GUYON  DENIS  CHIASSON            

IN  ACADIA
 

 
 

     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.
 
 

Port-Royal


 



He left La Rochelle for Port-Royal in Acadia (today Annapolis Royale, Nova Scotia) where he remained for 
several years.  He married Jeanne Bernard and began his family.  Guyon Denis Chiasson and Jeanne Bernard had two children when they left Port-Royal for Chebouctou (today Halifax).  They did in this area hunting and fur trade for many years and sold its furs to the Le Borgne trading company of France. In the accounts books of this company, his name appears on several occasions.


      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
and his young spouse was only 17 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.
 
 



 



 
      Jacques LeNeuf De LaPerriere,                              Jacque Chaplain, brother-in-law
      Michel LeNeuf De LaValliere,                                  Anne Martin,
      Rene Denaud,                                                      Guillaume Masse,
      Jacques Cochu, brother-in-law of Francoise, daughter of Guyon Denis
      Louis Morin, therefore brother-in-law of Francoise, therefore you further read the tragic history.
      There was also the Seigneur of Cobequid and many other people whom I did not identify.

      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
the region of Boucherville and Michel to the Island of Orleans. Jean and Michel were the ancestors of the Giasson families of the region of Montmagny and Montreal.


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 Beaubassin became
one of the populouses of Acadia after 1740, then extended from the current city of Amherst to beyond Fort Beausejour and Tintamarre, today Sackville, then in the direction of Verte Bay, on the isthmus of Chignectou.

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.
 


 
     Like most of the Acadians of his era, Guyon Denis was buried in the cemetary, for any identification, a simple wooden cross. Unfortunately these cemeteries disappeared.

 

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.

                   
 


 
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