the French Connection – Part 7 – Acadian Ancestors


The 1630s bring many new settlers from France to New France.


From Wikipedia:

Port-Royal was the capital of Acadia from 1605 to 1710. Initially Port-Royal was located on the north shore of the Annapolis Basin in the present-day community of Port Royal (note the Anglophone spelling), which is the site of the replica reconstruction of the original Habitation at Port-Royal. After its destruction by raiders from Virginia in 1613, Port-Royal was re-established on the south bank of the river 8 km (5.0 mi) upstream. The British renamed Port-Royal at this new location as Annapolis Royal following their conquest of Acadia in 1710.

Port-Royal was founded by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons and Samuel de Champlain in 1605. The settlement was the first permanent European settlement north of St. Augustine, Florida. (Two years later, the English made their first permanent settlement in Jamestown, Virginia.) Approximately seventy-five years after Port-Royal was founded, Acadians spread out from the capital to found the other major Acadian settlements established before the Expulsion of the Acadians: Grand-Pré, Chignecto, Cobequid and Pisiguit.

The trading monopoly of de Monts was cancelled in 1607, and most of the French settlers returned to France, although some remained with the natives. Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt et de Saint-Just led a second expedition to Port Royal in 1610.[3] These settlers made families with the local natives, which resulted in many Acadians being Métis.

In October 1613, Argall surprised the settlers at Port-Royal and sacked every building.[13] The battle destroyed the Habitation but it did not wipe out the colony. Biencourt and his men remained in the area of Port-Royal (present day Port Royal, Nova Scotia). A mill upstream at present day Lequille, Nova Scotia remained, along with settlers who went into hiding during the battle.[14] (At this time, future Governor Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour migrated from Port-Royal to establish himself at both Cap de Sable (present-day Port La Tour, Nova Scotia) and Saint John, New Brunswick.


From a Point in History website

Early timeline for Acadia:

1603  Henry IV of France, granted a charter which, in part, stated that French settlers would be supplied and sent at the rate of a hundred a year.

1604  Two ships set sail from LeHavre, France in March 1604.  First Acadian settlement on Saint-Croix Island.  This first group of settlers suffered many hardships — disease and malnutrition reduced their number greatly. The next year more colonists were sent out, and Acadia had a beginning.

1605  First Acadian settlement in Port-Royal

1607  In the spring, the charter was revoked and in August of that year, the settlers had to leave Acadia and return to France.

1632  Treaty of St. Germain-en-laye.  Québec and Acadia are returned to France.  In July, Issac de Razilly departs from LaRochelle, France with Charles de Menou and 300 settlers.  The first lasting colony was established. Artisans, soldiers and some families were recruited. It is these people who are Acadian ancestors.


Scottish settlers, under the auspices of Sir William Alexander, established their settlement, known as Charlesfort in 1629 at the mouth of the Annapolis River (present site of Annapolis Royal). The settlement was abandoned to the French under the terms of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1632). A second French settlement replaced the Scottish Charlesfort at present-day Annapolis Royal.[3] It was also called Port Royal and it developed into the capital of the French colony of Acadia. Port-Royal under the French soon became self-sufficient and grew modestly for nearly a century, though it was subject to frequent attacks and capture by British military forces or those of its New England colonists, only to be restored each time to French control by subsequent recapture or treaty stipulations. Acadia remained in French hands throughout most of the 17th century.

1636  The St. Jehan arrives on April 1st in Port-Royal with French settlers that includes both men and women.

Ship resembling Saint-Jehan


Some Early Settlers in my ancestry:

COMEAU…  First settler:  Pierre Comeau (Comeaux) arrived in Acadia from Puilly-en-Auxois, France, around 1641.  He was a barrel maker.

DOUCET… First settler:  Germain Doucet.   Although not actually a settler because he returned to France, he did leave two married children in Acadia who became settlers.

Germain Doucet arrived in LaHeve, Acadia in 1632 with commander Isaac de Raizilly.  In July 1640, Doucet was captain (keeper ?) of arms in the village of Pentagouet, Acadia… capitaine d’armes de Pentagouet.

Doucet returned to France after capitulating to the invading New Englanders (Bostonians) in 1654.  He left 2 married children in Acadia: Pierre, a mason, and ancestor Marguerite-Louise-Judith Doucet married to Abraham Dugas.  Not sure if Germain Doucet’s wife, Marie Bourgeois, remained in Acadia or was even alive in 1654.

DUGAST (or Dugas)…  First settler: Abraham Dugas, born in 1616 and a native of Toulouse, France, was a gunsmith for the king of France.  He was also lieutenant general serving in Acadia.  He arrived in Port Royal, Acadia, in 1640 where he married Marguerite Louise Judith Doucet, daughter of Germain Doucet (above) in 1647.  Eight children were born of this marriage, five of them are ancestors in both Lizotte (Sénéchal) and Camirand (Dargie-Turcotte) lines.

As a point of information, Louis Dugas, a fourth generation descendant of Abraham Dugast, was born in 1703 and with his family was deported to Connecticut.  Members of his brother Charles’s (born in 1712) family settled in Louisiana.  A third brother, Claude, born in 1712, and his family were deported to Massachuetts; later in 1772 they settled in Ste. Foy, Quebec.  Certain members of a fourth brother, Michel, born 1715, settled in Quebec and Rimouski.  None of the above-mentioned brothers are ancestors in my family.

GAUDET…  First settler:  Jean Gaudet arrived in Acadia about 1628 with his three children, Françoise, Denis and Marie.  He appears to have been a widower.  It is quite possible that he was part of the first expedition of Poutrincourt — one of the founders of Acadia.  In 1628, he married Nicole Colleson.  They had one child.

HÉBERT, E…  First settler:  Étienne Hébert was a laborer and a cultivator who married Marie Gaudet in 1650 at the age of about 21.  Étienne was from LeHaies-Descartes, Balesne, Touraine, France.  Chances are he arrived in Acadia in 1649 or 1650.

RICHARD, FRANCOIS… First settler:  François Richard was the son of a wine merchant in Auray, Brittany.  He was born about 1685 in Brittany and arrived in Acadia in 1707 as a bachelor.  François Richard was able to sign his name.   He would have arrived in the company (in the bosom of) a French naval unit.  Note:  PRÉFEN ( states this: “Il serait arrivé au sein d’une companie franche de marine.”

In October 1710, he married Anne Comeau in Port Royal.

SAVOIE… First settler:  François Savoie (or Scavoie) arrived in Canada about 1643.  At the 1671 Acadian census, he was a 50-year old laborer with 4 head of cattle and 6 acres of land under cultivation.  François Savoie married Catherine LeJeune in 1650.  Catherine LeJeune dit Briard had also arrived in Acadia in 1643.  Together, they had at least 9 children


Painting by Claude T Picard of Early Acadia
Painting by Claude T Picard of Early Acadia

the French Connection – Part 4 – the First Forts of New France

A chronology from

The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600-1763 by Rene Chartrand


1534     Jacques Cartier takes possession of Canada for France at Gaspe. The area is called New France.

1535     Jacques Cartier and his men build a small fort at Quebec.

1541-1543  Cartier and the Seigneur de Roberval build forts at Cap-Rouge near Quebec, but the colony is abandoned in 1543.

Monument for the Cap-Rouge forts in Charlesbourg-Royal
Monument for the Cap-Rouge forts in Charlesbourg-Royal


1600-1601  Fortified post at Tadoussac.

Champlain's map of Tadoussac showing Chauvin's house
Champlain’s map of Tadoussac showing Chauvin’s house built 1600
Replica of Chavin's trading post house in Tadoussac
Replica of Chavin’s trading post house in Tadoussac, Interpretative Centre, 157 rue du Bord-de-l’Eau Tadoussac, Quebec G0T 2A0
Tadoussac, Quebec, Montreal
Tadoussac, Quebec, Montreal
Tadoussac in Province of Quebec
Tadoussac in Province of Quebec
location of Tadoussac on the St. Lawrence
location of Tadoussac on the St. Lawrence
Tadoussac village map
Tadoussac village map – the Chauvin replica is somewhere along the the beach area probably near the red roofed building



1604 – 1605     Fortified post at Isle Stainte-Croix, Acadia

St. Croix island between present day Maine and New Brunswick
St. Croix island between present day Maine and New Brunswick

Ile Sainte-Croix Samuel Champlains voyage

Saint Croix Island
Saint Croix Island


1605   Port Royal, Acadia habitation built, destroyed in 1613

From Wikipedia

Port-Royal was founded after the French nobleman Pierre Du Gua de Monts spent a disastrous winter in Île-Saint-Croix.[5] He was accompanied by Samuel de Champlain, Louis Hébert and Sieur de Poutrincourt. They decided to move their settlement to the north shore of present-day Annapolis Basin, a sheltered bay on the south shore of the Bay of Fundy which had been recorded by Champlain earlier in the spring of 1605 during a coastal reconnaissance.[5] Champlain would note in his journals, that the bay was of impressive size; he believed it an adequate anchorage for several hundred ships of the French Royal Fleet, if ever necessary. As such, he would name the basin “Port-Royal”, the Royal Port; this was, for many years, the name of both the body of water, and the subsequent French and Acadian settlements in that region.[6] Poutrincourt asked King Henri IV to become the owner of the Seigneurie which encompassed the settlement.

Nestled against the North Mountain range, they set about constructing a log stockade fortification called a “Habitation.” With assistance from members of the Mi’kmaq Nation and a local chief named Membertou, coupled with the more temperate climate of the fertile Annapolis Valley, the settlement prospered.

Mindful of the disastrous winter of 1603-1604 at the Île-Saint-Croix settlement, Champlain established l’Ordre de Bon Temps (the Order of Good Cheer) as a social club ostensibly to promote better nutrition and to get settlers through the winter of 1606-1607. Supper every few days became a feast with a festive air supplemented by performances and alcohol and was primarily attended by the prominent men of the colony and their Mi’kmaq neighbours while the Mi’kmaq women, children, and poorer settlers looked on and were offered scraps. Marc Lescarbot‘s “The Theatre of Neptune in New France”, the first work of theater written and performed in North America, was performed on November 14, 1606. It was arguably the catalyst for the Order of Good Cheer.




Pierre Du Gua de Monts, (Du Gua de Monts; c. 1564 – 1628) was a French merchant, explorer and colonizer. A Protestant, he was born in Royan, France and had a great influence over the first two decades of the 17th century. He travelled to northeastern North America for the first time in 1599 with Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit.[2]

In 1603, Henry IV, the King of France, granted Du Gua exclusive right to colonize lands in North America between 40°–60° North latitude. The King also gave Du Gua a monopoly in the fur trade for these territories and named him Lieutenant General for Acadia and New France. In return, Du Gua promised to bring 60 new colonists each year to what would be called l’Acadie.

In 1604, Du Gua organized an expedition and left France with 79 settlers including Royal cartographer Samuel de Champlain, the Baron de Poutrincourt, apothecary Louis Hébert, a priest Nicolas Aubry, and Mathieu de Costa: a legendary linguist, the first registered black man to set foot in North America, and a Protestant member of the clergy.[3]

Entering Baie Française (the Bay of Fundy) in June 1604, he and his settlers founded a colony on St. Croix Island. Numerous settlers succumbed to the harsh winter climate and malnutrition disease as they exhausted the limited natural resources on the island. The colony moved to better land on the south shore of Baie Française at Port-Royal in 1605.


Pierre DuGua de Monts
Pierre Du Gua de Monts


Have you visited this National Historic Park of Canada? I visited there with my family in 1982 as an 11th grader. Do you have ancestry from Port-Royal?