St Georges Bay Mi'kmaq News

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Havre au Boucher

Further east lies the village of Havre au Boucher also on the coast of St. Georges Bay, Cape Breton. The date of settlement is still the subject of debate. The Mi'kmaq were wondering people and their movements not well known by European colonists. We do know that a map drawn up by the French shows the location of this harbour in l755. In 1757. there was a Captain Boucher who spent one winter here because he was trapped by the ice. The date of settlement is around 1781 - 1784. It is known that there was a chapel which was in use until 1790.

The family names of the first known settlers were Boucher Coste, Levandier ( Levangie ) Fougeres, Briand (Breen), Breau (Brow), Benoit ( Bennett), Petitpas (Pettipas), Roi ( King) and Melong. 'I'here was also a family named Bellefontaine who came from Chezzetcook near Halifax. They settled just east of Havre au Boucher and the area was known by the family name. Unfortunately, the area was renamed East Havre Boucher and the family name has since disappeared. --------------------------

Guillaume Benoit was born in Pisiguit (Windsor), Acadie in 1707 was the third child born to Clement Benoit ,and Anne Babin and married Marie-Josephe Gauterot in 1729 daughter of Claude Gautrot and Marie Theriault. He was in Bras d'Or, Ile Royal (Cape Breton) in 1751. Like other Acadians, he left due to the uncertainty of the political climate. His going to Cape Breton instead of P.E.I.resulted in his avoiding the deportation carried out there and elsewhere. Some of his brothers and sisters were not so fortunate.

While in Bras d'Or, Guillaume constructed a saw mill as there was plenty of softwood and hardwood. However there was frequent flooding which hindered the farming of his property. This is probably why he left and moved to Ile Madame in the early 1760s. His family included four sons and two daughters. The daughters were Geniveive and Judick.

His eldest son Pierre, born in 1729, is considered the founder of Tracadie. He married Victoire Dugas at Bras d'Or in 1760. There were no priest to perform the marriage ceremony, so they married by community consent. Then the marriage was re-validated by the first avaiable priest, which was Rev. Charles-Francois Bailly in Arichat, in July of 1771.

In a census done by 'The Sieux De La Roque'in February 1752 they recorded one Sir Guillaume B Benoist as a 46 year old builder and owner of a sawmill married to Josephe Benoist a 50 year old native of Acadia with four sons and two daughters; Pierre age 22, Michael age 20, Boniface age 15, Simon age 13, Judick age 15, and Genevieve age 9. All natives of Acadia who had liv ed there for 3 years. This means they would have arrived in Grand Nerichac in 1749.

The couple left Bras d'Or and settled in River Inhabitants for a while.After their marriage validation they moved to Tracadie in 1772. Pierre's brothers , Michel and Boniface, settled in the near by Havre au Boucher.

The descendants of all three brothers are found throughout Antigonish County and beyond. The fourth brother, Simon, settled in D'Escousse.

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Copyright 2002 Jasen Benwah

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