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

Chênet, Chenais, or Chesnay dit LA GARENNE



Louis Chênet, Chenais, or Chesnay dit La Garenne, son of Bertrand, Sieur de Lothainville and Élisabeth Aubert, born at Québec in August 1678, moved to Port-Royal and married Jeanne, daughter of Barnabé Martin and Jeanne Pelletret, in c1697.  They had two children, both born at Port-Royal:  Marie-Josèphe in c1698, and Jean in c1700.  Jeanne remarried to Gabriel, fils, son of Gabriel Samson and Françoise Durand, at Port-Royal in April 1704, so Louis dit La Garenne had died by then.  She followed her second husband to Port-Toulouse, Île Royale, today's Cape Breton Island, where she died in c1728.  Her daughter Marie-Josèphe Chênet dit La Garenne married Charles Charpentier at Port-Toulouse in c1723, and, in August 1739, remarried to Jean-François, son of Jean Morel and François Briand of St.-Malo, France, at St.-Pierre-du-Nord, the church for Havre-St.-Pierre on Île St.-Jean, today's Prince Edward Island.  In August 1752, a French official counted Marie-Josèphe, a widow again, and three of her Charpentier sons at Havre-St.-Pierre. 

Louis's son Jean took his father's dit, La Garenne, as his family name and married Anne, daughter of Jean Pothier and Marie-Madeleine Chiasson of Chignecto, at Havre-St.-Pierre in October 1728.  Jean and Anne raised seven or eight children on the island, all born there:  Jean-Baptiste in October 1732, Charles in September 1734, Claire in April 1736, Lange in May 1738 but died 10 months later, Joseph was born in May 1740, Geneviève in October 1744, Cécile in c1748, and Élisabeth in 1750.  In August 1752, a French official counted Jean, Anne, and five of their children at Havre-aux-Sauvages, on the coast west of Havre-St.-Pierre.  Jean's oldest son Jean-Baptiste married Anne-Hippolythe, daughter of fellow Acadians Paul Doiron and Marguerite Michel, either on Île St.-Jean in the late 1750s or in France in the early 1760s. 

[For more of this family in pre- and post-dispersal Acadia and Canada, see Book Three]


Another Chênet lived at Port-Royal.  Although he, too, came to Acadia from Canada, he probably was no kin to Louis Chênet dit La Garenne.  Pierre Chênet, sieur Dubreuil, born probably in France in c1646, took up with Marguerite, daughter of Jacques Boissel and Marie Héripel of Beaupré, Canada, and widow of Étienne Bouchard, probably at Québec in c1681.  She gave him a daughter, Marie-Madeleine, born at Québec in July 1682, who married Pierre, fils, son of Pierre Bourgoin and Catherine Basset, at Beauport, Canada, in January 1701.  Pierre was counted at Mégais, present-day Machias, Maine, in 1686.  He married Louise dite Jeanne, daughter of Acadians Pierre Doucet and Henriette Pelletret, in c1691 and served at Port-Royal as procureur du roi in the 1690s.  Pierre died at Port-Royal in c1700, in his late 40s.  Louise dite Jeanne gave him three children, two sons and a daughter, all born at Port-Royal.  Older son Pierre, fils, born in c1692, married Marie-Anne dit Jean, daughter of Jean Denis and Cécile Berteau, in c1724.  Their daughter Marie-Josèphe, born in c1725, married Augustin, son of Pierre Lejeune and Jeanne Benoit of Port-Royal and Pigiguit, probably at Pigiguit in the late 1740s.  They followed his family to Île St.-Jean in 1750 and settled at Bédec, on the southwest coast of the island, where a French official counted them with a year-old daughter in February 1752.  Sadly, during Le Grand Dérangement, Marie-Josèphe, Augustin, and their daughter, if she was still alive, perished aboard the British transport Duke William on its way to St.-Malo in December 1758.  Meanwhile, Pierre, père's younger son François, born in c1693, may have died young, as did his younger sister Marie, born in c1698.  Needless to say, no member of this family emigrated to Louisiana. 


François Chenay of d'Avranche, France, married to Lucie-Marie Voeline, served as notaire Royal Prevost général de la Baye Royal du Mont St.-Michel.  His son Joseph-Félix married Marie-Louise LeBreton, widow of _____ and René Pichot, at Louisbourg on Île Royale in September 1750.  There is no evidence that any member of this family emigrated to Louisiana. 


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


Jean-Baptiste La Garenne, age 55, and wife Anne-Hippolythe Doiron, age 46, crossed aboard Le Beaumont, the third of the Seven Ships of 1785, which reached New Orleans in August.  They followed the majority of the passengers from their ship to Baton Rouge.  They brought no children with them from France and had no children in Louisiana.  


Jean-Baptiste La Garenne was the only member of his family who emigrated to Louisiana, from France in 1785.  He was married and in his mid-50s when he reached the colony.  He and his wife brought no children to Louisiana and were too old to have any after they got there.  As a result, the Chênet dit La Garenne family of Annapolis Royal and Île St.-Jean did not take root in the Bayou State.

The family's name also is spelled Lagaranne, Lagarelle.  The Acadian Chênet dit La Garennes should not be confused with the French-Creole Chênets who lived at New Orleans, St.-Jean-Baptiste on the Upper German Coast, and St.-Jacques on the Acadian Coast during the colonial period, and in St. James, Ascension, and East Baton Rouge parishes during the antebellum period.  [See also Book Ten]

Sources:  Arsenault, Généalogie, 482-83, 2079, 2081, 2131; BRDR, vols. 2, 3; De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives 1905, 2A:137, 145, 161; Hébert, D., Acadians in Exile, 2, 74-75, 268, 272; <>; NOAR, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; <>, Family No. 4; Robichaux, Acadians in Châtellerault, 63; ; Robichaux, Acadians in Nantes, 37; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 495; White, DGFA-1, 339-41, 1057, 1129; White, DGFA-1 English, 227.

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
Jean-Baptiste CHÊNET dit LA GARENNE 01 Aug 1785 BR?, StJ? born 23 Oct 1732, Havre-St.-Pierre, baptized 11 Feb 1733, St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean; son of Jean CHÊNET dit LA GARENNE & Anne POTIER; at Havre-aux-Sauvages, Île St.-Jean, in Aug 1752, age 22[sic]; married Anne-Hippolythe, daughter of Paul DOIRON & Marguerite MICHEL, either Île St.-Jean or France; deported to France 1758, age 26; on list of Acadians at Nantes, France, Sep 1784, called Jean LA GARENNE, with wife Anne DOIRON & no children; sailed to LA on Le Beaumont, age 55; moved to St.-Jacques?; died by Aug 1788, when his wife was listed in St.-Jacques census as a widow


01.  Wall of Names, 33 (pl. 8L), calls him Jean-Baptiste LAGARENNE, & lists him with his wife & no children; Arsenault, Généalogie, 2081, profile for his father in the Île St.-Jean section, calls him Jean-Baptiste [CHESNAY dit LA GARENNE], says he was born in 1732 but gives no birthplace, says his father, Jean-Baptiste CHESNAY dit LA GARENNE, was born in 1700, son of Louis [CHENET or CHESNAY] & Jeanne MARTIN of Port-Royale, that his mother was Anne POITIER, daughter of Jean [POITIER] & Marie-Madeleine CHIASSON, that his parents were married 19 Oct 1728 at Port-Lajoie, Île St.-Jean, & that he was the oldest of his parents' 6 children, his siblings being Charles, born in 1734, Claire, born in 1736, Joseph, born in 1740, Geneviève, born in 1744, & Élizabeth, born in 1750; Hébert, D., Acadians in Exile, 268, his birth/baptismal record, calls him Jean-Baptiste LAGARENNE, gives his parents'  names, calling his father Jean, & says his godparents were Augustain GENET & Marie CHIASSON; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 34-35, calls him Jean-Baptiste LAGARENNE, laboureur, age 55, on the embarkation list, Juan Bautista LAGARINE, on the debarkation list, & Jean-Baptiste LAGRENNE, plowman, age 55, on the complete listing, & says he was in the 20th Family aboard Le Beaumont with his wife & no children.  See also De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives, 2A:145; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 495, 528.

Did he & his wife ever have children?  Did they go first to the Baton Rouge District with the majority of the passengers from Le Beaumont & then move downriver to St.-Jacques a couple of years later, or did they go from New Orleans straight to St.-Jacques?  Very few Acadians who came to LA in 1785 chose to settle at St.-Jacques because so little land in that oldest of Acadian settlements was still available.  See Appendix

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Copyright (c) 2007-17  Steven A. Cormier