Sunday, August 2, 2015

Acadian Paths Revisited

I’ve been neglecting my blogs  -  I’ve spent a lot of time chasing DNA cousins.  The finds are few and far between but I made a good one a few days ago.  I matched with a woman who gave me full access to her family tree on-line.  I reciprocated.  She didn’t see any matches but I found a match on the very end of one of her lines.  Some of my new cousin’s roots were Louisiana Cajun and so I looked carefully and compared each name to my names on my mom’s side.  One line caught my eye because the woman died in Port-Royal, Acadia:  Andrée Guyon (b. 1615 La Chausee, Poitou – d. bef. 1714 Port-Royal, Acadia) who was also my 8th great-grandmother.   

I wanted to know more so I thought that I should go to Lucie Leblanc Consentino’s (  website and spend some time looking at the mitochondrial DNA study where she has posted Stephen A Leblanc's "Founding Mothers of Acadia."  I began to compare all my grandfather Perusse’s ancestors with the women listed there.  I can’t help out with the mtDNA study (wish that I could) but my mtDNA may be Irish, may be Welsh, may be something else entirely (J1C2).  I did enjoy comparing my tree to 5 of the names of the Founding Mothers of Acadia which seemed familiar to me. 

In addition to Andrée Guyon who married André Bernard, there was Catherine LeJeune who married Francois Savoie;  and Catherine Vigneau who married Pierre René Martin.   There was also a Suzanne Jarouselle and  a Marie-Madeleine Martin in the lists of Mothers of Acadia but after reading more in Peter J Gagné’s  Before the King’s Daughters  I determined that Suzanne Jarouselle who married Robert Cottard was not the same woman as Suzanne Jarousseaux who married as her second husband Robert Coutard.  The latter lived in Quebec  and is my ancestor, too.  Then there was the problem of Marie-Madeleine Martin, actually the two Marie-Madeleine Martins.   I remembered when I first encountered these women years ago that I had to call one of them Marie-Madeleine and the other just Madeleine because when I started using a computer program to keep my genealogy data, the program wanted to merge the two.  Very confusing. 

The Marie-Madeleine Martin who is my ancestor is the daughter of Catherine Vigneau and technically a child of Acadia, I believe the first child born in Port-Royal,  rather than a founding mother so she is not the woman on the list.  It doesn’t help that the other Marie-Madeleine Martin was the second wife of Guyon Denis Chiasson dit Lavallee but to keep things organized it’s nice to know she was born in Sillery, Quebec, in 1666 and married in 1683.   To add to the confusion, Guyon Denis, just mentioned,  and his first wife are also my ancestors.  His first wife, Jeanne Bernard, is the daughter of our mutual ancestor Andrée Guyon  -  Jeanne is also a child of Acadia.

The players in this drama who were my ancestors moved to Beaubassin.  They were apparently very prosperous farmers and husbandmen thanks to the transcripts of the early census records.    Prominent in the story are the Pierre Morins dit Boucher, père et fils, (son-in-law and grandson to Catherine Vigneau).   Pierre, Catherine’s grandson,  married Francoise Chiasson (Guyon Denis, and Jeanne Bernard’s daughter).   Guyon Denis and Jeanne Bernard also had a son named Gabriel who was in Beaubassin when he married Marie Savoie who was the daughter of Catherine LeJeune and Francois Savoie.  I am also descended from Gabriel so that makes his parents and grandparents my ancestors twice over and I am proud to be descended from three Mothers of Acadia.   So to summarize this tangle of people please look at my chart.    


So, time passes and everybody is now related and living in Beaubassin.  Unfortunately, there was a scandal surrounding Pierre Morin and Marie-Madeleine’s son Louis in 1688.  He was charged with being the father of the child of a pregnant  17-year -old daughter of the area’s Seigneur.  The entire family was blamed.  Louis was charged with rape and swiftly sentenced (the local priest serving as magistrate) to a life-time of service in the French Navy.  One translator said that he was “inserted into the fog of the ocean” and was never seen again.  That is certainly an ominous phrase.  The rest of the family, including in-laws, were to be banished from Acadia and all their goods confiscated for the benefit of the Seigneur.  There is more to the story here.  The family was prosperous through hard work.  Perhaps there was some bad feelings and jealousy at work here as well.   The family was helped by business associates to relocate to Ristigouche on the Bay de Chaleurs in Quebec.  Nineteen people had to re-locate including sons-in-law of the elder Pierre.  Among the group were two  of Francoise Chiasson’s brothers,  Jean and Michel.  Unfortunately, Pierre Morin dit Boucher died within one or two years of the relocation.  Many members of his family then re-located to Montmagny, Quebec.  This was around 1690.    

So that is why I have Acadians in my French-Canadian lines.  It is a very different story to the one that can be told by my new cousin who has her Acadians in her Louisiana lines.  I’ve already added to my understanding of the Grand Dérangement and how my distant cousins were dispersed.  Who knows where else the Morins and Chiassons have gone?  The Table of Contents for the Appendix lists Acadian Families in Louisiana.  The write-up on the Chiassons is a genealogy.  Stories on Pierre Morin, father and son, and Guyon Chiasson dit LaVallee and other Acadians.  

“The Morins of Acadia”  French-Canadian and Acadian Genealogical Review, Vol 1. No 2. Rev.  Archange Godbout, translated by G. P. Hebert, 1968. 

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