Rare list of P.E.I. Acadians intrigues N.B. researchers

CBC News Posted: Jan 31, 2012

Acadian researchers at l’Université de Moncton have discovered a list of 289 names of Acadians who were living on Prince Edward Island in 1763, but they’re still trying to reach a consensus about what exactly the rare list was for.

Archivist Regis Brun discovered the misfiled document among the personal files of a French diplomat.

Regis Brun, an archivist at the university’s centre d’etudes acadiennes, believes it’s a list of Acadians held prisoner by the British at Fort Amherst, now a historic site on the shores of Charlottetown Harbour.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind document,” said Brun, who has been working as an archivist for 50 years.

“In that same year, we had the list of Acadian prisoners at Fort Beausejour, at Saint John, New Brunswick, at Halifax…They were known, they’ve been published, but there’s one at Fort Amherst, it had disappeared in thin air.”

Brun found the list among papers sent to him last week by an American in the Boston area who wanted to trace his Acadian roots. It had been misfiled in a French archive in Paris among the personal papers of a French diplomat, the governor of Santo Domingo, from the 18th century, he said.

It’s a missing link in the paper trail of people the British wanted to keep an eye on, and of who needed to be fed, said Brun.

“It’s all the Acadian family names — the Boudreau, to the Leblanc, Cormier, the Arsenault, the Doucet, Chiasson are all there,” he said.

May be petition to French king

However, Stephen White, a geneaologist at the centre, thinks the list could be a petition to the French king.

At the end of the so-called Seven Years War, the French were inviting Acadians who had been deported to settle in French colonies, mainly in the Caribbean, Santo Domingo and Haiti, said White.

“These people were aware of that, but they hadn’t been invited, but they believed they were qualified. And the cover letter says ‘We’re the same as these others and you invited them so we want to be invited to move to French territory as well because we’ve always been French loyal subjects in French territory’ because they lived in Isle St. Jean,” he said.

“The document lists the different places where they live – St. Pierre, St. Peters today; Baie Fortune, which is Rouleau Bay, or that area, and Le Moulin a Vent, which is Savage Harbour; Tracadie, which is still Tracadie and Rustico, which is spelled a little different today. And there’s a whole bunch of people, 17 households from the Magdalen Islands.”

Similar letters have been found from Acadians in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Halifax, South Carolina, Boston, and New York, said White.

Helps trace ancestry

Regardless of its origin, the document is valuable because, unlike most of the other lists of the day, it gives the names of the husbands and the wives, as well as the number of children they had, he said.

With so few Acadian family names, being able to cross reference the wives’ maiden names makes it a lot easier to trace ancestries, he explained.

Brun agrees. It allows researchers to pinpoint the presence of certain families on the Island, he said.

“In history, you make hypothesis, but hypothesis is nothing like the real smoking gun, as Nixon would say.

“You have the document, there’s Charles Arsenault and the name of his wife, Jeanne Chiasson. There’s the name and he’s there in July 1763.”

Many of the names can be traced directly to people in the region, including New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, said Brun.

“This one, the Poirier family, who lives in Shediac and Grand Digue still. And the Arsenault, Robert Arsenault, who works with Radio Canada, his ancestor is there. I believe it’s Joseph Arsenault, of Francois. You see Francois and Boudreault? So he’s descendant from those. And then if you go through the list, the Richard family, the Doucet,” he said, trailing off.

Brun can also compare the list with other lists to determine how people were being transferred around from the beginning of the deportation to the end of the year, or how they escaped, he said, noting the case of one woman who had a particularly difficult time.

“Twelve times in the space of 10 years she moved, her and her husband ahead of the British soldiers. Twelve times in 10 years, this was the history of most of these families in prison.”

The above article was posted by the CBC New on January 31, 2012

Rare List of P.E.I. Acadians Discovered; Dick Eastman Newsletter

Researching Acadian ancestors can be frustating at times. Now a new list of Acadians living in 1783 in Prince Edward Island has been discovered that may help solve many family mysteries. Acadian researchers at l’Université de Moncton have discovered a list of 289 names of Acadians who were living on Prince Edward Island in 1763.

The purpose of the list is unknown. It might be a list of Acadians held prisoner by the British at Fort Amherst, now a historic site on the shores of Charlottetown Harbour. Another possibility is that it is a list those who signed a petition to the French king. Whatever the purpose, the list is now valuable to many Acadian descendants.

Dick Eastman

Acadian Prisoners at Fort Amherst on Ile St-Jean 17 Sep 1762

[Note from Yvon: This may NOT be a list of Acadian prisoners]

January 2012


Transcription of covering document which accompagnies the list of Acadians, as provided by Karen Theriot Reader in Feb 2012. Please do not disseminate without permission from her at [email protected]

De Lisle de St Jean a Port La Joye
Le 17: septembre 1763
Au Roy


Qu’il vous plaise D’ecouter Favorablement Les tres humbles Requetes Des Plus humbles de vos serviteures qui Du plus profond de leur Coeurs vous supplier que vous vouliez Leur accerder votre Protection: ayant appris que votre Ambassadeur Ordinaire et Extraordinaire a majesté
Britannique avait Envoyé une Lettre a tous Les habitants Francais Demeurants Le long Du côte De Gaspay avec ordre que La Ditte Lettre Fuît transcrite et envoyé Par tout ou il y aurait des habitant François, a faire De Les Ramener sous L’obeisance Du Roy tres chretien, De la quelle obeissance nous ne vous sommes jamais Detourné, Bien au contraire: Nous ayant toujours fait voire En toutes occasions, Fideles serviteurs De votre Majesté Nous prosternant humblement au pied du trone De votre Majesté Nous vous supplions de nous faire Les même Faveurs que vous avez Resolution De faire au Reste De vos habitants Cadiens, et puis que La paix presente nous permet De vous Proclamer Comme notre paix Commun De qui et En qui nous esperons toutes choses apres dire nous vous supplions que Comme etant maintenant presque touts Reduits a la Derniere Extremité et n’étants pas Capable De faire Les frais De voyage de France faute De Bateaux que vous ayez La Bonté De nous envoyer un ou Deux Bateaux pour nous transporter nous et nos Familes partout ou il vous semble Bon, Notre plus Grand Desire etant De Rejoindre notre patris et De nous prosterner En personne au pied Du tronne De votre Majesté suppliant Le Dieu tout puissant De vous combler: De Benedictions aussi bien que toute La Famille Royale et En particulier notre Seigneur Le Dauphin dont nous implorons La protection qui nous Est promise si Efficacement Par la Lettre De notre Seigneur Le Duc De Nivernois, qui nous ayant ordonné De Lui Envoyer une Liste De nos habitants, avons pris La Liberte De presenter celle ci au pied de votre tronne vous suppliant. De jetter sur nous un oeuil De Compassion et De nous admettre pour toujours au nombre De vos serviteurs.

Les habitants Des Differents Endroits De L’isle St. Jean

Translation completed by Karen Theriot Reader in Feb 2012. Please do not disseminate without permission from [email protected]

From Isle St Jean at Port LaJoye
On 17th September, 1763
To the King


That it should please you to listen favorably to the very humble requests of the most humble of your servants, who from the greatest depth of their hearts beg that you should grant them your protection: having become aware that your Ordinary and Extraordinary Ambassador had sent to the British King a letter to all the French inhabitants living along the Gaspé coast, with order that the said letter should be transcribed and sent to all where there would be any French residents, to cause to bring them back under allegiance to the very Christian [French] King, from which allegiance we have never wavered, indeed to the contrary: We having always been in truth on all occasions, faithful servants of your Majesty, we kneel humbly at the foot of the throne of your Majesty. We beg you to give us the same favors which you had resolution to make to the rest of your Acadian residents, and since the present peace permits us to proclaim to you as our common peace, from whom and in whom we hope all things to pray, we beg you that as being now nearly all reduced to the last extremity and not being capable of paying the cost of a voyage to France, despite some ships that you have the goodness of sending us, one or two ships to transport us and our families wherever it seems to you to be good, our greatest desire being to be rejoined to our native country and to prostrate ourselves in person at the foot of the throne of your Majesty, begging the all-powerful God to bless you: Of the benedictions as well as that of all the Royal Family, and in particular my Lord the Dauphin, of whom we implore the protection which was promised us so effectively by the letter of my Lord the Duke of Nivernois, who having arranged for us to send him a List of our residents, we have taken the liberty of presenting that here at the foot of your throne [as] your supplicant. Cast upon us a compassionate eye and grant us always the name of your servants.

The residents of different places on Isle St. Jean

Original documents located at the National Archives in Paris, France

Special thanks: I am very grateful to Lorraine Richard-Coulombe an active member of the above-noted Facebook Group, for her effort to translate and post the following _PORTION_ the original document: Special thanks: Transcribed by Karen Theriot Reader in Feb 2012. Please do not disseminate without permission from her at [email protected]

Ambroise (Poirier?) Marie Godet
avec quatre Enfants:
L(?) Marie Poirier: (?) Enfant:
Joseph, Bernard, Anathalie Arsen(o or a)u,
avec quatre Enfants:
(?), Joseph Savoy (?) Enfants:
Francois, (?): (? Arcen(?),
(?) Enfant,
Charles Doucet, Anne Arcen(o or a)u:
(?) Enfants:
Pierre Arsen(o or a)u, Marguerite Bernard
(?) Enfant:
(?) Doucet: Marie Poirier:
Pierre Poirier, Marguerite Giroire:
(?) Enfants:
Joseph Poirier: Jeanne (Godet?):
(?) Enfants:
(V?)incent Arcen(o or a), Marg (?) Poirier
(?) Enfants:
Louis Arcen(o or a), Marie Poirier (?) Enfant:
Jean Pitre: Marg(?) Arcen(o or a): (?) Enfants:

De La (Bay?) (Fontaine?)
(?) Michelle, (Z or I)sabelle (Bourch?)
Ambroise (Bourch), (veuf?)
Ambroise (Bouvier?) Anne Br(o?)u:
avec (?) Enfants:
Paul D’aigle, (Maire, Maria?) Bourch:
(?) Enfants:
Joseph Pitre, Anne Bourch:
Du moulin (a vent?)
Francois A(?)hay, Anne Boudrau
(?) Enfants:
Joseph Chiasson, anne A(?)hay, Enfants:
L(?), Charles, Gallant: (?) Enfants:
Pierre Melançon, Li(?) A(?)hay: Enfants:

A (Tracadie?)

Jacque Chiasson, Marie Arce(o or a): Enfant:
Paul Chiasson, (?): Enfants:
Charles (Boudrau?), Anne Chiasson: Enfants:
Jacque Chiasson, Judith Boudr(?) Enfants:
Pierre M(?), Isabelle Chiasson

A Tracadie

Pierre Boudrau, (?)
(?) Cormier A(urore?) Chiasson, Enfants:
Louis Belivau, (Lizete?) A(s?)hay, Enfants:
Michelle Doucet, (?) :

A Rosicou ?

Francois Blanchard (?) Enfant:
Joseph (?), Anne Doucet…Enfants

Isle de la Mag(delaine?)

Joseph Arcenau, Margueritte (Boudrau?)
Francois Boudreau (?)Charles Doucet…….​…………….

Joseph (?) (Louise?) Arcen(o or a)

Paul Arcenau, Anne ?

Magdelaine isles:

Alex(andrine?) Arcen(o or a), john Arcen(o or a)

M(?) Boudraux (cinq?) Enfants

jacques Arcen(o or a), Maire (Poirier?)

Marie Joseph Richard….Enfants:

Claude Arcen?u, Marie ?

Charles Arcen?u, Anne Arcen?u


Pierre Poirier, Anne Arcen?u 2: Enfants

Jacques A(?)hay, Joseph Arcen?u…Enfants:

Joseph ? Anne A(?)hay

Jean Chiasson, Michelle Babinau

? Poirier, Mag…. Landry

La veuve Richard

Du port Lajoye

Charles ? , Marie Godet

? Commau, Margue?

Marie Henry

De Lisle De St:Jean Dit Port La Joye

Liste Des habitants acadiens demeurants sur Lisle De St Jean et autre Places
De La ditte Isle.

A St. Piere. habitants [DGFA #]

[1] Ambroise poirie. Marie Godet (19) d/o 14a
avec quatre enfants:
[2] La veuve Marie poirier: 1: enfant:
[3] Joseph Bernard: Nathalie Arsenou s/o (8) d/0 (13)
avec quatre enfants:
[4] La veuve Joseph Savoy 9: enfants:
[5] Francois Bourck: Josepht Arcenou:
1: enfant.
[6] Charles Doucet, Anne Arcenou: s/o (18) d/o (5)
6: enfants:
[7] Piere Arcenou, Marguerite Bernard
1: enfant:
[8] Paul Doucet: Marie Poirier:
[9] Piere poirier, Marguerite Giroire: s/o (19) d/o 11j
3: enfants:
[10] Joseph poirier: Jeanne Godet: (18) d/o 12b
2: enfants:
[11] Vincent Arcenou, Margt. Poirier (24) d/o (18)
5: enfants:
[12] Louis arcenou. Marie poirier: 1: enfant:
[13] Jean Petre. Margte Arcenou: 2: enfants. s/o (12) d/o (8)

De La Bay Fortune

[14] Nore Mitchelle, Isabelle Bourck
[15] Ambroise Bourck Veuf: 14
[16] Ambroise Bourck, Anne Brou: (43) d/o 6f
avec huit enfants:
[17] Paul D’aigle, Marie Bourck: s/o (7) d/o 14a
7: enfants:
[18] Joseph Pitre, Anne Bourck: s/o (9) d/o 14d
4: enfants:

De moulin a vent

[19] Francois Ashay, Anne Boudrau:
12?: enfants
[20] Joseph Chiasson, Anne Ashay 4: enfants s/o (8) d/o (6)
[21] La veuve Charles Gallant: 2: enfants: widow of (6)
[22] Pierre Melançon, Lizete Ashay: 1 enfant: s/o (20) d/o (6)
[23] Louison Gallant, Anne Chiasson , 3: enfants s/o (5) d/o (8)

A tracadie

[24] Jacque Chiasson, Marie Arcenou: 1: enfant:
[25] Paul Chiasson, Lizette Boudrau: 9?: enfants:
[26] Charles Boudrau, Anne Chiasson: 2: enfants:
[27] Jacque Chiasson, Judith Boudrau, 1: enfant:
[28] Pierre Mann? Isabelle Chiasson:

[second column] [DGFA #]

A Tracadie

[29] Pierre Boudrau, Magdelaine Bourck 4: enfs (58)
[30] Francois Cormier Anne Chiasson: 9[?] enfts: (19) d/o (7)
[31] Louis Belivau, Lizete Ashay 4: enfants (12) d/o 1L
[32] Michelle Doucet, Katish Boudrau 1: enfant

A Rosicou

[33] Francois Blanchard veuve Cinq enfant widow of DOUCET(8)
[34] Alexis provencal, Francois Doucet 2: enfants ? d/o (22)
[35] Joseph Coumeau, Anne Doucet 6: enfants (39) d/o (22)

Isles de la magdelaine

[36] Joseph Arcenou, Margueritte Boudreau 7: enfs (17) d/o (19)
[37] Francois Boudreau John Landrie 1: enfant (19) d/o 5h
[38] Charles Doucet Jeane Boudreau 6: enfs s/o(22) d/o (19)
[39] Joseph Boudrau Louise Arcenou. 7: enfants s/o (19) d/o (9)
[40] Paul Arcenou Anne Bernard 2: enfants s/o (6) d/o (8)

Magdelaine isles:

[41] Alexandre Arcenou, John Arcenou s/o (6) s/o (6)
[42] Magdel n Boudraux cinq enfants wife of s/o (6) d/o (19)
[43] Jacque Arcenou Marie Poirier s/o (6) widow of (6) d/o 4c
[44] Marie Joseph Richard 5: enfants
[45] Claude Arcenou Marie Coumeau s/o (8)
2: enfants
[46] Charles Arcenou Anne Arcenou
1: enfant
[47]Piere Poirier Anne Arcenou 3: enfants
[48] Jacque Ashay, Joseph Boudrau 7: enfants
[49] Joseph mimik[?] Anne Ashay 1: enfant
[50] Jean Chiasson: Isabelle Boudrau 1: enf
[51] Chls Poirier Magln Landry 4: enfants
[52] La veuve Richard cinq enfants

Du Port Lajoye

[53] Charles Devau Marie Godet 6enfts s/o (2) d/o 12d
[54] Noré Coumeau: Marguerite poirier (28) d/o 3j
4 enfants.
[55] Marie Henry 6: enfants