A Chronological Summary of the “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” CD-ROM Project.

This Page will be of interest to anyone contemplating the production of a genealogy CD-ROM, since it provides a ‘blow-by-blow’ description of what prompted me to accomplish such a task and exactly how I went about doing it. Enjoy!

May, 1990

-In consideration of my cardiac condition and on the advice of my doctors, I cease working in May 1990. So what does a former Executive do to keep busy…for the rest of his life?


I’m now quite proficient at computing and enter the world of BBS’ing.


This genealogy-thing, is pretty interesting! I’ve now researched and added 3000 names in the CYR, THERIAULT, OUELLETTE and MICHAUD family history. But, what do I do after I’ve exhausted my search?


Greg CYR and I exchange GEDCOMS on the CYR families we are both researching. Great, this’ll keep me busy for awhile!


Work on merging my data with Greg’s…there has to be a better way!

MARCH 4, 1994

I see a message on the main Fidonet Echo from Peggy HALL to Denis BEAUREGARD, offering to help if he would undertake to create a database of Acadians for the Acadien ’94 Congress.

I dedicated this CD Project to my very special friend, Peggy Hall, who died on April 13, 2002 and is reproduced with the permission of her daughter Tiffany Graham. Peggy was the first to “believe” in my proposed (early 1990’s) project to produced the historical “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” CD-ROM. For added details, connect to https://acadian.org/project.html

MARCH 5, 1994

I send a BBS message to Denis, advising that his “proposed project” sounds great.

MARCH 11, 1994

I receive a message from Greg CYR, advising that Russell GASPARD and a group of 22 in Louisiana appear to be undertaking a similar project.

MARCH 14, 1994

I fax Russell a letter requesting details and offering my assistance. The same day, Russell telephones me and provides sketchy details of the project he, with 22 others and a number of Universities involved, have to produce an Acadian CD-ROM. They already have 100,000 names. Great! But I am concerned there are “too many hands in the pot”.

MARCH 16, 1994

There appears to be considerable confusion about “the project to produce an Acadian CD-ROM. I write a message on the Main Fidonet Echo trying to explain that Denis BEAUREGARD’s was a suggestion that it would be nice if someone undertook such a project. While Russell GASPARD’s group seem to be already under-way. While I receive a “thank you” fax from Russell for, as he calls it, “my plug for his project”, I hear nothing further from him.

APRIL 26, 1994

I ponder over the “great idea that no one seems to want to do anything about”!

APRIL 27, 1994

After reading many BBS messages about “how nice it would be to have Acadian genealogical information available on CD-ROM”, but seeing no one actually willing to undertake the Project, (and probably out of frustration) I post the following message….

Dear Acadian Cousins:

For quite some time now, I have been “very seriously” considering undertaking the NON-PROFIT PROJECT of having produced and making available an ACADIAN CD-ROM. I have now found a Canadian source to produce same at a reasonable cost and, since I’m on the verge of proceeding, would very much value receiving any/all input from my Acadian cousins, through this BBS Media.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. The Acadian data would be sourced from any/all Acadian cousin willing to participate in this Project, by providing their own Acadian Data via GEDCOM format, on 3 1/2″ disk(s).

2. We all know the importance of sourcing “quality” data! In order to ensure data is as accurate as available, each participant (provider of data), will be required to include their complete name, complete address (including postal code), telephone number, fax number (if available), as well as Internet address (if applicable) as part of the GEDCOM they submit failing which, their data would not be included.

3. No attempt would be made to merge the data (that would take away the fun of being a genealogist) and from experience, I know this is a monumental task, which can easily lead to the destruction (when attempting to eliminate duplicates) of important data.

4. Multiple sessions would be used in producing the CD-ROM (allowing the addition of data to a CD-ROM, until it’s full) and the disk would be made available to all participants AT COST PRICE (plus taxes and shipping charges), as soon as possible/available.

5. In order to ensure the lowest possible cost, a minimal deposit would be requested of each participant (in order to determine the minimum number of CD-ROM disks to produce). I’m certain you all realize, that the greater the quantity produced, the less the cost. However, since this would be a NON-PROFIT PROJECT, I would not want to get stuck with a large quantity of un-sold disks. I would estimate the cost to be anywhere from $25. to $100., depending on the quantity of CD-ROM disks initially produced.

6. In addition to scanning to ensure there are no virus present, I would personally undertake to ensure each data disk received is reviewed (to ensure the format is correct and the participants personal information is included).

So, I need to know approximately how many Acadian Cousins would be interested in participating in such a Project which will result in him/her eventually having access to the finished product, namely….


I need your ideas and suggestions, all of which will be considered in determining if this proposed Project has the required merit to proceed and would look forward to hearing from you. Please don’t hold back…give me the positive as well as the negative feedback.

Your Canadian/Acadian Cousin, YVON

PS: The only reason I’m considering undertaking this Project is that to date, while I’ve heard many people “talk” about it, I’ve yet to see any concrete evidence that an Acadian CD-ROM is/will be produced in the near future…and I’m tired of waiting!

MAY 4, 1994

-I ask Peter BERLO if he could/would undertake the Project.

MAY 13, 1994

-13 confirmed participants and counting.

-I’m now rolling on the Internet “super highway”.

MAY 14, 1994

-Mike TALBOT suggests summary text files, census records etc., be included with the data disks submitted.

MAY 17, 1994

-I receive an Internet message from John Smith of Mission Viejo, California offering to provide required search/seek software…gratis. Must be my lucky day!

MAY 18, 1994

-15 confirmed participants and counting (slowly).

-Jeanne GEAKE suggests the use of GED2TT, to create TT’s which include ALL surnames in data base.

MAY 19, 1994

-19 confirmed participants and still counting.

-Receive the first GEDCOM, submitted by Peggy HALL.

I dedicated this CD Project to my very special friend, Peggy Hall, who died on April 13, 2002 and is reproduced with the permission of her daughter Tiffany Graham. Peggy was the first to “believe” in my proposed (early 1990’s) project to produced the historical “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” CD-ROM. For added details, connect to https://acadian.org/project.html

MAY 23, 1994

-22 confirmed participants. Is it really going to be worth the effort, I ask myself?

JUNE 2, 1994

-39 confirmed participant. More and more interest.

JUNE 7, 1994

-47 confirmed participants. More and more messages to answer!

JUNE 9, 1994

-We place our home “for sale”, with the intent of moving into a Retirement Village, half a mile away from here.

JUNE 16, 1994

-58 confirmed participants. We may just make it!

JUNE 21, 1994

-70 confirmed participants. Looking good!

JUNE 29, 1994

-89 confirmed participants. Definitely a “go” Project!

JULY 10, 1994

-92 confirmed participants. Wonder who’ll be number 100?

-Wrote my 110th E-Mail message to John Smith (author of gensrch software). God, he must be getting tired of me!

JULY 13, 1994

-Receive the 100,000 name, as part of the GEDCOM submitted by Joseph BARRUS.

JULY 25, 1994

-Receive the 150,000th name, as part of the GEDCOM(S) submitted by Denis BEAUREGARD.

JULY 28, 1994

-Receive the 200,000th name, as part of the GEDCOM submitted by Ronald BURTON.

JULY 29, 1994

-Traci ROUX becomes the 100th confirmed participant, advising that she has some 5 Megs of data to contribute.

-Receive Peter BERLO’s GEDCOM together with copies of Acadian History Series, compiled by himself for the S*A*D (Society of Acadian Descendants). Excellent reference.

-Cardiologist informs me I may need to be re-operated. Another bi-pass, I can do without! And I thought there was no stress involved in this genealogy hobby. Uuummm. This time, I will seek a second opinion!

AUG. 3, 1994

-Receive the 6th Revision of the acadian.exe software from John SMITH. John’s sure accommodating!

AUG. 10, 1994

-Received the 9th Revision of the acadian.exe software from John. This should be the last revision!

AUG. 23, 1994

-Received the artwork “proof” for the front label of the CD-ROM. Looks good!

SEPT. 7, 1994

-Received the 250,000th name, as part of the GEDCOM submitted by Ben ACHEE.

SEPT. 23, 1994

-My cardiologists confirm that I must be re-operated for a second bi-pass. I MUST get this Project finalized! The only thing holding me back, are the GEDCOMS not received. The software is ready, the label’s artwork is ready… I need only finalize arrangements for production.

SEPT. 26, 1994

-I send a message to Peggy HALL, asking if SHE would complete the Project, in the event I am unable! I immediately start preparing an “instruction package” for Peggy’s use, in case I don’t make it through the operation. I hope she accepts!

I dedicated this CD Project to my very special friend, Peggy Hall, who died on April 13, 2002 and is reproduced with the permission of her daughter Tiffany Graham. Peggy was the first to “believe” in my proposed (early 1990’s) project to produced the historical “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” CD-ROM. For added details, connect to https://acadian.org/project.html

SEPT. 27, 1994

-Received the 300,000th name, as part of the GEDCOM submitted by Doris WARREN. Will we achieve my original goal of 400,000 names? I still think so.

SEPT. 27, 1994

-Received good and bad news today! The good news is that Peggy HALL, with no hesitation, has agreed to complete the Project, if necessary. The not-so-good news, is that they can’t get me operated until mid-February! But if medically all goes well, that DOES give me time to complete the Project. All right!

I dedicated this CD Project to my very special friend, Peggy Hall, who died on April 13, 2002 and is reproduced with the permission of her daughter Tiffany Graham. Peggy was the first to “believe” in my proposed (early 1990’s) project to produced the historical “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” CD-ROM. For added details, connect to https://acadian.org/project.html

OCT. 1, 1994

-Had a record day! Received a total of 9 GEDCOMS today; ONE I retrieved from ftp site, TWO received via E-Mail and SIX by snail mail. Also received a phone call from Russell GASPARD, advising he would speak to his Louisiana Group of 22, to see if THEY would agree to send ME their 180,000 names to be included on the CD-ROM. Now wouldn’t that be something!

OCT. 5,1994

-Released Update #16 (Frequently Asked Questions) advising that I will make the CD available to ANYONE in any QUANTITY at COST price, as long as they place an order for the INITIAL production. Also, started accepting deposits of $25. for each CD ordered. I now anticipate the (total) cost should be between $25. to $50., depending on quantity produced.

OCT. 9, 1994

-Received 350,000th name in GEDCOM submitted by Traci ROUX.

-I send Traci message congratulating her on the excellent QUALITY of her GEDCOM…15,472 names with great source references…wish all the GEDCOMS were that good!

OCT. 11, 1994

-Received the FIRST $25. deposit from, who else…Peter Berlo of the “Society of Acadian Descendants” (S*A*D) fame. Peter also enclosed some updated information, including copy of his 1989 Publication, “Acadia, Then and Now”…great stuff!

OCT.20, 1994

-Received Ivan Robichaud’s GEDCOM which contained the 400,000th name for the CD…the personal goal I had originally set for myself! All right. Uummm, wonder if we can reach the 1/2 million name mark? Very possible, since I still have 34 outstanding GEDCOM from “committed” participants. But, will they come through???

OCT.30, 1994

-Maybe my next Project should be to start a “last minute” Club!

Where did all these people come from? Today (the deadline for receiving GEDCOMs), I received a grand total of 14 in the snail mail and Lord only knows how many by E-Mail. Many are “updates” of previously submitted GEDCOMS. But a lot of new ones too!

OCT.30, 1994

-Received the 450,000th names, as part of the GEDCOM submitted by Kathleen Boudreau…that makes at least four Boudreau(x) who’ve submitted their GEDCOMS…those folks are sure into Genealogy! Now let’s see, 450,000 and I still have about ten new ones not checked…by golly, we may just make the one-half million mark! I would’ve been happy with 400,000, but I’ll be thrilled if we can make the 500,000 mark!

OCT.30, 1994

-To date, I’ve only received 42 deposits/orders which is most disappointing, since based on the interest level of this Project, I’d anticipated a much better/greater response! There’s no way I can get this CD produced at a reasonable price, unless folks out there decide to source it. And, I’m committed to providing it for under $50. US. Now what do I do?

NOV.7, 1994

-Received a terrific suggestion from Denis BEAUREGARD…why not include some Genealogy Shareware Programs in the extra space left on the CD. Shareware authors would only be too happy to receive the extra exposure. Would have to make it clear to all purchasers of the CD, that this Shareware has NOT been paid for and encourage them to register the software with its author. Uuuumm, must check this out!

NOV. 14, 1994

-Only received deposits from 69 persons, and I need to have a minimum 200 CD’s produced, to keep the price below $50.! OK, I’ll extend the deadline to December 30th to receive deposits…this will also provide me the required time to source Genealogy Shareware Software to include on the CD! Why didn’t I think of this before?

NOV.15, 1994

-EUREKA! I revised GEDCOM submitted by Heather BRADY, contained the 500,000th name. I’ve met my ultimate goal! This CD will contain OVER 1/2 MILLION names. Yippee! This will be a CD like no other…lotsa data, lotsa text files and some great Genealogy Shareware software/utilities. It’ll be a long time before someone matches the success of this Project! Proud of myself? Damn right I am!

NOV. 29, 1994

-Completed arrangements to have the CD produced, starting January 4, 1995. The supplier has given me his assurance that, barring unforeseen circumstances, everything should be ready within a couple of weeks from then. Had to kinda stick my neck out and commit to the minimum 200 CD’s (even though I’ve only received deposits for 152 so far). But still have 30 days to get an additional 50 “customers” and that’s just to ensure the cost does not exceed $49.!

NOV. 30, 1994

-WHOW! In addition to the many Genealogy Shareware software programs and Utilities I have personally sourced, today I received about 14 Megs of PAF Utilities from Mike St. Clair, together with his PAF REVUE PROGRAM…in his covering letter, Mike stated… “I’m in awe of your project and admire your energy and perseverance”…but the feeling is certainly mutual. He’s obviously putting a lot of effort in HIS project!

DEC. 2, 1994

-Received an E-Mail message from Denis BEAUREGARD, offering to translate some of the CD documents, for the benefit of all our French Acadian/Canadian cousins. I accepted, without hesitation!

DEC. 3, 1994

-Made arrangements to rent a 486DX40 computer with 600 megs hard drive, to use to “load” all the data for the CD-ROM. Will need the computer for about one week, then remove the Hard Drive and bring it to the manufacturer, from which the master CD will be produced. The computer will be available the weeks of December 18th or 25th…uummm, guess I know what I’m doing during the Christmas Holiday. Just hope Judy can put-up with this, for another couple of months!

DEC.10, 1994

-Today I disconnect the old computer until at least January 3-4, 1995…gotta move to our new home in the Retirement Village (The Village by the Arboretum). While it’s only a few blocks from where we presently live, I’m certain it will take as long as any other “move” to get re-organized!

DEC.15, 1994

-Moving day! Not taking any chance…will keep my computer and all the “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” data with me… in the car!

DEC.20, 1994

-Received a new version of acadian.exe from John Smith…his tenth revision. Also provided me a batch file to make it easier for me to get all the necessary files created. Boy, between John and Peggy (Hall), I’ve retained over 500 messages (to and from) on file! It would be interesting to know, just how many messages I’ve sent and received in regard this Project only? I’ll bet it exceeds 10,000!

DEC.21, 1994

-Today’s the big day…I start loading everything on a rented computer with a 540 meg hard drive. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and probably won’t sleep too well tonight, wondering if all the index files got created OK, over-night! Final name count is 519,008.

The following notes are only to provide a “probable” schedule of events!

JAN. 4, 1995

-Today the ” Pre-Master CD” gets created! Finally!

JAN. 5, 1995

-Now I get to check the “pre-master ” at home for a few days, to make absolutely certain all is OK, before the “master” CD is produced.

-The “master” CD gets created…I hope, I hope, I pray!

JAN.27, 1995

-I should have received the requested CD’s and be ready to start shipping out to everyone.

FEB.14, 1995

-All CD’s have been shipped out and today I give Judy her Valentine’s Day gift…my by-pass operation! ME ROLL OVER AND PLAY DEAD? Well, maybe for a few hours…while I’m on the heart-lung machine!


In fact, my bypass operation was re-scheduled for June 26, 1995…thus giving me time to create this “Acadian Genealogy Homepage” on the WWW. And, all prepaid CD’s were shipped-out on February 9th!


While there are probably hundreds of individuals I should thank for their help and/or encouragement, for fear of neglecting to give someone the accolades they deserve, I will limit my “thanks” to the following FOUR individuals:

1) JOHN SMITH, who offered to provide the necessary software for this Project, on a “gratis” basis. John and I corresponded over Internet, on an almost daily basis at times and, during the TEN revisions I requested, he never once complained that I was being “picky”. John, you have no idea how much I appreciate your assistance. Many Thanks.

2) PEGGY HALL, who was the FIRST to submit her GEDCOM and believe that this Project could/would become a reality. But even more importantly, when I was informed I required a second by-pass operation and asked Peggy if she would complete the Project, in case I could not…without any hesitation, she gracefully accepted! Knowing I had you as “backup” made my task easier and I thank you my Cajun-Cousin Peggy.

I dedicated this CD Project to my very special friend, Peggy Hall, who died on April 13, 2002 and is reproduced with the permission of her daughterTiffany Graham. Peggy was the first to “believe” in my proposed (early 1990’s) project to produced the historical “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” CD-ROM. For added details, connect to https://acadian.org/project.html

3) ROCH CYR, my favourite uncle who got me started on the super-highway of genealogy by providing me details of our family roots. As my son Daniel would say…”merci mon oncle “Crock”!

4) JUDY CYR; And last, but certainly not least, my best friend, the love of my life, the mother of my children, my very dear wife JUDY. Only she will ever know the many many hours I spent, often at her expense, on this Project! Thanks for always being there “Jude”.

To these four “special persons”, I dedicate this “In Search of Our Acadian Roots” Genealogical CD-ROM.

And finally, I leave you with my very favorite quotation (written by Thornton Wilder and captured from Peter Berlo’s Society of Acadian Descendants)…
“All that we can know about those we have loved and lost, is that they would wish us to remember them, with more intensified realization of their reality. What is essential does not die, but clarifies. The highest tribute to the dead is not grief, but gratitude”.

He also wrote…

“There is a land of the living, and a land of the dead. The bridge between, is LOVE”!