Nova Scotia Genealogy

Deportation of the Acadians

In 1755, 6,000 to 8,000 Acadians were deported to the American colonies along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina. Some made their way to Louisiana to live with the French settlers there. Some of the American colonies refused to take the Acadians, so they (at least the ones who survived) were shipped to England. Some of those who escaped deportation hid out in the woods of Acadia, only to be later captured and deported. Many moved westward to areas still held by the French ... from Ile St. Jean to Quebec. In 1758, Louisbourg (the last French stronghold on the Atlantic coast) fell. Thousands of Acadians at Louisbourg and Ile St. Jean (present-day Prince Edward Island) were deported to northern France. Again, many Acadians did not survive the trip. In fact, two entire ships sank, drowning hundreds of Acadians.

Conditions in the colonies and in England were miserable. Hundreds upon hundreds died from diseases and other conditions. Some were taken as indentured servants. They were confined to certain areas and not allowed to travel. Finding work was extremely difficult. The Protestant, English-speaking colonists did not welcome the Catholic, French-speaking Acadians. With the conclusion of hostilities in 1763, the Acadians were free to return home. But those who did found they could not settle together in large groups and their land was now occupied by people brought over by the English. They gradually settled along the various remote coastal regions of the province.

In 1765, Acadians in the colonies started making their way to Louisiana. From 1765 to 1785, it is estimated that about 1,500 Acadians settled in Louisiana, primarily in the Attakapas and Acadian Coast regions.

Many Acadians settled in French Canada, just west of Acadia (now Nova Scotia), and were assimilated into the French-Canadian culture. Things were different for those who had been sent to France. Even though they were "French", they didn't really feel at home in France. Those Acadians in England, who were 'held' in four port towns, were shipped to France in 1763. Several attempts were made to "settle" the Acadians, but none were successful.

When the Acadians in France found out about their relatives in Louisiana and a possible new "homeland", they asked to join them. It took a number of years to work out the details. In 1785, with the help of Spain, about 1600 Acadians traveled on 7 ships from France to Louisiana to join their friends and family. Over the 20 year time span, over 3,000 Acadians arrived to make South Louisiana their 'New Acadia'. Even though they have intermarried with other nationalities, there are still a large number of people who consider themselves Acadian (or of Acadian heritage). The largest number of these people can be found in Canada and in Louisiana.

Canada has Acadians around its country today. In the former land of Acadia (now Nova Scotia), there are 40,000 Acadian descendants. There are several areas of 'concentration', such as Clare in Digby County, Argyle in Yarmouth County, Guysborough, Richmond, Inverness Counties and the urban areas of Halifax - Dartmouth and Sydney. There are also Acadian areas of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. According to the 1990 census, 597,729 people in the United States claimed that their first ancestry was Acadian-Cajun and 70,542 claimed it as their second. The Louisiana Acadian descendants, which made up 2/3 of this number, are known as Cajuns.

Grand Pre Memorial Church & Evangeline Statue Grand Pre Historic Site, Nova Scotia, Canada, October 1997, George Charles Rose

Acadian Surnames at the Time of Deportation

Allain, Allard, Amirau, Arostegny, Arsenault, Aubin, Aucoin;
Babin, Babineau, Baguette, Baptiste, Barrios, Barnabe, Bastarache, Beaudoin, Beaulieu, Beaumont, Beauregard, Bellefontaine, Bellineau, Belliveau, Benoit, Bergeron, Bernard, Berthelot, Bertrand, Bideau, Bisson, Blanchard, Blondin, Blou, Bodart, Boisseau, Bodin, Bonneville, Bonvillain, Bourque, Bouche, Boudrot, Bourg. Bourgeois, Boutin, Boye, Brasseaux, Breau, Broussard, Brun, Bugeau;
Cadet, Cahouet, Cailler, Carre, Cathary, Celestin, Chamagne, Chauvert, Chiasson, Clemenceau, Cochu, Colars, Comeau, Cormier, Caperon, Cotard; Coussan, Crosse;
Daigle, Darbone, Darois, David, De Bellisle, De Foret, De La Tou, Denis, D'Entremont, Deraye, De Saulniers, Deslauriers, Deveau, Donat, Douaron, Doucet, Druce, Dubois, Dubreuil, Dugas, Duon, Dumont, Dupont, Dupuis, Durocher; Emmanuel, Estevin;
Fardel. Forest, Foret;
Galant, Garreau, Garso, Gaudet, Gauthereau, Gentil, Giasson, Gicheau, Gilbert, Girouard, Godin, Goudeau, Gousille, Granger, Gravois, Gros, Guerin, Guidry, Guilbeau, Guillot;
Hache, Hamon, Hebert, Henry, Heon, Herpin, Houel, Hugon;
Jasmin, Jeansonne;
Labarre, Labasque, Labauve, Lacroix. Lafont, Lagosse, Lalonde, Laliberte, Lamarquis, Lambert, Lamontagne, Landry, Langlois, Lanoue. Languepee, Laperriere, Lapierre, Lariche, Laurier, Laurent, Lavallee, Lavergne, Lavoye, LeBlanc, Lebreton, Lefranc, Leger, Lejeune, Lemaistre, Leonard, Leprince, Lesperance, Lessoile, Levron, Lort, Lounais;
Maillard, Maillet, Maisonnat, Marceau, Martel, Martin, Mathieu, Maurice, Mayer, Melanson, Mercier, Michel, Mignault, Mirande, Mire, Monnier, Morvant, Morin, Mouton, Moyse;
Ondy, Olivier;
Parisien, Pellerin, Perinne, Petitpas, Pinet, Pitre, Poirier, Poitier, Pothier. Prejean, Primeau, Prince, Provencal; Raymond, Rembaud, Richard, Rivet, Robichaud, Rosette, Roy;
Saint-Scene, Saint-Martin, Samson, Saulnier, Sauvage, Savary, Savoye, Sendou, Simon, Sire, Surette, Surot;
Theriot, Thibeau, Thibodeau, Tournageau, Toussain, Trahan;
Veco, Vigneau, Villatte, Vincent, Voyer;

Family names of those deported from Grand-Pre‚ in 1755.

List denotes how many from each family name are said to have been deported from this one location.

27 Boudro(Boudreau)
12 Commo (Comeau)
2 Benoit
2 Blanchard
2 Braux (Breau)
1 David
2 Doucet
1 Duon
13 Dupuis
41 H‚bert
42 Landry
56 LeBlanc
14 Richard
4 Sonnier
13 Terriot (Th‚riault, Th‚rio)
4 Tibodo (Thibodeau)
16 Trahan
2 Vincent

St. John Valley (Maine) Times--May 9, 2001

St. John Valley, Main -- Upon his return from a recent speaking tour of the Maritime Provinces, Professor Roger Paradis of the University of Maine at Fort Kent received an e-mail from Attorney Warren Perrin of Lafayette, Louisiana.

The letter is dated April 18, 2001, and it is an invitation for Paradis to join him for his presentation to the Québec Bar Association meeting in Montréal.

At this meeting, Perrin will read his petition requesting an apology from the `British Government and Crown' for the deportation of the Acadians.

Until recently, Perrin was of the opinion that Governor Charles Lawrence of Nova Scotia was responsible for the deportation.

Based on Paradis' recent research, Perrin wrote that 'he will announce a change in my previous position', and will say that 'Lawrence was acting pursuant to direct orders from London.'

Perrin now believes that Paradis' research is 'conclusive'.

Paradis published his research in the preface of his recent book, 'Papiers/Papers of Prudent Mercure'.

'The direct evidence is compelling', said Paradis.

'First, there is the Winslow journal in which Winslow informs the Acadians on September 5, 1755, that the deportation is the King`s final resolution.

He also cites the annotation remark of Governor Vaudreuil of Canada after reading the private papers of General Braddock, that plans were in progress to 'enslave the Acadians.' The Braddock correspondence from which Vaudreuil made this statement was written in 1754, almost a year before the deportation.

There is also a letter from the Board of Trade to Lawrence in 1754, that they cannot come to a resolution on the proposed deportation until they have brought the whole matter before the King and 'received his word on it'.

Paradis notes that Governor Lawrence wanted double receipts for the expenses of the deportation. The reason was that he had to send an account 'to the Lord the Treasury' for reimbursement. Nova Scotia was the poorest of the King`s fourteen colonies in America. 'I followed the money', said Paradis, 'and it took me to the Mother Metropolis.' 'I knew that only John Bull had the deep pockets to pay for the deportation.' In 1758, Lawrence submitted his expenditures to London for a complete reimbursement.

Then there are the articles of capitulation in 1760. Governor Vaudreuil proposed three conditions to General Jeffrey Amherst: That the Canadiens would not be deported; that the French would not be deported; that the deportation of the Acadians would cease. 'Amherst acceded to the first two articles', said Paradis, 'but on the article to stop the deportation, Amherst said no.'

'The circumstantial evidence is equally damning,' writes Paradis.

There is a letter from the Home Government calling on Lawrence to plan the deportation carefully to avoid a general insurrection of the people. If only a deportation of the Chignecto Acadians was intended, it would not likely have produced a general insurrection.

The Secretary of State also cautioned Lawrence against sending the Acadians to Canada, as that would have reinforced the enemy. The only alternative was deportation to the other thirteen American colonies.

'The deportation plan, said Paradis 'was written and partly implemented weeks before the deportation when Acadian muskets and boats were confiscated.

Then there is the nagging question of why Winslow`s troops were not discharged after the fall of Beauséjour. 'They were kept under arms for eleven weeks before the deportation was announced at great expense to the colony and with nothing to do but get into mischief. Even Winslow was baffled by this until September 2 when Monkton apprised him of plans of the government.

Paradis writes that in January 1755, Monkton was sent to Boston by Lawrence with a letter of 'unlimited credit' on the colony of Nova Scotia. Paradis observed, however, that the colony of Nova Scotia had no revenue of its own. 'There was no assembly in Nova Scotia', he said, 'because the Acadians were Catholics. No assembly, no taxes, no revenue. Even the governor`s salary had to be paid by Parliament,"

'If Lawrence and his council had acted alone', said Paradis, 'they would have been guilty of usurping the royal perogative. The crime of sedition was punishable by death. Notwithstanding, Lawrence and his associates were all promoted within days, weeks or a few months of the deportation.'

The unqualified oath that the King demanded of the Acadians was a ploy to justify their expropriation and deportation. Paradis notes that the Acadians of Pobomcoup (Pubnico) took an unqualified oath in 1730, and that they were nonethless deported with the order.

Paradis claims that the Board of Trade always considered the deportationas an option when the time was 'expedient'.

He is the first historian to accuse King George II and the House Government directly for the ethnic cleansing of the Acadians from Nova Scotia. The 'plan' was to settle them in small groups in the thirteen colonies so that they would disappear as a people. 'The word for that', says Paradis, is genocide.'

Paradis' research may be further consulted in his book, 'Papiers/Papers of Prudent Mercure'. He reports that he has unearthed still more evidence , which he will publish in an upcoming book.

When asked what he thought of Perrin`s conversion, Paradis answered, 'C'est la victoire. La vérité finie toujours par se manifester.' (It's a victory. The truth always wins out in the end.')

Asked about reparations for damages, Paradis said that he would 'like to see a scholarship fund created for Acadian youth to attend the French university of their choice anywhere in the world.'

As for the hundreds of families who perished at sea or from disease, 'that must forever remain as an unpaid debt to remind perfidious governments that crimes against humanity do not pay.'