On this happy journey, we returned to the Departmental Archives of Charente-Maritime, which we had visited previously. The fellow who had reprimanded us for our informality on that last visit was still there, still pushing his trolley, still saying no more than a curt "Bonjour." The other staff there were, as before, most helpful, though there seemed to be an odd hierarchy: those with no status were the most willing to help, while those with more status and obviously more familiarity with the collections, were less inclined to do so. We saw one superior scolding a charming underling who had done much for our research, hissing at her "Stop answering all of her questions!" He was too late; she had given all that we sought and we a very grateful to her.
Continuing our pursuit of lists of Acadians in La Rochelle, we sought a pair of lists much earlier than the others. The first one was made in 1761 at the height of the deportations from Quebec and is entitled "Habitants de l'Ile Royale et Quebec" in La Rochelle.
The second, of the same title, was made in November of 1762.
As with the previous lists, the purpose was for accounting, to know who was receiving aid and how much they were receiving. Grouped according to social hierarchy, only names are given, along with amounts paid. Again, those refugees or deportees who were in La Rochelle but not in need of financial assistance will not be on the list. Also, though some deportees received an allowance for their domestic servants, those servants are not named. Thus, some of the very rich and some of the very poor may have been present but appear on no list. Some ships arrived with the passengers sick and dying of small pox and all were immediately put into hospital. Those who died are not on these lists. Our point being that the lists are incomplete but better than nothing.
The following day, we went to Rochefort to see if there might not be more lists of Acadians. It was a bit frustrating for correspondence files mentioned but did not include them. We did find one of 1775, concerning children born in France to deported persons whom the king had agreed to add to those receiving payments. We show the first and last pages here:
The archivist at Rochefort (about whom more in the next post) also had numerous copies of the excellent Racines & Rameaux français d'Acadie. Probably the best source online of information about all of the original documents, whether in France or Canada, concerning Acadians is Septentrion, an excellent site with a most severe appearance for the most serious researcher.
©2016 Anne Morddel