My 2019 French ChallengeAZ in 100 Words—or More | D for Deportation

I have this great poster at home telling, with narrative, illustrations, maps, and tables, the history of Acadia. And, of course, a large portion of its contents is about the deportation of the Acadians. We are all for sure aware of that unfortunate historical fact, but I must admit that before I dwelled into the subject—thanks to my Acadian ancestors—, I didn’t figure out that it spread over such a long period of time, i.e. from August 5, 1755, until 1764, after the end of the Seven Years’ War.

Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, no d’acc 1972-26-587

The British planned to brutally separate families in order to avoid an upheaval from the Acadians and to discourage them as well from returning by having their property, except for personal effects they could carry, forfeited to the British Crown. Hence, they were sent in various British colonies—Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Some escaped and moved into French territories, others were made prisoners by the British in Nova Scotia and eventually deported to France.

It was while doing my family tree that I suddenly realized that for me to exist, my Acadian ancestors had to go through the grief of the deportation and ultimately end up in Saint-Jacques-de-L’Achigan, in Québec. You know what they say—remove one person from your tree, and you wouldn’t be on this Earth. That is why I am forever grateful for their courage, determination, and resilience.