This website is devoted to Acadian and French-Canadian Genealogy, and especially to using computers for French-surname genealogy.
For a quick overview, check out the index.
The first question you may have is, What is the difference between Acadians and French-Canadians? The distinction is fairly simple, although you still may not know whether you yourself are Acadian or French-Canadian until you know more about your family.
Acadians are descendants of the French settlers of Nova Scotia in the early 17th century. They all stayed in that local area until they were forcibly ejected by the British in 1755. Then they scattered all over the place, but probably the largest numbers ended up in Quebec, New England, and Louisiana. Their descendants in Louisiana are now known as Cajuns.
French-Canadians, in genealogy, generally refers to descendants of the French who settled the Québec area, beginning in the early 17th century. They did not interact or intermarry very much with the Acadians, and so we have two entirely separate groups for genealogical research. Outside of genealogy, I guess any Canadian with a French name or who speaks French would be considered a French-Canadian.
My grandfather was Acadian, and my grandmother was French-Canadian. I always knew I was French-Canadian, but didn't find out I was Acadian until 10 years ago, when someone on CompuServe recognized my grandfather's name, Babin, as an Acadian name.
You may be interested in a television program and Website that are concerned with some of the early French-Canadian and Acadian immigrants.
The Web site is a companion to the television series, broadcast on History Television for thirteen weeks beginning January 14th. The series and the Web site explore thirteen different courageous stories of immigration including Peter d'Entremont who explores his own ancestry through the story of Philippe d'Entremont, one of the early founders of the Acadian community of Pubnico, Nova Scotia.
My intention in maintaining this site is to share all the information I have gathered, while at the same time I would very much appreciate it if those of you who make use of this information, would also share your information with me. Specifically, I have so far concentrated on the families Babin, Bard, Bouchard, Bourdages, Bujold, Couture, Fournier, Gagnon, Hébert, Hudon\Beaulieu, Plourde, Poirier, and Vaillancourt. If you find that you have people with these surnames that I haven't listed, please let me know. I can increase my own files, and at the same time I can share your new information with everyone else through the Web page.
For other surnames, please try the sources listed in French-Canadian Sources or Acadian Sources.
I have also tried to include the most important information I have on getting started in French-Canadian and Acadian genealogy. If I have left out anything important, please let me know. Please don't send me e-mail requests to trace your family or connect up your relatives. I simply don't have the time--I'm just trying to make it easier for you to trace your family. The exception is for individuals with the surnames listed above, who are not listed on the pages. If you have a Babin, for example, that you are trying to trace and he or she doesn't appear on the Babin page, then by all means let me know and I'll try to track down more information for all of us.
Acadian History and Genealogy
Descendants of the French pioneers who settled in Nova Scotia in the early 1600s now live all over the world, scattered by the Dispersion of 1755. Descendancies, sources, and an introduction to Acadian history can be found on the Acadian Page.
Descendancies are provided for six Acadian ancestors: Antoine Babin, Raymond Bourdages, Pierre-Alain Bujold, Antoine and Étienne Hébert and Jehan Poirier, with an additional page for the Gaspésian descendants of Jehan's great-grandson Pierre Poirier.
There are French-speaking Canadians all over Canada, and there are descendants of French-Canadians all over the world.
This section deals only with those whose ancestors were originally from France, and settled in the province of Québec before 1900. This includes Acadians who lived in the Gaspé after the Dispersion of 1755, and intermarried (although to a limited extent) with French-Canadians descended from the settlers of the Québec City region.Go to French-Canadian Page Descendancies are provided for eight French-Canadian surnames: Bard, Bouchard, Couture, Fournier, Gagnon, Hudon\Beaulieu, Plourde, and Vaillancourt.
Each month there will be a mystery for you to solve. If you're the first one to send me a solution to the problem, your name and the solution will be published on the page for everyone to enjoy. I'll try to pick questions that I think will be of interest to all French-Canadian or Acadian researchers.
Although I can only answer questions about my major lines that are posted here on the Web site, I know that a lot of you are looking for a way to find someone who can help you with specific questions. You have two options for these questions. I have added a Query Page, where I will post questions that are e-mailed to me, and with luck someone may see them and will be able to send an answer.
Marriage Search ServiceIf you would like me to find a marriage for you that is NOT one of the lines covered on this website, I will try to find it for you for a fee.
I hope this Web page gives helpful information on how you can best do your own research. I will try my best to answer any questions about anyone named or married to: Babin, Bard, Bouchard, Bourdages, Couture, Fournier, Gagnon, Hébert, Hudon/Beaulieu, Plourde, Poirier, or Vaillancourt. For other surnames, please try the sources listed in French-Canadian Sources or Acadian Sources.
Please feel free to e-mail me with any comments.
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Last Updated: Monday, January 20, 2003