The Acadians no longer have pure lists of
Acadian church records. They are now in other nations and you will find
their records mixed with everyone elses. Fortunately, much work has been
done by a few people to publish the church records of the exiled Acadians. Acadians
in Exile (Hebert) contains records from just about all areas of
the exile. The Acadians in France, Vol.
3 (Milton & Norma Reider) contains
material from the archives from the St. Servan area.
Albert Robichaux has searched French records
to compile four works that are very valuable in finding Acadian records
in France. The Acadian Exiles in Nantes, 1775-1785 covers
the Acadians who eventually moved to Nantes, many of which left for Louisiana
in 1785. The Acadian Exiles in Chatellerault,
1773-1785 does the same for Acadians in that area.
The Acadian Exiles in St. Malo, 1758-1785is
a 3 volume work. The Nantes, Chatellerault, and first two volumes
of the St. Malo set are arranged by families, with the reference to church
records in parentheses. The third volume of the St. Malo set contains
transcriptions of Acadian marriages in that area. Acadian Marriages
in France, 1759-1776 contains information on Acadian marriages
for their first years back in France.
For Acadians who remained in the American
colonies, you will have to consult that state's church records. As time
went by, more and more Catholic churches were begun. Some records
may also be found in Protestant churches, as some Acadians gradually changed
By 1785, the largest collections of Acadians
were to be found in Canada and Louisiana. There were two main types of
places in which we find Acadians in Canada: isolated "pockets" of Acadians
and Acadians mixing with Canadians.
In several areas of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,
and Prince Edward Island, there were pockets of Acadians where they made
up a large portion of the population. A search of the Catholic church
areas in these places will turn up a number of Acadian names.
You also find Acadians scattered about Canada,
mixing with other cultures. You'll need to consult Canadian records
for that area in which your ancestor moved. The records will be in
Catholic churches (at first), mixed in with all of the other nationalities.
The National Archives of Canada has a publication, Checklist
of Parish Registers, that lists the microfilm of church records
in Canada. You
may want to borrow
microfilm through interlibrary loan or purchase
your own copy.
As for the Acadians in Louisiana, you will
find their records starting to appear Catholic churches in 1765.
The best resource for these records are the multi-volume sets done by Rev.
Donald Hebert, the New Orleans Diocese, and the Baton Rouge diocese.
These four works cover the Catholic churches and many civil records (for
Father Hebert's books) in the area of Louisiana known as the Acadiana region.
Father Hebert has two series, South
Louisiana Records and Southwest Louisiana Records.
There are 12 volumes of South Louisiana Records, which
cover Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. There are 42 volumes of Southwest
Louisiana Records, which cover the western side of Acadiana.
Father Hebert is presently working on putting the Southwest Louisiana
Records records on CD-ROM.
The New Orleans Diocese has 12 volumes in
print and is working on number 13. These records cover the churches
of the New Orleans area from 1718 to 1817. The Baton Rouge
Catholic Diocese has 17 volumes in print and is working on number 18.
These records cover the churches of Donaldsonville, Plattenville, Pointe
Coupee, St. Gabriel, St. James, and Baton Rouge from 1707 to 1888.
The earliest records back to 1707 are from the Grand Pre church in Acadia
(found in V. 1). The books contain basic abstracts of the records.
You can write or visit the Catholic Archives in each diocese to get a more
complete transcript of the record.