Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Acadians in the Wills-Beauvais Family - The exiles Geoffrey Benoit and Madeleine Babin

There were nine Wills children whose mother was
   Elizabeth Bissonnette (1880 - 1936) whose mother was
      Celene Beauvais, (1850-1942) whose father was
         Solyme Beauvais (1821- 1902) whose mother was
            Marie Genvieve Benoit (1799 - 1832) whose father was
               Paul Benoit (about 1759 - 1831) whose father was
                  Geoffrey Benoit (about 1720-1769).  It was Geoffrey who suffered through the Grand Derangement with his wife, Madeleine Babin (1720-1801).

There is conflicting information about exactly when and where Paul Benoit was born. Some information place his birth in Grand Pré before the exile; other information suggest he may have been born while the family was in exile.  We do know Paul's parents, Geoffrey and Madeleine, and his siblings were thrown out from Grand Pré by British soldiers.  Although there is no information listing the name of the boat the family was put on-board, sources suggest they were  placed in Lancaster, Massachusetts with two other Acadian families - a Melanson family and a Forrest family. According to the Lancaster MA Census of 1757, Geoffrey is listed as 46 years old.

It is believed, the family of Geoffrey Benoit and Madeline Babin eventually made their way into Quebec - first to Yamachie on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence but finally to St Charles sur le Richelieu. Geoffrey died at St. Charles sur Richelieu on July 2nd, 1769 when he was about 50 years old.  His wife, Madeleine Babin lived until she was eighty years old and died in the Acadian exile community called L'Acadie to the west of St Jean sur Richelieu in Québec. Their son Paul Benoit died in Pointe Olivier (St Matthias), Rouville, Quebec in 1831. He was the father of thirteen children.

Location of Pointe Olivier, St Matthias in the Richelieu Valley, Québec

1 comment:

  1. This is so fascinating! It is like our history is coming alive here and I am learning so much about our Wills family. I love it. Thank you for sharing it! <3