Formerly Prisoners at Fort Beauséjour
[Fort Cumberland while prisoners of the British]


On July 11, 1764 the King of England, at the request of the Lords of Commerce, granted permission to the Acadians to become settlers of the government of His Majesty, by giving their oath of allegiance. Many Acadian prisoners chose nonetheless to leave for Saint-Pierre et Miquelon Islands while others headed for the Menoudie area where they would actually become slaves of the Desbarres who would exploit them to no end. Others remained at Amherst and Windsor, working on the lands that once were theirs but now belonged to their conquerors. On March 22nd, 1764, there were 388 Acadians employed on farms on the Fort Cumberland (formerly Pointe Beauséjour) ridge working for wages. Henry Hind in his book entitled Old Parish Burying Ground, speaks of the following with regard to the Acadians in the region: Those who (the Acadians) still remained in these parts continued to draw rations till about the years 1766 to the amount of 1,600 including imposters, etc. . At length a scrutiny was ordered, and they could produce only 1,200 Acadians on parade; when the commanding officer demanding of their angents an account of the 400 which were wanting, the reply was "they died last night".

Thus a certain number of prisoners who had been at Fort Beauséjour chose to go to the Saint-Pierre and Miquelon Islands as has been stated. They left from Baie Verte, Halifax or from Cape Breton in order to embark for this location. As of November 1765, M. de Rocheblave returned from Saint-Pierre in France, 7 to 8 Acadian families to Beauséjour, raising the number to 36 persons. Therefore, eight families that had been heretofore prisoners at Fort Beauséjour made it to Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and then went to France. These two families were: Jean Arseneau and Pierre Arsenault who settled at Belle-Ile-en-Mer and at Nantes. The five other families consisted of: Joseph Hébert, Michel Boudrot (supposedly the son of Claude), the two Bourg brothers Michel and Joseph, respectively 40 and 30 years old, who seemed to have departed without their families; René Poirier and his children (he was apparently a widower at this time); Jean Nuirat and his family; and finally, Joseph Gaudet (now a widower also) and his children. It is very possible that some of these families that had been imprisoned at Fort Beauséjour and their families left for France. It is also very possible that they returned to the Maritimes.

Other Acadians who numbered among the prisoners at Fort Beauséjour and who had gone to Saint-Pierre et Miquelon Islands did return to the Maritimes. Here are a few of them that were tracked:


MICHEL BOURG & FAMILY


Michel Bourg dit Michaud was born at la Pré des Bourg [now Sackville, N.B.]13 May 1719. He married Marie-Josèphe Bourgeois 31 January 1741 in Beaubassin. Michel was the son of Michel Bourque and Marie Cormier to Michel Bourque and Isabelle Elisabeth Melanson to François Bourque and Marguerite Boudreau to Antoine Bourque and Antoinette Landry.

In 1754, they were still living at Beaubassin. In 1755, they sought refuge at Ile St-Jean (Prince Edward Island). In 1763, Michel was a prisoner at Fort Beauséjour; in 1764, he was at Windsor (once Pisiguit), and in 1767 he was at Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. This same year, he went to Cocagne, New Brunswick with Joseph Guéguen and others. He died in November 1790 in Cumberland, Nova Scotia.

His son Michel, born circa 1750, was a prisoner and married Ursule Forest daughter of Charles and Marie Chiasson to Baptiste Forest on 15 June 1777. She had also been imprisoned. They later settled at Cocagne, then at Minoudie and finally at Bas-Cap-Pelé about 1800. He died Abt. 1840. His wife, Ursule Forest, died 2 March 1838 at the age of 80. Her record states that she was the spouse of Michel.

The second son Mélhème Bourque (not Bleme) was born Abt. 1759; he married Marie LeBlanc Abt. 1780 and settled in Memramcook about 1785 where he died 25 March 1835 at 76 years of age. Marie LeBlanc died 05 March 1836 in Beaumont. Marie was the daughter of Pierre LeBlanc and Marie Bourgeois to François LeBlanc and Marguerite Boudreau to Jacques LeBlanc and Catherine Hébert to Daniel LeBlanc and Françoise Gaudet.


CHARLES GAUTROT & FAMILY


Charles Gautrot was born in 1735; he married Marie-Françoise Bourque on 4 September 1762 before Joseph Guéguen at Fort Beauséjour where they were all prisoners. Françoise was the daughter of Michel dit Michaud Bourque and Marie-Josèphe Bourgeois to Claude Bourgeois and Anne Blanchard.

In 1764, they were in Halifax and in 1767 at Saint-Pierre et Miquelon along with a son named Charles born in 1764. During 1767, they left the islands with Joseph Guéguen and others and went to Cocagne and Grande Digue. Abt 1785-90, Charles settled with his family at Barachois. His son Charles married Marie-Anne dite Nannette Gaudet; another son, Cyprien, married Marguerite Gaudet Abt. 1800. Both daughters of Jean dit Jean Pierrotte Gaudet and Marie-Madeleine LeBlanc. Another son married Marie Léger, daughter of Joseph Léger and Anne Gaudet of Minoudie.


JOSEPH GUÉGUEN & FAMILY


Without a doubt, Joseph Guéguen was the best known among the prisoners of Fort Beauséjour. For a half century, 1760-1810, Joseph was a well recognized and respected leader among the Acadians in the region. In 1764, he was at Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and in 1768, in Cocagne where is settled permanently. His first marriage was to Anne to François Arsenot in September 1760. His second marriage was to Marie Quessy (Caissie) to Grand Joseph Quessy abt 1770 and a third marriage was to Anne Surette about 1808. He died in Cocagne on 28 February 1825 at the age of 85.

Joseph Guéguen Jr. was born in 1761. He married 1. Anne Bastarache and 2. Anne LeBlanc from Memramcook. They lived in Cocagne.

Jean Guéguen, son of Joseph Sr., was born in 1762. He married Marie-Madeleine Thibodeau. They too lived in Cocagne.

Of the following families most remained in the area when they repatriated:


LOUIS ALLAIN & FAMILY


This family was among the first settlers of Bouctouche.


PIERRE BASTARACHE - MICHEL BASTARACHE & FAMILIES


After being in Windsor (formerly Pisiguit) , Nova Scotia for a few years and then at Coverdale, New Brunswick, these two families settled at Tracadie, New Brunswick.


ÉTIENNE LEBLANC & FAMILY


This family was in Windsor (formerly Pisiguit), Nova Scotia in 1764 but went to Louisiana the following year.


JOSEPH QUESSY & FAMILY


Joseph Quessy dit Grand Jos married Marie-Josèphe Lapierre and settled in Baie-des-Ouinnes about 1770 with his family.


PIERRE BOUDROT & FAMILY


Pierre Boudrot, dit Le Grand, was born at Port- Royal 30 June 1712; on 31 January 1734/35 he married Madeleine Melanson. Placide Gaudet stated that Pierre setttled on the east bank of the Peticoudiac River. The burial/death records of this couple have not been found. Their son married about 1785 to Anne Gaudet and then to Rosalie Gaudet, both daughters of Jean Gaudet and Jeanne of Cap-des-Maringouins. About 1790, he went to Barachois where he was among the first pioneers. Hilaire, born abt 1756, settled at Memramcook. Another son, Charles dit Charlitte, married a daughter of Jean to Augustin Gaudet and settled at Barachois with his two brothers.


CHARLES FOREST & FAMILY


Charles Forest, dit Charles to Baptiste, was born at Minoudie in 1716 and on 4 June 1742, he married Marie Marguerite Poirier daughter of Michel Poirier and Jeanne Bourgeois of Minoudie/Beaubassin where he settled. Prisoners at Fort Beauséjour, they returned to their land after their release from prison. However, their land no longer belonged to them and they had to work for DesBarres and thus became slaves of sorts. Charles Forest died at Minoudie in 1805. He had been a great friend of Father Power. His children: Jean who died young. Paul dit Gros Paul, settled at Chimougouy in 1804. He married 1. Nanette Bourque and 2. Christine Bonnevie who was from one of the first families of Chimougoue/Shemogue. Paul is the ancestor of all of the Forests of Southeast New Brunswick Province. He died at Petit-Cap on 26 October 1836 at the age of 90.

The daughters of Charles to Baptiste married some of the first settlers of Chimougouye Thus, Ursule Forest married Michaud to Michaud Bourque.


PIERRE DOIRON & FAMILY


Pierre dit Pitre Doiron was born March 1734. Abt. 1761, he married Marguerite Léger to Jean Léger and Marie-Marguerite Comeau in Shippagan. In 1765, he settled at Nappan, Nova Scotia but about 1795 he settled at Saint-Anselme, New Brunswick and in 1803 at Tédiche at Cap-Pelé. He died 07 July 1825 and his spouse died 01 January 1826. We has also known under the name of Gould.

His children: Joseph Amable Doiron, born 30 January 1762 married Catherine Downey to David Downey and Dorothée Boudreau. As his father, he settled at Tédiche. He died May 1862. Charles was born 1763 and died at a young age. Jean dit Gros Jean, settled at Saint-Anselme, New Brunswick. Pierre dit Pitre, settled at Barachois.


JEAN BABINOT & FAMILY


Jean Babinot was born at Pentagouet in 1709. He married Isabelle Breau in 1734. He was the founder of Village des Babineau (now Coverdale, New Brunswick). His spouse died between 1755-1762. He died at the home of his son Sylvain at Ruisseau-des-Renards (now Fox Creek, New Brunswick) before 1800.

His children: Sylvain settled at Ruisseau-des-Renards, married 1. To Marguerite Léger and 2. Geneviève Girouard. He died 5 August 1814.

Paul settled at the Village of Richibouctou. His first wife was Marguerite Richard and his second Ludivine Belliveau.

Dominique was born in 1752. He married Rosalie Gadereau. He settled at Turle-Creek, New Brunswick in 1787 the at the Village of Richibouctou in 1797, where he died.

Jean, born in 1747, married Anne Bastarache. He wanted to settle at Turtle-Creek and then settled at Saint-Louis de Kent but drowned during the trip while crossing the Petitcodiac in December 1796. His family went there the following year.

Jean-Baptiste and Charles: most likely died young.


JOSEPH LEBLANC & FAMILY


Joseph-André LeBlanc to Claude-André LeBlanc and Madeleine Boudreau, was born at Port-Toulouse (St. Peter, Cape Breton)in 1722. He married Marguerite Hébert in Abt. 1745 at Port-Toulouse (now St. Peters, Cape Breton), and later married a second time to Marie dite Bidaque Doiron, daughter of Pierre Doiron and Anne Forest. After the Deportation, Joseph-André LeBlanc was at Minoudie, then about 1786 at Petitcodiac and finally, in 1804, at Tédiche, Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick. He died there on 28 December 1818. Marie died Abt. 1827 at Barachois.

His sons:

From his first marriage: Firmin and Joseph dit Jean-André LeBlanc settled at Fox-Creek, while daughter Marguérite married David Melanson and went to Memramcook. Firmin married Ludivine Dupuis and Joseph dit Jean-André married Marguerite Forest.

From his second marriage: Paul and François settled with their father at Tédiche while it is unknown what happened to daughter Blandine LeBlanc. Paul married Marie Babin and François married Anastasie Bourgeois. They are the ancestors of almost all of the LeBlancs of the parish of Cap-Pelé.


CHARLES MELANSON & FAMILY


Charles Melanson was born at Port-Royal in 1725 and married Anne to Jean Breau on 17 January 1746. In 1760, this family was imprisoned. Released in 1764, he settled in the Minoudie area and then in Memramcook.

His children: Jean, Charles and Pierre - no trace of them.

Anne was born in 1747 and married Michel Haché in 1766, son of Michel Haché and his first wife Marie Gravois.


MICHEL HACHÉ & FAMILY


Michel was born at Beaubassin in 1713; he married 1. Marie-Anne Gravois to Joseph Gravois and Marie Cyr. Only one of these six children - Félicité - was on the list of prisoners at Beauséjour. In 1762 his second wife was Marie-Madeleine Blanchard daughter of René Blanchard and Marie Savoie. He settled at Grande-Digue in 1768. He died at the home of his son Michel

His children: Michel who married Anne Melanson. He then settled at Grande-Digue then about 1790 settled at Barachois.

Félicité born 30 July 1745 at Beaubassin married Jean-Baptiste Cassie son of Joseph Caissie Abt. 1763. They were both prisoners at Fort Beauséjour.. She died 1821 at Baie Ste-Anne.


PIERRE MELANSON & FAMILY


Pierre Melanson was born in Port-Royal in 1720 where he married Marie-Josèphe Granger to Laurent Granger on 31 January 1746. Escaping from British capture, this family hid in the Petitcodiac area about 1755-1760 but had to surrender to Colonel Frye in 1760 and were among the prisoners of Fort Beauséjour. In 1765, they settled at Minoudie under DesBarres. This is where Pierre and Maire-Josèphe died about 1785.

Their children: Marie-Josèphe Melanson and Agnès Chiasson. She was born in 1747; she married Jean to Augustin Gaudet in 1768 at Memramcook. She died at Memramcook in 1825 and her husband died there in 1820.

Jean, born 2 August 1749, married and settled at Minoudie firstly then at Scoudouc where his home as an Inn. He died at Scoudouc.

Joseph dit David to Parotte, was born in 1755. He married Marguerite LeBlanc, daughter of Joseph and Marguerite Hébert. Many documents on this family indicate that they had chosen to live in Minoudie. However, in 1804 Joseph obtained, along with his sons, land at Scoudouc where they were among the number of first pioneers. One of his sons, Pierre to Parotte, is also among the first pioneers of Shemogue in 1804. David to Parotte is the ancestor of a good number of Melanson families in the Moncton diocese.

SOURCE: This information has been translated by me into English and was obtained from La Société Historique Acadienne, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada - December 1969 - Vol. III, no. 5.


© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
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