Baptiste Was Said To Have A Wife In Every Port

Article No: 11

Baptiste Was Said To Have A Wife In Every Port

Pierre Maisonnat, called Baptiste, of Bergerac, the rascal I was telling you about last week, had only been in Acadia a couple of years when, in 1693, he took a wife. She was Magdeleine Bourg, now Bourque, of Port Royal, not yet 16, the daughter of Francois Bourg and of Marguerite Boudrot, a sister to Alexandre Bourg, notary of Grand-Pre.

Just after the marriage, Baptiste would have wanted to take his newly wedded wife to Quebec, pretending that she was in danger at Port Royal. The real reason most likely was to conceal his marriage from the eyes of those who had known other wives of his in France or elsewhere. Be what it may, two years after praising Baptiste to the Minister of France, Frontenac wrote again, Nov. 2, 1695, telling him that his opinion of Baptiste had changed, that he had heard within the past two or three months that, besides his wife at Port Royal, he had several others in France and in Holland. Vaudreuil, the future governor of Quebec, said, on his part, that he was sure that he had one in France, whom he had known, not far from his home.

Did our sailor-captain really have a wife in every port? What we know for sure is that he had one at Bergerac, his hometown, namely Judith Soubiron, born in 1660, from whom he had a daughter, born in 1689, called Judith-Marie Maisonnat.

The news that Baptiste was a polygamist must have fallen on the small community of Port Royal in the summer of 1695 like a bomb shell. Magdeleine Bourg, whom he had wheedled to be his wife, who had just given birth to a child, Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat, being about 18 years old now, had only one thing to do; go back home to her father and mother.

Baptiste, on his part, had also only one thing to do, and that was to go to France and get his lawful wife. He left before the first of October, pretexting that he was going to get another vessel, but in reality it was to bring to Acadia Judith Soubiron and his daughter. Feb. 22, 1696, the Minister was writing from Versailles that "the King had granted to Capt. Baptiste, privateer in Acadia, a passage on a vessel of His majesty, also to his wife, a daughter and two servants."

Judith Soubiron, after giving birth in Acadia to two children, Pierre and Jean, died in Port Royal on Oct. 19, 1703. On January 12, 1707, Baptiste remarried, this time a widow, Marguerite Bourgeois, born in Port Royal, the daughter of Jacques Bourgeois, first of the name in Acadia. Baptiste was her third husband, the first having been Jean Boudrot, son of Michel Boudrot, also first of the name in Acadia, and the second Emmanuel Mirande, a Portuguese, originally from the Azores; he had given the name of "Butte-a-Mirande", (Mirande's Hill), to what is now known as Mount Whatley, five miles east of Sackville, N.B.

Marie-Anne Maisonnat was to marry twice in Acadia. First, in 1704, in Port Royal, to Christophe Caouette, who became a turn coat for having been made a major of militia in Acadia by the English Governor, when he had to move to Placentia, Newfoundland; she gave him one child. Becoming a widow, she then left Newfoundland for Louisbourg, where she married a Jean Marchand.

As to Madeleine Bourg, she (re)married around 1697-98 Pierre LeBlanc, Jr., son of Pierre LeBlanc, Sr., and of Marie Terriot. They had seven children. By two of their sons, they are the grand- parents of the LeBlanc's [sic] of Amirault's Hill and of the LeBlanc's of St. Bernard.

Their son Jean-Simon LeBlanc, born in 1703, married in Port Royal in 1722 Jeanne Dupuis, daughter of Jean Dupuis, and of Anne Richard. Their sixth child, Amand LeBlanc, born in 1738, was taken into exile with his parents, where he married about 1764, in Salem, Mass., Isabelle Mius (Muise), daughter of Francois Mius and of Jeanne Duon (d'Eon). Amand must have stayed in Salem 'til 1775 with his parents and his mother-in-law. Coming from exile, he established himself first in Pubnico, where we find the family in 1777. From here he settled definitely in Amirault's Hill, where he was known as "Uncle Amand". This is where he and his wife died, in 1805 and in 1807; both are buried in the cemetery of Ste-Anne-du-Ruisseau. They had at least four children, whose descendants are still numerous in Yarmouth County and Massachusetts.

Another son of Pierre LeBlanc, Jr., and of Magdeleine Bourg was Charles LeBlanc, born in 1716, married at Port Royal in 1735 to Magdeleine Girouard, daughter of Francois Girouard and of Anne Bourgeois. They escaped deportation and fled towards Miramichi, N.B. In the census of 1763 of Annapolis, he has with him his wife and six children. He was still here in 1769, where and when two of his children married. In 1770 he only had two children left with him. It is then that he went to nearby St. Mary's Bay, to settle at St. Bernard, at a place which has been called ever since "L'Anse-de-LeBlanc" (LeBlanc Cove), or simply "L'Anse des Blancs" (White Cove). This is where he died in 1805, Oct 30, being 89 years of age. His wife had been buried June 8 of the same year, less than four months before. He was known as "Cha", pronounced Shaw, probably from the first three letters of his name. He is the ancestor of the first Acadian Bishop, Msgr. Edouard LeBlanc, who was Bishop of St. John, N.B., from 1912 to 1935.

As to the grandmother, Magdeleine Bourg, there is nothing which can give us even a hint when she died. And what became of her first child, Marie-Magdeleine Maissonat [sic], whom she had from Baptiste? I will let you know next week.

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