Marie Bourg

prepared 1999 by Charlene (Fraser) McKenzie updated Apr 1, 2001

Marie Bourg, first wife of Jean Fougère, was the daughter of Abraham Bourq and Marie-(Sébastienne) Brun. It was Marie's mother's second marriage. Marie-(Sébastienne) was a young widow with a small son living in Port Royal when she married Abraham Bourg. Her first husband, François Gautrot had died young. They were recorded in the 1678 census of Port Royal with a young son, two cattle and a gun. This son, Marie Bourg's half brother, François Gautrot, was the ancestor of the Gouthreaus of French Vale, CB. When his mother married Abraham Bourg, François lived with his new family and was recorded in the Bourg family in the 1791 census.

Marie's maternal grandfather was the ancestor of the Brun family in Acadia. Vincent Brun was born around 1611, probably in Loudon, France. He and his wife, Renée Breau had been married for 5 years when they arrived in Acadia in 1648. The record of the baptism of two of their children can be found at La Chaussée church in Poitou. By 1698, Marie’s brother, Sebastien Brun had 60 fruit trees.

Marie's paternal grandfather, Antoine Bourg, was the founder of the Bourg family in Acadia. He came from the parish of Martaizé, near Loudon, in France. He arrived in Port Royal around 1640 and three years later, he married Antoinette Landry. They raised a family of eleven children at Bourg Village, on the north river and close to the fort at Port Royal, facing Belliveau Village on the south river. We are descended from four of their children, twice from the son Abraham. Their son Alexander settled at Grand Pré where he was appointed a royal notary and official surveyor of lands. Antoinette’s brother, René Landry had also settled in Acadia. Antoine Bourg died before the 1693 census, when his wife Antoinette was listed as a widow living at the house of her son, Abraham and his wife Marie Brun.

When Marie Bourg was born, around 1690, Port Royal village had existed for over 60 years. The settlers had managed to provide a good living for themselves. The dyked farmlands were producing an abundance of crops. They grew enough grain to export it to other parts of Acadia. They produced their own wool and linen. It was the storehouse for food for the whole colony. Commander de Villebon spoke of Port Royal as “a little Normandy for apples.” They also had many varities of cherries and pears.

Acadia changed hands six times in the seventeenth century. It was a frequent target for the New Englanders. Houses were burned and crops destroyed. Often settlers were killed and prisoners were taken. At the approach of enemy vessels, the cannons would be set off to warn the people. The Acadians were ready to run into hiding on a moments notice. They always kept some extra clothing and provisions ready for a fast exit without worrying about what was left behind. Their small herds of cattle were untethered and used to the woods. If they had anything of value, they buried it, planning to recover it when it was safe. They would hide in the woods and slowly return to their homes once the danger was over. Just a year before Marie Bourg was born, in May of 1690, Port Royal was taken by a New England commander, Sir William Phips. Meneval, the governor of Acadia, decided to surrender, knowing he was greatly outnumbered. Six companies of soldiers landed in the small village outnumbering the whole population. Meneval was promised that the church and private property would be untouched, but it and other buildings were destroyed and the village plundered without any regard for the terms of capitulation. The people were greatly distressed.

After twelve days of pillaging the village and countryside, Phips had the inhabitants swear allegience to King William and Queen Mary. According to Phips, this was done with great accalamations and rejoicings. He left Port Royal under the command of a French sergeant and a local administrative council made up of prominent settlers. During the first 10 years of Marie Bourg’s life, the Acadians lived in a peculiar situation. New England made no attempt to assert it’s authority and the French made no attempt to regain control. The Acadians who had sworn the oath insisted that the chief French representative, de Villebon, not try to change things for fear the English hear of it and return to punish them.

Twice more in Marie’s early life, Port Royal was attacked, so it was no wonder after her marriage she decided to leave her home and start life again in another French territory, Ile Royale.

After mainland Nova Scotia was ceded to Great Britain in 1713, the English did not have the personnel to to look after the civil affairs of the various villages, so they set up a system of representatives to keep contact with the Acadians. They chose people who had some education and who had a stake in the community. After awhile the Acadian themselves elected the delegate. Marie's father, Abraham Bourg, must have been a person of standing in the community. We know he was able to write his name for his signature can be found on the 1695 oath and in the Port Royal church register which still exists. He left his name as a witness to the marriage of his daughter, Marie to Jean Fougère in 1713, and in 1720 at his son Michel’s wedding to Anne Boudrot. (parents of Madeleine Bourg who married Jean-Baptiste Hébert in Miquelon) .

In 1714, representatives from Louisbourg went to Port Royal to induce Acadians to settle in Cape Breton which remained French territory . Many made the journey to look at the area for potential resettlement. It was not good for farming and many Acadians were reluctant ot leave the fertle lands of the area now known as the Annapolis Valley. The name of Abraham Bourq, an inhabitant of the lower part of the river, was on the list of those Acadians who boarded the King's boat La Marie Joseph to travel to Ile Royale (Cape Breton) in Aug of 1714. In the 1724 and 1726 census of Port Toulouse (now St. Peters, CB) we find the names of his sons, Pierre, Michel and Charles Bourg and also the names of his sons-in-law, Pierre Broussard and Jean Fougère.

On September 16, 1727, Abraham Bourq, François Richard and the deputies Charles Landry and Guillaume Bourgeois refused to take the oath of allegiance to George II. They were thrown into prison. Although many residents took the oath unreservedly in 1695, by 1727 the Acadians were using it as a bargaining tool. They maintained they were neutral in any conflict the English had with the French and Mik’maq. They also insisted on the freedom to practice their own religion. It was ordered that Bourg, "in consideration of his great age" should be allowed to leave the territory as soon as possible but without his goods. Abraham was 67 years old at the time. As the others were released after a shortwhile, it appears unlikely that Abraham Bourg actually left. An oath of 1730 bears a signature which may be his. It is not known when Bourg died but it may have been after April 13, 1736, when Marie Brun's burial record identifies her as the wife (not the widow) of Abraham Bourg.

Abraham Bourg and Marie Brun’s daughter, Marie Bourg made the move to Cape Breton with her husband and small children. She died at Port Toulouse along with her son Jean in 1727. It was the same year our ancestor Charles Fougère was born.

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