|Many Acadians migrated
to French Canada before and after the Exile. Some returned to the original
land of Acadia, though they were not able to obtain their good farmlands.
Acadian descendants, though scattered across Canada, are found in greatest
numbers in the province of New Brunswick.
| Many Acadians settled down in French Canada, just west of Acadia (now Nova Scotia), and were assimilated into the French-Canadian culture. When the war ended in 1763, some tried to return to their homeland, only to find that it had been given to someone else. Those Acadians who moved to larger towns, like Quebec and Montreal, merged into their surrounding culture. Some Acadia communities remained in New Brunswick and still exhibit the Acadian culture today.
Areas settled by Acadians in those early days, that still bear links to the Acadian culture, can be found in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
THE RETURN by Nelson
| There are several 'pockets' of Acadian descendants
found in Nova Scotia today. In some cases, you may find Acadian names
but not the culture. This occurs in urban areas (ie. Halifax), in
the former Beaubassin area (Minudie, Maccan, Nappan), and the communities
of Pomquet, Tracadie, and Havre-Boucher. They
can be found at:
There are several areas that have maintained
an Acadian identity. These include:
- Clare (Digby County) has perhaps the largest, most "Acadian"
group on the French Shore. At the time of the return
of the Acadians in the province after 1763, the lands they had previously
occupied were now settled by the New England Planters whom had arrived
after 1760. The Nova Scotia government allowed the Acadians to re-establish
themselves provided they settled in areas other than their former homelands.
Some arrived on the shores of present-day St. Mary's Bay, in Digby County
to become primarily fishermen who supplemented their livelihood with small-scale
farming, lumbering and boat building. Joseph Dugas and his family were
the first to arrive in 1768. In subsequent years, other pioneer families
arrived. Family names included: Amirault, Belliveau, Blinn, Boudreau, Comeau,
Deveau, Doucet, Gaudet, Jeddry, LeBlanc, Lombard, Maillet, Melanson, Muise,
Pothier, Robichaud, Saulnier, Thériault, Thibault, Thibodeau and
Thimot. Today, the Municipality of Clare is the only one of its kind to
operate in French within the province. When in the area, be
sure to check out Université Sainte-Anne (which contains an Acadian
Cultural and Genealogical Centre), St. Mary's church, the Acadian Museum
and Tourism Office in Meteghan (which also has a Collège de l'Acadie
- Argyle (Yarmouth County) has a number of Acadian communities
in the former Pobomcoup/Cap Sable area. Some of these towns are Pubnico,
Quinan, Belleville, and Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau. Acadian surnames
in this area include: Amirault, Babin, Belliveau, Boucher, Boudreau, Bourque,
Corporon, Cottreau, d'Entremont, d'Eon, Deveau, Doucette, Dulong, Jacquard,
Landry, LeBlanc, Moulaison, Muise, Pothier, Surette, Richard, and Vacon.
When in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian Historical Village at
- Cheticamp (Inverness County) and nearby villages, first settled
by the Acadian "Fourteen Elders" in 1782. Acadian surnames in the
area include: Aucoin, Boudreau, Bourgeois, Camus, Chiasson, Cormier, Delaney,
Deveau, Doucet, Fiset, Gallant, Gaudet, Haché, Harris, Larade, LaPierre,
LeBlanc, LeFort, LeLièvre, LeVert, Maillet, Muise, Poirier, Roach,
and Romard. When in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian Museum.
- Chezzecook (near Halifax) was probably first settled by Acadians
who had been held at Halifax until the Treaty in 1763. They
were later joined by Acadians from Isle Royale and Isle Madame. When
in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian House Museum in this area.
- Isle Madame (Richmond County) was repopulated with Acadians
in the later 1700s (though there had been some settlement there before
the Deportation). Some of the towns in the area include: Arichat,
West Arichat, Port Royal, D'Escousse, Poulamon, Rivière-Bourgeois,
Martinique, L'Ardoise, and Saint-Pierre. The family names The Acadian surnames
in this area include: Babin, Benoît, Boudreau, Briand, Forgeron,
Fougère, Girroir, Gerroir, Gerrior, Landry, Levandier, LaLeucher,
LeBlanc, Marchand, Martell, Mombourquette, Pâté, Poirier,
Richard, Samson, Thériault, and Thibeau. When in the area,
be sure to check out the Acadian Cultural Center and Nicholas Denys Museum.
La Picasse has a College de l'Acadie Learning Centre.
- Antigonish County has several villages settled by Acadians
after they were allowed to return to Acadia in the 1770s and 1780s.
These include Pomquet, Tracadie and Havre Boucher. Acadian-related surnames
in the area include: Barriault, Begin, Bellefontaine, Benoit, Boucher,
Boudreau, Briand, Broussard, Charpentier, Cornu, Coté, Daigle, DeCoste,
Deon, Jacquet dit DesLauriers, Doiron, Drouillet, Fougere, Girroir, Landry,
LaMarre, LeBlanc, Levandier, LeParou, Mathe, Maillet, Melanson, Meunier,
Morell, Phillipard, Rennie, Roger, Roi, Toupain, Venedam, Vincent, and
- Guysborough County has Acadian descendants that resettled
there from Chezzetcook. They established the towns of Larry's River,
Charlos Cove, and Port Felix. Acadian surnames in this area include: Bellefontaine,
Benoit, Boudreau, David, Déon, Doiron, Fougère, Gerrior,
Mannette, Pellerin, Pettipas, Richard, and Roi.
| New Brunswick was the place that a number
of Acadians sought refuge before, during, and after the exile. Acadian
communities developed in several areas. Some resettled in the Beaubassin
area, though they have lost their Acadian culture in many ways. Along the
gulf shore you will find Acadians from Shediac and Cocagne up to Caraquet
and Bathurst. A few settled along the St. John River, with a number
settling the Madawaska area of NB/Maine.
| The origins of Acadians on the island come
from the families in the Malpeque area that avoided deportation.
Acadians still can be found in the NW corner of the island. They
can also be found in the Rustico area (north-central part of PEI) and the
Mount Carmel area (SW).
| In 1880, the Société Saint Jean
Baptiste of Quebec invited the Acadians to their congress. Dozens of Acadians
attended and decided to organize their own Acadian Convention the following
year. Over the next 100 years, a number of gatherings were held.
Generally, the topics were the same.
A short synopsis of the Acadian conventions,
starting in 1881, can be found on the Acadian
Conventions page. The gathering took on larger implications
and a new name with the first Congres Mondial Acadien in New Brunswick in 1994. Acadians gathered in Louisiana in
1999 for a second Congres Mondial Acadien and in Nova Scotia in 2004 for a third.
The fourth CMA is being held on the Acadian peninsula of New Brunswick in 2009.