Of all of the numerous branches in our family history, there are two of which I am almost obsessive in my interest – and research.
Those are my mother’s Acadian roots and my father-in-law’s Welsh Quaker ancestry.
Featured image: La grande derangement (Acadian Expulsion)
A few years ago, we had the amazing experience of visiting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for a prolonged camping trip to take in the sights and sounds (and smells) of the lands originally settled by the French Huguenot exiles in the 17th century.
I came across an article on the Daily World website describing a trip to be taken by a group of Acadian descendants from Canada, Louisiana and other US locations. These families had relocated to diverse areas as a result of the Acadian Expulsion (la grande dérangement) at the hands of the British under authority of the king in retaliation for the Acadians’ refusal to swear allegiance to the British king.
This trip is an amazing opportunity to see and experience the lands from which the original Acadian settlers came.In our family’s case in particular, it would be great to have a chance to visit archives, churches and other repositories to try to trace the origins of our Melanson ancestors.
The couple who originally settled in Acadia were Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla Mellanson, as well as their sons, Pierre, Charles and Jean.
It is widely believed that although they traveled from England, Pierre was originally a Huguenot exile from the La Rochelle area of France, who married Priscilla in England, later traveling to Acadia with his family.
Researchers in the past have been unsuccessful in locating documentation proving Pierre’s origin, and I would love a chance to explore the possibilities in France.
Then again, a tour may not be the best way as a great deal of personal freedom to explore and time to research would be necessary. Perhaps one day, in our retirement, our dream of traveling Europe will come true and I will have my opportunity.