François, the youngest of the family, nicknamed “Niganne” or “Nighan”, was born in Port – Royal in 1677. He was only nine years old when his father, Estienne, died. In 1702, he married Marie Madeleine Terriot, daughter of Claude and Marie Gautrot. In 1707, François was established on a land of three arpents where he had a herd of 13 horned animals, 17 sheep and eight pigs.
A “Village-des-Robichaud” is indicated west of Ruisseau-des-Allain. This is probably today’s Dugway Road, where Prudent, his sons and possibly a few nephews have settled. It is interesting to note that the Acadians settled in family clans and that it was not uncommon to find two or three generations under one roof. The maps of the time showing the layout of the buildings illustrate the grouping of houses by families, in clusters. This differs a lot from the current linear settlements which were “imposed” by the English surveyors.
Let us take again what Mgr Donat Robichaud tells us about Nigannne.1 François, nicknamed Niganne, was born in Port-Royal in 1677. We find him there 9 years old during the census of 1686. In 1701, he married Marie-Madeleine Terriot. It seems that they did not settle on their land near the old fort. This lot, next to that of Abraham Dugas and the Lady of Bellisle, faced the street and extended as far as the ditch of the old fort. However, Labat’s detailed report does not mention a house on this lot.
Indeed, the Sieur de Labat, ordinary engineer of the king and lieutenant in the companies of the navy, in a document signed on December 2, 1705, reports to the king of the lands to be acquired for the extension of the old fort, as well as of the houses. to demolish. But, while the house of his brother Charles, on the neighboring lot, was expropriated, as was his land, no house is mentioned on François’s lot. Steps to negotiate the purchase of the land lasted throughout 1705, as the report was not submitted until December. At that time, the young husband was no doubt looking elsewhere for a place to stay.
From 1707, François was established on a land of three arpents, where he had a herd of 13 horned animals, 17 sheep and 8 pigs. The location of his home and land is well known and is shown on maps from this period. His house was the first in Cap de Port-Royal, to the right of the only road from the fort to Cap. This is present day Saint George Street. On each card, François’s name is given as “Nigan” and “Nighan” Robichaud. His first neighbor on the same side was his brother Prudent, while his neighbor opposite was Sieur de Labat. As for his brother Charles, he was installed much further, beyond the small mound called “Lion Rampant” where was buried the heart of Sieur de Brouillant.
However, the attack on the fort by the English on June 6, 1707, although unsuccessful, was still devastating for the inhabitants of the Cape who saw their homes destroyed. The maps clearly indicate that on this occasion, the Robichaud houses were set on fire. But all got back to work and rebuilt them. Although absent during the Assembly proclaiming the accession of King George in August 1714, François must have always lived in Port-Royal. He appears in the census of that same year as an inhabitant of Cape Town with his wife and five children. He was there on January 22, 1715, when the oath of allegiance to the new sovereign was taken. Unlike Prudent who can read, write and calculate, François can only “make his mark”.
It is likely that Francis worked for his brother Prudent, a well-known merchant in the area, whose main income came from supplying the English garrison at the fort. Indeed, only an Acadian could obtain from the inhabitants the food, construction and firewood necessary for the maintenance of the troops.
On August 30, 1731, an order from Governor Armstrong, in his first order when he had just replaced Governor Richard Philipps, while announcing his arrival, advised that he wanted to buy from the inhabitants 200 quintals of biscuits and 60 barrels of peas for the garrison. By the same proclamation, he ordered Francis – still under the name of Niganne – to go to the Mines to buy horned animals and sheep and to drive them to Annapolis. This traffic had become essential to the English garrison and also constituted an important income for the inhabitants.
On September 21, 1731, an order from Governor Armstrong to the Acadians of Annapolis specified that it was to be read in the church “in the presence of Nigan Robichaud”. Provisions were requested for the garrison and the inhabitants were criticized for not having completed the road from Annapolis to the Mines.
On July 13, 1733, an order from Governor Lawrence Armstrong appointed him keeper of the grazing flocks: “Several complaints from the Acadians, the English of Annapolis Royal, Cape Bellair and Fourchu Creek because their herds have a common pasture and that ‘ there are no herdsmen. Francis Robichaud, dit Nigan, and Claude Melanson become herdsmen. Cattle should be tagged and guardians informed when cattle are placed in the pasture. No animal can be taken without asking their permission, otherwise you will pay double the value of the animal taken. If this happens, half of the money will go to the informant and the other half to the poor. Those who use the pasture must pay the keepers six pennies for each cow or ox and four pennies for each sheep. It will be legal to investigate someone who kills cattle and force them to show the skin. (Arch Halifax, RG 1, vol. 20, n72).
On December 11, 1742, Mascarène gave notice to Nigan Robichaud, Pierre Gaudet, Nicolas Gauthier, Denis Saint-Seine and Guillaume Bourgeois to settle a dispute between neighbors Prudent Robichaud and Charles Belliveau about the dividing line between their lands, stressing “ that they have already acted as arbitrators in this case, go back there, try to find a solution to the problem and report back ”. (Arch Halifax, RG 1, vol. 21, no. 42).
On June 15, 1746, René Blanchard proxy François Robichaud “with power to attempt to withdraw the sum of 300 pounds in white silver from the bay. This sum is owed to him for an English prisoner whom he bought from the Indians “. (Arch Halifax, RG 1).
On August 1, 1747, an order from Paul Mascarène approved the purchase of Honoré Duon’s house by François Robichaud: “As is customary, the case was referred to neutral deputies who reported to the Council. Robichaud is allowed to buy the property on condition that he gives the money to Council since Duon has left the province. ” (Arch Halifax RG1, vol 21., no 116).
François “Niganne” died in Port-Royal on December 8, 1747, at the age of 70. François and Marie Madeleine had nine children, four sons and five daughters:
1) François “the elder”, born in Port-Royal in 1703. Died in 1729. Wife in Port-Royal, February 24, 1727, Angélique Pitre (Claude and Marie Comeau) who, widow, wife in 1732, Michel Doucet (Charles and Huguette Guérin).
2) Marie Madeleine, born in Port-Royal on October 26, 1705, with the company lieutenant Sieur de Closneuf as godfather and Mrs. Marie Robichaud Saint-Seine as godmother. Married in Port-Royal, November 6, 1725, Joseph Doucet (Charles and Huguette Guérin). Died before April 12, 1763.
3) Marguerite, born in Port-Royal on October 1, 1708. Her godfather is Sieur de Goutin, lieutenant-general and her godmother, Marguerite Landry. Married in Port-Royal, on February 13, 1730, Jean-Baptiste Richard (Alex and Elisabeth Petitpas), died in 1751. We find her widowed in 1760 in Massachusetts, in Charleston, today a district of Boston, with her five children . She and her children settled around 1774 in St-Jacques de l’Achigan. She died there on October 4, 1788, at the age of 80.
4) Anne, known as Niganne, wife in Port-Royal on January 28, 1732, Charles Dugas (Claude and Marguerite Bourg); died before 1763.
5) Pierre, born in Port-Royal on March 15, 1713, married in Port-Royal on January 16, 1737, Marie Françoise LeBorgne de Bellesisle (Sieur Alexandre and Anastasie d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin); died at L’Islet, Quebec, on November 5, 1784; buried in the church.
6) François “le jeune”, born in Port-Royal on September 6, 1716, married on January 7, 1739 Marie LeBorgne de Belleisle (Sieur Alexandre and Anastasie d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin); died before May 21, 1764.
7) Madeleine, born in Port-Royal on January 4, 1718, waved by Sr Denis Petitot, surgeon.
8) Joseph, born in Port-Royal on September 15, 1721, died in Port-Royal on January 12, 1747, aged about 30, and buried the next day.
9) Louise, alias Lisette, born in June 1724. Wife in Louisboug, on October 6, 1742, Guillaume Ouinette (William Winniett), son of William, Protestant merchant from Port-Royal and Madeleine Maisonnat, Catholic, daughter of the famous pirate Pierre , alias Baptiste Maisonnat and his second wife Madeleine Bourg, sister of Alexandre Bourg, notary in Grand-Pré. The Honorable William Winniett, Lisette’s father-in-law, was a member of the Annapolis council where he often showed sympathy for the Acadians to the point of becoming suspect in the eyes of his compatriots. He had 13 children, including John, who married in Boston in 1746, Elizabeth Winslow, niece of Colonel John Winslow. (Winslow seized Fort Gaspareaux on June 18, 1755 and, on August 11 of that same fateful year, took care of the Deportation of the Acadians from the Minas Basin.) Lisette was widowed in 1747 and was deported to Boston in 1755 with his children, William David and Betty. The latter, after having married in Boston, January 31, 1769, Timothée Bourgeois in front of Louis Robichaud and other relatives and friends, came to settle in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec. William David was baptized on February 27, 1744, without mention of age, by Curé Desenclaves and was godfather and godmother Madeleine St Sceine and Charles Dugast.