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

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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 collection 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)

Research in Published Sources

Research at Other Institutions and Online

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