This is an Alphabetical listing of the Acadian Exiles who sailed from France to Louisiana in 1785. Some had been deported to France from Ile St-Jean [now Prince Edward Island] and Ile Royale [now Cape Breton] in 1758; others
had been imprisoned in England, repatriated to France by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. These Acadians requested passage to Louisiana where other Acadians had already settled, some of them family members who had gone from Maryland afer the treaty was signed.
Information on the seven ships, dates of sail and where some of the Acadians disembarked is listed on this page.
Please click on the alphabetical listing
to find the surname you are researching.
The Seven Ships That Sailed From France To Louisiana in 1785
Some Acadians had made their way to Louisiana during the deporation years. No Acadians were ever deported to Louisiana. Spain controlled Louisiana. Following the deportation years, Spain invited the Acadians who had been deported or escaped to France to come settle in the Louisiana territory. Therefore, in 1785 Spain paid for seven ships that would transport the Acadians from France to Louisiana. Spain's plan was that new settlers would stand between Spanish and British lands. However, for the Acadians, it was an opportunity they could not pass up. This allowed them the opportunity they needed/wanted to rejoin
some of their kin they had not seen since their Exile but most saw it as an opportunity for a new beginning. The years of exile, already too long for all of the deported, had not really over for those who went to France. Before long they realized that they were truly Acadians and not French. Because their mother country, France, had pretty much ignored the Acadians in their new homeland for many years, they realized that the differences that had grown them apart as a people were such that they would never again be like their compatriots in France - not in custom and not in language. Over the years, their manner of speaking had even evolved into a different french than the original settlers spoke. The opportunity came at a good time for the Acadians to sail to Louisiana to begin life anew.
(Stephen White tells me that after the deportation years, the Acadians were pretty well split evenly as to where they went. 1/3 returned to New Brunswick/Nova Scotia, 1/3 went to France and 1/3 went to Louisiana.)
The responsibility for effecting this new move of the Acadians fell to Spains ambassador in Paris by the name of Don Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count de Aranda but it was the Spanish Consul of St-Malo, Don Manuel d'Aspres, who in fact drew up the contracts, organized the move and arranged for the Acadians to sail to Louisiana.
Unfortunately, it seems that Spanish records of these events are incomplete compared to the French registration lists and can, in fact, be misleading. As an example, widows appear on the lists with their maiden names with no mention nor reference that they are widows. Because of the French records being relatively comple, Milton & Norma Reider decided to publish the seven expeditions to Louisiana according to the lists they found available from France. In their book, they say that six of the lists, compiled from photostatic copies of the originals deposited in the Archives of the Department of the Loire Atlantic at Nantes, France contain the names of the members of each family registered for the voyage, their ages, relationships, and occupations. The seventh list, that of the frigate, La Ville d'Archangel, compiled from a photostatic copy of the original deposted in the Archives of the Maritime at Brest, France contains the names, ages, and relationships of the members of each family; however, the occupations were not included. On this list, there are some errors as names obviously male are indicated as being daughters and vice versa.
The spelling of both the given names and surnames of each registrant is exactly as it appears on the listings, including the Ville d'Archangel list described above.*
It is well to note that some families appeared on more than one ship's list. It is because they did not make it to a previous sailing.
*NOTE: Originally, the lists were posted exactly as found on the ships' lists. However, to facilitate research of these lists, I have now listed them alphabetically.
The Seven Ships
LE BON PAPA
- Sailed from France May 10, 1785 arriving in Louisiana July 29, 1785. Le Bon Papa sailed from the port of Paimboeuf, France. The 256 Acadians who signed on for this voyage represented only a portion of the 1,660 who would ask to leave France filled with new hope in finding a home, prosperity and safety in Louisiana.
- Sailed from France May 14, 1785 arriving in Louisiana August 15, 1785. Five French passengers were also on this list. Six of the passengers died and seven were born. By the time the families were ready to settle, there were 74 families, or 268 people. Six families went to Attakapas, one family settled at St. Gabriel along the Mississippi and the others settled along Bayou Lafourche.
- Sailed from France June 11, 1785 arriving in Louisiana August 19, 1785. There were 51 families for a total of 178 people onboard. Two died during the voyage. Once off the ship there were seven births. Four died and two deserted. Forty-one families settled in the Baton Rouge area. Five families settled at Attakapas and three families went to Bayou Lafourche.
- Sailed from France June 27, 1785 arriving in Louisiana September 10, 1785. Among the 325 people onboard, there were sixteen stow-aways bringing the total to 341 people. Fifteen died from scurvy/smallpox while at sea. Once in New Orleans, there were nineteen births while sixteen others died.
- Sailed from France August 20, 1785 arriving in Louisiana November 8, 1785. There were 270 people in 68 families at sailing. Six died while at sea. After arrival, there were ten births and seventeen marriages plus others joined the group. Seventy-one families settled along Bayou Lafourche, three families to the Attakapas and seventeen families settled near Galvaztown.
LA VILLE ARCHANGEL
- Sailed from France August 12, 1785 arriving in Louisiana December 3, 1785. This ship left St-Malo, France and upon reacing Balize, an outpost at the mouth of the Mississippi River, ran aground on November 4. This, and the fact that they had already had run out of food, caused a number of passengers to get sick. Finally the ship made it to New Orleans on December 3, 1785. There were sixty families totalling two hundred and ninety-nine people onboard. Fifteen people died and two deserted. Seven marriages took place, eleven more adults joined the group and there were two more births.
Fifty-three families totalling two hundred and seventy-on individuals went to Bayou des Écores which is located north of Baton Rouge near Thompson Creek. One family of seven remained in New Orleans while another six families totalling twenty-one people went to Lafourche. A decade later, following a hurricane, man of the Bayou des Écores families moved south where other Acadian families had settled along Lafourche.
- Sailed from France October 19, 1785 arriving in Louisiana December 17, 1785. Twenty-eight families totalling eighty people landed in New Orleans. While there, two marriages and three births took place plus another five adults joined the group. In addition to that, one person died and one person deserted. Eighteen families settled along Lafourche while six families went to Galveztown area.
Sources: The Crew & Passenger Registration Lists of the Seven Acadian Expeditions of 1785 by Milton & Norma Rieder and the Reverend Donald Hebert works. This information was accessed at ACGS American Canadian Genealogical Society, Manchester, New Hampshire and they are most likely available at other genealogical societies with Acadian/Canadian holdings.