Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History » Français  
Acadia ... 1670 to 1689
     Acadia was under French rule again. This period contains 3 censuses (1671, 1678, 1686) that give us the best information on who was in Acadia during its early years.
Let the censuses begin ...
      Though the Treaty of Breda in 1667 returned Acadia to France, Temple caused delays so that the new French governor (Hector d’Andigne de Grandfontaine) didn’t take official control till 1670.  He brought 30 soldiers and 60 settlers with him.  His job was to restore French authority and keep the English out.  He established his headquarters at Pentagouet.  Acadia was now a Crown colony.  Because it was between 2 rival colonies (New France and New England), Acadia was often the subject of dispute and attack.  Though a royal colony, it received little help from France.  To obtain materials they couldn't make or grow themselves, the Acadians continued to trade with the New Englanders, even though this was forbidden.  [Daigle, p. 24-25]

     With the arrival of Grandfontaine in 1670 came the directive to conduct a census. The first census in 1671 is our earliest look at the people who made up Acadia.  Since few 17th century Acadian church records have survived, we gather much of our genealogy from the census reports. 
     The 1671 Census was counted 392 people, though there were others not counted.  Most (350) of the population was in Port Royal, though there were scattered areas of settlement around Acadia.  A few were included, but not all. Others (ie. Clark, Rameau) have estimated the population of Acadia at this time as high as 500. 

     In the early 1670s, Jacques Bourgeois led a group of settlers to the Beaubassin area.  This area, probably visited by Bourgeois in his travels, held the largest area of marshland in Acadia. 

     Grandfontaine was replaced in 1673 by Jacques de Chambly. 

In the summer of 1674, Julian Aernoutz, a Dutch naval officer in command of the frigate Flying Horse, was ordered "to take, plunder, spoil, and possess any of the garrisons, towns, territories, privileges, ships, persons, or estates of any of the enemies of the great States of Holland." He sailed to New Orange (New York) and met Capt. John Rhoade who told him how easy it would be to conquer Acadia. By August 1, he had arrived at Pentagouet (military headquarters of Acadia). He found Chambly in charge with only thirty men and quickly captured the fort. He couldn't spare to leave men behind. He did write a short account of the conquest and put 2 copies in 2 glass bottles and buried them in the ground. After destroying the fort, they moved eastward. After less then 2 hours of fighting.  they took Ft. Jemseg and the area was plundered. Bottles with a written record of the conquest were buried there as well. Aernoutz declared that the area would now be called New Holland. But, like the English often did, once the valuables of the colony were taken he left them alone. [Daigle, p. 25]   De Chambly and Joibert were taken prisoner by the Dutch at this time. Upon returning to Boston, the cannon and other plunder was sold.

In 1676 Cornelis Steenwyck was appointed as governor of Acadia by the Dutch. But by that time, the French authorities had returned to Acadia.

For more information on the Dutch "period" of Acadia, check out the books Capt. Francis Champernowne,the Dutch Conquest of Acadie,and Other Historical Papers, (p. 127-159) edited by Albert H. Hoyt (Boston,1889) and Cornelis Steenwyck, Dutch Governor of Acadie, A Paper read at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association in Ottawa by John Clarence Webster (1929).

     Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges et de Marson took over the governorship role from 1677 to 1678.  When Marson died in July 1678, Frontenac (governor of  New France) wanted to take over Acadia so he sent Michel Leneuf de La Valliere as commander (though this was never approved by the king).  LaVilliere moved his family to Acadia and set up his headquarters at Beaubassin (The headquarters for Acadia was often outside of Port Royal.).  It is thought that he didn’t get official approval from the king because he sold fishing licenses to the English.  The Compagnie de la Peche Sedentaire (Compagnie d’Acadie), formed in 1682, complained about him.  The Compagnie was designed to encourage use of Acadians to dry and salt the fish, though it never really succeeded. 

     Another census was taken in 1678.  The 1678 census listed parents (no ages), number of sons and daughters (no names or ages), and livestock.

     Valliere was replaced in 1684 by Francois Marie Perrot, who continued LaValliere’s practices.  [Daigle, p. 27]    Perrot portrayed the Acadians as having a simple, pastoral existence.  They lived better than Canadians ... for they never lacked bread or meat.  But they weren’t as industrious, and never put away harvests in case of a bad year.  The dowries were usually less than 20-25 francs in goods, a cow in calf, a ewe, and a sow.       Well-off families sometimes included a feather bed. [Clark, p. 141]
In the mid 1680s, a number of Port Royal settlers decided to move north to the Grand Pre area.  The leader of this group was Pierre Terriau.  Other early settlers were Claude and Antoine Landry, Rene LeBlanc, and Pierre Melanson.  By 1686 in Minas, there were: 57 people, 10 families, 83 acres tilled, 90 cattle, 21 sheep, 67 pigs, and 20 guns. 
EARLY ACADIA by Claude Picard
EARLY ACADIA by Claude Picard

     Another census was done in 1686.  The 1686 census included more information than the one of 1678. 
     The Treaty of Whitehall in 1686 said that “their colonies in America shall continue in peace and neutrality”, but it was ignored.  In just a few years, they would see that the treaty would be ignored. 
     Priests at the Seminaire de Quebec were urged to go to Acadia.  Saint Vallier produced a written report of his 1686 visit, Estat present de l’Eglise et de la colonie francaise.  Father Petit had established a school at Port Royal in the 1670s.  The soeurs de la Congregation may have opened a girls school there in 1687. [Daigle, p. 32]

     Perrot was replaced as governor by Louis Alexandre des Friches de Meneval in 1687. 

     In 1688, Meneval noted that there was a shortage of labor and manure for developing the uplands.  There was a shortage of tidelands that would be easy to dyke.  He said this was the reason that 25-30 people (mostly younger) had moved to Minas in the last 6 years. [Clark, p. 141]

Continue to Acadia ... 1690 to 1710

Acadia: 1632-1653 * 1654-1670 * 1671-1689 * 1690-1709 * 1710-1729 * 1730-1748 * 1749-1758
May God bless you.
Copyright © 1997-09 Tim Hebert