Jacques Lor (also L’Or, Laure, Lore, and Lord) was born just a few kilometers from Port-Royal, Acadia, the second oldest of 10 children born to Julien Lor and Anne Charlotte Girouard.
In case you’re wondering about the spelling of his surname, today, it’s often spelled Lord, and sometimes Lore, but the original church records in Port Royal spell it L’Or, Lor, Laure, and Lore, but never, not one time is it spelled Lord until in later generations after the 1755 deportation.
Jacques is listed as eight years old on the 1686 Acadian census and 14 in 1693. In 1698, he is listed as age 20, 21 in 1700, and 23 in 1701, so he was probably born in 1679.
In 1703, he is listed with his parents who have four girls and four boys, of whom there are four arms-bearers in the family.
Jacques would have been one of those arms-bearers with a gun that probably looked something like this French Telle smooth flintlock musket or Fusil de chasse, “gun of the hunt,” commonly in use at that time.
This Iroquois hunter is carrying this same French trade gun.
French soldiers were issued this gun, so it’s likely the armament the French Acadian men would have been carrying as well.
Jacques, his parents, and siblings would have hunted and fished for their meals and probably dressed more like the Iroquois than the European French, wearing homespun woolen clothing, probably in addition to leather made from the skins of the animals they harvested for food. The bounty of the forest and waterways would have sustained them, along with any fruits and vegetables they could have raised.
Jacques grew up on the banks of the tidal Rivière du Dauphin, now renamed the Annapolis River. He probably fished for mackerel, bass, trout, and smelt then as the fishermen do now.
Beyond the estuary, above, looking towards the Lor family’s land, which is out of sight behind the bend on the left, the river empties into the Bay of Fundy near the Melanson settlement.
The Annapolis River Valley beneath the surrounding mountains is some of the most productive agricultural land in the province and enjoys a mild micro-climate produced by the mountains.
Perhaps Jacques’s father, Julien, had planted apple trees that grow in abundance in this region.
Jacques married Angélique Comeau, literally the girl from across the river. Her father, Pierre Comeau, lived about a mile and a half, by water, of course, from Jacques’s father, Julien Lor. Jacques would have rowed his birch-bark canoe to court the lovely Angélique.
They married on Monday, November 19, 1708, in Port-Royal
Well, we don’t actually know where they married, but it was recorded in the church books in Port Royal.
They may have been basking in honeymoon bliss, but around them, Queen Anne’s War began with hostilities between the English and French ramping up.
Jacques and Angélique had two children:
- Jacques Laure, named after his father, was born October 12 and baptized October 13, 1709, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Maurice Vignot and Catherine Comeau. He died on Saturday, October 28, 1786, in Nicolet, Quebec.
- Angelique Laure was born on September 22, 1711, and baptized by Sieur de Pobomkou Lejeune. Godparents were Claude Tibaudeau and Magdelaine Laure, Jacques’s sister. The baptism wasn’t recorded until February 11, 1712. She died sometime after 1730.
Something went wrong, though, and Angelique died sometime after her daughter’s birth in September and before the end of the year.
There may be more to the story of Angelique’s death.
All Hell Broke Loose
Never a peaceful place, the local priest, Justinien Durant, had been kidnapped and taken to Boston in January of 1711 and wasn’t returned until year-end. The baby’s baptism was delayed, as was the recording of Angelique Comeau’s burial.
Angelique’s death would have left Jacques with a two-year-old and a newborn. It would make sense for him to remarry quickly, but that may not be what happened, given what else was transpiring. The Acadians had been preparing for war for the past three years.
In 1708, the store at Fort Anne was built. Additionally, the Acadians were shoring up their defenses. A new powder magazine and bombproof barracks were built, and the riverbanks were cleared to remove cover for attackers. This would have included the land where Jacques and Julien Lor lived along the Dauphin River. Each man was responsible for protecting his homestead and family. Those arms-bearers were for more than just procuring food now.
An additional ship was built, and relationships were established with privateers who welcomed the opportunity to take English ships.
Prisoners taken from English corsairs reported that the English were planning attacks in 1708 and 1709. Everyone in the Acadian settlements was on high alert.
Port Royal was a market area. Soldiers paid a set price that was below market price. The church was miles away.
The Fort was established in 1630 near the River Alain, with the lower town along the main river by the fort. The upper town ran along Riviere Alain.
Farms ran along the basin and river from Goat Island 5 leagues above the fort as early as 1720. Settlements were in groups of 5-10 families. The largest group of 30 families (150-200 people) was around Belle Isle Marsh, 6-8 miles above the fort.
This map shows the region, along with the settlement areas, one of which is labeled Montagne Ville, upstream from the fort, on the north side of the River.
This original map from the Nova Scotia Archives shows this entire region. I’d wager that the reason that both Julien and Jacques Lor obtained the dit name of La Montagne can be found on this map.
This 1722 map of the entire River Basin, plus the fort and the nearby farms includes both the Lor, labeled La Montagne, and Comeau homesteads, labeled L’Esturgeon.
The LaMontagne homestead is designated at #12 and Comeau across the river at #43.
Here’s another view showing the mountains between the river and the bay. This mountain range would, in time, become known as “North Mountain.”
One Capt. Morris writes of how the channel south of Goat Island was shallow and rocky. Where the Lor family lived, east of Goat Island, it was wide and deep, but there was a strong ebb and flow of the tides. It was hard to control ships without a good wind.
The five miles from Goat Island to the Fort had water, even in low tides. Small vessels could travel as far as 18 miles above the fort, near present-day Bridgetown. Large boats could go 9 miles further to “the falls” on the tide if they could stand being beached at low tide. But the bottom was “intolerably rocky and foul.”
On September 24, 1710, Port Royal was attacked again by the English, who sent five ships and 3400 troops. This time, the English were well prepared. In addition to 400 marines from England, Massachusetts provided 900 soldiers, Connecticut 300, and New Hampshire 100. Iroquois were recruited as scouts.
It was ugly.
In preparation for conflict, the Governor of Acadia had begun construction of a stone and earthen fort in 1701 which was largely completed by 1704, six years before they desperately needed it.
The Acadians, with their 300 soldiers, stood absolutely no chance, although they did manage to hold the fort for 19 days that October of 1710. The episode became known as the Siege of Port Royal, or the Conquest of Acadia. Jacques, age 31, his father, Julien, age 57, and two of his brothers, Alexander, age 35, and Pierre, about 29, would have been involved. Every male old enough to handle a gun and not endanger themselves or someone else would have been holding that fort.
Here is what we know about the battle:
As the fleet sails north, it is joined by a dispatch ship sent by Thomas Matthews, captain of the Chester; it was carrying deserters from the French garrison, who reported that the morale of the French troops was extremely low . Nicholson sends the ship ahead with one of the transports; as they entered Digby Gully , they received fire from groups of Micmacs on the coast. The ships retaliate with their guns, with neither side taking any casualties. On October 5, the main British fleet arrived at Goat Island, about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) south of Port-Royal 23 . That afternoon, the Caesar transport runs aground while attempting to enter Annapolis and is eventually swept away by the rocks. Her captain, part of her crew and 23 soldiers died, while a company commander and some 25 other people fought ashore.
The following day, October 6, British marines began landing north and south of the fortress and town. The northern force was joined by four New England regiments under the command of Colonel Vetch, while Nicholson led the remaining New England troops as part of the southern force. The landings were uneventful, with fire from the fort being countered by one of Fleet’s long-range bombers 24. Although later accounts of the siege state that Vetch’s detachment was part of a strategic plan to encircle the fort, contemporary accounts report that Vetch wanted to have command somewhat independent of Nicholson. These same accounts state that Vetch never came within range of the fort’s guns before the end of the siege; his attempts to erect a battery of mortars in a muddy area opposite the fort, across Allain Creek were repulsed by the fire of 25 , 24 cannon. The southern force encountered guerrilla-type resistance outside the fort, with Acadian and native defenders firing small arms from houses and wooded areas, in addition to taking fire from the fort. This fire caused three deaths among the British, but the defenders could not prevent the British on the south side from establishing a camp about 400 meters from the fort.
Over the next four days the British landed their guns and brought them to camp. Fire from the fort and its supporters outside continued, and British bombers wreaked havoc inside the fort with their fire each night. With the imminent opening of new British batteries, Subercase sent an officer with a flag of parliament on 10 October. The negotiations started badly, because the officer was not announced correctly by a beater. Each side ended up taking an officer from the other, mainly for reasons of military etiquette, and the British continued their siege work.
On October 12, the forward siege trenches and guns within 91 m (300 ft) of the fort opened fire. Nicholson sends Subercase a demand for surrender, and negotiations resume. At the end of the day, the parties reach an agreement on the terms of surrender, which is formally signed the next day 29 . The garrison is permitted to leave the fort with all the honors of war, “their arms and baggage, drums beating and flags flying” 27. The British must transport the garrison to France, and the capitulation carries specific protections to protect the inhabitants. These conditions provide that “inhabitants of the cannon firing range of the fort” may remain on their properties for up to two years if they wish, provided they are prepared to take the oath to the British Crown.
Ironically, one of the terms of surrender stated that inhabitants within cannon-shot, three English miles, could stay for two years, meaning they had two years to transport their “moveable items” to a French territory which was any of the rest of Acadia, at least until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Of course, that meant abandoning their farms and decades of invested work. This edict would have applied to the Lor family including Jacques, his parents, and oldest sibling, Alexander who had married in 1703.
481 Acadians are reported to have pledged allegiance to the Queen of England, but I have been unable to find a list of the signatories. Then the French troops left Port Royal, now renamed by the English to Annapolis Royal.
450 English soldiers remained, but they clearly didn’t want to be there. By June of 1711, only 100 were left – the rest having either deserted or died. Acadians Guillaume Bourgeois, Jean Comeau, and Pierre LeBlanc of Annapolis; and Germain Bourgeois of Beaubassin and Francois Brassard of Chipody (who were passing through Annapolis) were arrested, but we don’t know the outcome.
Native Americans were involved on both sides and the “peace” was tense, at best.
In Grand Pre, the English arrived under the premise of peace but were there to take the property of the Acadians. Peter Melanson, Alexander Bourg, Anthony LeBlanc, John & Peter Landry were chosen to be deputies to bring the word to the Acadians who hadn’t heard that their property was now the government’s.
The Grand Pre Acadians were asked to pay 6000 livres ($1200) in money or in poultry, plus 20 pistoles ($80) every month to maintain the governor’s table. This, in addition to a tax to pay the troops that would allow them to travel to and trade with Port Royal.
A document was composed on November 16th saying that the deputies were granted the power to collect the money. Samuel Vetch, the Governor who took command immediately after the 1710 capture, wanted to extract as much money from the Acadians as possible. Six months of sickness and under-supply had reduced his forces to 100 men, and he couldn’t reasonably expect to impose the tax forcibly.
The Acadians weren’t used to being taxed and found every excuse possible not to pay or to pay as little as possible. When the Acadians were asked to help by working on fortifications, any number of excuses were offered up…horses were too thin, the Indians might attack, there was ice on the river, etc. This uncooperative attitude became a signature of the Acadians toward the British through the years. The Grand Pre residents flat refused to take that oath, stating that France and England were still arguing over boundaries, so they weren’t taking any oath until that was settled.
In 1711, a detachment of British soldiers from Fort Anne went upriver and was ambushed by a band of Indians. Thirty soldiers, a major, and the fort engineer were killed at Bloody Creek, 12 miles east of Annapolis Royal.
On April 13, 1713, Acadia officially passed to England, with France ceding all of Nova Scotia or Acadia with its 2000 residents. One author reported that in the past century, France had sent less than 200 colonists to Acadia and, at this point, focused on Louisiana. Port Royal was renamed Annapolis Royal and the Rivière du Dauphin was renamed the Annapolis River. I’d bet that the Acadians continued to refer to both with their original French names for the duration of their lives.
The British wanted to deport the Acadians at that time, but they realized that they needed the Acadians to feed them. The Acadians knew the land and how to make it produce.
Vetch wrote to his superiors in London on November 24, 1714:
“One hundred of the Acadians (who) were born upon this continent and are perfectly at home in the woods, (and) can march upon snowshoes and understand the use of birch canoes, are of more value and service than five times their number of raw men newly arrived from Europe. So their skill in the fishery, as well as the cultivating of the soil must make at once Cape Breton the most powerful colony the French have in America, and to the greatest danger and damage to all the British colonies as well as the universal trade of Great Britain.”
He also wrote to the Board of Trade in London:
“The removal of (the Acadians) and their cattle to Cape Breton would be a great addition to that new colony, so it would wholly ruin Nova Scotia unless supplied by a British colony, which could not be done in several years, so that the Acadians with their stocks of cattle remaining here is very much for the advantage of the Crown.”
In other words, if the Acadians removed to another French area, it would simultaneously strengthen that colony while devastating Nova Scotia.
Reportedly, another 36 Acadians signed a provisional oath on January 13, 1716, to “be faithful and maintain true allegiance to His Majesty King George, as long as I shall be in Acadia or Nova Scotia and that I shall be permitted to withdraw where so ever I shall think fit with all my moveable goods and effects when I shall think fit without any one…to hinder me.”
We will see.
The 1714 Census
Jacque was married for the first time in 1708, so the first and only census where he would be found as a head of household is in 1714, where he is listed as “Jacques La Montagne and wife, one son and one daughter,” who was living near the fort at Port Royal. This census was taken by the British.
This is confusing since Jacques’s wife died in 1711, and he didn’t remarry, at least not that we know of, until 1721. It would be very unusual for Jacques to remain unmarried for a decade, especially with two very young children, so it’s entirely possible that he had a second wife between Angelique and Marie Charlotte that we know nothing about.
Did Jacques remarry during the time in 1711 while the priest was gone? Did something transpire during the war years? Or is the census incorrect? He only has two children, presumably those born to Angelique, in the census.
I checked every church record by any similar name from 1712 through 1720 to see if Jacques is listed as either a groom or a father in a baptismal record, and he is not.
If Jacques remarried, there would surely have been children and either the marriage or his wife’s death would have been recorded. Apparently, the census was wrong about his wife, or the presumed wife was a female caring for those two children. Someone had to help as he could not take care of young children and work the fields, on the dykes, and hunt simultaneously – not to mention the ongoing warfare in the region. My original guess was that one of either his or Angelique’s siblings took those children during this time, perhaps their godparents. If that was the case, then they would not have been listed with Jacques in the census, along with a wife.
The only other possibility that I can think of, and it’s remote, is that either Jacques married or employed a Native non-Catholic woman during this decade. We know Native people were living near Port Royal because they are shown with the Acadians in the 1708 census. The Native people were heavily intermarried with the Acadians. Records of Native families, unless they were converted Catholics, would not be found in the church records. However, given the Lor family’s commitment to Catholicism, I think this scenario unlikely, so please do not put this in any trees. I’m dying to know who that 1714 mystery woman is though. It’s possible she may be one of Jacques’s older nieces who stepped up to help out. The British census-taker probably presumed wife. Language would have been a barrier.
A Lose-Lose Situation
The area was still in upheaval. By now, the Acadians were willing to leave and settle elsewhere in French Canada, but in a twist of jaw-dropping irony, the British wouldn’t let them. In Vetch’s 1714 letter to London, he said that except for two families from New England, everyone else wanted to move to Isle Royal. He states that it would empty the area of inhabitants. Even the Indians (with whom the French intermarried and shared their religion) would take their trade to Isle Royale to follow the Acadians. This would make Isle Royale a much larger colony and put Nova Scotia in danger.
He also mentioned that some families, those with few belongings, had already moved, but the rest planned on doing so the next summer after the harvest is in, taking their 5000 cattle, sheep, and hogs with them. This tells us that each of the approximately 500 families each had about ten head of cattle. Vetch said that their removal would revert the colony to a primitive state, requiring a long time and lots of money to obtain that much livestock to import from New England.
Suddenly, the Acadians were valuable.
Some Acadians tried to leave in homemade boats but were caught and returned. Many didn’t plant their fields because they thought they were leaving. Now, they were essentially being held hostage in their own lands that they thought they were being forced to lose, but now can’t depart, and there are no crops to harvest.
What a mess.
In 1715, the Fort gates were shut, and the Acadians were prevented from trading with the Fort and also with the Indians. The Acadians were ready to leave, but they couldn’t.
The situation dragged on.
In 1717, Captain Doucette became the Lieutenant Governor. By this time, some Acadians had decided to stay, on peaceful terms. When the Indians learned about this, they threatened the Acadians. Though they had always been friends and many were relatives, the Indians didn’t want the Acadians to defect to the English side. Doucette demanded that all Acadians take the oath, but they thought that by doing so, it would tie them down … and they still wanted to move. The Acadians said if they were to stay, they wanted protection from the Indians, and the oath would have to be stated in a manner such that they would not have to fight their own countrymen. However, Doucette wanted an unconditional oath, and nothing happened due to the impasse.
On May 9, 1720, those who had become British subjects were offered free exercise of their religion, a guarantee to their property and their civil rights. Official notices were translated into French to be distributed, a policy that continued from 1720 to 1755. An offer was made that they could leave but not take any of their possessions with them.
They answered that they feared the Indians if they took the oath and promised to be faithful and peaceful. They explained that they couldn’t leave in the year (allotted by the treaty) because no one would buy their land. The French government wanted them to move, but the land they had to offer in exchange was poor, and the English government was underhandedly making them stay. The English didn’t want to lose their source of supplies. The British complained that the Acadians were hard to control…the Minas Acadians even more so than the Port Royal Acadians.
I suspect that “hard to control” is an understatement! The Acadians were furious and, furthermore, understood that the English needed them, and hated that they did.
Those poor Acadians. This is the drama that never ends.
Plot Twist, Or Two
General Phillips arrived later in 1720 and issued a proclamation that they must take the oath unconditionally or leave the country in three months. He also said they couldn’t sell or take any of their property with them, thinking that would surely force the Acadians to take the oath. They still refused, saying that the Indians were threatening them. When the Acadians proposed, “let us harvest our crops and use vehicles to carry it,” Philipps figured that they were planning on taking their possessions with them and denied their request.
The Acadians felt that their only route of “escape” was by land, so they began to make a road from Minas to Port Royal, about 70 miles.
The governor issued an order that no one should move without his permission and sent an order to Minas to stop work on the road.
The English stated that the Acadians desired to take the Port Royal cattle to Beaubassin, about 300 miles today by road but not nearly as far by water. Beaubassin was a fortified French possession.
Removing a food source was the last thing the English wanted.
Philipps pronounced the Acadians ungovernable, stubborn, and that they were directed by bigoted priests. He went on to say that the Acadians couldn’t be allowed to go because it would strengthen the population of their French neighbors. The Acadians were also needed to build fortifications and to produce supplies for the forts. He stated that they couldn’t leave until there were enough British subjects to be settled in their place. He hoped that plans were being made to bring in British subjects. He expected problems from the Indians, who didn’t want the Acadians to move.
Instead, France began sending people to Ile Royal. The fort at Louisbourg was begun in 1720. Other settlements in the region included St. Pierre near the Straight of Canso, which had slate mines, and Niganiche, further north on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a fishing port.
Life Went On
Among this drama that had continued for more than a decade, family life went on, despite everything. People got married, babies were born and baptized, people died and were buried. The Priests did their jobs, and the Acadian families supported each other. Their religious ceremonies and services, along with the seasonal activities, gave their lives some semblance of rythym and normalcy.
I can only imagine the heated discussions surrounding those requested and then required oaths though. Gatherings must have been interesting.
I’m sure that everyone was anxious and afraid, constantly under threat of losing everything up to and including their loved ones and their lives.
It was under this cloud that Jacques married secondly to Charlotte Bonnevie on Monday August 18, 1721, in Port-Royal, err, I mean Annapolis Royal. Perhaps, at least for a few days, the newlyweds didn’t notice anything else.
Jacques is recorded as Angelique’s widower, not as the widower of anyone else. Of course, if the church didn’t recognize a marriage, they wouldn’t have recognized him as a widower either.
Jacques and Charlotte Bonnevie had eight children.
- Charles L’or was born on November 23 and baptized on November 24, 1722, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Charles Thibaudaut and Francoise Bonnevie. He married Marguerite Garceau, daughter of Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet, on Monday January 20, 1755, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Witnesses were Claude Landry, Jean-Baptiste Poirier, Charles Melancon, Jean Granger.
- Joseph L’Or or Lor was born and baptized on February 19, 1725, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Joseph Amiraut and Jean Doucet, wife of Pierre L’Or. He married Marie-Josephe Garceau, daughter of Pierre Garceaux and Agnes Doucet, on Tuesday February 3, 1750, in Port-Royal. Witnesses were Pierre Lore, Charles Lore, Pierre Garceaux, and Laurent Doucet.
In 1725, it seemed that a solution might have been reached regarding that oath of allegiance after ill-tempered Governor Armstrong arrived. Despite his disposition and violent temper, he realized he needed the Acadians and convinced the Port Royal Acadians, representing about one-fourth of the Acadian population, to take the oath by reminding them that England would not allow Catholics to serve in the Army. Their concern was having to fight against their countrymen and family members. Encouraged by his success, he tried the same thing in Minas, but it failed.
Then he offered to allow them to take the following oath: “I do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Second, so help me God.” This meant that they wouldn’t have to “take up arms” against the French or Indians, they could leave whenever they wanted, and they had the freedom to have priests and to practice the Catholic religion.
At this point, they began to be known as the “Neutral French” or French Neutrals. This seems like a much better environment in which to build a family. Jacques’s next child arrived in 1728.
- Pierre Benjamin Lor was born on January 25, 1728, and baptized the next day in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Pierre Olivier, resident of Beaubassin, and Marie Doucet, wife of Charles Lor. He married Marie Blanchard in May 1762 in exile and had his marriage validated in Kamouraska, Quebec, on August 10, 1764.
That Oath – AGAIN
In 1729, that 1725 oath was considered too lenient and declared null and void. Everyone was unhappy, but the Acadians were unwavering in their insistence on a conditional oath, which they took in 1730.
This is where it gets interesting.
Phillips, the old commander that was sent to replace Armstrong, reported that the Acadians took this oath:
“I sincerely promise and swear, as a Christian, that I will be utterly faithful and will truly obey His Majesty King George the Second, whom I acknowledge as the sovereign Lord of Nova Scotia and Acadia. So help me God.”
That’s what Phillips reported back to London, but the actual oath continued, as follows:
“… that the inhabitants, when they have sworn hereto, will not be obliged to take up arms against France or against the Savages, and the said Inhabitants have further promised that they will not take up arms against the King of England or against its government.”
The priest and a notary signed as witnesses, but Phillips only sent the first part back to England, in essence buying peace with this move.
For the next 15 or 20 years, the Acadians were left alone, and their population grew rapidly. However, those additional people strained the seams of the Acadian settlements and the Acadians were not free to colonize additional areas. England banned Acadian development of new land, but they did expand gradually into areas adjacent to their settlements. The Acadians were hard-working, skilled at their tasks, traded well, and had high moral standards. They built dykes so that all of the land was available for farming. Farms were divided within families since new land was reserved for Protestants. Catholicism was prohibited, but the English turned an intentional blind eye, and the Acadians worshiped without interference.
Ironically, the British continued to try to tax the Acadians, who continued to refuse and evade their efforts. The Acadians had come masters of excuses.
Based on all of this, we know that the Jacques Lore family was living near the fort, along the Annapolis River on family land, as had his father, Julien, who died in 1724.
The Family Grows
Jacques and Charlotte added five more children to their family.
- Jean Lor was born August 9th and baptized August 13, 1730, in Port Royal. Godparents were Rene Petito and Angelique Lor, daughter of Jacques Lor. He married Marie Garceau, daughter of Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet, around 1765, probably in New York. The marriage was revalidated in Bécancour on September 28, 1767.
- Paul Lore was born and baptized on December 21, 1733. Godparents were Jacques Bonnevie and Marie Lore, Jacques’s sister.
- Claude Poncy Lore was born on September 21, 1736, and the baptism was registered on August 12, 1737. Godparents were Pierre Lanoue and Marguerite Beliveau.
- François Lore was born on August 10, 1739, and was baptized the same day. Godparents were Joseph Lore and Francoise Lore.
- Honoré Laure was born on June 17, 1742, and baptized by Abraham Bourg. The baptism was registered on June 24, 1742. Godparents were Francois Miraut and Marie Joseph Laure. He married Appoline Garceau, daughter of Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet, around 1765, probably in New York. The marriage was rehabilitated in Bécancour on September 28, 1767.
Charlotte Bonnevie is widely reported to have died in 1758 when a ship sank, but I question this narrative. I’ll discuss this further in her article.
Something Happened in 1742
One thing that makes me suspicious is that their last baptized child was Honoré, born in 1742 when Charlotte was only 36 years old. It would be very unusual for her not to have given birth to at least two if not three or four additional children.
Jacques’ mother lived until January of 1742. He probably helped her on the home place, if he didn’t live there with her. It’s also possible that the reason there were no more children after 1742 was that Jacques died too.
A 1745 report from Port Royal said the Acadian homes were “wretched wooden boxes, without conveniences, and without ornaments, and scarcely containing the most necessary furniture …” A visitor in the 1750s stated that “the houses of the village (Annapolis Royal) … are mean, and in general built of wood.”
The situation deteriorated significantly under Governor Charles Lawrence, who wanted to get rid of the Acadians. He used acts of individuals to make charges against the whole population. He revoked the former governor’s orders not to use military force if the Acadians refused to comply. One example was that if an Acadian was ordered to get firewood, and he didn’t do it promptly … his house would be used for fuel.
The Expulsion Begins
In 1742, Abraham Bourg who baptized Honoré also lived near the Fort, so it makes sense that Jacques’s family was still living in that vicinity in 1755 when the Expulsion began. They hadn’t been free to go anyplace else.
On July 28, 1755, Governor Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council decided to deport the Acadians. The horrific campaign began on August 11th. Many Acadians, especially outside of the Annapolis Royal area took to the woods and, in essence, disappeared into the Micmac population.
The Acadians and their Native allies and family members provided much more resistance than the British expected. They spent years clearing and chasing the Acadians, never completely eradicating them.
Stephen White estimated that there were a total of about 14,100 Acadians, with about 11,500 being deported and at least 5,000 of those perishing of disease, starvation, and shipwrecks. Another estimate suggests that half of the Acadians “disappeared” into remote areas, or maybe disappeared altogether. We’ll never know or account for everybody. We do know that some Acadian families escaped to Camp d”Esperance.
The British had difficulty rounding up the Acadians in the Port Royal area, which took them from August until December 1755. The Acadians were not going to relent and “go quietly into the night” without resistance.
According to Acadian.org:
“The Acadians at Annapolis Royal were then shipped off from Goat Island at 5:00 o’clock in the morning on Monday, December 8, 1755. Lawrence specifically instructed that the sloop Dove be sent to Annapolis to take the inhabitants to Connecticut “to which the vessel belongs.” Many died upon this ship as it was blown off course for months. It left with 278 exiles and arrived in Connecticut almost six months later with only 180.
Another ship departed from Port Royal on December 15th for Connecticut with 114 unwilling passengers, and at least one more vessel left with 280 in January 1756.
The Brigge Experiment also departed for New York on December 8th with 250 aboard One report states that it too was also blown off course, arriving in May, but another states that it arrived on January 30, 1756.
A second ship left for New York as well from Cape Sable which is on the far southwest tip of Nova Scotia, so unlikely to have carried Jacques’s family.
Other ships were also destined for Pennsylvania and Maryland, but it does not appear that Jacques’s family was on board those, assuming, which is always a bad idea, that they had all managed to board the same ship.
Jacques’ family would have been herded into some ship that set sail with its unwilling hostages, landing a few weeks or months later with nothing except each other and the clothes they were wearing. The lucky ones hadn’t lost family members in the process.
What Happened to Jacques?
Here’s the challenge. We don’t know if Jacques or his wife, either one, was alive in 1755.
One researcher reported that after the exile, Jacques returned to Canada with his son Pierre-Benjamin and they settled in Kamouraska where Jacques died. That’s accurate for Pierre, but I have found no evidence that Jacque either arrived or died there. He should have a burial record. They also reported that Jacque and Angelique’s three children produced no heirs. I’m not sure quite how they arrived at this conclusion, but Jacques and Angelique only had two children. The third child attributed to them by this researcher actually belonged to Jacques’s brother.
I checked PRDH and found no indication in the church records that Jacques ever made it to Quebec. The earliest Quebec records for a Jacques Lord/Laure or any other spelling are in Kamouraska in 1764 when the first Acadians began arriving from afar. In 1764, Jacques would have been 86 years old. It’s not impossible, but it’s unlikely that he lived that long.
The Jacques that witnessed this marriage might be one source of the confusion. This Jacques is probably Jacques’s son who died in Quebec in 1786.
It’s possible that both Jacques and his wife were both deceased prior 1755, meaning that his children boarded those ships as orphans. It’s almost certain that one of them had died by 1743 when Charlotte would have become pregnant with the next child.
In 1742, Jacques would have been 53 years old.
He would have been 66 in 1755 with children ranging in age from 13 to 46, beginning with his eldest surviving child, Jacques. We know the bolded individuals survived until at least shortly before the exile began.
- Jacques – age 46 – apparently never married. Died in Quebec in 1786 after the exile.
This Jacques has been confused with his father who was born in 1679 and would have been 97 years old in 1786, not 79.
- Angelique – age 43 if she survived. We have no marriage or death record for her although we know she was alive in 1730 when she witnessed a baptism.
- Charles – age 33 – married in 1755 just a few months before the deportation began.
- Joseph – age 30 – married in 1750.
- Pierre Benjamin – age 27 – married Marie Joseph Blanchard in 1763 in Exile and died in Quebec.
- Jean – age 25 – married in exile and later died in Quebec
- Paul – age 22 if he survived. Nothing after his baptism.
- Claude Poncy – age 19 if he survived. Nothing after his baptism.
- Francois – age 16 if he survived. Nothing after his baptism
- Honore – age 13 – married in exile and settled in Quebec at the end of the exile.
We know of ten children who might have been living, and that six were living in 1755. We only know of four that survived the exile, although it’s possible that there were more. Not everyone may have moved to Quebec.
The Garceau Alliance
What we do know, positively, is that three of Jacques’s children, Charles, Jean and Honore, all married daughters of Daniel Garceau; Charles in January 1755 just before the exile began, and Jean and Honore during exile. A fourth son, Joseph, married Daniel Garceau’s brother’s daughter in 1750. Those families were located in close proximity before the deportation when Charles and Joseph married, as well as later, someplace in exile, when Honore and Jean married Garceau sisters.
Daniel Garceau is found in New York which tells me that Jacques Lore’s family and Daniel’s were both on the Brigge Experiment.
On the 1763 list of Acadians in New York, we find Daniel Garceau with his wife and children, plus Charles Lord (seigneur), his wife and a child. Charles Laure married Marguerite, Daniel Garceau’s daughter. We also find Pierre Lort (probably Lore/Lord) with a wife and four children.
Additionally, we find two of Alexander Lore’s daughters and their husbands on this list. Alexander was Jacques’s brother.
This strongly suggests that Jacques’s family was upon the Brigge Experiment, along with Daniel Garceau, especially given that Jacques’s sons, Honore and Jean both married Daniel’s daughter in exile.
Not all of Jacques’s children may have wound up in the same location. It’s well known that the British were ruthless in terms of separating families, even children, from their parents. Clearly, some of Jacques’s nieces and nephews and perhaps his siblings could and did end up in other locations.
In Connecticut, we find Charles, Jean, Louis, and Pierre Lord, along with several married females. None appear to be Jacques’s children. Identification is difficult due to same-name practices.
Jacques’s sister, Anne, who married Mathieu Doucet was shipped to Massachusetts where they are found in Newbury in 1760, then in Connecticut in the 1763 census.
Almost all of our information about Jacques is inferred from his marriages and his children’s baptisms. We interweave those events with the known and documented history of the Acadians, particularly in Nova Scotia.
We know where Jacques lived, almost exactly, and we can infer that he defended his homeland in 1711.
We know that his surname wasn’t Lord at all and was pronounced Lor, L’Or or Lore based on how the various priests entered his family surname into Port Royal church records.
We probably found the answer to how he obtained his “dit” name of LaMontagne, the mountain, in Frence.
He may well have died in 1742, given that we have absolutely no record of him after his son Honore’s birth. We don’t know if he lived to see his family forced into exile in 1755. The only reason we know where at least some of his children were during that time is their association with the Daniel Garceau family. You can’t marry who you don’t see.
Jacques was the first generation Lor ancestor who was born in Acadia and may have died and been buried in that soil too. If so, he was the only Lor ancestor to live his entire life in beautiful but perilous Nova Scotia. Either way, his entire life would have been spent with some non-trivial level of anxiety. It’s horrible when unsafe is simply normal.
Given the history unfolding around him, it’s not surprising that it appears that Jacques could neither read nor write. Neither could his children. No time for education when simply surviving takes every waking minute.
Perhaps his legacy can be summed up in one word – survival.
What he survived, assuming he did, was genocide.
The first burning that Jacques would have remembered was the 1690 torching of the church and 28 homes by the English out of Boston. Apparently, the upriver farms were spared, which, hopefully, included his home. He was only 11, and even if their home was not burned, they would have had no assurance that it wouldn’t be. The terror would have been palpable as the family watched the orange, smoke-filled sky and waited. I’d wager his parents took the children into hiding in some location, probably up in the mountains. Or maybe his mother gathered the children to safety, and his father stayed to fight.
Jacques had to wonder if he’d ever see his father, or home, again. Maybe he begged to stay and fight with his father and probably his older brother. Perhaps they let him.
The next burning by the English occurred six years later, in 1696, and included slaughtering livestock and ruining the Acadian’s dykes for spite. I’d wager that Jacques grew up both fearing and despising the English. Attacks like this were a repeated occurrence throughout Jacques’s life along the Rivière du Dauphin.
England and France were engaged in perpetual conflict, culminating, of course, with the 1755 Grande Derangement, as the Deportation and exile became known to the Acadians.
If Jacques survived that long, the last scene he would have seen of his homeland as they sailed away was…you guessed it…burning. What a horrific memory. Adding insult to injury, they were being sent to live in the British colonies where no one wanted them as paupers – and they assuredly didn’t want to be. Either paupers, living among the British in the colonies, or refugees.
The fact that Jacques managed to survive at all and protect his family is nothing short of a miracle. The Acadians were incredibly resourceful, resilient, and tenacious people. They may have been defeated at that point in time, but they were not destroyed.
Their lifeblood runs in an estimated three million descendants worldwide today. Whether he knew them or not, Jacque had at least 27 grandchildren through his five children known to have married and produced offspring. There were probably at least five more, born during the exile, who may or may not have survived.
Jacque lives on.
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