The Boudrot family
One of the largest Acadian families comes from a pioneer named Michel Boudrot who was born around 1600. Bona Arsenault (i) believed he was originally from Cougnes, diocese of La Rochelle in France.
Michel arrived in Acadia before 1639, when he was already mentioned as a “syndic” in Port-Royal. Michel was listed as a farmer in the 1671 census and as a civil and criminal lieutenant general (magistrate) in the 1686 census.
He was probably recruited by Governor Charles d’Aulnay as he was present at the baptism of the governor’s daughter, Marie D’Aulnay, on September 21, 1639, in her capacity as the first trustee of Port-Royal. He obviously arrived in Acadia before that date, probably with a group of settlers recruited by Charles de Menou and Martin Le Godelier at LaChaussee, France, in 1632, and who left Saint-Martin-de-Ré on July 23. 1632.
In 1639, Michel was a managing agent in Port-Royal, Acadia, and although the 1671 census shows him as a farmer, he assumed the duties of magistrate.
Around 1641, he married Michelle Aucoin. Between approximately 1642 and 1666, the couple had 11 children, including Françoise who would become Etienne Robichaud’s wife.
He died on March 26, 1742, he was buried at Saint-Jean-Baptiste d´Annapolis Royal (Priest: C. De la Goudalie).
In 1654, Port-Royal was captured by Robert Sedgwick, who led 300 British soldiers and volunteers:
“The [French] soldiers of Port-Royal, of whom there were about 130… made a short defense against Sedgwick. By ambushing between the British landing site and the fort, the French fired at the assailants, but proved no match for the experienced Roundheads. On August 16, the fort surrendered… Sedgwick granted honorable terms, allowing the defenders to come out of the fort with waving flags, beating drums and muskets to the soldiers and employees who worked at the fort were offered the transport back to France and have received enough skins to cover their wages. ”
Although the commandant of Port-Royal left for France, most of the Acadians, including the Boudrot family, remained in Acadia. They were allowed to keep their land and property and were granted freedom of religion.
Dunn describes life in Acadia during the 16 years of nominal British rule:
“During the years of British rule, most of the population of Port-Royal moved away upriver from the city. Using agricultural practices initiated under D’Aulnay, the Acadians digested and cultivated vast salt marshes along the river and raised livestock. Out of necessity, residents had found lodgings with New England traders who had become their only source for goods they could not produce on their own … New England traders traded their goods for commodities Acadians and furs… in the Port-Royal region in 1665. ”
In 1671, the British had ceded Acadia to France and French colonization resumed.
In 1685, at the age of about 85, Michel received a letter from the King of France appointing him lieutenant-general for civil and criminal affairs in the country and on the Acadian coast, a position he would hold until 1688.
The following year, on October 5, 1687, he received a testimony for the services rendered by Charles de Menou and the colonists who arrived in Acadia before 1641. He was also one of the signatories of a certificate favorable to the work of Aulnay le October 5, 1687. (i)
Michel Boudrot died in Port-Royal between 1688 and 1693.
Note: It is obvious that Françoise will have an influence in the good marriages made by her sons and daughters through the relationships of her family in the society of the time.
(i) Bona Arsenault, born October 4, 1903 in Bonaventure and died July 4, 1993 in Sainte-Foy, was a Quebec-Acadian businessman, politician, journalist and historian.
(ii) Part of Port-Royal was covered by the sea and Sieur D’Aunay, decided, to drain this part of Port-Royal from the sea.