Saturday, December 10, 2005

250 years later... Picture Sunday!

EVANGELINE by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the history of my family

My ancestors originally emigrated from France in the early 1700's and settled in Acadia (which is now areas of New Brunswick, Canada) on the north Atlantic.

Many European powers had tried to settle parts of North America. The bitter rivalry between the French and the English colonizers was a crucial factor in the fate of Acadia. The colony had been passed back and forth from English to French control many times in its history. Finally, after the war of the Spanish Succession and the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Acadia rested in the hands of the English.

England didn't initially make great efforts to establish a presence in Acadia. But it did demand of its conquered subjects that they take oath of unconditional loyalty. The Acadians agreed only to an oath of neutrality, promising that if war broke out they would not take up arms against either France or Britain. Initially, the Acadian position was accepted. But it was a sticky point.

In 1755. after refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the crown (England), the deportation of the Acadians began.

"Your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds, live stock of all sorts, are forfeited to the crown, with all your other effects, saving your money and household goods, and you, yourselves are to be removed from the province. Thus it is peremptorily His Majesty's orders that the whole French inhabitants of these districts be removed."

The intention was to scatter the Acadians among Britain's Thirteen Colonies along the Atlantic Coast. In such small numbers, and immersed among an English speaking population, the Acadians would surely be absorbed.

Not all Acadians were prepared to give up so easily. Some resisted deportation and fled into the woods with their families. Those who were relocated arrived bewildered, impoverished and destitute. Most ended up in the area of Louisiana, never to return to Acadia. But many clung to the hope of one day returning to the land that had purged them, and almost immediately began the long journey back to Acadia.

Seven families who resisted deportation made their way to the Atlantic coastline of New Brunswick, Canada and became the original settlers a small seaside community. My mother, her 4 sisters and two brothers are direct descendants of the original settlers and still reside in homes side by side on the original land.


This photo (taken of my late foster son riding one of my family's "dirt bikes")was taken directly at the bottom of cliff from the back yard at my parents home.

My parents home eventually became a vacation home after we moved to American (Boston, Mass.) when I was seven. After my sister and I graduated from college and became independent, my parents retired and moved back to Canada where they still reside.

My sister and her family moved to Florida in 1988 and I followed in 1989.

The Eleventh and Twelfth Generation....
009 and MARC

This photo of my nephew and I was taken while vacationing in Canada. He is now a sheriff here in Florida and engaged to be married.

My father is of Arabic descent which I think shows in the above photo. Another story, another picture Sunday!

The expulsion of the Acadians must be judged by itself in the light of British history and of British customs ; and view it as we will on that light, it will remain forever an indelible stigma on England's reputation. We can not undo it; we can only deplore and regret."


windowtomymind said...


Qivan said...

I've read about it and also seen the plight of the Acadians on Canada, A People's history. Yes, the English were bastards to the French, but worse was how they treated the Natives, giving them blankets with small pox spores, to which they had no immunity. If things had turned out differently, I'd be writing this in French right now and singing O New FRance.

sttropezbutler said...


Thanks for the history.

Thanks for posting.

And I'm glad I made it here before it disappeared!


BostonPobble said...

Thank you! I love learning stuff like this. And I, too, am glad I made it while the pics were still up!

Hypoxic said...

Thanks for the history and for explaining how your family played a role in it. That really makes it much more interesting.

Ruben said...

Very impressive post young man!

scrappy rose said...

hey, I grew up right across the border in houlton, Me... small world

jmadison77 said...

this was an interesting post (well they all I have...HAD...a friend...well, EX-friend that descends from the Canadian Acadians (try saying that really quickly).
Back when I still gave a crap about the guy, I researched a bit on his last name and found out that pretty much everyone in the US or Canada with his last name was a descendent of one couple from the 1600's. I thought that was pretty cool.

So Don, you know any Boudreaus? ;)