In receiving this award, I am required to tell you things about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me. In some instances the word "amazed" is more appropriate than surprised so I have substituted.
1. I was amazed, humbled and truly enlightened when I realized that my Acadian Ancestors had been deported from their lands by the British in 1755. The intent was to annihilate them.
2. I was enlightened when it was confirmed that Nova Scotia had once been known as Acadie (Acadia) and had been founded by my Ancestors who had left France to pioneer this country in search of a better life.
3. I was humbled when I was asked to participate in the last two World Congresses of Acadians so that I could share the history of our Ancestors.
4. It was humbling to know and understand the hardships our Acadian Ancestors were subjected to and that because of their faith and love of family our survived and we are here today as a testimony to who they were.
5. I was amazed when I realized my grandfather had 17 children during his two marriages, the last to my grandmother.
6. When I went to France three yeaars ago, iIt was amazing to visit the church where some of my French-Canadian ancestors were born/baptized, married before immigrating to Quebec.
7.When I researched where my French-Canadian grandmother had lived in Quebec, I was surprised when I realized I had passed there on my many trips to Quebec.
8. To know who I am and where my ancestors were from - what they lived through and the legacy they have left is totally amazing, enlightening and humbling.
You would not believe it but really it did all start with a March nor'easter
and we are still recovering from one thing or another.
As you can see, after the nor'easter there was snow.
In March the nor'easter that came our way was heavy rain and the strongest winds we've ever experienced other than when there is a hurricane. The rain saturated the ground and there were huge pools of water in our back yard. The last night of the storm was the worse. I could not sleep and kept looking out at our huge pine trees swaying back and forth in that wind. At 2:30 a.m. I finally went to bed and that's when it happened - two large pine trees came down. We have a good sized fountain at the top of our yard and it was just amazing that one tree fell to one side of the fountain while the other fell to the other side cause minimal damage to the fountain (an easy fix). I reflected on that a bit and just knew that the Blessed Mother had protected us from injury and extensive damage - why did I believe this? Because right under the fountain I buried medals of Our Lady years ago when we were about to have a hurricane. That was way before we purchased that fountain. In fact, there used to be a statue of Our Lady on that exact spot that I moved to another location but left the medals buried. One medal was of Our Lady of Medjugorje, one from Fatima and another from Notre-Dame du Cap. The trees just missed the house as well so how could I not believe Mother Mary protected us during this storm? Even one of my neighbors said "someone was watching over you and Tony".
It took a couple of weeks for a tree company to remove the fallen trees but finding the right people for the right price was an experience all in itself. The first company I called was Methuen Tree - I had hired the owner, Tom, in the past and thought he would give me a fair price. He quoted me a price of $2,000 telling me it is easier to take down trees than to clean up after they fall..what?!??!??! I couldn't believe my ears. Now this was March and he said he could not come until late spring... what?!?!?!??!? I don't think so.
I called another tree company who quoted me a price of $850 and $1600 to take down five other pine trees. Another individual heard the trees were down and came with an estimate of $650. We had pretty much decided on the company for $850 since they have a good reputation when on the following Monday morning our door bell rang. Our neighbor across the street who is a landscaper now does tree removals as well - he quoted us a price of $450. Well I know Joe very well and saw him grow up when his parents moved her from Portugal - we decided to give Joe the job and asked for a price to remove the other pine trees. He came back with a price of $1800 to remove *7* pine trees. Since the removal of those seven trees took place there are two more large trees of unknown species coming down sometime this week. Joe had also said they would trim some of the maple trees so everything would look nice.
It was unbelievable how beautiful the young maple trees were once the pine trees were out of the way.
Well as I said, it all started with the March nor'easter - after the trees were down and while doing some cleanup of my own, I noticed some of the posts that support the roof our on deck were extremely wet. I talked to my husband about them and we went out to take a better look removing some boards i n front of the deck. Well it turned out that three of the posts were rotting at the bottom. Considering that the deck was built about 34 years ago we've done well up to now. The corner post was the worse and it put the corner of the roof in danger of falling - Saturday before Easter one son-in-law came over and put a new post next to the old so the roof would be safe. On Easter (of all days) because of the danger, both our sons-in-law Corey and Tyler removed the old post and moved the new one into its proper place. The following Saturday Corey came with our daughter Sarah and he replaced the other two posts with new ones. During the week between the first post and the other two being installed, I was busy putting in new floor boards and painting the deck a new earth tone color. In all it took two weeks for the deck repairs and refurbishing but now we know it is safe and looks beautiful.
On Wednesday of this past week Joe came with his crew and took down seven pine trees - this week a small maple is coming down and the two behind our home. One is so big and leaning toward our house - if it fell in a storm it would split our house in two. So I've been busy moving azelia and rhodedendron bushes - when one of the big trees was taken down in the back it crushed a beautiful large azelia bush I had and I don't want that to happen again.
So like anything else, when we begin a home project we never know how involved it will be. My days have been totally consumed with all of this for three whole weeks and we are not done.
Now you know why I have not been able to blog lately - this weekend it is raining so today I'm trying to catch up. Yesterday I was so tired after all of that I simply vegged and watched some movies.
So we are almost done - the next thing I must do is thank several people for a wonderful award given Lucie's Legacy and the Acadian Ancestral Home blogs when I was in the middle of all this havoc.
On July 28, 2005, Acadians made history in Boston, Massachusetts as they held a 250th Commemoration of the Deportation of the Acadians on Boston City Hall Plaza. Who would have ever thought that someday we would hold such a moving event in Boston where two thousand Acadian men, women and children landed in exile in 1755.
When the Acadian flag was raised, there was hardly a dry eye!
The dream for this marvelous day began in Halifax at the closing celebrations of CMA 2004 when
Bruce Caissie, the then president of the Acadian Cultural Society, envisioned the dream of seeing the Acadian Flag raised over Boston City Hall Plaza as he was seeing it raised for the first time in history over the Citadel. The Board of Directors of the society put all of their support behind this endeavor and it was decided that it would be part of the 250th Commemoration Ceremony. Kudos to the ACS for a job well done!
As the invited keynote speaker, this is the presentation I shared with those in attendance.
Acadia: Our History, Our Spirit
We have come here today to remember our Acadian Ancestors… Who were they?
The Acadians were immigrants who left France some 400 years ago to pioneer a new land called "Acadie" – Acadia – a land they would call home. Like all immigrants who leave their homeland in search of a better life they fulfilled their hopes and dreams in this land of Acadia. With their French wives who were the backbone of the Acadian family, they worked hard, they played hard and they were dedicated to the well being of their families before God and before one another. They had a "joie de vivre" like none other and were a happy people who loved to sing, who loved to dance and who loved to play the fiddle as much as they loved this land they called home.
Unfortunately continuous wars and strife between France and England would finally see them exiled from this precious homeland where they married, raised their families and loved the life they had come to know. Their grandparents and parents had been the first settlers of this land and life was good…
During the summer, fall and winter of 1755, British soldiers sailed from Boston, Philadelphia and other Colonial ports headed for that land known to us today as Nova Scotia. Settlement by settlement saw men, women and children marched to embarkation points all along the shores of the various Acadian settlements where they would become human cargo to be removed and deported from their lands for places unknown to them. Of the approximately 15,000 Acadians living in this land, [a great number in that century] most of them would be scattered all over the world. Some were exiled to British seaports when refused debarkation in Virginia – most would be exiled to the British Colonies of the Carolinas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York. Ships would leave Annapolis Royal, Pointe-des-Boudreau, Pisiquid, Port Latour and Halifax. Six ships would sail for Boston, these arriving in Boston Harbor at various times and carrying almost two thousand men, women and children aboard.
Once arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Acadian exiles could be found throughout the colony in Methuen, Amesbury and Andover to the northeast, in Westboro to the west… all the way to Cape Cod to the south and of course in all of the villages that then surrounded Boston.
As Acadian descendants, we know all to well what befell our Acadian Ancestors. Life in exile saw them live in utter poverty. Subjected to illnesses they never knew, according to Stephen White, 40% or some 5,640 Acadians may have died between 1755-1763 while in exile or imprisonment. Nonetheless, because of their faith in God and family, as difficult as life was even as they saw some of their children ripped from the heart of their families and indentured into British families, they did not despair. In fact, they prayed tenaciously and remained strong in their faith but still they were not afraid to move into the political arena of the day as they petitioned the Selectmen in the various villages of Massachusetts to hear their plight and to provide help –
Those petitions stand today as a testament that they were here and they have become part of the history of Massachusetts – their presence clearly made known by these records, is found in Volumes XXIII & XXIV at the Massachusetts State Archives that by the way, are now part of an exhibit at the Commonwealth Museum.
So what had been an attempt at ethnic cleansing has become a story of tenacity, of faith and of survival. We are connected with so many brothers and sisters around the world who have suffered similar fates.
In 1847, a Son of Massachusetts heard their story one evening while having dinner at a friend’s home in Cambridge. He was so moved by what he heard that he set out to memorialize the plight of the Acadians. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote "Evangeline" and though it lacks much in historical fact, it nonetheless made known to the world this dark piece of history that forever changed the lives of Acadians and their descendants. Evangeline became an image to hold onto for as Evangeline who had forever sought to find her Gabriel who she had been separated from at Deportation, Acadians still sought their place on earth where they could live in the peace and the harmony they once knew in a homeland that no longer existed.
We remember all of our Ancestors whether exiled or imprisoned from 1755 to 1763; we remember all those who died from illnesses that were foreign to them; children born in the holds of the ships who did not survive; we remember our elderly and frail Ancestors, who died on those ships or in exile; we remember them all.
Acadia no longer exists on modern day maps – there is no Acadian homeland we can call our own. However, when we visit what was once our Ancestral lands especially in places like Grand-Pré, Beaubassin, Pisiquid, Ile St-Jean, for example, the spirit of our Ancestors – who and what they were as a people is still very much alive and we feel their presence in these hallowed places.
In spite of their travails, they have left us a precious gift: because of their tenacity, because of their deep faith and commitment to God and family, Acadia lives on today in the hearts of all Acadians; whether in the records of genealogical societies; whether in museums or in the work of all of you here gathered who have searched for your roots; and finally Acadia lives on in the work of people like Stephen White, an Acadian descendant, who is genealogist in residence at Moncton University and who is himself a native son of Massachusetts born and raised in Wayland.
And so today, on the 250th anniversary of the Deportation of our Beloved Ancestors, we have come here to a city where so much history, both good and not so good, has taken place and has long endured.
As we stand in the shadow of Faneuil Hall where on July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read in Massachusetts for the first time, how fitting it is that we are here just a few weeks after celebrating our Independence Day on July 4th - for in a sense, this day too is an Independence Day for Acadians as we remember, as we celebrate and as we honor the freedom of our Ancestors as well as our own freedom; certainly not their freedom nor our freedom to live in Acadie; but their freedom of mind, spirit, happiness and love that they possessed no matter where they were. There is much to learn from the many emotional and spiritual freedoms they enjoyed despite the environmental and physical detriments they endured.
So then this is by no means a commemoration of sadness but rather it is a Celebration – we celebrate our Cultural Survival on the date of the most traumatic event in our History… and more than that, it is a Celebration of Life… A Celebration of the lives of all Acadians… a Celebration of the lives of our Ancestors!
We say to them on this special day: Thank you for your faith, for your love of family and for your tenacity to life – it is because of you that we stand here remembering our Heritage, remembering your sacrifices but especially remembering those gifts of inner strength and love you have left as our legacy.
THIS IS OUR HISTORY!... THIS IS OUR SPIRIT!
We honor you, we love you… and we are so proud to be Acadians as well as Americans…
Vive l’Acadie! – Long live Acadia! - and God Bless America!
The act of marriage rehabilitation for Anne Aubois, for St-Jean-Baptiste Parish tells us that Marie Aubois was of Mi'kmaq ancestry.
Jean Roy (Jean LeRoy, also known as Laliberté, also known as Laliberté) was born at St-Malo (France) in 1648. He arrived in Acadia abt. 1671 and was listed at Cap Sable on the 1686 census.
In 1684 he married Marie Aubois, an Amerindian woman and together they had nine children. Cap-Sable 1693 Census: Christine 35 [sic], Port-Royal 1698 Marie 33; 1701 36.
Official documents: Port-Royal Registers Source: Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes
by Stephen A. White, page 37
Source: Ste-Anne University, Church Point, Nova Scotia
Priest Justinien Durand, Recollet Missionnary
Date of registration 3 March 1703 (should be 1706)
Event: Marriage Groom Jean Clemenceau, native of Bordeaux, married at Boston Father Martin Clemenceau
Mother Anne Duranteau Bride Anne Roye born in Acadie Father Jean Roye, native of St. Malo
Mother Marie Mikmak native of Acadia
Note: The above record has been transcribed to read "Marie Mikmak" however the original record in French read "Marie Sauvagesse" and in 1686 when Marie Aubois married Jean Roy dit Laliberté the only "Sauvagesses" or "Sauvages", aka Natives, living in Acadia were the Mi'kmaq.
Born and raised in Massachusetts to an Acadian father and French-Canadian mother, I have been working on our family history for many years. I began with my mother's side of the family when I was about 11 years old. It was a long time before I knew my father was Acadian. I love knowing my heritage. It gives me a wonderful sense of who I am.
After all these years, you can imagine how many books I have purchased for research. I've decided it is time to part with some of these precious research materials - thus the creation of this blog "Lucie's Book Nook".
All Rights Reserved
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Lucie's Legacy, Acadian Ancestral Home, Whispers Through The Willows. This Award is dedicated to my mother Roseanna Levesque LeBlanc. It is awarded to bloggers who keep the memory of their ancestors alive.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED LUCIE'S LEGACY LUCIE LEBLANC CONSENTINO