Oct. 8 is a significant date in the story of the Acadian Deportation. It marks the day in 1755 when British vessels sailed from Grand Pré, carrying into exile the community of Acadian French who had lived there for three generations.
The Nova Scotia Archives has marked this anniversary with a new Internet resource devoted entirely to the Deportation story. Acadian Heartland: Records of the Deportation, 1714-1768 uses digitized material to present a factual account of events leading up to that date in 1755, descriptions of the Deportation as it was carried out in various communities, and related records from the aftermath years.
"The Deportation was a significant event in the history of our province and this new resource will expand the material available on the Acadian French in Nova Scotia," said Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. "We are pleased to add the Deportation story to the online resources of the Nova Scotia Archives and will continue working to make more online resources available."
Since no written documents created by the Acadians are known to have survived from this period, the website relies heavily on records created by the British government at Annapolis Royal and Halifax. A highlight of the new resource, however, is the private journals of Colonel John Winslow, commander of the New England troops overseeing the Deportation.
Winslow was at Fort Beauséjour (Isthmus of Chignecto) and at Grand Pré during the summer and autumn of 1755. His journals record day-to-day events such as the issuing of the proclamation for deportation, rounding up and detaining the Acadians, burning their homes and farm buildings, provisioning the vessels, and then watching them sail away.
According to provincial archivist Brian Speirs, the new website offers the largest and most complete Internet location for primary-source documents relating to the Deportation.
"This is an exciting new resource for genealogists, community historians, scholars of the event and Acadians everywhere," said Mr. Speirs. "The online product is fully searchable on any word or phrase, and this, in turn, encourages new exploration unknown with traditional indexes or published books."
The website was developed in co-operation with Nova Scotia's Office of Acadian Affairs.
Chris d'Entremont, Minister of Acadian Affairs, says he is pleased that the new resource promotes Acadian heritage and culture. "It provides Acadian descendants everywhere with access to the defining event in their history and it emphasizes the rich diversity which Acadians bring to the province of Nova Scotia."
Acadian Heartland joins three related resources already on the Archives website: digitized documents in the Records of British Government at Annapolis Royal, 1713-1749; a searchable database for the Registers of St. Jean-Baptiste, Annapolis Royal, 1702-1755; and a virtual exhibit of historical photographs, This is Our Home: Acadians of Nova Scotia.
Through onsite and online services, Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management helps researchers and general-interest visitors everywhere discover more about themselves, their families, their communities and their province.
Acadian Heartland is available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/deportation
FOR BROADCAST USE:
October 8th is a significant date in the story of the
Acadian Deportation. It marks the day in 1755 when British
vessels sailed from Grand Pré, carrying Acadian French
communities into exile.
The Nova Scotia Archives has marked this anniversary with a
new Internet resource devoted entirely to the Deportation story.
Acadian Heartland: Records of the Deportation, 1714-1768,
uses digitized material to present events leading up to that
date, descriptions of the Deportation, and related records from
Tourism, Culture and Heritage Minister Rodney MacDonald says
the online resource makes even more valuable information
available on a significant event in the history of the province.
Acadian Heartland can be found on the Nova Scotia Archives
Media Contact: Lois Yorke
Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management