Acadians Who Found Refuge in Louisiana, February 1764-early 1800s




Étienne DesRoches, born at Ploubalay, near St.-Malo, France, in c1650, married Gabrielle Le Manquet of Plaisance, Newfoundland, probably at La Baleine, Cap Breton Island, in c1703; he was in his early 50s and she in her early 20s at the time of the wedding.  Étienne worked as a resident fisherman, or habitant, at La Baleine.  He and Gabrielle had nine children, including four sons who married into the Simon dit Boucher, Gosselin, Coupiau dit Desaleur, Vallet, and Sollé families.  Their five daughters married into the Dubordieu or Dubordien, Dupont, Coupiau dit Desaleur, Bannet, Yvon, and Herpin families.  All of these marriages took place at La Baleine, at nearby Lorembec, or at Louisbourg on Île Royale, the French name for Cape Breton Island after 1713.  Étienne died at La Baleine in April 1738; the priest who recorded his burial said that he died at age 98, but he probably was "only" 88; he was buried in the church cemetery of Ste.-Claire of Lorembec.  His widow Gabrielle died at Lorembec in May 1752, age 70.  No member of this family emigrated to Louisiana. 


Three brothers, or perhaps two brothers and a cousin--Louis, Julien, and Herbe DesRoches of Carolle, Avranches, Normandy--came to the French Maritimes in c1730.  Louis and Julien settled at Malpèque on the northwest coast of Île St.-Jean, today's Prince Edward Island.  Herbes settled at St.-Esprit on the Atlantic coast of Île Royale, where he worked as a fisherman.  They probably were not kin to the other DesRochess in the region.   

Louis, born in c1712, married Marguerite, daughter of Pierre Arseneau and Marie-Anne Boudrot of Chignecto, probably at Malpèque in c1731.  They had at least eight children, all born probably at Malpèque:  Rosalie in c1732, Eustache in c1736, Marie-Josèphe in 1738, Alexandre in c1740; Marie-Anne in c1742, Joseph in c1743, Henriette in c1747, and Anne in c1750.  

Julien, born in c1717, married another Arseneau, Marie, daughter of Claude dit Ambroise Arseneau and Marguerite dite Magite Richard of Chignecto, probably at Malpèque in c1743.  They had at least seven children, six of them sons, born probably at Malpèque:  Julien, fils in c1745, Félix in c1747, Joseph in c1750, Jean in c1754, Basile in c1755, and Mathurin in c1756.  Julien and Marie died of disease in c1757, on the eve of the island's dérangement, and their children were raised by family members. 

Herbe, born in c1717, married Marie, daughter of surgeon Georges Barbudeau or Berbudeau of Île d'Oléon, France, and Françoise Vrigneau of Plaisance, Newfoundland, probably at Louisbourg, Île Royale, in November 1742.  They settled at St.-Esprit, where Herbe worked as a fisherman.  Marie gave him at least five children:  Marguerite, born in c1743; François in c1744; Hervé in c1745; Jean in c1749; and Pierre in c1752.  A French official counted the family, sans Hervé, at St.-Esprit in February 1752.  In the household was a 14-year-old female servant from Louisbourg as well as three hired fishermen.  Herbe and Marie were living next to her parents, who evidently were dependent on them.   [See also Book Four]


Another Desroches family, probably not kin to the others, lived on Île St.-Pierre, a French-controlled island off the southern coast of Newfoundland.  Antoine Desroches, born in c1722, married Marguerite Desaleur.  Their son Antoine was born on Île St.-Pierre in c1774, after Le Grand Dérangement.  No member of this family emigrated to Louisiana. 


[For the family's travails during the Great Upheaval, see Book Six]


Basile, son of Julien DesRoches and Marie Arseneau of Malpèque, Île St.-Jean, came to Louisiana from Halifax via French St.-Domingue in 1765 probably with the family of Charles Savoie, his maternal uncle.  He followed them to Cabanocé/St.-Jacques on the river above New Orleans where 20 Acadians from Georgia had settled the year before.  Basile was counted with the Savoies on the left bank of the river at Cabanocé in 1766, age 12.  In 1777, still living on the left bank, he was serving as an engagé with the family of German Creole André Oubre.  The following year, at age 24, Basile married a young widow from another German Creole family.  They remained at St.-Jacques.  In 1801, in his late 40s, still at St.-Jacques, Basile remarried to another widow from the German Coast, but they did not remain on the river.


In the early 1800s, Basile DesRoches and his family moved from St.-Jacques to Bayou Lafourche, where his only son came of age and married.  The Acadian Deroches of South Louisiana are descended from Basile, his son Pierre, and Pierre's many sons:  

Descendants of Basile DEROCHE (c1755-?)

Basile, son of Julien DesRoches and Marie Arseneau, born probably at Malpèque, Île St.-Jean, in c1755, was orphaned at a very young age and raised by a maternal aunt, Judith Arseneau, who married Charles Savoie of Annapolis Royal.  Still a boy, Basile ended up in the prisoner-of-war camp on Georges Island in Halifax harbor during the early 1760s.  He came to Louisiana with the Savoies in 1765 and followed them to Cabanocé/St.-Jacques on the river, where he married German Creole Marie Edelmayre, widow of Louis ____lante, in September 1778.  Their daughters married into the Barbier and Boudreaux families.  Basile remarried to Marguerite, daughter of Mathurin Legant or Legau of St.-Jean-Baptiste des Allemands on the upper German Coast, at St.-Jacques in November 1801.  During the early antebellum period, he settled in Lafourche Interior Parish, down bayou from where Judith Arceneaux had resettled in the early 1790s, perhaps after her husband died. 

Pierre, by his father's first wife, born probably at St.-Jacques in the 1790s, married Pélagie, daughter of Joseph Baye and his Acadian wife Jeanne Marguerite Vincent, at the Thibodauxville church, Lafourche Interior Parish, in September 1821.  Their son Pierre Antoine, called Antoine, was born in Lafourche Interior Parish in January 1823, François in July 1830, Eusilien Omere in September 1835, Émile Théodule in August 1840, and Léonard Banon or Banon Léonard in October 1845.  They also had a son named Joseph and may have had a son named Florian.  Their daughter married into the Aucoin family.  Pierre's sons settled in Terrebonne Parish.  

Antoine married French Creole Marie Eve Trosclair in a civil ceremony in Terrebonne Parish in September 1848.  Their daughters married into the Bourg and Dantin families.  

Joseph married Marie Adeline, called Adeline, daughter of fellow Acadian Stanislas Boudreaux and his Creole wife Mélanie Fortunée Dupré, at the Houma church, Terrebonne Parish, in August 1854.  Their son Joseph Onésime was born in Terrebonne Parish in February 1858, Pierre Théodule in February 1860, and Jean Joseph Prosper near Montegut in January 1870. 

Florian married Spanish Creole Joséphine Rivas.  Their son Amédée Antoine, called Antoine, was born near Raceland, Lafourche Parish, in March 1855 but died at age 1 1/2 in September 1856.  

François married fellow Acadian Rosalie Boudreaux in a civil ceremony in Terrebonne Parish in June 1862.  Their son Jean Baptiste Osémé had been born in Terrebonne Parish in November 1861, Jean Olesipe was born in February 1864, and Victorin Pierre Joseph near Montegut in March 1869.  

Eusilien Omere married Scholastique Victoire Victorine, daughter of Jérôme Dupré and his Acadian wife Victoire Aucoin of Terrebonne Parish, at the Houma church, Terrebonne Parish, in June 1862. 

Banon Léonard married Armelise, daughter of fellow Acadians Leufroi Thibodeaux and Thersile Gautreaux, at the Montegut church, Terrebonne Parish, in February 1866. 


Frenchmen and perhaps a Spaniard with similar-sounding surnames lived in South Louisiana during the colonial and antebellum periods: 

Pierre-François De Roche or Deroche married Catherine-Josèphe Guichard.  Their son Thomas was baptized at New Orleans, age 4 months, in November 1733, and André was born at Pointe-Coupée in June 1737.  They also had a son named Simon, born at New Orleans.  Simon married Marguerite, daughter of Barthélémy Robert; she also was a native of New Orleans.  Their daughter Marguerite was born in the city in July 1795.  

Marianne, a former resident of Natchez, daughter of Evra Deroche and Marie Johanne of Alson, Diocese of Strasbourg, France, and widow of Jean Louis, married Mathurin Bouton at New Orleans in April 1741.  

Alexandre De Rochie drowned in Grand Prairie Coulee in the Opelousas District in January 1793.  

Marie Anne, daughter of André Deroche, Duroche, or Durocher, also called Castillian or Castillon, of New Orleans and Marguerite Trahan, evidently his second wife, married Florentin Janvier, son of Acadians Paul Dominique Boudreaux and Marie Olive Landry, at the Plattenville church, Assumption Parish, in June 1815.  Four years later, in February 1819, Marie Anne's half sister Geneviève, by André's first wife Julie Faivre, married François, fils, son of French Creole François Dubois and his Acadian wife Marie Madeleine Bertrand, at Plattenville.  In January 1820, André and Marguerite's son Joseph married Théotiste, daughter of Acadian Benjamin Hilaire Boudreaux and his Anglo-Creole wife Anne Elizabeth Ferguson and widow of Joseph Rochet, at Plattenville. 

Joseph Biu dit Desrocher married Anne Perron and was mentioned in her succession record, filed at the St. Martinville courthouse, St. Martin Parish, in November 1817. 

Toussaint, son of François Derocher or Desrochers and Marguerite St. Jean, married Ophelia Bergeron, probably a French Creole, not an Acadian, at the Plaquemine church, Iberville Parish, in December 1850.  Their son François had been born near Plaquemine in September 1850, and Oliver was born in March 1855.  Their daughters married into the Dwyer and Gilligmann families.  Toussaint remarried to Augustine, called Justine, daughter of Anglo American John Corbet, Corbey, or Colby, at the Plaquemine church in January 1857.  Their son Thomas was born near Plaquemine in May 1860, and Louis in November 1869. 

Bartholomé Castillon Deroche or Derochet, perhaps a Spanish Creole, died near New Iberia, then in St. Martin but now in Iberia Parish, in May 1860.  He was 59 years old.  The priest who recorded his burial did not give Bartholomé's parents' names or mention a wife.  Joseph Deroche or Derochet, perhaps Bartholomé's son, married French Creole Célestine Matherne.  Their daughter Mary was born near Franklin, St. Mary Parish, in October 1856, and son Bartholomé le jeune near New Iberia in July 1861.  

Pierre Derocher married Hyacinthe Bourgeois, perhaps an Acadian, and settled near Charenton, St. Mary Parish, on lower Bayou Teche, by the late 1860s. 

Charles Deroche married Carmelite Rodriguez.  Their son Ignace Barthélémy was born near Charenton, St. Mary Parish, in December 1869. 


Basile, son of Julien DesRoches and Marie Arseneau of Malpèque, Île St.-Jean, today's Prince Edward Island, came to Louisiana from Halifax via Cap-Français, French St.-Domingue, in 1765 as a 10-year-old orphan.  He followed relatives to Cabanocé/St.-Jacques on the river above New Orleans, where he married twice, both times to German-Creole widows.  During the early antebellum period, he took his family to Bayou Lafourche, where the family who raised him had settled.  Basile's only son Pierre created a family of his own.  Pierre's six married sons moved down bayou to Terrebonne Parish, some of them settling in the Montegut area at the edge of the coastal marshes, where they probably worked as trappers and fishermen.  All of the Acadian Deroches of South Louisiana, many of them still living in Terrebonne Parish, are descended from Basile, Pierre, and Pierre's many sons. 

Meanwhile, during the colonial period, French Creoles with similar-sounding surnames lived at New Orleans, Pointe Coupée, and on the Opelousas prairie.  During the late antebellum period, non-Acadian Deroches or Derochets lived on lower Bayou Teche; a Derocher family, perhaps Foreign French, lived in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes; and a Creole family named Durocher lived on upper Bayou Lafourche.  The numbers of these non-Acadian families, however, did not approach that of the Acadian Deroches down in Terrebonne Parish.  

No Deroche or Derocher appears as an owner on the slave schedules compiled by the federal census bureau in 1850 and 1860.  So these families participated only peripherally in the South's antebellum plantation economy. 

No descendant of Basile DesRoches appears in Louisiana or Confederate service records during the War of 1861-65.  However, four Desroches, either French Creoles or Foreign French, three of them probably brothers, do appear on Louisiana unit rosters.  ...

In Louisiana, the Acadian family's name evolved from DesRoches to Deroche.  The family's name also is spelled De Roche, Des Roches, Duracheor, Duroche, Durocher, Durochet.  [See Book Ten for the Acadian family's Louisiana "begats"]

Sources:  Arsenault, Généalogie, 1688, 2014, 2086, 2188, 2298, 2471; BRDR, vols. 1b, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives, 2A:9-10, 153; Hébert, D., South LA Records, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-A, 2-A, 6, 7, 8, 9; <>; NOAR, vols. 1, 5, 7; White, DGFA-1, 23, 25, 503-05; John DeRoche, collateral descendant.

Settlement Abbreviations 
(present-day civil parishes that existed in 1861 are in parenthesis; hyperlinks on the abbreviations take you to brief histories of each settlement):




Lafourche (Lafourche, Terrebonne)


Pointe Coupée




Natchitoches (Natchitoches)

SB San Bernardo (St. Bernard)


Attakapas (St. Martin, St. Mary, Lafayette, Vermilion)


San Luìs de Natchez (Concordia)


St.-Gabriel d'Iberville (Iberville)


Bayou des Écores (East Baton Rouge, West Feliciana)


New Orleans (Orleans)


St.-Jacques de Cabanocé (St. James)


Baton Rouge (East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge)


Opelousas (St. Landry, Calcasieu)

For a chronology of Acadian Arrivals in Louisiana, 1764-early 1800s, see Appendix.

The hyperlink attached to an individual's name is connected to a list of Acadian immigrants for a particular settlement and provides a different perspective on the refugee's place in family and community. 

Name Arrived Settled Profile
Basile DEROCHE 01 1765 StJ, Lf born c1755, probably Malpèque, Île St.-Jean; son of Julien DESROCHES & Marie ARCENEAUX; on list of Acadian prisoners at Halifax, Aug 1763, unnamed, with family of Charles SAVOIE?; arrived LA 1765, age 10, an orphan; in Cabanocé census, 1766, left [east] bank, an orphan, called Basile DES ROCHES, age 12, with family of Charles SAVOYE [his maternal uncle-in-law]; in Cabanocé census, 1769, left [east] bank, an orphan, called Bazille DEROCHE, age 14, with family of Charles SAVOY; in St.-Jacques census, 1777, left [east] bank, called Bazil DERROCHE, age 20, engagé with family of Andrée OUVRE [OUBRE]; married, age 24, (1)Marie EDELMAYER, widow of Louis ____lante, 16 Sep 1778, St.-Jacques; in St.-Jacques census, 1779, called Bazille DERROCHE, with 2 unnamed whites, 0 slaves, 6 qts. rice, 4 qts. corn; married, age 47, (2)Marguerite, daughter of Mathurin LEGANT or LEGAU & Marguerite CLAIRAUT of St.-Jean Baptiste des Allemands, & widow of Vital GOYAUX, 14 Nov 1801, St.-Jacques


01.  Wall of Names, 25, calls him Basil DESROCHES orphelin, & lists him with the family of Charles SAVOIE; Arsenault, Généalogie, 2471, the LA section, calls him Basile DESROCHES, gives his birth year, & says his parents probablement were Louis & Marguerite ARCENEAUX of Île St.-Jean; BRDR, 2:237, 274 (SJA-1, 49), the record of his first marriage record, calls him [Basil] DEROCHE, calls his parents Jullien [DE ROCHE] & Marguerite-Marie "illegible of Acadia," does not give his wife's parents' names, calls her first husband "Louis ... PLANTE," & says the witnesses to his marriage were Antoine ST. JACQUES & André HOUWER; BRDR, 2:237, 490 (SJA-2, 56), the record of his second marriage, calls him Basilio DE ROCHE, "widower of Marie EDLEMERE," calls his parents Julien [DE ROCHE] & Marie ARCENAUX of Acadia, gives his wife's parents' names & former husband's name, & says the witnesses to his marriage were Joseph Lucas de las LLANAS, Joseph BABIN, & Miguel Estevan JUTEAU.

For Basile's family at Malpèque, Île St.-Jean, counted in Aug 1752 a few years before his birth, see De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives, 2A:153.  De La Roque counted 3 of Basile's older brothers with his parents:  Julien, fils, age 7; Félix, age 5; & Joseph, age 2. 

Charles SAVOIE's wife was Judith ARCENEAUX, Basile's maternal aunt.  I am following Basile's marriage records, not Arsenault, for the identification of his parents.  Louis DESROCHES was the older brother of Basile's fater & also settled at Malpèque.  See De La Roque. 

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Copyright (c) 2007-17  Steven A. Cormier