When seeking information about their Acadian ancestors, genealogists far too often deal with the permanent loss of parish registers. Yet some of them might be tempted to believe in miracles. A case in point: the parish Saint-Charles-des-Mines has been established in 1687, but when the church has been burned in 1755, do you know what happened to the registers?
We do not know who took care of them at the time of the deportation, but we can ascertain that they travelled—first to Maryland, where they were kept for about a decade, and then to Louisiana, where they would be found in St. Gabriel-d’Iberville Church. The originals are now kept in the Department of Archives of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. However, only three registers covering the period 1707-1748 survived, but although some might obviously feel disappointed, I would rather say: “fortunately!”
Who, do you think, had the chance, when visiting Grand-Pré National Historic Site, to appreciate the high-quality digitization job that was realized? Well—maybe you have already guessed it—but some of my ancestors are among those whose certain sacramental records were miraculously salvaged!