Man in military uniform

Officer of the Régiment des Volontaires royaux, Louisbourg, 1758. Library and Archives Canada, C-012427.

Genealogy and family history


The term "Acadians" refers to immigrants from France in the early 1600s who settled in the colony of Acadia, in what are now the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The colonization of Acadia by the French started in 1604 at Port-Royal. In the 1630s, about 20 families came from the Loudunais area and soon after soldiers and "engagés" joined them. In 1670, the Acadian population consisted of 400 people. Steadily, the population grew and the territory expanded to include Nova Scotia, Cape-Breton Island, New-Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. With the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Acadia was given away to Great Britain, with the exception of île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) and île Royale (Cape Breton Island).

As early as 1754, due to the threat of a new war in America, Charles Lawrence, governor of Nova Scotia, was considering the deportation of the Acadians. Between 1755 and 1762, about 10,000 Acadians were made prisoners and were deported to the American colonies, Great Britain and France.

By 1764, the Acadians were allowed to return on condition of dispersing themselves over the territory and swearing their loyalty to the British Crown. Many Acadians returned to America as laborers for the merchant-fishermen of Jersey Island. Many Acadians from France and the American colonies settled in Louisiana. Those returning to the Maritimes chose to settle in Baie Sainte-Marie in western Nova Scotia, Cheticamp on the western shore of Cape Breton Island, the Malpèque region of Prince Edward Island and on the eastern and northern shores of New Brunswick as well as in the province of Quebec, particularly in the area of Yamachiche and L'Acadie.

Research at Library and Archives Canada

Placide Gaudet fonds

Gaudet's Notes (MG 30 C20) [PDF 105 KB], the bulk of which are in the possession of Library and Archives Canada, constitute the main source for Acadian genealogical research. They were compiled by Placide Gaudet from various documents, not all of which are held by Library and Archives Canada. Although a most helpful source, the Notes must not be considered in any way as official records. The information given generally consists of dates and places of birth, marriage and death. The Notes are arranged in approximate alphabetical order and are available on microfilm reels C-2238 to C-2241.

Parish registers

The Parish Registers fonds (MG 9 B8-1) contains transcriptions of parish registers of various Acadian parishes and from Gaspesia. Microfilm C-3021.

Library and Archives Canada also holds microfilmed copies of the following Acadian parish registers:

  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Port-Royal, Nova Scotia), 1702-1755, (MG 9 B8-24), microfilms C-1869 and C-1870.
  • Saint-Charles-des-Mines (Nova Scotia), Registers of baptisms, 1707-1749, (MG 9 B8-12) microfilm C-1869.
  • Sainte-Anne-de-Kingsclear (New Brunswick), 1767-1859 (MG 9 A11-13, vol. 1), microfilms C-3019 and M-4604.
  • Saint-Henri-de-Barachois (Shédiac, New Brunswick), 1812-1870 (MG 9 A11-2, vol. 1), microfilm C-3016.
  • Sainte-Marie (Baie-Sainte-Marie, Nova Scotia), 1799-1801 (MG 9 B8-26), microfilm C-3026.
  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Bouctouche (New Brunswick), 1800-1870 (MG 9 A11-3, vol. 1) microfilm C-3016.
  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Malpèque (Prince Edward Island), 1817-1848 (MG9-C8-4), microfilm M-16.

Prudent-L. Mercure fonds (MG 30 C5)

Information pertaining to Madawaska families of north-western New Brunswick. Microfilms C-3109 and C-3110.

Archives départementales du Morbihan (MG 6 A6 E)

Genealogy of Acadian families from the parishes of Bangor, Locmaria, Palais and Sauzon, of the Belle-Isle-en-Mer region of France, 1767. Microfilm F-1556.

Passenger Lists

Library and Archives Canada holds passenger lists (MG 1 F 5-B) for the years 1717, 1732, 1747 and 1749-1758, containing names of passengers travelling to Acadia.

Other documents related to the Acadians

The following fonds and collections contain various material pertaining to the Acadians:

  • Monsieur de La Rochette, 1755-1787, (MG 18 F14, vol. 1 p. 388-429 and vol. 2, p. 427-429) Lists of Acadians and prisoners of war.
  • Fonds Archives des colonies, série C14, Correspondance générale; Guyane française, 1765, (MG 1 C14) Census of inhabitants of Sinnamary, a place of refuge for displaced Acadians. March 1, 1765. (volume 28, page 348-352v).
  • Archives des colonies, série C11D, Correspondance générale; Acadie, 1603-1788, (MG 1 C11D) Volumes 8 to 10 contain documents pertaining to Acadian and Canadian refuges. Microfilms F-168 to F-173.
  • Papers relating to the Acadians deported to Massachusetts in 1755, 1755-1769, (MG 18 F15) Acadian petitions, microfilms M-81 and M-82.
  • Ayer collection, 1638-1894, (MG 18 N50) Census of Acadians for the year 1708, microfilm M-1680.
  • Dépôt des papiers publics des colonies; notariat (MG 1 G3) Series G3 consists of minutes of the notaries of Canada, Acadia, Newfoundland, l'Ile Royale and the islands of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon.
  • Dépôt des papiers publics des colonies; greffes judiciaires (MG1 G2)
  • Finding Aid 300: Other census and related documents (1640 to 1945)

How to access our records

Have you found a reference to a record held at Library and Archives Canada and don't know what to do next? Find out what options are available on our access the records page.

Research in published sources

  • Acadian church records, Volume I, 1679-1757, by Winston De Ville. (AMICUS 4392046)
  • Acadian Church Records. Volume II, Beaubassin, 1712-1748, by Milton P. Rieder Jr. and Norma Gaudet Rieder. (AMICUS 74037)
  • Acadian church records, Volume III, Port Royal, 1702-1721, by Milton P. Rieder Jr. and Norma Gaudet Rieder. (AMICUS 5616527)
  • Acadian descendants, by Janet B. Jehn. (AMICUS 5616525)
  • Acadian exiles in the colonies, by Janet B. Jehn. (AMICUS 12244042)
  • Acadians, by Heather Hudak. (AMICUS 32469902)
  • Corrections & additions to Arsenault's Histoire et généalogie des Acadiens, by Janet B. Jehn. (AMICUS 8968669)
  • De Nantes à la Louisiane : en 1785, 1600 Acadiens quittent le vieux continent, à destination de la Nouvelle-Orléans : l'histoire de l'Acadie, l'odyssée d'un peuple exilé, by Gérard-Marc Braud. (AMICUS 14542198)
  • Des Acadiens déportés à Boston, en 1755 : un épisode du grand dérangement, by Pascal Poirier. (AMICUS 6946836)
  • Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes, by Stephen A. White. (AMICUS 22128873)
  • Dictionnaire généalogique des familles des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec, 1760-1948, by Dennis M. Boudreau. (AMICUS 25375431)
  • English supplement to the Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes. part I, 1636 to 1714, by Stephen A. White. (AMICUS 23965346)
  • Familles acadiennes, by Léopold Lanctôt. (AMICUS 20895347)
  • Généalogie des familles acadiennes : avec documents, by Placide Gaudet. Re-edited by René Babineau. (AMICUS 10588523)
  • Généalogies acadiennes, by Placide Gaudet. (AMICUS 32829642)
  • Histoire de l'Acadie, by Nicolas Landry. (AMICUS 25514956)
  • Histoire des Acadiens et des Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick, by Sylvain Godin and Maurice Basque. (AMICUS 33500122)
  • Histoire des Acadiens, by Bona Arsenault. (AMICUS 29969507)
  • Histoire et généalogie des Acadiens, by Bona Arsenault. (AMICUS 900039)
  • History of the Acadians, by Bona Arsenault. (AMICUS 899870)
  • Index to Bona Arsenault's "Histoire et généalogie des Acadiens", by Phoebe Chauvin Morrison. (AMICUS 11221144)
  • Inventaire général des sources documentaires sur les Acadiens, by Centre d'études acadiennes. (AMICUS 839845)
  • La colonie acadienne du Poitou, by A. Papuchon. (AMICUS 12097920)
  • La France des Acadiens, by Robert Prévost. (AMICUS 13674216)
  • L'Acadie : histoire des Acadiens du XVIIe siècle à nos jours, by Yves Cazaux. (AMICUS 13380121)
  • L'Acadie de l'Atlantique, by Maurice Basque, Nicole Barrieau and Stéphanie Côté in collaboration with Raymond Cyr and Emmanuel Doucet. (AMICUS 22564760)
  • L'Acadie des ancêtres avec la généalogie des premières familles acadiennes, by Bona Arsenault. (AMICUS 2214117)
  • L'Acadie des Maritimes : études thématiques des débuts à nos jours, under the direction of Jean Daigle. (AMICUS 13176059)
  • Le grand arrangement des Acadiens au Québec: notes de petite-histoire, généalogies: France, Acadie, Québec de 1625 à 1925, by Adrien Bergeron. (AMICUS 3238068)
  • Les Acadiens : citoyens de l'Atlantique, by Jean-Marie Fonteneau. (AMICUS 25938678)
  • Les Acadiens aux îles Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, 1758-1828 : 3 déportations, 30 années d'exil, by Michel Poirier. (AMICUS 4819546)
  • Les Acadiens de l'Ile, 1720-1980, by Georges Arsenault. (AMICUS 26938532)
  • Les Acadiens de Saint-Pierre & Miquelon à La Rochelle, 1767 à 1768 et 1778 à 1785 : notes de l'abbé Patrice Gallant, edited by Stephen A. White. (AMICUS 24966)
  • The Acadian exiles in the American colonies, 1755-1768, edited by Milton P. Rieder and Norma Gaudet Rieder. (AMICUS 42020)

Research at other institutions and online

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