Was this how our ancestors travelled?.jpg

ACADIANS IN QUEBEC

I found the following article in the Journal officiel du Congres Mondial Acadien,which I shall translate first and then add the article as it was written in french.The translation is to the best of my ability.

The presence of Acadians in Quebec is a little unknown, although around a million people would be descendants of Acadians according to a poll taken by the Leger Group in 1988. In fact millions of Quebec people carry an Acadian surname, and have only discovered this by doing their genealogy.
This fact deserves a special attention. Just like Louisiana, many are Acadians who fled the deportation or by choice after the deportation settled in Quebec.Two flows of Acadian migrations in the 18th century marked Quebec as a place to go to. The flow after 1755 who were the ones fleeing the english and the deportation and the ones who were exiled and returned to to place they were deported from after 1763.
In the 18th century, the regions of Gaspesie, Iles de la Madeleine, Mauricle, des Chaudieres/Appalaches, Lanaundiere and la Monteregie had a implant of Acadian settlers. The region of Bas St Laurent,Quebec and Montreal were more or less places to go through in order to find a place to take roots.
The 19th and 20th century for their parts were periods of expanding villages founded by Acadians where still Quebec developments such as Bois Francs, Cote Nord and l'Abitibi where some Acadians play an important role. Montreal would receive a group of Acadians. We cannot do an inventory of all the villages who took in Acadians, but we shall see across the regions the impact of the arrival of the Acadians.

GASPESIE/GASPE


In Gaspe especially in the Chaleur Bay, the Acadiens found refuge in 1758 at the mouth of the Restigouche River where is found the French Post of Petite Rochelle commanded by Francois Bourdon.The Acadians without a doubt arrived at Restigouche with small boats either by following the coast line or by land with the help of the Indians. The census made by Commisioner Bizagier in 1760 numbers 1003 persons at Restigouche. Among them were Charles Dugas, Alexandre LeBlanc, Jean Arseneau, Pierre Poirier, Ambroise Comeau and Alexis Theriau.
After the battle of Restigouche in 1760, the British destroyed a great number of Acadian buildings of Petite Rochelle. Many Acadian refugees then left the region for Quebec while others left the area of the Restigouche River to found the villages of Bonaventure and Carleton. In 1774, 81 Acadians that Charles Robin had brought back from France to the Chaleur Bay on the ships would come and increase the Acadian population. In 1780, another village was formed by the Acadians in Gaspesie. It was Saint Alexis in the Matapedia Valley. These were Acadians from Rustico, an acadian village on the north side of Prince Edward Island. These were offered land in Quebec, where that was not permitted on the Island. Bona Arsenault the historian, Nicole LeBlanc and Genevieve Bujold the actresses and Albert LeBlanc the cyclist are all from the Gaspe area with Acadian Ancestors. Some characterics are found in the Acadian descendants, especially their language.

ILES DE LA MADELEINE


The first settlers in Iles de La Madeleine were a great many Acadians. They came from Ile St Jean (PEI) in 1765 as hired hands of Richard Gridley. This Richard was a colonel in the British army, Seigneur of the Island and ambitious hoping to get rich in the seal hunt and lobster fishing.The 22 hired hands of 1765 were Boudreau, Arseneau, Poirier,Chiasson were to become instruments in the fortune of Gridley.
In 1793 another group of Acadians arrived at Iles de La Madeleine with the Abbee Jean Baptiste Allain. They had fled St Pierre de Miquelon where two enemy camps were.There was a revolution going on. So at Iles de la Madeleine arrived some Vigneau, Cyr,LeBlanc,Hebert and some Theriault. It is mostly around Have Aubert that these people for St Pierre de Miquelon settled to form the village at a bottom of Demoiselle Hills. A repression system was installed on the Iles with Gridley until 1787 followed by another Seigneur Isaac Coffin. This one refused to acknowlege the Acadian lands and ordered them to pay rent or dues on the properties. It is in 1895 that according to law the Acadians could buy their land. The Acadians immigrated all over Quebec to build new villages with perhaps more promises to follow. The Acadians of Iles de La Madeleine went towards Saint Gregoire in Terre Neuve in 1849, toward cote Nord around 1853 and 1865, towards La Beauce in 1885, Lac au Saumon in the Matapedia Valley in 1896 , at Saguenay (especially Kenogami) in 1912-1913 and finally at l'Abitibi ?Temiscamingue at L'Ile Nepawa in 1941.

BAS ST-LAURENT


Some Acadians fled ,sometimes on foot during the deportation. This is so with a group led by Michel Bergeron son of Michel Bergeron dit Nantes in 1758 fled towards lake Temiscouato passin by the Portage road and reaching Cacaouna after many months. Finally these Acadians arrived at Ile d'Orlean Quebec and came to the end of their journey at Becancourt in 1759. A few stopped on the way and settled in Kamouraska. Perhaps a sign of the Acadians settling there is a technique of agriculture very Acadians, some Aboiteaux.
Other groups went to Quebec and left traces that they were there ,300 Acadians died of chicken pox in 1757.The largest number of deported Acadians arrived in Quebec after 1765. Two important groups arrived from Massachussetts in 1766 after General Murray offered land to the immigrants to help the economy after the war. Even if many Acadians came to Quebec during this period, in most cases , they left for another region.

MAURICLE/BOIS FRANC


The region of Mauricle is an important refuge area for the Acadians in the 18th century. Trois Riviere, Yamachiche, Pointe du Lac, Nicolet, Batiscan and Becancourt received important groups of Acadians who either passed through Quebec or Cacauna in 1758, arriving directly from their deportation area after 1766. Among these refugies were the Heberts (Joseph, Jean Baptiste, Honore and Etienne) who had been deported to Virginia, they returned from exile and settled in St Gregoire. Some first Heberts follows most of the Hebert lines in Quebec such as he sculptor Louis-Philippe and his two sons Henri and Adrien, Anne Hebert the author as well as Senator Jacques Hebert.
The village of St Gregoire of Nicolet was founded by the Acadians and they still keep the surnames alive ,some of their street names are Rue Belliveau, Rue Landry, Rue Comier,Boulevard Port Royal. An accomplishment for St Gregoire is the founding of the Religious Sisters of Assomption de la Sainte Vierge in 1853 where three of the four founding nuns were Acadians, they were Leocadie Bourgeois, Mathilde Leduc, Julie Heon. Since its founding we find hundreds of its memebers with Acadian ancestors. In the 19th century the Acadians swarmed the region of Trois Rivieres,Nicolet, and St Gregoire towards Bois Francs,and l'Estrie. For example the parish of St Louis de Blandford in he Bois Francs was founded by Charles Huon and Wotton founded l'Estrie in 1850.

LANAUDIERE


The region of Lanaudiere is probably one who has more tangible souvenirs of the Acadian presence up until this day. We find among the population, a great proudness of having acadian roots, and many have kept souvenirs and relics of their first Acadian ancestors. From their return from Boston,some Acadians were chosen by the Seigneurs of Saint-Sulpice for Lanaudiere. Rapidly they settled in L'Achigan (L'Epiphanie),St Sulpice and especially Saint Jacques. They would be the founders of this parish which carried the name of Nouvelle Acadie (St Jacques de la Nouvelle Acadie),the St Jacques de L'Achigan and finally St Jacques de Montcalm. Today we find many Acadian Surnames; Gaudet, Mirault, Bourgeois, Lord and Landry. A group of folk dancers also remember their origin by naming themselves "les petits pas jacadiens.".
The acadians scattered all over the surrounding area, Joliette, Rawdon, Sainte Marie Salome. Lanaudiere contains a colony of Acadians with great talents and craftmanship.

CHAUDIERE APPALACHES


The parishes of Lotbiniere, Beaumont, Cap St Ignace, Montmagny, St Charles, St Joseph and St Vallier also received Acadian refugees. The Acadians of Bellechasse came from a group of Acadians who went to Miramiche and Prince Edward Island to flee the deportation. They settled in large numbers in Livaudiere names Nouvelle Cadie and would become Saint Gervais in 1780. Very few remained in St Gervais, they sold their land and settled elsewhere in the surrounding areas. That is why, even tho it was an Acadian village one, it is now quiet on its origin. The founding of Saint Gervais by the Acadians was underlined during one one of its bicentennial of the parish but since then, not much research was done. An Acadian flag in the village coat of arm in memory of the Acadian founders. In 1883 l'abbe Boutin, parish priest of Cote Nord,encouraged the Acadians to settle in Beauce. Around 50 families of Natashquan and surrounding areas settled in the new parish of Saint Theophile.Even if not many Acadians remained,the land was not favorable for agriculture or farming,St Theophile still remains an Acadian passage in Quebec.

MONTEREGIE


Starting in 1767 the exiled Acadians from New England arrived by way of water via Hudson River, Lac Champlain and Richelieu River. Many settled in the Richelieu Valley (St.Denis,St.Charles,St Jean) and even founded a parish which the name L'Acadie is still significant and the origin of its people. Others would settle at St Ours, Laprairie,Yamaska and St Antoine.
In St Denis there were two Acadians; Louis Robichaud and Simon Thibodeau who were into the ceramic industy, they lived in the Philadelphia region after the deportation when the ceramic industry was at its peak. Another interesting piece in the history of Monteregie is that the Acadians took part in the Rebellion of 1837-1838 and many have given up their lives as Patriots. Their names are on the monuments of Patriots at Saint Charles and Saint Denis. One of the names was Louis Bourgeois an officer in the military, lieutenant of Papineau and Deputy of Saint Denis.
The growth of big cities has managed to delude the Acadian culture in this region.The souvenir or memory of the Acadians is mostly in the monument patrimonial of the l'eglise de L'Acadie built by the Acadian descendants.

COTE NORD


It it mostly in the second half of the 19th century that the Acadians took root in this region. Mostly from the Iles de La Madeleine ara, they decided to immigrate on the Cote Nord thinking there would be no more suffering from the exploiting Seigneurs. Many decided to move in the years 1847-1848. It is in 1854 that the first families arrived in Kegaska, later they settled in Natashquan, Pointe aux Esquimaux (Havre St Pierre) and in the large seigneurie of Mingan.
Placide Vigneau became historian of the Cote Nord by relation the live at Havre St Pierre and by writting down historical events. He estimated about 120 families emigrated from Iles de la Madeleine to Cote Nord. HIs writings are a great source on the history of Cote Nord. Another important person for the History of Cote Nord is a certainly Napoleon Alexandre Comeau (1846-1923) an Acadian who left his name and mark to the town of Baie Comeau. He was known as a doctor .Among the Acadians known in Cote Nord, we cannot forget Gilles Vigneault and Roland Jomphe.

MONTREAL


We have very little of information on the arrival of the Acadians in Montreal in the 18th century. It is mostly individuals rather than groups who went to Montreal either just passing through or arriving from Richilieu and other regions of Quebec. Many Acadians originally of St Jacques made a difference in Montreal such as Nazaire Dupuis who launched a chain well known throughout all of Quebec; The Dupuis et Freres stores in 1868.
Between 1912 and 1920, the parish of Verdun received numerous Acadian, thanks to Father Joseph Arsene Richard. Acadians from Gaspe, Ile de la Madeleine and the Maritimes arrived to settle in Verdun . Other Acadians were noted in the history of Montreal; Alberic Bourgeois painter, Ernest Cormier architect, Marcel Leger politicien of Quebec, Juliette Belliveau to name a few.Closer to us , we had Jean Belliveau and Maurice Richard (hockey)Pierre Bourque director of Biodome, Michel Robichaud famous tailor.

LAC ST-JEAN


Lac St Jean owes the founding of one of its parishes (Hebertville) to its Acadian priest ,Rev Nocolas Tolentin Hebert ,who in 1849 formed the Hebert Society in the county of L'Islet and Kamouraska to colonize the Lac St Jean Valley. In each parish, autioneers formed local comittees to recruit members. One action would give rights to one lot of 100 acres partially cleared with one building. After five years the society is disolved and the lots are distributed by draws. Hebertville soon becomes the drop point to apply for more land in Lac St Jean.

Some of the sources mentioned at the end of the article; Sodage Leger et Leger (Les perceptions des Quebecois d'origine acadienne. ) Recensement des habitants du poste de Restigouche dresser par Bazagier en 1760. Papiers Amherst, War Office 1759-1762 Canada Volume E432 follio 131-134 m cite par Egis Sygefroy Brun dans Revue d'histoire de la Gaspesie vol 8 no 1 janv.1970 pa 30-34. Pierre Maurice Hebert Saint Gregoire ville de Becancourt 1991 p 21

The following is the french articles where I translated from to English.







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