With a strength and determination that only
settlers to a new land must have, the first
acadian homes were filled with the strength
of Christian spirits filled with hope. Their
homes were filled with the smiles and nurturing
love of French women settlers who supported
their spouses in all of their endeavors. These
brave women came from Poitou, Berri, Bretagne
The First Census of Acadia ~ work of P. Molin
in 1671 ~ though meager on details, nonetheless
transmitted the names for the most part, of
the mothers of families who worked under the
roofs of these homes of Port-Royal, founded
by Poutrincourt in 1605.
Let us give them the honor rarely given them..
let us name these women! Over more than three
centuries and many "deportations" later, let
us walk briefly in their footsteps at a time
when they were filled with a spirit of great
adventure in coming to North America, in crossing
an ocean under most extremely wanting material
and austere conditions, marked by an energetic
determination, with a vision prepared to confront
all dangers, all of the rigors of an unknown
future like the forest of a New World..
of a New People!
The Mothers of our Acadian Ancestors were born
in France. They were the companions of the first
pioneers who arrived from 1632-1635, under
Cavalryman Razilly, who were still alive
in 1671 as human links between the country
of "Loire" and of Port-Royal.
Here is a list of "Mothers of the Acadian
people" as it is preserved on large yellowed
paper in the Maritime Archives (Ministry of
the Colonies), in Paris.
A good number of these women were obviously
born on Acadian soil, but this does not diminish
the merit due them at all.
Martine GAUTHIER, spouse of Denis GAUDET,
was the grandmother of all the Acadian Gaudets
of America. Born in France, she married in
Port-Royal in 1645, 2 or 3 years after her
arrival on the Ship Aulnay. (Denis Gaudet
had come to Acadia in 1632, with his father
Jean who was 96 in 1671 and who had remarried
to Nicole Coleson from the Scottish group that
had settled at Port-Royal (Scottish Fort
Marie GAUDET, daughter of Jean, had married
Etienne HEBERT in Port-Royal, in 1650. When
P. Molin visited her, she was a 38 year old
widow who was preparing to care for her 10
orphaned children. One of her daughters,
Marguerite HEBERT, would marry Jacques
PRINCE at Port-Royal, 1678 and would be
the grandmother of all Prince Acadians,
including the first Bishop Prince of
Françoise GAUDET, another daughter of Jean,
born in France in 1624, wed Daniel LEBLANC
in Port-Royal about 1650. She would
count three Acadian Bishops (as of 1945
but more now) among her descendants and
René LEBLANC, Notary of Grand-Pré
her grandson, the son of René and
Marie GAUDET, daughter of Denis and Martine
GAUTHIER, became by her marriage to Olivier
DAIGLE, the grandmother of a numerous family.
Alexandre DAIGLE died at 101 in 1902 at
St-Charles de Kent. Bishop ROBICHAUD of
Moncton was also a distant relative of
Anne GAUDET, another daughter of Denis
and Martine GAUTHIER, married Pierre VINCENT.
Her daughter, Huguette in Port-Royal
1684, became the wife of Jean de BASTARACHE,
grandmother of all the Bastarache who came
from the Basque Country (High Pyrenees).
Jeanne TRAHAN, wife of Jacques BOURGEOIS,
doctor of Port-Royal, had ten living children
at the 1671 census. Born in France in 1631,
daughter of Guillaume TRAHAN, she wasn't very
aware of the ocean crossing in 1632. She
married at 12 years of age in Port-Royal,
and lived into the 1700's, living proof,
having witnessed all of the Acadian hardships
of the end of the 17th century, in which her
husband was very involved (he was both doctor
and merchant, well known in Boston, property
owner in Beaubassin).
Madeleine TRAHAN, much younger than her
sister Jeanne, came to Port-Royal in 1694,
the wife of Jacques LEGER, first of his name
in Acadia and who, because he was a soldier,
had the dit name of La Rosette.
Radegonde LAMBERT, wife of Jean BLANCHARD,
had six children in 1671. She was already
a grandmother. Her oldest daughter
Madeleine BLANCHARD, 28 years old, wife of
Michel RICHARD, first of his name in Acadia,
had seven children at this time. One of the
seven, Catherine RICHARD, married François
BROSSARD, ancestor of all of the Brossard
or Broussard of America, and especially Louisiana.
The widow of François Guérin, who was 26 years
of age with five children in 1671 to care for,
kept her maiden name was Anne Blanchard. She married
at 13 years of age and her oldest daughter,
Anne married at 12 years of age.
Two AUCOIN sisters lived nearby: Michelle
AUCOIN, wife of Lieutenant General
Michel BOUDROT, and Jeanne AUCOIN, wife
of François Girouard. These are the two
grandmothers of all of the Acadian Boudrot
and Girouard families. Françoise BOUDROT,
daughter of Michel and Michelle AUCOIN,
married Etienne ROBICHAUD about 1663.
He is a direct ancestor of His Excellency
Bishop ROBICHAUD, once Archbishop of Moncton.
The two GAUTEROT sisters, daughters of François
GAUTEROT/GAUTREAU, born in Acadia, each had four children in 1671. One, a half sister born of François' first marriage to Marie whose surname is unknown, was the wife of Michel DUPEUX (DUPUIS), and the other sister, daughter of François and Edmée Lejeune, was the wife of Claude TERRIAU [son of Jean and Perrine RAU/REAU]. This last sister would live to be 90 and her
husband would die in Port-Royal at the age of 87. Claude's brother, Pierre TERRIAU, married Cécile LANDRY, and was the founder of Grand-Pré along with Pierre MELANSON, in 1680. In 1671, the elderly Jean TERRIAU, father of Claude and Pierre, and his wife Perrine RAU/REAU, were still living in Port-Royal.
Catherine VIGNEAU, wife of Pierre MARTIN,
listed five children in the census with P. Molin.
This family came to Acadia with Aulnay.
In 1689, Mathieu MARTIN became the first
"seigneur" of the lands of Cobequid (Truro).
Mathieu MARTIN's sister Andrée married François PELLERIN,
the first of his name in Acadia. Another
daughter of Pierre MARTIN and of Catherine
VIGNEAU, Marie, married Pierre MORIN and
raised a large family in Beaubassin.
Antoinette LANDRY, 65 years old, wife of
Antoine BOURG (BOURQUE), raised a family of
eleven children. BOURQUE Village, on the
north river and close to the fort at Port-
Royal, face BELLIVEAU Village on the south
river. Antoine BELLIVEAU, head of the family,
married Andrée GUYON.
Pierre COMEAU, an aged Cooper of 75 years
of age, and his wife Rose BAYON, had eight
There were two René Landry in Port-Royal in 1671.
The older René married Perrine BOURG, the
other married Marie BERNARD who had come from
France. It is from this second union that the
large family of Landry came. Marie BERNARD
had forteen children, eight of which were boys
who all married and had children. Seven of
them were among those who colonized Grand-Pré,
allied with the THIBODEAU, TERRIAU MELANSON,
DUPUIS, RICHARD, GUILLEBEAU, and BROUSSARD
Louise DOUCET married Abraham DUGAS, the
gunsmith of Port-Royal. Their descendants
were established by Claude DUGAS,
born in 1652. He married Françoise
BOURGEOIS, daughter of Jacques and also
by Abraham DUGAS, born in 1661. He married
A young Englishman from Plymouth, Laurent
GRANGER, came to Acadia on Thomas Temple's
ship in 1657. He converted to Catholicism
so that he could marry Marie LANDRY, daughter
of René and Perrine BOURG (BOURQUE). They
had two children in 1671.
It would take forever to list all of the
mothers of Acadia with all of the known
details to the end. However, let me list
the names of the many others we should
remember with the gratitude due them
for the legacy they have left us:
Marie HÉBERT, mother of all the Forest
descendants, was the wife of Michel de
Marie POIRIER, mother of the
Caissy descendants. Her husband was Roger
CASEY, a young Irishman who was one of the
founders of Beaubassin.
Michel Poirier, brother of Mrs. Caissy,
married Marie BOUDROT in 1673 in Port-Royal
where he was born in 1651. His parents were
Jean POIRIER and Jeanne CHABRAT.
Marie MERCIER, mother of the Babin descendants
was the wife of Antoine BABIN.
Mother of a group of HÉBERT descendants was
Geneviève LEFRANC wife of Antoine HÉBERT.
Catherine LEJEUNE, wife of François SAVOIE, was
the mother of the Savoie descendants.
Françoise SAVOIE, mother of the CORPERON, she was
the daughter of François, and wife of Jean
GAUTEROT descendants was Edmée LEJEUNE,
wife of François GAUTEROT.
BOURGEOIS, wife of Pierre SIRE.
THIBAUDEAU: Jeanne TERRIAU, wife of
miller Pierre THIBODEAU.
BUGARD, wife of Claude Petitpas.
GUILLEBEAU: Catherine TERRIAU, wife of
PELTRET, wife of Pierre DOUCET who was the
son of Germain Doucet, dit La Verdure,
former lieutenant of Aulnay and tutor
of his children.
BROT (BRAULT/BREAU): Marie
BOURG (BOURQUE), wife of Vincent BROT.
BERTRAND: Huguette LAMBELOT, wife of
GUERIN, wife of Pierre ARSENEAU.
CORMIER: Madeleine GIROUARD, wife of
Two mothers - Marie
Mius d'ENTREMONT, wife of Pierre Melanson dit Laverdure,
founder of Grand-Pré, and Marie
DUGAS, wife of Charles Melanson dit La Ramée,
brother of Pierre (both came
from Scotland in 1657 with governor
Temple). d'ENTREMONT: Madeleine ELIE
(HÉLIE), wife of Philippe Mius d'ENTREMONT,
lord of Pubnico.
ALLAIN: Marguerite BOURG
(BOURQUE), wife of Louis ALLAIN.
There were many more who were omitted in the 1671 census but
who we see in the 1686 census.
To all of the unknown heroines, mothers of us all,
we offer a tribute of admiration and of
thanksgiving. From both our known and
unknown "mothers", we have been given the
legacy of the best of who they were: women
of strong faith, women with an invincible
hope that made them greater than the enormity
of what they endured... women who loved God..
family... and their beloved Acadia!