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




Brothers Michel, born in c1705, and Pierre, born in c1708, sons of Jean Grossin and Pérrine Pétain of Carolles, Avranches, France, came to Île St.-Jean, today's Prince Edward Island, and settled at Havre-St.-Pierre, on the north shore of the island, in c1727.  Michel married Marie, daughter of Jean Caissie dit Roger and his second wife Cécile Hébert of Chignecto, probably at St.-Pierre-du-Nord, the church for Havre-St.-Pierre, in c1730.  Pierre married Cécile, another daughter of Jean Caissie dit Roger and and his second wife Cécile Hébert, at St.-Pierre-du-Nord in July 1733.  A French official counted both families at Étang-St.-Pierre, on the coast west of Havre-St.-Pierre, in August 1752. 

Michel and Marie raised a large family on the island:  Jean was born in September 1732; Marie-Louise, called Louise, in c1734; Marie in c1737; Jacques-Christophe in February 1738; Baptiste-Louis, called Louis, in August 1740; Henriette in September 1742; Michel, fils in c1745; Brigitte in c1748; Françoise in c1749; Modeste in c1751; and Robert was baptized, age unrecorded, in November 1755 but died at age 8 months in July 1756.  Oldest daughter Louise married Pierre, son of Jacques Quimine and Marie-Josèphe Chiasson of Chignecto, at St.-Pierre-du-Nord in February 1755. 

Pierre and Cécile also raised a large family on the island:  Michel le jeune was born in October 1734, Cécile in 1737, Madeleine in 1739, Anne in 1741, Jacques in August 1744, Marguerite in 1746, Rosalie in 1750, Pierre in c1751, Marie-Louise in 1754, and Louis in August 1756.  Michel le jeune married Marie-Josèphe, daughter of François Chiasson and Anne Doucet, at St.-Pierre-du-Nord in January 1758.  


In April 1752, a French official counted Marguerite Grossin, age 24, "native of the harbour of Fourché," at Baie-des-Espagnols on Île Royale, today's Cape Breton Island.  With her was husband Louis Commère, age 30, native of Île Scaterie, a fisherman, their son Thomas, age 18 months, and daughter Charlotte, age 4 days.  One wonders if Marguerite was kin to the Grossin brothers of Île St.-Jean. 


In April 1752, a French official counted Marie Grossin, age 29, "widow of the late Algrain, native of St. Servan," near St.-Malo, and her second cousin Jacques Cousin, a fisherman, native of St.-Martin-de-Vondé, bishopric of Bayeux, at Lorembec, Île Royale, near Louisbourg.  With them were three children:  Marie-Hauze, age 5; Pierre, age 2; and Julien, age 4 months.  One wonders if Marie was kin to Marguerite or to the Grossin brothers of Île St.-Jean.


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


Marie Grossin, age 49, husband Jean-Baptiste Dugas, also age 49, and their single surviving child, 11-year-old daughter Marie-Josèphe Dugas, came to Louisiana aboard Le Bon Papa, the first of the Seven Ships, which reached New Orleans in July 1785.  They followed the majority of their fellow passengers to Manchac, south of Baton Rouge.  A Spanish official counted them at Baton Rouge in 1788.  Marie and Jean-Baptiste had no more children in Louisiana.  Daughter Marie-Josèphe married into the Lebert family.  Marie died at Baton Rouge in July 1809, in her early 70s.


A non-Acadian Grossin came to Louisiana decades before her Acadian namesake arrived:

Pérrine, daughter of François Grossin and Marie Bouquet of St.-Sernan, near St.-Malo, France, married Jean, fils, surnamed Dubuisson, son of Jean Sergent of Boulogne, France, and widower of Marie Dubois, at New Orleans in February 1731.  Pérrine died at New Orleans, a widow, in June 1733.  The priest who recorded her burial did not say how old she was at the time of her death. 


Another non-Acadian Grossin lived, and died, in the old Attakapas District during the late antebellum period:

Eugènie Grossin, wife of Victor Maraist, died in St. Martin Parish in April 1865.  The priest who recorded her burial said that she was 64 years old when she died but did not give her parents' names. 


Marie Grossin was the only member of her family to emigrate to Louisiana, so the Acadian branch of the family did not take root in the Bayou State.  Daughter Marie-Josèphe Dugas and her husband, Pierre-Joseph Lebert, had no sons, but their only daughter, Lise Lebert, Marie Grossin's granddaughter, married Zéphirin, son of fellow Acadians Jacques Blanchard and Modeste-Aimée Bourg, in March 1813.  Zéphirin and Lise had many children, including at least six sons.  Zéphirin became a great planter, holding 66 slaves on his West Baton Rouge plantation in 1850.  So at least the blood of the hard-suffering Grossin family survived in the Bayou State.  The Grossins of South Louisiana today are descendants of French Creoles or Foreign French, not Acadians. 

The family's name also is spelled Grosaint, Grossein.  [See also Book Ten]

Sources:  Arsenault, Généalogie, 2011, 2096; BRDR, vol. 3; De La Roque "Tour of Inspection" Canadian Archives 1905, 2A:49, 72, source of quotations, 144; NOAR, vol. 1; Hébert, D., Acadians in Exile, 169-70, 586, 592-94; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 6-7, 102-03; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, vol. 7; <>; <>, Family Nos. 90, 95, 157, 182; Robichaux, Acadians in St.-Malo, 37-38, 83, 370-76, 512, 1045; Robichaux, Acadians in Nantes, 61; White, DGFA-1, 306-07.  

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
Marie GROSSIN 01 Jul 1785 StG, BR born c1737, Havre-St.-Pierre, Île St.-Jean; daughter of Michel GROSSIN & Marie CAISSIE dit ROGER; at Étang-St.-Pierre, Île St.-Jean, Aug 1752, age 16; deported from Île St.-Jean to St.-Malo, France, aboard one of the Five Ships 25 Nov 1758, arrived St.-Malo 23 Jan 1759, age 22; married, age 31, Jean-Baptiste, son of Charles DUGAS & Marie BENOIT, 9 Feb 1768, St.-Servan, France; in Poitou, France, 1773-75; in Second Convoy from Châtellerault to Nantes, France, Nov 1775; on list of Acadians at Nantes, Sep 1784, called Marie GROSSIN, with husband, 1 unnamed daughter, & 1 unnamed orphan; sailed to LA on Le Bon Papa, age 43[sic], called Marie CLAUSINET/CLOSINET/CLOSSINET[sic]; on list of Acadians at Baton Rouge, 1788, unnamed, with husband & 1 child; died [buried] Baton Rouge 12 Jul 1809, age 70[sic]


01.  Wall of Names, 27 (pl. 6R), calls her Marie GROSSIN, & lists her with her husband, 1 daughter, & 1 minor; <>, Family No. 90, calls her Marie GROSSIN, & shows that she, her mother, & most of her 6 siblings survived the crossing to St.-Malo in 1758-59, but her father, no age given, & 2 siblings did not survive--brother Jacques, age 20, died in the hospital at Paramé, near St.-Malo, 4 Apr 1759, & sister Francoise, age 9, died in the same hospital 3 days later; Robichaux, Acadians in St.-Malo, 1045, her marriage record, calls her Marie GROSSIN, gives her parents' names, calls her husband Jean DUGAS, gives his parents' names, says that both fathers were deceased at the time of the marriage, & says the witnesses to their marriage were Pierre DUGAS (brother of the groom), Antoine DUGAS (brother of the groom), Pierre QUIMINE (brother-in-law of the bride), & Paul PATRIS, none of whom signed; Robichaux, Acadians in Nantes, 61, Family No. 113, calls her Marie GROSSIN, says she was born c1736, gives her parents' names, her marriage information, including her husband's parents' names, information about their participation in the failed Grand Ligne venture in Poitou, & the birth/baptismal/burial records of 2 of her sons--Étienne DUGAS, baptized at St.-Similien, Nantes, 27 Dec 1775, & buried at St.-Similien 22 Mar 1778, & Jean-Baptiste DUGAS, died at age 9, buried 26 Apr 1781, St.-Martin, Chantenay, but says nothing of her going to LA in 1785; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 6-7, calls her Marie CLAUSINET, sa [Jean-Bte DUGAT's] femme, age 43, on the embarkation list, Maria CLOSINET, su [Juan Baptista DUGATS's] muger, on the debarkation list, & Marie CLOSSINET, his [Jean-Baptiste DUGAT's] wife, age 43, on the complete listing, & says she was in the 15th Family aboard Le Bon Papa with her husband, 1 daughter, & 1 minor; <>, calls her Marie CLOSSINET, wife [of Jean-Baptiste DUGAS], age 43; BRDR, 3:284 (SJO-4, 47), her death/burial record, calls her Marie GROS SAINST, "spouse of Juan Bautista DUGAS, age 70 yrs., nat. St. John Island," but does not give her parents' names.  See also De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives, 2A:144; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 497, 527.

I maintain that the younger Jean-Baptiste DUGAS on Le Bon Papa (he was age 49 & a journalier, or workman; an older Jean-Baptiste DUGAS was age 66 & a carpenter), son of Charles DUGAS & Marie BENOIT, married Marie GROSSIN, not Marie CLOSSINET.  Consult the information in the Robichaux volumes on the Acadians in France, the 1784 listing at Nantes in Voorhies, J., the listing in Wall of Names, & Marie DUGAS's marriage record in BRDR, 2:258 (SJO-3, 4), which calls her mother Maria GROSAINT.  I have found no Jean-Baptiste DUGAS in France married to a Marie CLOSSINET.  Why the French & Spanish record keepers for the 7 Ships passengers called her Marie CLAUSINET/CLOSINET & not Marie GROSSIN I cannot say.  A Marie CLOSSINET did sail from France to LA aboard one of the 7 Ships, Le Beaumont, but she was married to Charles COMEAUX, not Jean-Baptiste DUGAS.  See Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 32-33.

If so many GROSSINs survived the crossing to St.-Malo in 1758-59, why did only 1 of them end up in LA?  See <>, Family No. 95, for the family of Pierre GROSSIN, which lost only 2 of 9 children in the crossing.  My guess is that many of them married Frenchmen or Frenchwomen, who refused to leave the homeland. 

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Copyright (c) 2007-16  Steven A. Cormier