The Acadians in the Madawaska Region

It was June 1785 when the first Acadian families lead by Joseph Daigle moved from Fredericton (then Sainte-Anne-des-Pays-Bas) to the Madawaska region near what is now Edmunston. Madawaska is located in the district of Saint-Basile in New Brunswick.

Concurrent with this happening, there was an emigration beginning from the Province of Québec heading to New Brunswick. Among them were Acadians still searching for family members and relatives and others coming to this region because it was easier to obtain land here than in Québec. Those Acadians and French Canadians migrating to Madawaska did so from various points of the St. Lawrence River taking the Haldimand Road or the Trois-Pistoles road through the woods.

It was in 1790 that the Fredericton Government granted the first lots of land to 52 settlers from Madawaska located on both sides of the St. John River. This was followed by other grants in the years that followed.

Those settlers of French-Canadian descent who merged with the Acadians had the surnames of: Auclair, Beaulieu, Bellefleur, Charest, Dubé, Duperré, Fournier, Gagné, Gagnon, Gosselin, Guimond, Jean, Levasseur, Lizotte, Marquis, Michaud, Ouellet, Racine, Sansfaçon, Saucier, Soucy, Tardif, Vaillancourt, and others.

History and Geography of Madawaska County

Located in the north-western corner of New Brunswick, Madawaska County is bordered on the north by Restigouche County, on the east by Victoria County, on the west by Temiscouata County (Quebec), and on the south by Aroostook County (Maine). The genealogist researching records of the area of Madawaska County should understand the history of this area, and the evolution of its borders.

New Brunswick was first established in 1785 and comprised eight counties; the western part of the province, including the land that is now Madawaska county, was originally York county. In 1831, the northern part of York County became Carleton County. The parishes (similar to US townships, and used as census sub-districts) of Perth, Madawaska, and Andover were established in 1833. In 1844, Victoria County was created from the northern parts of Carleton County. The parishes of St-Léonard and St-Basile were established in 1850; Grand Falls/Grand Sault, Gordon, Lorne, and Drummond were established in 1852, 1863, 1871, and 1872 (respectively). In 1873, the western half of Victoria County - including the parishes of Madawaska, St-Leonard, and St-Basile - became Madawaska County. The parishes of St-François/St. Francis, St-Hilaire, St-Jacques, and Ste-Anne were all established in Madawaska County in 1877.

Madawaska's southern border has been no less dynamic. The 1783 Treaty of Versailles, which ended the War for American Independence, stablished Maine's eastern boundary at the St. Croix River. However, neither this agreement nor the subsequent 1815 Treaty of Ghent (which ended the War of 1812) established Maine's northern and western borders, resulting in nearly a half-century of conflict (the Aroostook War) between New Brunswick and Maine. The dispute was resolved bloodlessly with the negotiation of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (adopted in 1842), finally establishing the border between Maine and New Brunswick (and hence between the U.S. and Canada). Because of this (and of the continued shared culture), events from Aroostook County, Maine may show up in Madawaska County records, and vice versa. Note: This data used with permission of ~~Ron Bottomly~~
Ron is the Co-ordinator GenWeb pages for Aroostook County, Maine and Victoria and Madawaska Counties, New Brunswick.
Thank you Ron!

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

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