Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History » French  

ACADIAN-CAJUN
What does Acadian-Cajun mean?  What is this website all about?  What are the main features of this website?

What does the term 'Acadian-Cajun' mean? 
     I created the term over 10 years ago when compiling a book on genealogical periodical articles.  I wanted to use a term that accurately described the people and culture.  I had seen the word Acadian used (mainly in Canada or when referring to the Cajuns' past) and the word Cajun used (for Louisiana descendants of Acadians).  But I thought both words should be used.  I had seen the term Acadian/Cajun used a few times, but it seemed to me that a slash was saying "either/or".  The terms are separate, but I also feel that they should be linked together.  So I came up with the hyphenated Acadian-Cajun.  I used that term again in my book Acadian-Cajun Genealogy in 1993.  Since then, it has become the title of the largest website on the topic (which you are visiting right now).  Over the last decade, I have seen others adopt the term in print and online. 
 
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    Usually, the word Cajun is used to describe those French people from south Louisiana. But the term Acadian is sometimes used; and when one looks into it, they find that their ancestors in fact were Acadians from Canada. Acadians and Cajuns are the same ... yet they are different. The Acadians were French settlers who settled the area (now known as Nova Scotia) in the 1600's. In the mid 18th century, they were exiled by the British. Over the following 30 years, several thousand of the exiled Acadians made their way to south Louisiana.
     Over the next 100+ years, the Acadians became the dominant culture in certain areas of south Louisiana. They retained much of their culture, and absorbed some of the other cultural influences. The German, Spanish, French, English, Indian and other cultures added to the Acadian culture to produce the Cajun culture. The word "Cajun" comes from the word "Acadian", just as "Injun" is a variant of the word "Indian."
     So, the Acadians were French settlers in 17th-18th century Canada. When they were exiled, they were no longer a single group. But the Acadian people survived in other cultures ... sometimes merging into those cultures, and sometimes (as in south Louisiana) being a dominant culture. Today's Cajuns may have roots that go back to the Acadians. But along the way, you will probably find German, French, Spanish, etc. ancestors that merged with the Acadians.
     If you need additional information on researching Acadian-Cajun ancestors, the Center for Louisiana Studies at USL has published a book, Acadian-Cajun Genealogy: Step by Step by Timothy Hebert.
What is this website all about?
     This site is about the history and genealogy of the Acadian and Cajun people.  It does not contain GEDCOMs or constructed genealogy (except for the section on the Hebert family).  I do not intend to tell people who their ancestors are.  I think it is more valuable for them to find out on their own.  I also think it's important for Acadian descendants to know about their heritage.
     This is not a collective effort by a company or group of people.  I (Tim Hebert) have created each page myself.  I do this because I think it's important for Acadian descendants to learn about and connect with their Acadian-Cajun heritage.  The funds for creating and maintaining this site come out of my own pocket.  A couple of years ago, I started selling a few items to help pay for the site, but this is a non-profit website.  Total income is about 10% of my costs.
  
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     To help you to find your ancestry, I have tried to post data online.  This includes census information, ship lists, etc.  If you want GEDCOM with Acadian-Cajun material, go to Ancestry.com.  They have a good many GEDCOMs with such data.
     This site is also about history.  I have posted the most comprehensive online overview of the Acadian and Cajun people.  By learning of their history, you can put "flesh" on the "bones" of your pedigree charts.
What are the main features of this website?  Here's a brief tour.
     This may be the most comprehensive website on the subject, consisting of over 800 web pages (thousands of printed pages) and continually growing.  Some of the major sections of the site include: 
  • Acadian History

  • This is the most detailed history of the Acadians on the web ... with maps, a timeline, and images from the best Acadian-Cajun artists.  There are a number of pages on early Acadia (and pre-Acadia).  The majority of this section takes you from the early days to the time of the Exile in chronological order.
  • Acadian Genealogy 

  • The genealogy of the Acadians is covered in two periods; data in this section includes the Acadian censuses of 1671, 1678, 1686, 1693, 1698, 1700, 1701, 1703, 1707, 1714, 1751/52, 1752.  There are pages about the church records, notarial records, and compiled works.  There are also pages devoted to each of the Acadian surnames ... with basic information, beginning genealogy, and links to related pages.
  • Cajun History

  • This includes the transition of Acadians into today's Cajuns ... from their first days in Louisiana in the 1760s to the present day.  This is the only significant treatment of Cajun history online.
  • Cajun Genealogy

  • This section includes passenger lists for the seven 1785 ships that brought 1600 Acadians to Louisiana.  It also contains a listing of ALL other 18th century Acadian immigrants to Louisiana.  Information on tracing Cajun genealogy through the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries is included.
  • Acadian-Cajun Genealogical Periodical Article Index

  • The complete text of this book, which I compiled in 1990 is online.  It includes 5000+ articles related to Acadian-Cajun genealogy.  The updated edition covering articles up to 1999 should be out in 2000.
  • Acadian-Cajun Genealogy: Step by Step 

  • This section describes this book.  It is an expanded table of contents for the book, including a new (2000) chapter on Acadian-Cajun Genealogy Online.
  • Acadian-Cajun Links 

  • This links page contains the best sites for genealogy, history, tourism, etc. relative to the Acadian and Cajun people; it includes brief comments on most of the sites
  • Congres Mondial Acadien - Louisiane, 1999

  • There is an entire section on  the history and events of this major event.
  • The Hébert Family 

  • This is a surname site with information about Acadian Héberts before the Exile, and a great deal of information on them afterwards ... especially in Louisiana;  it includes a constructed genealogy of the first 6 generations
Copyright © 1997-09 Tim Hebert