Friday, September 08, 2006

I will never forget my first trip to Grand-Pre. As soon as we arrived and began to walk toward the Memorial Church there was such a strong presence of our Ancestors. So many people have had the same experience when visiting this hallowed place.

As we toured the beautiful grounds, visited the well, looked at what is left of the willows planted by our Ancestors all those years ago, I was truly overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that this was where so much of their lives had meaning. They had lived and died here, they had cultivated the land, their children had been born and baptized in this very place.

As I mentioned yesterday, Andre LeBlanc and Marie Dugas were married here, raised their children and both are buried here. They were my sixth grandparents. Their son, my seventh great grandfather Claude-Andre was presumably born there in 1696 though there no records to found that would tell us this. At some point he made his way to Port-Toulouse on Cape Breton where he married my grandmother Madeleine Boudreau abt. 1719. Some of their children were born there but most in Grand-Pre. We know that he lived in Port-Toulouse (now St. Peter's, Cape Breton) with his wife Madeleine Boudrot until about 1727 when he returned to Grand-Pré. After her death in 1747, he went to Beaubassin and then Ile St-Jean (Prince Edward Island). He was deported to Boulogne in 1758 where he was buried on October 5, 1765.

My fifth great grandfather, their son Jos-Andre LeBlanc, had been born at Port-Toulouse. For some reason he returned there and abt 1745 married my grandmother Marguerite Hebert. Unfortunately not much is known of their whereabouts prior to the Deportation. It seems that Joseph's movements between 1745 and 1763 are something of a mystery according to Stephen White.

Jos.-Andre's second marriage was to Marie Doiron dite Bidaque abt. 1759. In 1763 their names are found on the list of prisoners at Fort Cumberland/Beausejour. With them at Fort Cumberland had been three children from Jos.-Andre's first marriage and three born to them while imprisoned. From the first marraige was my fourth great grandfather Firmin who had been born abt 1746 and was thus only about 9 years old when the Deportation began at Beaubassin in 1755.

Tomorrow I will talk about how Firmin LeBlanc became one of the richest farm owners in New Brunswick.

You can find lots of Acadian history and genealogy on my web site at Acadian Ancestral Home

Have a great day!


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