My Seventh Great Grandmother
(about 1705 to 1769)
Daughter of Michel Vincent and Marie Landry or Marie Josephe Richard
Wife of Jacques Forest
Mother of Victor (about 1733), Pierre (about 1734), Madeleine Forest (about 1743), Jacques (about 1745), Anne Rosalie (about 1748), Ignace (about 1750)
There are more records with Claire Vincent’s name in them than one would think given the time and place that she lived. Claire, my seventh great-grandmother, was an Acadian who lived during the deportation years when England forcefully removed Acadians from Nova Scotia. Saved from destruction and ruin when the Acadians were deported, the Registers of the St. Charles Aux Mines church in Acadia were brought to Louisiana. Acadians deported to Maryland saved the registers. When they immigrated to Louisiana in 1767, they gave the registers to the Saint Gabriel Church the Acadians built between 1772 and 1774. The registers were turned over to the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
In one of the St. Charles Aux Mines registers is Claire’s marriage to Jacques Forest. Very nicely, the record provides where Claire and Jacques lived, Pigiguit (also spelled Pisiquid as well as other variations) and the parish they were married in, Sainte Famille. The record further states that Claire was the daughter of Michel Vincent and Marie Landry (deceased). Jacques’s parents were Michel Forest and Marie Bellemere. His father died before Jacques was married. The marriage record also indicates that Claire and Jacques shared a set of great-great grandparents.
Jacques was about twenty-two years old when he and Claire married 2 July 1731. There is the possibility that Claire was born just before her mother died and could be older than Jacques. Claire’s father married Anne-Marie Doiron after Claire’s mother died and had at least ten more children with his second wife. As one of the elder children, Claire served as godmother to at least one of her half-sisters, Anne Frosine Vincent.
Claire’s father, Michel Vincent, was recorded several times in census records as early as 1693 in Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal) where his wife is identified as Marie Richard (not Landry as written in Claire’s marriage record). They moved to Les Mines before 1703. The Vincent family probably lived near the family villages of Thibodeau and LeBlanc along what is now the Avon River. The Forest family village was further down the river.
In 1701, there was a Michel Vincent with five daughters living near a Michel Forest with four sons and one daughter in Les Mines also known as the Minas Basin. In the years 1703, 1707 and 1714, the census records place the two families near each other. Surely, the two families had agreed early on that Claire and Jacques would marry one day. See Table 1.
|Year||Location||Vincent Families||Forest Families|
|1686||Port Royal||Thomas VINCENT 20, Michel VINCENT his brother 18. Germain DOUCET 45, Marie LANDRY 35, Bertrand 19, Laurens 16, Jacques 15, Claude 12, Marie 8, jeanne 6. Alexis 4, Pierre 1; 5 arpents, 9 cattle, 10 sheep.a Pierre VINCENT 20b Jean de BASTARACHE 25, Huguette VINCENT 22; child: Marianne 7 months.c||Michel DEFOREST 47, Jacqueline BENOIST 13; children by his first wife (Marie HEBERT): Michel 19, Pierre 18, Rene 16, Gabriel 13, Marie 11, Jean-Baptiste 9; 1 gun, 5 arpents, 8 sheep, 4 hogs.d|
|1693||Port Royal||Pierre VINCENT 25, Jeanne TRAHAN his wife 18, 9 cattle, 6 sheep, 4 hogs, 5-1/2 arpentse Michel VINCENT 25, Marie RICHARD his wife 18, Marie 3, Agnes 1 6 cattle, 5 sheep, 3 hogs, 3 arpents, 1 gun.f Jean BASTARACHE 35, Agat VINCENT his wife 29, Marie Anne 9, Francoise-Marie 6, 5 cattle 6 sheep, 4 hogs, 4 arpents, 1 gung||Michel FOREST 27, Marie PETITPAS his wife 24, Michel 3, Francois 1; 10 cattle, 10 sheep, 5 hogs, 4 arpents, 1 gunh Pierre FOREST 25, Cecile RICHARD his wife 19, Marie 3 months; 8 cattle, 3 sheep, 5 hogs, 4 arpentsi|
|1701||Port Royal||Clement VINCENT 27, his wife [no name recorded] 22j Joannes BASTARACHE 45, Huguette VINCENT (wife) 40; Francois 12, Jean 6, Marie Bastarache 17, Anne 8; 1 gun, 8 cattle, 10 sheep, 6 hogs, 2 arpentsk|
|1701||Riviere de l’Acension||Michel VINCENT, his wife, 5 girls, 12 cattle, 16 sheep, 3 hogs, 1 gunl||Pierre FOREST, his wife, 1 boy, 3 girls, 10 arpents, 15 cattle, 10 sheepm Michel FOREST, his wife, 4 boys, 1 girl, 8 arpents, 10 cattle, 17 sheep, 6 hogs.n Jean FOREST, his wife, 2 boys, 8 arpents, 8 cattle, 5 sheep, 4 hogs, 1 guno|
|1714||De La Riviera Pisiguit||Michel VINCENT and his wife, 3 sons, 5 daughtersp||Pierre FOREST and his wife, 2 sons, 6 daughtersq Michel FOREST and his wife, 4 sons, 4 daughtersr|
|a Dépôt des papiers publics des colonies; état civil et recensements : Série G 1 : Recensements et documents divers : C-2572, Archives des colonie, Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, digital image 30 of 312 (https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2572/30 : viewed 9 July 2023). |
b ibid, image 32. It is possible Pierre is Thomas and Michel’s brother but Pierre is the same age as Thomas, though ages could be estimated.
c ibid, images 35 and 36. Hugette Vincent may be a relative of Michel Vincent.
d ibid, image 41.
e ibid, image 83.
f ibid, image 85.
g ibid, image 62.
h ibid, image 94. Michel Forest in the 1693 census may be the son of the Michel Forest in the 1686 census.
i ibid, image 94.
j ibid, image 187 and 188.
k ibid, image 192.
l ibid, image 206.
m ibid, image 205.
n ibid, image 206.
o ibid, image 206.
p ibid, image 248.
q ibid, image 248.
r ibid, image 248.
Acadians living in Les Mines, Cobequit, Pisiquid and Beaubassin took an oath of allegiance to the British government in 1730. A Michel Vincent, probably Claire’s father, took the oath as well as over 600 Acadians. There were three men with the name of Jacques “Foret” who also took the oath. One must have been Claire’s husband-to-be.
“We sincerely promise and swear in Christian Faith that we will be entirely faithful & we will truly submit to his Majesty George the Second King of Great Britain, whom we recognize as the sovereign lord of Nova Scotia and l’Accadie. So help us God.” (Translated from French to English)
Between 1730 and 1750, Acadians were living a prosperous life. Women were having an average of six children. There was a wide variety of food, and it was plentiful. Adults and children were living longer. Acadians were not exposed to smallpox or other diseases. Unfortunately, the lack of exposure to smallpox would prove to cause a high death rate for Acadians during the deportation years. Life was comfortable until Governor Charles Lawrence took over governing Nova Scotia in 1753.
Because Acadians had not taken an unconditional oath of allegiance, Governor Lawrence took it upon himself to purge Nova Scotia of the Acadians. On 5 September 1755, Acadians in Pigiguit were informed of their imminent deportation after all males over the age of ten were summoned to Fort Edward. Captain Murray imprisoned the 183 men who arrived at Fort Edward. Was Claire’s husband one of the men?
Without telling the New England colonies to be ready to accept overcrowded boatloads of people, Claire’s family was deported to Virginia in October 1755. Virginia refused to allow the Acadians to live there. For six to seven months, the House of Burgesses of Virgina and Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie argued the fate of the Acadians sent to Virginia. Intentionally or not, Dinwiddie had these Acadians transported to England in May 1756 without advance notice to England, acting as Lawrence had several months before.
While Claire, her husband and three of their children were being relocated to England, their sons Victor and Pierre had been living on Ile Saint-Jean. They probably arrived on Ile Saint-Jean between 1753 and 1755. Victor married Judith Robicho 10 May 1756. Pierre married Judith’s sister, Anne Blanche Robicho 10 January 1757. Both marriage records cite Claire Vincent as their mother. Given that Claire had been deported to Virginia and sent to England, she may not have known her sons had married.
Three ships left Virginia for England in 1756: the Fanny under Malcom Bowie with 220 on board; Industry under Alexander Ramsey with 250 on board; and the Bobby Goodridge under Captain Bosch with about 300 Acadians on board. The Fanny arrived in Falmouth June 18 with 204 and the Bobby Goodridge arrived in Southampton July 4 with 293. Undoubtedly, many Acadians died during the crossing. Once in England, the Acadians were sent to Liverpool, Bristol, Penryn and Southampton.
Presumably, Claire, Jacques, Ignace, Madeleine and Anne were sent to Bristol. For seven years, the family struggled living in warehouses with about 200 other Acadians. They had little food and clothing. Work was hard to find. They were exposed to smallpox and typhoid epidemics; and yet, Claire and her family survived.
After the Seven Years War ended, Acadians in England relocated to France. Claire and her family joined other Acadians and went to Saint-Malo, a port city in northern France on the Brittany coast. What must have Claire thought when she disembarked from the La Dorothee upon her arrival on May 23, 1763? Did she know that her sons Victor, Pierre, and Jacques had been deported from Ile Saint-Jean years earlier and were in nearby Saint-Suliac and Plouer? How long did it take before Claire and Jacques reunited with their children? Was she surprised to learn she was a grandmother to the children of Pierre and Victor?
Claire was fortunate to live long enough to see her daughters marry. Madeleine married Belony Blanchard 17 Feb 1766 in Plouer. Anne Rosalie married Simon LeBlanc 18 November 1766 in Saint-Servan. More than likely, Claire helped Madeleine and Anne Rosalie with their babies the few years she had with them before she passed.
Claire’s life ended 17 March 1769 in Saint-Servan where she was buried. Her name appeared in at least three more records after her death. When sons Jacques married in 1774, Ignace married in 1777 and Victor married for the fourth time in 1784, Claire Vincent was identified as their mother.
The name of Claire’s mother is under debate in genealogical circles. The 1693 census records Michel Vincent’s wife as Marie Richard. Claire’s 1731 marriage record cites Marie Landry as her mother. Did the priest record the wrong surname? Or did Michel Vincent marry a Marie Landry after Marie Richard died and Marie Landry lived only a few years after that marriage? Without further proof, Claire’s mother cannot be verified. Thus ends the eight generational line of my grandmother, Velma Carrow Provost through her Carrow, Ordonot, Blanchard, Forest and Vincent families.
 Jacques Forest and Claire Vincent married at Ste. Famille de Pigiguit in 1731. St. Charles Aux Mines church registers, SGA-2, p.215, digital image supplied 4 April 2023 by Diocese of Baton Rouge Archives and Records Center. The digital image received from the archives was cropped to show only the selected marriage record. Author is in possession of digital image.
 Jacques Forest and Claire Vincent married at Ste. Famille de Pigiguit in 1731. Una F. Daigre, Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records Acadian Records, 1707-1748 Volume 1a (Revised) (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Dioceses of Baton Rouge, 1999). p. 72.
 Bona Arsenault, Histoire Et Genealogie Des Acadiens (Lemeac) Vol 4:1454-1455.
 Una F. Daigre, Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records Acadian Records, 1707-1748 Volume 1a (Revised) (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Dioceses of Baton Rouge, 1999). p. 196. Anne Frosine Vincent was born 4 May 1726 and baptized 23 June 1726. Pierre Trajan and Clere [sic] were the godparents.
 Dépôt des papiers publics des colonies; état civil et recensements : Série G 1 : Recensements et documents divers : C-2572, Archives des colonie, Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, digital image 85 of 312 (https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2572/30 : viewed 9 July 2023).
 Dépôt des papiers publics des colonies; état civil et recensements : Série G 1 : Recensements et documents divers : C-2572, Archives des colonie, Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, digital image 217 of 312 (https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2572/30 : viewed 9 July 2023).
 George, III, King of Great Britain, George, IV, King of Great Britain, and -1785 John Brewse. “A MAP OF THE SURVEYED PARTS OF NOVA SCOTIA MDCCLVI.” Map. 1756. Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center, https://collections.leventhalmap.org/search/commonwealth:hx11z499x (accessed June 26, 2023).
 Dépôt des papiers publics des colonies; état civil et recensements : Série G 1 : Recensements et documents divers : C-2572, Archives des colonie, Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, digital image 206 of 312 (https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2572/30 : viewed 1 September 2023).
 Placide Gaudet, “Serment d’Allegeance Prete et Signe Par les Acadiens Des Districs Des Mines, Cobequit, Piziquid et Beaubassin, in Avril 1730,” Généalogie des familles acadiennes : avec documents : rapport concernant les archives canadiennes pour l’année 1905 (Ottawa : Archives canadiennes, 1906)p. 134-138; digital images archive.org (https://archive.org/details/gnalogiedesf00gaud/page/134/mode/2up?q=vincent : viewed 7 July 2023, images 134-138 of 438).
 Negative search for Victor Foret/Forest and Pierre Foret/Forest. “Tour of Inspection Undertaken by Le Sieur De La Roque,” Report Concerning Canadian Archives for the Year 1905, 2 (1906) digital image, archive.org (https://archive.org/details/reportconcerning21publ/page/n35/mode/2up : accessed 15 July 2023).
 Eglise catholique, Paroisse de La Baleine (Ile Royale), Registres paroissiaux, 1715-1757, FamilySearch, image 272 of 292, entry de Victor Foret et de Judith Robicho, digital image (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSJG-7SCZ-F : viewed 14 July 2023).
 Eglise catholique, Paroisse de La Baleine (Ile Royale), Registres paroissiaux, 1715-1757, FamilySearch, image 277 of 292, entry marriage de pierre foret et anne blanche robicho, digital image (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSJG-7SCD-Q?i=276 : viewed 28 August 2023).
 Healy, Elliott Dow. “Acadian Exiles in Virginia.” The French Review 22, no. 3 (1949): 233–40. http://www.jstor.org/stable/382994.
 Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, “Acadians Expatriated from Bristol Sailed from Falmouth,” Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home, http://www.acadian-home.org/france-la-dorothee.html (viewed 2 September 2023). Passengers on the La Dorothee are presumed to have lived in Bristol.
 Milton P. Rieder, The Acadians in France, 1762-1776; rolls of the Acadians living in France distributed by towns for the years 1762 to 1776 (Metairie, Louisiana, 1967) pgs. 19 and 24.
 Belonnie Blanchard & Magdelainne deforest, St. Brieuc, Plouer sur Rance sacramental records, ”Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil, Côtes-d’Armor, France, 1467-1920″, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C33B-362R?cc=4320583&cat=575563 : 8 April 2023), > image 703 of 1317).
 10 NUM 35313 850, SAINT-SERVAN,1766, Mariages, GREFFE , Archvies et patrimonie d’ille-et-Vilaine (https://archives.ille-et-vilaine.fr/fr : accessed 6 September 2023) > Les Archives departmental > Archives en line > Registers paroissiaux et stat civil > saint-servant > 1766, image 25 of 28, Simon Leblanc.
 Saint Servan-1769 -Sépultures-Commune, Archives départementales de la Vienne, image 6 of 23 (https://archives-en-ligne.ille-et-vilaine.fr/thot_internet/FrmLotDocFrame.asp?idlot=THOPDESC_382995&idfic=474827&ref=0474827&appliCindoc=THOPDESC&resX=1440&resY=900&init=1&visionneuseHTML5=0 : viewed 8 April 2023).
 Archvies et patrimonie d’ille-et-Vilaine (https://archives.ille-et-vilaine.fr/fr : accessed 7 September 2023) > Les Archives departmental > Archives en line > Registers paroissiaux et stat civil > saint-servan > 10 Num 35313 411, Saint-Servan,1774, Mariages, Commune, image 17 of 24 Jacques DeForest; 10 Num 35313 861, Saint-Servan, 1777, Mariages, Commune, image 7 of 19, Ignace DeForest; 10 Num 35313 421, Saint-Servan, 1784, Mariages, Commune, image 10 of 32, Victor Forest.