From Acadian to Cajun: Part 6 – Bujol/LeBlanc
Here we are again, looking at another installment of the stories of my Acadian ancestors who were sent into Exile and eventually ended up in Louisiana. This time we will be looking at the experience of Joseph Bujol and his wife Anne LeBlanc. We haven’t looked at any of my ancestors with the last name of Bujol yet. Last time we did look at a Bujol who was married to one of my ancestors, but sadly he died during the turmoil of the Exile.
We have also looked at an ancestor with the LeBlanc last name previously. Elizabeth LeBlanc was married to Honore Breaux, and her father Victor was Anne’s second cousin through the Acadian founder Daniel LeBlanc. There are seven paths from Daniel down to me. I won’t go over all of that, but I will say that I descend from Daniel’s children Rene, Andre, and Anthony.
But let’s get back to our main subjects. Joseph Bujol was born in Pisiquit, Acadie, in 1723. His father was also named Joseph and his mother was Josette Landry. They lived in a place called the Village de Abraham Landry. Abraham Landry was the father of Josette and the grandfather of Joseph the younger. We have definitely talked about the Landry name in previous posts.
Anne LeBlanc was born February 6, 1732, in Grand Pre, Acadie. She was the youngest of the nine recorded children of Jean LeBlanc and Jeanne Bourgeois. They lived in St. Charles aux Mines, Acadie. Like many young women who are married, she was married in her hometown to a somewhat older husband Joseph Bujol in 1750. Her father had died in 1747, so she was not given away by her father as many brides are.
Within a year of their marriage, they had their first child – a daughter that they named Marguerite. In 1753 they had son by the name of Augustin. Then in 1755 they had their most important child – a daughter that they named Perpetua (or Perpetue). I think she’s special because she is my 4X great grandmother. She was also the last of my ancestors to be born in Acadie. It was that same year that the Grand Derangement began.
This was the time that the English forced the residents of Acadie from their homes and Exiled them to various places. Most of their homes and churches were burned, along with many records within them. They were sent off with not much more than the clothes on their backs. Many of them died in the process due to shipwrecks, diseases, and malnourishment.
On October 27, 1755, Joseph and Anne, with their three children, were loaded onto the ship “The Ranger” and torn from their homeland. On November 29th they reached the shores of Annapolis, Maryland. They did not disembark at that point, because they ended up continuing on to Oxford, Maryland. This is where they would spend their next 12 years of Exile.
I can’t imagine going through this Great Upheaval like they did with an infant daughter and two other young children. The danger and uncertainty of it all must have been terrifying. Their outcome was better than others I have written about. Other ancestors who had recently been married and with young children didn’t fare so well. Some of them lost their first spouse and others lost children. (Another sober nod goes to Magdelene from my last installment.)
They weren’t spared all grief, though. Anne LeBlanc lost four siblings in the first few years of the Exile. After recently enduring the death of a second sister, I can’t imagine losing four in such a short time. I don’t see that Joseph lost any siblings at this point, but his father did die in 1758. I know many of his siblings ended up in Quebec, so he likely never saw them again.
Their life continued in Oxford. If you look at the July 1763 Census from Oxford, Maryland, the sixth household listed begins with Joseph Bigeos. That’s our Joseph Bujol. Anne is listed after him, as are their children Marguerite, Augustine, and Perpetue. And there’s one more. They had a little girl that they named Anne in 1757 while in Oxford.
That little girl Anne Bujol would later marry a little boy that is listed on this same page. The third household listed starts with his parents Joseph and Marie Josette (Bourg) Landry and continues on to the son named Joseph. He would be known as Joseph “dit bel Homme” Landry and he would marry Anne Bujol in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. They would have over a dozen children and eventually die in Donaldsonville. There is a huge monument/tomb in the Catholic Cemetery there. Everyone always asks me if I descend from that well-known Landry. I say, “No, but we are related.” When I try to explain how I’m related, their eyes glaze over. Except for the ones that really do descend from him. I know some of them.
Joseph Bujol and Anne LeBlanc would have one more child while in Oxford. Marie Madeline was supposedly born in 1762, yet she didn’t show up in the 1763 Census. Perhaps the Census was negligent. It’s been known to happen. She was not their last child, but their stay in Oxford was coming to an end. Like the other Acadians I have talked about, they heard about opportunities in Louisiana and decided to take their chances. In late June of 1766, they joined over 200 other Acadian Exiles and boarded an English chartered ship that departed from Baltimore.
The ship did not head directly to Louisiana. It reached Belize in September 1766 after making a stop in Cap Francais. They then continued on to New Orleans. These new arrivals had not been given permission to emigrate to the now Spanish-owned territory, yet the Spanish authorities were expecting more immigrants. Because the Exiles “…had arrived in misery and were in great need, they were helped immediately…” This group was sent to the Acadian Coast and given small lots of land.
In 1769 they were living in the Pointe Coupee area with their family. The listing is as follows: #74 Joseph BUJEUX, 46; Anne LEBLANC, wife, 36; Augustin, son, 16; Joseph, son, 3 months; Margueritte, daughter, 18; Perpetue, daughter, 14; Anne, daughter, 12; Marie, daughter, 8; Joseph LANDRY, uncle, 65.
I’ll leave it like that; with the family making a new home in Louisiana and welcoming a new baby boy. You might as well go ahead and call them Cajuns.
For other installments of this series of blog posts, click on the following links: