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 Acadia At the End of the 17th Century

Doing lessons tonight was not one of my priorities. I just could not keep my mind on studying. But Mum insisted that I was to know about the Treaty of Utrecht before I went out to play ball with Cliff.

First, I could not remember how to spell the name of the treaty. I knew the date was 1713 but I thought Queen Anne was from the Netherlands instead of knowing she was the Queen of England and the treaty was signed in the Netherlands. I thought the other Royal person was King Louis the fourth of England instead of King Louis XIV of France.

As I was reading John Clarence Webster’s 1934 publication, “Acadia At the End of the 17th Century”, I realized there were many events of that time period that I had not studied very well.

I didn’t remember the Treaty of Whitehall that was signed on 16 Nov 1686 between France and Great Britain with an agreement that although the countries should be at war in Europe, their Colonies in America would remain at peace.

It seems that about 1926, Dr. Webster acquired in New York an interesting collection of original French manuscripts. Among these were a number of journals, letters and memoirs by Joseph Robineau De Villebon who was sent by Frontenac to Port Royal in Acadia and was governor of Acadia from 1690 to 1700. Villebon had established himself, first, in 1690, at Jemseg, then at Nashwaak and then at Fort St. John, where, having just located himself there, he died in 1700.

Through Villebon’s correspondence to his superiors, one gets an inside look at the many events in daily life from organizing the forts, making arrangements for the soldiers, exchanging of prisoners, skirmishes with the English, dealings with the native tribes to the French privateers, names of ships and commanders.  The appendix is filled with biographical information on the players in this saga. All this information provides not only a clearer picture of that time period but may provide details for the family researcher.

March 30, 1692 - Villebon wrote in his journal to Count Pontchartrain, “We were obliged to abandon the fort [at Jemseg], the water having quite suddenly reached the interior of the dwelling. I had the powder and provisions removed on the previous day.”

On June 15, 1693, his notes in the journal were, “ M. Chevalier arrived from Port Royal, following the death of his wife who had died on the way to Boston, he had abandoned the post which the English had given him.”

Aug 7, 1693, “The men Latreille and Alben, who had been prisoners in Boston, the latter being one of the two who were taken at the mouth of the St. John River during my conference with Alden, arrived at the fort to tell me they had left Boston 20 days before, and preparations were under way for an expedition of 800 men to capture this post.”

May 19, 1694, “Provisions for the garrison had begun to diminish rapidly. The Sr. de Villieu and his wife, de Montigny and two servants having, since their arrival, been fed at the expense of the soldiers, because they had procured no supplies for themselves. . .”

When Villebon died in Saint John, his successor, Brouillan decided to return to the old seat of government at Port Rotal and abandon the St. John River. As there would be no protection whatever, the few people on the river wanted to move away. Margaret Guyon, wife of Louis Damours, died about this time and her widowed sister, Madame de Freneuse, undertook the care of her children, although she had several of her own, and moved to Port Royal.  This lady’s story is most interesting.

 “Acadia At the End of the 17th Century” by John Clarence Webster is available at several libraries in New Brunswick. It can be read online at

By the way, Joseph D'Amboise, New Hampshire found in Webster’s book some interesting information on his ancestor "Amboise" being brought from a frigate moored at Manawagonish by English longboat, for ransom, to an island  in the harbor at Saint John.

Mr. D'Amboise plans to visit New Brunswick this summer and looks forward to a stroll on Saints Rest beach while gazing at Manawagonish Island and daydreaming about an obscure event that took place so long ago.....the ghostly silhouette of a British frigate on 20 June 1695....and the figure of a man named "Amboise", elbows on the rail, lost in his own reverie of the freedom soon to come.....  If you have information to share with him, he can be reached at

More information on the history of the man called "Amboise" can be found at

Query 1465
Byrne - McDonnell: Philip Byrne, who married Mary McDonnell at St. Malachy's Church, Saint John, New Brunswick on 9 Jan 1826 was born circa 1780 in County Wexford, Ireland, and worked as a mason in Ireland and in Canada. Apparently he owned and operated an inn in Musquash, a small village west of Saint John. Philip died 16 Jan 1865 and is buried in St. Elizabeth's Cemetery in Musquash. Mary died on 16 Apr 1868 at 82 years. Can anybody give me information on the parents of Philip and Mary and where in Ireland they came from?
12 Mintleaf Gate
Markham, ON
Canada, L3P 5X4 

Brady - Logan - Sterrett: Dr. John Brady, was born at Rathfriland, County Down, Ireland and went to Philadelphia, USA where he worked for several years before attending a medical school. Immediately after receiving his diploma in medicine, in about 1857, he came to Barnesville, New Brunswick, Canada on the urging of his schoolmate from Ireland, the Rev. J. R. Lawson, who had settled here ten years before him. Dr. Brady’s wife was Sarah Sterrett, of Philadelphia. He died on June 9th, 1887, at Barnesville,. His daughter Margaret married W. Bliss Logan of Moncton. She died on May 14, 1950 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Moncton. Dr. Brady’s mother-in-law, Esther Sterrett, may have been born in County Donegal, emigrated to Saint John in 1821 and then moved to Philadelphia.
Seeking information on Dr. Brady and his family. Would also like very much to have a picture of him and members of his family. Need obituary for Margaret Logan.

New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of
New Brunswick for sale.

Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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