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Ellen Degeneres - Acadian Ancestry

Lisa Kudrow recently appeared on the Ellen show to present her with one line of her ancestry.  The line goes back to Martin Aucoin, who is also an ancestor of Madonna.  Actually, I believe Jeanne and Michelle, Martin's two daughters mentioned by Lisa, were half-sisters.  They had different mothers. 

They lived a fairly peaceful life, with Jeanne's daughter Marie Madeline Girouard and husband Thomas Cormier moving to the Beaubassin area soon after it was settled in the 1670s. The family resided in that area (called the Chignecto Isthmus) until the time of the deportations in the 1750s.  It seems they managed to escape the deportations by moving into areas of New Brunswick further from English control.  But by the time of the treaty in 1763, we find Joseph Martin dit Barnabe (b. 1739) a prisoner in Halifax.  With the end of the war, they were released and allowed to leave.  They sailed to Louisiana in 1765 and settled along the Mississippi River in St. James Parish (known as the Acadian Coast).  By 1770, Joseph was serving as a fusilier in the First Company of the Acadian Coast militia unit.  The 1777 census shows the family on a 12 arpent tract of land on the left bank of the Mississippi.  They had 2 slaves, 20 cows, and 3 horses. The family consisted of
            Joseph 38 & wife Marguerite 37
            Sons Joseph 12 and Michel 4
            Daughters Marguerite 8, Marie 6, Pelagie 2

Below is a pedigree chart for Joseph Martin Sr., Ellen's ancestor mentioned on the show that journeyed to Louisiana.  The line goes:
            Martin Aucoin & Barbe Minguet
            Francois Girouard & Jeanne Aucoin
            Thomas Cormier & Marie Madeleine Girouard
            Pierre Cyr & Claire Cormier                      
           Ambroise Martin dit Barnabe & Anne Cyr
           Joseph Martin dit Barnabe & Marguerite Pitre
           Their son Joseph (b. 1765) is Ellen's g-g-g-g-grandfather.

The Acadian story is well-known by many, though not the general public.  It is a somewhat tragic story of the forced deportation of an entire culture which resulted in the death of half the population.  More details can be found in the history portion of this website.  Basically, the Acadians were peaceful people that wanted to stay out of the ongoing French-English conflicts.  But the English didn't want them on land they had acquired, so in the 1750s a plan was devised to deport the entire population.  In 1755, about 6,000 of them were rounded up and forcibly deported to the American colonies.  The rest of the population tried to escape to nearby areas.  In 1758, when Louisbourg fell, another 3,000 plus were deported to France.  With the treaty in 1763, they began trying to find a place to be together.  About 1500 made their way to Louisiana in 1765-68.  Another 1500+ (who had been sent to France in 1758) sailed to Louisiana in 1785.  These 3000 souls were somewhat of a dominating culture in south Louisiana, so that others (German, French, French-Canadian, etc.) who were there and who moved there were absorbed into the culture which became known as Cajuns (an English interpretation of the word Acadian).  Though the term Cajun was used as an insult when spoken by outsiders, as things such as Cajun food and music became in vogue the word became a more positive appellation. 

Note: If you want to start with Martin Aucoin and go down through his descendants to find a connection, I have an outline chart of the first 6 generations of Aucoins on the Aucoin page.

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