Jean was born in 1711.
Jean Pitre ... He passed away in 1758.
Jean-Baptiste Pitre was born in January of 1711 at Port Royal, Acadia, the second son of François Pitre and Anne Préjean. He was born into a period of relative stability within the colony and his parents remained in Port Royal throughout his childhood. Shortly before his 15th birthday his father died. This left his 19-year-old brother Antoine as the senior male in the family with Jean Baptiste undoubtedly inheriting more responsibility as well. Antoine married about 1731 and their mother Anne Préjean remarried to widower Michel Boudrot in April of 1732.
Around 1733 Jean-Baptiste married Cécile Boudrot, the daughter of his mother’s new husband Michel Boudrot and his first wife Cecile Leblanc. The Boudrots were from Grand Pré which would explain the first two of Jean-Baptiste and Cécile’s children being born at Grand Pré. But by 1737 they were back at Port Royal. Relations with the English were becoming more difficult so Jean-Baptiste like many others sought less contentious areas in which to live. By about 1740 they had moved to Beaubassin where they remained through the birth of their last child, Isidore, in 1754.
The British were determined to gain control of this strategic area and that meant removing the Acadians. Rumors of deportations began to circulate amongst the colony. Many Acadians had already sought refuge on Ile St. Jean, now hundreds more took to the woods of Nova Scotia.
Jean-Baptiste’s family now consisted of himself and Cécile, both in their forties, their 20-year-old daughter Marie Josephe Agathe, 19-year-old Michel, 14-year-old Marie Louise, 10-year-old Anne, 8-year-old Joseph, 7-year-old François Mathurin, 4-year-old Jean, 2-year-old Jean-Baptiste and infant Isidore. They, along with hundreds of other Acadians, sought refuge in the woods around the Memramcook, Chipoudy and Petitcodiac Rivers. Missionary François Le Guerne and Captain Charles Deschamps de Boishebert of the French colonial regulars provided a lifeline of supplies and helped to organize resistance. It was not enough. The British were becoming more determined to rid themselves of the Acadians, and the Acadians were suffering from exhaustion and starvation. Jean-Baptiste moved his family up to Miramichi around 1757 and followed the French troops on to Québec City.
Québec was no better for the refugees. With few supplies and a severe famine, many were easily felled by a smallpox epidemic. Within a seven month period five of the family died from smallpox: eight-year-old Jean died 8th May 1758, his father Jean-Baptiste on 8th June, six-year-old Jean-Baptiste on 11th June, 14-year-old Anne on 12th June, and 4-year-old Isidore on 21st December.
The Acadian refugees, including widowed Cécile Boudrot, began to look elsewhere for a home and refuge. Remote and sustainable, Nicolet seemed to be the answer. Eldest son Michel had married Marie Josephe Orillon in May of 1759 at Notre Dame, Québec. They settled at Bécancour initially but were at Nicolet by 1762. Daughter Marie Josephe Agathe Pitre married Jean-Baptiste Desfosses in September 1760 at Nicolet, followed a month later by her sister Marie Louise to Gabriel Cottret. Lastly, Joseph married Marie Antoinette Lupien in June 1770 at Nicolet. François Mathurin became a priest, lived to the age of 82 and was buried at Nicolet.
Cécile Boudrot remarried to widower Pierre Pellerin in November of 1762 at Ste. Croix in Lotbinière but was again widowed, living out her old age in Nicolet. Though the burial register gives her age at death as 104 years and one month she was probably about 97 when she died. After spending eighteen days in bed after a fall, during which she was willing to drink ‘only a little water and two shots of rum’, she died. Reports described her as ‘strong, lucid and courageous’.
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