grandmother’s face has called my name
I am sending
my piece on my recent trip to New Orleans.
of this year, has been like a cool summer's breeze, fresh, airy and comforting
to the subtle sounds of summer. Other parts of my Franco-American
discovery have been much more of a whirlwind affair, pushing me with powerful
winds, places that I would have never even dreamed of participating in.
trip to Prince Edward Island, had a very significant place in my heart.
Seeing my family's name, my paternal grandmother of Gallant everywhere,
gave me such a comfort, awe and strength. It also reflected a mirror
that I had been searching for. This blood line is rich with the fertile
soil, but sadly with bloody soil as well. My soul has opened up,
my curiosity grew and my life will never be the same.
to New Orleans has been similar but different. Much still has not
unfolded, but one thing I know for sure, is that it opened my life, perhaps
broadening my sense of tolerance. It became very evident that the
culture of the city of New Orleans, was one of very broad based ethnic
groups. It is rich in color, design and texture, much like a tight
knit woven Indian blanket.
colors all represent something or someone specific, and it all blends well
together, like a bright vivid rainbow after a light summer's shower.
It's light mist brushed against my face, pores, making me smile with joy.
To part-take is such an atmosphere only makes my foundation stronger.
in this journey of self-discovery, I have felt overwhelmed with all that
I do not know. The Franco-American Women's Studies had aided me with
the opportunity to know much more. Sometimes, I receive information
"backwards", since receiving the information first, not absorbing it, then
"falling upon it again". This is what happened this week.
opened up my Gallant material that I have on genealogy. I have had
it since August, but had just come back from PEI, and could not absorb
it all, because I did not have the information that I needed. The
course has aided me in this process. For instance, I am a descendant
of Miche Hache-Gallant, thought to be born about 1662 at St. Pierre, (near
the present St. Peters, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia), his father was
thought to have taken a Micmac wife. Michel Hache, was married in
1690 to Anne Marie Claire Cormier, born about 1674 in "Port Royal, Annapolis,
Nova Scotia". Their son, Michel, born 1691 at Beaubassin, married
at "GRAND PRE", on 10/12 1711 to Madeline Leblanc they had ten children.
great grandmother’s face has called my name. I am VERY driven to
find out who my great grandparents were. Who were they? I know
that poverty was prevalent during those difficult times in PEI, raising
ten children. It is odd that in June, I had the old photo of my great
grandmother reproduced, hanging it proudly in my dining room, and yet not
really conscious, that I had hung out my shingle of searching for my family's
heritage. My great grandmother's name was Esther Doucette Gallant.
I did some research and find that I am descendant of Pierre Doucet born
in 1621, married Henriete Pelletrat in PORT ROYAL! So half of my
blood is strong Acadian, my mother's side from Quebec. Lauzier- Ouellette,
my Dad Gagnon. Much, much more work to do, but what a discovery........which
brings me to my trip to Louisiana.
I stated in class this week, the name is spelt by the Cajun, Doucet. I
also found out that in 1721 the Gallant's had inhabited Port la Joye harbour,
now Charlottetown Harbour in PEI. In 1744 war broke out between Britain
& France. In Port la Joyce the British burned the buildings and
left the village in ruins. In 1755 Port La Joye became an important
port of entry for Acadians fleeing from the mass-deportation from Acadia.
Three years later, however, Port La Joye was itself used by the British
as a base for the expulsion of Island Acadians from the newly conquered
territory, and the history came to an end".
who were deported to Louisiana, do not have the name Gallant, but "ACHEE",
so when I mentioned the name Gallant, everyone said they weren't a family
that came there. I am saddened by my ignorance, that I did not bring
any genealogy down with me on my trip, therefore, I had little to go on.
I did not meet any "Cajun" women nor men. Our trip to LaFayette,
and Thibodeaux was too time oriented. However, I brought much material
back to refer to later on our next trip.
trip to Louisiana, gave some a sense however, of our descendants, the enormous
hardships they must have been exposed to in this "New Land", that nothing
had prepared them for. It also completed in one year, a journey that
made more sense of the pain, that has NEVER BEEN VERBALIZED!! A year
that incorporated the Acadian country of Prince Edward Island to the bayou's
of Louisiana. My wondrous relationship with my parents, have freed
me as well. They know that their daughter, will not let their heritage
die. Enough have died in vain.