Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History » French  
Canadian Acadians
Many Acadians migrated to French Canada before and after the Exile. Some returned to the original land of Acadia, though they were not able to obtain their good farmlands.  Acadian descendants, though scattered across Canada, are found in greatest numbers in the province of New Brunswick.
1786 +
       Many Acadians settled down in French Canada, just west of Acadia (now Nova Scotia), and were assimilated into the French-Canadian culture. When the war ended in 1763, some tried to return to their homeland, only to find that it had been given to someone else.  Those Acadians who moved to larger towns, like Quebec and Montreal, merged into their surrounding culture.  Some Acadia communities remained in New Brunswick and still exhibit the Acadian culture today. 
     Areas settled by Acadians in those early days, that still bear links to the Acadian culture, can be found in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. 
THE RETURN by Nelson Surette
Nova Scotia
     There are several 'pockets' of Acadian descendants found in Nova Scotia today.  In some cases, you may find Acadian names but not the culture.  This occurs in urban areas (ie. Halifax), in the former Beaubassin area (Minudie, Maccan, Nappan), and the communities of Pomquet, Tracadie, and Havre-Boucher.  They can be found at:
     There are several areas that have maintained an Acadian identity.  These include:
  • Clare (Digby County) has perhaps the largest, most "Acadian" group on the French Shore.    At the time of the return of the Acadians in the province after 1763, the lands they had previously occupied were now settled by the New England Planters whom had arrived after 1760. The Nova Scotia government allowed the Acadians to re-establish themselves provided they settled in areas other than their former homelands. Some arrived on the shores of present-day St. Mary's Bay, in Digby County to become primarily fishermen who supplemented their livelihood with small-scale farming, lumbering and boat building. Joseph Dugas and his family were the first to arrive in 1768. In subsequent years, other pioneer families arrived. Family names included: Amirault, Belliveau, Blinn, Boudreau, Comeau, Deveau, Doucet, Gaudet, Jeddry, LeBlanc, Lombard, Maillet, Melanson, Muise, Pothier, Robichaud, Saulnier, Thériault, Thibault, Thibodeau and Thimot. Today, the Municipality of Clare is the only one of its kind to operate in French within the province.   When in the area, be sure to check out Université Sainte-Anne (which contains an Acadian Cultural and Genealogical Centre), St. Mary's church, the Acadian Museum and Tourism Office in Meteghan (which also has a Collège de l'Acadie Learning Centre).
  • Argyle (Yarmouth County) has a number of Acadian communities in the former Pobomcoup/Cap Sable area.  Some of these towns are Pubnico, Quinan, Belleville, and Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau.  Acadian surnames in this area include: Amirault, Babin, Belliveau, Boucher, Boudreau, Bourque, Corporon, Cottreau, d'Entremont, d'Eon, Deveau, Doucette, Dulong, Jacquard, Landry, LeBlanc, Moulaison, Muise, Pothier, Surette, Richard, and Vacon.  When in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian Historical Village at West Pubnico.
  • Cheticamp (Inverness County) and nearby villages, first settled by the Acadian "Fourteen Elders" in 1782.  Acadian surnames in the area include: Aucoin, Boudreau, Bourgeois, Camus, Chiasson, Cormier, Delaney, Deveau, Doucet, Fiset, Gallant, Gaudet, Haché, Harris, Larade, LaPierre, LeBlanc, LeFort, LeLièvre, LeVert, Maillet, Muise, Poirier, Roach, and Romard.  When in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian Museum.
  • Chezzecook (near Halifax) was probably first settled by Acadians who had been held at Halifax until the Treaty in 1763.   They were later joined by Acadians from Isle Royale and Isle Madame.  When in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian House Museum in this area.
  • Isle Madame (Richmond County) was repopulated with Acadians in the later 1700s (though there had been some settlement there before the Deportation).   Some of the towns in the area include: Arichat, West Arichat, Port Royal, D'Escousse, Poulamon, Rivière-Bourgeois, Martinique, L'Ardoise, and Saint-Pierre. The family names The Acadian surnames in this area include: Babin, Benoît, Boudreau, Briand, Forgeron, Fougère, Girroir, Gerroir, Gerrior, Landry, Levandier, LaLeucher, LeBlanc, Marchand, Martell, Mombourquette, Pâté, Poirier, Richard, Samson, Thériault, and Thibeau.  When in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian Cultural Center and Nicholas Denys Museum.  La Picasse has a College de l'Acadie Learning Centre. 
  • Antigonish County has several villages settled by Acadians after they were allowed to return to Acadia in the 1770s and 1780s.  These include Pomquet, Tracadie and Havre Boucher. Acadian-related surnames in the area include: Barriault, Begin, Bellefontaine, Benoit, Boucher, Boudreau, Briand, Broussard, Charpentier, Cornu, Coté, Daigle, DeCoste, Deon, Jacquet dit DesLauriers, Doiron, Drouillet, Fougere, Girroir, Landry, LaMarre, LeBlanc, Levandier, LeParou, Mathe, Maillet, Melanson, Meunier, Morell, Phillipard, Rennie, Roger, Roi, Toupain, Venedam, Vincent, and Wolfe.
  • Guysborough County has Acadian descendants that resettled there from Chezzetcook.  They established the towns of Larry's River, Charlos Cove, and Port Felix. Acadian surnames in this area include: Bellefontaine, Benoit, Boudreau, David, Déon, Doiron, Fougère, Gerrior, Mannette, Pellerin, Pettipas, Richard, and Roi. 

New Brunswick
     New Brunswick was the place that a number of Acadians sought refuge before, during, and after the exile.  Acadian communities developed in several areas.  Some resettled in the Beaubassin area, though they have lost their Acadian culture in many ways. Along the gulf shore you will find Acadians from Shediac and Cocagne up to Caraquet and Bathurst.  A few settled along the St. John River, with a number settling the Madawaska area of NB/Maine. 
Prince Edward Island
     The origins of Acadians on the island come from the families in the Malpeque area that avoided deportation.  Acadians still can be found in the NW corner of the island.  They can also be found in the Rustico area (north-central part of PEI) and the Mount Carmel area (SW).
Acadian Gatherings
     In 1880, the Société Saint Jean Baptiste of Quebec invited the Acadians to their congress. Dozens of Acadians attended and decided to organize their own Acadian Convention the following year.  Over the next 100 years, a number of gatherings were held.  Generally, the topics were the same. 
     A short synopsis of the Acadian conventions, starting in 1881, can be found on the Acadian Conventions page.  The gathering took on larger implications and a new name with the first Congres Mondial Acadien in New Brunswick in 1994.  Acadians gathered in Louisiana in 1999 for a second Congres Mondial Acadien and in Nova Scotia in 2004 for a third. The fourth CMA is being held on the Acadian peninsula of New Brunswick in 2009.
The 1755 Exile
The 1758 Exile
The "End" of the Exile
Exile Destinations
England | Quebec | New Brunswick | Prince Edward Island | Nova Scotia | France
St. Domingue | Martinique | French Guiana | Falkland Islands | St. Pierre & Miquelon | Louisiana
American Colonies
Connecticut | Georgia | Maryland | Massachusetts | New York | Pennsylvania | South Carolina
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