BOOK TEN-3:  The Louisiana Acadian Begats" - continued

The Foundational Acadian Families of South Louisiana - continued

Sonnier

Louis Saulnier, a sailor born in France in c1663, came to Acadia by c1684, the year he married Louise Bastineau dit Peltier at Grand PréLouis died in c1730, in his late 60s, probably at Minas.  He and Louise had 14 children, including five sons, most if not all of them born at Minas, who created families of their own.  Five of their daughters married into the Boudrot, Boisseau dit Blondin, Lapierre, Oudy, and Hébert families.  In 1755, the sailor's descendants could be found not only at Minas, but also at Petitcoudiac in the trois-rivières region west of Chignecto, at Annapolis Royal, and on Île St.-Jean. 

When the Great Upheaval came that year, it scattered this family far and wide.  Many Saulniers escaped the British and sought refuge in Canada and on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore.  Others were captured.  The British deported Saulniers from Minas to Virginia, and they ended up in England and France.  They then moved on to French Guiana, where most of them remained.  Meanwhile, during exile and after the war with Britain, their cousins in North America settled at St.-Joachim and Baie St.-Paul on the lower St. Lawrence and at Pointe-de-l'Église on Baie Ste.-Marie along the southwest coast of Nova Scotia.  Saulniers in greater Acadia who could not elude the British were held as prisoners in Nova Scotia until the war finally ended. 

The majority of the Saulniers who came to Louisiana reached New Orleans from Halifax via St.-Domingue in 1765.  They established family lines on the Opelousas prairies, where they were especially robust, and at Cabahannocer on the river above New Orleans, later called the Acadian Coast.  Seven Saulnier females who came to Louisiana in 1765 were already a part of, or married into, the Babin, Cormier, Thibodeau, Chrétien, Forest, Lescossier, Layur, and Léger families.  Three Saulnier wives, married into the Hamon, Aucoin, and Boutary families, came to the colony from France in 1785 and settled on upper Bayou Lafourche and out on the prairies.  Meanwhile, the family's name evolved in the Spanish colony from Saulnier and Saunier to Sonnier.  By the early antebellum period, Sonniers on the river had moved either to lower Bayou Teche or to Bayou Lafourche, where a small center of family settlement emerged.  Throughout the late colonial and antebellum periods, however, the great majority of Sonniers, most of them descended from two of the brothers who had gone to the prairies, lived in communities from the Opelousas prairies down to lower Bayou Teche.  They were especially numerous at Bellevue and Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish; at Carencro, La Butte, and Grand Prairie in Lafayette Parish; and at Fausse Pointe in St. Martin and Iberia parishes.66

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The Acadian Sonniers of Louisiana descend from two sets of brothers who came to the colony in 1765.  The first set of brothers--actually, half-brothers--arrived at New Orleans from Halifax either with the Broussards in February or soon afterwards and followed them to the western prairies:

Sylvain (c1736-1801) à Louis Sonnier

Sylvain, oldest son of Étienne Saulnier and his first wife Jeanne Comeau, born probably at Petitcoudiac in c1736, escaped the British roundup of 1755 and found refuge on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore.  He and his family ended up as prisoners of war in Nova Scotia in the early 1760s.  If he was a son of Étienne Saulnier, British officials counted his family at Halifax in August 1763.  Sylvain came to Louisiana from Halifax via St.-Domingue in 1765, still a bachelor, with a younger half-brother and followed his kinsmen to the Opelousas District west of the Atchafalaya Basin, where he married fellow Madeleine, daughter of fellow Acadians Charles Bourg and Anne Boudrot of Île St.-Jean, in the late 1760s.  They settled on Prairie Bellevue south of the present city of Opelousas.  Their daughters married into the Comeaux, Dugas, Martin, Missonnier, and Thibodeaux families.  Sylvain was one of the 11 Opelousas settlers who petitioned Spanish Governor Ulloa in March 1768 for assistance with oxen and plows to grow wheat in the district.  In 1771, he owned 43 head of cattle and 15 horses on 6 arpents of land without title.  In 1774, he was running 120 head of cattle with eight horses and mules and owned 30 swine.  In 1777, his herd had increased to 150 head, and he owned two slaves, 11 horses, and 45 hogs.  By 1788, he owned eight slaves, 300 head of cattle, and 34 horses on 32 arpents of land.  The number of his slaves had increased to 11 by 1796.  Sylvain, père died at Opelousas in January 1801, in his mid-60s.  Most of his seven sons created families of their own and settled in St. Landry and Lafayette parishes. 

Oldest son Sylvain, fils, born at Opelousas in February 1771, married Emilie, called Humile, Humilde, and Melite, daughter of fellow Acadians Charles Comeaux and Anastasie Savoie, at Opelousas in May 1789, and remarried to Judith, daughter of Italian Donatto Bello and his Creole wife Susanne Moreau, at Opelousas in December 1802.  Sylvain, fils's succession record was filed at the Opelousas courthouse in October 1821.  He died "at the home of Charles Saunier," probably his younger brother, in Lafayette Parish in September 1829.  The Vermilionville priest who recorded his burial said that Sylvain was age 63 when he died, but he was 58.  Eight of his 11 sons by both of his wives created their own families. 

Oldest son Sylvain III, by first wife Emilie Comeaux, born at Opelousas in April 1789, died at age 5 in January 1796.

Sylvan, fils's second son Louis dit Valière, by first wife Emilie Comeaux, born at Opelousas in August 1797, married Denise, daughter of Creoles Pierre Carrière and of St. John the Baptist Parish and Marie Louise Vivarene of Illinois, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in February 1816.  They settled at Bois de Mallet.  Their son Louis, fils was born in November 1816 but died the following March, Sylvain le jeune was born in February 1822, and Valérien in April 1834.  They also had sons named Aurelien and Adrien.  Louis's succession record was filed at the Opelousas courthouse in March 1862.  He would have been age 65 that year.  His daughters married Derbonne and Sonnier cousins.  At least two of his five sons created their own families. 

Oldest son Aurelien married first cousin Émeline, called Meline, daughter of French Creole Michel Derbonne and his Acadian wife Melite Sonnier, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in January 1848.  Their son Dutil, also called Agelus and Angelus, was born in St. Landry Parish in October 1851.  Aurelien's succession record was filed at the Opelousas courthouse in October 1865. 

Only son Angelus died in St. Landry Parish in January 1867.  The Opelousas priest who recorded the burial said that Angelus died "at age 16 yrs.," but he was only 15 1/2.  His succession record, calling him Agelus, "a minor," was filed at the Opelousas courthouse the following April.  One wonders why a minor would need a succession record.  His father's family line may have died with him. 

Louis dit Valière's second son Adrien married Unibonne, also called Oniléone, daughter of Jean Baptiste Lebleu and his Acadian wife Marguerite Lejeune and widow of Martin Daigle, at the Grand Coteau church, St. Landry Parish, in August 1862.  They settled near Church Point, then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish.  Their son Colombe was born in January 1866. 

Sylvain, fils's third son Gilbert, by first wife Emilie Comeaux, baptized at Opelousas, age unrecorded, in October 1800, married Louise Céleste, daughter of fellow Acadians Joseph Babin and Anastasie Melançon, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1826.  Their son Joseph Vileor was baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age 5 months, less 8 days, in October 1829.  Gilbert remarried to Madeleine Elise, called Elise, daughter of fellow Acadians Valentin Landry and Céleste Bourgeois and widow of Alexandre Breaux, at the St. Martinville church in July 1838.  Their son François Alcide, called Alcide, was born in St. Martin Parish in April 1839 but died at age 1 1/2 in August 1840; Gustave or Augustave was born in December 1840 but died at age 4 1/2 in September 1845; and Charles Numa, called Numa, was born in September 1843 but died at age 2 in October 1847. 

Oldest Joseph Vileor, by first wife Louise Céleste Babin, married Mathilde, daughter of Spanish Creole Joseph Castille and his Acadian wife Céleste LeBlanc, at the Breaux Bridge church, St. Martin Parish, in July 1849.  Their son Joseph Hertel was born near Breaux Bridge in June 1850, and Jean Derneville in March 1852.  Joseph Vileor remarried to Anglo American Emérante McBride in the 1850s.  Their son Joseph W. was born in Lafayette Parish in January 1859, and Gustave in February 1860. 

Sylvain, fils's fourth son Joseph le jeune, perhaps by first wife Emilie Comeaux, birth or baptismal date unrecorded, may have died young.  

Sylvain, fils's fifth son Sylvain III, perhaps by first wife Emilie Comeaux, birth or baptismal date unrecorded, the second with the name, took up with Joséphine, also called Josette, daughter of Joseph Bello, in the 1810s, and sanctified the union at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in June 1839.  Their son Sylvain IV was born in St. Landry Parish in February 1818, and Carlos in August 1821.  Sylvain III's succession record was filed at the Opelousas courthouse in October 1851. His daughters married into the Carrière, Derbonne, Miller, Rivière, and Sabadie or Savadie families.  

Oldest son Sylvain IV married first cousin Marie Louise, called Louise, 17-year-old daughter of his uncle Louis dit Valière Sonnier and his aunt Denise Carrière, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in January 1837.  Their son Valérien Sylvain or Sylvain Valérien was born in St. Landry Parish in January 1840, Carlos le jeune in August 1847, and Joseph Unique in August 1862.  Marie Louise's succession record was filed at the Opelousas courthouse in December 1866; she would have been 46 years old that year.  Sylvain IV likely remarried to Marie Ozea, daughter of Sylvain Benoit and Joséphine Belles, at the Eunice church, St. Landry Parish, in September 1869. 

Oldest son Sylvain Valérien, called Sylvain V. by the recording clerk, married Valentine Ygnace Fontenot in a civil ceremony in St. Landry Parish in May 1863.  Their son Arthur Frange was born in St. Landry Parish in December 1865.  Sylvain Valérien, called Valérien by the recording clerk and the recording priest, remarried to Joséphine, daughter of Joel Kinny and Clementine LeBoeuf, in a civil ceremony in St. Landry Parish in March 1866, and sanctified the marriage at the Church Point church then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish, in April. 

Sylvain, fils's sixth son Donat, by second wife Judith Bello, baptized at Opelousas, age 5, in February 1808, married cousin Émilie, Émilite, Carmelite or Melite Françoise, daughter of Spanish Creole François Casanueva and Brigitte Bello, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in August 1824.  Their son Donat, fils was born in St. Landry Parish in January 1837, and Jean in July 1842.  Their daughter married into the Miller family. 

Only son Donat, fils married French Creole Flavie Lacase probably in St. Landry Parish in the late 1850s or early 1860s.  They settled between Ville Platte and Eunice. Their son Valérien was born in November 1861, Donat III in August 1864, and Donatien in January 1870. 

Sylvain, fils's seventh son Valéry, by second wife Judith Bello, baptized at Opelouasas, age 4, in February 1808, married Arthémise, "natural" daughter of Pierre Carrière and Jacente Carrière, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in October 1824.  Their son Valéry, fils was born in St. Landry Parish in October 1829, Paulin in June 1831, Don or Jean Louis Valéry near Grand Coteau in January 1838, and Sylvain le jeune in April 1841.  Their daughters married into the Lacase and Moreau families.  At least three of Valéry's sons seem to have created their own families. 

Oldest son Valéry, fils may have married cousin Zelima Sonnier in the late 1840s. 

Valéry, père's second son Paulin married Marie Gimber.  Their son Olivier Jemes was born in St. Landry Parish in March 1862. 

Valèry, père's third son Don Louis Valéry married Zéolide, daughter of François Ignace Fontenot and Lucie Derouen, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in February 1861.

Sylvain, fils's eighth son Don or Jean Louis, by second wife Judith Bello, born in St. Landry Parish in March 1808, married Carmelite, called Émilite and Mélite, daughter of Urbin Carrière and Émilite Lacase, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in November 1827.  Their son Don or Jean Louis, fils was born in October 1837 but may have died in St. Martin Parish at age 12 in October 1849.  Don Louis's succession record was filed at the Opelousas courthouse in December 1854; he would have been 46 years old that year.  His daughters married into the Charlot, Doguet, and McDaniel families. 

Sylvain, fils's ninth Bélisle, also called William B., by second wife Judith Bello, baptized at Opelousas, age 9 months, in September 1812, married Rosaline, 18-year-old daughter of Anglo American William McKay and his Creole wife Françoise Carrière, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in July 1834, and remarried to Éloise or Louise, 19-year-old daughter of Michel Lacase and Éloise Carrière, at the Opelousas church in April 1839.  Their son Charles Bélisle, called Bélisle, fils, was born in St. Landry Parish in January 1846, and Bélisaire in May 1862. 

Older son Bélisle, fils, by second wife Éloise Carrière, married Clementine, daughter of Pierre Mouille and Félicité Durio, at the Eunice church, St. Landry Parish, in September 1870. 

Sylvain, fils's tenth Florian or Floriant, by second wife Judith Bello, born in St. Landry Parish in April 1814, married 17-year-old Sephalie, Sephalide, or Syphalide, another daughter of Ursin Carrière and Émilite Lacase, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in July 1834.  Their son Octave was born in St. Landry Parish in October 1837, Gerand in August 1854, and Étienne in March 1861.  Their daughter married into the François family. 

Oldest son Octave married Julienne, Juliana, or Julie, daughter of Jean Louis Miller and Zuline Bello, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in April 1861.  Their son Octave, fils was born in St. Landry Parish in January 1865.  

Sylvain, fils's eleventh and youngest son Léandre, by second wife Judith Bello, born in St. Landry Parish, in February 1837, if he survived childhood probably did not marry. 

Sylvain, père's second son Joseph, born at Opelousas in April 1776, probably died young.

Sylvain, père's third son Étienne, baptized at Opelousas, age unrecorded, in August 1779, died at age 1 in August 1780. 

Sylvain, père's fourth son Charles, baptized at Opelousas, age 4 1/2 months, in August 1781, took up with Sophie, daughter perhaps of Donatto Bello and Susanne Moreau and a sister of his older brother Sylvain, fils's second wife, in St. Landry Parish in the early 1800s.  Their "natural son" Charles, fils was born at Opelousas in April 1805 but died at age 14 in July 1819, and Sylvain le jeune was born in December 1807.  Their daughters married into the Richard and Winkler families.  Charles died in Lafayette Parish in September 1853.  The Vermilionville priest who recorded his burial said that Charles died "at age 65 yrs.," but he was closer to 72.  One wonders if, except for its blood, this family line endured.

Sylvain, père's fifth son Leufroi, also called Godefroi, born at Opelousas in May 1788, married Marie Céleste Carmelite, called Carmelite, daughter of fellow Acadians Charles Comeaux, fils and Perpétué Broussard of Côte Gelée, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in January 1809.  They settled at Côte Gelée and Grand Prairie in what became Lafayette Parish.  Leufroi died in Lafayette Parish in December 1848.  The Vermilionville priest who recorded his burial said that Leufroi died "at age 65 yrs.," but he was "only" 60.  His daughter married into the Chiasson and Richard families.  Four Leufroi's nine sons created their own families; three of them married to Landrys. 

Oldest son Leufroi, fils, born in St. Martin Parish in October 1811, married Françoise Aureline, called Aureline, daughter of fellow Acadians Alexandre Landry and Marie Brasseaux, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in October 1834.  Their son Symphorien was baptized at the Vermilionville church, age 18 months, in May 1840; and Guillaume was born in December 1848.  Their daughter married into the Comeaux family. 

Leufroi, père's second son Éloi le jeune, born in St. Martin Parish in August 1813, married Marie Basilise, called Basilise, daughter of fellow Acadians Pierre Landry and Françoise Landry, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in April 1834.  Their son Pierre Edgar, called Edgar, was baptized at the Vermilionville church, age 2 months, in April 1835; Jean Hopar or perhaps Azenor at age 6 months in February 1837; Charles le jeune was born in January 1839; Olivier in July 1846; and Euclides in May 1849.  Their daughter married into the Bellaire family. 

Oldest son Edgar married Amelia or Emelia Fabre probably in Lafayette Parish in the late 1850s.  They settled near Youngsville.  Their son Leufroi le jeune was born in May 1859.  Edgar's succession record was filed at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in February 1870.  He would have been age 35 that year. 

Éloi le jeune's second son Jean Azenor, perhaps second son Jean Hopar, married Marie Julia Coulard and settled near Patoutville, now Lydia, Iberia Parish, by the late 1860s. 

Éloi le jeune's third son Charles le jeune may have married Elizabeth Bellaire at the Abbeville church, Vermilion Parish, in January 1861.  They settled on the lower Vermilion.  Their son Albert was born in April 1867. 

Éloi le jeune's fourth son Olivier married Léontine, also called Cléontine, daughter of Treville Fabre and his Acadian wife Clementine Broussard, at the Youngsville church, Lafayette Parish, in April 1868.  They also settled on the lower Vermilion.  Their son Cléobule was born in January 1869, and Edgar le jeune in November 1870. 

Leufroi, père's third son Charles, born in St. Martin Parish in August 1815, may have died young.

Leufroi, père's fourth son Félix, born in St. Martin Parish in January 1821, may have died young. 

Leufroi, père's fifth son Valéry, born in Lafayette Parish, in January 1824, also may have died young. 

Leufroi, père's sixth son Sosthène, baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age 2 1/2 months, in February 1827, died at age 16 in October 1842,

Leufroi, père's seventh son Jacques Euclide, called Euclide, born in Lafayette Parish August 1829, married Eugènie Besida, Lesida, or Resida, daughter of fellows Acadian Éloi Landry and Marie Berthilde Landry, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in May 1853.  They settled probably near Carencro.  Their son Leufroi le jeune was born in November 1861, and Éloi in December 1866. 

Leufroi, père's eighth son Sevigne, baptized at Vermilionville, age 1, in July 1834, died at age 1 1/2 in March 1835.  

Leufroi, père's ninth and youngerst son Alfred, baptized at Vermilionville, age 3 months, in July 1837, married Marie, Marine, or Maxine Frederick.  They settled on the prairie between Vermilionville and Church Point.  Their son Leufroi le jeune was born in November 1858; Augustave in August 1863; Valéry in September 1864; Jacques le jeune in February 1867; and Albert in July 1869. 

Sylvain, père's sixth son Éloi, born probably at Opelousas in c1791, died in Lafayette Parish in July 1836, age 45.  One wonders if he married.     

Sylvain, père's seventh and youngest son Joseph dit Cadz, born at Opelousas in August 1792, married Marie Adeline, called Julienne, Juliette, and Zéline, daughter of fellow Acadians Joseph dit Mines Guidry and Scholastique Hébert of Bayou Vermilion, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1811.  They settled on the Vermilion.  Their daughters married Guidry cousins. Five of Cadz's six sons created their own families. 

Oldest son Charles Émile, born in St. Martin Parish in February 1815, married Carmelite, daughter of fellow Acadians Ursin Hébert and Marguerite Richard, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in August 1838.  Their son Ursin Théodule, called Théodule, was born in Lafayette Parish in February 1840; Aurelien in February 1841; Adrien near Grand Coteau, St. Landry Parish, in March 1852; and Joseph in Lafayette Parish in February 1854. 

Oldest son Théodule married Marie Coralie, called Coralie, daughter of fellow Acadians Firmin Breaux and Cleorine Richard and widow of Valérien Breause, in a civil ceremony in St. Landry Parish in January 1866, and sanctified the marriage at the Church Point church, then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish, in July 1869. 

Cadz's second son Joseph, fils, born in St. Martin Parish in June 1818, married Carmelite or Camille, daughter of fellow Acadians Leufroi Boudreaux and Marie Hébert, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in February 1837.  Their son Joseph III died in Lafayette Parish at age 12 days in June 1838, and Sevenne was born in December 1842. 

Cadz's third son Eusèbe dit Cadet, born prematurely in St. Martin Parish in November 1822, died at age 3 1/2 in June 1826.

Cadz's fourth son Jean, also called John, born in Lafayette Parish in December 1826, may have married Émelie Fontenot at the Grand Coteau church, St. Landry Parish, in January 1849.  Their son Ignace was born in Lafayette Parish in August 1856.  They were living near Church Point, then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish, by the early 1860s. 

Cadz's fifth son Sosthène, born in Lafayette Parish in October 1830, may have married Célestine Natalie, called Natalie, Broussard, in the late 1840s and lived near Grand Coteau, St. Landry Parish, before moving to Bayou Queue de Tortue by the early 1850s.  Their son Joseph Adras was born near Grand Coteau in July 1852. 

Cadz's sixth and youngest son Edward, Eduard, or Edval, born in Lafayette Parish in May 1836, married Marie Célestine, called Célestine, daughter of fellow Acadian Alexandre Cormier and his Creole wife Susanne Ledoux, at the Church Point church, then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish, in July 1869.  They settled on the prairie between Church Point and Vermilionville.  Their son Antoine had been born near Church Point in December 1868. 

Olivier (c1752-?) à Louis Sonnier

Olivier, second son of Étienne Saulnier and his second wife Anne Darois, born probably at Petitcoudiac in c1752, escaped the British roundup of 1755 and was taken to the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore.  He and his family ended up at prisoners of war in Nova Scotia.  British officials counted his family at Halifax in August 1763.  Olivier came to Louisiana from Halifax in 1765 with older half-brother Sylvain and followed him to the Opelousas District.  Olivier's succession record was filed at what became the Opelousas courthouse in August 1775, though a census at Opelousas in May 1777 counted him as a bachelor who owned no slaves, 15 head of cattle, and four horses.  Olivier does not seem to have married. 

Joseph (c1756-1820) à Louis Sonnier

Joseph, third and youngest son of Étienne Saulnier and his second wife Anne Darois and Sylvain's half-brother, born in Acadia in c1756 during exile, followed his family to the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore and also ended up as a prisoner in Nova Scotia.  British officials counted them at Halifax in August 1763.  Joseph came to Louisiana in 1765 with an older sister and followed her to the Opelousas prairies.  Spanish officials counted him at Opelousas in 1771 with the family of sister Françoise, wife of Pierre Thibodeaux.  By 1774, while still a young bachelor living alone, he owned five head of cattle and three horses and mules.  He married Marie, daughter of fellow Acadians Olivier Thibodeaux and Madeleine Broussard, at Attakapas in January 1779.  They settled on Prairie Bellevue, south of present-day Opelousas.  In 1788, Joseph owned 10 head of cattle and 30 horses on 13 arpents of land at Bellevue.  In the early 1800s, he and Marie lived to Grand Prairie, now downtown Lafayette; at La Butte between Lafayette and Breaux Bridge on upper Bayou Vermilion; and then at Carencro at the northern edge of the old Attakapas District.  Their daughters married into the Chiasson, Constantin, Dugas, and Guilbert families.  Joseph died at Carencro, then in St. Martin Parish, in October 1820.  The priest who recorded his burial said that Joseph was age 60 when he died, but he was closer to 64.  Most of his six sons created families of their own and settled in St. Martin and Lafayette parishes. 

Oldest son Joseph dit Padillau, also called Joseph, fils, baptized at Opelousas, age 6 months, in August 1781, married Marguerite, daughter of fellow Acadians Louis Arceneaux and Anne Braud of St. James Parish, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in November 1818.  They settled at Carencro.  Joseph, fils died probably at Carencro in September 1829, a widower; he was only 49 years old; his succession records were filed at the Vermilionville courthouse later that month. 

Older son Joseph Rosémond, called Rosémond, was born in August 1819 but died at age 11 months in July 1820.

Padillau's second son Achille or Alcide, baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age unrecorded, in August 1825, married Marguerite Cléonide or Cléonise, daughter of Joseph Allegre and his Acadian wife Marie Denise Cormier, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in May 1842.  Their son Joseph le jeune was born in St. Martin Parish in October 1845; and Omar or Aymar, also called Ernest, near Breaux Bridge in February 1849.  Alcide's succession record was filed at the St. Martinville courthouse in April 1849.  He would have been in his mid-20s that year.  Both of his sons created their own families. 

Older son Joseph le jeune married Julie, daughter of fellow Acadians Duclise Broussard and Célestine Broussard, at the Breaux Bridge church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1868.  Their son Alcide was born near Breaux Bridge in January 1869. 

Achille's younger son Aymar, called Eymar by the recording priest, married cousin Aline, daughter of fellow Acadian Théogène Melançon and his Creole wife Cléophine Allegre, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in December 1869. 

Joseph, père's second son Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, born at Attakapas in March 1785, married Marie Clémence, called Clémence, daughter of fellow Acadians Joseph Athanase Breaux and of Carencro, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1810.  They settled at Prairie Basse near Carencro.  Jean Baptiste died probably at Carencro in November 1827, age 42.  His daughters married into the Breaux and Guidry families.  Four of his seven sons created their own families. 

Oldest son Hippolyte Bienvenu or Bienvenu Hippolyte, born near Carencro in March 1813, Angélique, daughter of French Canadian Joseph Primeaux and widow of ____ Newman, at the Grand Coteau church, St. Landry Parish, in July 1847.  The priest noted in the marriage record that Angélique's first husband was "an unbaptized American," and that "She was in danger of death and was living with this man [Hippolyte] for 5 years."  Their son Théodule le jeune was born near Grand Coteau in February 1845 but died at age 7 1/2 in November 1852, Hippolyte, fils was born in February 1847, and Joseph Alexandre in April 1851.  Their daughter may have married into the Domingue family.  Hippolyte remarried to Spanish Creole Carmelite Dominguez, widow of Éloi Mouton, in a civil ceremony in Lafayette Parish in November 1854. 

Second son Hippolyte, fils may have married Louisa Brisco, Briscoe, or Briscau.  Their son Hippolyte Bienvenu le jeune was born near Grand Coteau in November 1866, and Onésime in February 1868 but died "at age 7 days." 

Baptiste's second son Joseph Théodule, called Théodule, born near Carencro in April 1817, married Marie Valsaine or Valsene, daughter of fellow Acadian Augustin Leger and and his Creole wife Merante Meche, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in April 1842.  They settled near Carencro.  Their son Augustin Ernest was born in September 1844, Joseph Honoré in September 1849, and Jules in June 1853 but died at age 9 in November 1862.  Their daughters married into the Colligan or Collogan, Fale or Fall, and Richard families. 

Baptiste's third son Jean dit Euclide, born near Carencro in June 1819, died in Lafayette Parish in May 1838, age 18.  He did not marry. 

A succession record for Baptiste's fourth son Pierre Mortimer, born near Carencro in May 1822, was filed at the Vermilionville courthouse, Lafayette Parish, in December 1865.  He would have been age 43 that year.  One wonders if he married. 

Baptiste's fifth son Cyprien, born near Carencro in August 1824, married cousin Céleste Anathalie or Nathalie, daughter of fellow Acadians Julien Comeaux and Céleste Breaux, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in November 1849.  Their son Joseph Clairfait was born near Grand Coteau, St. Landry Parish, in January 1852.  Cyprien remarried to Élisabeth, daughter of Anglo Creole John Caruthers or Credeur and his Acadian wife and his Acadian wife Adélaïde Hébert and widow of Oscar Chiasson, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in March 1864.  Their son Marc was born in Lafayette Parish in October 1865, and Euchariste in March 1867.  Cyprien died in Lafayette Parish in September 1870; the Vermilionville priest who recorded the burial said that Cyprien died "at age 45 yrs.," but he was 46.  His succession record was filed at the Vermilionville courthouse in October. 

Baptiste's sixth son Sylvestre Lucain died at age 7 days in November 1826.  

Baptiste's seventh and youngest son Simon Eugène, called Eugène, born posthumously in January 1828, married Marie Euzèide or Merida, daughter of fellow Acadians Pierre Rosémond Breaux and Calixte Arceneaux, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in October 1855.  Their son, name unrecorded, died in Lafayette Parish "shortly after birth" in September 1856; and Alexandre Adam was born in July 1859.  Eugène remarried to Euphrosine, daughter of fellow Acadians Rosémond Mouton and Estelle Comeaux, at the Vermilionville church in February 1868. 

Joseph, père's third son Placide, born probably at Opelousas in c1789, married Anastasie, daughter of fellow Acadians Augustin Dugas and Marie Duhon of La Butte, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1813.  They settled at La Butte and Grand Prairie.  Placide died in Lafayette Parish in April 1835, age 46.  His daughters married into the Cart, Hernandez, and Trahan families. His two older sons created their own families. 

Oldest son Joseph Léonard, born in St. Martin Parish in June 1818, married Céleste or Célestine, 18-year-old daughter of fellow Acadians Antoine Hébert and Céleste Trahan, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in June 1837.  Their son Placide le jeune was born in St. Landry Parish in March 1845, and Pierre near Grand Coteau in December 1859.  Their daughters married into the Breaux and Trahan families. 

Older son Placide le jeune married Odalie, daughter of Firmar, perhaps Firmin, Fuselier, at the Church Point church, then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish, in February 1868.  They settled on the prairie between Church Point and Eunice. 

Placide's second son Gédéon, born in St. Martin Parish in August 1820, married Célestine, 15-year-old daughter of Anglo American William Berwick and his Acadian wife Céleste Lejeune, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in June 1839.  Their son Gédéon, fils was born in St. Landry Parish in April 1843, and Valentin in November 1848.  Their daughter married into the Breaux family.  Gédéon remarried to Joséphine, daughter of fellow Acadians Joseph Doucet and Carmelite Richard, at the Grand Coteau church, St. Landry Parish, in June 1856. 

Older son Gédéon, fils married Adélaïde, called Délaïde, daughter of fellow Acadians Onésime LeBlanc and Adélaïde Landry, in a civil ceremony in St. Landry Parish in November 1867, and sanctified the marriage at the Church Point church, then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish, in April 1869.  They settled on the prairie between Church Point and Grand Coteau.  Their son Joseph Alceus was born in February 1869, and Adam Jean in November 1870. 

Placide's third son Jean died a day after his birth in St. Martin Parish in June 1825. 

Placide's fourth and youngest son François died at age 3 weeks in St. Martin Parish in August 1826. 

Joseph, père's fourth son Alexandre, baptized at Opelousas, age unrecorded, in July 1790, died "at his parents' home" at La Butte in January 1809.  He was only 18 years old and probably did not marry. 

Joseph, père's fifth son Pierre, born probably at Opelousas in the early 1790s, married Marie Adélaïde, called Adélaïde, daughter of fellow Acadians Amand Dugas and Geneviève Robichaux of La Butte, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in October 1813.  They settled at La Butte and then at Grand Prairie, now downtown Lafayette.  Pierre died in Lafayette Parish in November 1850.  The Vermilionville priest who recorded his burial said that Pierre died "at age 70 yrs."  At least two of his eight sons created their own families. 

Their oldest son, name unrecorded, died at age 1 month in St. Martin Parish in November 1816.

Pierre's second son Pierre Hermas or Darmas, called Darmas, born in St. Martin Parish in May 1822, married cousin Julie or Julienne, daughter of fellow Acadians Célestin Dugas and Julie Chiasson, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in April 1840.  Their son Placide le jeune was born probably in Lafayette Parish in c1847, Alfred in June 1853, and Pierre, fils in November 1860. 

Oldest son Placide le jeune died in Lafayette Parish in November 1863, age 16. One wonders if his death was war-related.   

Pierre's third son Jean Moléon, born in Lafayette Parish in May 1824, died at age 4 1/2 in March 1829.

Pierre's fourth son Narcisse, baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age 2 months, in May 1827, died at age 2 in March 1829. 

Pierre's fifth son Joseph le jeune, born in Lafayette Parish in June 1829, died at age 1 1/2 in September 1830. 

Piere's sixth son Norbert, baptized at the Vermilionville church, age 4 months, in March 1831, married cousin Zoe, daughter of fellow Acadians Pierre Anaclet Richard and Carmelite Sonnier, in a civil ceremony in Lafayette Parish in September 1859. 

Pierre's seventh son Maximilien, born in Lafayette Parish in February 1833, may have died young. 

Pierre's eighth and youngest son Treville died in Lafayette Parish at age 3 months in August 1834.

Joseph, père's sixth and youngest son Cyrille, baptized at Attakapas, age 8 months, in May 1795, married Susanne, called Susette, 16-year-old daughter of Thomas Parr and his Acadian wife Marie Melançon, at the Grand Coteau church, St. Landry Parish, in May 1822.  Cyrille died in Lafayette Parish in April 1859.  The Vermilionville priest who recorded his burial said that Cyrille died "at age 63 yrs."  His succession record was filed at the Vermilionville courthouse in August.  At least seven of his 13 sons created their own families. 

Oldest son Cyrille, fils, born in Lafayette Parish in July 1823, died at age 2 in September 1825,

Cyrille, père's second son Pierre le jeune, born in Lafayette Parish in March 1825, also may have died young. 

Cyrille, père's third son Antoine, also called Éloi, born in Lafayette Parish in October 1826, married Sylvanie, also called Eleonie, daughter of fellow Acadians Joachim Dugas and Marguerite Broussard, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in June 1848.  Their son Antoine Numa was born in Lafayette Parish November 1854, and Joachim in April 1862. 

Cyrille, père's fourth son Louis, born in Lafayette Parish in April 1828, Emelia, called Melia, daughter of fellow Acadians Théovide Broussard and Marie Arthémise Hébert, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in August 1849.  Their son Alcides was born in Lafayette Parish in August 1850, Paul Arthur in June 1854, and Élois in November 1870. 

Cyrille, père's fifth son Siméon or Simon, born in Lafayette Parish in February 1830, married Marie Rosalie, called Rosalie, daughter of Pierre Domingue and Marie Josèphine Hernandez and widow of Pierre A. Domingue, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in August 1861.  Their son Joseph Numa was born in Lafayette Parish in June 1862, Edgar in October 1865 but died at age 2 in November 1867, and Amédé was born in March 1870.

Cyrille, père's sixth son Basile, also called Baptiste, born in Lafayette Parish in October 1831, married Philomène, daughter of François Guilbert and Émilie Begnaud, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in August 1854.  Their son Honoré was born in Lafayette Parish in December 1855, and Théophile in February 1868. 

Cyrille, père's seventh son Joseph, born in Lafayette Parish in June 1833, died at age 1 in June 1834.

Cyrille, père's eighth son Olivier, born in Lafayette Parish in March 1835, died at age 18 months in September 1836.

Cyrille, père's ninth son Émile, born in Lafayette Parish, died, age unrecorded, in December 1835.

Cyrille, père's tenth son Thomas Estel, baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age 3 months, in January 1837, may have married Marcellite Riggs in a civil ceremony in St. Landry Parish in December 1870. 

Cyrille, père's eleventh son Paulin was born in Lafayette Parish in August 1840.

Cyrille, père's twelvth son Alexandre, born in Lafayette Parish in August 1841, married Marie Emelise, daughter of fellow Acadians Jean Baptiste Chiasson and Julie Dugas, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in January 1861.  Their son Cyrille Esseus was born in Lafayette Parish in April 1866, and Julien Eucharis in October 1868.   

Cyrille, père's thirteenth and youngest son Marcel, born in Lafayette Parish in January 1844, married Marie Constance, daughter of fellow Acadians Joseph Louvière and Séraphine Delphine Broussard, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in May 1866. 

.

A second set of Saulner brothers reached New Orleans from Halifax later in 1765.  They went not to the western prairies but to an established Acadian settlement on the river above New Orleans: 

Joseph (c1739-1812) à Pierre à Louis Sonnier

Joseph, oldest son of Pierre Saulnier, fils and Madeleine Haché-Gallant, born probably at Petitcoudiac in c1739, escaped the British roundup of 1755 and found refuge on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore.  He and his family ended up as prisoners of war in Nova Scotia in the early 1760s.  He may have married a fellow Acadian by then.  He and two of his siblings came to Louisiana from Halifax via St.-Domingue in 1765 and settled at Cabahannocer on the river above New Orleans.  Spanish officials counted him with widowed sister Anne and two nieces on the left, or east, bank of the river at Cabahannocer in 1766.  He married, or remarried to, fellow Acadian Marie Landry, widow of Alexis Granger, at Cabahannocer in November 1767.  They were living on the east bank of the river there in 1769.  Eight years later, in January 1777, he and his family were still living on the east bank of the river at Cabahannocer, but by then he was a widower.  His daughter by wife Marie married into the Bourgeois family.  Joseph remarried to fellow Acadian Marie Breaux, widow of Amand Richard, at St.-Jacques of Cabahannocer in August 1777.  In 1779, they held three slaves on their holding along the river.  Their daughter married into the Lanoux family.  Joseph died in St. James Parish in December 1812.  The priest who recorded his burial said that Joseph was age 82 when he died, but he was closer to 72.  His older son's line did not survive.  His younger son settled on Bayou Lafourche and created a third center of family settlement.  They were, in fact, the only Sonniers to settle there during the antebellum period. 

Older son Donat, by first or second wife Marie Landry, perhaps also called Simon, baptized at St.-Jacques, age unrecorded, in July 1773, may have married Françoise, a woman whose surname has been lost to history, probably at St.-Jacques in the late 1790s or early 1800s.  Their son, name and age unrecorded, died at St.-Jacques in October 1806.  Simon's wife died the next day, age 35.  Simon himself died at St.-Jacques in April 1807.  The priest who recorded his burial did not give Simon's parents' names, mention his wife, or give his age at the time of his death, but this probably was him.  One wonders if his family line survived.

Joseph's younger son Joseph-Édouard, called Édouard, by second or third wife Marie Breaux, baptized at St.-Jacques, age unrecorded, in May 1780, married Denise, also called Lise, daughter of fellow Acadians Jean-Charles Arceneaux and Marie-Josèphe Babin, at St.-Jacques in February 1799.  Most of their children were born in what became St. James Parish.  They moved to Bayou Lafourche in the early 1820s, creating a third center of family settlement, and were the last of the Acadian Sonniers to abandon the river settlements.  Édouard died in Lafourche Interior Parish in May 1842.  The Thibodaux priest who recorded his burial said that Édouard died "at age 64 to 65 yrs.," but he was closer to 62.  His daughters married into the Authement and Bourg families.  Four of his six sons created their own families, but at least one line did not survive. 

Oldest son Joseph le jeune, born at St.-Jacques in December 1802, married Marie Josette or Rosette, daughter of François Percle and Marie Triche, at the Plattenville church, Assumption Parish, in February 1827.  Their son Joseph Omere was born in Lafourche Interior Parish in August 1830 but died at age 3 in October 1833; Édouard or Jean Amédée was born in December 1832 but died at age 1 in October 1833; Zéphirin Aristide, called Aristide, was born in Ascension Parish in August 1834; and Joseph Léonidas in Lafourche Interior Parish in October 1836 but died at age 1 in December 1837.  Their daughters married into the Lasseigne and LeBlanc families. 

Third son Aristide married Honorine, daughter of Henri Lirette and his Acadian wife Marie Breaux, at the Thibodaux church, Lafourche Interior Parish, in December 1851.  Their son Joseph Alcide, called Alcide, was born in Lafourche Interior Parish in September 1852.  Aristide, père died in Lafourche Parish in September 1853 "during [a] yellow fever epidemic,"age 19.  A "petition for tutorship" for his son was filed at the Thibodaux courthouse in July 1855, and a "family meeting" was held at the Houma courthouse, Terrebonne Parish, in March 1856.  Aristide, père's daughter Victorine Ernestine was born posthumously in March 1854. 

Édouard's second son Jean Baptiste le jeune, born at St.-Jacques in October 1804, died at age 1 1/2 in January 1806.

Édouard's third son Simon le jeune, born in St. James Parish in c1812, died near Convent, St. James Parish, at age 3 in July 1815. 

Édouard's fourth son Marcellin or Onésime, born near Convent, St. James Parish, in September 1814, married Anne Marie, daughter of Antoine Vicknair and Dolothe Cuvillier and widow of Pierre Lasseigne, at the Thibodaux church, Lafourche Interior Parish, in December 1846.  Onésime died in Lafourche Interior Parish in December 1847, age 33. A "petition for administrator" in his name was filed at the Thibodaux courthouse in May 1848.  He and his wife had no children, or least none who appear in local church records, so his line of the family probably died with him. 

Édouard's fifth son Julien or Jules, born near Convent, St. James Parish, in May 1819, married Euphrosine, daughter of fellow Acadians Joseph Breaux and Marie Félicité Richard, at the Thibodaux in June 1855. 

Édouard's sixth and youngest son Jean Charles, called Charles, born near Convent, St. James Parish, in November 1821, married Marie Rosalie, called Rosalie, another daughter of Joseph Breaux and Marie Félicité Richard, at the Thibodaux church in September 1846.  Their son Joseph Édouard Octave, called Octave, was born in Lafourche Interior Parish in November 1849; Édouard Timothée or Timothée Édouard in October 1851 but died at age 1 in December 1852; Adam Arthur was born in November 1853; and Édouard Clinton in February 1861.  Their daughter married into the Bergeron family. 

Oldest son Octave married Marie Célestine, called Célestine, daughter of Zenon Roussel and Carmelite Grégoire, in a civil ceremony in Lafourche Parish in April 1869; the marriage also was registered in Terrebonne Parish.  Their son Joseph was born in Lafourche Parish in February 1870. 

Jean-Baptiste (c1746-?) à Pierre à Louis Sonnier

Jean-Baptiste, called Jean, second son of Pierre Saulnier, fils and his first wife Madeleine Haché-Gallant, born probably at Petitcoudiac in c1746, escaped the British roundup of 1755 and found refuge on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore.  He and his family ended up as prisoners of war in Nova Scotia in the early 1760s.  Jean and two of his siblings came to Louisiana from Halifax via St.-Domingue in 1765 and settled at Cabahannocer.  Spanish officials counted him on the right, or west, bank of the river there in 1766 and on the left, or east, bank of the river in 1769.  He married Marie, daughter of fellow Acadians Abraham Roy and his first wife Anne Aubois, at St.-Jacques of Cabahannocer in May 1773.  They were still living on the east bank of the river there in 1777.  A daughter, born in August 1784, was baptized at New Orleans the following March.  The family was living on upper Bayou Lafourche in the late 1780s and early 1790s, the first Acadian Sonniers to settle there, but few, if any, of their children remained on the bayou.  Their daughters married into the Cuvillier, Duval, Henrique, Martin, and Nopper families; most of them settled on the western prairies.  Jean-Baptiste's two sons, like his daughters, followed their Roy relatives to the western prairies and settled on Bayou Teche.

Older son Jean-Baptiste, fils, baptized at St.-Jacques, age unrecorded, in August 1776, married Adélaïde, daughter of fellow Acadians Come LeBlanc and Isabelle Broussard of Fausse Pointe, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in June 1813.  They remained on Bayou Teche.  Their daughters married into the Broussard and Daniel families.  Two of Jean-Bapitste, fils's four sons created their own families, but only one of the family lines seems to have endured. 

Oldest son Marcellin, born in St. Martin Parish in March 1814, married cousin Marie Azélie, called Azélie, daughter of fellow Acadians Raphaël Broussard and Modeste LeBlanc, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in August 1834.  They settled near New Iberia.  Their son Philemon was born in July 1839; and Marcellin, fils in November 1840.  Marcellin remarried to Sidalise Dubois.  Their son Joseph Adam was born in St. Martin Parish in February 1853; Jean Baptiste le jeune in September 1854 but died at age 7 in November 1861; Jean Cibley, perhaps Sibley, called Cibley, was born in December 1862 but died at age 4 1/2 in September 1867; Paul Jefferson Davis, called Davis, was born in December 1864 but died at age 2 1/2 in May 1867; and Pierre Noël was born in December 1867. 

Jean-Baptiste, fils's second son, name and age unrecorded, died "at the home of [Scotsman John] Martin, his [Jean-Baptiste, fils's] brother-in-law [husband of sister Françoise] at L'île Labbé," in St. Martin Parish in January 1818. 

Jean-Baptiste, fils's third son Jean Onésime, called Onésime, born in St. Martin Parish in September 1819, married cousin Louise, also called Marie Elisa, Sonnier, at the St. Martinville church in November 1841.  Their son Jean Baptiste le jeune was born in St. Martin Parish in July 1847 but died at age 1 in October 1848.  One wonders if the family line survived.   

Jean-Baptiste, fils's fourth and youngest son Jean Baptiste III, born in St. Martin Parish in September 1825, died at age 3 1/2 in March 1829. 

Jean-Baptiste, père's younger son Jean-L'Esprit, born at Ascension in July 1791, married Félicité, daughter of French Creole Louis Saucier, probably in the 1820s.  They, too, settled on Bayou Teche.  Their only son created his own family there. 

Jean, fils, perhaps also called Jean Azenor or Azenor Jean, born in St. Martin Parish in April 1828, may have married Élizabeth, daughter of Gilbert Amy and his Acadian wife Élizabeth Landry, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1861, remarried to Marie Julia Coulard, and settled near Patoutville, now Lydia, Iberia Parish, by the late 1860s. 

Villejoin

The Rousseau de Villejoins came late to greater Acadia, and, as Villejoins, they were among the last Acadians to go to Louisiana.  Moreover, during their time in L'Acadie they were far from typical Acadians; none of them helped build aboiteaux on the edge of the Fundy marshes.  They lived, instead, on Newfoundland, Île Royale, and Île St.-Jean, but they were not simple fishermen or boat builders or even prominent merchants there.  As their name implies, they were proud descendants of French nobility.  They served in the Maritime garrisons as military officers, some of them chevaliers of the Order of St.-Louis, and one of them was commandant of Île St.-Jean on the eve of the island's dérangement.  Their noble status did not spare them from the tragedy of the Great Upheaval.  Back in France, to which they were forcibly deported, they again served their monarch as military commanders.  The former commandant of Île St.-Jean, in fact, rose to the rank of general, and his eldest son became governor of a French island in the West Indies. 

Gabriel-Louis, son of Gabriel Rousseau, sieur de la Gorre et de Villejoin, gentlehomme servant son altesse royale Gaston de France, and Dame Marie Baudron, was born at St.-Honoré, Blois, France, in c1683.  Gabriel-Louis inherited his father's title, sieur de Villejoin, and served as an officer in the troupes de la marine at Fort-Louis, Plaisance.  Gabriel-Louis married Marie-Josèphe, daughter of Sr. François Bertrand, colonel of militia and a member of the Order of St.-Louis, and Jeanne Giraudet, at Plaisance in April 1708.  Their wedding must have been a big affair; Newfoundland governor Pastour de Costebelle and dozens of other distinguished guests witnessed the ceremony.  Marie-Josèphe gave Sr. Gabriel-Louis six children, at least two sons and three daughters, including two sons who married daughters of fellow French aristocrats and who also were their cousins.  Two of Gabriel-Louis's daughters married into the Le Coutre de Bourville and Tarride du Haget families at Louisbourg on Île Royale.  Two of his sons married.  Gabrie-Louis served not only at Plaisance, Newfoundland, but also at the French citadel of Louisbourg and at Port-La-Joye on Île St.-Jean, where died in September 1718, in his mid-30s.  Gabriel-Louis and Marie-Josèphe's descendants served or settled at Louisbourg and on Île St.-Jean.  Needless to say, members of this family were not "typical" Fundy Acadians.  Gabriel-Louis's older son Gabriel de Villejoin, fils married Anne-Angélique, daughter of Louis-Joseph de Gannes de Falaise and Marguerite Le Neuf de La Vallière, at Louisbourg in January 1733, and remarried to Barbe, daughter of Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière and Renée Bertrand and widow of Louis Delort, at Louisbourg in December 1753.  Gabriel, fils, like his maternal grandfather, became a chevalier of the Order of St. Louis.  He died at St.-Jean-d'Angély, Aunis, France, in November 1781, age 72, after serving the King as a brigadier.  Gabriel-Louis's younger son Michel d'Orfontaine married Angélique, another daughter of Michel Le Neuf de Vallière and Renée Bertrand, at Port-La-Joye, Île St.-Jean, in May 1757, on the eve of the islands' Grand Dérangement.

Living in territory controlled by France, the Rousseau de Villejoins and Rousseau d'Orfontaines escaped the roundup of the Acadians in British Nova Scotia in the fall of 1755.  Gabriel-Louis and Marie-Josèphe's older son Gabriel, fils, in fact, had been commandant of Île St.-Jean for a year when Governor Lawrence and the colonial council in Halifax ordered the deportations.  Three years earlier, in 1752, a French official had counted 2,223 inhabitants on Île St.-Jean, up from 735 four years earlier.  It was Gabriel Rousseau de Villejoin's sad duty, as commandant of island, to care for the hundreds of Acadian refugees who fled to Île St.-Jean in the autumn and winter of 1755, most of them with little more than the shirts on their backs.  (The entire population of Cobeguit, for instance, escaped to Île St.-Jean that autumn when they heard the British were rounding up their fellow Acadians north and west of them.)  Governor-General Vaudreuil at Québec did his best to send relief to the island.  In an August 1756 letter to the Minister of Marine, Vaudreuil painted a dismal picture of conditions on the island:  "Misery is great on Île Saint Jean," he wrote.  "Most of the inhabitants are without bread, M. de Villejoin having fed 1,257 refugees since last autumn."  That same year, Commandant Villejoin informed the governor that there were now 4,400 Acadians on the overcrowded island! 

But the suffering of the Acadians on Île St.-Jean had only just begun.  After the fall of the French fortress at Louisbourg in July 1758, the victorious British rounded up most of the inhabitants on the island and deported them to France.  Commandant Villejoin and his family did not escape the deportation.  They crossed on one of the five British transports that left the Gut of Canso in late November 1758 and reached St.-Malo in late January 1759.  Gabriel and his wife Barbe Le Neuf de La Vallière survived the crossing, but their 18-month-old son Louis-Melchior died at sea.  Younger brother Michel, his wife Angélique Le Neuf de La Vallière, and their family also were deported to France, from Île Royale. 

Most of the island Acadians exiled to France languished in the nation's port cities, relying largely on the King's charity to feed their families.  Not so the Rousseau de Villejoins.  Their status as nobles and their good service in greater Acadia led to promotions, not poverty.  In 1760, a year after he and his family returned to France, Gabriel became commandant des troupes des colonies at Rochefort.  When the war with Britain finally ended and there were no more colonial troops in North America to administer, Gabriel was named governor of Île de la Désirade, Guadeloupe, in the French Antilles, in 1763.  Fives years later, after Désirade came under the governorship of Guadeloupe, Gabriel returned to France, where he was appointed brigadier des armées du roi.  He died at St.-Jean-d'Angély, Aunis, France, in November 1781, in his early 70s.  Meanwhile, Gabriel's younger brother Michel sieur d'Orfontaine served as capitaine dans les troupes nationales in Guiana, South America, before retiring from the King's service in 1765. He died probably in France after1789, in his 70s. 

Gabriel-Michel, called Michel, Gabriel, fils's second son by his first wife Anne-Angélique de Gannes de Falaise, had fought in greater Acadia during the war with Britain while in his 20s.  In the late 1760s, Michel emigrated to French St.-Domingue, today's Haiti, probably from France.  Like his father and grandfather, he served as an officer in both the militia and the King's forces.  During his long military career, he was lieutenant pour le roi and capitaine aide-major des milices du quartier at Cayes du Fond and major commandant pour le roi at Tiburon on the island.  He married Anne-Félicité, called Félicité, daughter of Joseph-Cyprien Reynaud, a prominent planter and militia officer, and Marthe Nicolas, at Cayes du Fond, today's Les Cayes, on the southwest coast of the island in October 1771.  Michel and Félicité had at least three children, including two sons.  Michel was still alive when the slave revolt in St.-Domingue erupted in 1791.  He died at Les Cayes in February 1799, age 65.  His family left St.-Domingue probably soon after his death.  At least three of his children--sons Louis-Joseph, called Joseph, and Grégoire-Michel, both unmarried; and married daughter Marie-Josèphine, wife of ____ Salle or Salleo of France and Haiti--emigrated to Louisiana from Haiti via Cuba perhaps in 1809 with hundreds of other Haitian refugees.  They chose to settle not at New Orleans with the great majority of their fellow exiles but on the western prairies, where they called themselves Villejoin, not Rousseau.  The family's noble de also disappeared in republican Louisiana. 

Gabriel-Michel's children would have been considered French Creole or Foreign French by their Acadian neighbors though his family had lived in greater Acadia.  Older son Joseph, age 37 in 1809, evidently did not marry.  Younger son Grégoire Michel married a French Creole in 1812 in what was then St. Martin Parish and settled at Côte Gelée near present-day Broussard.  One of his sons created a family of his own and settled on the prairie west of Vermilionville.  Although the family had lived in the old Attakapas District for decades, no Villejoin appears in the federal slave census schedules for 1850 and 1860.  Nor does a Villejoin appear in Confederate service records during the War of 1861-65.  The family remained a small one.  According to a descendant, the Villejoins today consider themselves Cajuns, and "the surname is often still found from Vermillion westward," especially in the Kaplan/Crowley area of Vermilion and Acadia parishes.72 

Grégoire-Michel (1777-1847) à Gabriel, fils à Gabriel de Villejoin

Grégoire-Michel, son of Gabriel-Michel Rousseau de Villejoin and Anne-Félicité Reynaud of Les Cayes, French St.-Domingue, born in June 1777, was the son of a well-to-do planter and military officer.  Grégoire-Michel was a teenager when the Haitian slave revolt broke out in the early 1790s.  Later in the decade or in the early 1800s, he and his family fled to Cuba or Jamaica to escape the violence in Haiti.  Grégoire and two of his older siblings likely were among the thousands of Haitian refugees whom the Spanish deported to New Orleans in 1809.  Grégoire would have been age 32 that year and was still a bachelor.  In Louisiana, he used his family's seigneurial name, not its surname Rousseau, as he probably had done in Haiti, but he did not use the noble de; he was simply Grégoire Villejoin, a reflection, perhaps, of his residence in a republic, not a royal colony.  Unlike most of the Haitian refugees in American Louisiana, who tended to remain at New Orleans, Grégoire chose to live on the western prairies.  At age 35, he married Marguerite, daughter of Jean Baptiste Jeannot and his Acadian wife Madeleine Hébert of Carencro, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in July 1812.  They settled at Côte Gelée, which became part of the newly-created Lafayette Parish in 1823.  Like his noble ancestors, Grégoire must have been a shaker and a mover in his community.  In the 1820s, he served as the first sheriff of Lafayette Parish.  A succession record in his name was filed at the Vermilionville courthouse, Lafayette Parish, in August 1833.  He died at New Orleans in May 1847, age 69.  His daughters married into the Istre and LaFosse families, and perhaps into the Miller family as well.  Only his older son created a family of his own, but the line endured on the western prairies. 

Older son Prosper, born probably at Côte Gelée in May 1813, married Clementine LaFosse probably in the 1830s. They settled near Carencro at the northern edge of the old Attakapas District.  Their son Joseph Alcide was born in the late 1830s or early 1840s, and Prosper, fils in May 1854.  Their daughter married into the Caruthers/Credeur and Cormier families. 

Older son Joseph Alcide married Adeline, daughter of fellow Acadians Jean Baptiste Lejeune, fils and Adeline Hébert, in a civil ceremony in St. Landry Parish in August 1860, and sanctified the marriage at the Church Point church, then in St. Landry but now in Acadia Parish, in July 1867.  They settled probably near Church Point.  Their son Émile was born in September 1861. 

Grégoire Michel's younger son Paulin, born at Côte Gelée in August 1817, may have died young.

 

[to Book Ten]

[to Book Ten-2]

 

BOOK ONE:        French Acadia

BOOK TWO:        British Nova Scotia

BOOK THREE:     Families, Migration, and the Acadian "Begats"

BOOK FOUR:      The French Maritimes

BOOK FIVE:        The Great Upheaval

BOOK SIX:          The Acadian Immigrants of Louisiana

BOOK SEVEN:     French Louisiana

BOOK EIGHT:      A New Acadia

BOOK NINE:        The Bayou State

BOOK TEN:          The Louisiana Acadian "Begats"

BOOK ELEVEN:  The Non-Acadian "Cajun" Families of South Louisiana

BOOK TWELVE:  Acadians in Gray

SOURCE NOTES - BOOK TEN-3

66.  See Arsenault, Généalogie, 1285-88, 1569-72, 2585-88; BRDR, vols. 1a(rev.), 2, 3, 4, 5 (rev.), 8, 9, 10, 11; De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives 1905, 2A:107, 132; Hébert, D., Acadians in Exile, 402-03, 589; Hébert, D., South LA Records, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-A, 1-B, 2-A, 2-B, 2-C, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; <islandregister.com/1752.html>; Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 249, 251, 307-08, 310-13, 315-20, 322; Robichaux, Acadians in Nantes, 82; Robichaux, Acadians in St.-Malo, 11-12; White, DGFA-1, 1446-51; White, DGFA-1 English, 304-05; Books One, Three, Four, Six, & Eight; Sonnier family page.

72. See Arsenault, Généalogie, 1698, 1966-67, 2138; De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives 1905, 2A; Hébert, D., Acadians in Exile, 392; <islandregister.com/1752.html>; <lagenealogy.net/RousseauVillejoin.aspx>; <perso.orange.fr/froux/St_malo_arrivees/5bateaux.htm>, Family No. 53; Robichaux, Acadians in St.-Malo, 777; Andrew Rodger, "Rousseau de Villejouin (Villejoin, Villejoint), Gabriel," in DCB, online; <rootsweb.ancestry.com/~htiwgw/familles/fiches/004820.htm>; White, DGFA-1, 1070, 1422-23; Books Four, Five, Six, & Eight; Villejoin family page. 

Interestingly, Grégoire-Michel Villejoin's hometown, Les Cayes, Haiti, also is the birth place of John James Audubon, the famous ornithologist & painter, who was born at Les Cayes (birth name Jean Rabin) in Apr 1785. 

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