The Return From Exile In 1766 Of Some Of The Acadians Of Yarmouth County
August 23, 1766, the Boston News-Letter announced that Captain Amiro had left Boston Harbour for Québec. This "Captain Amiro" could have been Ange, 30 years of age at the time, but more likely it was his brother, Jacques II, 34 years old, sons of Jacques I, himself being 64. Charles Amirault, brother to Jacques I, was 66. These Acadians, who must have learned their trade in Cape Sable before the Expulsion, built their own vessel, so that they could leave Massachusetts where they had been confined for ten years.
Those who left in that vessel must have numbered about 60 in all. They were Amiraults, Belliveaus, d'Entremonts and Miuses.
On their way, they stopped in Halifax, according to a well founded tradition, which has been recorded over a hundred years ago. Here, "they met in the street an English officer who recognized them and greeted them heartily, because, before the Expulsion, when this officer had been taken prisoner in a battle, one of the d'Entemonts had saved his life. When he asked them where they were going, they told him that they were on their way to Québec where they would be able to practice the Catholic religion, to which they belonged. The officer told them to stay and settle in Nova Scotia, at any place they would choose, and that he would see to it that there would be a Catholic priest who would be sent them." The fact is that Father Bailly, from Québec, arrived in the Maritime Provinces the very next year, 1767. It will be two more years, though, before he would reach southern Nova Scotia.
They headed back towards south. Their first stop was in Barrington Bay. A number of them had been born in this vicinity. Unfortunately, they found out that the places that they had once occupied had already been taken by English speaking settlers. The season being somewhat advanced, they decided to spend the Winter on the Sand Hills, Villagedale, where Charles de La Tour had his Fort Saint Louis. I heard this from an old aunt of mine, née Suzanne Amirault, who had married my uncle Henry Leander d'Entremont, and who died at 102; she had learned this from her grandfather Jean d'Entremont, called "Jean Squire," son of Benoni. Benoni having been one of those Acadians. Here, during that Winter, there was one birth, the paternal grandfather of my paternal grandfather.
They resumed their journey in the Spring. Their next stop was in East Pubnico. Again, they were disappointed to realize that the region where stood the d'Entremont Manor House had already been taken. But just south of this place there was a large stretch in East Pubnico, that had not been occupied before the Expulsion, which was still available. This is where the Belliveaus took up their abode. They were eleven in all, viz., Charles and his wife Agnes Gaudet and their four sons not yet married--Michel, Pierre, Joseph and Isidore--and their other son, Charles II, married to Marguerite Bastarache, whose children were Marie, Joseph and Anne-Marguerite.
Ange Amirault was also to settle in East Pubnico around 1769, but before doing so he followed the other members of his family to Amirault's Hill.
The d'Entremonts, eight in all, settled in West Pubnico, which had not been settled before the Expulsion. They were Joseph, who had married in exile Agnes Belliveau, having two children with them, also two brothers and one sister, Paul, Benoni and Marguerite, not yet married, and his mother, nee Marguerite Amirault, who had lost her husband, Jacques II, in 1759 in exile in Walpole [Massachsetts]. Joseph built a log cabin where is located now the West Pubnico Consolidated School, of which I will give a description in my next sketch.
Abel Duon, the ancestor of the d'Eons of Pubnico, who had married in exile Anne d'Entremont, sister to Joseph, Paul and Benoni, went first towards Amirault's Hill, settling definitely in West Pubnico on 1769 with three children.
The others kept on their way up to Amirault's Hill and vicinity, which had not been taken by the new English speaking settlers, as it had not been occupied before the Expulsion. These were Jacques I, married to Jeanne Lord, who came back from exile with the following children: Jacques II who had married just before the Expulsion Marie-Madeleine Belliveau and had four children; Ange, mentioned previously; three other boys, who were to settle Up-the-Bay [Digby County]; and Ursule, who married one of the East Pubnico Belliveaus.
There was also Charles Amirault, brother to Jacques I, who settled, probably, at Rocco Point. He had with him his five children, all girls. His wife was Claire Dugas.
Had gone as far as Amirault's Hill and even beyond, after leaving West Pubnico, the members of the Mius or Muise family. The head of the group was Joseph II, who had married first Marie-Josephte Prejean. Becoming a widower, he married in exile, in Philadelphia, Marie Vincent. Came from exile with him his six children from his first marriage, five not yet married--Joseph III, Radegonde, Louis, Pierre and Cecile--and Anne-Rosalie Mius, who had married, in Salem, the widower Pierre Hinard, to whom she gave two children.
Pierre Hinard is one of the founders of Wedgeport, where he settled in this same year, 1767; it is most probable that his father-in-law, Joseph II Mius, was then with him.
The reason why the Belliveaus came back from exile with this group is probably because they were very closely linked by marriage with the Amirault and the d'Entremont families. With regard to Joseph II Mius, his mother, Marie Amirault, was a sister to Jacques I and to Charles; another reason could be that Pierre Mius, son of Joseph II, might already have been betrothed in exile to Cécile Amirault, daughter of Charles.
With regard to the other Acadians who settled in Yarmouth County after the Expulsion, some more came from Massachusetts, even right up to the time of the American Revolution; but many came also from Halifax, being among those who had fled in the woods at the time of the Expulsion, many of whom were finally caught and kept prisoners in Halifax. We know quite well where they had been, where they were, when they came and where they settled.
Next week, I will tell you about eight or nine log cabins which were set up in West Pubnico at the return from exile.