A large number (300,000 to be exact) of Maritimers,
(those who live in the provinces of Prince Edward Island,
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) have Acadian ancestry.
What is an Acadian you may ask? Well, an Acadian is one whose ancestors
originated from France and came to the 'New World' to settle in the 1600's.
They settled all over the Maritimes when the French were in control of this region.
After a few back and forth battles between the French and the English,
the Acadians found themselves at the mercy of the English.
They were asked to swear allegiance to the throne of England.
Most didn't want to do this and promised to stay neutral as best they could.
This didn't last long....as their lands were given to the English
and they were given very poor scrub land that was impossible to produce any crops.
So they started to rebel. They lost this effort.
And they were expelled from this region starting in 1755 by the ship load.
Most settled along the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States.
Some chose to go back to France but this failed as they had become
accustomed to life in the 'New World'.
These Acadians left France, again, and settled in Louisiana.
As I mentioned above, I have Acadian ancestry on both sides of my family.
On my mother's side it was found that a few of her Scottish ancestors
married Acadians in Prince Edward Island.
On my father's side, his great-great grandfather, Theodore Cuvelier,
arrived in New York harbour in 1850 aboard a ship from Paris.
I consulted a local geneologist and he said that my g-g-g grandfather
would be considered a 'late Acadian', as he did eventually settle in Nova Scotia.
All this ancestral history of mine was triggered recently because
National Acadian Day (click if you wish to learn more)
is celebrated every year on August 15th.
We have a local Acadian community just 10 km down the road from us.
So we had lunch yesterday at the Acadian Tea Room (click) in West Chezzetcook.
I had my favourite Acadian dish...Tortierre....
while Ron had his favourite....fish cakes made with salt cod.
I am very proud of all my ancestors but have a particular 'soft spot'
for my Acadian links.......maybe because of the struggles they had endured.
How about you? Do have a 'soft spot' for any of your ancestors?
All photos were taken at the Acadian Tea Room yesterday.