Acadian Treasure in the Municipal Archives of La Rochelle
A 1786 Directory for La Rochelle

La Rochelle Municipal Archives - More Refugee and Deportee Lists


Further to our ecstasies in the Municipal Archives of La Rochelle, there are more lists of people living in La Rochelle who were refugees or deportees from Canada or, later, Saint Domingue and who were receiving government allowances. The list discussed in the previous post was made in 1791 and included only those who were "Acadiens et Canadiens" and their families. Another list for the same purpose -- accounting -- was made in 1792, and we show part of the last page below.

Refugees 1792

There is less detail about the people than in the first list. This one is more expedient and notes only the payments. Possibly, such a list and accounting was made every year, but the next that appears in the archives collection is some time after the spring of the Republican Calendar year An 7, which was 1798-1799.


This one is a two-page spread, lavishly strewn with details about each person, as seen in this sample, showing just the left-hand side of the first page:

R&D list

It melts the researcher's heart:

  • Name, including "dit" names
  • Age
  • Place of birth
  • Marital status
  • Residence in the colonies
  • Whether a refugee (from Saint Domingue) or a deportee (from Quebec)
  • The port where they arrived in France and when they arrived there
  • If married before coming to France, whether they arrived with families
  • If married in France since arriving
  • If the spouse was also a refugee or deportee
  • Profession in the colony
  • Profession in France
  • Amount of assistance received

Really, all that is missing is an oil portrait of each person!

The last list in the collection is dated 1817 and it gives not as much detail as that above. By then, the famines of the early Revolutionary years had passed, many Acadians had left France, the long wars of the First Empire with the stagnating coastal blockade by the British had finally ended, the Bourbons had returned and France had a king again. Many of the refugees and deportees were elderly and quite a few were "indigent", as the first page of the list shows:

1817 list

 We do hope some of our Dear Readers will be able to sojourn to the La Rochelle Municipal Archives and have great success in discovering an ancestor or two on these lists. So much fun!

©2016 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy