If Étienne, the first Robichaud to arrive in Acadia, was identified as a plowman in 1671, his family did not take long to rise in society thanks to the connections of his wife, Françoise Boudrot.
Here I open a parenthesis on Françoise Boudrot daughter of Michel Boudrot. It is obvious that Françoise’s father had a certain prestige in Acadia being one of the founders of this one. Here are some notes on it:
“Michel Boudrot, born in 1601, possibly from the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Cougnes, near La Rochelle, in France. On June 20, 1632, two sailing ships, the SAINT-JEAN (250 tons) and L’ESPÉRANCE-EN-DIEU set out from La Rochelle, in Aunis. They are heading for the port of Auray, in Brittany, where a third vessel joins them. In addition to the sailors forming the crews, Isaac de Razilly, lieutenant of the soldiers and their officers, six Capuchins, a dozen families his cousin and lieutenant, Charles de Menou, Sieur d’Aulnay, Nicolas Denys, merchant of La Rochelle and agent of the Company of New France. Among these settlers is Michel Boudrot, single. In a year or two, he was married to Michelle Aucoin.
In September 1639 he was living in Port-Royal and as one of the two syndics (community representatives) he witnessed the baptism of the governor Aulnay’s eldest daughter, Marie.
On July 20, 1684 as “civil and criminal lieutenant general of Port-Royal”, he had an ordinance of King LOUIS XIV registered at the clerk of Claude PETITPAS. ”
Etienne’s marriage to Françoise could only be beneficial for the Robichaud family.
Prudent Robichaud was therefore born around 1669 in Port-Royal. From the four sons of Etienne Robichaud and Françoise Boudrot, Prudent became the ancestor of the Robichaud de Bas du Ruisseau Vacher in New Acadia. He married, in 1691, Henriette Petitpas, daughter of the clerk of the court of Port-Royal.
This alliance brought the Robichaud family even closer to those of the small French officials of Port-Royal.
Gifted with administrative skills and driven by the influence of his father-in-law, Prudent Robichaud held public office in various circumstances and became a distinguished defender of the French element in Acadia. Worried about the actions of Governor Philips (1719-1722), he was one of the six deputies that the inhabitants of “Rivière du Sud” delegated to M. de Saint-Ovide (i) to protest that the Acadians wanted to remain French. He was also appointed trustee and president of the French council in Port-Royal.
Here is a text taken from the volume “Social mobility strategies of performers in Nova Scotia and Ile Royale, 1713 – 1758” by Isabelle Ringuet
Four families are studied in this study: the Entremont, Le Borgne de Bellisle, Petitpas and Robichaud families and the importance of their role as interpreters with the English and the Amerindians.
I will stick with the Robichaud family.
The first three families are closely linked to the Amerindian world. In addition to having stayed there, growing up near a Native American village, the men of these families often married Native American women. Matrimonial alliances between these families are very present. They are also closely linked to a fourth family of performers, the Robichauds.
Unlike the other three families studied in the study, the Robichaud family does not have any Native American people among them. Nonetheless, he, just like the other performers, grew up with the Native American world.
Prudent very early on showed his desire for social advancement. He uses various methods, including progress strategies, to propel himself to the top of the Acadian hierarchy. He signed an oath of allegiance in August 1695. During his career, in addition to being an interpreter for Indians, he had held several positions of trust and influence over the years, being a British MP and collector of taxes, merchant, collector of rents, judge and Head of the French Council. Maurice Basque (ii) even suggests that he was, without question, the main Acadian notable of Port-Royal.
His trade relations were mainly concentrated with the garrison of Fort Annapolis Royal, which he supplied with timber and firewood, an activity which displeased some of his compatriots. He was in a way a privileged intermediary between the Acadian inhabitants who wanted to sell their agricultural surplus and the military garrison which was always in need. Thanks to his prestige, he is the spokesperson for the Acadians of Port-Royal. When their son Louis married in 1730, Prudent was head of the French Council of Annapolis Royal and a justice of the peace.
Prudent, therefore enjoy great confidence with the Acadians, but also with the English government through his knowledge of the language.
He also makes his children advantageous marriages, which consolidate the ascending position of the family and allow him to integrate into the arena of nobility.
Prudent had twelve children, including five sons: Joseph, Prudent, Pierre, Louis and François and seven daughters, Marie, Marguerite, Madeleine, Anne, Marie-Josèphe, Jeanne and Élisabeth.
The first of her daughters, Marie born in 1692 married in second marriage Jacques (Jean) Thériault, brother of Madeleine Thériault wife of François Robichaud. As for him, the eldest Joseph, born in 1696, unites with Marie Forest. Marguerite, his second daughter born in 1700 married the ship captain Pierre Gourdeau dit Toc Pellerin. Jeanne, born in 1713, entered the large Landry family through her marriage to Pierre, and François, born in 1715, married Osite Leblanc.
Among the other children, three sons of Prudent and Henriette Petitpas made beautiful alliances. First, an alliance is sought with the “Bourgeois” family
Prudent II born in 1696 (merchant, deputy for the inhabitants of Annapolis and interpreter), Pierre and Louis therefore married Françoise, Madeleine and Jeanne Bourgeois respectively.
“Germain Bourgeois (father) was a prominent man in Port-Royal. He belonged to one of the “founding” families of Acadia, his father, Jacques Bourgeois, and his mother, Jesinne Trahan, had been present in Acadia since the 1640s. The “Bourgeois” family was linked by marriage to several families. from Port-Royal, Beaubassin and Grand-Pré. In addition, Germain Bourgeois, like Pudent Robichaud senior, was a merchant in Port-Royal. ”
Despite his many services, Prudent Père was arrested and exiled with others in December 1755 when he was 86 and died somewhere along the Saint John River in New Brunswick, fleeing with others overland to Quebec after leaving the ship Pembroke which transported them into exile in North Carolina. (iii)
All his children were also victims of the deportation in 1755.
Because of the deportation, the marriages of the children of Prudent II born in 1696 are little known. However, we know that Dominique, born in 1723, married Marguerite Forest in 1744, that Marguerite born in 1725, allied with the powerful Amirault family through her marriage to François.
Prudent II will be deported to Massachusetts in the United States. After the period of exile, several members of his family settled in the Assumption and Saint-Jacques de la Nouvelle-Acadie. The others, including Armand and Jean-Baptiste, born from his second marriage to Cécile Dugas, headed for Baie Sainte-Marie in Ancienne Acadie.
Pierre married Madeleine Bourgeois in 1724. He died in Port-Royal in 1749. His widow and eight children were deported to Boston. Members of this family settled in Deschambault and Yamachiche in Quebec.
Louis married Jeanne Bourgeois in 1730. They were deported to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Upon returning from exile, they settled in Quebec, where he died in 1780.
Maurice Basque (ii) summarizes the marriage alliances of the Robichaud family:
“By virtue of their matrimonial strategies, these Robichauds now found themselves relatives or allies of economically influential families of Port-Royal, such as the Melansons and the Thibodeaus, of seigneurial families, such as the de Saint-Étienne de la Tour and the Le Borgne de Bellisle. , and families close to the colonial authorities, such as the de Goutins, the Petitots and the Petitpas. ”
Thus, from the marriage of Etienne in 1644 to that of Dominic in 1744, a century of fruitful alliances passed.
(i) M. De Saint-Ovide de Brouillant. Arrived at Île Royale in 1714 as a king’s lieutenant and from the end of 1716 he served as administrator of the colony. He was confirmed as governor in April of the same year.
(ii) Maurice Basque, Historian
(iii) See the article on the Pembrooke revolt. ”