The information presented within these pages is taken primarily from the Bouctouche Parish archives and details the genealogy of the first families to settle in the region.
These stories are well known today thanks to the research of Dr. Marguerite Michaud. This site lets you make detailed genealogical searches, find out about old Acadian first and last names, and tells how Acadians traditionally identified themselves by using the names of their ancestors.
First Baptism Recorded in Bouctouche Parish RegisterThis is to certify that Marguerite LeBlanc, born in wedlock on August 10, 1799, to Charles LeBlanc, labourer, and Marie Bro, was baptized conditionally by me this 19th day of November, 1800. The godfather was Pierre Girouard and the godmother Marie Allain, both of whom did state that they do not know how to sign their names. Signed: Ant. Bédard, Missionary Priest.
First Recorded Burial in the ParishThis is to certify that burial rites were performed by me on this 22nd day of November, 1800, on the body of François Benoit, deceased September 5. Present were Jacques Cormier and Louis Allain. Signed: Ant. Bédard, Missionary Priest.
First Recorded Marriage Among Descendants of the First FamiliesThis is to certify that Joseph Stanislas Colet, eldest son of Julien Colet and Rosalie Terrio, and Françoise Cormier, youngest daughter of Jacques Cormier and Osite Poitier, were joined in holy matrimony by me on November 2nd, 1801, following the proclamation of two bans of matrimony at parish mass (a dispensation having been granted for the third). Given, to the best of my knowledge, no impediment or other just cause why they should not be married, I did grant them nuptial blessing in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of our holy faith in the presence of Jacques Cormier, Joseph Girouard, Hubert Cormier and Benjamin Allain, who did state that they do not know how to sign their names. Signed: Ant. Bédard, Missionary Priest.
- Children of François LeBlanc and Hélène Breau:
- Bénoni1798 - m. Marie, daughter of Pierre, son of Gervais Girouard
- François1800 - m. Marie-Blanche, daughter of Pierre Allain
- Blanche1803 - m. Urbain, son of Pierre Allain
- Jean1804 - m. Victoire, daughter of André, son of Isidore Bastarache
- Simon1806 - m. Jeannette, daughter of André, son of Isidore Bastarache
- Thomas1808 - m. Marie, daughter of André, son of Isidore Bastarache
- Isabelle1811 - m. Léon, son of Jean-Baptiste Allain
- Pierre1814 - m. Geneviève, daughter of Placide, son of Joseph Bastarache
- Sigfroid1815 - m. Victoire, daughter of Thaddée, son of Isidore Bastarache
- Laurent1820 - m. Henriette, daughter of Isidore Bastarache
- Joachim1823 - m. Prudence, daughter of Marc Maillet
- Children of Charles LeBlanc (according to genealogical records):
- LaurentJean (great grandfather of Dr. Marguerite Michaud), Thaddée, Moïse, Louis and Marie.
- SimonAmbroise. A nun and seven unmarried daughters, the last of which, Babée, died at Ste-Marie at the age of 102. Her mother was Brigitte Bastarache, daughter of Joseph. Daughters: Euphémie, Justine, Cécile (died at 101), Eulalie, Philomène (nun), Louise, Céleste, Babée.
- ThomasMaxime, Olivier, Georges, Fabien, Cyrille, Geneviève and Henriette
- Pierre Gabriel, Clovis, Germain and Clothilde
- Joseph Lucas and Marcel
- Olivier Anselme, Joseph and Marcel
- Félix Francois, Cyrille, Basile, Jean, Victor, Maxime and Mélème
- The wives of Elie Allain (Clothilde), Jos Roy, (Pélagie), Olivier Collette, (Ursule), Athanase, son of Isidore Bastarache, (Polonie)
- Baptism information taken from the Caraquet Parish archives, 1795
- Olivierborn the twentieth of June in wedlock to Charles LeBlanc and Marie Breau. The godfather was François Arseneau, and the godmother Anne Bastarache. Neither the parents nor the godparents knew how to sign their names.
- Pierrefourth child born in wedlock to Joseph Bastarache and Marie Girouard. The godfather was François LeBlanc, and the godmother Rosalie LeBlanc. Neither the parents nor the godparents knew how to sign their names.
- Isabelleborn the eighth of May, 1794, in wedlock to Charles LeBlanc and Marie Breau; the godfather was Raphaël Poirier, son of Gédaïc, and the godmother Hélène Breau. Neither the parents nor the godparents knew how to sign their names.
- Recorded in Bouctouche on the date inscribed above, J. Castanet, missionary, Baye des Chaleurs.
- The children of Isidore Bastarache (son of Pierre) and Rosalie LeBlanc:
- Andrém. Anne LeBlanc (daughter of Joseph)
- Athanasem. Apolonie LeBlanc (daughter of Charles)
- Thaddéem. Marguerite Allain (first wife), and Geneviève Thibodeau (second wife)
- Michelm. Marie Saulnier (daughter of Pierre) on September 11, 1820
- Mariem. Paul LeBlanc (son of Joseph)
- Margueritem. François Saulnier (son of Pierre)
- Gertrudem. Michel Allain (son of Jean-Baptiste)
- Apolloniem. Tanis Collet (son of Julien)
- The family of Joseph Bastarache (son of Pierre) and Anne Girouard, also known as Bistet, included the following children:
- Annewife of Eloi LeBlanc (son of Joseph)
- Placidehusband of Blanche Allain (daughter of Benj.)
- Modestewife of Bélonie Allain (son of Benj.)
- Agnèswife of Joseph Mazerolle (son of Paul), Bay of Winds;
- Adélaidewife of Béloni Savoie (son of Jean)
- Moïsehusband of Marguerite Allain (daughter of Louis)
- Marie-Rosewife of Olivier LeBlanc (son of Charles)
- Pierrehusband of Marie Allain
- Nataliewife of Jérome Meunier, Bouctouche
- Brigittewife of Simon LeBlanc (son of Charles)
- Thomashusband of Marie Cormier (daughter of Michel), Bouctouche
The Girouard family, originally from Paris, travelled to Port Royal in 1642. François-Jacques was the first Girouard in Acadia, where his descendants still live today. One of his sons, Paul-Gervais, is of particular interest to us; born in 1744 in Connecticut, he married Geneviève Therriault and was living in Halifax in 1768. This future founder of Bouctouche subsequently travelled to Menoudie, where he resided for many years; he then moved to Petitcoudiac, whence he travelled to Bouctouche between 1792 and 1795.
Paul-Gervais had 12 children, including four sons who all began families in the Bouctouche area. Six of his children married Cormiers, children of Jacques and Osithe Pothier (this Jacques lived on the point, where the first church was erected in Bouctouche, called the Pointe-à-Jacquot¬ Jacquot’s Point).
One of the Girouards, also known as Bistet, lived a most extraordinary life. On July 28, 1755, Governor Lawrence of Halifax decided to have the Acadians deported once and for all; on August 11, he had the unsuspecting people of the locale meet at Fort Beauséjour, where he then jailed 250 of the men. It was difficult for the women and children to arrange visits to the men; the women would go to the prison as a group, bringing food and even women’s clothing for the prisoners to use to try to escape. In addition, 86 prisoners managed to dig a hole through the compound walls and thus escape. The opening was so small that one of the English soldiers inspecting the area was killed trying to pass through it. Among the escapees was the elder Girouard, also known as Bistet, and Michel Bastarache (also known as O’Bask), husband of Marguerite Gaudet.
The founder of the Brault family, Vincent, settled in Port Royal circa 1650 at the age of 19. Vincent married Marie Bourc (Bourque), who had travelled from France with her father and mother in 1642. In 1755, Pierre Breault, husband of Anne LeBlanc (note variation of spelling in archives), settled at Rivière-aux-Canards, whence he was subsequently deported. Contemporary documents compiled by Placide Gaudet provide a number of details regarding the personal life of the exiled Pierre¬his tragic lot, his poverty, and his misery. Two of the couple’s children, Joseph, aged 49 and widow of Elisabeth Thibodeau, and Aman, married to Madeleine Dupuis, appear to have been the founders of the name Breau in the local area upon their return from exile.
Some interesting facts about the Bastarache family:
Jean, husband of Huguette Vincent and the first Bastarache in Acadia, died in 1733. His surname was actually Basque or, alternatively, Au Basque, since he came from the Basque country in France. Pierre and Michel, descendants of the couple, were deported to South Carolina with a dozen other Acadians of the same name; with the permission of the American authorities, they began travelling back to Acadia in 1756. Forced to make this trek on foot through the woods, they were taken prisoner by natives upon their return and would almost certainly have perished had it not been for the intervention of a French fur trader. The archives read, “Michel O’Bask, his brother Pierre and a dozen or more other Acadian deportees hiked through the woods from South Carolina¬or from New Orleans, say others¬as far as the head of the St. Lawrence River, whence they travelled by canoe to Cumberland, where they found their wives, families and homeland.” (Cumberland here refers to the Westmorland and Cumberland counties in Nova Scotia.)
This Pierre Bastarache, father of our founders Isidore and Joseph, travelled with his sons to Bouctouche, where he died. Joseph’s sons settled in the inner bay; Adolphe (son of Fabien), Moïse O’Bask, Adélard and Albert are all descendants of this line. As for Isidore, history tells us that, since he was not able to obtain title to the land, his children settled elsewhere, their father’s lands coming into the possession of Peter Smith of Massachusetts.
Irish and English families began settling the area around 1830, occupying lands first worked by our forefathers; hence the existence of names such as Barnes, Ryan and Douglas; Horatio Smith, who built a general store; and Gladstone, who built another. Michel O’Bask, son of Isidore, took possession of the farm then occupied by Camille, son of Daniel, while Joseph found himself at the end of the railroad at the home of Eddy, son of Octave.
Notes gathered from Calixte, son of Edouard, son of Laurent, son of François LeBlanc, who resided in the inner bay area:
Mr. LeBlanc remembers very well the sons of François the founder¬Simon, Pierre and Jean¬as well as the children of Charlitte, Simon and Clothilde, grandmother of Father Désiré Allain, parish priest of Bouctouche.
A few words about the Richard family: we are told that Joseph, married to Henriette, daughter of Isidore Bastarache, did his best to follow in the footsteps of the first families, trying unsuccessfully to work the “mocoque,” a marshy land that today lies below Nowlan’s garage. This Joseph Richard subsequently travelled to Cocagne, where he settled.
To corroborate this genealogical information, Calixte tells us that Hélène Breau, (Bro), wife of François, was so strong that she could carry a pot large enough to hold a barrel of water on her back through the woods.
Moreover, he gives us information on the location of lands worked by the first farmers: Simon Desroches (Aquila Berthe), Jean Desroches (Justin Bastarache), Julien Collet (the nuns’ farm), Jacques Cormier (Pointe-de-l‘Église – Church Point), André, son of François LeBlanc (Hervé Michaud, M.P.).
Others came to the area to settle soon after the arrival of the founding families. History tells us that circa 1790 Bouctouche welcomed a number of new residents: Louis Girouard, also known as Bistet, m. Osithe Pothier; Paul-Gervais Girouard, m. Madeleine Thériau; Joseph LeBlanc, brother of Charles, m. Elizabeth Landry; Jean Desroches, m. Esther, daughter of Pierre Bastarache and Marguerite Gaudet; Julien Collet, m. Rosalie Thériault; Louis Allain, m. Marie Richard; Pierre Allain, m. Henriette, daughter of Paul Babin; Benjamin Allain, m. Isabelle LeBlanc; Jean-Baptiste Allain, m. Marie LeBlanc; Jean Savoie, m. Marie Allain, sister of the Allain men just named; François Richard, also known as Jani, m. Judith Allain. Along with other Savoies, Allains, Jaillets and Collets, the descendants of these families constitute the majority of the old Bouctouche families.