||Pierre Pitre is an Acadian.|
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||Pierre Pitre lived in Louisiana.|
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NOTE: This biography originates (except for the preceding paragraph) from Wendy Pitre Roostan's website "The Pitre Trail from Acadia." Permission should be obtained for this use, and wholesale copy and paste is never recommended.
Pierre Pitre was born c.1699 at Port-Royal, Acadie, the first son and the third of eight children of Claude Pitre and Marie Anne Comeau. His mother died when he was about eight, and his father remarried about two and a half years later to Anne (Jeanne) Henry. Another eight siblings were added to the family over the next sixteen years.
A year after his youngest sister was born, 28-year-old Pierre in 1727 married Agathe Doucet, the 17-year-old daughter of Rene Doucet and Marie Broussard, in Port-Royal, now under British control and renamed Annapolis Royal.  A dispensation for a fourth degree of consanguinity was granted (shared great-great-grandparents). The baptism of their first child, Marguerite, was recorded 10 months later.
Known children of the marriage:
The Acadians had sworn a conditional oath of allegiance to King George II when the British had taken control at the end of the 1720s, which, to them, meant that they didn’t have to fight the French or the Indians, could leave when they wanted, were allowed to have priests and practice Catholicism. In wartime the reality was somewhat different, but for the next twenty years things were mostly peaceful.
About 25 years later, in 1752 at Chipoudy, about three years before the mass deportations of Acadians from Nova Scotia, Pierre Pitre was living with "his wife, 4 boys & 3 girls."
Also at Chipoudy were his widowed stepmother, Anne (Jeanne) Henry, with 2 children, and his half-brother Joseph Pitre and his family. Pierre was the only surviving son of Claude Pitre and his first wife, Marie Comeau. [Some of this is unlikely:] The family at this point probably consisted of Pierre 53, wife [[Doucet-1|Agathe Doucet,42, and children Marguerite 25, an unknown son [perhaps about 23 or perhaps about 10], Jean Baptiste 20, Marie 18, Pierre 16, Catherine 13, and Francois 6.
As the political situation continued to worsen, many Acadians sought refuge elsewhere, such as Quebec or Ile St. Jean. Pierre’s, like virtually every Acadian family, was split."
Pierre and his half-brothers Joseph and Charles avoided deportation, only to be faced with starvation and the elements, until they were captured or surrendered and imprisoned in Halifax for the duration of the war.
The Treaty of Paris, ratified 10 February 1763, freed the Acadians, finally allowing those detained in British territory to find ways to relocate to French soil. Pierre's brothers set out for Quebec. Others remained and worked for passage to French ports. Late in 1764, a 600+ group led by Joseph Broussard, dit Beausoleil, planned to sail to Santo Domingo, then to the Mississippi River and northward to Illinois country. Plague in the tropics proved too much for them. Only 193 arrived in Louisiana in February 1765 and about 200 more two months later. They never made it to Illinois. Because Pierre had been a prisoner at Halifax in 1763 (as had the Broussard group) and because of his settlement location and dates on record, it is most likely that he and other surviving members of his family came with the Broussard-led group. The refugees were supplied and helped to settle in the Attakapas and Opelousas areas.
As for his children:
- Marguerite’s fate is unknown. She may have died young, and the child mentioned in the census could have been another, unknown, sibling along with the unknown male.
- Son Jean Baptiste married c.1754 to Marie Anne Thibodeau and made his way to Quebec. Unfortunately both his wife and their two young daughters died there within a few years. He remarried in 1761 to Marie Anne Surette. Most of the Pitres in the Chateauguay, Quebec area trace their line back through him.
- Daughter Marie married Joseph Saulnier. It’s possible that he made his way with the Broussard-led group to St. James, Louisiana in 1765. Marie probably died before or during the trip, as Joseph appears in the September 1769 census of St. James with his 2nd wife of two years, Marie Landry, and no children old enough to have been Marie Pitre’s offspring.
- Son Pierre married Marguerite Bourg. Marguerite made it to Louisiana as well, where she remarried Charles Guilbeau in St. Martinville in 1775. If Pierre survived the trip I can find no evidence of any surviving offspring.
- Catherine and Francois appear with their father Pierre in the 1766 census of the Opelousas Post Territory. (No mention of wife Agathe Doucet.)
La Louisiane "region had been divided into two districts with military posts as headquarters: the Attakapas at St. Martinville and the Opelousas. It was here that Pierre is recorded living with his children Catherine & Francois in 1766. The only other Acadian groups to arrive in Louisiana at this time were twenty persons from New York, via Mobile, to New Orleans. They were settled in the St. John/St. James area in spring 1764. In late 1766-early 1767, Acadians from Maryland were settled in Cabannoce (St. James) and later Ascension.
The first Pitre entry that appears in the Louisiana church registers is the baptism of Pierre’s grandson on the 28th of April 1771 in Opelousas. He was born the 13th of December 1769 to Pierre’s son François and his wife Marie Josephe Thibodeau. It is unknown if Pierre lived to see his grandson baptized; his death is not recorded in the registers. But whatever the year of his death, through his son François, he is the ancestor of almost every Pitre found in the present-day parishes of St. Landry, Calcasieu, Evangeline, Allen, and Jefferson Davis."
- ↑ The Wall of Names at the Acadian Memorial, Wall of Names Committee; Jane G. Bulliard, Chair, (Opelousas, LA: Bodemuller, 2015) p. 23.
- ↑ Library and Archives Canada, Fonds de la paroisse catholique Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Port-Royal, N.-É.)-1870 C-1870 (image 108) https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c1870/108?r=0&s=5
- ↑ Nova Scotia Archives, "The Registers of St. Jean-Baptiste, Annapolis Royal, 1702-1755," ("St.-JB"), RG 1, vol. 26, p. 256, in An Acadian Parish Remembered, online image of transcription https://novascotia.ca/archives/acadian/archives.asp?ID=1163 Pierre Pitre and Agathe Doucet marriage 4 February 1727.
- ↑ St.-JB, RG 1, vol. 26a, p. 12, online image of transcription Marguerite Pitre baptism 27 November 1727
- ↑ "1752 Census" online at Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home, website of Lucie LeBlanc Consentino; the original census at Acadian Census microfilm C-2572 of the National Archives of Canada “Acadie Recensements 1671 – 1752”, Images 277-308.
- Chipoudy: Pierre Pitre with his wife, 4 boys & 3 girls.
- ↑ "Fort Halifax, List of Acadian Prisoners at Halifax, 12 August 1763" online at "Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home," website of Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.
- Joseph Pitre
- Charle Pitre
- Pier Pitre
- ↑ Institut Généalogique Drouin: Le Lafrance Burial Théotiste Pitre, 1757, Burial Isabelle Pitre, 1759, Burial Marie Anne Thibodeau, 1759
- ↑ Institut Généalogique Drouin: Le Lafrance Marriage Marie Anne Surette
- ↑ Wendy Pitre Roostan, "Pierre Pitre: From Acadia to Opelousas, 1699 Port Royal - after 1766 Louisiana," in The Pitre Trail from Acadia, accessed at http://www.pitretrail.com/
- Ancestry Family Tree: Rider/Deshotel Family
- Life of Pierre Pitre From Acadia to Opelousas by Wendy Pitre-Roostan ($)
- This biography originates (except for one paragraph) from Wendy Pitre Roostan's website "The Pitre Trail from Acadia."
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