Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History
Exile Destination: Morlaix, France
 
 
    Morlaix is at the bottom of a deep valley where two rivers (Keffleut, Jarlot) merge to form the estuary of Dossen ... an area subject to the tides (though not as bad as at the Bay of Fundy). The city was for the dukes of Brittany (1196-1515) and then the French kings (1516-1589).  It was a commercial center, the most important port of lower Brittany, and attracted many foreign families.  When the Acadians arrived, it was a pretty prosperous town of almost 10,000 people.  Its chief export was sailcloth, then fabric (for sheets), paper, leather, and tobacco.  In 1763, 384 Acadians arrived from Penryn & Liverpool. 
     They debarked from 2 ships at Léon Quay, in the middle of town, by mid-June 1763.  The group consisted of 77 families.  At first, they stayed in temporary vacant barracks.  Gradually they integrated into Morlaix, in the parishes of St. Melaine, St. Mathieu, and especially St. Martin of the Fields (St. Martin des Champs).  In St. Martin, many of them lived on Rue Bourret.
     Besides helping them with lodging, the municipal officers of Morlaix helped the Acadians find work.  They also allowed the Acadian children to sign up for school without paying.  Once they got off the boat, they received 6 sols a day in a sort of welfare.
     In July 1763, 3 Acadians (Joseph Simon Granger, Honore LeBlanc, Joseph Trahan) from Morlaix went to Belle Isle en Mer to scout the proposed settlement.   Though the idea was debated, in October 1765, 55 families (179 people) of the 77 Acadian families at Morlaix migrated to Belle Isle.  They were led by Father Le Loutre.  He had been in prison on Jersey Island since 1756.  The Duke of Choiseul put him in charge of convincing them to move and to set up the settlement.  Le Loutre was from Morlaix, born there Nov. 2, 1711.
     In early 1764, Choiseul managed to convince 22 Acadian families to attempt a settlement at Guyana.  Even the pastor of St. Mathieu in Morlaix, Father Coquart (a former missionary in Acadia) wanted to go.  Although money was spend planning the project, the Acadians were wary of the tropical migration and it was eventually cancelled. 
     The 20 +/- families who had stayed at Morlaix were joined a few years later by 45 of Belle Isle settlers who returned. 
     A couple of Acadians of Morlaix would later feel the impact of the French Revolution.  Anne LeBlanc (nee LePrince), 80, and her 38 year old daughter were guillotined at Brest because they let a priest (who hadn't pledged the oath) stay in their home.
     Jean Baptiste Hebert was a part-time resident of Morlaix.  He was known as a "pirate" who seized ships for the king.  Other Acadians who sailed on pirate ships included J. LeBlanc, P. Trahan, M. Blanchard served on the Comte de Giochen.  Francois Rene Granger, after spending 7 months in an English prison, showed up at Dunkerque as a lieutenant.  He later served as captain of the pirate ships Union, Sans Peur, Terrible, and Insatiable.
     Another Acadian, Jean Jacques Granger, was guillotined at Bordeaux in 1763 because he had 7 proscribed Girondin deputies aboard his ship. (From Nantes to Louisiana, Braud)
 
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The 1755 Exile
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Exile Destinations
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