François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403

François Lafay, Lafaye or Lafaille is a mystery man.

Let’s start out with what we absolutely, positively know about his history, which isn’t much.

He was the father of my ancestor, Marie Lafay or Lafaille. Marie’s mother was Acadian, but from everything we find, including records we don’t find, François was not. He nor anyone by that surname, or even a similar surname, was listed on any of the Acadian census rolls or other resources from the time the Acadians spent in either Nova Scotia (Acadia) or in exile.

He did, however, meet Marie’s mother, Marie DeForest (Foret, Forest, LaForet, LaForest), in New England, someplace in the colonies, after the Acadians were abruptly expelled in 1755 from their maritime homes in Nova Scotia.

The Acadians spent about a decade in forced exile, but some remained longer in their new homeland. Of course, the problem is that we don’t know, except in generalities, where that homeland was. Nor did they consider it a homeland. They were a displaced people, forced into poverty and sometimes servitude, deported against their will by the English who forcibly took their lands. They were French, spoke French, and were Catholic. The English who rounded them up and herded them onto ships after burning their farms often irrecoverably split families. The Acadians did not settle in a single group. Different ships carrying heartbroken refugees arrived in different locations along the eastern seaboard and elsewhere. None of those places were welcoming, although some tried their best to accommodate the now-destitute families.

If François was French, and with a name like François, he most certainly was – it would have been natural for him to be drawn to other French-speaking people.

Is there anything else we can discern from his name?


Per FamilySearch, LaFay is a French metonymic occupational name for someone who caught and sold quails, a variant of Caille with a fused feminine definite article la. So, in essence, his patronymic ancestor may have been a man involved with quails.

It can also be a topographic name for a person living on a patch of pebbly or stony soil,; or a habitational name from La Caille, the name of several places in various parts of France.

In the book, Les Canadiens-Français: origine des familles émigrées de France, d’Espagne, de Suisse, etc., pour venir se fixer au Canada, a book about the origins of French-Canadian families by specific names, La Faye is shown as a commune of Charente, arr. by Ruffec. It also states, translated, “Fay, bundled hoops or circles and faye, forest place, forest, ewe.”

Ruffec, Charente is a stopover town on the road from Paris to Spain (Route National 10) between Poitiers and Angouleme.

This was an interesting exercise but not much help.

Who He’s Not

Before going any further, I’d like to eliminate one erroneous identity.

There is one François Faille, born in November 1741, in LaPrairie, Quebec to François Faille and Marie Anne Brosseau. He married Marie Joillet in 1783, in LaPrairie, Quebec. This man and our François Lafay are two different people with similar names.

We know this because the marriage rehabilitation of our François states that he and Marie LeForest married in New England in 1767, and he had children contiguously with Marie before and after his arrival in L’Acadie, in Southern Quebec. He was married to her until her death in 1819, and we know that their children born prior to 1788 were born in the colonies. Therefore, this man born in 1741 in Quebec and who lived and married in 1783 there cannot be our François LaFay/LaFaye.

Another record sometimes confused with our François LaFay or Lafaille is this 1766 notarial record in Quebec.

This is possibly the François Faille who was married to Marie Anne Brosseau, or his son, François Faille who was born in November of 1741.

We know our François was in New England a year later, and he always signed his name LaFaye, never Lafaille, although later records in Quebec sometimes spelled it phonetically. It’s clear though, that this list was not made by the people involved, because the handwriting is all the same. So surnames could have been spelled any which way.

The Notarial Seigneur, Antoine Crispin Sr. served in Chateau-Richer, north of Quebec City.

French Sailor

One piece of information about our François is revealed through his daughter, Marie Lafay who, amid much conflict, converted to Protestantism late in life. Henrietta Feller was one of the missionaries who befriended Marie, also known as Mary.

In Henrietta Feller’s diary, quoted in A Lower Canada Baptist Beginning, she wrote about Marie/Mary Lafay/Lafaille Lord’s conversion to Protestantism saying that Marie’s father, François was a French sailor who settled in Boston.

Mary was reportedly born Marie Lafay to an Acadian mother and French father, although we don’t actually know if she was born in Boston or elsewhere. Her 1767 birth occurred at a time when many Massachusetts Acadians traveled to Boston to petition for transport to return to Canada.

Some Acadians, however, were considering staying in the colonies, taking into account:

…the dangers of sea travel, which included storms, sinking, contagions and even piracy, recently illustrated by the fate of 80 young Acadians taken and pressed into the service of privateers. They knew that they retained no place or residual rights in Nova Scotia. Moreover, old age, the very ache of their 50-year-old bones, reminded them how difficult it would be to scratch out a new place on leftover and, thus difficult, lands. Just perhaps, they still resisted taking an oath to the throne…Just possibly they and their children began to envision rural Massachusetts as home…children had no doubt learned English and accustomed themselves to the ways of these strangers. Time had not resulted in their isolation, and familiarity with Protestants and colonial law had not bred contempt.

Marie Lafay, according to various reports, had in fact, been exposed to Protestant teaching while in exile.

Perhaps Mary’s mother’s family had settled in and became somewhat established over the 11 years since the expulsion from Nova Scotia began. After their 1767 marriage, maybe there was no driving motivation for Mary’s parents to leave. By the time they did, nearly 20 years later, many children had been born, and others were nearly raised. Mary was educated in a Protestant school and learned to read the Bible there.

Was François Lafay Protestant, at least initially, and not Catholic?

According to what François’s daughter, Mary Lafay Lore, told the Baptist missionaries, her elderly maternal grandmother, Marie Josèphe Le Prince, became upset in 1787 that her children were losing their Catholic religion and culture and made the decision to send the family back to Canada.

Mary also revealed that she had encouraged her father, François Lafay, to make the 1788 trip to Canada after something she recalled as “a fearful disappointment.” Clearly, they were close.

I wonder if Mary’s disappointment was personal in nature, perhaps a suitor, or was it something more widespread? It is interesting to note that Pliny Moore, Mary’s close friend, was married in January of 1787 in Vermont. It may or may not be relevant, but it is a possibility.

We don’t know what Mary’s disappointment was, but according to historian Joseph Amato’s research into one Acadian family, Marie’s family’s experience may have been similar.

The Revolutionary War magnified federal and state debts, leaving the majority with useless currency and no means to repay debts, turning newly ordained national citizens into ordinary migrants and squatters. The battle raged between creditors and debtors. Between the financial and mercantile coast against the farmers of the inland countryside. Shay’s Rebellion, an intense revolt of the indebted in Massachusetts, resulted in a terrible shock to the new nation. It ended in 1787, having accomplished little. Many migrated back to the larger coastal cities where there was a chance to find work and make money or initiated the great trek inward toward the frontiers.

Regardless of what event or combination of events caused the Lafay/Lafaille family to join other Acadian families in Quebec, they made that journey by the summer of 1788.

Where Did François Come From?

What can we discover about François’s early years, if anything?

I found an undated paper written by Bernard H. Doray from Montreal, Canada, who, unfortunately, appears to be deceased. His paper titled “History of François Lafaye and Marguerite Foret” provides sourced information I have not found elsewhere, for which I’m extremely grateful.

Based on Henrietta Feller’s recollection of what Mary Lafay told her about François in Boston, Bernard questioned how a French man would be able to settle in Boston, given that England and France were at war until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, which ended the conflict between France and Great Britain over control of North America. I had wondered the same thing.

Bernard then states that his nephew discovered a muster roll of a warship, the Grand St-Jean-Baptiste, in the French Naval Archives.

The ship sailed on February 2, 1757, from Bordeaux with an apprentice sailor, “mousse” in French, François Lafaye, age 13, from Puy-Paulin, which is the name of both a Castle and Parish in Bordeaux, France.

François is listed at the bottom of the first column, with a reference number which is found on the following pages.

An age of 13 places this François’s birth in 1743 or 1744 which correlates with our François’s birth year based on his death entry in 1824 where he was stated to be 80 years old.

Click to enlarge images

François was paid 10 somethings, probably livres – the currency of the time. He and three other apprentices were the lowest paid on the ship. There is only one younger boy, age 12. All five of the mousses, apprentice sailors, were between the ages of 12 and 15 and paid either 10 or 12 of whatever.

I can’t help but wonder if these youngest boys were orphans. Most parents would be very reluctant to allow a boy of that age to go to sea, possibly never to return.

It’s worth noting that there is another Guillaume La Faye, a 35-year-old cooper, but he is not from the same location, or even close.

Guillaume was older, from Saint-Remy, finished the campaign, and was discharged at Port-Louis on April 29, 1758.

Saint Remy to Puy-Paulin is quite distant. The commonality is that they are both located very near to major coastal cities. Many men on the ship’s roster were from Bordeaux.


Today, it’s difficult to find the Puy-Paulin castle, at least by that name.

Par Jefunky — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0,

That’s because today, the castle has been converted into the Hotel de l’Intendance.

Here’s the fortified Chateau Puy-Paulin in the city of Bordeaux in 1550.

The view across the rooftops of one of three Roman castle towers in 1638.

In 1743, the castle consisted of several buildings from different periods, joined together in 1744 by a large carriage entrance flanked by two pavilions.

This 1755 map shows the concert hall at the top, which burned, the grove, and the French garden in the center, with the inner courtyard and porte-cochere, where coaches deposited their passengers, at the bottom.

In 1755 or 1756, a fire started from the rooftops. Much was destroyed, but the castle was eventually rebuilt.

I’m unclear whether there was one fire or two, with a second following in 1756. In 1755, François would have been 11, and 12 in 1756. A devastating fire would have affected many people, and François would have been a wide-eyed, possibly terrified, witness.

This 1705 map of Bordeaux shows the plan of the castles and suburbs with surrounding areas.

Assuming that this François Lafaye on the ship’s roster is our guy, this would have been his stomping ground, and he would have witnessed that fire. He may also have been orphaned by it.

This might have been why he signed on, or was signed on, to the ship as an apprentice sailor in 1757. Bordeaux’s bustling Port of The Moon was right there, and assuredly ships were always looking for crew.

In the 1700s, Bordeaux’s Port of the Moon was France’s busiest port, importing coffee, cocoa, sugar, cotton, and indigo, and the second busiest port in the world.

The Port of the Moon on the River Garonne in 1899 shows the “Old Town,” at right, along the river.

The Port of the Moon as seen from the top of the spire of the Saint-Michel church.


But that’s not all. Back to Bernard’s article with images I’ve added.

On the same muster roll we read that François escapes from his ship on April 10, 1757, at Cap Français, St-Domingue which is now Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

Cap Francais, at that time a French trading stronghold for both agriculture and slaves, is nestled between the bay and the mountains.

By Andrew Wiseman – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Remnants of the French colonial architecture can still be seen today. Perhaps François passed by this very building.

The location in Haiti, today.

Bernard continues:

Why does François escape?

He was not alone. About a third of the crew escaped. The role of a young sailor was a dangerous one: they had to run down to the hold of the ship, carry bags of powder up to the cannons and fill them for the gunners to fire them, and to cool the cannons between the firings by the gunners. That was related by the historians at the Museum of Restigouche (a museum to show an excavated war ship sunk in 1760; officially called “Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada” at Pointe-à-la-Croix QC). So, they employed young sailors instead of gunners for that dangerous work.

Possibly they sought young sailors with no families to miss them if they didn’t return from that dangerous mission. What happened to those other four young boys on the ship?

According to the roster:

  • The youngest, François Tourete, age 12, “passed on le Greenwich July 12, 1757,” which I presume means he died. He apparently chose not to escape in April. Maybe he should have. If he died on the Greenwich Meridian, it would have been on the return trip because the Greenwich Meridian is nowhere near the Caribbean or the Americas.
  • Jean Paillat, age 15, finished the campaign and was released on April 27, 1758, at Port-Louis.
  • Joseph Lierte, age 15, deserted on April 10, 1757, at Cap-Francais, the same day as François Lafaille and much of the rest of the crew.
  • The record for Andre Micouleau, age 15, says that he embarked at Bordeaux, but then that he never embarked.

Maybe that crossing where one of their young mates died, combined with the reality of warfare, made this less of an adventure and very real. Of the five apprentices, apparently one backed out before leaving, and only one completed the voyage.

Back to Bernard:

An unsettled problem: what happened to François after April 1757? Did he stay in Haiti or did he sail to Boston? How did he live? How did he move from Haiti to Boston?

Note that some Acadians, deported in 1755 from Acadia (Nova Scotia) to the British colonies as the Carolinas, were allowed to leave in 1763 and removed to Haiti.

Those Acadians settled at Mole St-Nicolas which is about 178 km by road from Cap-Haitien, or perhaps an easier journey by boat. Did François somehow meet them? Or, did he catch a ride back on the same ship headed back north?

Unfortunately, the Acadian settlement on Mole Saint-Nicholas was highly unsuccessful, and many of those who survived left with Joseph Broussard in January of 1765 when his ship stopped by on the way to Louisiana. IF, and it’s a big IF, François Lafaye who jumped ship in 1757 managed to make his way to Mole Saint-Nicolas, this might explain his arrival in Louisiana, but that’s not where he surfaced. This does nothing to explain his arrival in Boston or any location on the eastern seaboard.

There might be another explanation, however.

In 1763, Acadians began petitioning the Massachusetts General Court for permission to leave the province with the intention of either returning to Nova Scotia, going to France, St. Domingue (now Haiti,) or Quebec, areas with people who shared their language and culture. On November 28, 1764, the governor declined their petition, but it does show us that the people in Massachusetts were keenly aware of French-speaking Haiti.

With Cap-Francais being the center of Caribbean French maritime trade, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that François signed on again as a crew member from Haiti to Boston, and remained in Boston, perhaps jumping ship again. Sailing was a dangerous profession, and every ship would have been seeking to replace crew who had died or failed to return to the ship during their most recent voyage.

In 1763, Françoise’s soon-to-be-wife’s family was in Connecticut, not Massachusetts.

Of course, just because Françoise arrived in Boston, assuming that is accurate, which it may not be, doesn’t mean he stayed in Boston. Connecticut has a long shoreline too, and by land, is only about 50 miles or so.

By 1763, François would have been 19 and clearly able to fend for himself. By this time, he had been on his own for six long years and was probably very street savvy.

Back to Bordeaux

Bernard was a persistent researcher and continued his story.

With information on the approximate year and place of birth and the wonderful help of Cercle de Genéalogie du Sud-Ouest (Bordeaux, France), I obtained François’ birth and baptism registration.

On this map, you can see the location of the castle, with the red pin, then the Sainte-Eulalie Catholic church, followed by the Pariosse Saint-Nicholas Catholic church at the bottom. Clearly all within walking distance.

François was born on January 7, 1744, and baptized the next day at St-Nicolas church in Bordeaux. It is not far from Puy-Paulin that he gives as his residence when he joined the navy in 1757. His father is Joseph Lafay, coachman .and his mother is Françoise Germon from Ste-Eulalie parish (next parish).

Sylvie Lord translates his baptism as:

On the 7th of June 1744, was born between 9 and 10 AM, a child of Joseph Lafaye, coachman and Françoise Germon, from Ste-Eulalie parish, was baptised on the 8th of the said month, given the name of François…

Note that St. Nicolas is a Catholic church, which tells us that François was indeed Catholic.

Joseph Lafay(e) and Françoise Germon were married at St. Nicolas on February 11, 1738, in Bordeaux, Gironde, France. The two churches are slightly over half a mile (900 meters) apart, but of course the families may have lived closer.

It’s difficult to get a good picture of this church today because the medieval street is quite narrow and the area densely built. This building, constructed between 1821-1823 is apparently not the original church at this location. I wonder if part of the original church remains within the current one.

The church is beautiful, although I wonder where the cemetery was located. It’s clearly gone today.

The cemetery assuredly existed adjacent to the church at some time. Perhaps beneath the school to the right, or within the walls of the Ministere des Armees to the left, above.

The lettering above the entry gate translates to ancient or old hospital of St. Nicolas which was or is a military hospital.

Is this the street where François lived? Education at that time was under the auspices of the church, so this must have been where he learned to read and write, at least well enough to sign his name, assuming he is our François.

La Rue St. Nicolas is quite narrow, testifying to its antiquity.

The François Lafaye onboard the ship was assuredly this boy who would have been baptized and worshipped in an earlier church in this location.

Did he say his last prayer here before climbing aboard the Grand St-Jean-Baptiste to sail away – a boy in a man’s war?

Was this church damaged or destroyed in the fires? Could he even have worshipped here then, if he had wanted? Or did he attend his maternal grandparent’s church, at least from time to time. Were any of his parents or grandparents still living in 1757?

Did he attend his parents’ funerals here before boarding the ship and embarking on the journey of a lifetime?

Is he “our” François Lafaye?

If so, his mother was probably baptized in the Saint-Eulalie Church just a few blocks away.

You can view several photos of St. Eulalie, one of the oldest churches in Bordeaux, both interior and exterior, here.

This church appears to have had several additions, but the original church was here when Francois’s mother lived.

Today, a tree blooms in the beautiful French springtime.

At some point, the cemetery would have been located beside or to the rear of this church, or perhaps both. Today, it’s gone, but perhaps a few graves remain, tucked into the cloistered arches visible from the side streets.

François’s mother’s ancestors are likely buried someplace here in unmarked graves.

Both churches are mapped in Bordeaux with the Puy-Paulin castle slightly to the north – all easily a 20-25 minute walk end to end. Young boys tend to run. One way or another, that young man’s childhood ended in the late winter or early spring of 1757 when he walked up the ramp to that ship with probably nothing more than a change of clothes – if that.

By Jefunky – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Today, this entire area is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Where Do We First Find Our Proven François Lafay?

François Lafay witnessed the marriage of Jean Dupuis and Marie Hébert in 1773 in New England and signed the registration, as stated in the validation of that marriage at St-Jacques – L’Achigan Quebec in 1775. This tells us that François lived in New England, probably in Connecticut, at least until 1773. I surely wish the priest had said where in New England.

Who were the parents of Jean Dupuis and Marie Hebert, and where were they living in 1773? I have been unable to find specific location information, so if anyone knows, please let me know. That would tell us where François was in 1773 too.

Jean-Marie Dupuis died on April 30, 1796, in L’Acadie and was buried at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie. His parents were Germain Dupuis and Marie Angelique Leblanc. Marie Hebert died on March 12, 1798, and was buried two days later in the same place. Her parents were Joseph Hebert and Madeleine Dupuis.

Interestingly, François Lafay must have been close to this couple because they signed in 1788 as godparents for his son Antoine Hilarie Lafay, and in 1790 as witnesses at the marriage of his daughter, Suzanne Lafay and Honore Lord (the elder) in L’Acadie.

Jean-Marie’s father was Germain Dupuis, and the family was deported to Massachusetts. His father, also Germain, was present in the 1758 census in Nantucket, an island off the shore of Massachusetts. By 1776, they were in Quebec, but François Lafay and his family wouldn’t follow for another dozen years.

Marie Hebert’s father, Joseph Hebert, was found in the Connecticut census on August 14, 1763. This family was in Laprairie, Quebec by 1780.

Somehow, the children of these two families, Jean-Marie Dupuis and Marie Hebert were in the same location in order to court and marry by 1773.

Why did the François Lafay family wait another decade or two after many of the other Acadian families returned to Quebec, beginning in 1766 or so? Why did they return when they did? Marie told the missionary, Henrietta Feller, that her grandparents were upset that they were falling away from the Catholic faith.

Clearly, based on this 1773 marriage record, there was a cluster of Acadians living in close proximity someplace in New England, and François Lafay, with his family, was among them.

If we can find one of them, we find all of them.

Arrival in Quebec

François Lafay and Marguerite Forest’s first nine children were born “in the colonies,” as stated in their baptism records when they were baptized many years later at Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie.

Françoise, the youngest, was the only child born in the Province of Québec in 1789, and she was baptized the same day. This suggests that François and Marguerite emigrated to the province of Québec between 1786, the last birth in the colonies, and July 9, 1788, the first baptism in Quebec. I’d say it was probably in early 1788, simply because another child should have been born in early 1788, and there is no record of a baptism. Sadly, this suggests the child was born and died before they arrived in Quebec, with their next child, Françoise, being born on January 11, 1789.

They settled at Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, where many Acadians found refuge upon return from exile.

The first actual record of François LaFay in Quebec is the baptism of three of his children on the same day, July 9, 1788 at the Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie church in L’Acadie.

His youngest child was Pierre Clement Lafay, age 2, so born before July 9th in 1786 or after that date in 1785.

He signed all three of his children’s baptisms as François Lafay.

Bernard reveals that the next record of François Lafay is on September 29, 1788 in the presence of Notaire Jean-Baptiste Grisé. François rented a farm in L’Acadie from James Waite and is described as a resident of L’Acadie, Quebec. Clearly they were setting up housekeeping.

I sure wish I knew where that farm was.

In 1789, three more of François’s older children were baptized. I wonder why those three weren’t baptized with the others in 1788. Was there a cost to the family or donation required for these baptisms?

On January sixth Seventeen Hundred Eighty Nine, I, priest undersigned, baptized conditionally Marie, age twenty-one, Marguerite, age nineteen, and Suzanne, age sixteen and ten months, daughters of François La Faye and of Marguerite Foret. The godfather and godmother of Marie were Laurent Roy and Isabelle Bro, his wife, undersigned. The godfather and godmother of Marguerite were Pierre Lavoie and Marie Anne Melanson, his wife. The godfather and godmother of Suzanne were Pierre Trahant and Euphrosine Leroux. [These last] godfathers and godmothers declared that they were unable to sign. The baptized girls signed with us.

/s Lamité, priest, Laurent Roy, Isabelle bro, Marie Lafay, Margit Lafay, Suzanne Lafay, Françoise Lafay.

Again, he signs as François Lafay. Based on their signatures, his daughters had been educated too.

On August 10th, 1789, Marie Lafay married Honore Lore, of the Acadian Lore/Lord family. Again, he signed as François Lafay. His son, also named Francois, then 13, signed with them and can be distinguished from his father because the F in François is fancy, and the signature is different. All of his children signed as Lafay.

The next record we have of François Lafay is his own marriage rehabilitation that occurred in Ste.-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie in Quebec in 1792. It’s like the family was catching up on all the loose ends from exile.

This record states that they were married on November 10, 1767 in New England before a justice of the peace because of the lack of availability of a priest.

We know that Marie’s parents were in Connecticut in 1763, and there’s no evidence to suggest they were elsewhere four years later. There’s very little evidence from this time period for the Acadians.

Translation from Father John:

Marriage of François Lafay and Marguerite Foret , Ste Marguerite de Blairfindie, L’Acadie, St-Jean, Quebec

On the twenty-third of June, Seventeen Hundred Ninety Two, I, undersigned, received the mutual consent of François Lafay and of Marguerite Foret, who pledged their troth (promis ensemble) before a justice of the peace in the Colonies, for lack of a priest, on the year Seventeen Hundred Sixty Seven*, this in the presence and in the form prescribed by Our Holy Mother the Church of Rome.  The groom signed along with me; the bride declared that she was unable to sign.  /s/ N. J. Lancto, priest   /s/ François Lafay

*On the tenth of November of the said year.

We know that François was educated because he could sign his name and so could at least some of his children. They always signed Lafay. The name Lafaille appears in his 2nd marriage record in 1819, which he did not sign, and in subsequent notarial records, but not earlier records.

I take this as evidence, combined with the French records, assuming they are for him, that his surname really was Lafay, with Lafaille evolving later. I originally presumed that Lafay was anglicized, but I obviously assumed wrong.


François was a farmer, as noted in several records, and a laborer, as noted in his daughter Julie’s 1801 marriage record.

However in his daughter Marie-Anne’s 1806 marriage record he was listed as a “huissier” which Bernard, a native French speaker, translated as a Captain and wonders if he was a Captain in the militia.

We know Françoise lived in L’Acadie along the Richelieu River for three+ decades beginning in 1788, based on what happened in 1819.

But first, he would witness and possibly participate in the War of 1812, at 68 years of age. If he was a captain, the only other option would have been the Revolutionary War, but he was not living in Canada then, and I find no records of any similar name at Fold3 for either war.

War of 1812

Bernard first reported that François Lafay or Lafaille might have been a Captain in the Militia based on his daughter’s 1806 marriage record. He states that conditions were deteriorating between Canada and USA, and the war would start in 1812. At Pierre-Clément’s wedding in 1810, the same priest officiating does not give that title to François. Another translator who was not a native French-speaker questioned whether huissier was actually “bailiff.” Google translate as well as DeepL says the same thing.

I’m not quite sure what a bailiff did in Quebec at that time.

At the outset of the War of 1812, Quebec City was fortified with 2,300 regulars. Engagements occurred elsewhere, much closer to home. In 1812, the war raged along the Niagara frontier, but by 1813, 5,000 men had gathered between Lake Champlain and Montreal, right in the L’Acadie region along the Richelieu River. This would certainly give François ample reason to be concerned and potentially involved.

At this time, remember that Great Britain held Canada and the US was fighting against the British.

A letter from a US Infantry Officer dated November 16, 1813, explains their battle plans:

This is perhaps the last time you will hear from me at this place, if ever. We are preparing for a march, which will take place in a few days. It is intended to make an attack on Lower Canada [Quebec] immediately. We march without baggage or tents, and everything we carry will be on our backs, and the Heavens and a blanket our only covering, till we take winter quarters by force of arms. Our force is very respectable, say 6 or 7 thousand, and all in high spirits. The fatigues we expect to undergo will be equal to those experienced by our revolutionary heroes, till we arrive at Montreal.

Several years ago, cousin Paul posted on RootsWeb about Bernard, as follows:

I was directed by Bernard Doray to the marriage record for Marie Anne Lafay who married François Lord, June 6, 1806, St. Marguerite de Blairfindie. In this record François Lafay is listed as an officer. I then found through a google book search a book that listed François Lafay as being an officer who served in the Canadian militia (at L’Acadie) for Britain in the war of 1812 (he would have been in his early 70’s). So two differnet sources refer to him being an officer.

This likely confirmed for me what Prof. Stephen White had written to me that François Lafay was most likely educated as François signed his name “François Lafay” as someone educated in English would have signed. If François was an officer, he most likely would have then been educated.

I’m still searching for more background on François Lafay. Quebec records indicate a Boston connection (area of Boston could mean the whole of New England). Prof. White suspects a Connecticut connection, as that was the location Marguerite and her family had been exiled in the deportation. I have tried searching various records here in Massachusetts and in Connecticut but have had no success.

If I have missed anything, please let me know,

Paul Drainville

I found the book, Officers of the British Forces in Canada During the War of 1812-1815 where François Lafay is in fact mentioned as a Lieutenant, not a Captain, in the L’Acadie Battalion.

While this certainly could be our François, it’s more likely to be his son, François, born in 1776. The younger man would be 36 years old, not 68, which would make much more sense, but is still inconclusive.

I was unable to find additional information about François Lafay and the War of 1812, but you can read more about what transpired in that area here and here.

Whether he fought or was a militia member, that warfare near his home and potentially on his land would have clearly affected him.

The American forces mustered in Lake Champlain and prepared for the Battle of Chateauguay, shown above. That battle was followed a few days later by the Battle of Crysler’s farm.

The American troops marched up the Richelieu River beginning on September 19th, 1813, right through L’Acadie at St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, headed for Montreal.

Soldiers marched by day and passed in boats by night, fully intending to take what they needed from any source they could find – striking terror into the hearts of the residents. François was 69 years old and had spent much of his life surrounded by one conflict or another.

We don’t know what happened to the family during this time, other than they survived. He dodged this bullet, but another one wasn’t too far in the future.

François Loses His Wife

Sadly, François’s wife, Marguerite passed away on February 16, 1819, at 71 years of age. They had been married more than 51 years and brought at least 11 and probably 13 children into the world together.

All of their children who survived to adulthood had married, except one. We don’t know what happened to Angelique who was born about 1789 after she signed as a witness to her sister Brigitte’s marriage in 1798. The other possibility is that Angelique was a middle name of a different child.

Marriage Times Two

Nine months later, on November 22nd, François married Madeleine Lépine, daughter of Adrien Legris Lépine and Marie Thibodeau and widow of Antoine Jacques Paquet. If this was like most farming communities, everyone involved had known each other “forever,” so there wasn’t much getting to know each other that needed to happen.

But this wasn’t destined to be just any plain vanilla wedding – but a very special one.

François’s granddaughter, Marie Elizabeth Lore, through daughter Marie Lafay who married Honore Lore, was married on the same day, in the same church, to Jean-Baptiste Leveque at the Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie church in L’Acadie.

This just couldn’t be any sweeter.

François was 75, and his bride, Madeleine, was 30 years younger.

His granddaughter, Marie Elizabeth Lore was 26 years old – almost half a century difference, yet marrying under the adoring eye of her grandfather, perhaps at the same altar.

Did grandfather and granddaughter have one ceremony, a double wedding, together, or did they have two separate weddings, one after the other?

I can close my eyes and see François walking his beaming granddaughter down the aisle towards the front of the church where they both stood beside their betrothed who would soon become their spouses.

The priest would then begin the Celebration of Matrimony.

Just look at this beautiful church where this family baptized their children, married, worshipped and yes, buried their dearly departed.

Generations of François’s extended family would probably have filled the entire sanctuary that glorious Monday.

November 22 of 1819 was certainly a day of celebration for four generations of the Lafaille family. If everyone was in attendance, François would have had more than 118 descendants wishing him well. Many of his grandchildren would have attended with babes in arms. Just four days later, his next great-grandchild would join the flock. I haven’t been able to trace all of his descendants, especially families who moved, so there could certainly have been even more, and that number of descendants swells significantly in the years to come, and in future generations.

Not bad for a man who arrived on these shores as a functional, if not an actual, orphan sometime in the late 1750s or early 1760s.

François Passes Over

François continued farming until his death on June 16, 1824

Father John’s translation:

Burial #44 François Lafaille

On the sixteenth of June, Eighteen Hundred Twenty Four, I, priest undersigned, buried in the cemetery of this parish the body of François Lafaille, farmer, who died the day before yesterday (avant hier) having received the sacraments of the Church. He was eighty years of age, the husband of Magdeleine Lépine. Present Jean Baptiste Dubé, and three others who declared that they were unable to sign, upon inquiry.

A. Brais, priest

Was Jean-Baptiste Dube perhaps the son of Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, François’s very long-time friend from back in the colonies?

Of course, the priests didn’t give the cause of death then, although how I wish they had. However, I wonder if something was going on in the Acadian community. François’ adult daughter Marguerite had died just a month earlier, on May 10th. Maybe cholera or dysentery, both of which are more pronounced in hot weather. Or perhaps his daughter’s untimely death just pushed him over the edge.


François’s belongings were inventoried the following year, probably after the crops were in. I wonder why that process took so long – 14 months. His last crops would have been harvested in the fall of 1824.

Madeleine didn’t pass away until April 14, 1833. If she had an inventory, would it reflect his things?

This notarial record dated August 3, 1825, in Iberville, Quebec corresponds with the actual inventory, here.

I cannot translate this document, so if anyone else has a translated version, I’d be very grateful if you would post it in the comments or reach out, even if it’s in French. My issue is the script combined with a language I’m unfamiliar with. I can do a typed French to English translation.

Someone on WikiTree posted a brief summary:

On 3 August 1825, an inventory of the deceased’s property was drawn up by notary Laurent Archambault. His modest possessions included tools, books, a cow, and 28 sheep.

I can’t help but wonder which books François owned. Would I possibly be lucky to find an actual list? The fact that he owned books further confirms that he didn’t just learn to write his name, but was literate and read. What we read says so much about us.

The bottom of the third page of the inventory includes signatures.

These were difficult for me to decipher. I find it strange that all of his children and his wife signed with a mark. We know that at least some of them signed their names to earlier documents.

You can tell that the names are spelled phonetically too. Lafaille vs Lafay.

Column 1

  • François Lafaille
  • Antoine Hilaire Lafaille
  • Marie Anne Lafaille (who was married to François Lore who died on December 13, 1824)
  • Dufaula who is probably Joseph Duphaut who married daughter Marguerite Lafay who died May 11, 1824.

Column 2

  • Magdeleine LePine – his widow
  • Honore Lord – married to daughter Marie/Mary Lafay
  • Marie Lafaille – who is married to Honore Lord – but why did they both sign?

This begs the question of the rest of the children.

I’m not familiar with the legal requirements in Quebec at this time, but several questions come to mind.

  • Were all the heirs required to sign?
  • Were only the people inheriting something required to sign?
  • Why did Honore Lore/Lord and his wife, Marie Lafaille both sign when both people of other married couples didn’t sign? Does that tell us something important?
  • What does it tell us about the children or their spouses that didn’t sign?

What About the Others?

Three living children are missing from this document.

  • Bridget married Pierre Gamache, and by mid-1825, the family’s baptisms and marriages were being carried out at St-Cyprien-de-Lery in Napierville, Quebec. They moved sometime after 1822, but why didn’t they come back to sign this document? Is there something in this document, written in French, that addresses this question? Both Bridget and Pierre were both living in 1825.
  • We only find one record of Angelique as a witness on her sister Bridget’s 1798 marriage, so it’s possible that she had passed away or Angelique was actually someone else who used a middle or other name.
  • However, we know that the youngest child, Françoise Lafay married Pierre Granger and died in 1866. Both people were alive in 1825 and their children were being baptized at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, so they were clearly still in the area. Why didn’t they sign?

Two other children were missing. One had died, but it’s unknown if the second child was living. But both had living descendants. Would their descendants be entitled to anything and therefore need to sign?

Were the signers simply attesting to the accuracy of the inventory – or are they attesting to an inherited share of those assets?

  • Daughter Suzanne Lafay died in 1803, and her husband died in 1818. Were any of her five living children entitled to or received anything?
  • We don’t know if daughter Julie Lafay who married Ignace Laporte Denis was living or not, nor if he was. We do know that at least two of her daughters were living in 1825, because they married later, and one son was possibly living as well. What about those children?

In Summary

We do have some direct evidence of François’s life.

It appears certain, based on his own signature many times that his surname was originally Lafay or Lafaye, not Lafaille as it was later spelled in Quebec. I had assumed it was Lafaille, but I now believe it was Lafay based on François’s signatures.

He spelled his surname consistently throughout his life. It was only others, meaning various priests and the notarial record that spelled it Lafaille, although some descendants in later generations adopted that spelling.

We know that François married in the colonies in 1767, probably in Connecticut, where his wife’s family lived, and that he died in Quebec in 1824. Thanks to that record that says he was 80 years old, we know he was born in or at least about 1744. Given that he died in the middle of June, he would have been born either after June 14, 1743 or before June 14, 1744. That meshes perfectly with the January 7, 1744 birth in Bordeaux, France, of the child sailor François Lafaye.

We know that our François had arrived in Quebec by the summer of 1788, but probably not much earlier.

Most of his children were born in “New England,” and frustratingly, not one single record anyplace says WHERE in New England.

We have the information from missionary Henrietta Feller, who tells us François was a French sailor who somehow wound up in Boston. That’s a rather unusual story, so I’d tend to believe at least the sailor portion is accurate, and perhaps Boston as well. If he was a sailor, it’s likely he lived in relatively close proximity to the sea in France.

Thanks to Bernard’s work, we know there’s one François Lafay, spelled exactly the way François repeatedly signed his own name, who was born in Bordeaux on January 7, 1744. That young man’s father’s name was Joseph and his mother was Françoise. Our  François did have a daughter named François, but no son named Joseph, although that would have been one of the children that died in New England.

The François in Bordeaux signed onto a French ship as a young apprentice sailor in 1757, apparently only to discover that sailing life wasn’t for him. Of course, being the youngest with the least experience, he had the worst possible job combined with the lowest pay.

He deserted, or probably more aptly, ran away, in a French port in what is now Haiti as soon as the ship reached shore, along with about one-third of the rest of the crew. He very probably saved his own life.

If that young man is our François Lafay and somehow reached Boston, or someplace else along the eastern seaboard to find kinship with the Acadians is still a matter of conjecture.

We simply don’t know.

What we do know is the few facts we have do fit the profile for the young French sailor, but don’t constitute proof. Would there be church or notarial records in France that would shine light on that François Lafay? How would we go about finding those records?

There are other Lafaille or Lafay men in France, but none born in 1743 or 1744, and none in close proximity to a port. Of course, not all records are available online, and many were destroyed due to fires or war.

Clearly, there are blanks in our François’s life begging to be filled in, but we have nothing with which to patch those holes today.

Our best bet would be to have a Y-DNA match to a Lafay man, or even a man of any surname in Bordeaux.

Need Lafay or Lafaille Man for Y-DNA Test

For that to happen, I need a Lafay or Lafaille man who descends from François to take a Y-DNA test. François had three sons, two of whom had male descendants.

If that’s you, or one of your male relatives descends from François through an unbroken line of all males, I have a fully paid Y-DNA testing scholarship for you at FamilyTreeDNA. Please reach out, and maybe we can resolve another piece of François’s ancestry.


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Which DNA Test Should I Buy? And Why?

Which DNA test should I buy, and why?

I receive questions like this often. As a reminder, I don’t take private clients anymore, which means I don’t provide this type of individual consulting or advice. However, I’m doing the next best thing! In this article, I’m sharing the step-by-step process that I utilize to evaluate these questions so you can use the process too.

It’s important to know what questions to ask and how to evaluate each situation to arrive at the best answer for each person.

Here’s the question I received from someone I’ll call John. I’ve modified the wording slightly and changed the names for privacy.

I’m a male, and my mother was born in Charleston, SC. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Jones and a paternal surname was Davis. The family was supposed to have been Black, Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Scots-Irish…only once was I told I was 3/16 Indian, with Davis being 3/4 and Jones being full Indian.

Do I have enough reasonable information to buy a test, and which one?

Please note that it’s common for questions to arrive without all the information you need to provide a sound answer – so it’s up to you to ask those questions and obtain clarification.

Multiple Questions

There are actually multiple questions here, so let me parse this a bit.

  1. John never mentioned what his testing goal was.
  2. He also never exactly said how the paternal line of Davis was connected, so I’ve made an assumption. For educational purposes, it doesn’t matter because we’re going to walk through the evaluation process, which is the same regardless.
  3. John did not include a tree or a link to a tree, so I created a rudimentary tree to sort through this. I need the visuals and normally just sketch it out on paper quickly.
  4. Does John have enough information to purchase a test?
  5. If so, which test?

There is no “one size fits all” answer, so let’s discuss these one by one.

Easy Answers First

The answer to #4 is easy.

Anyone with any amount of information can purchase a DNA test. Adoptees do it all the time, and they have no prior information.

So, yes, John can purchase a test.

The more difficult question is which test, because that answer depends on John’s goals and whether he’s just looking for some quick information or really wants to delve into genealogy and learn. Neither approach is wrong.

Many people think they want a quick answer –  and then quickly figure out that they really want to know much more about their ancestors.

I wrote an article titled DNA Results – First Glances at Ethnicity and Matching for new testers, here.


Based on what John said, I’m going to presume his goals are probably:

  • To prove or disprove the family oral history of Black, Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch (which is actually German,) Scots-Irish, and potentially Native American.
  • John didn’t mention actual genealogy, which would include DNA matches and trees, so we will count that as something John is interested in secondarily. However, he may need genealogy records to reach his primary goal.

If you’re thinking, “The process of answering this seemingly easy question is more complex than I thought,” you’d be right.

Ethnicity in General

It sounds like John is interested in ethnicity testing. Lots of people think that “the answer” will be found there – and sometimes they are right. Often not so much. It depends.

The great news is that John really doesn’t need any information at all to take an autosomal DNA test, and it doesn’t matter if the test-taker is male or female.

To calculate each tester’s ethnicity, every testing company compiles their own reference populations, and John will receive different results at each of the major companies. Each company updates their ethnicity results from time to time as well, and they will change.

Additionally, each company provides different tools for their customers.

The ethnicity results at different companies generally won’t match each other exactly, and sometimes the populations look quite different.

Normally, DNA from a specific ancestor can be found for at least 5 or 6 generations. Of course, that means their DNA, along with the DNA from all of your other ancestors is essentially combined in a communal genetic “pot” of your chromosomes, and the DNA testing company needs to sort it out and analyze your DNA for ethnicity.

DNA descended from ancestors, and their populations, further back in people’s trees may not be discerned at all using autosomal DNA tests.

A much more specific “ethnicity” can be obtained for both the Y-DNA line, which is a direct patrilineal line for men (blue arrow,) and the mitochondrial DNA line (pink arrows,) which is a direct matrilineal line for everyone, using those specific tests.

We will discuss both of those tests after we talk about the autosomal tests available from the four major genealogy DNA testing companies. All of these tools can and should be used together.

Let’s Start with Native American

Let’s evaluate the information that John provided.

John was told that he “was 3/16 Indian, with Davis being 3/4 and Jones being full Indian.”

We need to evaluate this part of his question slightly differently.

I discussed this in the article, Ancestral DNA Percentages – How Much of Them is in You?

First, we need to convert generations to 16ths.

You have two ancestors in your parent’s generation, four in your grandparents, and so forth. You have 16 great-great-grandparents. So, if John was 3/16th Native, then three of his great-great-grandparents would have been fully Native, or an equivalent percentage. In other words, six ancestors in that generation could have been half-Native. Based on what John said, they would have come from his mother’s side of the tree. John is fortunate to have that much information to work with.

He told us enough about his tree that we can evaluate the statement that he might be 3/16ths Native.

Here’s the tree I quickly assembled in a spreadsheet based on John’s information.

His father, at left, is not part of the equation based on the information John provided.

On his mother’s side, John said that Grandfather Davis is supposed to be three-quarters Native, which translates to 12/16ths. Please note that it would be extremely beneficial to find a Y-DNA tester from his Davis line, like one of his mother’s brothers, for example.

John said that his Grandmother Jones is supposed to be 100% Native, so 16/16ths.

Added together, those sum to 28/32, which reduces down to 14/16th or 7/8th for John’s mother.

John would have received half of his autosomal DNA from his mother and half from his non-Native father. That means that if John’s father is 100% non-Native, John would be half of 14/16ths or 7/16ths, so just shy of half Native.

Of course, we know that we don’t always receive exactly 50% of each of our ancestors’ DNA (except for our parents,) but we would expect to see something in the ballpark of 40-45% Native for John if his grandmother was 100% Native and his grandfather was 75%.

Using simple logic here, for John’s grandmother to be 100% Native, she would almost assuredly have been a registered tribal member, and the same if his grandfather was 75% Native. I would think that information would be readily available and well-known to the family – so I doubt that this percentage is accurate. It would be easy to check, though, on various census records during their lifetimes where they would likely have been recorded as “Indian.” They might have been in the special “Indian Census” taken and might be living on a reservation.

It should also be relatively easy to find their parents since all family members were listed every ten years in the US beginning with the 1850 census.

The simple answer is that if John’s grandparents had as much Native as reported, he would be more than 3/16th – so both of these factoids cannot simultaneously be accurate. But that does NOT mean neither is accurate.

John could be 7/8th or 40ish%, 3/16th or 18ish%, or some other percentage. Sometimes, where there is smoke, there is fire. And that seems to be the quandary John is seeking to resolve.

Would  Ethnicity/Population Tests Show This Much Native?

Any of the four major testing companies would show Native for someone whose percentage would be in the 40% or 18% ballpark.

The easiest ethnicities to tell apart from one another are continental-level populations. John also stated that he thinks he may also have Black ancestry, plus Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch (German), and Scots-Irish. It’s certainly possible to verify that using genealogy, but what can DNA testing alone tell us?

How far back can we expect to find ethnicities descending from particular ancestors?

In this table, you can see at each generation how many ancestors you have in that generation, plus the percentage of DNA, on average, you would inherit from each ancestor.

All of the major DNA testing companies can potentially pick up small trace percentages, but they don’t always. Sometimes one company does, and another doesn’t. So, if John has one sixth-generation Native American ancestor, he would carry about 1.56% Native DNA, if any.

  • Sometimes a specific ethnicity is not found because, thanks to random recombination, you didn’t inherit any of that DNA from those ancestors. This is why testing your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings can be very important. They share your same ancestors and may have inherited DNA that you didn’t that’s very relevant to your search.
  • Sometimes it’s not found because the reference populations and algorithms at that testing company aren’t able to detect that population or identify it accurately, especially at trace levels. Every DNA testing company establishes their own reference populations and writes internal, proprietary ethnicity analysis algorithms.
  • Sometimes it’s not found because your ancestor wasn’t Native or from that specific population.
  • Sometimes it’s there, but your population is called something you don’t expect.

For example, you may find Scandinavian when your ancestor was from England or Ireland. The Vikings raided the British Isles, so while some small amount of Scandinavian is not what you expect, that doesn’t mean it‘s wrong. However, if all of your family is from England, it’s not reasonable to have entirely Scandinavian ethnicity results.

It’s also less likely as each generation passes by that the information about their origins gets handed down accurately to following generations. Most non-genealogists don’t know the names of their great-grandparents, let alone where their ancestors were from.

Using a 25-year average generation length, by the 4th generation, shown in the chart above, you have 16 ancestors who lived approximately 100 years before your parents were born, so someplace in the mid-1800s. It’s unlikely for oral history from that time to survive intact. It’s even less likely from a century years earlier, where in the 7th generation, you have 128 total ancestors.

The best way to validate the accuracy of your ethnicity estimates is by researching your genealogy. Of course, you need to take an ethnicity test, or two, in order to have results to validate.

Ethnicity has a lot more to offer than just percentages.

Best Autosomal Tests for Native Ethnicity

Based on my experience with people who have confirmed Native ancestry, the two best tests to detect Native American ethnicity, especially in smaller percentages, are both FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.

Click images to enlarge

In addition to percentages, both 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA provide chromosome painting for ethnicity, along with segment information in download files. In other words, they literally paint your ethnicity results on your chromosomes.

They then provide you with a file with the “addresses” of those ethnicities on your chromosomes, which means you can figure out which ancestors contributed those ethnicity segments.

The person in the example above, a tester at FamilyTreeDNA, is highly admixed with ancestors from European regions, African regions and Native people from South America.

Trace amounts of Native American with a majority of European heritage would appear more like this.

You can use this information to paint your chromosome segments at DNAPainter, along with your matching segments to other testers where you can identify your common ancestors. This is why providing trees is critically important – DNA plus ancestor identification with our matches is how we confirm our ancestry.

This combination allows you to identify which Native (or another ethnicity) segments descended from which ancestors. I was able to determine which ancestor provided that pink Native American segment on chromosome 1 on my mother’s side.

I’ve provided instructions for painting ethnicity segments to identify their origins in specific ancestors, here.

Autosomal and Genealogy

You may have noticed that we’ve now drifted into the genealogy realm of autosomal DNA testing. Ethnicity is nice, but if you want to know who those segments came from, you’ll need:

  • Autosomal test matching to other people
  • To identify your common ancestor with as many matches as you can
  • To match at a company who provides you with segment information for each match
  • To work with DNAPainter, which is very easy

The great news is that you can do all of that using the autosomal tests you took for ethnicity, except at Ancestry who does not provide segment information.

Best Autosomal Test for Matching Other Testers

The best autosomal test for matching may be different for everyone. Let’s look at some of the differentiators and considerations.

If you’re basing a testing recommendation solely on database size, which will probably correlate to more matches, then the DNA testing vendors fall into this order:

If you’re basing that recommendation on the BEST, generally meaning the closest matches for you, there’s no way of knowing ahead of time. At each of the four DNA testing companies, I have very good matches who have not tested elsewhere. If I weren’t in all four databases, I would have missed many valuable matches.

If you’re basing that recommendation on which vendor began testing earliest, meaning they have many tests from people who are now deceased, so you won’t find their autosomal tests in other databases that don’t accept uploads, the recommended testing company order would be:

If you’re basing that recommendation on matches to people who live in other countries, the order would be:

Ancestry and 23andMe are very distant third/fourth because they did not sell widely outside the US initially and still don’t sell in as many countries as the others, meaning their testers’ geography is more limited. However, Ancestry is also prevalent in the UK.

If you’re basing that recommendation on segment information and advanced tools that allow you to triangulate and confirm your genetic link to specific ancestors, the order would be:

Ancestry does NOT provide any segment information.

If you’re basing that recommendation on unique tools provided by each vendor, every vendor has something very beneficial that the others don’t.

In other words, there’s really no clear-cut answer for which single autosomal DNA test to order. The real answer is to be sure you’re fishing in all the ponds. The fish are not the same. Unique people test at each of those companies daily who will never be found in the other databases.

Test at or upload your DNA to all four DNA testing companies, plus GEDmatch. Step-by-step instructions for downloading your raw data file and uploading it to the DNA testing companies who accept uploads can be found, here.

Test or Upload

Not all testing companies accept uploads of raw autosomal DNA data files from other companies. The good news is that some do, and it’s free to upload and receive matches.

Two major DNA testing companies DO NOT accept uploads from other companies. In other words, you have to test at that company:

Two testing companies DO accept uploads from the other three companies. Uploads and matching are free, and advanced features can be unlocked very cost effectively.

  • FamilyTreeDNA – free matching and $19 unlock for advanced features
  • MyHeritage – free matching and $29 unlock.for advanced features

I recommend testing at both 23andMe and Ancestry and uploading one of those files to both FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage, then purchasing the respective unlocks.


GEDmatch is a third-party matching site, not a DNA testing company. Consider uploading to GEDmatch because you may find matches from Ancestry who have uploaded to GEDmatch, giving you access to matching segment information.

Other Types of DNA

John provided additional information that may prove to be VERY useful. Both Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA can be tested as well and may prove to be more useful than autosomal to positively identify the origins of those two specific lines.

Let’s assume that John takes an autosomal test and discovers that indeed, the 3/16th Native estimate was close. 3/16th equates to about 18% Native which would mean that three of his 16 great-great-grandparents were Native.

John told us that his Grandmother Jones was supposed to be 100% Native.

At the great-great-grandparent level, John has 16 ancestors, so eight on his mother’s side, four from maternal grandmother Jones and four from his maternal grandfather Davis.

John carries the mitochondrial DNA of his mother (red boxes and arrows,) and her mother, through a direct line of females back in time. John also carries the Y-DNA of his father (dark blue box, at left above, and blue arrows below.)

Unlike autosomal DNA which is admixed in every generation, mitochondrial DNA (red arrows) is inherited from that direct matrilineal line ONLY and never combines with the DNA of the father. Mothers give their mitochondrial DNA to both sexes of their children, but men never contribute their mitochondrial DNA to offspring. Everyone has their mother’s mitochondrial DNA.

Because it never recombines with DNA from the father, so is never “watered down,” we can “see” much further back in time, even though we can’t yet identify those ancestors.

However, more importantly, in this situation, John can test his own mitochondrial DNA that he inherited from his mother, who inherited it from her mother, to view her direct matrilineal line.

John’s mitochondrial DNA haplogroup that will be assigned during testing tells us unquestionably whether or not his direct matrilineal ancestor was Native on her mother’s line, or not. If not, it may well tell us where that specific line originated.

You can view the countries around the world where Y-DNA haplogroups are found, here, and mitochondrial haplogroups, here.

If John’s mitochondrial DNA haplogroup is Native, that confirms that one specific line is Native. If he can find other testers in his various lines to test either their Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA, John can determine if other ancestors were Native too. If not, those tests will reveal the origins of that line, separate from the rest of his genealogical lines.

Although John didn’t mention his father’s line, if he takes a Y-DNA test, especially at the Big Y-700 level, that will also reveal the origins of his direct paternal line. Y-DNA doesn’t combine with the other parent’s DNA either, so it reaches far back in time too.

Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA tests are laser-focused on one line each, and only one line. You don’t have to try to sort it out of the ethnicity “pot,” wondering which ancestor was or was not Native.

My Recommendation

When putting together a testing strategy, I recommend taking advantage of free uploads and inexpensive unlocks when possible.

  • To confirm Native American ancestry via ethnicity testing, I recommend testing at 23andMe and uploading to FamilyTreeDNA, then purchasing the $19 unlock. The free upload and $19 unlock are less expensive than testing there directly.
  • For matching, I recommend testing at Ancestry and uploading to MyHeritage, then unlocking the MyHeritage advanced features for $29, which is less expensive than retesting. Ancestry does not provide segment information, but MyHeritage (and the others) do.

At this point, John will have taken two DNA tests, but is now in all four databases, plus GEDmatch if he uploads there.

  • For genealogy research on John’s lines to determine whether or not his mother’s lines were Native, I recommend an Ancestry and a MyHeritage records subscription, plus using WikiTree, which is free.
  • To determine if John’s mother’s direct matrilineal female line was Native, I recommend that John order the mitochondrial DNA test at FamilyTreeDNA.
  • When ordering multiple tests, or uploading at FamilyTreeDNA, be sure to upload/order all of one person’s tests on the same DNA kit so that those results can be used in combination with each other.

Both males and females can take autosomal and mitochondrial DNA tests.

  • To discover what he doesn’t know about his direct paternal, meaning John’s surname line – I recommend the Big Y-700 test at FamilyTreeDNA.

Only males can take a Y-DNA test, so women would need to ask their father, brother, or paternal uncle, for example, to test their direct paternal line.

  • If John can find a male Davis from his mother’s line, I recommend that he purchase the Big Y-700 test at FamilyTreeDNA for that person, or check to see if someone from his Davis line may have already tested by viewing the Davis DNA Project. Like with mitochondrial DNA, the Y-DNA haplogroup will tell John the origins of his direct Davis male ancestor – plus matching of course. He will be able to determine if they were Native, and if not, discover the origins of the Davis line.
  • For assigning segments to ancestors and triangulating to confirm descent from a common ancestor, I recommend 23andMe, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch, paired with DNAPainter as a tool.

Shopping and Research List

Here are the tests and links recommended above:

More Than He Asked

I realize this answer is way more than John expected or even knew to ask. That’s because there is often no “one” or “one best” answer. There are many ways to approach the question after the goal is defined, and the first “answer” received may be a bit out of context.

For example, let’s say John has 2% Native ancestry and took a test at a vendor who didn’t detect it. John would believe he had none. But a different vendor might find that 2%. If it’s on his mother’s direct matrilineal line, mitochondrial DNA testing will confirm, or refute Native, beyond any doubt, regardless of autosomal ethnicity results – but only for that specific ancestral line.

Autosomal DNA can suggest Native across all your DNA, but Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA confirm it for each individual ancestor.

Even when autosomal testing does NOT show Native American, or African, for example, it’s certainly possible that it’s just too far back in time or has not been passed down during random recombination, but either Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA will unquestionably confirm (or refute) the ancestry in question if the right person is tested.

This is exactly why I attempt to find a cousin who descends appropriately from every ancestor and provide testing scholarships. It’s important to obtain Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA information for each ancestor.

Which Test Should I Order?

What steps will help you decide which test or tests to take?

  1. Define your testing goal.
  2. Determine if your Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA will help answer the question.
  3. Determine if you need to find ancestors another generation or two back in time to get the most benefit from DNA testing. In our example, if John discovered that both of his grandparents were enrolled tribal members, that’s huge, and the tribe might have additional information about his family.
  4. Subscribe to Ancestry and MyHeritage records collections as appropriate to perform genealogical research. Additional information not only provides context for your family, it also provides you with the ability to confirm or better understand your ethnicity results.
  5. Extend your tree so that you can obtain the best results from the three vendors who support trees; Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, and MyHeritage. All three use trees combined with DNA tests to provide you with additional information.
  6. Order 23andMe and Ancestry autosomal DNA tests.
  7. Either test at or upload one of those tests to MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, and GEDmatch.
  8. If a male, order the Big Y-700 DNA test. Or, find a male from your ancestral line who has taken or will take that test. I always offer a testing scholarship and, of course, share the exciting results!
  9. Order a mitochondrial DNA test for yourself and for appropriately descended family members to represent other ancestors. Remember that your father (and his siblings) all carry your paternal grandmother’s mitochondrial DNA. That’s often a good place to start after testing your own DNA.
  10. If your parents or grandparents are alive, or aunts and uncles, test their autosomal DNA too. They are (at least) one generation closer to your ancestors than you are and will carry more of your ancestors’ DNA.
  11. Your siblings will carry some of your ancestors’ DNA that you do not, so test them too if both of your parents aren’t available for testing.



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Fixing the Tractor on Father’s Day – 52 Ancestors #402

The thunder is rumbling as I pen this, awash in memories, thinking of Dad and all those humid summer storms down on the farm. The liquid sunshine, as my Dad used to call rain, is running down the outside of my windows, and the skies are rumbling like Thor is arriving for a visit any moment.


The lights flicker off and on.

Back at home, on the farm, we’d lose power with storms often, and it might just stay off for days. That was just kind of normal.

We had the old hand pump outside for water for the house, and one at the barn, too, to water the livestock, plus the stream, of course.

We usually kept the lights off anyway because they generated heat, and Heaven knows, we certainly didn’t need any more of that.

By the time Father’s Day rolled around, we had celebrated our romance with the arrival of summer three weeks earlier, over Memorial Day, and it had probably been over 90 and maybe over 100 degrees at least once.

Worse yet, it had probably not dropped below 80 with someplace around 110% humidity for several nights in a row. You woke up sweating.

Yea, we were tired of the heat of summer already, and summer was just beginning. Actually, technically, it wasn’t even summer yet.

On Father’s Day morning, just like every other morning, Dad would get up at the crack of dawn – and I mean exactly that. The earlier you went out to do chores, the cooler it was, but you couldn’t do chores in the dark.

Every farmer wore overalls and muck boots, no matter how hot it was, along with a farm cap from the seed store or grain mill to keep the sweat from running into their eyes.

I’m sure air conditioning had been invented, but we didn’t know anyone who had AC. Our version of AC was going to the basement, barefoot, so your feet could touch the cool concrete.

Maybe we’d fill up the bucket with water from the pump that was cool coming out of the ground and stick our feet in there. That always felt good too. So did a cold shower or just a shower from the hose outside.

The guys always shaved their heads, and us females, we either had very short hair or hair long enough to pull up in a ponytail. I think my hair still has permanent rubber band lines.

Mom always tried to drag us to church on Father’s Day Sunday, but the only thing hotter than staying home was dressing up and going to church.

She’d always say that it was “cool enough” because we could roll the windows in the car down on the way home, but not on the way because you didn’t want to mess your hair up. We used to call that 455 air conditioning, a pun on a Chevy 455 engine. Roll all four windows down and drive 55. Mom just rolled her eyes at us.

Mom wasn’t terribly pleased that I loved to work on cars and, um, race them. Not pleased at all, actually. It wasn’t “ladylike.” Truth be told, I could outrun and outdrive my brother and pretty much anyone else too, but that’s a different story. My Dad, on the other hand, was always quite helpful and glad that at least ONE of his children was useful with tools. I loved working at the barn with my Dad on anything that needed fixing.

And that’s what saved us from those sweltering Sundays praying for church to be over because it was literally as hot as Hades in there with no windows open.

The church came equipped with those “funeral fans” as we called them.

We called them funeral fans because the funeral homes would print ads on one side about how lovingly they would treat your dearly departed family members, like anyone was going to say – “Hey someone, run up to the church and see whose ad is on the back of that fan.” I guess they hoped that if you waved it in front of your face for an hour every week, you might remember their name. Generally, the church required a religious picture on the other side and of course the funeral homes paid for the fans and all the printing for the privilege of placing them in the pews.

Truthfully, no one cared what was on them, on either side, and when it was hot, there were enough fans whirring to power a spaceship.

Dad hated to dress up, and so did I, but I think Mom thought we’d be eternally damned to Hell if we missed one Sunday. Occasionally though, the farm and earning a living took precedence. We’d just have to ask forgiveness.

You know, sometimes that pesky old, antiquated tractor we had broke on Father’s Day. Dad needed help fixing it. I know just how much Dad hated to miss church, and of course, being the good daughter that I was, I sacrificed and stayed home to help him.

Generally, after Mom left, we’d have a cup of coffee to prepare ourselves for the ordeal.

Well, officially, he had a cup of coffee because I was not supposed to have coffee. I wasn’t old enough. Mom’s rules. So my “coffee” was mostly milk and sugar – pretty much what we call a Latte today.

But you know, since it was Father’s Day and all, I couldn’t let Dad drink coffee alone😊

Mom was never as hot as we were either, so we’d adjust the fan and turn it on full speed if we stayed inside for our coffee.

Often, especially when it was really hot, we went outside and sat in the peaceful shade of the old tree on the glider and matching metal chair.

Well, if you count rust as a matching decorative element.

I think we communed more with God on the farm, under the tree, watching the corn, soybeans, ferns, and iris grow than we ever did in church, but that’s just me.

As the sun rose halfway up the sky, we’d comment about how hot it was getting to be. One of us would squint and try to see the thermometer nailed to the side of the house by the window. We’d wonder out loud if one or the other of us thought it was going to rain.

If so, it wouldn’t be in the morning and generally not at noon either.

We often had violent storms in the afternoon and evening. No weather forecasts back then. We just expected that it might happen.

Tornados. Those were nothing to mess with. I remember watching those wall clouds approach from the west and the worried look on Dad’s brow. Every now and again, he’d be staring at the west sky and quietly say, “Bobbi, get the dog,” and I knew EXACTLY what that meant. He didn’t want to panic Mom just yet, but we were preparing, just in case.

Farm families welcomed soft, gentle morning summertime rains. Those violent drenchers, not so much. They washed out seeds, ruined crops, sometimes laying them flat, and the hail associated with those storm cells stripped the leaves right off the plants.

Sometime around 10:30 or 11 on Father’s Day morning, Dad would say, “Well, Bobbi, let’s go work on that tractor.” We’d both grin at each other, then get up and wander down the path to the barn.

The tractor was wherever it broke, so Dad would get some tools out of his old toolbox that he made out of scrap lumber and a wrench or two, and we’d go out and pound and twist on some things. I’d climb up in the seat and pull on a couple of handles, one of which was the choke.

Sometimes the tractor needed a tune-up.

Dad would tell me to try to start it. Then he’d pound on something else, trying not to smash a finger.

“Try again,” he’d say.

Sometimes adding extra fuel helped too.

Eventually, we’d get old Bessie running again, and I’d drive that temperamental old red tractor with almost no paint into the barn. Dad had been making his own parts and patching that tractor together for so many years that it was old when I was young, and it was just as old after Dad passed away. It never seemed to get any older, nor did it ever really run right.

Dad never saw any benefit to buying a newfangled tractor because he knew how to fix the old one, and besides, he had me to help him.

After the tractor was fixed, Dad and I would head up to the house and start the charcoal grill. That’s back in the days when you had to light the charcoal and let it burn down for at least half an hour or 45 minutes. It was true charcoal, not propane, and you wanted it to be hot but not actually burning. Hot enough to have a grey ash coating.

We always asked Dad what he wanted for Father’s Day dinner, since he didn’t get to have any of whatever they were serving at church, and his answer was always the same.


And he meant on the grill. That was a given.

We grilled a lot in the summer to keep the kitchen cool. Hamburgers weren’t nearly as good in the winter.

So, Dad started the charcoal, and I went inside to wash up and make nice thick hamburger patties by rolling hamburger into balls, then smooshing it between the palms of my hands. I often chopped some onion first, and Dad would slice about a quarter inch of butter off the stick – we only ever had real butter back then – and stuck it inside the hamburger patty in the center.

“Don’t tell your Mom,” he’d say, and we’d chuckle. It was always our secret, even when Mom wondered aloud why his burgers were always better than hers. She wouldn’t have wanted the extra fat. The only time we ever had extra butter in our burgers was when the tractor broke on Sunday.

That’s why we always started dinner, as lunch was called on the farm, while she was at church on Sundays when that old tractor broke, needed fixing, and we had to work on it.

By the time Mom got home, the patties were prepared and ready to go on the grill, the fire was ready, and as soon as we heard the car slow down on the road and the crunch of gravel in the driveway, we’d start them grilling.

Mom would tell us how hot it was at church, and how miserable it had been, then go inside to change out of those sweaty clothes, including “nylons.” You never went to church back then without wearing a nice dress, makeup, and nylon stockings. Some Sundays you also wore white gloves but not in the summer because you were sweating too much to get them off and on.

Dad and I were still in our work clothes.

When Mom came out after changing clothes, she said she hoped it wasn’t too hot and miserable down in the barn where we had to work.

Nope, Mom, it was wonderful, actually.

Just the perfect Father’s Day, helping Dad on the farm.

We grilled the burgers, sliced fresh tomatoes from the garden, made iced tea, ate, and laughed together. Then we gave Dad his gifts which were usually handmade and sometimes humorous. He always told us we shouldn’t. We did anyway, of course.

Later, we made ice cream in the old crank ice-cream maker.

After dinner, Dad, the dog, and his rescued three-legged cat, Frosty, would take a nap while Mom and I redded up the dishes.

Sometimes, looking out the kitchen window over the fields as I methodically washed the dishes, my mind wandered, and I wondered what the future held. It never occurred to me, at least not yet, that my life would one day be very different someplace else, and very far away. I couldn’t imagine leaving Dad, the tractor, and the farm, but he could. He saw a horizon that I couldn’t see. He was preparing me, even though I didn’t realize it.

I knew how much I loved Dad – probably even extra because he was my stepfather and chose me as his daughter – but I didn’t understand the depths of his love for me.

On those Father’s Days, we honored and appreciated Dad, but not nearly enough. I wouldn’t realize quite how wise and wonderful he was until after those storm clouds had gathered, descended upon us, and whisked him away.

When you’re making memories, you often don’t realize it in the moment. You’re just doing what you’re doing. The memories make themselves.

The sweaty summer days fixing tractors and the mundane life of yesterday became the precious memories we long to touch just one more time.

Just one more Sunday.

One more Father’s Day.

One more broken tractor to fix.

One more cup of coffee.

One more smile, Dad.

Just one more.

Just a few more minutes.

I love and miss you, Dad.

I always will.

It was only decades later, with those early days having faded into long-ago misty memories, that I realized just how exquisitely perfect they were.

And that Dad got EXACTLY what he wanted for Father’s Day, which had absolutely nothing to do with a broken tractor.

AARP Member? Save 30% On Your Ancestry Membership

If you’re an AARP member, you are eligible to receive a 30% discount on your subscription at

My subscription was going to expire. It couldn’t auto-renew because my credit card had expired which turned out to be a happy accident. I waited until about 10 days before expiration to call and renew. I wanted to see if any discounts were available.

You can see when your subscription expires by clicking on the down arrow by your name, then Account Settings.

The AARP Discount

Here’s how the AARP discount works:

  • You need to call Ancestry at 800-401-1789 in the US and talk to a customer service representative. The person I spoke with was very helpful but neglected to mention that my current subscription was not allowed to run its course BEFORE the new subscription took effect. I lost the remaining days.
  • If you’re calling from outside the US, you’ll probably need to connect via chat with a Virtual Assistance to obtain a phone number that will work for you.
  • You need to provide your AARP membership number – and they do verify the number.
  • If you don’t have your card handy, you can find your account number above your name on the AARP correspondence and/or their membership newspaper/flyer.
  • If you pay for your AARP membership for either three or five years at a time instead of one year, you’ll need to contact AARP to get a new number yearly. Yea, I know this doesn’t make sense, but that’s how AARP works, apparently. I was fortunate because I joined last fall.
  • I don’t know if this discount applies to partial-year memberships or if you select monthly payments. You can discuss that with the Ancestry representative.
  • If you select auto-renew, at this same time next year your membership WILL RENEW AT THE THEN-CURRENT RATE. This means Ancestry does NOT renew your membership at the AARP discount rate. You’ll need to call Ancestry before your membership auto-renews to obtain that discount every year.

Is what you’ll save worth it? It was for me. I subscribe to the World Explorer Membership and saved a little more than $100. I also took advantage of this opportunity to make sure my other account information was up to date.

Don’t Cheat Yourself

After I paid, I made an unpleasant discovery.

My subscription expired the following week, during the first week of June, and what I didn’t realize was that the new membership took effect on the day I called and made the payment – May 27th. So, I essentially got cheated out of about ten days of the subscription I had already paid for. That’s not right, and I was not informed of that “detail.”

Apparently, I should have let the subscription expire or at least waited until the last day to call. Don’t make my mistake.

My subscription renews on May 27 of next year. I’m putting a note in my calendar to check on this a month in advance to ensure this will NOT auto-renew. I attempted to simply remove my credit card information to prevent auto-renewal from occurring, but the system would not allow me to remove my current credit card information without replacing it with a different card.

I can probably have them remove it if I call again.

I suspect I’ll need to cancel my subscription next year when I call, then resubscribe using my AARP number. If you’re thinking to yourself, “This is a pain,” it surely is.

It’s too bad this is so challenging, but regardless, with a little perseverance, if you have an AARP number, you can obtain a significant discount. Don’t let this benefit go unclaimed.

You’ll save enough to buy another DNA test at Ancestry or maybe elsewhere.

If you aren’t an AARP member but are a member of other organizations, genealogy, or heritage societies, you may qualify for a discount via that membership. Some of those might even result in a larger percentage discount than AARP. You’ll need to contact Ancestry to see. They won’t give you the membership list. You have to provide them with a list of your memberships.

I’ve also been told, but can’t verify, that when Ancestry has a 50% off special for gift subscriptions only, you can call, cancel your subscription, purchase a gift subscription, and gift it to yourself.

If you know of other Ancestry discounts for specific organizations or other ways to obtain discounts, please post them in the blog comments.

Good luck!


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Jullien Lor (c1752-1724); La Montagne, A Mountain of a Man – 52 Ancestors #401

Jullien signed his own name as Jullien Lor on a list of men taking a Loyalty oath in 1690. Interestingly, that given name is normally spelled Julien, with one l, but he signed his name with two. Spelling generally, including names, was not standardized at that time. I’ve normalized it to Julien for this article since that’s how you’ll see it spelled in most places.

In following generations, his surname is spelled Lord, among other ways, but there is no official parish record of the Lord surname at all in Port Royal, Acadia. The surname is found in various records for Julien and his sons as L’Or, Lor, Laure, Lore, and his dit name, La Montagne. L’or translates to “gold” in English.

Much about Julien’s life remains a mystery.

What Do We Actually Know About Julien Lor?

Julien was obviously literate, which means he had some level of education in France. He was not an impoverished street urchin and probably learned to read and write in a Catholic school instructed by priests.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

In Catholic countries, such as France, the Roman church retained control of education. Indeed, as monarchy became more absolute, so largely did the authority of the church in matters of education. In France, practically all schools and universities were controlled by so-called teaching congregations or societies, the most famous and powerful of which during the first half of the 17th century was the Society of Jesus. By mid-century, the Jesuits had 14,000 pupils under instruction in Paris alone; their colleges (not including universities) all over the land numbered 612.

We don’t know where Julien was born, although his signature on the petition required of the French Acadians by the British strongly suggests that he is French. In fact, I’d go so far as to say we’ve confirms it.

Not only is his name spelled with the Aigu accent over the e, which is common in French names, but had he NOT been French, he would not have been required to sign that document.

He may well have been named after the Catholic Saint Julian the Hospitaller.

I checked Filae, a site that contains a plethora of French records. There are no Lor, L’or, Lore, or Laur, but there are Laurent and Laurens. Without a subscription, I can’t see more.

MyHeritage records reflect either trees or non-relevant records. Maybe someday!

We don’t know where Julien was from in France or exactly when he was born, but we do have some idea about his birth year.

Bless the Census Takers, For They Have Saved My Sanity

The first actual record we find that includes Julien is the Port Royal 1686 census which was recorded by “Monsieur De Meulles, Intendant of New France and All the People of Beaubassin, Rivière St-Jean, Port-Royal, Isle Persée and other Colonies of Acadia where he himself visited all of the Habitations at the beginning of the year 1686.”

In this census, Julien is shown as age 33, married to Charlotte Girouard, who is 26, with four children. Alexander is 10, Jacques 8, Pierre 5, and Marie, age 1.

This tells us that Julien was born about 1653. It also tells us that he was in Port Royal at least 11 years earlier, by 1675, because he has a 10-year-old son. Assuming that Charlotte’s age is accurate, that means either she was not his first wife, or she was 16 when Alexander was born. Charlotte Anne Girouard is listed as Anne, age 12, in the 1671 census with her family, so he did not marry her in France.

Unfortunately, Julien and Anne are missing from the 1678 census. They are not with her parents, nor are they listed separately. Some things never change about census takers.

When Did Julien Arrive?

That’s a great question.

On a website no longer available, but that I accessed using the Wayback Machine, here, auto-translated by Google from French, Julien Lord is listed by that author as a soldier in the Carnigan company of soldiers. He’s noted as being born in Normandy in 1652, probably based on the regiment’s history. The website states that they reconstructed Julien’s life using the census and his children’s records.

What they don’t say directly is whether they actually found something to suggest Julien was a soldier, or it’s presumed.

Based on a list of the San Sebastian’s crew in 1665, here, Julien is not listed, but there is one person listed under the nickname, La Montagne, that translates as “mountain.” The dit part of the name translates to “said.” In other words, that person is called “mountain.”

Julien and his sons are all listed by the name of “La Montagne” in the 1707 and 1714 censuses. In case there’s doubt about him actually being known by that name, his wife Anne Charlotte’s death record clears that up.

It’s still a leap of faith equating a man listed only as “La Montagne” on a roster as Julien, although it is possible, and he clearly was listed by that name, without a first name, at least twice in the census.

According to information cousin Mark unearthed, several different men over time have been listed by that dit nickname.

What does the website say about Julien?

He was born in Normandy in 1652; He married Anne-Charlotte Girouard (1660/1741) in 1675 in Port-Royal, Acadia, daughter of François Girouard, dit Lavaranne and Jeanne Aucoin. In 1686, he was on the land of François Girouard, his father-in-law. In August 1695, he was among the 47 heads of families of Port-Royal who took an oath of loyalty to William of Orange, King of England. In 1714, the home of Julien Lord was located very close to the fort. He died between February 17 and May 3, 1724. The act of burial remains unfinished.

They do note that Julien, at age 13, seems young for a soldier, but also state that a boy could marry at age 13, boys were found on board fishing and warships by age 9, and the English army included 12-year-olds.

If he actually was 13, he sailed away, never to see any of his family again. How heartbreaking for him.

Information provided about the ship, auto-translated to English:

Embarked on board the ship Le Saint-Sébastien from La Rochelle on May 24, 1665 Arrived in Quebec on September 12, 1665

(117 days of crossing, embarcation included)

According to a letter from Jean Talon au Roy, it would also seem that he made a stopover near Tadoussac and it was only from there that the disease would have fallen on the ship, there are up to 80 patients.

(Sources: Relationship, Talon, Register.)

Return of the Laubias company in 1670:

This company will return with new soldiers and a few old ones, some of whom will settle in New France. According to Colbert de Terron, the soldiers of Laubias’ company embarked on the ship Hirondelle around mid-April 1670 (letter from Colbert de Terron dated May 1, 1670). Moreover, according to the “Report of François Baudry, captain of the Hirondelle, belonging to the king, on fishing on Percée Island and Newfoundland”, p. 25, L’Hirondelle is said to have gone “fishing for dry fish on the isle percée in the new land and would have arrived there quite happily on the seventeenth of June.”

Moreover, Colbert de Terron (in this same letter dated May 1, 1670) affirms that the ship New France would have left towards the end of April (“two days ago” compared to the writing of his letter of May 1, 1670). Moreover, if I believe the “Report of Alain Durand, captain of New France, on his trip to Quebec”, p. 28, New France is said to have left at the end of April 1670 and “would have been to the island breakthrough by order of His Majesty to take soldiers who were there in the name of the island. of two hundred men to lead them to d. place of quebec where they would have arrived on xxj. July “.

After a quick analysis of these sources (attached), it seems to me that the company of Laubias would probably have embarked on the Hirondelle in mid-April 1670 bound for “Isle Percée” and would have docked there towards June 22, 1670. From there, the company of Laubias would have embarked on board New France in destination of Quebec and would have arrived there on July 20, 1670.

Laubias’ company would then have established itself in Nicolet. See Histoire de Nicolet, pp 35 to 50, from Abbé Bellemare:

Research by Mr. Martin L’Epine whom we thank.

Based on the other soldiers, specifically the soldiers who remained, they were in Three Rivers in Quebec, not in Port Royal. How would Julien have gotten to Port Royal?

From the book One Hundred French-Canadian Family Histories by Phillip James Moore, using Google Books, we find the following excerpt.

Moore suggests Julien may have arrived in 1668 when he was 14 or in 1670 when he would have been 18.

If he arrived with any of these groups, he would clearly have been a soldier at Fort Anne.

Seaward view from the ramparts of the Fort Anne National Historic site where Julien likely began life in Acadia.

Karen Theriot Reader weighs in as follows:

Could he be the Julien Lord la Montagne among the names of soldiers in the Carignan-Salieres Regiment? They served between 1665 and 1668. Did he come to Acadia after that?

Residences: While some soldiers and officers of the Carignan regiment did settle in Acadia, they are not included in the soldier-settler list, because little factual information is known about them or their descendants, for lack of records from this area at that time.

From cousin Mark regarding Julien arriving with Carignan:

The list Sylvain (another cousin) referenced and the source cited is the French website. Even if one accepts that a 13-year-old can be a soldier that traveled by ship to Quebec, there is no evidence nor any proffered detail that he later journeyed somehow to Port-Royal. Moreover, I still see no Julien Lord with any similar surname on any of the lists I’ve checked. This includes Peter Gagné’s list at La Société des Filles du roi et soldats du Carignan, as well as from Jack Verney’s book that I have, “The Good Regiment.” Verney lists a soldier identified only by the dit name Lamontagne as with the Loubias company. As Peter Gagné pointed out in his excellent master’s thesis on the Regiment, “Nicknames were not exclusive to one individual” and lists, among other dit names that of Lamontagne for six soldiers across different companies.

Where I think there exists some confusion between what Sylvain wrote and WikiTree, is that Le Saint-Sébastien was also the name of the ship, and possibly the same one from 1665, that carried Hector d’Andigné de Grandfontaine first to Boston and then to Pentagöuet, now Penobscot, Maine, to take possession of the forts the English had previously captured. He sent his second-in-command to Port Royal which surrendered on September 2, 1670. He had been appointed the new governor of Acadia, and there were soldiers onboard with him, possibly including Julien Lord. But again, from what I can determine, and otherwise it would have been of great news for Acadian genealogists, there was no roster or passenger list for that voyage. Sylvain wrote that he arrived with the ship on September 2, so it is this voyage that Sylvain refers to not that of the 1665 voyage of the Carignan Regiment to Québec. Maybe he was familiar with a roster I’m not aware of.

This, from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography on d’Andigné,

In addition to the soldiers and indentured employees who had arrived with the governor, the Oranger brought 60 passengers the following year, among them one woman and four girls, and the court paid 100 livres each for their passage and their setting-up. The soldiers seemed to like the country, for in the following years some 15 thought of settling there. It is impossible to determine exactly how many new settlers took up residence in Acadia at that time, but it was certainly the greatest number to arrive since the time of Razilly and d’Aulnay.

The 1671 Census of Acadia is incomplete as it only listed habitants, not others, including the soldiers stationed there. I do suspect Julien Lord may have been among them. An outstanding researcher of La Rochelle sailings to New France is Guy Perron who writes up his research in a blog that is a gold mine for this type of information.

I’ve quickly searched for the 1670 sailing of the Saint-Sébastien and did not find it, but will continue to look, through his 355 articles and elsewhere.

What Was Happening?

Mark’s comment about the 1671 census omitting soldiers at the Fort is quite important. Julien is NOT found in that census, nor the 1678 census, but we know he was already married by 1675 and had a son in 1676.

So, what was going on in Acadia, the land where Julien arrived, somehow, adopted as his own and lived the rest of his life?

We already know that Acadia was the land of a few French settlers and a few French soldiers, but not many. The British also wanted Acadia. Skirmishes and outright warfare regularly occurred on this maritime frontier, and control shifted back and forth for 150 years or so until the British deported the Acadian families a century later, in 1755.

In 1666, France reportedly stopped sending colonists to Canada, including Acadia, for fear of depopulating the mother country.

In 1667, France regained Acadia through treaty, but the English didn’t actually leave  until 1670 when the English forts at Port Royal and Jemseg surrendered. The French were finally back in control of Acadia.

By 1670, Acadia had about 400 people. That’s not very many. By comparison, Massachusetts had about 40,000.

When France regained control of Acadia, another 30 soldiers, and 60 settlers arrived. Their orders were to restore French authority and keep the pesky English out.

Caught in the middle between two powers, England and France, the Acadians were often subject to attack. It may be important to note that they maintained trading relations with people in New England, even though it was forbidden. A century later, long-established family relationships may have helped save their descendants when the English deported them in 1755.

Thankfully, in 1671, the new French governor requested a census that provides us with the first, even somewhat comprehensive, view of Acadia, although some inhabitants were missed.

The official census of 1671 recorded 392 people, mostly in Port Royal. Scholars estimate the real count was probably someplace around 500. That census did not include the soldiers at the fort. This is probably why Julien is not recorded in either 1671 when he was (probably) not yet married, or in 1678. By 1678, he was not only married, he had one child born in 1676, another in 1678 or 1679, and his wife was probably expecting another child. Julien had clearly settled in.

Reconstructing Julien’s Life

Fortunately, we can reconstruct part of Julien’s life through the census. Those records are particularly important prior to the church records that remain dating from May of 1702. Earlier records were destroyed in some warfare event.

The early census documents include the names and ages of children with their families.

I need to stress that I’m using transcribed records, mostly but not exclusively from, not the originals that would have been recorded in French script. Some of these records are quite confusing, so I resorted to my old standby – a spreadsheet.

Based on that 1686 census, we know that Julien was married to Charlotte Anne or Anne Charlotte Girouard about 1675. While the ages of some people vary widely, her birth year universally resolves to 1660.

The church records don’t exist from the 1600s, so we don’t have their marriage record, nor do we know positively that she was Julien’s first wife. However, their second child, Jacques’s marriage record specifies that Anne Girouard is his mother. Jacques was born in 1678 or 1679.

Julien had at least nine known children and probably several more. I’ve attempted to reconstruct the family as follows, interweaving historical events for a peek into their lives.

  • Alexander Lore was born in 1676 and died on October 5, 1740. He married Marie Francoise Barrieau before May of 1702 when existing parish records begin, and probably before the 1701 census. His death record does not show his parents but states his age as 64, so confirms his birth in 1676 which is consistent with the census.
  • Possibly a child that died.
  • Jacques Lor was probably born in 1679 and died sometime after 1742. He married twice, first to Angelique Comeau on November 19, 1708, and secondly to Marie Charlotte Bonnevie on August 18, 1721.
  • Possibly a child that died.
  • Pierre Lore was born in 1681 or 1682 and died on January 17, 1738, in or near Port Royal. He married Jeanne Doucet on June 17, 1715.

In 1684, a new governor was appointed, which seemed to be a regular occurrence. He described the Acadians as living simply and pastorally. He claimed they lived better than Canadians, never lacking meat or bread, but weren’t as industrious. He said they never put anything away for a bad year and their dowries were small – a few francs and a cow in calf, a ewe and a sow. Some wealthy families had a feather bed.

This paints a picture of what Julien and Charlotte’s wedding might have been like. Starting life with a pregnant cow, a ewe and a sow. I’m sure the newlyweds didn’t care where they slept.

Another new governor in 1686 reported that the people had scattered and lived far from each other. The homes were built behind the marshes, which were along the river.

  • Marie Lore was probably born between 1684 and 1687. One Marie Lore witnesses a baptism record in 1733. We will discuss her records in the next section.
  • Probably a child that died.
  • Anne Lore was born in 1687 and died on May 21, 1770 in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. She married Mathieu Doucet on June 15, 1712.

A 1688 report states that there was a labor shortage and a shortage of manure necessary for developing the uplands. I never considered manure as a commodity in this way. The report also stated that there was a shortage of tidelands that would be easy to dyke. As a result, 25-30 (mostly) younger people had moved to Minas in the last six years.

The settlers were described as “scattered apart from each other in the space of six or seven leagues, above and below along the banks of the Port Royal river.”

  • Probably 2 children that died.

In 1689, Vincent de Saccard said that “there weren’t any settlers below Goat Island, but 29 on the shores of the basin above it. Each settler has frontage of about one and a half to two miles, but not much depth. The largest areas of marsh that could be dyked had more farms. Farms had maybe 100-200 acres.”

I suspect that these families would have been very vulnerable to attack. However, the Mi’kmaq were their friends and sometimes family, so the Acadians were certainly not as vulnerable as they would have been without that liaison.

Photos of repairing dykes at Grand Pre about 1900 can be viewed here, and the labor-intensive Acadian aboiteau dike and sluice gate system, here, including special shoes for horses to keep them from sinking.

Antoine Cadillac, who lived in Acadia in the 1680s as an explorer, trapper and trader wrote, “This place is surrounded by steep mountains, at the bottom of which there is a small valley one league wide and seven leagues long, where there are only prairies on each side of the river, which are flooded by the tides, the inhabitants have made levees, dykes and causeways, so that the dirty water cannot enter.”

Of course, this means that Julien would have known Cadillac who traded in both furs and liquor.

Click to enlarge

This is where Julien lived, at location #12, according to this 1733 survey.

The Fires

On May 9, 1690, Acadia was again attacked, plundered, and burned by the English out of Boston.

English forces under Sir William Phipps attacked Port Royal with a fleet of seven vessels and 700 men. French pirate Pierre Baptiste was among only 85 men defending the unfinished fortification at Port Royal.

After spending 12 days pillaging Port Royal, Phipps’ troops pillaged the rest of Acadia, including Castine, La Hève, Chedabucto, and the settlements at the head of the Bay of Fundy which would have included Julien’s home.

The church and 28 homes were burned, but not the mills and upriver farms. The English were now in charge. Baptiste was taken prisoner along with other Acadians whose names we don’t know, but shortly thereafter, escaped.

Julien clearly knew Baptiste and probably knew him well.

The Acadians in the fort at Port Royal swore an oath of allegiance, hoping to de-escalate the situation. Later, two English pirates, then called privateers, took advantage of the opportunity and burned homes again, killing people and slaughtering livestock. Some people just take pleasure in other people’s misery and being cruel.

A year later, Baptiste, our friendly French pirate who had attempted unsuccessfully to defend Port Royal in 1690, was successfully recruiting men in Acadia.

During this timeframe, Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac explored up the St. Lawrence River, through New France. He wrote about the Acadians, reporting that, “the creolles…travel most of the time by bark canoes. Their wives do the same, and are very bold on the water.” Another man stated that the Acadians used “bark canoes, like the savages, or other small canoes that they themselves make from a hollow tree hole.”

By Billy Hathorn – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

A beautiful birchbark canoe from the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbour, Maine. The rivers were their roads, and Julien’s family lived on what was the Rivière du Dauphin, now renamed the Annapolis River.

In 1590, a century earlier, Theodore de Bry produced this engraving of a John White watercolor, stating this is how the Native people made their dugout canoes, by hollowing logs out using fire. The Acadians learned from the Mi’kmaq and probably did the same.

In 1690, when the houses were burned, Julien had a wife and at least five children to care for. Based on the documentation available, we know that he lived “above” the fort along the river.

The oath Julien signed in 1690 was forced upon the residents in May when the fort was captured. In his own words, the Massachusetts commander reported, “We cut down the cross, rifled the Church, pulled down the High-Altar, breaking their images”; and on 23 May, “kept gathering Plunder both by land and water, and also under ground in their Gardens.”

Julien would have been a strapping man of 38. And probably hellishly angry.

I would guess that Julien sent his wife and boys, ages 14, 11, and 9, and two daughters about 3 and 6, someplace into hiding, perhaps in the mountain range above their home, marked with the red star above. He may have needed to keep his wife’s elderly parents safe too. His father-in-law died sometime during this period.

Perhaps the nearby mountains had something to do with rekindling his nickname, La Montagne.

There would have been safety in the mountains among their allies, the Mi’kmaq people. Julien would have been one of those 85 men defending the fort.

After giving orders to his men to impose the loyalty oath to everyone they could locate, both French and Native, “and upon refusal hereof to burn, kill, and destroy them,” Phipps sailed back to Massachusetts.

No wonder Julien and the others signed.

There are gaps between the known children of Julien and Charlotte. Based on what we know, one child was probably born in 1690, possibly in the midst of the attack. So, Charlotte was either pregnant or had a baby with her during this time. That child died.

  • Magdelaine Lore was born in 1692 and married Francois Amiraut on January 16, 1714.

In the 1693 census, Julien is 41 years old, so born in 1652, and is listed with his wife, Charlotte, age 33, so born in 1660, living in the home of his mother-in-law, Jean Aucoin, age 60, widow of Francois Girouard. Julien’s children are Alexandre, 16, Jacques, 14, Pierre, 12, Marie, 6, and Magdeleine, 1, along with 20 cattle, 40 sheep, 10 hogs, 20 arpents (of land), and 2 guns. An arpent of land can either be about 192 linear feet or about .84 acres.

Julien seems to be providing well for his family with an abundance of livestock.

  • Probably a child that died, or the age of one of another child is recorded incorrectly.
  • Based on the various census records, Louis Lore and Jean-Baptiste Lore appear to be the same person who was born in 1695 and died sometime after 1714.
  • Probably a child that died.
  • Marguerite Lore was born in-between 1695 and 1698 and died before November 5, 1770. She married Joseph Amiraux on January 30, 1718.

For a relatively small area with few residents, Acadia was a lightning rod of conflict.

In 1696, the English attacked again. By this time, it was a common occurrence, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t devastating to the colonists who had to keep rebuilding over and over. Germain Bourgeois told the English that they had sworn loyalty to the English King. The English pretended it mattered, but it didn’t. Buildings were burned again, animals slaughtered, and apparently not just for food, but sport. This time, the dykes were ruined too, meaning it would be another three years before they could plant again.

In 1697, Acadia was returned to the French in the Treaty of Ryswick.

The 1698 census provides additional information about the family, with the transcribed version recording Julien Lord as 46, so born in 1652, Charlotte as 38, born in 1660, Jacques as 20, Marie as 18 (born 1680), Pierre as 16, Anne as 11 (born 1687), Jean-Baptiste 3, 20 cattle, 20 sheep, 12 hogs, 21 arpents of land, 6 fruit trees and one gun. Location is given as Port Royal.

The fruit trees made me smile. Fruit, probably apples, must have been a wonderful treat. Only people with long-term aspirations and intentions plant trees.

I initially thought that daughters Marie and Anne were the same person called by different names, but on two different censuses, both are recorded, so clearly not one individual.

By 1700 when another census was taken, there were about 2000 Acadians, but they no longer considered themselves “Pure French.”

In the 1700 census, Julien was age 48, so born in 1652, and Charlotte, age 40, born in 1660, are living with her mother, Jeanne Aucoin, age 87 (which is probably actually 67.) Their children are Alexandre, 24, Jacques, 21, Pierre, 18, Marie, 13, Madelaine, 8, Louis, 5, and Marguerite, 2, plus 15 cattle, 34 sheep, 20 arpents of land, and 2 guns (Port Royal)

The 1701 census shows Julien Lord, 50, so born 1651, Anne Girouard (wife,) 41, so born 1660; Jacques, 23, Pierre, 20, Marie, 17, Anne, 14, Louis, 8, Marguerite, 6; 2 guns, 17 cattle, 15 sheep, 12 hogs, 10 arpents of land. (Port Royal). Why is Julien shown with less land?

  • Possibly a female child died after 1703
  • Possibly a male child born 1701/1702 and died before 1707
  • Charles Lore was born in 1703 or 1704 and died on November 21, 1775 in Varennes, Quebec. He married Marie-Josephte Doucet on February 19, 1726.
  • Possibly one final daughter according to the 1714 census

By 1702, both sides were preparing for conflict again. The Acadian governor had begun construction of a stone and earth fort the year before which was largely complete by 1704.

The 1703 census shows Julien Lors, wife, 4 boys and 4 girls. Alexander had married but is not listed separately. However, his wife is not listed here. The four boys would be Jacque, Pierre, Jean-Baptiste/Louis, and Charles if he was born by 1703. If Charles was not yet born by the 1703 census, Julien and Charlotte had a male child in 1701 or 1702 that died before 1707. The girls would be Marie, Anne, Magdaleine, and Marguerite.

Julien’s children are VERY difficult to unravel.

Sorting the Children

If Charlotte was born in 1660, she would have been 43 in 1703 when Charles was born, or 44 if he was born in 1704. It’s possible that she had another child or two. If she did, we don’t have any definitive records.

I created a spreadsheet attempting to correlate family information.

I compiled the children and their ages from each census. I calculated their birth year from their age.

In their cell, you’ll see something like 33-1653 which means that Julien was age 33 in 1686, which subtracts to a birth year of 1653.

Some years are confusing. For example, Alexander is missing in 1698 when he would have been about 22, but he’s present in 1700, then missing in 1701 and 1703. He’s enumerated separately in 1714. He clearly lived because we have his death record in 1740.

Click to enlarge

I’ve listed Jean-Baptiste and Louis, colored blue, separately, but if you look at the entries, it’s clear that’s actually one person.

The most confusing entries are for daughters Marie and Anne, colored yellow. I originally thought they were two names for the same person, but they aren’t. In both 1698 and 1701, both names are listed with different birth years. So, there are clearly two people. Sometimes when a child dies, the parents name another child with the same name. However, that’s not the case here either.

If I had the original census documents, I’d check the ages. There is probably one Marie, but the ages vary so widely that I listed them separately. I just don’t know. The last record we have for any Marie is a 1733 record where some Marie Lor is a witness for a baptism. Then, nothing.

Anne, on the other hand, is listed in 1698 but should have been listed in 1693 if she was born in 1687. She was also missing in 1700, but present with Marie in both 1698 and 1701.

Anne married in 1712, but in the 1714 census, her husband is not listed as a head of household.

The 1703, 1707, and 1714 censuses do not list the children by name or age. They list the head of household with the number of children.

In 1703, the number of arms bearers is listed too.

In 1703, Julien had 4 boys, 4 girls and 4 arms bearers. I’ve colored the boys blue and the girls apricot who can be reasonably identified in 1703, 1707, and 1714.

In 1703, by process of elimination, we know Julien was an arms bearer, and so was Jacques, who would have been 25, and Pierre, who would have been 22. Who was the fourth male that was an arms bearer? The youngest males would have been Jean-Baptists/Louis, who would have been 10 and Charles who was an infant. Both were too young to bear arms. Is the other male Alexandre? If so, then where is his wife? Was she not counted because she was an adult and not Julien’s child?

Julien has 4 girls. One would have been Marie, one Anne, one Magdeleine, and one Marguerite, so that works.

In 1707, Julien was listed simply as LaMoutagne (probably actually LaMontagne,) with his wife, 2 boys age 14 or older, 2 younger boys, 3 girls 12 or older, 1 younger girl, 6 arpents of land, 16 cattle, 28 sheep, 18 hogs, and 2 guns. His son, Alexandre, listed as Androu LaMoutagne, wife, 2 girls less than 12, 7 cattle, 15 sheep, 8 hogs and a gun. Notice that Julien now only has 6 arpents of land, and Alexandre has none. Alexandre is listed beside Julien, so they are clearly sharing one farm, so he’s probably the fourth arms-bearer in 1703.

The 1707 census was used to create this wonderful interactive map, here, which is also available in print at the O’Dell House Museum.

In 1714, seven years later, several of Julien’s children had married. Julien himself is again listed as LaMontagne with no first name. This is clearly what he was called. Beside him are both Alexandre LaMontagne and Jacques LaMontagne, both listed in their own households.

Julien is listed with 3 sons and 3 daughters. One son is Pierre who didn’t marry until the next year, and probably Jean-Baptiste/Louis, although we have no records of him beyond 1701. The third son would be Charles was born in 1703 or 1704.

Julien is also shown with 3 daughters. One definitely would be Marguerite. Either Marie, Anne, or Magdeleine could be the other daughters. Neither Anne nor Magdeleine’s husbands are listed as heads of household. It’s very unlikely that Charlotte had another child after 1707, but that’s not impossible either. I justs don’t know.

Lastly, in both 1693 and 1700, Julien and family are living with his mother-in-law, or she is living with them. They are shown with 20 arpents of land.  In 1686, Charlotte’s father was still living, but he died before the 1793 census.

So, what do we actually know about Julien’s children?

We know positively that Julien and Charlotte had nine children, assuming Marie is only one person. Seven married. Two disappeared entirely from the records. This could mean that there were either marriage or death records, and the records are missing, or that they never married and were deported in 1755. If so, they never emerged elsewhere, so probably died in exile.

We also know that Julien and Charlotte probably had between another 8 and 10 children that died young. Unfortunately, this occurred often in the 1600s, and the existing church records don’t begin until mid-1703 and are incomplete.

There are reports of two churches, but I’m unclear whether both parish church records survived. Perhaps both churches were actually served by the same Priest, and there was only one register. I don’t know, but I do know that some records are missing and others are incomplete.

More War

By 1704, Acadia was under attack again by the English. Settlements and one of two churches were looted, and the dams were “dug down” supposedly as revenge for Indian attacks in New England, instigated by the French.

When Daniel d’Auger de Subercase became governor of Acadia in 1706, he went on the offensive, encouraging native raids against English targets in New England. He also encouraged the corsairs of Port-Royal, including Baptiste, in their attacks against the English colonial ships. Privateers were very effective. The English fishing fleet on the Grand Banks was reduced by 80% between 1702 and 1707, and certain English coastal communities were attacked.

In 1707, a new French governor arrived with 160 soldiers, three-quarters of whom were young men from the “quays of Paris.”

The next attack, also in 1707, was led by Massachusetts and joined by men from Rhode Island and New Hampshire, but failed. Baptiste, the Acadian’s favorite pirate, fought valiantly alongside the Acadians, successfully foiling the English in their attempted Siege of Port Royal.

Hostilities were clearly still simmering and sometimes reached a boil.

In 1708, Queen Anne’s war began, and the temperature ramped up again between the English and French.

In 1708, Fort Anne’s store 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. An additional ship was built, and relationships were established with privateers who welcomed the opportunity to take English ships.

Yea, the privateers loved the Acadians too. Symbiosis.

The Big Guns!

On September 24, 1710, Port Royal was attacked again by the English who had sent five ships carrying 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. The Iroquois were recruited as scouts.

The Province Galley, above, was one of the vessels that attacked Port Royal.

A dispatch vessel, the Chester, carried deserters from the French garrison who reported that morale was extremely low.

I wonder if the Acadiana had some idea of what was coming.

The Acadians, with their 300 troops, many of whom were poorly trained recruits from France augmenting all local able-bodied men, stood absolutely no chance, although they did manage to hold the fort for ten days before the fort fell into English hands. The Mi’kmaq and Acadians attempted to defend the settlement by firing from homes and the woods, but they were simply outgunned by warships and massively outnumbered. The soldiers were allowed to exit the fort with their dignity and their life before the British celebrated their victory will full pomp and circumstance on October 16, 1710.

That must have been an incredibly humiliating and gut-wrenching day for the Acadians. They had no idea what they would be subjected to.

The episode became known as the Siege of Port Royal and the Conquest of Acadia.

The life story of Julien’s son, Jacques Lor holds a great deal of information about this time period and the life of Julien Lor after 1700.

Confusion Reigns

After the fort and this portion of Acadia fell to the English, again, confusion reigned during the next three or four years. At first, the British required the Acadians to leave, which would have included Julien’s family. Then, after the English realized that they needed the Acadian farmers to feed them, they refused to let them leave.

The Acadians were not only confused, they were furious and characteristically stubborn. I’m sure they also realized that while they “lost,” at some level, they still had some degree of residual power which must have galled the British immensely.

In 1714, the British, thankfully, ordered a census, probably for the purpose of taxation. However, the Acadians refused to pay taxes. Now that they couldn’t leave, they wanted to and had prepared accordingly, not planting their fields. Now what were they to do?

The 1714 census shows “La Montagne” with no first name, and wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters near Port Royal. Julien’s two oldest sons Alexandre and Jacques had married and are shown next to him with their first names and LaMontagne as a last name.

In 1714 Julien’s three sons at home were Pierre, Jean-Baptiste/Louis, and Charles. Magdelaine had married Francois Amiraut and Francois Tourangeau, which could be Amiraut, with a wife was listed beside the three Montagne listings. Julien’s three daughters would be Marie, Marguerite, and another. Perhaps Anne or Magdeleine whose husbands are not shown separately were included? Or had Charlotte borne one last child around 1707 at 47 years of age?

The British also decided that the 1690 loyalty oath was inadequate, but the Acadians refused to sign a new one.

Once again, relationships were deteriorating.

In 1715, the English closed the Fort gates and the Acadians were prevented from trading with the Fort as well as with the Indians. Now, the Acadians wanted to leave, but they couldn’t.

In 1717, Captain John Doucette became the Lieutenant Governor. Doucet is a French name, but Captain Doucette did not speak French and was a career military man from England.

By this time, some Acadians had decided to stay put on peaceful terms. When the Indians learned about this, they threatened the Acadians. Though they had always been friends and many were related, the Indians didn’t want the Acadians defecting to the English side.

Doucette demanded that the Acadians take a new loyalty oath, but they thought doing so would tie them down, and they still wanted to move. They said if they were to stay, they wanted protection from the Indians, and the oath would have to be constructed so that they would not be required to fight their own countrymen. But Doucette demanded an unconditional oath. The Acadians refused.

Julien, now 65 years old, must have been chronically exhausted by this continuous conflict. And it wasn’t going to get better anytime soon.

Playing Chess

General Phillips arrived in 1720 and issued a proclamation that the Acadians must take the loyalty 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 force the Acadians to sign the oath. But they still refused, saying that the Indians were threatening them. When the Acadians said, “let us harvest our crops and use vehicles to carry it,” Philipps figured they were planning to take their possessions with them and denied their request.

In response, the Acadians began creating a road northeast to Minas in order to escape by land, but the governor ordered the road stopped. He was convinced that the Acadians wanted to remove their cattle which the English needed. He may well have been right. Furthermore, if all the Acadians left and made their way to Beaubassin, then a fortified French possession, it would strengthen a French colony, giving them an advantage while at the same time stripping the English colony of needed resources.

Phillips said the Acadians were stubborn and ungovernable, directed by bigoted priests. This made me laugh because I suspect that’s exactly what the Acadians wanted. If they couldn’t leave, they would make themselves a HUGE thorn in his side.

The Abenaki and Mi’kmaq continued to defend Acadia, refusing to recognize the treaty with the British, essentially handing over their lands. In 1722, they became heavily involved when Governor Doucette took 22 Mi’kmaq hostage at Annapolis Royal to prevent the capital from being attacked. In July, the Abenaki and Mi’kmaq created a blockade with the intent of starving the British in the capital. They captured 18 fishing vessels and took prisoners. Shortly thereafter, the Governor of Massachusetts officially declared war, launching Father Rale’s War. Raids continued back and forth through 1723 and 1724, when in July, 60 Mi’kmaq and Maliseets raided Annapolis Royal.

Julien would not live to see that, though, or the resolution, such as it was, in 1725.

What Happened to Julien?

Worse yet, we don’t know what happened to Julien, but clearly, something did.

Based on this entry in the parish book, Julien died between February 17th and May 3rd, 1724. It’s confounding why he had no death entry other than his name scribed in the margin as recorded in the Nova Scotia Archive.

He would have been 72 years old. Certainly not aged by today’s standards, but without modern medicine, not to mention constant strife and warfare, 72 is rather remarkable. Having said that, his death entry is baffling.

Perhaps Julien drowned, or something befell him, and there was no body recovered, so no funeral and, of course, no burial. Was he caught up in the warfare?

Why was this entry never completed? Did he die someplace on the road to Minas, or someplace else? Was he attempting to remove his family? Or, did he die someplace in the woods, his body not found, which might be why there’s no death date?

If the entry above his was made on February 17th, and the one below was made on May 3rd, surely someone knew something. They clearly knew he was dead, or his name would not have been written in the margin before the following entry. Furthermore, there is adequate space left for his entry, like someone expected it to be completed.

Why didn’t the priest who made the May 3rd entry complete Julien’s death entry? The handwriting does appear to be different. Who wrote his name in the margin?

This is an assumption, but I’d wager that this means Julien didn’t have a proper Catholic funeral, and he was not buried in consecrated ground in the churchyard. If he had been, surely the priest who performed the service would have completed the entry.

Father’s Rale’s War was underway, but the spring campaigns were taking place in New England and in Minas. If Julien was in Minas, he might have died there. In July, sixty Mi’kmaw and Maliseets raided Annapolis Royal, killing, scalping, and terrorizing the population. Three houses were burned, but Julien had been gone for at least two months by this time.

Did Julien somehow get caught in the wake of the warfare? Or did he simply die in the woods hunting? Or disappear? If so, then how did they know he was dead to make an entry in the church book?

This skeletal entry leaves so many unanswered questions.

Julien’s Y-DNA

Two men from different sons of Julien Lor have taken the Big Y-500 and Big Y-700 tests, respectively.

At the Big Y-500 level, those men were assigned to Haplogroup R-BY93943, or rather, it was assigned to them as a result of testing.

One man has already upgraded to the Big Y-700, and a test has been ordered for the second man. They will probably receive a brand-spanking-new haplogroup when the second man receives his Big Y-700 results.

This haplogroup was born when the mutation R-BY93943 occurred about 1700 CE, which correlates nicely with given the birth years of Julien’s two sons in 1675 and 1678/1679.

The incredible thing is that this haplogroup, to date, is shared ONLY by the descendants of the sons of Julien Lore, so it could well be exclusive to Julien. I live for the day when a man with a similar surname from France tests and matches Julien’s descendants. That’s how we may be able to find Julien’s family in France. It may be the only way.

The next earlier haplogroup, upstream of R-BY93943, R-CTS9881, originated about 100 BCE. Generally, we find haplogroups between a more recent and a fairly distant haplogroup, but given the restrictions against DNA testing in France, I’m not surprised.


We will never know when, how, or why Julien obtained the nickname of LaMontagne, the mountain. It could have been because of where he lived, beneath the mountain along the river. That’s certainly possible.

It could have reflected upon his character.

It could have been a commentary on his size, especially if he was a large soldier.

It could have been a family nickname reminiscent of his mother and carried on by his comrades on that tall ship that transported him to Acadia.

Or it could simply have been a nickname conferred by his military buddies – and he’s laughing now at all this speculation.

I admire Julien’s tenacity, audacity, and spunk. I’m incredibly grateful that he signed his name for us that single time in 1690, even if it was under duress. His signature, written by his own hand, is uniquely his, incredibly personal and remains today as the only tangible item of his from his journey upon this Earth. That, and his DNA, are gifts for his descendant in generations yet to come.

I will remember Julien not only as the founder of our Lore/Lord line in Acadia, Canada, and the United States, but also as a mountain of a man carving a life for his family out of a wild, marshy, and unforgiving maritime frontier, constantly under threat, along the banks of the Rivière du Dauphin.


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Family Tree Magazine’s Best Genealogy Websites for 2023

Family Tree Magazine has just released its 101 best-of-the-best genealogy websites for 2023, grouped into categories. I’m quite honored that DNAeXplain is included in the Best Genetic Genealogy Websites category.

Congratulations to the other sites as well. You can read more about each one of the genetic genealogy sites here.

In addition, Family Tree Magazine is giving away a prize package here, to celebrate. I’ve entered! Who doesn’t want helpful tools for their genealogy.

OK, What Can I Do With This?

Having a list is quite nice, but beyond that, what can you do with this?

Are there companies whose products and services you’ve never tried?

Here’s one sentence about each of the winners in the genetic genealogy category with something you might not know:

  • 23andMe – Did you know 23andMe constructs a genetic tree for you based on your matches?
  • DNAeXplained – Did you know that DNAeXplain offers more than 1600 free step-by-step “how-to” articles and pages on a wide variety of topics, and you can search by keyword or surname in the search box?
  • DNAPainter – Did you know that DNAPainter offers a blog, videos and 15 different tools in addition to their famous chromosome painting?
  • FamilyTreeDNA – Did you know that FamilyTreeDNA offers both Y and mitochondrial DNA testing in addition to autosomal DNA testing and uploads where they bucket your matches maternally or paternally based on segment matches to people you link in your tree?
  • GEDmatch – Did you know that GEDmatch offers 13 free tools in addition to 15 Tier 1 (subscription) tools, including segment search and cluster tools from Genetic Affairs not available elsewhere?
  • ISOGG – Did you know that ISOGG was founded in 2005 to provide information about genetic genealogy, is free, and run by volunteers?
  • Your DNA Guide – Did you know that Diahan Southard at Your DNA Guide provides courses, free tools, and DNA coaching?

The Larger List

Of course, genetic genealogy is one of many tools in the genealogist’s toolbox, and no one is good at everything. We need specialists with a focus on and passion for specific topics.

Have you visited each of these websites on the list to see if they have something relevant for you?

Here’s one I love. David Rumsey’s Map Collection. He scans and provides absolutely AMAZING historical maps. I don’t know David, but if I ever meet him, he’s going to get a big hug and maybe some chocolate too!😊 I use these maps all the time. I want to see what the area where my ancestors lived was like when they lived there. David very graciously makes his 122,000 maps available for use under the creative commons license.

I encourage you to take a look at each site on the list. Even if there is nothing useful for you currently, you never know when you might need whatever that site has to offer. It’s always a good thing to expand your horizons.

Maybe you can discover something new about an ancestor today!

Have fun!


Follow DNAexplain on Facebook, here.

Share the Love!

You’re always welcome to forward articles or links to friends and share on social media.

If you haven’t already subscribed (it’s free,) you can receive an email whenever I publish by clicking the “follow” button on the main blog page, here.

You Can Help Keep This Blog Free

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Uploads

Genealogy Products and Services

My Book

Genealogy Books

Genealogy Research