Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History » Français  
     As the settlement in the Minas Basin grew, it spread eastward around the bay towards the Avon River.  The settlement that grew up around the river became known as Pisiguit / Pigiguit / Pisiquid / Pisiguid.  It became so large that it was viewed as separate from Grand Pre.  In 1714, there were 351 people (in 56 families) there. The darkened green oval shows the location of the Pisiquit settlement. 
     The area was noted as not well off in a 1731 church report that also said Grand Pre and Rivier au Canard were doing well. In 1732, Gov. Armstrong put Father Monfils as priest in the area.

     By the mid-1700s, there were about 1400 people there.  Based on Charles Morris' Judge Morris' Remarks Concerning the Removal of the Acadians (N.S.H.S 1881), there were about 800 on the left bank (today's Falmouth-Hantsport area), about 100 on the right bank & Kennetcook River, and about 500 on the St. Croix River and today's Windsor area.   [Clark, 217]
      Another report (a memoir from 1748) noted that the area had 2700 Acadians (while Grand Pre and Canard had 2400).
    But the area lost its population rather quickly.  Pisiquit was the Acadian settlement closest to Halifax ... the newly forming English settlement.  When the English needed someone to blame for Indian attacks, or when they needed Acadians for road labor, the first place they went to was Pisiguit.  When English pressure began intensifying in the 1750s, the Pisiguit Acadians packed up and left, heading mainly towars the isthmus.

Fort Edward was built in 1750 on the east side of the mouth of the Pisiguid River. The first commandant was Capt. Gorham. He had a skirmish by the St. Croix River that year and was wounded.

Capt. Matthew Floyer was collecting quit rents in the area in 1754-1755. He wrote about the area and made a map (coming soon).

     A document titled "Remarks relative to tho return of the Forces in Nova Scotia," dated March 30, 1755, has the following account of the area. "Pisiquid or Fort Edward is a fort situated upon an eminence on tho southeast side of Mines Bason, between the rivers Pisiquid and St. Croix, to which we have access by laud by way of Fort Sackville, and is distant therefrom about 40 miles; we have also a communication therewith by the Bay of Fundy. There is a necessity of keeping a strong garrison hero, to send out detachments to scour the country for Indians and to keep the disaffected French inhabitants under subjection." (Anslow, p. 5)

After the deportation, Fort Edward was used as a site to hold Acadians.
A. Murray

Another map


Pisiquid had two parishes: La Sainte Famille & L'Assomption. At first, Pisiquid had only one parish (Notre Dame de l'Assomption), founded on Aug. 8, 1698.  But the people living on the other side of the river wanted their own church; crossing the river wasn't the easiest thing to do.  So the bishop at Quebec issued an edict to create the second parish of Ste. Famille on June 28, 1722. They were ministered to by a single priest, who preached at each church on alternate Sundays. In 1749, the l'Assomption parish protested to the bishop of Quebec that they had no priest.
    NOTE: The Dictionnaire notes that L’Assomption was at Pisiquid west, and Ste. Famille was at Pisiquid east, but the Ste. Famille cemetery was found on the west side of the river???


In 1759, Amos Fuller and John Hicks of Rhode Island agreed to settle 50 families at Pisiguid in 1759 and 50 more in 1760. In June 1760, almost 50 families arrived in West Falmouth. The government was paying for them to move and giving them arms, ammuniction, and one bushel of corn per person per month for a year. In July, they had a drawing for 28 lots to see who got the boards, timber, and buildings the Acadians left behind. For example, James Wilson and Joseph Northup got barn #8 and house #13.

In July 1762, 130 Acadian men were brought from Ft. Edward to Halifix. This left (according to a count on August 9, 1752) 313 Acadians being held at Ft. Edward ... 21 men, 90 women, and 202 children.. A list of Acadian prisoners at Ft. Edward was published in Cahiers de la Société Historique Acadienne 3, no. 4, V. 24, p. 158-164 and no. 5, V. 25, p. 188-192 (1969).

By 1763, the communities of Horton, Falmouth, Cornwallis,, and Newport had a population of 1936 (in 367 families). There were more Acadian prisoners on the east side of the Pisiquid than there were settlers in West Falmouth (356). The Acadian prisoners were hired (4 shillings/day) by the new immigrants to help fix the dikes in the new settlements.

Acadians did move back into the area, though some of those would move to St. Mary's in Annapolis County. Windsor was formed in 1764. Anslow mentions the remains of Acadian dykes near "the Island Acadian Burying Ground."

Ste. Famille CemeterySte. Famille Cemetery

     In summer 1996, a work crew was excavating the ground to begin construction on Gabriel Road in the Mountain View Subdivision near Falmouth, Nova Scotia.  After finding bones in the soil, David Christianson of the Nova Scotia Museum was called to come out to the site.    He found a couple of skeletons and over 2 dozen graves.  The graves were identified by clay caps which were about a foot under the surface.  The graves were five feet deeper. Wrought-iron square nails and fragments of wood dated the graves to the 18th century.  A King George III halfpenny and ceramic button from the 1700s were also found.  The discover of the graves placed the area under the provincial Special Places Protection Act.  Though the uncovered graves were scheduled to be studied, those not disturbed would be left in place.  It is estimated that the site contains over 300 graves. 
     Construction plans ceased and a committee was formed to take care of the situation.  Lot #7, which containes about 70% cemetery site was soon purchased.  The committee also borrowed money to purchase the remainder of the cemetery on lot #6.  The Ste. Famille church is thought to have been located on the site of lot #8, which is covered by a house. 
     The skeletal remains that were found have been put into storage until they can be reburied.

More >>     

West Hants Historical Society - They run a museum in Windsor, N. S. which includes a genealogy room.
Ste. Famille Cemetery
La pariosse de La Sainte-Famille (at
Acadian areas around Pisiguit
Photographs of Sainte-Famille Parish Cemetery
Hants County (Genweb)
Acadian Heritage in Hants County - includes a nice PDF map of Acadian landmarks
Sketch of the Old Parish Burying Ground of Windsor, Nova Scotia (Anslow, et al.)

Documents Relating to the Sainte Famille Cemetery (gone, but here is the archived page)
         • The Acadian Coverlet - an afghan being sold to help fund the Ste. Famille Cemetery project (gone, but here is the archived page)

May God bless you.
Copyright © 1997-09 Tim Hebert