La Rochelle, France in 1628.
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I’m related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna?

What a shock to find out that I and the rest of my family are related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna!

I was reviewing old genealogy articles to find story and post ideas and hit the jackpot with this one. In an article by CanWest News Service’s Randy Boswell from March of 2010, he recounts the relationship between Madonna and Ellen Degeneres.

View of the entrance to La Rochelle harbour in 1628.
La Rochelle harbour circa 1628.

Mr. Boswell states that they are eleventh cousins, descending from the same 10th great-grandfather, Martin Aucoin, from La Rochelle, France. It is unclear whether he ever immigrated to Acadia, but his two daughters Michelle and Jeanne were both living in Port Royal after 1641.

Relationship Chart - Christine Blythe to Martin Aucoin
I find out that I and the rest of my family are related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna!

As you can see in the relationship chart below showing my descent from the same original ancestor, my branch descends through his daughter Michelle, who married Michel Boudrot in Port Royal in 1641.

In a later generation, my 6th great-grandfather, Charles Mellanson married Anne Bourg in 1701. Anne being the great-granddaughter of the original Martin Aucoin, all subsequent descendants of Charles Mellanson were also direct descendants of Martin Aucoin.

Finding family connections with noted people from history is one thing, but nothing beats the fun of finding connections to living celebrities, personalities, politicians, royalty, etc. Another connection I recently wrote about was that of my husband to Barack Obama, both being directly descended from Ulrich Stehle, who was 6th great-grandfather to Mark and 7th great-grandfather to Barack Obama.

Biography of Martin Aucoin and his daughters Michelle and Jeanne.

Martin Aucoin was born before 1619 in La Rochelle, France and married firstly, Barbe Minguet and secondly, Marie Salle (daughter of Denys Salle and Françoise Arnaud) after 1630. Martin and Barbe Minguet had the following children:

Michelle “Michele” Aucoin was born about 1621 in France and married Michel Boudrot (born about 1600 in France) in 1641 at Port Royal. Michel had immigrated to Acadia from France before 1639. The 1671 Acadian census is listed as a farmer in Port Royal, owning 20 cattle, 12 sheep, 8 arpents of land. In 1678, again at Port Royal, he owned 12 acres, 10 cattle, 3 guns. In 1686, Michel was a Lt. General of the Jurisdiction of Port Royal  and is shown in the census of that year owning 3 guns, 20 arpents, 16 cattle, 17 sheep, 6 hogs. According to the 1693 Acadian census, she was a widow living in Port Royal and owned 20 cattle, 18 sheep, 12 hogs, 25 arpents, and 1 gun. She died on December 17, 1706 at the age of 85 and was buried on 18 Dec 1706 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal. Michelle Aucoin and Michel Boudrot had the following children:

  1. Françoise Boudrot, born about 1642 in Port Royal, married Etienne Robichaud about 1663 and died in 1714 at the age of 72.
  2. Jeanne Boudrot was born about 1650 in Port Royal and married Bonaventure “Venture” Terriau (son of Jean Terriau and Perrine Rau) about 1666. She died on May 8, 1710 at the age of 60 in Port Royal and was buried the next day in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal.
  3. Charles Boudrot was born about 1649 in Port Royal and married Renée Bourg (daughter of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry) about 1672. He later married Marie Corporon about 1686. Charles died after 1714 at the age of 65 in Pisiquit.
  4. Marguerite Boudrot is my 7th great-grandmother and was born about 1648 in Port Royal. She married firstly, Jean Babineau, who was born about 1652 in Acadia. Secondly, she married François Bourg (my 7th great-grandfather)  about 1665. Marguerite died in 1718 as records show her burial on November 9, 1718 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal.
  5. Marie Boudrot was born about 1650 in Port Royal and lived in Beaubassin, Acadia between 1693 and 1700. Marie married Michel Poirier (son of Jean Poirier and Jeanne Chebrat) about 1673 in Port Royal.
  6. Jean “Jehan” Boudrot was born about 1655 in Port Royal and married Marguerite Bourgeois (daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan) about 1676. He died on November 30, 1679 at the age of 24 in Port Royal.
  7. Abraham Boudrot was born about 1656 in Port Royal. In about 1685 in Port Royal, he married Cécile (Anne) Melanson (daughter of Charles Mellanson and Marie Dugas). He died in 1700 or 1701 at the age of 44 in Port Royal.
  8. Michel Boudrot was born about 1659 in Port Royal. He married Marie-Madeleine Cormier (daughter of Thomas Cormier and Marie-Madeleine Girouard) about 1690 and he died on February 13, 1714 at the age of 55, also in Port Royal.
  9. Olivier Boudrot was born about 1661 in Port Royal. About 1686, he married Isabelle Petitpas.
  10. Claude Boudrot was born about 1663 in Port Royal. He married Anne-Marie Thibodeau (daughter of Pierre Thibodeau and Jeanne Terriau) about 1682 in Port Royal and died on March 7, 1740 at the age of 77 in Grand Pré.

Jeanne Aucoin was born November 23, 1630 in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France and was baptized on November 26, 1630 in Ste-Marguerite Parish, La Rochelle, France. She married François “la varanne, le pere” Girouard about 1616 in France and immigrated with him to Acadian sometime before 1671. She appears first in the census of 1671 with her husband, who is shown to be a farmer in Port Royal, owning 16 cattle, 6 sheep and 8 arpents of land; in 1678 he owned 16 acres and 18 cattle; and in 1686 he owned 1 gun, 5 arpents of land, 13 cattle, 16 sheep and 8 hogs. In the 1693 census, Jeanne was a widow living in Port Royal and she owned 20 cattle, 40 sheep, 10 hogs, 20 arpents of land and 2 guns. The 1700 Acadian census shows Jeanne owning 15 cattle, 34 sheep, 20 arpents of land and 2 guns She died April 16,  1718 at the age of 87 and was buried April 18, 1718 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal. Jeanne Aucoin and François Girouard had six children:

  1. Marie Girouard, born about 1651 in Port Royal.
  2. Marie-Madeleine Girouard was born about 1653 in Port Royal and married Thomas François Cormier, son of Robert Cormier and Marie Peraud.
  3. Germain Girouard was born about 1656 in Port Royal. He married Marie Bourgeois (daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan) on June 9, 1680 in Beaubassin and he died March 7, 1741 at the age of 90 in Beaubassin.
  4. Jacques Girouard was born about 1658 in Port Royal.
  5. Charlotte “Anne” Girouard, born about 1660 in Port Royal, married Julien “dit La Montagne” Lord sometime before 1678. She died before 1712 at the age of 52.
  6. Anne Girouard was born about 1671 in Port Royal.

Sources:

  1. 1671 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  2. 1678 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  3. 1686 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  4. 1693 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  5. 1698 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  6. 1700 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  7. 1701 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  8. 1752 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  9. Michael B. Melanson, “Melanson – Melancon: Genealogy of an Acadian and Cajun Family”, (Dracut, Massachusetts: Lanesville Publishing, 2004).
  10. “Origins of the Pioneers of Acadia”, Stephen A. White online (http://www.acadian-home.org/frames.html).
  11. H. George Friedman Jr., “Aucoin Genealogy,” database, H. George Friedman, Jr., Aucoin Genealogy (http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/homes/friedman/genealogy/Aucoin.htm) .
  12. Stephen A. White, (http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/homes/friedman/genealogy/Aucoin.htm) (Université de Moncton: Centre d’Études Acadiennes, 1999).
  13. Donald J. Hébert, “Southwest Louisiana Records” (N.p.: Hébert Publications, n.d.).
  14. Donald J. Hébert, “Acadian Families in Exile – 1785” (N.p.: Hébert Publications, n.d.).
  15. “Baptiste Was Said to Have a Wife in Every Port”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/11.htm).
  16. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian).
  17. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian).
  18. “Burial Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian).
  19. “Dictionary of Canadian Biography,” database, (http://www.biographi.ca/index-e.html?PHPSESSID=2s8g2h8iihpptgqhu0fltdmb63).
  20. “The Seizure of ‘The Pembroke’ by the Acadians”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/56.htm).
  21. “She Presided Over Councils of War Against her Kindred”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/12.htm).
  22. “Baptiste, The Rascal”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/10.htm).

 

A fifties' child, mom, wife, avid genealogy researcher, web contributor and author/owner of four blogs including Empty Nest Ancestry, Feathering the Empty Nest Nest, Top Web Blog Tips, Job Bully, and our extensive family genealogy database site at Blythe Genealogy.