the parties were, as in truth they might be, ashamed of the transaction.” He spoke as if the parties involved were off the scene; thirty years later, however, François-Edmé Rameau de Saint-Père encountered obstructions when he sought to use even those materials which still existed in the Nova Scotia archives (462-463).

    What comes across most strongly in Faragher’s telling is the interplay between empires, the relationship between Acadia and New England in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the conflict between the Acadian self-identity that emerged and the mercantilist/colonialist mindset. When it finally comes, le grand dérangement is not an emotional act of frustration, but rooted in cold calculation over a period of fifty years.

    Neutrality was shorthand for the Acadians’ complex relationship to the colonial world. It stood for their intimate and cooperative connection to the Míkmaq, with whom they shared the land. It stood for their cultural identity, one that retained its French origins in custom, language, and religion, yet was at the same time something new, something American in its attachment to place, local practice, and newly developed traditions. And it stood for their problematic relationship to empire, their desire to participate wholeheartedly in the opportunities for wider connections, but their insistence on an exemption from the intercolonial struggle for conquest and hegemony.

    Rather than picking sides, the Acadians attempted to maintain connections with both. They had developed this position during the period of shifting imperial control which required understanding the conflict between the empires, knowing the character of the combatants, and practicing the fine political arts of equivocation and compromise. Under unambiguous British rule this position became more difficult to manage, but it was not something the Acadians could simply give up—it was an essential part of the conception they had of themselves, part of their identity.

    And it “would eventually lead the Acadians to catastrophe” (180). Acadian neutrality was more than a matter of refusal to sign an unconditional oath of loyalty when the English were in charge. It owed as much to ties of trade with New England and refusal to adhere to colonial trade restrictions as it did to the pragmatism of a conquered people with family and friends on the other side of a new border. The relationship with New England was at times one of rivalry, at times one of friendship, as illustrated by the Acadian term for New England traders, Nos amis les ennemis.

    British merchant John Nelson, writing to the Board of Trade in 1696, argued that the neutrality of border regions was a positive element that could only play into English hands in the long run. Speaking of the Indian relationships with England and France, Nelson believed that if they were allowed free trade, England must be the eventual winner. “We can and always do supply them cheaper and give them better prices for their peltry than the French.” Since the natives put self-interest above national loyalties, ties to England would strengthen, and they would then become dependent upon English trade. This would help build stability in the region (105).

    Faragher reflects, “Nelson’s assessment was remarkable for his deft comparison of the English and French experience in North America and particularly for his realistic understanding of native peoples as important players in the colonial drama. His proposal reflected his worldview: cosmopolitan and genteel, with a faith in the power of commerce to build bridges and make connections between peoples acting in their own self-interest” (106). But the colonial powers in England and in France could not see this. They wanted a system in which colonists and natives had to funnel all trade through the mother country, a system which forever must entangle New World colonies in Old World feuds.

    The Acadians might have been the case to prove Nelson’s point. They actually preferred to trade with New England. Over the years, both friendships and family ties had developed. This relationship began to sour, however, after the French and Indian attack on Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1704 (which New Englanders know to this day as the “Deerfield Massacre). Though the Acadians were not involved, they were a target of opportunity for revenge-minded Yankees; soon thereafter, the seeds were sown for a “final solution” to the French problem.

    In 1709 Samuel Vetch first argued for the futility of permitting New France to continue to exist. It was not enough to rule the French, the people must be replaced with Protestant settlers (118). The idea was shelved, but not forgotten. A detailed plan for removal was carefully prepared by Charles Morris in 1754. “That document,” argues Faragher, “is the smoking gun of Acadian removal, indisputable evidence of the premeditation of the operation. And that is undoubtedly why it disappeared from the provincial archives and why, after Reverend Brown’s transcription of it was fortuitously discovered, it was published in a ‘truncated’ version. It was simply too hot to handle” (472).

    Mercantilist greed was not the only factor at work, however. Religious bigotry permeated the English perspective. The history of New England is replete with examples of persecution of religious minorities, and anti-Catholic rhetoric frequently added spice to the sermons of Puritan divines. One of the few exceptions to this antagonism is the 17th century friendship between Plymouth merchant John Winslow, in charge of the Cushnoc trading post on the Kennebec River, and Fr. Gabriel Druillettes, SJ, missionary at Norridgewock. In 1650 Winslow would provide safe passage for Druillettes to visit Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies at a time when Jesuits were subject to the death penalty for stepping foot on New England soil. This John Winslow (an ancestor of mine) was the brother of Edward Winslow, the Governor of Plymouth, who was the great-grandfather of the John Winslow of the Deportation.

    Faragher does not make the religious theme central, but does return to it repeatedly, taking particular note of sermons preached in New England during times of conflict with France. At the time of the 1745 Louisbourg expedition, Samuel Moody described the conflict as a “crusade”; John Barnard said, “the cause is God’s” (225). A decade later, sermons intended to stir up the zeal of recruits for the Beausejour expedition introduced apocalyptic elements. Jonathan Mayhew said Catholicism was “calculated rather to make men wicket than to keep them from being so.” Samuel Checkley said Catholics were “enemies of the Son of Man and His cause,” members of the “Antichristian Romish Church, spoken of in the Book of Revelations [sic], the downfall of which is clearly foretold.” To Jonathan Edwards, Catholics were “open enemies of God’s church,” “members of the kingdom of Antichrist” (286). Isaac Morrill asked volunteers: “Are we willing to give up our Religion, the Religion of Jesus, which we now enjoy in its Purity, and which should be more dear to us than our Lives?” (300-301). Anti-Catholicism was also behind the reluctance of colonial officials to accept Acadian refugees. The Massachusetts Assembly noted that “The receiving among us of so great a number of persons whose gross bigotry [partiality] to the Roman Catholic religion is notorious, and whose loyalty to His Majesty is suspected, is a thing very disagreeable to us…” (374).

    An original contribution of Faragher’s work is his insistence that the Acadian expulsion must be seen as part of American history. Not only did l’Acadie have a century of relations with New England, but key figures behind the Expulsion were New Englanders, notably Massachusetts Governor William Shirley and John Winslow, and the soldiers who carried it out were New England militia and volunteers, not British regulars. Faragher observes that Longfellow was able to paint the story as one of “British perfidy,” and this allowed Evangeline to enter the American literary canon as required reading a period (and with both French and English-speaking parents in the Maritimes, New England, and Louisiana bestowing the heroine’s name on their daughters). But “Once New Englanders were implicated in the chain of responsibility the story was relegated to a dimly remembered chapter in the history of Canada, about which Americans are notoriously ignorant” (479).

    Faragher argues that we need to recover the Acadian story as “a story of America. A story of frontiers and borderlands at the founding moment of American history, of a people born on the margins of empire who sought a way to live with two masters, of those who attempted to foster peace, and of those who out of hatred and fear, jealousy and greed, pursued the ways of war” (480).

    Along the way, Faragher paints a vivid and detailed portrait of Acadian life. One of my favorite sections is Chapter 7, “The French Neutrals: Years of Acadian Prosperity, 1730-1739,” which incorporates insights from archaeological excavations at Belleisle and the Melanson Settlement along with historical evidence and reconstructions by folklorists from tales and songs told in Acadian oral tradition. Some of his suggestions seem to reach a bit too far, however; for example, he relates a story Antonine Maillet heard from a priest as an example of Acadian ribald humor in the 18th century, without providing any evidence for concluding that this tale actually pre-dates the Deportation.

    Another excellent section is his review of historiography in chapter 16, “Le Grand Dérangement: Memory and History.” It is not complete (the book would have benefited from an annotated bibliography), but is useful.

    There are some errors along the way. He misspells the name of Felix Voorhies as Voorheis; gives the acronym CODFIL rather than CODOFIL; speaks of the Foreign Protestants as “Germans” when they were also Swiss and Montbeliardais.

    There is the occasionally frustrating assumption—he distinguishes between Míkmaw (singular) and Míkmaq (plural), but only explains this in an endnote (494, note 3).

    He has some puzzling omissions; while he discusses the role of fiction in reviving Acadian identity in the 19th century (rightly including both Longfellow’s Evangeline and Judge Felix Voorhies’ “True Story of Evangeline” in Acadian Reminiscences in this category), he omits the work of those Acadians who have struggled to build bridges and forge a renewed identity and revive Acadian heritage and culture, including the Acadian nationalist movement in the Maritimes in the late 19th century, Dudley LeBlanc at the time of the bicentennial of the Deportation, and the Congrès Mondial Acadien since 1994. Surely these are important parts of the story of a people who were the object of an attempt to destroy them—We did not go away!

    Faragher might also have touched on the enduring relationship between the Maritimes and New England, particularly in the 19th century, when Acadians and Canadiens migrated by choice (sometimes permanently, sometimes not) across an open border, a circumstance from which other lessons might be drawn today for national and international policies on migration.

    Despite its weaknesses, this is a monumental work, equally important for its scholarship, its broad appeal, and the comparisons it makes between the actions of colonial powers in the 18th century and contemporary issues of geo-politics.

    Answered Prayers At the Acadian Memorial

    By Brenda Faye Comeaux Trahan

    Last week, Ms. Mary Anne de Boisblanc, 80 year elderly "lady" from Metairie, Louisiana entered the Acadian Memorial with a request that I use her art work for an exhibit. She carried several of her paintings for my approval. I was so touched with her work... and also that I had prayed that week for the perfect exhibit for the month of April ( planned exhibit failed ) which I had advertised for one of my monthly events for the 250 year deportation anniversary.

    I was hoping to have art work that could convey the story of the Cajuns in art form. This precious women had exactly that! Her works on canvas and in writing encompass the oral history she gained from her mother about the Acadian's homeland in Nova Scotia, the period her ancestors spent in Haiti,and their arrival on Bayou Teche at St. Martinville and Bayou Lafourche! Deportations stories were very seldom told to children in south Louisiana yet this family choose to preserve the excruciating and painful journey that was taken to settle in south Louisiana, "Nouvelle Acadie".

    Mary Anne de Boisblanc sensed a responsibility to tell these stories and picked the Acadian Memorial to help. She is an artist who captures the lifestyles of her Cajun ancestors in their home along the Bayou Lafourche and Teche where her ancestors settled during the mid-eighteenth century. Her family genealogy is an inspiration for her paintings done in primitive folk art and sketched portraits of her ancestors! Incredible since she received no formal art training.

    With me, she left a few portraits and two paintings and next week I will pick more from her collection in her studio in Metairie. She has exhibited her works at Tulane and University of Louisiana Lafayette and has been recognized by Friends of the Cabildo and Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities.

    I will start with a small exhibit in April to May, again show on Aug. 15 hopefully bringing awareness of her works to the community. Then in October (as per Ms. Mary Ann's request) have a month exhibit and opening with her birthday celebration on Oct. 1.

    She is also writing a book about the oral stories and wants to finish in time for this exhibit and as she says, "before I die". I encouraged her to believe that now she has a mission and must choose to live longer! She cried and thanked me for accepting her request to use the Acadian Memorial as a venue for her works!

    Happenings at the Acadian Memorial

    By Shirley Thibodeaux LeBlanc

    Louisiana in particular the Acadian Parishes have scheduled several activities to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Acadian Deportation.

    Throughout the month of February and March 2005 the Acadian Memorial and Museum of the Acadian Memorial was honored with the "Spirit of Evangeline" exhibition collection of author, Dr. Françoise Paradis, from Maine.

    March 19, 2005 - the Acadian Memorial held its First Annual Acadian Memorial Festival -"CALLING ALL CAJUNS", the 2005 Theme: "Commemoration of the Acadian Deportation".

    It was a reunion of all Acadians for theatre, cultural activities, music, food; dancing, story telling, boats rides on the Bayou Teche, genealogy, lectures: History of Cajun Veterans by author, Jason Theriot & Twinning Reunion between Nova Scotia Grand-Pré National Historic Site & Evangeline Oak Park.

    March 26, Holy Thursday – The Acadian Memorial observed the Catahoula Lenten traditions of "Tarte á la Bouillie" and remembering the old customs of Lenten traditions.

    The Acadian Memorial is pleased to report that the Honorable Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco will be in attendance for a dedication of Louisiana Acadian Governors' family mosaic coats of arms and plaques. This tribute is held as a commemoration of the 250 Year Anniversary of the Acadian Deportation. The event will be held on May 6th, at 3:00 p.m. in the Acadian Memorial Meditation Garden. A special tribute to Governor K. Blanco will be part of the program. Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco will assist with the unveiling of additional Acadian Family Mosaic coats of arms recently placed in the Garden. The Public is invited. A reception will follow.

    CODOFIL will commemorate both the 250th anniversary of the deportation of the Acadians and the first Day of Remembrance on July 28 as decreed by Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Proclamation signed on Dec. 9, 2003.

    A Family Heritage Event to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Acadian Deportation will be sponsored by the Confederation of Associations of Families Acadians, Inc. (CAFA) on Saturday, August 27, 2005 in Rayne, Louisiana at the Rayne Civic Center from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    This is a family type event with a morning program to honor and remember the hardships endured during the deportation. The afternoon will celebrate the survival of the Acadians and their culture with a young musicians contest followed by a professional Cajun Band. We will end the Family Heritage event with a Mass to express our appreciation and thanks for all the blessings and positive things that Acadians enjoy today.

    Booth space will be available for family associations, genealogy groups and businesses. Contact Woody Hebert whebert@cox-internet.com

    “Evangeline” - A True Love Story - to be released in September of 2005 for the Commemoration of the 250th Acadian Deportation. Joe Castille is in the process of making the movie about a contemporary love story of two love struck people in Louisiana.

    CAFA's commemoration of the 250th anniversary official name is "Acadian Heritage Family Day" to be held on August 27, 2005 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm..

    Booths are available to families for $50.00 and for commercial at $100.00. Courtesy booth will be offered to Acadian Memorial and Acadian Heritage Week groups. Others may inquire. Generally the morning program will be to honor and remember the Acadian Ancestors that were deported. The afternoon program will celebrate the survival of the Acadians with entertainment and at 4:00 pm we will give thanks for blessings by celebrating the Mass with Monsignor Joseph Bourque.

    Research in Newfoundland

    By Peggy Gale Bennet

    Lucie asked me to do an article on Research in Newfoundland. Well first of all I’d like to say Lucie has been a great help to me. I’ll never forget working on my husband’s Godet/Gaudet line. I was sent a file from a researcher a few years ago and as I was just starting out I took everything I got at face value, thinking it has to be correct. I sent the file to Lucie and she wrote back and said “hit delete, delete, delete………..”, needless to say I learned the hard way. The one rule Lucie told me to go with and it’s paid off many times over is to list your sources. I write notes in for everything now and if something turns out to be incorrect I can go back to that source and question them on it.

    My family research consists of French, English, Scottish, Irish & even a bit of German. My husband’s line is mainly French & English. Between both of our lines these are some of the families I’m researching: Adams, Benoit, Bourgeois, Chiasson, Dillon , Foote, Gale, Gallant, Godet/Gaudet, Hall, Lafitte, LeBlanc, Lee , Madore, McNeil, Pike ,Rideout, Royer, Wilcox and Zwicker.

    One of the best researches I’ve done is the Chiasson Family. All I had was one name “Mary Chiasson”. I had no other information to go on other than she married John Gale and her birth date from the census. There were lots of Chiasson’s on the west coast of our province from Port Aux Basques to Codroy to Cape St.George. I kept wondering were they related to my great grandmother. One day I made contact with Edmond Burns of Cheticamp and I asked him if he had anything on Mary Chiasson because I had heard she may have came from Margaree area. Edmond responds with “Who wants to know ?”. Well that started a year’s work of research of joining the Chiasson’s of Cheticamp & Margaree with those of Newfoundland. I went through every census, every birth, marriage and death record online. I ordered certificates from Margaree and found all my great grandmothers family. It turns out Mary was born Marie Marguerite but changed to the English version after moving to Newfoundland. Edmond then put me in contact with Dave Chiasson and before I knew it I had that family line back to Pierre Chiasson born about 1614.This was a very exciting breakthrough in my Genealogy. I also found out that the Chiasson’s from Cape St.George and the Chiasson’s from Codroy connected back to brother’s Paul & Jean, sons of Jacques Chiasson & Marie Joseph Arsenault. The Port Aux Basques Chiasson’s ,which was mainly Isidore Chiasson that married Harriet Vardy goes back to Jean as well, which is connected to my direct line.

    The earliest I’ve been able to find in the French Acadian families that immigrated to Newfoundland from Cape Breton was Marie Marguerite’s family. In the 1911 Census for Three Rock Cove, Marie Marguerite’s sister, Mathilda was listed as immigrating from Cape Breton in 1840 when Mathilda was just 10 years old and Marie Marguerite would have been only six at the time. Marie Marguerite and Mathilda’s parents were Simon Chiasson and Sophie LeBlanc, two strong French Acadian families.

    I have come to find that researching in Newfoundland extends one family into another. For example my Hall lines interconnect with my Chiasson’s .The Aucoin’s married into the Hall’s. And on it goes. Seems like so many French Acadians Families married each other and they all circle back. My research has taken me to Nova Scotia a lot and I find both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to be very similar.

    In a thesis by Rosemary E. Ommer on “Scots Kinship, Migration and Early Settlement in Southwestern Newfoundland” she has many families listed for Early Settlement in the Grand Codroy. The Hall’s came in 1830,Downey’s in 1848,Jennings in 1830,the Ryans in 1840,the Gillis around 1850.These families settled along the North Bank while on the South Bank there were MacArthur’s in 1844,MacNeil in 1850, Cormier’s in 1840 and MacIsaac’s in 1841. In her thesis Rosemary E. Ommer states that Codroy Valley demonstrates two different settlement processes representing two different ways of utilizing the area. The first (earlier) process was described as a French Shore as a whole. The first settlers’ main occupation aim was fishing grounds and trapping areas. Agriculture was unimportant. The second (later) process –that of the immigrating Cape Breton French, Irish and Scots focused on the agricultural aspect; fishing and trapping were of secondary importance.

    Many of our ancestors migrated to Newfoundland in the hope of making a better place for their families. The Codroy Valley was a land rich in many ways as stated above. Not only did the French immigrate to Codroy but there was also a large group of Scots too. Some of the Scots that came were Murphy, MacNeil, MacIsaac and MacArthur. My great grandmother, Margaret MacNeil’s family was amongst them. Margaret married Captain Paul Hall. Captain Paul & his crew were aboard his vessel, New Dominion and were headed for the seal fishery in the Gulf Of St.Lawrence when they were lost at sea in April 1903.His son, Joseph was lost too. This story was very tragic. Robert Parsons has a short story on this in his new book called “Salt Water Tales”. Captain Paul is said to be a direct descendant of Captain James Hall who fought with General Wolfe in the Capture of Quebec. If oral history is correct I have found my ancestor lines to be very interesting.

    Researching in Newfoundland has become a challenge indeed. Most of my ancestors came to Newfoundland from Cape Breton. It is very hard to connect them. I’ve come to find the best place to research is on microfilm or the old church records. Unfortunately the Public Archives is in St.John’s, a good 8 hours drive from here but I was lucky enough to get there a couple of times. It’s amazing how much you can copy down in a short time. I have also went on Microfilm at the library in Corner Brook and found a lot of information there. I’ve been to Codroy a few times and the secretary at St.Ann’s Parish has let me look through the records on file and write out as much as I like. I’ve taken digital pictures of a lot of cemeteries in the area, I find this to be a very good source to back up my information. Most of the headstones in the area are still in good shape despite being so close to the salt water.

    Another thing I did when I started researching in Newfoundland is I started questioning the elderly. My Mom and my aunt were a fountain of information. I only wish I had started my Family Tree before my Dad passed away. There are so many unanswered questions and I will probably never know the answers.

    It’s like Lucie said in her article, you have to find sources. I have bought Wills online, I’ve ordered books, certificates, CD’s, anything that will help me get ahead. I’ve tramped through cemeteries in all kinds of weather. Newfoundland has two great web sites to research, which are Nfld. Gen Web & Grand Banks site. I have found so much information on these sites I have decided to give some back to them. I think sharing is the biggest part of Genealogy and only for that we would never get ahead.

    I’d like to say a special thank you to Lucie for getting me started in the right direction. Genealogy takes a lot of determination and we can only move forward with our search.

    Summary of 1766 Spanish Census, Louisiana

    By Roger Rozendal

    In the Spanish Archives in Archive General Indios, Audience de Santo Domingo, Legatos 2595 is found:



    In this are found the 1766 Spanish census for each department and region in Spanish Louisiana. Usually, there are 2 copies of the census, in different handwriting. Although there are some differences in spelling and numbers, they are useful because what may be illegible on one may be decipherable on the second copy.

    At the end of the census lists is found:

    Resumen General Que. compressed todos Habitantes y Éstablecimentos de la Colonia de la Louisiana Hecho el año de 1766

    ”1766 General Summary that includes all Inhabitants and Establishments of the Colony of Louisiana done the year of 1766”

    I would like to present the number of Acadian families and individuals listed in this summary and compare it to the numbers I presented in my previous article “REPORT ON PAPER MONEY HELD BY THE ACADIANS NEW ORLEANS, MARCH 8, 1765”.

    Locations where Acadians are listed were:

    Departam.s Quart.s Capitanias á Comand.s
    ”Departments” “Regions” “Commandant”

    Kabakan Costa Inferior Verret
    Cabaanoce Costa Superior Judice
    Atakapas Acadianos Massé
    Opeloussas Acadianos Coudableau

    The column headings were the following:

    Vecinos = Households

    Hombres de Armas = Militia Men. Usually all males in a household 15 years of age or older. Note: Voorhies in “Some Eighteenth Century Louisianians” left this column out which distorts the number of males somewhat. Most boys 15 and older had been allocated 6 arpents of land and were listed separately from their families.

    Mujeres = Women

    Hijos varon.s grandes = Hijos varoniles grandes = Teenaged boys (probably age 12-14).

    Hembr.s grandes = Hembras grandes = Teenaged girls Note: Voorhies interpreted this as “Men”, admittedly many of the columns appear to be Hombres grandes.

    Niños = boys

    Niñas = girls

    There were also listings of slaves, land, cattle, hogs, etc. but I will not go into those.


    Kabakan 60 59 29 1 15 20 18
    - Verret

    Cabaanoce 101 103 53 7 25 56 27
    - Judice

    Atakapas 50 56 22 8 7 22 22
    - Massé

    Opeloussas 20 15 9 0 0 3 6
    - Coudableau

    TOTALS 231 233 113 16 47 101 73 TOTAL INDIVIDUALS = 583

    The breakdown is:

    Total- 231 households with 583 individuals (compared to 189 families with 674 individuals I estimated to have arrived in Louisiana)

    Cabanocey-Kabakan- 161 households with 413 individuals (compared to 114 families with 398 [estimate] individuals originally indicated going there)

    Attakapas- 50 households with 137 individuals (compared to 58 families with 231 individuals who went to Attakapas with Joseph Broussard)

    Opelousas- 20 households (3 non-arcadian) with 33 individuals (probably settled there in May 1765)


    Increase of total households is largely the result of two things: 1) many marriages given that the pool of eligible spouses was much greater, 2) each young bachelor greater than 15 years of age had been granted 6 arpents of land and was listed as a household.

    Cabanocey-Kabakan- the total households increased from 114 to 161 (see above) but the total individuals only increased from 398 to 413. This indicates to me that my estimate of 3.5 members per family where we do not have numbers is probably too high, particularly since the later arrivals included many decimated families from Santo Domingo. There were probably less than 600 Arcadians that arrived in Louisiana prior to April 1766. Until each family listed in the 1766 census is analyzed as to when and how they came to be in Louisiana, more accurate numbers will not be available.

    Attakapas- the total households decreased from 58 to 50, and the total individuals decreased from the 231 that accompanied Joseph Broussard to Attakapas to 137. In the summer and fall of 1765, a major epidemic (yellow fever?) swept through Attakapas killing many people including Joseph Broussard, Alexandre Broussard and their wives (at least 48 deaths documented). This also caused many who had settled in Attakapas to flee to Cabanocey-Kabakan in late 1765 and early 1766 (at least 67 are documented). This included all the surviving members of the Bergen, Arcane, and Dugas families.

    Opelousas- the refugees from Fort Toulouse, Alabama, were settled at Opelousas in March 1764 under the Commandant Louis Peelers. It is indicated that a small group of Arcadians (all former prisoners at Halifax or Fort Edward) were settled there in May 1765 based on the following entry in the records of St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans:

    COMEAU, Louis (Michel and Marie GIROIRE), bp. May 16, 1765, born April 20, 1765, sponsors [*] PEELERS, officer on half-pay, commandant at Opelousas, and Marie Marthe BELLAIR, his wife (SLC, B5, 92) ADNOSR v. 2, p. 59

    In my next posting, I am planning to list the results of my research in “ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS SACRAMENTAL RECORDS, VOLUME 2 1751-1771” for Acadian records for the period 1764-1766 (until the 1766 Spanish Census of Louisiana). The aim of this research is to better define the arrival of the groups of Arcadians and to determine the individuals making up these groups.

    Marie-Rose Daigre

    By Stephen A. White

    The list of refugees arriving at St-Malo in 1759 mentions that Marie-Rose Daigre, daughter of Olivier Daigre and Angélique Doiron, went to live with her "uncle Pierre Dugas at Plouër." This Pierre Dugas was the one who married Marguerite Daigre, so Marguerite was Olivier Daigre's sister. Marie-Rose Daigre's brother Miniac later wound up on Belle-Île-en-Mer, where his deposition in 1767 states that his paternal grandparents were Pierre Daigre and Madeleine Gautrot. Pierre and Madeleine were of course Marguerite Daigre's parents, too. The rest of the ancestry can be found in the first part of the DGFA, beginning at pages 448 (Daigre) and 695 (Gautrot).

    Bénoni LeBlanc

    By Stephen A. White

    Regarding Bénoni LeBlanc, he was definitely a son of Claude LeBlanc and Judith Benoit. The proof is in a long series of dispensations. We can show that Bénoni was a brother of the Jean-Baptiste LeBlanc who married Marguerite Bourg (Jean-Baptiste and Marguerite were Paul Delaney's ancestors) and that Jean-Baptiste was a brother of the Madeleine LeBlanc who married first Claude Babin and second Nicolas Jacquet dit DesLauriers and that all three thus belonged to Claude's family. Incidentally, this Claude LeBlanc and his family were deported to Massachusetts in 1755, and in 1757 were listed as having been in Concord.

    Jean-Claude Landry - Myth or Progenitor

    By Dr. Donald Landry

    For many of us researching the Landry family, "Jean-Claude Landry" is the focal point of much debate! He represents our connection between the Old World and the New World. Wishful thinking has many people believing accounts that he is that connection while others insist on verification before accepting that claim. The uncertainty is increased due to the lost of some Acadian church records kept back in the 1600's which were destroyed during a fire in the early 1700's.


    Sometime during February and March, 1998, a two part series on the Landry Family appeared in the Lafayette, Louisiana "Daily Advertiser" and again on Sunday March 16th and Sunday March 23rd the same, or similar article appeared in Damon Veach's column, "Louisiana Ancestors" which is a more widely spread genealogy column, and is published in the editions of the New Orleans TimePicayune, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, the Lafayette and possibly the Lake Charles,Alexandria and Shreveport newspapers. According to the articles, the information on the genealogy and origin of the Landry Family of Acadia was received from a Paul Surrette, historian and genealogist from Moncton, New Brunswick; Brian Comeaux, of the committee for the Congres Mondial Acadiennes-Louisiana, 1999 and Ray Landry, a member of the Landry Family Association.

    Unfortunately the articles appear to be merely a paraphrasing of Father Léopold Lanctôt, o.m.i.'s account of the "The Landrys in Acadia" in tomes I et II, Éditions du Libre-Échange ISBN 2-89412-003-6 and L'Acadie des origines Léopold Lanctôt, o.m.i. Éditions du Fleuve, Montréal, 1988, which unfortunately are filled with errors, presented as documented facts.

    For the past 10 to15 years, since I have been doing genealogical research into the Landry family, I have run across researchers and documents written by researchers that hold to the theory that the parents of René Landry, le Jeune married to Marie Bernard was Jean-Claude Landry and Marie Salé.

    On more that one occasions noted genealogists, including Stephen A. White, genealogist and historian at the University of Moncton's Centre d'Etudes Acadiennes in Moncton New Brunswick and Father Clarence J. d'Entremont, Middle West Pubnico - Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia, have more than adequately rebutted this theory. They and the others theorize that this error was caused by the early censuses of Acadia, which enumerated Marie Salé as the "widow of Jean Claude" in the cenuses of 1671 and 1678, and then in the 1686 census, no mention was made of her deceased husband Jehan Claude, Marie Salé was enumerated as 86 years old and living between René Landry, le Jeunne and René Landry's oldest son Antoine Landry. This caused noted genealogist, Archange Godbout, to leap to the conclusion, that since Marie Salé was living in close proximity to René Landry, le Jeune, then she was the mother of René Landry, le Jeune. And still a greater leap was made to conclude that if Marie Salé was the widow of Jean Claude, then Jean Claude was the father of René Landry, le jeune and Jean Claude, in fact was actually Jean-Claude Landry, father of René Landry, le jeunne. I am sure that most researchers understand the importance of having all of the information documented, and I am sure that they assume that, since the information they received was from credible sources, that it was documented and factual genealogical and historical data. What I am afraid of is that since this error was so widely published throughout Louisiana, especially in south Louisiana, where the majority of the Louisiana Acadian population resides, these errors will be perpetuated for a long time to come. And just as the errors of Fathers Archange Godbout, Leopold Lanctot and Adrien Bergeron, Bona Arsenault and countless others, have been believed to be documented facts, these errors will also be believed to be the documented facts, just because they were printed in a reputable column.

    Probably prompted by the above census entry, the writings of Adrien Bergeron in his "Le Grand Arrangement des Acadiens au Quebec" vol IV p.283, says that Marie Salé is married to Jean-Claude Landry and had two sons René Landry, the elder and René Landry, the younger. And in a more elaborate extension of this error, Leopold Lanctot, o.m.i., in his publication "Familles Acadiennes", makes the following suggestions as to the beginnings of the Landrys in the New World, when he states on page 7: "It all began in the year 1640 or 1641 when a group of 10 from the Landry family came to Port Royal, Acadia from France. The Landry family was originally from La Ventrouze, near Mortagne-au-Perche. Department of Orne, France. They were encouraged to come to Acadia by Marguerite Landry, daughter of Jean-Claude Landry and Marguerite's husband Robert Martin, who had been in Acadia for several years. The group of 10 consisted of Jean-Claude Landry and his second wife, Marie Salée (40 years) with their son René Landry, dit le jeune (6 ans) and three children of Jean-Claude Landry from his first marriage: twins, René Landry dit l' aisne (22 years) and Antoinette Landry (22 years), Perrine Landry (29 years) with her husband Jacques Joffriau. Also in the group were three of Marie Salée's children from her first marriage to Martin Aucoin. These children were: Michelle Aucoin (22 years), Francois Aucoin (18 years) and Jeanne Aucoin (8 years). The group probably settled near the Saint-John River in the Cape Sable area. They later moved to Port Royal. Please note that there were two named René in this group, René Landry, the elder (son of Jean-Claude Landry from his first marriage) and René Landry, the younger (son of Jean-Claude Landry and Marie Salé). René, the elder married Perrine Bourg, widow of Simon Pelletret, in 1645. Perrine had 2 children from her first marriage: Henriette Pelletret (4 years)and Jeanne Pelletret (2 years). "On page 9 Leopold Lanctot, in discussing the 1686 census, mentions" "Marie Salé age 61 ans, widow of Jean Claude" but he adds the surname LANDRY in parentheses "(Landry)". He like all the others before him, suggests, on page 11, that René Landry, l'aine and René Landry, le jeune are half brothers, and again adds, in parentheses, "(le jeune, demi-frere de René Landry, l'ainse)" behind René Landry, the younger's name. And again adding, in parentheses "(mere de René Landry, le jeune)" behind Marie Salé's name. Leopold Lanctot suggests, on page 15, in a chapter on René Landry, dit le jeune, and Marie Bernard, again suggests that René Landry, le jeune is the son of "Jean-Claude Landry and Marie Salé" but notice that the hyphen between Jean and Claude has been added and the surname Landry is not placed in parentheses. The placing of the earlier assumptions such as the surname Landry and Marie Salé being the mother of René in parentheses, which were later presented with out the parentheses, and the addition of a hyphen between Jean Claude's name, show the gradual progression of these errors into what is now believed by many to be documented facts. These errors are also found on pp 623-624 of "Histoire et Genealogie des Acadians" by Bona Arsenault, where Arsenault states:- "Jean-Claude Landry bn. 1593 and Marie Salé bn. 1600 daughter of Jean Denys Salé and Francoise Arnaud, were married in Department of Orne in France, in 1633. This was the second marriage for both. One child was born from this marriage, Rene, born 1643. Jean Claude died in 1671 in Mortagne-Au-Perche, France. The name of Marie Salé, age 86, appears in the 1686 Census of Acadia, living with her son René"

    However, throughout this time, Professor Stephen A. White, historian and genealogist with the Centre d'etudes Acadiennes at the University of Moncton in Moncton, New Brunswick, and his fellow historian, genealogist and author, Father Clarence d'Entremont from Middle West Pubnico, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia have steadfastedly held that the theory that René Landry's parents were Jean-Claude Landry and Marie Salé, was false. As Father Clarence d'Entremont states in a letter of November 23rd: "NOWHERE in any census or other documents is to be found an Acadian by the name of Jean-Claude Landry. So, who was the father and mother of René Landry? I do not know, nor does anybody know.... Thus the descendants of René Landry, in my humble opinion, cannot go further up in their Landry genealogy, as we do not know who the parents of René Landry le Jeune were, nor where in France he was born".

    "Jean-Claude Landry is effectively fictitious. There is no record showing that such a person ever existed. The husband of Marle Sallé is simply called Jean (or Jehan) Claude in the censuses of 1671 and 1678. According to archives, Marie Salé was married to Jean Claude; if she is to be called the mother of René Landry, necessarily we have to give her husband a name of Jean Claude LANDRY. But, I repeat, the name Jean Claude Landry is not to be found anywhere in the history of Acadia at the time; plus that the husband of Marie Salé was Jean Claude, PERIOD. He was a Micmac Indian. The Indians with the name Claude used to be quite numerous in Nova Scotia, The name became Glaude; in my young days I knew a number of them, who would write their name Glode (In French "au" is pronounced "o"). . His name occurs twice in the Port Royal Church Registers, ALWAYS as Jehan Clause, NEVER given as family name "Landry". As a matter of fact, if Clause had not been his family name, it would mean that the register gives him his first and SECOND name. Moreover, the registers of Port Royal ALWAYS give the WHOLE name of persons; but the fact is that Jehan Clause has his name given thus, NEVER with another name added to those two. If the family name had been omitted in the registers, it would be the only time that such a thing occured in any register. Thus CLAUDE was the family name."

    An enthusiastic and overly imaginative researcher added Landry to this individual's name in an effort to explain why Marie Sallé resided between the younger René Landry and his son Antoine Landry in 1686. He supposed that this was the same Marie Sallé who married Martin Aucoin at La Rochelle in 1632, which does seem quite possible, and through that marriage she was related to Michelle Aucoin, with whose daughter she resided in 1671 and 1678, which is also possible. But the only way this researcher could connect Marie Sallé with the younger Rene Landry was in guessing that her Jean Claude was really a Landry and further that he must have been the younger René's father. This is merely wishful thinking. The other difficulty with the younger René Landry concerns his absence from the 1671 census. Some researchers have thought that this signified that he had not yet immigrated to Acadia by that time, but it can be shown that the 1671 census is incomplete, and thus the omission of anyone from it does not prove that that person only arrived in Acadia after that date. Indeed the records of the LeBorgne family in series E of the Archives des colonies (dossier E 277) mention transactions involving the younger René Landry's wife's brother-in-law, Guyon Chaisson, between 1668 and 1674, so we know for certain that the Chiassons were at "Mouchecoudabouet" during those years. It is my opinion quite likely that the younger René Landry and his family lived in close proximity with the Chiassons in "Mouchecoudabouet", around that time. As Bona Arsenault has indicated, for the elder René Landry to have been called "l'Aine" in the 1671 census presupposes that another René Landry must have lived somewhere in Acadia at the same time. As Father Archange Godbout mentions in his Dictionaire des Acadiens, the younger René "came from France with his wife". This quotation is lifted from several of the depositions of the Acadians at Belle-Ile-en-Mer. As Father Godbout pointed out in the Memoires de la Societé généalogie canadienne- française (vol. V. p. 5), this expression on those depositions means simply that both the husband and wife were born in France, but does not necessarily mean that they came to Acadia together, much less already married to one another. So all we can say is that René Landry was born in France about 1634. We do not know whether he came to Acadia alone or with other relatives. As I have explained above, however, we do know that he was not nearly related to any of the other Landrys in Acadia."

    It is further stated by both Father d'Entremont and Professor White that it is very doubtful that two different census takers at two different times would have omitted the last name Landry when referring to the deceased husband of Marie Salé and if the family name had been omitted in the church and other public registers, it would be the only time that such a thing occured in any register. Therefore they both conclude that the addition of the surname Landry to Jean Claude is an error.

    In a letter witten in early 1998, Stephen A. White, Genealogist, Centre d'etudes Acadiennes writes: "What can I tell you about "Jean-Claude Landry" that I have not already said? Not much, I can assure you. No one has brought forward any new information to show that two different census takers, at two separate times, both forgot to put the name Landry in the entries pertaining to the widow Marie Sale. No one has discovered a cache of passenger lists for any of the vessels mentioned by Father Lanctot to show, as he maintains, that "Jean-Claude Landry" arrived in Acadia on a certain date, at the head of a group of a specific number of family members, In these circumstances, serious researchers must agree that nothing supports the contention that there ever was a "Jean-Claude Landry" in early Acadia." "No one really knows how the Landrys came to Acadia, how many of them came together, if indeed they did come in a group, or if and how they were related, beyond the simple fact that Rene Landry l'aine and Antoinette Landry were brother and sister. We certainly have no documentation to show that Rene and Antoinette were twins! Even though Rene and Antoinette are said to have both been fifty-three years old in the 1671 census, no experienced genealogist would read that as meaning that they necessarily born at the same time, because such records are rarely strictly accurate. After all, fifteen years later, in 1686. Antoinette is said to have been eighty! And by 1693 she had regressed to seventy-six. Such records are merely guides; they do not admit strict interpretation. To go further, without additional proofs, is to indulge in the creation of romantic fiction". "It is most regrettable that Father Lanctot chose to present his account of the history of our early Acadian families as though all of his points were based on documented facts. And it is reprehensible that a publisher saw fit to distribute such an admixture of truth and fantasy, as though it were serious history. The result is particularly invidious insofar as those people who have little or no means to consult the original records are concerned. They are left to suppose that Lanctot's work is a reliable piece of research, where as it is in fact treacherously misleading, because there are some extremely good information mixed in with the bad."

    Stephen A. White writes: "Regarding the origin and parents of René Landry, le Jeunne there is probably no other Acadian family about whose background there has been so much speculation and wishful thinking. The result is that what we actually know about the Landry families who immigrated from France to Acadia, has come to be regrettably enshrouded in a dense fog of error and confusion."

    Don is the Landry Family Historian for The Landry Family Web Site

    Pierre Miville

    By James Carten

    Now everybody knows that the first Miville came over from Switzerland, so I will skip that part. What I want to do here is the descendance of Pierre from Lévis, P.Q. down through the ages, generations and places until we return to Lévis some 300+ years later. It shall be an interesting trip, hopefully.

    1. Pierre Miville dit la Suisse, m. ~1631, Charlotte Maugis.

    In the fall of 1649, Mr. D’Ailleboust, as a procuror of the seigneur Jean de Lauzon granted to Pierre Miville, François Miville, his son and Jacques Gauthier dit Coquerel each three arpents of frontage located near the Coulée Patton* along the river and below the ridge at St-David-de-l’Auberivière. Later in July of 1665 Mr. De Tracy granted 21 arpents of frontage by 40 deep at what was later called La Grande-Anse to seven Swiss colonists, including Pierre Miville and his two sons, which was named Les Cantons des Suisses Fribourgois at the time. It later became La Grande-Anse and still later, Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière.

    Now back in 1666 the families of Pierre and François Miville surely were settled in St-David, but the census forgot them, as was the problem in the Seigneurie of Lauzon at that time. The following year Pierre is mentioned between the lands of George Cadoret* and François Miville.

    2. JACQUES MIVILLE, Sieur des Chênes, bp. 02-05-1639 Notre-Dame-de-Brouages, d. 27-, bur.28-01-1688 Rivière-Ouelle (RO) m. 12-11-1669 Notre-Dame-de-Québec, Catherine de Baillon (Alphonse & Louise de Marle). (1) (2)

    « The 12th of the month of November of the year 1669 after the financing and the publication of three marriage bans, made the 20th, 27th, and 28th of the month of October of the same year .... (between?) Jacques Miville, son of the deceased Pierre Miville and of Charlotte Maugis his father and mother of the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Québec of one side; and Catherine Baillon daughter of Alphonse Baillon and of Louise de Marle her father and mother of the parish of Montfort-la- ... Diocese of .... of the other part. Having not found any opposition I undersigned, parish pastor of this parish church have married them and have give nthem the nuptial benediction according to the form prescribed by the Holy Church in the presence of ... Louis Roüer, sieur of Villeray and Mathieu Amiot Sieur of Villeneuve, esquie. Signed: H. de Bernières. » (3)

    3. CHARLES MIVILLE-DESCHÊNES, bp. 01-09-1671 RO (4), bur. 11-02-1758 Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière (SAP) (4), m. 28-08-1702 RO, Marthe Vallée (+Pierre & Marie Leblanc). (2),(3)

    « The 28-0-1702 after the publication of three marriage bans made in this parish church on the 24th, 25th, and 27th of the current month between Charles Miville aged 25 years son of the late Jacques Miville and of Catherine de Baillon his father and mother of one part; And of Marthe Vallée aged 20 years, daughter of the late Pierre Vallée and of Marie Leblanc her father and mother of the other part. Both are from this parish and not having found any legitimate opposition, I undersigned priest and pastor of this parish have gotten their mutual consentment by word and presence and have married them and have geven them the nuptial benediction according to the form prescribed by the church in presence of Jean Miville brother of said husband and … Pierre Aubert and Jean Delanoyé and Germain … who declared not being able to write nor to sign”. (3)

    4. JOSEPH MIVILLE-DESCHÊNES, bp. 18-09-1712 RO (3), m. 19-11-1741 St-Roch-des-Aulnaies (SR), (3), Marie-Charlotte Morin (Pierre & Marie-Charlotte Dubé). (2)

    « The 19-11-1741 after the publication de marriage between Joseph Deschênes dit Miville son of Charles Miville and of Marthe Vallée of one part; And Marie-Charlotte Morin daughter of Pierre Morin and of Marie-Charlotte Dubé of the other part. And after having found a ‘problem’ (empêchement) of consanguinity of the third (?) to the fourth degree between the said parties and after having obtained the dispensation from ….the 13th of October of the present year, that we have ….we undersigned priest….have obtained their mutual consentment of marriage and in the presence of Marthe Vallée, mother….of Jean-Baptiste and Pierre Miville his brothers……………..Illegible. (3)

    5. JEAN-BAPTISTE MIVILLE-DESCHÊNES, farmer, bp. 03-11-1746 SAP (2), , bur. 23-03-1786 SR, m. 15-02-1767 STPJ, Barbe Chouinard (Julien & Marie-Reine Fortin)

    6. JUSTE DESCHÊNES, farmer, m. 13-02-1798 St-Jean-Port-Joli (SJPJ), Théotiste Chouinard (Joseph & Angélique Aubert). (3).

    « The 13-02-1798 after having published by three consecutive Sundays at the homily of the parish Mass three bans of marriage between Juste Miville son of age of Jean-Baptiste Mainville and of Marie-Barbe Chouinard his father and mother of this parish of one part; And Marie-Théotiste Chouinard, minor-aged daughter of Joseph Chouinard and of Angélique Aubert her father and mother of this parish of the other part. The said parties having obtained a dispensation of thethird degree of consanguinity of which they were aliied of Mr. Plessis, grand vicary, I undersigned priest and pastor of St-Jean-Port-Joli have received their mutual consentment and have given them the nuptial benediction with the consentment of the fathers and mothers of the the conjoints in thepresence of Jean-Baptiste Miville brother of the husband, of Joseph-Julien Chouinard oncle of the wife and of François…….” (3).

    7. JEAN-BAPTISTE DESCHÊNES, farmer, b.15-, bp. 16-11-1798 SJPJ, d. 25-, bur. 27-07-1871 Les Eboulements (EB) (5), m. 24-10-1820/1828 SJPJ (3) (5), Anastasie Fortin ( Amable & Judith Caouette).

    « The 16-11-1798 by us undersigned priest was baptized Jean-Baptiste born the evening before around 8:00 of the legitimate marriage of Juste Mainville, farmer and of Marie-Théotiste Chouinard, the godfather was Jean-Baptiste Mainville, the godmother Angélique Aubert who did not sign”. (3)

    « The 27-07-1871 we undersigned vicary of Les Éboulements have inhumed in the parish cemetery the body of Jean-Baptiste Deschênes, farmer, who died two days ago at the age of 74, husband of Anastasie Fortin farmer of this parish. Present were Michel Girard and Edouard Tremblay who did not sign”. (3)

    8. THÉOPHILE DESCHÊNES, farmer, bur.02-08-1917 EB, (5) (6), m. 07-01-1852 EB, (5) (6). Adèle Girard (Henri & Emérentienne Tremblay)

    9. EDMOND DESCHÊNES, farmer, bp. 16-03-1861 EB, bur. 19-07-1947 EB, m. 09-02-1885 EB, Elmina Perron (Malachie & Adelaïde Tremblay) (6).

    The 09-02-1825 after the publication of three marriage bans made at the homily of the parish Masses between Edmond Deschênes dit Miville, farmer, son of age of Théophile Deschênes dit Miville and Adèle Girard of this parish of one part; And Elmina Perron daughter of minor age of Malachie Perron, farmer and of Adelaïde Tremblay also of this parish of the other part; not finding any opposition, we undersigned priest with the authorization of the pastor of this parish and with the consentment of the father of the said Elmina Perron, have received their mutual consentment of marriage and have given them the nuptial benediction in the presence of Théophile Deschênes, father of the husband and of Malachie Perron father of the wife and many other relatives and friends of which some signed and the others did not.

    Elmina Perron
    Malachie Perron”. (3)

    10. JOSEPH DESCHÊNES, Foreman, b.10-, bp.18-07-1887 EB (5) (6), d. Neufchatel, bur. 24-10-1981 St-Grégoire-de-Montmorency (SG), m. 24-02-1908 SG, Célina Martineau ( Joseph-Philéas & Virginie Pichette)

    11. GÉRARD DESCHÊNES, welder, b.13-01-1911 SG, d.21- St-Louis-de-Courville, bur. 23-11-1976 SG, m. 22-06-1936 SG, Cécile Drolet ( Joseph-Arthur & Valèda Labrécque).

    References :

    (1). Dictionnaire Jetté.
    (2) Dictionnaire Tanguay.
    (3) (A.N.Q.)
    (4) Act not found at A.N.Q.
    (5) Éloi-Gérard Talbot.
    (6) Grandes Familles de Les Éboulements.


  • Even three hundred or more years ago, it was a small world. Pierre Miville and family settled in the Coulée Patton in 1649. In 1912, my mother-in-law, Cécile Drolet who married Gérard Deschênes, was born in the Coulée Patton on the land of her future husband’s ancestor.

  • George Cadoret was the neighbor of Pierre Miville in 1667. My podnah of over 25 years, André Cadoret is a direct descendant of George and my wife is a direct descendant of Pierre. André and I live less than three miles from the ancestors’ original land grants.

  • Geographically, St-Jean-Port-Joli is an hour’s drive east on the highway from the Québec Bridge. St-Roch-des-Aulnaies is the next village . All along the southern shores of the St. Lawrence from St-Jean-Port-Joli downriver to nearly Matane you will see Miville-Deschênes or Deschênes. What happened is that Jean-Baptiste decided to cross the river and settle in Les Éboulements. Upon doing that, the Miville was dropped and the familes who followed were/are known as Deschênes for the very vast majority, as there could be a few in Charlevoix now. If you were in St-Roch and looked across the St. Lawrence you would be on a straight line with Les Éboulements, and your view would include the eastern tip of l’Île-aux-Coudres. What is wandering around in my head is why would J-B have gone there? He would have had to go to Baie-St-Paul first, and then climb, and I mean climb to the present day village of Les Éboulements. Below the village is now St-Joseph-de-la-Rive whose claim to fame is that the spot where the pier which was built in 1832 has remained through the times and serves the Île-aux-Coudres. There was also a shipyard and not much more as it is too small, hence the newcomers had to settle and farm up higher. So, this was an inland town having no access to the river other than, a 22% hill which is known as La Côte-à-Godin or La Côte-de-la-Misère. There is another hill, much longer and “only” 19% which has become the main route to get to the ferry landing. Our ancestors were tough bunch…and they did it all in clogs too!

  • The Deschênes of the Saguenay are all descendants of one of the sons of Jean-Baptiste.

  • Késsinnimek - Roots - Racines E-Zine

    By Norm Leveillée, Editor

    This online magazine Késsinnimek - Roots - Racines is dedicated to those who are searching for their roots in a variety of ways: French-Canadian, Native American, Colonists, History, Background, Parish Registers, Shrines and Missionaries. The writers are all related through our ancestors: Fr. Owen Taggart, Suzanne Sommerville, Dolorès Robillard Benoit, James Carten, Louise-Andrée Éthier, Jean Quintal, Juliana L'Heureux and myself.

    The title Késsinnimek - Roots - Racines was chosen to indicate that we are dedicated to finding our ancestral roots. The French word "racines" has the same meaning as the English word "roots". However, the Algonquin word "késsinnimek" means "family", since the Algonquin word for "roots" doesn't have the same meaning as "roots" or "racines" as used in genealogy. Since many of our roots point to common ancestors, we are truly "késsinnimek - family".

    We hope that you will find the articles in this publication interesting, but more importantly, that they will help you in your genealogy research - helping you to find and get to know your ancestors and the historical and cultural background of their lives. Bon voyage in finding your roots. Amitiés & Zôbi Widôbaid & Métañdossañtz8añgan & True Friendship (Ed. Norm Léveillée)

    Norm Leveillée's Kessinnimek - Roots - Racines E-zine Index

    Declaration of Independence

    A Treasure Found

    By Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    When doing research we never know what priceless treasures lie hidden within all of the papers, books and items we come across.

    For the past several weeks I have been working transcribing old Town Meeting Minutes for the city of Methuen, Massachusetts. Dating back to 1725, these records are a treasure trove not only to how this once little village grew to be a city but how the whole United States became a country using the building blocks of government our Forefathers were familiar with in England but then expanding these so that America would be a country free of tyranny and free of the control of a monarchy basing itself rather on certain premises such as We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

    One morning I decided to look at the back of one of the many books I was working on and to my amazement I was staring at a document that I thought was a copy of the Declaration of Independence. I stared at this for quite a while not sure at first that this was not something added "after the fact" or something written long after the original document.

    As I examined the document more closely, I found a note that had been sent along with it. It was a note telling the Selectmen of the then villages of the 13 Colonies that this document should be read after all religious services, no matter the denomination, on the first Sunday after it would be received. Instructions were also given that this document "should be included in all Town Record Books to be preserved forever."

    Rereading the document once more, dated July 4, 1776, it was indeed a handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence signed by John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress and President of the United States of America. The signature of Charles Thomas, Secretary of the Continental Congress, is also affixed to the document. These are the only two signatures that appear on the original copy sent out to all of the villages of the colonies in 1776.

    Part of the reason I was at first doubtful as to its authencity was because of the sole signature of John Hancock, President - where were the names of *all* of the signers of the Declaration of Independence? A quick search online revealed that after the original document was signed, John Hancock's signature, as president of the Continental Congress, was the only one affixed to this document - later it was decided that all members of the Continental Congress should affix their signatures to it as well. How fascinating was all of this!

    Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country. – NARA - National Archives

    Showing that document to the City Clerk, I asked if she had looked at any of the records I was transcribing – she had not. I then suggested that this book with document be placed in a glass case on display at our public library as part of the July 4 celebration this year. I don't know if this will be done but what I do know is that *my eyes* have seen an original beautifully handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence with John Hancock's signature! This is a privilege that I believe all of the citizens of this city should have the privilege of seeing.

    What an historic document to have on record and to have found at this time in our history. It was indeed a very moving personal experience. After transcribing records dating back to 1725 and understanding better the toils and troubles of creating lives of freedom in the Colonies; now knowing with greater clarity the tenets our Forefathers believed in; seeing firsthand through the transcriptions how our country came into being [based on the strength and convictions of those who decided we needed to be a free nation], the words of the Declaration of Independence took on new meaning to me as I transcribed it onto the city’s computer.

    So when doing research, keep an eye on those papers you are searching through. You never know what treasure you will find. I wish you great finds as you finger through old documents whatever they may be.

    Click here to read The Declaration of Independence

    Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the Continental Congress met
    and where the Declaration of Independence was created and signed.

    Creating the Declaration of Independence - A Time Line

    June 7, 1776
    Lee Resolution
    Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, read a resolution before the Continental Congress "that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

    June 11, 1776
    Committee of Five Appointed
    Consideration of the Lee Resolution was postponed-- the "Committee of Five" was appointed to draft a statement presenting to the world the colonies’ case for independence.

    June 11
    July 1, 1776
    Declaration of Independence Drafted
    On June 11, Congress recessed for three weeks. During this period the "Committee of Five" (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson) drafted the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson drafted it, Adams and Franklin made changes to it. Congress reconvened on July 1, 1776.

    July 2, 1776
    Lee Resolution Adopted & Consideration of Declaration
    On July 2, the Lee resolution was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies (New York did not vote). Immediately afterward, Congress began to consider the Declaration. Congress made some alterations and deletions to it on July 2, 3, and the morning of the 4th.

    July 4, 1776
    Declaration of Independence Adopted and Printed
    Late in the afternoon of July 4, the Declaration was officially adopted, and the "Committee of Five" took the manuscript copy of the document to John Dunlap, official printer to the Congress.

    July 5, 1776
    Copies of the Declaration Dispatched
    On the morning of the July 5, copies printed by John Dunlap were dispatched by members of Congress to various committees, assemblies, and to the commanders of the Continental troops.

    (On July 9, the action of Congress was officially approved by the NY Convention.)

    July 19, 1776
    Congress Orders the Declaration Engrossed on Parchment
    Congress ordered that the Declaration be "fairly engrossed on parchment, with the title and stile {sic} of ‘The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America’ and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress."

    August 2, 1776
    Declaration Signed
    The document was signed by most of the members on August 2. George Wythe signed on August 27. On September 4, Richard Henry Lee, Elbridge Gerry, and Oliver Wilcott signed. Matthew Thornton signed on November 19, and Thomas McKean signed in 1781.

    John Hancock

    By Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    John Hancock
    1776 President of the Continental Congress
    7th President of the United States
    in Congress Assembled
    November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786

    John Hancock was a statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in Quincy, Massachusetts, 12 January, 1737; died there, 8 October, 1793, was graduated at Harvard in 1754. On the death of his father he was adopted by his uncle, Thomas, who took him into his counting-house and left him a large fortune, the nephew succeeding to the business.

    In 1766 he was chosen to represent Boston in the Massachusetts house of representatives with James Otis, Thomas Cushing, and Samuel Adams, "where," says Eliot, "he blazed a Whig of the first magnitude." The seizure of his sloop, the "Liberty," for an alleged evasion of the laws of trade, caused a riot, the royal commissioners of customs barely escaping with their lives. After the affray known as the "Boston massacre," 5 March, 1770, he was a member of the committee to demand of the royal governor the removal of the troops from the city; and at the funeral of the slain he delivered an address so glowing and fearless in its reprobation of the conduct of the soldiery and their leaders as greatly to offend the governor.

    In 1774 he was elected, with Samuel Adams, a member of the Provincial congress at Concord, Massachusetts, and subsequently became its president. It was to secure the persons of these two patriots that the expedition to Concord in April, 1775, which led to the battle of Lexington, was undertaken by the authorities. It was, however, futile, as they succeeded in making their escape. On 12 June, following, General Gage issued a proclamation offering pardon to all the rebels, excepting Samuel Adams and John Hancock, "whose offences," it was declared, "are of too flagitious a nature to admit of any other consideration than that of condign punishment."

    Mr. Hancock was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental congress from 1775 till 1780, and from 1785 till 1786, serving as president of that body from May, 25, 1775, till October, 1777. The Declaration of Independence, as first published, bore only his name as president. In 1776 he was commissioned major-general of the Massachusetts militia. In the autumn of 1776 congress gave Washington instructions to destroy Boston if it should be necessary to do so in order to dislodge the enemy. Mr. Hancock then wrote to that officer to the effect that, although probably the largest property-owner in the city, "he was anxious the thing should be done if it would benefit the cause." John Adams said of his character: "Nor were his talents or attainments inconsiderable. They were far superior to many who have been much more celebrated. He had a great deal of political sagacity and insight into men. He was by no means a contemptible scholar or orator. Compared with Washington, Lincoln, or Knox, he was learned."

    A graduate of Harvard College, John Hancock was elected to the Boston Assembly in 1766; he was a Delegate to, and President of, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, circa 1773; Elected to Continental Congress, 1774; Elected President of the Continental Congress, 1775; Member of Massachusetts state Constitutional Convention, elected Governor of Massachusetts, through 1793.

    The signature of John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence is the most flamboyant and easily recognizable of all. It is perhaps no surprise that the story of his part in the revolution is equally engaging. Few figures were more well known or more popular than John Hancock.

    He played an instrumental role, sometimes by accident, and other times by design, in coaxing the American Revolution into being. Born in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1737, he was orphaned as a child, and adopted by a wealthy merchant Uncle who was childless. Hancock attended Harvard College for a business education and graduated at the age of 17. He apprenticed to his Uncle as a clerk and proved so honest and capable that, in 1760, he was sent on a business mission to England. There he witnessed the coronation of George III and engaged some of the leading businessmen of London. In 1763, his uncle died and John Hancock inherited what was said to be the greatest body of wealth in New England. This placed him in a society of men who consisted mainly of loyalists, suspected by the working population because of their great affluence and social power. Hancock, however, soon became very involved in revolutionary politics & his sentiments were, early on & clearly, for independence from Gr. Britain. He was in company with the Adams' and other prominent leaders in the republican movement in New England. He was elected to the Boston Assembly in 1766, and was a member of the Stamp Act Congress. In 1768 his sloop Liberty was impounded by customs officials at Boston Harbor, on a charge of running contraband goods. A large group of private citizens stormed the customs post, burned the government boat, and beat the officers, causing them to seek refuge on a ship off shore. Soon afterward, Hancock abetted the Boston Tea Party. The following year he delivered a public address to a large crown in Boston, commemorating the Boston Massacre. In 1774, he was elected to the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts and simultaneously to the Continental Congress. When Peyton Randolph resigned in 1776, Hancock assumed the position of President. He retired in 1777 due to problems with gout, but continued public service in his native state by participating in the formation of its constitution. He was then elected to the Governorship of the state where he served for five years, declined reelection, and was again elected in 1787. He served in that office until his death in 1793. The dignity and character of John Hancock, celebrated by friend and enemy alike, did not suffer for his love of public attention. He was a populist in every sense, who held great confidence in the ability of the common man. He also displayed a pronounced contempt for unreasoned authority. A decree had been delivered form England in early 1776 offering a large reward for the capture of several leading figures. Hancock was one of them. On signing the Declaration he commented, "The British ministry can read that name without spectacles; let them double their reward."

    NARA - National Archives


    Pennsylvania Gazette

    July 3, 1755
    The Pennsylvania Gazette

    BOSTON, June 23.

    We hear that the Forces raised in the Province of New Hampshire, marched from thence to the Westward on Saturday last, and not before.

    Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman at St. John, in Newfoundland,

    By the last Ships from England, we are informed, that on the 28th Day of April, 30 Sail of Men of War, of the Line, sailed from Plymouth for the Coast of France; if so, we may soon expect War to be declared."

    Thursday last Capt. Homer arrived here in three Days from Halifax, by whom we have Letters informing, that our Troops had all been landed safe at Annapolis Royal, and on the first instant sailed from thence for Chignecto. That a Flag of Truce from Louisbourg had been at Halifax, for the Men taken in the Schooner bound to St. John, as mentioned in this Paper some Time since; the Master of which reported, that six French Men of War had got to Louisbourg, one of which was a 64 Gun Ship. That the French at Louisbourg were in great Distress for Want of Provisions; and, that a Party of our Rangers had been at Pisguit, and disarmed 3(300) or 400 of the French Neutrals, as they are very improperly called.

    Comments to the Editor

    From: Gord Jorey

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