Acadians at Boulogne-sur-Mer, France 1758 - 1764

Port of Boulogne

Seventy-nine Acadians debarked at Boulogne. Their deportation destination from Ile St-Jean was St. Malo but a huge storm at sea sent them into the small port of Boulogne.

Only one day later, a death was registered in the hospital register on 27 December 1758. An Acadian child of three years died. The following month, January 1759, seven more children died between the ages of 9 months to 18 years of age.

What followed was even worse when an epidemic of smallpox broke out and twenty more Acadians died between mid November to the end of December and five in the month that followed. So on the total of 179 Acadian refugees who had arrived in December of 1758, 26 were dead.

The births during this time did not augment the numbers within these families since babies born at this time would die within two to five days of their births.

Six more would die in 1760; three in 1761; two in 1762; four in 1763; four in 1764 for a total of 56 of the 179 who had survived being deported from Ile St-Jean in 1758. It would seem that they were in mourning from the time they arrived in Boulogne.

Everything was done to help these refugees. The people in the community was very moved at what had become a very sad situation for these refugees. When the time came for them to leave Boulogne, money was provided so to provide shoes and shirts for the poorest for their departure.

In 1763 following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, there had been talk of these Acadians going to Ste Lucie. Instead they sailed on the Tréport with Captain Duhamel at the helm to Cayenne [French Guiana] on December 22, 1764. Fortunately in the forty-nine days at sea, the weather was favorable to their voyage and no one was sick. However, it must be said that not all of the Acadian refugees left Boulogne with this group. There was one Firmin Aucoin who married in Boulogne in 1785. Other Acadian names also appear in the registers. Up to this day there are Acadian descendants living in Boulogne.

Recommended reading:
"Les Canadiens (Acadiens_ de l'Ile Saint-Jean a Boulogne - 1758-1764" published by La Société Historique Acadienne 35 ième Cahier Vol. Iv. no. 5 Avril, Mai, Juin 1972, Moncton, N.-B.

*French Guiana is located in northeast South America on the Atlantic Ocean. It consists mainly of rainforests/jungles with a tropical climate. The beaches are in the capital Cayenne.

© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
2004 - Present

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