GUYON DENIS CHIASSON
Guyon Denis was born in Saint-Sauveur de Nuaille (today St-Sauveur D'Aunis). He spent his childhood in
this little village of Aunis, until the age of twelve years and following, he went to live in La Rochelle with
his parents Pierre and Marie Peroche and his sisters. On the day of his departure for the new continent he was twenty-six years old. Guyon Denis was the only son of a family of five children. Of his four sisters, Marie, Jeanne, Francoise and Louise, only Louise went to Quebec in 1666. Her story is told in the document of her father Pierre.
He left La Rochelle for Port-Royal in Acadia (today Annapolis
Royale, Nova Scotia) where he remained for
In 1675, he settled in the region of Beaubassin (today Amherst) and the same year, the youngest of his sons, Michel, was born. A land grant was made, which he cleared with the assistance of his sons Gabriel-Pierre, Sebastien and Jean. We can still see today, in this beautiful valley, not far from "Fort Beausejour", the lands cleared by these valorous colonists from France.
Jeanne Bernard gave him eight children: Gabriel-Pierre, Jean, Francoise, Sebastien, Marie, Michel, Anne and Marguerite. Jeanne died in 1682 probably following the birth of Marguerite.
On October 6, 1683, Guyon
Denis married at his sister Louise's house in Quebec, Marie-Madeleine Martin,
daughter of Pierre Martin and Joachine Lafleur. He was 45 years old
In 1686, Guyon Denis was
a prosperous farmer, he owned 40 acres of farmland, 20 animals with horns,
12 sheep and 15 pigs. His land was located in the surroundings of
the seigniory of Beaubassin which belonged to Michel LeNeuf de Lavalliere
friend of the family.
I reproduce here a part of the
marriage contract of Guyon Denis Chiasson and Marie-Madeleine Martin, passed
to Quebec on October 6, 1683 in the house of his sister Louise Chiasson
and his brother-in-law Jacques Chaplain, in front of the notary Genaple.
There were with this marriage several guests and witnesses who signed the
bottom of the contract.
The second wife of Guyon
Denis, Marie-Madeleine Martin, gave him four daughters: Angeliqe, Genevieve,
Marie and ANne. Two sons of Guyon Denis and Jeanne Bernard, emigrated to
Quebec, Jean in
Guyon Denis died relatively young in Beaubassin, in 1692 at the age of 54 years. Two sons of Guyon Denis and of Jeanne Bernard, Gabriel and Sebastien, lived in Beaubassin until their deaths, but these are their children who lived in the difficult times of the deportation of the Acadians about 1755.
At the time of the dispersion of the Acadians, the village
of Beaubassin, already destroyed by the fire of 1750, was located exactly
on the current border of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, east of the Missagouach
River, short distance from Fort Beausejour. In addition, the parish of
The parish church of Beaubassin was at the precise place, where, nowadays, a monument indicates the site of Fort Lawrence, built in 1750. The cemetery, located a few acres lower, is crossed today by the railway. It was surrounded by a wall of approximately four feet high and of a foot thickness. When excavations are made there, one still detects sometimes the site of coffins.
The small road which curved through the village, there
for more than two centuries, gives acces to the shore and the sea while
skirting the bank is the Missagouach River, still following today the former
layout, because the village of Beaubassin, except for that of Grand-Pre,
was never rebuilt.
Memorial Church of Grand-Pre
Today close to the Memorial Church of Grand-Pre, near a place known to the Acadians under the name of Plage d'Evangeline, rises a monument in the shape of a cross which joins together in the same place the found remains of the Acadian cemeteries before the deportation. Thousands of their descendants come to this place each year.
History of Acadia