Thursday, March 10, 2011

Deportation ts of the Prince Edward Island Acadians - Comments by Stephen A. White

The listing from which the images referenced below have been drawn is what Icall in the DGFA-1 the "Liste de arrivés à St-Malo." It was published in transcribed form by Milton and Norma Rieder in 1973, as I show in my bibliography (p. lvi). I have not worked with the originals, as we do not have a copy of them, but I am very familiar with the Rieders' copy.

Comparing what appears in the four images to what is in the transcription, it is evident that the Rieders' copy is quite accurate, but that itnevertheless would be worthwhile to double-check everything. I'll have to look into doing that.

It is quite right that seeing the listings of all the people, mostly children, who died during the North Atlantic crossing to France (in wintertime) or shortly after disembarkation at St-Malo (as is also mentioned on the listing) hits one very hard. That is the main reason why I came up with the idea of having an Acadian Remembrance Day in December, to make the facts of the deportation of 1758 better known. Of all the 3100 Acadians and others deported from Île St-Jean in 1758, approximately two out of three were dead within six months, and most of those were small children, ten years old or younger. We commemorate that loss of life, along with all the loss of life during and caused by the Grand Dérangement, every December 13th. Everyone, is of course welcome to take part in our ceremonies, or to organize their own, as are all Acadian descendants, around the world.

The people from Plaisance are all included in my DGFA-1, so if anyone wishes to know what became of them, they might start looking for information there. Most of the inhabitants of the French colony in what is now Newfoundland moved to Île Royale. Some of those families -- Aubert, Beaufet, Carmel, Commère, Coupiau dit Desaleur, DesRoches, Dihars, Dufaux, Lafargue, LeGrand, LeManquet, Maillet dit Passepartout, Ozelet, Pichot, and Saux, for example -- have descendants among the Acadians to this day, although almost entirely through female lines. In fact, the only family among those I just mentioned whose name still survives (among the Acadians in certain parts of Nova Scotia) is Maillet (often now spelled Myette).

Page from the registers at St-Malo, France listing some of the names of Acadians who died at sea or after arrival at St-Malo.

Image #1
Image #2
Image #3
Image #4

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