Tag: France

The sinking of the White Ship.

Several of my children’s ancestors were among the hundreds who perished in the sinking of the White Ship off Barfleur, France in 1120.
The sinking of the White Ship

Depiction of the sinking of the White Ship.

During my years of researching the medieval ancestry of Mark and our children, I’ve noticed a recurring theme. Several of the ancestors were casualties of the disastrous shipwreck of the “White Ship”. Although there were actually closer to 300 passengers aboard, I was only able to locate a list of twenty of the casualties. It is well known though that the ship was loaded with nobles and contemporaries of King Henry I, of England.

Henry I, King of England

Henry I, King of England

The “White Ship” was a new, state of the art vessel under command of Thomas FitzStephen. His father had been Stephen FitzAirard, captain of the ship “Mora” under William the Conqueror during his invasion of England in 1066. Captain FitzStephen offered transport to England on his ship to Henry I for his return to England, but since the King had already made other arrangements, he declined. King Henry did, however, arrange for his son, William “Aetheling” Adelin and two of his illegitimate children to sail on the ship.

The familiar account of the events leading up to the sinking as delivered by the known sole survivor state that all aboard had been drinking and partying liberally and by the time they set sail, most on board were very drunk. It is interesting to note that there are conflicting accounts of survivors. Based upon the “Orderic Vitalis”, some believe there were two survivors, the butcher and Geoffrey de l’Aigle.

Amidst the drunken revelry described by the survivor, a challenge was issued to the Captain to overtake the King’s own ship, which had set sail earlier. Upon setting off, the White Ship struck a hidden rock in the shallow waters of the channel, quickly capsizing and sinking.

Etienne de Blois

Stephen of Blois, King of England

Those on shore saw what was occurring and sent a boat out to get William “Aetheling” Adelin, the King’s son, who was on his way back to shore when he heard his half-sister Matilda du Perche cry out for help and had the boat return to assist. Unfortunately, there were several scrambling to get on board the small boat, causing it to be swamped and to sink. William drowned right along with his half-sister and all the other unfortunate passengers. The common belief through the centuries has been that the Captain, Thomas FitzStephen, upon hearing of William Adelin’s drowning, just surrendered to the waters and drowned rather than take such terrible news back to the King.

As a result of Prince William’s death, King Henry named his only remaining legitimate child, his daughter Matilda, to be heiress to the throne. He forced the noblemen to swear to support Matilda, who was unpopular because she was married to Geoffrey V, Comte d’Anjou who had been an enemy of the Norman nobility. When the noblemen refused to support Matilda after the death of King Henry I, they turned to the King’s nephew, Etienne de Blois and named him King. Etienne de Blois had originally planned to travel on the “White Ship” as well and had even boarded her, but had to leave before the ship’s departure because he became ill with diarrhea.

Mathilde and her husband initiated war against Etienne and his followers to gain the English throne, as her father had wished. This period of civil war known as “The Anarchy” spanned almost two decades from 1135 to 1153 and became a pivotal time in the history of England, resulting in the end of Norman rule.

The closest ancestor to my children who played a part in the story of the “White Ship” disaster was:

  • Etienne de Blois, King of England. He was the 31st great grandfather to my children.

The known casualties from among the approximately 300 on board, listed in order of the closeness of relationship to our children (if any) include:

  • William the Atheling, son of King Henry I and heir to the English throne – 26th great granduncle to my children.
  • Mathilde du Perche, Countess of Perche, illegitimate daughter of King Henry I – 26th great grandaunt.
  • Richard of Lincoln, illegitimate son of King Henry I – 26th great granduncle.
  • Godfrey de l’Aigle, knight. – 28th great granduncle (brother to Engenulf)
  • Engenulf de l’Aigle, brother to Godfrey – 28th great granduncle
  • Mathilde de Blois, sister to Stephen de Blois, King of England and wife of Richard d’Avranches – 31st great grandaunt
  • Robert Mauduit, nobleman. – 31st great granduncle
  • Richard d’Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester, nobleman. – 1st cousin 31 times removed
  • Outher d’Avranches, brother of Richard, Earl of Chester. – 1st cousin, 31 times removed
  • Geoffrey Riddell, Lord of the Judiciary, nobleman.  – 2nd cousin 30 times removed
  • Ottuel, Illegitimate half brother of the 2nd Earl of Chester.
  • Hugh of Moulins, nobleman.
  • Walter of Everci, nobleman.
  • Lucia Mahout, wife of the 2nd Earl of Chester.
  • Othver, Prince William’s tutor.
  • William Pirou, the king’s steward.
  • Geoffrey, Archdeacon of Hereford.
  • Richard Anskill, son and heir of a Berkshire landowner.
  • Captain Thomas FitzStephen, ship’s captain.
  • William Grandmesnil, nobleman.

Sources:

photo credit: Wikipedia.org

 

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates – 29 Sep 2014

The following is the list of FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates to date, September 29, 2014.

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates

FamilySearch.org Additions and Updates

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China

Finland

France

Czechoslovakia

India

Indonesia

Italy

Korea

Nicaragua

Portugal

Spain

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States

Ancestry.com Additions and Updates

Canada

England

photo credit: WA State Library via photopin cc

Joan, Fair Maid of Kent

Joan, Countess of Kent was Princess of Wales and was also known as Joan, Fair Maid of Kent. Her other titles included Princess of Aquitaine, Countess of Salisbury and Baroness Wake of Liddell. She was also the 26th great grandmother to my children.
Joan, Fair Maid of Kent and Edward of Angoulême

Joan, Fair Maid of Kent and Edward of Angoulême.

Joan at one time was described by French historian Jean Froissart as “the most beautiful woman in all the realm of England, and the most loving.”

Joan was born September 29, 1328. Her father was Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent (1301-1330), half-brother to Edward II, King of England and son of Edward I, and her mother was Margaret, Baroness Wake (1300-1349), daughter of Philip III, King of France. It was her father Edmund who supported Edward II in conflict with Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and his lover Isabella of France, resulting in Edmund’s execution.

In the spring of 1340 at the age of eleven, Joan was married in secret, without royal consent, to Sir Thomas de Holand (    – 1360), Knight of the Garter, of Broughton, Buckinghamshire, son of Sir Robert de Holand and Matilda la Zouche.

In 1352, she succeeded her brother as Countess of Kent, Baroness Wake and Baroness Woodstock.

While Thomas was overseas, her family forced her into a marriage with William de Montagu (1328-1397) before February 10, 1341. She decided not to disclose the earlier marriage for fear Sir Thomas would be executed for treason. William was the son of William de Montagu, Lord Montagu and Earl of Salisbury and Katharine de Grandson and succeeded as Earl of Salisbury in 1344. Joan and William had one son, Sir William de Montagu (1341-    ).

The marriage of Joan and William was annulled in November 17, 1349 after Sir Thomas de Holand proved that he had married Joan in 1339. Thomas was made Lord Holand in 1353/4 and succeeded as Earl of Kent, dying in the winter of 1360. He was buried at the Church of the Grey Friars in Stamford, England.

The pope ordered the re-establishment of the first marriage to Sir Thomas de Holad on November 17, 1349. It was later confirmed by another Papal Bull that the Earl of Salisbury acquiesced and married another woman who remained his wife. Joan returned to her first husband and had the following children:

  • Sir Thomas de Holand II, Earl of Kent (1350-1397)
  • John de Holand, Duke of Exeter (1350-1400)
  • Edmund de Holand, Duchess of Brittany (    –    )
  • Matilda de Holand, Countess of Ligny (    –    )

Joan’s third marriage was by Papal dispensation September 10, 1361 to Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales (1330-1376), son of Edward III, King of England and Philippa de Hainaut. Edward was also known as “The Black Prince”. Joan and Edward had two sons:

  • Edward of Angoulême (1365-1372)
  • Richard II, King of England (1367- murdered in 1400)

Around 1365, Edward went to war on behalf of King Peter of Castile. After his return and by 1372, Edward was no longer able to perform his duties as Prince of Aquitaine and he returned to England, when the plaque has rampant. Joan became the Dowager Princess of Wales upon the succession of her son Richard, her elder son having died in 1372.

Sources:

  1. Royal Genealogies Website; http://ftp.cac.psu.edu/~saw/royal/royalgen.html.
  2. Britain’s Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (Alison Weir, Britain’s Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy; Pimlico; Rev Ed edition (13 Jun 2002); London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999.
  3. Kings and Queens of England – The Plantagenets, The Royal Family online; http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page58.asp, accessed.
  4. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy online; http://fmg.ac/, accessed.
  5. Charles Mosley, Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage, 106th Edition (: 1999,).
  6. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdon, Extant, Extinct or Dormant (G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I.).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came To America Before 1700, 8th Edition (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 2004).
  8. George Smith, Dictionary of National Biography, Vols. 1-21 (: Oxford Press, 1885-1990).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Th.D., The Magna Carta Sureties, 1215, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.), 5th Ed., c1999.
  10. Wikipedia.org; http://www.wikipedia.org.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.org

The Starvation of the Lady of Hay

William de Briouse, starvation of the Lady of HayThe Story Behind the Starvation of the Lady of Hay

William de Briouse III (25th great grandfather to my children, Erin and Stuart) was the son of William de Briouse II, Lord of Abergavenny (as well as Briouse, Bramber, Brecon and Over-Gwent) and his wife Berthe of Hereford.

He is believed to have been born about 1155 and he died August 9, 1211 and was buried August 10, 1211 in Paris. He married Maud (Mathilde) de Saint-Valéry, Dame de la Haie of the famed tale of the starvation of the Lady of Hay, (…and 25th great grandmother to Erin and Stuart), about 1170 or 1175. Maud de Saint-Valéry was the daughter of Bernard III, de Saint-Valéry and his wife Anora (Avoris).

William III and Maud had ten children: Marguerite de Briouse (1175-1255); Laurette de Briouse (1184-?); Eleanor (?-1241); William “the Younger” IV, de Briouse (1185-1210); Philip de Briouse; Matilda de Briouse; unknown; unknown; Reynold de Briouse, Lord of Abergavenny (1178-1227); and Isobel de Briouse (1184-?).

Hay Castle, starvation of the Lady of Hay

Hay Castle, location of the starvation of the Lady of Hay and her son, William IV de Briouse.

William III was descended from William de Braose, Lord of Braose, who had received great estates at the time of the conquest in England and had settled at Bramber. William III had also inherited lands in one of either Totnes or Barnstaple through his grandmother, and had also inherited great Welsh estates of his grandfather, Bernard de Neufmarche through his mother, Bertha, including that of Hay Castle in Wales (see right).

During the reign of Richard III, William III was Sheriff of Herefordshire between 1192 and 1199 and a Justice Itinerant for Staffordshire in 1196. Having been with Richard in Normandy in 1195, he received both Totnes and Barnstaple by agreement with his original co-heir.

Upon the accession and coronation of King John (24th great grandfather to Erin and Stuart), and having achieved a place in the King’s favour, he accompanied King John to Normandy in 1200, and was granted all lands he conquered from the Welsh. he was also made Sheriff of Herefordshire between 1206 and 1207. Other lands William III had acquired through various means during these years included Limerick (without the city), custody of Glamorgan Castle, Gowerland, Grosmont, Llantilio (or White Castle), and Skenfrith Castles. , but shortly after he began to fall from favour, although the reasons for this have never been clear.

From records in the Red Book of the Exchequer, it would appear that it was a quarrel about repayment of his agreed debts. The evidence shows that in 1207, he had only paid 700 marks in total, a small portion of what should have been paid based on the agreed 500 marks per year. After being five years in arrears, the crown had the right to seize his estates. It was learned that he had removed the stock, and the king’s bailiff then acted under orders to seize him.

William III’s friends having acted on his behalf, they met with the King and William was permitted to come to the King at Hereford to surrender his castles of Hay, Brecknock, and Radnor in repayment of his arrears. William III, however, failed to make any further repayment of the debt and the King sent his men to demand hostages of William, but supposedly against William’s advice, Maud refused them. Having reached a point of no return, William attempted to seize control of his castles. However, he failed at this and subsequently attacked Leominster. As the royal forces approached, he and his family fled to Ireland and his estates were seized by the King.

William III was harboured in Ireland by friends who promised to surrender him within a certain time. However, they only sent William III when John’s invasion of Ireland became imminent. William III proceeded no further than Wales, however, where he later offered 40,000 marks in return for his lands. William’s wife, Maud, was besieged by John in Ireland and fled to Scotland, where she, her son William and his wife were captured in Galloway and escorted to John at Carrickfergus. Using Maud as leverage, John bargained for repayment of the 40,000 marks. Yet again, however, payment was not forthcoming and William III was outlawed, resulting in his fleeing in disguise to France, where he died.

His wife, Maud, who was largely blamed for his downfall, was imprisoned with her eldest son William IV by John in Corfe Castle (see above) and they were both starved to death there.

The second son, the Philip de Briouse, Bishop of Hereford, returned to England on July 16, 1214, and paid a 9,000 mark fine for his father’s lands. As this son died very soon after, John allowed the lands to then pass to the third son Reynold de Briouse on May 26, 1216, who also, under Henry III, recovered the Irish estates.

Sources:

  • Foundation for Medieval Genealogy online http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands./NORMAN%20NOBILITY.htm#BernardIISaintValeryA.
  • Dictionary of National Biography, Vols. 1-21; George Smith; Oxford Press, (1885-1990).
  • The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdon, Extant, Extinct or Dormant; G.E. Cokayne with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I).
  • The Magna Carta Sureties; 1215; Weis, Frederick Lewis, Th.D. (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.), 5th Ed., c 1999.
  • A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire; Sir Bernard Burke (1883).

photo credit: creative commons license; wikipedia.org

There were costs and benefits to conducting family tree research before we had the internet.

Pursuing Genealogy was never free. The family tree research costs manifested in very different ways over time.
Old Melanson Tombstone

Tombstone of Rose Melanson tombstone – just one of the finds from my family tree research.

We’re so lucky today because global resources are so easy to access over the internet through sites such as familysearch.org, Ancestry.com and many others, and most sites do charge either a subscription rate or a cost per item rate, or both.

Although we tend to think Genealogy was free in the past, that is not true. Before the implementation of the internet, it was much more difficult to pursue genealogy – and much more costly. One had to either physically visit the location of the records sought, or pay another to conduct the search (and pay to cover incidental costs such as printing, copying, etc.)

In my family’s case, our family tree research branches widely around the globe prior to 1900, but especially prior to 1850.

Around 1900 is when my husband’s mother’s family, the Gummesons, emigrated from Sweden to the United States and it’s when my father’s Turmaine ancestors were living in Ontario and Quebec, and my mother’s Melanson ancestors were living in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, all in Canada.

Ship's List showing Thomas, Charles and Robert Blythe - family tree research

Passenger list showing Thomas, Charles and Robert Blythe.

The ancestors of my husband’s father were particularly mobile prior to 1857, when his great grandfather Charles George Blythe emigrated from Lincolnshire, England to the United States wtih his father and one brother.

Much further into the past is the Welsh migration of my husband’s ancestors in the 18th century and the Acadian settlement of Atlantic Canada of my own ancestors in the 17th century.

Costs of research prior to the internet for me to research my mother’s Acadian ancestry in Atlantic Canada.

First, here is an outline of the costs of traveling there to do my own family tree research during our driving tour of the area about 7 years ago. This is an estimated breakdown of the expenses of our two week trip from Ontario. Although there were four of us on this trip, I will show the costs if it were only one person (approximately $1800 – $2,650) here:

  • Gasoline: $700 – $1000
  • Campsites: $450 – $700 (hotels would be much more)
  • Food, etc.: $200 – $300
  • Entry Fees (museums, tours, etc.): $150
  • Production costs (printing, photocopying, books, materials, etc.): $300 – $500

Costs of hiring a local researcher to conduct the family tree research on site and in person.

I will be basing this estimate on the time and expenses for each individual item researched while we were there (estimated total of $925).

  • Moncton University of Monctonof: 2 hours totaling $60
    • Books: 2 totaling $100
    • Photocopies: 100 totaling $10
  • Ste. Anne University: 2 hours totaling $60
    • Books: 1 totaling $30
    • Photocopies: 50 totaling $10
  • Ste. Anne Catholic Church: 4 hours totaling $120
  • Grand Pré Museum: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 30 totaling $30
    • Books: 1 totaling $20
    • Pictures: 4 totaling $25
  • Fort Edward: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 10 totaling $10
  • Fort Beausejour: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 60 totaling $60
  • Melanson Settlement: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 20 totaling $20
  • New Brunswick Archives: 4 hours totaling $120
    • Photocopies: 200 totaling $20
  • Nova Scotia Archives: 4 hours totaling $120
    • Photocopies: 200 totaling $20

Costs today to obtain most of the information and items as above using the internet and online genealogy resources for family tree research.

I have not been able to find some of the information online to this date. The estimated total using the internet is $415.

  • Ste. Anne Catholic Church (not available online): 4 hours totaling $120
  • New Brunswick Archives: Free
  • Nova Scotia Archives: Free
  • Moncton University of Moncton: Free
  • Ancestry.ca annual subscription: $120
  • Acadian GenWeb Sites: Free
  • Books, etc. (same as above): $175

Irreplaceable benefits of traveling to do my own family tree research in person and on site.

Fort Beauséjour ruins.

Fort Beauséjour ruins: foundations in the foreground and the still-standing supply tunnel in the background.

I love the ease and low cost of the resources available online for family tree research. However, I must say that there was no experience like personally visiting the historical sites, museums, universities and libraries during our trip to the research location, despite the expense incurred. Had we not traveled to the sites, we would have missed a great deal that I found so enjoyable and valuable, including:

  • seeing Fort Edward and Fort Beausejour, the scenes of the imprisonment of my ancestors during the Acadian expulsion;
  • seeing the Melanson Settlement heritage site, the town of Melanson, and Melanson Mountain, heritage sites of my Melanson ancestors;
  • our wonderful bonus of finding the missing ‘aboiteau’ (dike used for draining the marshes for farmland during the Acadian settlement) at North Hill Museum and getting pictures; and
  • consulting with the staff at Moncton Museum, Ste. Anne Museum, North Hill Museum, Fort Beausejour, Fort Edward, Port Royal, Fort Anne, and the Grand Pré Museum.
An Aboiteau or valved dike in storage at North Hills Museum.

An Aboiteau in storage at North Hills Museum.

Most of all, a lot of the places we did end up visiting were not planned. Some of the sites we came upon accidentally after speaking with locals and site staff, some we learned about from the local newspapers, and some we came upon accidentally during our travels. The graveyard at Ste. Anne Catholic Church is one example of an accidental find, where we took numerous photos of gravestones; and the North Hill Museum where we found the aboiteau is another.

Port Royal

The interior courtyard of the fort at Port Royal.

Two sites in particular that proved to be particularly enjoyable were Fort Anne’s Graveyard Tour (you can see a photo of my kids listening to the presentation in the revolving images on this site) and Port Royal. The tour guide at Fort Anne was Alan Melanson and his brother was one of the guides at Port Royal. They turned out to be our Melanson kin, descending from two brothers who were sons of the original Huguenot immigrant Pierre ‘dit Laverdure’ Melanson.

We enjoyed the experience so much, we now discuss the possibility (more of a pipe dream) of traveling to Great Britain and Europe to conduct research into our British and Welsh ancestors, and the original French ancestors of the Huguenots who emigrated to Acadia.

The bottom line.

I find the convenience and lower cost of researching via the internet has a hidden cost, that of missing out on personally experiencing the sites, history and unexpected finds of conducting on-site family tree research.

The Fougères – Pioneer Family of Port Toulouse, Île Royale

The Fougères – Pioneer Family of Port Toulouse, Île Royale.
Plan of Louisbourg in 1751 -  The Fougères - Pioneer Family of Port Toulouse, Île Royale

The Fougères – Pioneer Family of Port Toulouse, Île Royale.

Cape Breton, or Île Royale as it was known by the French, was the location of a trading fort built by Nicolas Denys in the mid-1600’s. Continuous infighting among the French commercial community resulted in the post and fort being burnt. Construction of a new fort began in 1664, by the orders of Sr. Louis Tuffet, Commandant.

The resident native population, the Mi’kmaq, were never very far away and a relationship was developed between them and the French settlers. Port Toulouse, the eventual home of Jean Fougère and his descendants until the present day, was founded and developed just east of the canal connecting the Bras d’Or Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean.

Port Toulouse (“Potlotek” to the Mi’kmaq) was the main place of safety sought by citizens who feared escalation of the animosity between the British and French. The fort and village were burned about 1645, resulting in the deaths of some inhabitants and imprisonment of women and children. The Mik’maq were also victimized when their cemetery was desecrated, the crosses broken and burned along with bodies they had exhumed.

Port Toulouse Fortifications of 1734 -  The Fougères

Port Toulouze – The Fougères

In the spring of 1756, the Port Toulouse residents felt war was a strong possibility and left the town, taking to the woods. By 1758, after the fall of Louisbourg, many of the former Port Toulouse residents were captured and relocated to French ports and/or English prisons. A great number did survive and were able to come out of hiding, return to Cape Breton and once again settle in Port Toulouse with their families.

One of Port Toulouse’s early settlers was Jean Fougère. Born about 1685 in Pourpé-en-Beauce, Orléans, Chateaudun, Eure-et-Loir, France, Jean was the son of Jean Fougère, Sr., born about 1660 and Marie Barrè (1667-1689), both also of Pourpé-en-Beauce, Orléans, Chateaudun, Eure-et-Loir, France.

Prior to his residence in Port Toulouse, Jean had immigrated to Acadia in 1698, settling in Port Royal, and is shown in the 1698 Acadian census at Port Royal. His presence at Port Royal is also noted on February 5, 1709, when Jean signed a church register after attending the wedding of Claude Girouard and Élizabeth Blanchard in Port Royal.

The registers of St-Jean-Baptiste record Jean Jr.’s marriage on November 27, 1713 to Marie Bourg (1690-1727), daughter of Abraham Bourg and Marie “Sébastienne” Brun of Port Royal. Their children included Marguerite (1715-1715), Marie-Josèphe (1715-1715), Marguerite (1716-1752), Jean (1718-1727), Joseph Hylarion (1720-1790), Marie-Josèphe (born in 1723), Jeanne “Anne” (born 1725) and Charles (born 1727). The Acadians were noted for a high incidence of twins and Jean Jr.’s twin daughters Marguerite and Marie-Josèphe both died in infancy. Their next daughter, born in 1716, was named after Marguerite and another daughter born in 1723 was named after the second twin, Marie-Josèphe.

In 1713, after taking control of Acadia, the British demanded that all Acadians sign an oath of allegiance to King George I. Jean Fougère signed the oath in 1715.

In the years following the French worked to quietly induce the Acadians to relocate to Île Royale, and sometime between 1720 and 1722, Jean moved his family to Port Toulouse. The Acadian census of 1722 in Port Toulouse records the presence of Jean and his family and indicates Jean’s occupation to be that of a navigator and fisherman. At the time of their arrival in Port Toulouse, the population consisted of 13 families comprising a total of 76 citizens.

The 1724 census of Port Toulouse shows Jean’s family, and records him as an immigrant from Orléans, France who worked as a navigator. He is shown with his wife, two sons, three daughters, one servant and three “engages” and his personal property of one boat (geolette). “Engages”, also known as “52 months men”, were hired hands for whom the employer paid the passage from France. These men had agreed to work the contracted time in return for board. It is known that these “engages” were not always treated well or fairly.

The Port Toulouse census in 1726 shows Jean to have a fishing business employing eight engages. The latter three children of Jean and Marie were born after relocating to Port Toulouse. Shortly after, in 1727, Marie and their young son Jean died.

About 1728, Jean remarried to Marie-Madeleine “Madeleine” Belliveau (before 1718-1771), daughter of Jean Belliveau and Cécile Melanson. Their children included Madeleine (1730-1730), Madeleine (1731-1750), Judith (born 1733), Louis “dit Louison” (1734-1753), Marie-Louise “Isabeau” (1735-1765), Barbe (born 1736), Marie (1738-1752), Jean (1742-1813), Michel “Boniface” (born 1743), and Marie-Gervaise (1744-1752).

In 1744, news that France had declared war on England reached Louisbourg before any other North American port. Based on these reports, the Governor of Louisbourg decided to get an advantage and attacked and captured the English port of Canso. He also licensed privateers to capture English and New England ships under his authority. On June 11, 1744, Jean Fougère captured a British schooner near the Canso islands with handwritten permission from the Commandant of Port Toulouse instead of the proper license, resulting in the confiscation of his prize.

It is known that Jean Fougère died before October 3, 1749 in Port Toulouse, as this was the date recorded on a document about the guardianship of his children. He was also named on a list of citizens who had died between 1749 and 1750, and left minor children in Île Royale.

After his death Marie-Madeleine married a second time to Claude Dugas. Claude was the brother of Madeleine Dugas, who later married Marie’s stepson Charles Fougère.

It is believed the Fougères avoided deportation from Cape Breton after the fall of Louisbourg. They are not recorded on any documents concerning refugees of the time and it is likely they hid in the wilderness and were possibly helped by the Mi’kmaq.

Sources: