ARSENAULT ACCOUNT:
The Sail from Le Havre to La Hève


Translated by J.R. Theriault: ‘Histoire et Genealogie des Acadiens, Histoire des Acadiens’, Tomes I and II, Bona Arsenault, Television de la Baie des Chaleurs Inc.


(Tome I, p. 36.) …With the return of Acadia to France after the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Lay on 29 March 1632, Cardinal de Richelieu, Minister to Louis XIII, organized two commercial companies: one to colonize Quebec and another for Acadia. Richelieu appointed his cousin and counselor from Touraine, Isaac de Razilly to Port Royal with the title of ‘lieutenant general of New France otherwise known as Canada, and Governor of Acadia’.

Razilly left Auray in Brittany in the month of July 1632 leading an expedition of two sailing ships, men, and provisions. The expedition was joined later by a third vessel in the Golf of Morbihan from La Rochelle. Three hundred select men (hommes d’elite) mostly from Touraine, Berry and Brittany were part of the expedition along with three Capucins fathers who in 1633 founded a school for the Indians in La Hève.

The Colony of La Hève

After unloading its expedition in La Hève (present-day La Have) on 8 September 1632 on a point which today is known as Pointe-du-Fort, Razilly went on to take possession of Port Royal and to forcefully take over the Fort of Pentagoet (present-day Penobscot, Maine).

The Scottish families who were settled in Port Royal at the time were repatriated in England.

Razilly established the colonists in La Hève on the east side of the point… In this vast enterprise, two of Razilly’s principle associates Charles de Menou and Nicolas Denys, aged 36 and 34, respectively, played an important role in the plan for Acadia.

D’Aulnay dedicated himself to the establishment of the colonials and to the direction of their work. Nicolas Denys, son and grandson of provincial officers in Tours, an accomplished businessman and indefatigable negotiator, took the main task of developing the fisheries in Acadia. He also pursued the fur and lumber export trade to France.

(Tome I, p. 38) …After almost four years of tremendous efforts where the colony of La Hève had made significant progress when in November 1635, Razilly died suddenly at the age of 48 years. He was buried in La Hève and later exhumed and transported to Louisbourg in 1749.

D’Aulnay, who had been his closest collaborator and partner, succeeded Razilly.

(Tome I, p. 39) …Charles D’Aulnay ended the plan by Razilly to colonize La Hève and transported most of the colonials in La Hève to Port Royal in 1636. There, he found a great abundance of arable land.

(Tome I, p. 40) …In the course of his frequent voyages to France and back, d’Aulnay had recruited for Acadia several families and a variety of hired men from Touraine, Poitou, Anjou, Saintonge and Champagne. The colonials who had first come with d’Aulnay had returned to Europe…

In Port Royal, they had made good progress and had even constructed a monastery, which the colonials called ‘the seminary’ where a dozen or so Capucins monks lived. The monks served the colony by teaching and training about 30 sons of the colonials as well as young Indian Micmacs and Abenaquis. By 1640, the Capucins had four missions in Acadia: Port Royal, La Hève, Pentagoet, and Canso.

(Tome I, p. 43) … One of the main concerns of d’Aulnay was the draining of the great marshes and prairies that were covered by the high tides. The French settlers who originated from Aunis and Saintonge were familiar with the advantages of reclaiming these marshes by using dikes.

Thus on 24 May 1650, d’Aulnay while on his way to check on the progress of this work along the Port Royal River, capsized his canoe and drowned. His body was found by the Indians who transported his body to a cabin. Capucin Father Ignace de Paris who composed a memoir of this accident returned his body to the fort.

(Tome I, p. 53) …The first census of the colony was taken in 1671 of the French colonials who had immigrated to Acadia after the occupation by the English. Father Laurent Molin, a religious ‘Cordelier’ before his arrival in Port Royal, conducted the census in the spring of this year. The census identified 59 heads of family and a total of 320 people.

Outside of Port Royal, the area between Port Royal and Canso included a transient population, which consisted mostly of hired men associated with Biencourt and La Tour since 1610. Other censuses were taken in Acadia, which tracked the growth of the colony under the French regime. The census of 1686 recorded 885 people, while those of 1693, 1707 and 1714 reported populations of 1,068, 1,484 and 2,500, respectively.

On Board the Saint-Jehan in 1636.

All evidence shows that no families were included in the expeditions of the three hundred ‘hommes d’elite’ who accompanied Razilly from France to Acadia in 1632. Nor was there any advantage or reason for families to accompany the group from Dieppe on 12 March 1633, so said the Gazette de Renaudot in France in its report of the departure for Acadia.

Elsewhere, except for the case of Charles de Latour, we find no trace except with the companions of Poutrincourt and Biencourt. It was not until after 1636 that the presence of French families was recorded in Acadia.

"The records of the Admiralty of La Rochelle", writes Geneviève Massignon "…show that on 1 April 1636 the Saint Jehan transported a certain number of colonials and hired men from Champagne, Anjou, Dijon, La Rochelle along with a few Basques and Britons. Three of them are included in the 1671 census of Acadia: Pierre Martin from Bourgeuil, Guillaume Trahan from Bourgeuil and Issac Pesselin from Champagne. Two other family names: Bugaret (Basque) and Blanchard (Rochelais) are also found in the census although the identification of specific individuals was not made. Among the dozens of others included in the census, entries for certain of them were found in the records of their native regions in France as late as 1637. At the top of the manifest list for the ship ‘Saint Jehan’ is Jeanne Motin, daughter of Louis Motin (associate to Isaac de Razilly) who in Acadia married Charles d’Aulnay, companion to Isaac de Razilly and successor to govern the colony. Even more importantly, the manifest of the Saint Jehan shows that the ship probably transported the first French families that settled Acadia. In fact, the first born in Acadia, Mathieu Martin, was born soon after their arrival (the 1671 census shows him to be 35 years old). It might be difficult to understand why no births were registered since 1632 (year that Isaac de Razilly arrived with his three hundred ‘hommes d’elite’), unless the three hundred were soldiers, ship builders instead of settlers with their wives and children."

It is also the opinion of Father Archangel Godbout, genealogist, that a certain number of these so-called ‘select men’ subsequently married French women and were thus established in Acadia.

First Mention of Acadian Families

In memoirs written in 1644 which describes Charles d’Aulnay’s accomplishments in Acadia19, we read that he had some "…two hundred people under his care, some soldiers, farmers, artisans without counting their wives and children, nor the Capucin Fathers nor the Indian children. There were another twenty French couples who came over to Acadia with their families, to settle this new land and who were aided by d’Aulnay to their great advantage." This document constitutes the first mention of French families settling in Acadia under Razilly or d’Aulnay.

We know that Charles de Menou, Lord of Aulnay takes his noble name from the village of Aulnay in the Loudunais region of the present-day province of Vienne where he and his mother owned vast lands including Angliers, Aulnay, Martaizé, and probably La Chaussée20.

And based upon the research that she completed on public records in France, Geneviève Massignon reports that several French families who arrived in Acadia from 1636 to 1650 came from villages within the Seigneurie that d’Aulnay owned.

She writes21: "The research that I have completed on the Seigneurie of the successor of Razilly in 1635, Charles de Menou d’Aulnay de Charnisay… brought me to positively identify families who left their French homeland to settle in Acadia. This identification supports my hypothesis of a large recruitment by Charles d’Aulnay in his Seigneurie. This hypothesis is corroborated by the fact that some twenty Acadian family names in the census of 1671 are also found in censuses taken in the Seigneurie d’Aulnay in France between 1634 and 1650." So, this finding in addition to the accomplishments discussed in d’Aulnay’s memoirs, indicates that d’Aulnay did in this period install some twenty French couples with their families in Port Royal.

After having examined the parochial registers of La Chaussée which is located near the village of Aulnay in France, Geneviève Massignon wrote that: "more than half of the entries in the parochial registers from 1626 to 1650 involve the family names which we find among the 53 family names included in the census of 1671 in Acadia: Babin, Belliveau, Bertrand, Bour, Brault (Braude, in the feminine form), Brun, Dugast, Dupuy, Gaudet (Gaudette, in the feminine form) Giroire, Joffriau, Landry, LeBlanc, Morin, Poirier, Raimbaut, Savoite, Thibodeau. In addition, the family names of the wives of the settlers include Chevrat, Gautier, Guion (Dion), Lambert, and Mercier. The names of Blanchard, Bourg, Brault, Giroire, Godet, Guérin, Poirier, Terriot are among the names found in the censuses of the mother of Charles d’Aulnay for her Seigneurie."

The Seigneurie of Aulnay also included the hamlet of Martaizé in Vienne. If we include the family names of the women who the settlers married before their departure from France for Acadia, the ancient names of Aucoin, Boudrot, Doucet, and Lejeune must also be included in the list of family names, which originated from this region.

THÉRIAULT and THÉRIOT, also Terriault, Terrio, Therriot.

(Tome II, p. 804) JEAN TERRIAU, born in 1601 without any doubt in Martaizé22 in the Loudun region of the present-day department of Vienne, France. Arrived in Acadia around 1637. Married around 1635 to Perrine Bourg. Children: Claude, 1637; Jean, 1639; Bonaventure, 1641; Jeanne, 1644; Germain, 1646; Catherine, 1650; Pierre, 1655.

 


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