The Acadian Refugees and Exiles
Who Went to New Brunswick

Perhaps unknown to many is the fact that among the first establishments in Acadia, the French had also settled where we know today as New Brunswick. Claude de Latour, the father of Charles, was well installed at the mouth of the St. John River before de Razilly and d’Aulnay arrived at Port-Royal in 1632. Later, French pioneers settled here also along different place on the St. John up until the time the English conquered the land. There were Acadians in Sainte-Anne (Fredericton), Nashwaak, Ekoupag (Meductic), Oromocto, Mercure (French Village), Sainte-Marie (Marysville), Jemseg as well as at Kennébécasis and Managouèche, then located near what is now the city of St. John.

Many Acadians from places like Shepody, Petitcodiac and Memramcook rivers managed to escape the Deportation. But what happened to them? Well some small groups went to the Miramichi River or to the uper Petitcodiac River in an area known to us today as New Brunswick. They went to Fox Creek (near St. Anselme), Saint-Anselme, Dieppe, Moncton, Coverdale, Boundary Creek and Salisbury.

Following the destruction of Chipoudy and Petitcoudiac churches in the fall of 1755, Father Jean-Baptiste de la Brosse, missionary, baptized many children in the house of Toussaint Blanchard on the west side of the Petitcodiac River. This was located opposite Fox Creek. In 1758, three years after the onset of the Deportation, the English finally destroyed the villages on the upper Petitcodiac where Acadian refugees had been in hiding since 1755. Captain Scott ordered the burning of La Chapelle (previously known as Le Coude(Moncton), Silvabro (Dieppe), and Jagersome (Lewisville). He ordered the burning of all property as far as Beausoleil (Boundary Creek). On 24 women and four men were taken as prisoners.

Even after this, many Acadians remained in hiding in the woods. Alexandre Brossard dit Beausoleil hid with his family near Boundary Creek in 1759. Joseph who was his brother headed up the Acadian resistance for the area.

Joseph Brossard dit Beausoleil was born in Port-Royal and lived in the upper Petitcodiac for almost 30 years. He was captain of the militia. Between the fall of Louisbourg and the defeat of Montcalm and the fall of Québec, Joseph began to fear for the reguees who were with him because of the lack of food and necessities plus winter would soon arrived.

With his brother Alexandre, Jean Basque and Simon Martin, he went to Fort Cumberland (previously Fort Beauséjour) as representatives or the few hundred refugees facing starvation. They delivered a petition to the commanding-office, Major Frye on November 16, 1759. It would not be long before a group of refugees from Cocagne, Bouctouche and Richibouctou, with Pierre Surette as their leader as well as Jean Bourg and Michel Bourg also went to Fort Cumberland rather than die of starvation. They were all imprisoned at Halifax until the Treaty in 1763. In 1764, Joseph Brossard dit Beausoleil is on a schooner with a group of Acadians heading for Santo Domingo. Later they went on to Louisiana.

Acadian Refugees at Baie des Chaleurs

Those Acadians who went to hide at the Miramichi River had a miserable time of it. Located in northeastern New Brunswick, they thought they would be safe from all harm by hiding here. However, misery befell them in the form of starvation and Missionary priest François LeGuerne noted in his records that in 1757 a large number of Acadians not only died from hunger but more also died of what he called a horrible contagion. These ancestors trying to stay alive ate the leather off their shoes and even worse some ate the excrement of animals so he wrote. Approximately 600 perished during the winter of 1755-1756. The survivors left in small numbers for other parts of New Brunswick, eastern Québec and Ile St-Jean.

Among the refugees at Ile St-Jean were many women whose husbands were deported to Maryland, Georgia and the Carolinas. There were also children who did not know where their parents were.

The Acadians Who Settled in Northern New Brunswick

Acadian seeking refuge after the 1760 naval battle of Restigouche spread out on the south shore of Baie des Chaleurs to Pointe-à-Martin (now Campbellton), to Eel River, Charlo, Jacquet River as well as elsewhere.

Approximately a dozen Acadian families who had come from Beaubassin, Grand-Pré, Cobequid and Prince Edward Island (formerly Ile Royale), settled at Nipisiguit (now Bathurst). At Petit-Rocher which is located near Bathurst, other Acadian families were quick to follow bearing the French Canadian anmes of Bertin, Duclos, Laplante, Lavigne and Vienneau.

Around 1760, it was Alexis Landry of Grand-Pré who had also been a colonist of Caraquet, New Brunswick who settled at Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage . From around 1762, Raymond Bourdages from Bonaventure had a fishing post at Caraquet. Charles Robin of Paspébiac also had a fishing post there in 1766. Acadians from Bonaventure traveled to Caraquet to fish for either one or the other.

The New Brunswick Government granted lands to 34 families at Caraquet on March 29, 1784. There were: Albert, Boudreau, Brideau, Chiasson, Cormier, Doiron, Dugas, Godin, Haché, Landry, Lanteigne, Parisé and Thibodeau. Later cam French-Canadians such as: Chénard, Gauvin, Maillous and Paulin as well as Jersey islanders such as: De la Garde, DeGruchy, Dumaresq, Duval, Le Riche and Fiott who settled in the Caraquet region. Soon these pioneer families spread to Grand-Anse, Maisonnette, Petit-Rocher, Pointe-Verte, Belle-Dune, Robertville, Bathurst and other places in nothern New Brunswick.

Later still came three Duguay brothers, François, Jacques and Jean-Marie from Bonaventure and Paspébiad who settled at Shippegan 20 miles from Caraquet. Two more families came with them: François Goulet and Jean Mallet. In 1790, Jean-Baptiste Robichaud, originally from Cobequid, son of Joseph and Claire LeBlanc who was married to Félicité Cyr settled in Shippegan when they left Bonaventure. This family had arrived from France in 1774 on a schooner belonging to Charles Robin along with Acadian refugees from Britanny. Together they would found Robichaud village at Shippegan. More Acadians settled there by the anmes of: Boudreau, Brideau, Bujold, Chiasson, Doucet, Haché-Gallant, Hébert, Lanteigne and Savoie. French-Canadians who joined them were families by the names of: Aubut, Gauvin, Guignard, Larocque, Mercier, Paulin, Plourde and a Frenchman, Pierre Degrace. Joseph Chiasson of Beaubassin pioneered Lamèque near Shippegan. He was the son of Fançois Chiasson and Anne Doucet and was married to Anne Haché-Gallant.

Another dozen Acadian families had left Prince Edward Island around 1770 to settle at Miscou - they included: Arasenault, Boudreau, Chiasson, Doucet, Haché-Gallant and LeBlanc. Duguay, Frigot, Lanteigne and Mallet would come later.

Isidore Robichaud of Cobequid, son of Joseph and Claire LeBlanc, spous of Marguerite Boudreau would be the pioneer of Pokemouche which about 12 miles south of Shippegan. Along with his brother Jean-Baptise of Shippegan, he had been part of the group of Acadian refugees in France who settled in Baie-des-Chaleurs.

Isidore along with his seven sons Andreé, Jean-Baptiste, Pierre-Servé, Charles, Nicolas, Maxime and Isaie, amd his sons-in-law Joseph Boudreau and Jean Veinneau, settled in the Pokemouche. Other Acadians to settle at Pokemouche at the time were: Arsenault, Blanchard, Doucet, Godin, Landry, LeBreton, Léger, Mercure, Savoie, Thériault and Thibodeau most of whom came from the St. John River area.

Some excerpts, sources and references from: History of the Acadians by Bona Arsenault - Fides 1994 - ISBN 2-7621-1745-3

© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
1998 - Present

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