Jacques “dit Beaumont” de Bonnevie, Acadian from Paris, 52 Ancestors #26

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines
Ding ding dong, ding ding dong.

I always loved that lullaby from childhood.  Brother John, Brother John, are you sleeping, are you sleeping?  Morning Bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing….

I had no idea I had my own French Jacques and that the morning bells were those of Notre Dame in Paris.

river cruise 2

Little did I know on the day I found my first Acadian ancestor what a floodgate was opening.  Now, that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.  Wonderful because so much research has been done on Acadian families, and terribly frustrating because in so many cases, in spite of all of that research, we still can’t get them back to France.

world vine

The families are also, in some cases, hopelessly intertwined….and I don’t even want to talk about what the autosomal DNA of these families looks like.  Let’s just say that it’s not a family tree, but more line a family vine.

Jacques “dit Beaumont” de Bonnevie is an exception in that we know where he was born in France.

Before I tell you about Jacques, what little we know about him, let me thank a few people who’ve helped me immensely.

First, Paul LeBlanc, who tells me we are related in 37 different ways, is the host of the Acadian list at Rootsweb.  To subscribe to this list,  please send an email to ACADIAN-request@rootsweb.com with the word ‘subscribe’ without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message.

I think it was also Paul who told me that if you’re related to one Acadian, you’re related to all Acadians.  I thought it was cute at the time.  Little did I realize he was serious!  I didn’t know, then, just how true that was!

Secondly, the research on Jacque and much of what has been done on my other Acadian ancestors was contributed by Karen Theriot Reader, a librarian and genealogist extraordinaire, focused on Acadian immigrants to Louisiana.  Fortunately for me, those families all originated in Acadia, in far northeastern Canada, shown on the map below.

Acadia 1754

I am also very grateful to the administrators of DNA projects that include or focus on Acadian families.

There is the Mothers of Acadia project as well as the Amerindian Ancestor Out of Acadia project.

There are also various related projects, such as the Louisiana Creole and the French Heritage projects.

Sorting out the families and separating myth from fact has become much easier with the advent of genetic genealogy.  In fact, it’s how I proved my first Acadian connection through the Lore family – but that’s a story for another time.

Dit Names

Oh yes, and there’s one more thing I’d better explain and that’s about “dit” names.  Dit names, often found in French Canadian, specifically Acadian, families are nicknames, for lack of a better term, either attached to a surname or to a particular person.

Dit translates literally as “to say” so a “dit” name means “that is to say.”  Sometimes dit names are location based, military based or something else that doesn’t make much sense today.  For example, if the dit name is LaMontagne, or “the mountain,” does it mean the man was built like a mountain, he was of great social stature, was it that he lived near the mountain, or was it, perhaps, a joke?

As if Acadian genealogy wasn’t complex enough, ancestors can be listed under either name, or both, variously, or at the same time.

When I knew I was going to Paris in the fall of 2013, I searched through my files to see if any of my ancestors had a historical connection to Paris, and sure enough, Jacques was born there.

Jacques “dit Beaumont” de Bonnevie

Jacques was born about 1660, although some references state as late as 1678, in Paris. However, Karen Theriot Reader’s source provides proof that the 1660 date is much more accurate than later dates.

Karen provided me with the following information about Jacques and how we know he was in fact, born in Paris.

The citation from Stephen A. White is from his highly respected genealogical dictionary of Acadians. He does go into detail on the historical document which says Jacques was a “native of Paris.” It is in French in the original citation, but I have the English translation he published somewhat later. Footnote/Endnote Citation: Stephen A. White, English Supplement to the Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes (Moncton: Centre d’Études Acadiennes, 2000). Published as [vol. 3] of the Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes.

He is listed as Jacques Bonnavie dit Beaumont.

Another note from Karen provides us with additional information.

Jacques BONNEVIE dit BEAUMONT, Biographical Note: 20 Dec 1732: List of the disabled retired from the French forces at Ile Royale proposed to my Lord the Compte de Maurepas to receive half-pay.

Jacques Bonnevie called Beaumont, aged seventy-two years, native of Paris, former corporal in the troops of Acadia, where he served for seventeen years. He is not in condition to serve, nor to earn his living, because of a wound to his thigh he received in the King’s service.

Document found in Stephen A. White’s Dictionnaire (French ed.):  (ANF, Col, D2C, vol 47, fol 475)   That would be in the Archives of New France (ANF). Also, Isle Royale is now Cape Breton Island in Canada.

Jacques died on April 23, 1733 at the Hospital de Louisbourg, Ile-Royal, Acadia.

Karen also provided from Bona Arsenault, HISTOIRE ET GENEALOGIE DES ACADIENS; 1625-1810; Ottawa, Editions Lemeac, 1978, 6 vols.; p. 438 (Port Royal); own copy:

Entry says name also BEAUMONT. Jacques was born around 1678, married around 1699 to Francoise MIUS, “doubtless” the daughter of Philippe MIUS Jr. of Pobomcoup & a “sauvagesse” Marie, whom he had married.

Karen’s tree shows the six children listed, born from 1701 through 1715.  There were no births listed from 1707-1714, suggesting that at least 4 children perished.

“Sauvagesse” means Native American.  Because she has a Christian name, Marie, we can rest assured that she had been baptized into the Catholic faith.

One of the daughters of Jacques dit Beaumont de Bonnevie was Marie Charlote Bonnevie, born May 12, 1706 in Port Royal, Acadia.  On August 18, 1721, Marie would marry Jacques “dit LaMontagne” Lore/Lord.  They are my 7G-grandparents.


Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any record that anyone by the name of Bonnevie or deBonnevie has been DNA tested, but at Family Tree DNA there are 15 individuals with the surname Beaumont who have tested.  There is no Beaumont surname project, unfortunately, so I checked the French Heritage project.  Unfortunately, there is only one and they are from England.  At Ancestry.com, there is only one Beaumont who has tested and there is no information attached to their account.  I have sent them a message, but I’m not at all convinced that my message-sending capability at Ancestry isn’t broken, considering that I haven’t received a reply from anyone in over a year.

I have a scholarship for Y DNA testing for any male who descends from this line and carries the surname, whatever it is today, Bonnevie, de Bonnevie, Beaumont, or whatever.

Renaissance Paris

I know what Paris was like in 1970 when I lived there, and what it is like today, but what was Paris like when Jacque de Bonnevie lived there as a child in the 1660s and 1670s?

Like everyplace else in Europe at that time, religion played a very big part of the lives of the populace.  Paris wasn’t immune to the religious turmoil plaguing the rest of Europe after the beginning of Protestantism in 1530. This problem didn’t begin in the 1600s though, but much earlier, in the 1500s,althoug the ramifications reached forward centuries.

An ominous gulf was growing within Paris between the followers of the established Catholic church and Protestant Calvinism and Renaissance humanism. The Sorbonne and University of Paris, the major fortresses of Catholic orthodoxy, forcefully attacked the Protestant and humanist doctrines, and the scholar Etienne Dolet was burned at the stake, along with his books, on Place Maubert in 1532, on the orders of the theology faculty of the Sorbonne; but despite that, the new doctrines continued to grow in popularity, particularly among the French upper classes.

Beginning in 1562, repression and massacres of Protestants in Paris alternated with periods of tolerance and calm, during what became known as the French Wars of Religion. Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic party. On the night of 23–24 August 1572, while many prominent Protestants were in Paris on the occasion of the marriage of Henri of Navarre—the future Henry IV—to Margaret of Valois, sister of Charles IX, the royal council decided to assassinate the leaders of the protestants. The targeted killings quickly turned into a general slaughter of Protestants by Catholic mobs, known as St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, and continued through August and September, spreading from Paris to the rest of the country. About three thousand Protestants were killed in Paris, and five to ten thousand elsewhere in France.

st bartholomew massacre

This painting by Francois Debois shows the massacre with Admiral Cologny’s body handing out of a window in the rear to the right.  The left rear shows Catherine de’Medici emerging from the Chateau de Louvre to inspect a heap of bodies.  Another drawing, below, by Frans Hogenberg, shows the massacre as well.

st bartholomew massacre 2

People left Paris in droves, about one third of the population, fearing for their safety.  Many houses were destroyed during the Religious Wars and the grand projects of the Louvre, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Tuileries Palace were left unfinished.

This was a very dark time in French history.

By the middle of the 1600s, the city had recovered and new churches were being built, inspired by those of Rome.  By 1650, the population had doubled and reached about 400,000.  Bridges were being built to replace ferries and new construction was everyplace.  The Church of Les Invalides was built between 1671 and 1678 and the College of 4 Nations from 1662-1672.  New theaters were created to entertain people and the first café opened in 1686.  Paris was growing and prospering.  Jacque, born about 1660, would have been witness to this prosperity.

For the poor however, life was very different.  They were crowded into tall, narrow, five or six story high buildings lining the winding streets on the Île de la Cité and other medieval quarters of the city. Crime in the dark streets was a serious problem. Metal lanterns were hung in the streets and the number of archers who acted as night watchmen was increased to four hundred.

Of course, we don’t know Jacque’s social or financial status – but I doubt a wealthy man would serve in the military as an enlisted man, and be shipped to Nova Scotia.

Paris in 1660

We know that Jacques was born in Paris in 1660.  We know that he was in Acadia by 1699 when he married.  He likely did not arrive in Acadia until he was at least age 20, so he was in Paris from at least 1660 to 1680 and possibly another 18 or 19 years.

We know that he was in the military for 17 years, and he know that he had a “dit” name that translates as “beautiful mountain.”  (Thank you for the translation to Marie Rundquist.)  You’ll have to pardon my wondering about how that name was bestowed up on him, and whether it was before or after he arrived in Acadia.

What was happening in Paris when Jacques lived there?

Kings entry 1660

In 1660, all of Paris gathered to see the entry of King Louis the XIV.  Were Jacque’s parents among the crowd?  Was his mother pregnant for Jacques, or perhaps she had a newborn infant and couldn’t attend the festivities.

louvre 1660s

Here’s the Louvre, as Jacque might have seen it as a young boy, in the 1660s.  In fact, he could have been one of those children playing in the street.

If, in fact, Jacques was born anyplace near the city center, he could have been baptized in Notre Dame.

notre dame 1669

Here is a painting of “Choeur de Notre Dame de Paris” from 1669.

ile de la cite 1550

This first map is of Paris in 1550. You can see this map in detail at this link.  The detail is incredible, neighborhoods and even individual houses.  Were Jacques’, and my, ancestors living here then?  Is their house on the map?

The first bridge, The Pont Notre-Dame, shown on the map above, was built in 1512 and held a street and 68 houses.

paris 1607

Here’s a perspective view of Paris from 1607.  Notice that there were many churches.

The island at the city center is quite visible and so are the walls, although it’s evident that there is already some constructions and people living outside the walls.  If Jacques was born in 1660, this would have been the Paris of his grandparents.

paris 1660

This 1660 map shows not only the city, but the dress of Parisians at that time as well.  This would have been what his parents wore or saw people around them wearing.

Paris 1705

In 1670, King Louis ordered the destruction of the city walls, feeling they were no longer necessary.  This 1705 map shows the location of the old walls and the new construction outside the walls.  Did Jacque watch the old walls being torn down?  Might he have helped? He would have been a strapping man of about 20, in his physical prime.

Les Invalides

Jacques would have watched the construction of Les Invalides, above, from 1662-1672.

We don’t know when Jacques left Paris, but we do know he was in “His Majesty’s Service” for 17 years, and it’s very likely that he arrived in the New World as a soldier.  Life would have been dramatically different for Jacques, moving from Paris to, comparatively, a wilderness.

We also know he was wounded in the thigh, but we don’t know how or when that injury occurred although it would have not been before his arrival in Acadia.  It could well have been in 1710 in the Siege of Port Royal when the British took Port Royal, renaming it Annapolis Royal.

His 17 years in service could have ended shortly after his arrival in Nova Scotia.  If he enlisted when he was age 20 in 1680, his 17 years of service would have ended in 1697, for example.  However, the wording in his pension application says specifically that he served as a “former corporal in the troops of Acadia, where he served for seventeen years.”  If he served in Acadia for 17 years, then his retirement was probably about 1715 or so.  It certainly was not after 1716 if he married in Port Royal about 1799.  His retirement could have been earlier than 1716.

It’s likely that Jacques was involved with the building of the fort at Port Royal.  With the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702, colonists on both sides again prepared for conflict. Acadia’s governor, Jacques-François de Monbeton de Brouillan, had, in anticipation of war, already begun construction of a stone and earth fort in 1701, shown below, which was largely completed by 1704.

Fort Royal 1704

Fort Royal was defended by about 300 troops, many of whom were poorly trained recruits from France.  We don’t know when Jacques was injured, but to entirely disable him, it must have been severe.  In 1710, the French lost both Fort Royal and Port Royal.  The painting below shows the evacuation of the fort.  Whether Jacques was still in the military at this time, or not, he surely was involved in many ways during this decade of instability.

Did he and his wife worry constantly about an impending attack?  Did they finally decide that it was never coming, and relax, only to be surprised?  How did they cope with living under constant threat?  Life apparently went on, because several of their children were born during this decade.

Fort Royal 1710

Jacques would have been 50 years old in 1710 when Fort Royal was taken by the British.  He requested a half-pay pension on December 20, 1732, at age 72, and subsequently died on April 23, 1733.

Maybe it’s a good thing he died when he did and didn’t live another 22 years to see his children and their families uprooted and forcibly deported from Acadia in the 1755 event known as “Le Grand Derangement.”

Jacques saw a lot in his lifetime.  The rebuilding and expansion of the City of Paris, the removal of the medieval city walls, a transatlantic crossing, the fort at Port Royal and the loss of Port Royal to the British in 1710 when he had young children to protect.  He was likely involved in battles, or at least one battle, and was severely wounded.  He would have watched his children become adults and marry as the fort area expanded.  Still, his children were close by.  In 1732, probably as he was becoming feeble and unable to care for himself, he asked for a half-pay pension for his 17 years of service, passing away only four months later..

I wonder if he agreed to go to Acadia (Canada) with the expectation that he would never return home to France, or if the company of French/Indian Francoise Mius changed his mind and was the reason he remained.  We have no records from Paris, but his age at the time he married Francoise, nearly 40 years old, suggests that he might have had a family in France at one time as well.  Perhaps they perished and he went to Acadia to begin anew.

We are very fortunate to know as much as we do about Jacques “dit Beaumont” de Bonnevie.  Like all genealogists, I’d love to know more.  I’d also love to test the DNA of a Bonnevie male descendant, if there are any.  If you are a male Bonnevie and descend from this line, I have a DNA scholarship waiting just for you!

Acadian Maryland Historical Marker Unveiling

Fort Royal

Acadians, as we know, are a French-Canadian people who settled at Port Royal, Nova Scotia, in 1605 (replica above) and intermarried with the Native people, primarily Mi’kmaq. They were expelled from Canada by the British in 1755 and set adrift, winding up literally dispersed to the winds, landing in various places in the US, Europe and in the Caribbean, before they congregated in Louisiana and became known as Cajuns.

A group of about 900 of these displaced people, now refugees with nothing to their name, arrived in Maryland, a Catholic colony, and spent several years living there, many trying to make their way back to Canada.  With the end of the war in 1763, these Acadians desperately wanted to settle among their own people.  Some did return to Canada, but the rest found their way to Louisiana, the last group leaving in 1769.

Marie Rundquist, an Acadian descendant and founder of the Amerindian – Ancestry Out of Acadia DNA project, lobbied for 2 years for a sign commemorating this forgotten episode in Acadian and Maryland history.

Marie says, “One of my personal goals is to assign dignity to the heritage that I have learned is truly mine.  To have a sign like this brings an Acadian history into the mainstream, and recognizes a people whose ancestry has not always been held in the highest esteem, and whose integral role in early American history has been largely dismissed by traditional scholars.

That the DNA of Native Americans of Canada rolled into Louisiana, and other parts of the United States, by way of this diaspora is at the heart of the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia project.  The British didn’t pick and choose among whom they would toss into the Ocean…all went; it mattered not if your family had been in the area 150 years or 18,000!”

On July 28th, 2013, on the day of the Acadian Memorial and Remembrance, when Acadians around the world recall the expulsion of 11,000+ Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755, Marie celebrated by unveiling the sign in Princess Anne, Maryland.  Way to go Marie!!!

To read more about Marie’s activities, DNA projects and Acadian research, click here.

Announcing the Native American Haplogroup C DNA Project

Sitting Bull

Marie Rundquist and I would like to announce the formation of the Native American Haplogroup C project, titled Y-DNA Haplogroup C-P39 Project.

Native American males who descend from direct paternal ancestors who crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia some 10,000+ years ago fall into one of two haplogroups, or genetic clans.  One is haplogroup Q and the other is haplogroup C.

Since both haplogroup Q and haplogroup C are found among Asians, not everyone with these haplogroups in the Americas are Native Americans – only certain subgroups identified by specific mutations that occurred shortly before, during or shortly after the migration process.

In order to group Native American descendants together to better study these haplogroups and to coordinate their genealogies, we have created a haplogroup C project just for people who are Native American descendants.

Native Americans who carry haplogroup C are indeed quite rare and are identified by a special mutation, a SNP marker, known as P39, within haplogroup C.  This haplogroup subgroup is also known by the name C3b.

We would like to invite all men who are haplogroup C and carry mutation P39, or anyone who is haplogroup C and has a family history of paternal line Native ancestry to join the project.

You may recognize the names of the administrators.  If not, let me introduce them.

Marie Rundquist’s Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia Project has rewritten the history of the Native American’s who married into the Acadian families in Canada beginning in the 1600s and before the Acadian deportation and scattering in 1755.  I wrote about the extremely interesting Acadian Germain Doucet family who, it turns out, is haplogroup C3b.  In addition, Marie, an Acadian and Native descendant herself, is an author.  Her book, Finding Anne Marie details another discovery of a Native American ancestor in an Acadian family.

I too am a Native American descendant from several different genealogical lines, including, ironically, the Acadian Doucet line.  I have been involved with Native American genetic genealogy since dinosaurs roamed the earth.  Ok, not quite that long, but since this science was taking its first tentative steps, about 12 years now.  I manage and co-manage several DNA projects that involve or are dedicated to Native American heritage.  I, along with others, was a partner in the revolutionary 2010 Native American SNP discovery.

Genetic advances and discoveries relevant to Native history and genealogy are regularly covered on my blog, www.dna-explained.com.  It’s searchable, just enter the word “Native” into the search box.  In addition, I maintain a historical focus on the Native people through the Native Names project which is focused on extracting the earliest names of Native people found in colonial documents.  To date, they number over 30,000 individuals and over 8,000 surnames.  Adventures in this project and a wide range of Native history are discussed on my blog, www.nativeheritageproject.com.

Both administrators come to you with years of genealogy and genetic experience.  We welcome project members as well as questions anyone might have.  We’re excited to be threads in the tapestry of unfolding history and hope you will join us.


Family Tree DNA Conference 2012 – Native American Focus Meeting

Wow.  Talk about drinking from a firehose.  From the minute we arrived in the lobby Friday afternoon until we got back to the airport Sunday evening, we barely had time to breathe.

This was an amazing conference in many ways.  I’ll try to hit the high points in a separate blog, but in this posting, I want to cover the Native American Focus meeting and talk a little bit about the interests of the different attendees.

The first event, at 4 on Friday afternoon, was a small meeting of people who are admins or have a specific interest in Native American heritage.   Rebekah Canada, haplogroup Q project administrator, coordinated this meeting and a hearty thank you goes to her for her efforts.  We have never attempted this type of event before, and we all agreed, we need to do it again.

Unfortunately, many projects that are focused on or include Native results did not have a project administrator here and were not represented.

Peter Roberts is the administrator of the Bahamas project.  The Bahamas are rich with Native history, but evidence they existed in the DNA record is slim.  The Lucayan Indians were removed from the Island by the Spanish.  While we know they existed, their results, surprisingly, are not showing up directly in the yline or mtdna results.  We also know that some Seminoles arrived later from Florida and others came from the mainland as well.  Low levels of Native heritage are showing up in autosomal testing.

David Pike discovered his Native heritage quite by accident.  His father turned out to be 3.4% Native.  He believes it is probably MicMac (Mi’kmaq) or perhaps Beothuk, a now extinct tribe, in Newfoundland, but is still researching.  Dave mentioned an opportunity for tribal membership in Canada for those who can prove Micmac heritage and will be providing that information.  I will blog it when that arrives.

Marie Rundquist is the administrator of the AmerIndian Ancestors out of Acadia project which began in 2006.  I love this project, somewhat from a selfish perspective, since I’ve connected so many of my Acadian ancestors, and Native ancestors, through this project.  This is also one the most successful mitochondrial DNA projects, if not the most successful, there is.  Marie’s project has served to prove or disprove several Native rumors, and has found other Native people quite by accident.  She wrote a book, titled Revisiting Anne Marie and I’ve blogged about her success with the Doucet results.  This project is not just for Acadians in Canada, but reaches to Louisiana, and families with Acadian heritage outside of the primary relocation areas.

Kathy Johnson’s cousin came back with a haplogroup Q results.  Subsequent testing revealed 4 new SNPS in her sample.  This Pembrook family is believed to be from the Mohawk River area in New York.

Georgia and Tom Bopp, administrators of the Hawaii project, from Hawaii, attended.  Frankly, I had never thought about them and Native ancestry, but certainly Hawaii did have a Native population.  They had a very interesting situation where one of their early tester’s mitochondrial results came back as haplogroup B.  They were told they were Native American, then they were told they were Polynesian.  Native was reasonable, but Polynesian somewhat confounding given that their ancestor was a slave in Maryland.  Eventually, it was discovered their maternal ancestor was from Matagascar.  Georgia will send the information and we’ll do a blog about this in the future.  How very interesting.

Rob and Dyann Noles administer the Lumbee Tribe and Wiregrass Georgia projects.  Rob maintains a data base of over 250,000 individuals related to these projects.  While the Lumbee project is named as such, it is not endorsed by the Lumbee tribe itself.  However, numerous individuals descended from those who are early tribal founders have tested.

As haplogroup Q project administrator, Rebekah has been instrumental in the ongoing testing of haplogroup Q individuals.  Many members have been SNP tested and more than a few have participated in the WTY (Walk the Y)) which has resulted in many new haplogroup subgroups being discovered.  We’ve made more progress in the past two years than in the previous 10 in haplogroup Q.  Someday, I hope we’ll be able to identify at least members of different Native language groups by results.  Maybe I’m dreaming here, but goals are good!

I shared my work with the Native Heritage project and my ongoing transcriptions into the Native Names data base.  We now have over 8,000 different surnames and well over 30,000 people, and I’m no place near “done.”  Of course, it’s always a great day when I find a proven Native surname of someone who has tested Native in our haplogroup Q project.

We discussed the reluctance of recognized tribes to test and their concerns.  We all respect their decisions, although from a genetic genealogy perspective, we are glad when descendants test.

I suspect that many of the Native genetic lines have become extinct.  The Native people, aside from having to survive in a harsh, cold climate upon arriving from Asia, have had to endure multiple genocidal attempts (Native as well as European) in addition to many epidemics.  Some epidemics wiped out entire tribes.  In 1838, a smallpox epidemic took half of the powerful Cherokee.  No one was immune.  That combined with intermarriage, assimilation, and adoption through either traditional cultural means or kidnapping have caused the “Native” DNA results to not always be what we expect.

We are hopeful that ancient DNA will shed a light on extinct lines as well as answer the ever-present question about whether European or perhaps African DNA was present in the Native population before the traditional dates of European contact

I want to thank everyone who attended for their participation and sharing, and encourage anyone else who is interested to let either Rebekah or I know.

Germain Doucet and Haplogroup C3b

I love a good mystery, don’t you?  Well, the Doucet family has one and it’s a doosey.

Marie Rundquist, the founder and administrator of the Amerindian Ancestry Out of Acadia project at Family Tree DNA has recently written a new paper about the C3b results within the project.

Marie’s paper, titled “C3b Y Chromosome DNA Test Results Point to Native American Deep Ancestry, Relatedness, Among United States and Canadian Study Participants,” tells about the project and the findings relative to haplogroup C3b.  Her raw data is available within the project.  The Native American people involved are the Mi’kmaq and ironically, while we have found several Mi’kmaq men who carry haplogroup C3b, we haven’t found any carrying the much more common Q1a3a.

The Acadian people were French and settled in the eastern-most region of Canada beginning in 1605 in Port Royal, Nova Scotia.  They mixed freely with the Native people and intermarried.  Beginning in 1710 and continuing until 1755, when they were forcibly deported, they were in conflict with the English government and refused to sign an oath of loyalty to England. The families were highly endogamous.  Today, if you discover you descend from an Acadian family, you will discover that you descend from many Acadian families.  I have one cousin who discovered that he and I are related 132 different ways.

The map below shows Acadia just before the Acadians were deported.

Marie’s paper shows that 6 different families with different surnames carry haplogroup C3b and all are related within 16 generations, or between 400 and 500 years.  Many are, of course, related much more closely.

The Doucet family is represented by 8 different males who all tested as haplogroup C3b.  They descend from various sons of Germain Doucet, born in 1641.  Germain was always presumed to be the son of the French founder, Germain Doucet, born in 1595 in France, the commander of Fort Royal.

Hmmm, this is known as a fly in the ointment.  Indeed, the original descendants of Germain Doucet (1595) who had tested carried haplogroups of R1b1a2, clearly European, just as we would expect.  But then, there was another Doucet test and he was discovered to be haplogroup C3b.

Keith Doucet, the man who tested to be C3b, and Marie subsequently wrote about their discovery and the process they went through to find other men to confirm that DNA result in a story titled “Confirmed C3b Y DNA Results Test the Heritage of Cajun Cousin Keith Doucet.”

This of course, raises questions, none of which can be readily answered.  Doesn’t every genealogy find raise at least two new questions?  Well, this one raises a few more than two.

The other son of Germain Doucet (1595), Pierre tests to be R1b1a2, while “son” Germain (1641) tested to be C3b.  Obviously, these man cannot both be the genetic children of Germain Doucet (1595) and unless a Native American Mi’kmaq male made their way to France sometime in the distant past, Germain (1641)’s father was not from France and was not Germain Doucet (1595).

We know that Germain Doucet (1595) arrived in Port Royal in 1632, was noted as the commander in 1640 and returned to France in 1654 after Port Royal fell to the English, leaving at least two of his 4 children who had married in Port Royal.

So what happened?  Here are some possibilities.

  • Germain Doucet (1595) and his wife adopted an Indian child and named him Germain Doucet
  • One of Germain Doucet’s older daughter’s had an illegitimate child and named him Germain Doucet, in honor of her father.
  • Germain’s wife became pregnant by a Native man.
  • A Native person adopted Germain Doucet’s name out of respect.  When Native people were baptized in the Catholic faith, they were given non-Native names.

So, through Marie’s project and hard work, we’ve solved one mystery and introduce yet another.