In Louisiana the Cajun / Acadian cultural lifestyle has existed for many years. It actually began in New France (Canada) in the 1600s when immigrates came from the nation of France to settle in the area now known as Canada, mainly the eastern coastline. During the time of 1755-1763 (the Great Expulsion) under Great Britain’s rule of Acadie in New France, many French families were exiled. Many later resettled in French Louisiana after those years.
The first group of Acadians made up of 4 families with 20 individuals arrived in New Orleans in February 1764. Then in Feb. 25, 1765 another group of 193 Acadian refugees arrived in New Orleans. They settled up stream along the Mississippi River to eventually make up four parishes. In the following years those who had been exiled back to France and other areas came to resettle in Louisiana, to the Acadian parishes. By the early 1800s there were 4,000 Acadians in Louisiana. They became known as Cajuns, speaking French and / or English with their own specific French dialect. Also they are renowned for their unique culture, music, food, and traditions.
For anyone doing family research and having relatives from the Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin and West St. Mary parishes or surrounding areas might like to see a web site with information on many of the Acadian / Cajun families. Named ‘Evangelines Cousins‘ there is a Gedcom database with family surnames and information on each family.
Some surnames range from Bourque, Boutte, Breaux and Broussa to Gaudet, Gautreaux, Granger and Guidry to more English names of Smith, Jones and Taylor. The database has over 220,000 surnames and over 546,000 individuals.
In the search box place a surname or an individual’s name. If the surname is used a list of people in the Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin & West St. Mary parishes will appear along with a given name and any known birth date and place. Then click on any selection and what is available as far as information (which can vary) is shown. The tab labeled ‘All’ will provide all the available family lineage, especially about parents and spouse. Many early dates in the 1700s and 1800s are in this database. Check the tabs at the top under ‘charts’ and ‘lists’ for additional listings. There can also be the cemetery for family burials or obituaries.
Some famous or notable Acadians / Cajuns include: Ellen DeGeneres, Hunter Hayes, Ali Landry, Sammy Kershaw, Amanda Shaw, Edwin Edwards, Jefferson DeBlanc, Brett Favre, Ron Guidry and Doug Kershaw.
Photo: Early arrival in 1764 of the Acadians.< Return To Blog