Jean (Prejean) Préjean

Jean (Prejean) Préjean (abt. 1651 - 1733)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Jean Préjean formerly Prejean
Born about in Bretagne, Francemap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1683 in Port Royale, Acadiemap
Descendants descendants
Died in Annapolis Royal, Acadie, Colony of Nova Scotiamap
Profile last modified 11 Feb 2020 | Created 9 Aug 2009
This page has been accessed 3,202 times.
The Acadian flag.
Jean (Prejean) Préjean is an Acadian.
Join: Acadians Project
Discuss: ACADIA



NOTICE: this profile is protected by the Acadian Project because of frequent duplication, variant name spellings and attempts to add unsourced parents. Please contact the Acadian Project before making any substantive changes. Thanks for helping make WikiTree the best site for accurate information.

Flag of France
Jean (Prejean) Préjean migrated from France to Acadia.
Flag of Acadia
Jean PRÉJEAN called Le Breton is the Ancestral Father of all Acadian & Cajun Prejeans in North America. He was born around 1651[1] His nickname suggests that he was from Britanny France.
Jean likely arrived in Acadia after 1671 (He was not listed in the 1671 Census). Around 1683 he married Andree Savoie, daughter of François Savoie and Catherine Lejeune. Their marriage may have taken place in Port Royal (Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada) as Andree lived there as early as 1671.[1]
The couple settled in Port Royal, and their family is found in the Acadian census between 1686 and 1701 (See details in sources below). According to Stephen White[1] the couple had 12 children between about 1684 and 1711: Marie, Anne, Pierre the elder, Jean-Baptiste, Francois, Madeleine, Joseph, Marie-Josephe, Nicolas, Charles, Pierre the younger, and Honore. The family would likely have lived in a house built of wood, clay, and straw, with a large common space, partitioned sleeping areas, and a loft. The base of the hearth would have projected to the exterior of the house, providing some warmth for the animals.[2] By 1707, the family's homestead was located on the north side of the Dauphin River (Annapolis River) which was 26.6 km (16.5 miles) east of the fort (near today's Paradise NS, east of Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal NS) .[3]
The family farm appreared to prosper. In 1686 the family had only 1 hog and 1 arpent[4] of their land was cultivated. Over time the size of their cultivated land increased (14 arpents) as did the size of their stock ( 17 cattle, 19 sheep, 5 hogs) and number of fruit trees (60). In 1703, there is a record of Jean and Andree selling land to their nephew Jacques Levron. [1]
According to the reports of officials throughout the 1600s,[5] [6][7] the land was very fertile and there was an abundance of fresh food. In 1699, Villebon wrote:
“It is more than 60 years since Port Royal was founded and the work of clearing the land and the marshes began. The latter have, up to the present time, been very productive, yielding each year a quantity of grain, such as corn, wheat, rye, peas and oats, not only for the maintenance of families living there but for sale and transportation to other parts of the country.
Flax and hemp, also, grow extremely well, and some of the settlers of that region use only the linen, made by themselves, for domestic purposes. The wool of the sheep they raise is very good and the clothing worn by the majority of the men and women is made of it.
Port Royal is a little Normandy for apples... [Several] varieties of apple tree are found at Port Royal, and russet pears. There are other varieties of pears, and cherries… There is an abundance of vegetables for food... cabbage, beets, onions, carrots, chives, shallots, turnips, parsnip, and all sorts of salads; they grow perfectly and are not expensive. Fine green peas… Beef…The sheep are very large… suckling pig… Hens, cocks, capons, pullets, tame geese... Eggs, butter... These are the things which can be obtained from them for food. They are hunters... hare and partridge are very numerous ...there are also wild fowl."[7]
Although the family appeared to prosper, their lives were likely affected by the conflict between the French and the British. Around the time that their second child Anne was born in 1687, King William's War (1689-1697) with France began. The family would have felt its effects in May 1690 when Sir William Phipps[8] captured Port Royal, destroyed the church, plundered the settlement, and forced the inhabitants to swear an oath of allegiance to the English crown. Charles La Tourasse, a former sergeant of the French garrison, was appointed to serve as English commandant and leader of a council to keep the peace and to administer justice.[9] Phipps left Port-Royal within only 12 days of his arrival. Before the end of the summer, seaman from two ships looted Port-Royal and burned and looted between 28 and 35 homes and habitations including the parish church. There was another raid in 1693.[6]
Unlike some Acadians, who were convinced to move by the raid and the lure of available land in the newer villages, the Prejean family stayed in Port-Royal throughout the conflicts. An English garrison was never established, possibly because the inhabitants refused to guarantee that the Indians would not attack if one was formed.[9] Dunn describes the feelings of the residents during this unsettling time:
"Throughout this period of nominal English rule, French and English vessels anchored at Port-Royal at will, contributing to a sense of unease among the residents. New England vessels came to trade, to check on the inhabitants, and to take French prizes. When the English were not around, French privateers operated out of the port, attracting local young men as crew with the promise of plunder, and outfitting the ships from local suppliers... Port-Royal residents did not always appreciate the presence of the French privateers."[6].
By 1697 the Treaty of Ryswick restored Acadia to France, and Port-Royal became its capital[6] Peace would be shortlived; around the time of the birth of daughter Marie-Joseph, Queen Anne's war started in 1702. Port Royal would be blockaded in 1704, attacked in 1707, and surrendered to the British in 1710 following a siege.
By the time their youngest son Honore was 2 (1713), Acadia would become British permanently. With the succession of a new English King in 1714, the inhabitants were required to swear an oath of allegiance.[10] Delegates from Port-Royal signed a conditional oath of allegiance, promising to stay true to the King of Great Britain for as long as they stayed in Nova Scotia, and to remain neutral in the event of a conflict between France and Great Britain.
For the next two decades, Jean would live during a time of relative growth and prosperity. He died in his 80s about 5 Jun 1733 in Port Royal and was buried there 6 Jun 1733. [1] Present at his burial were: Charles PRÉJEAN, his son; René MARTIN; Francois ROBICHAUD; Claude GRANGER; and others.


b1605 First Nations Peoples occupy the region around the Te'wapskik (Mi'kmaq name for Dauphin/Annapolis River) for thousands of years using it as an overland route[6]
1605 French found first permanent European settlement in North America, north of St. Augustin Florida, and build the Port-Royal Habitation in Acadia.[6]
1613 Virginia English Admiral burns the Port-Royal Habitation, starting a 150 year battle between the French and English in the area. The French continue to maintain a presence[6]
1629 Scots establish a settlement further upriver near present day Fort Anne[6]
1632 Treaty Saint-Germain-en-Laye cedes Acadia to France; Razilly brings ~300 elite men[11]
1636 D'Aulnay brings the first French families to settle permanently[12][6]
1636 Arrival of he first French families to settle permanantly in Acadia[12]
c1651 Birth of Jean Prejean in France, likely Brittainy
1654 British capture Port-Royal; French settlement ceases[13]
1667-70 Treaty of Breda cedes Acadia to the French; settlement resumes[14]
After 1671 Jean Prejean arrives in Acadia
c1683 Marriage to Andree Savoie, likely in Port Roya
c1684 Birth of daughter Marie
1686 Residence, Port Royal
c1687 Birth of daughter Anne
1687 War of the League of Augsburg (King William’s War) starts between England and France[10]
c1690 Birth of son Pierre the elder
1690 Phipps captures and sacks Port-Royal, coerces inhabitants' oaths of allegiance to English Crown, sets up local Peacekeeping Council and leaves within 12 days.[8][15][9] Seaman from two ships later loot and burn between 28 and 35 homes/habitations including the parish church.[6]
c1692 Birth of son Jean-Baptiste
1693, Residence Port Royal
1693 Port-Royal raid with looting and burning.[6]
c1695 Birth of son Francois
1697 Treaty of Ryswick restores Acadia to France; Port-Royal is its capital[6]
c1697 Birth of daughter Madeleine
1698 Residence, Port Royal
1700-1701 Residence, Port Royal
c1695 Birth of son Joseph
1702 War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War) starts between England and France[6]
1703 Birth of daughter Marie-Josephe in Port Royal
1703 Residence, Port Royal
c1704 Birth of son Nicolas in Port Royal
1704 Blockade of Port Royal; no destruction of houses but some inhabitants taken prisoner[6]
c1706 Birth of son Charles in Port Royal
1707 Attack on Port-Royal; burning and pillaging[6]
c1708 Birth of son Pierre the younger in Port Royal
1710 Siege of Port-Royal; French surrender the Fort. Port-Royal, Acadia becomes Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia[6]
c1711 Birth of son Honore in Port Royal
1713 Treaty of Utrecht. France cedes Acadia to England. Permanent British rule. [16]
1714-15 New English King requires oaths of allegiance.[10] Delegates from Port-Royal sign a conditional oath of allegiance, promising to stay true to the King of Great Britain for as long as they stayed in Nova Scotia, and to remain neutral in the event of a conflict between France and Great Britain
1720 and onward Acadians refuse to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance. This is tolerated by the British as they lack military means to enforce the oath.[17]
1713-1744 Golden Age[18] of Acadian Growth and Prosperity”
1733 Death in Port Royal (Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia)


Note about subsequent generations [citation needed]
A "public member story" attributed to "aliceannaa1" Original posting location unknown, imported via GEDCOM "Jamie 2010_2010-04-10.ged." Note said "Added by ldonahue49 on 6 Jun 2008. Originally submitted by aliceannaa1 to Domingue Family Tree on 12 Feb 2008."
Subsequent generations of Pioneer Jean & Andrée resided in Port Royal (Annapolis Royal): Joseph C. & his family, and Joseph II (m. Marguerite Durel) & his family). The Prejeans relocated to what they thought was French territory when the British invaded Port Royal. Afterwards they became prisoners. After the Treaty of Paris in 1765, eight Prejean families secretly chartered British vessels and fled to Santo Domingo, leaving in late November or early December 1765. Some Prejeans who came to Louisiana arrived in the autumn of 1765 and were given land grants at St. James on the west side of the Mississippi.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes"; Stephen A. White; 2 vols., Moncton, New Brunswick: Centre d'Études Acadiennes, 1999; pp.1351-1352 & 1457.
  2. Daigle, Jean. ‘Un pays qui n’est pas fait’, p61-77. In Phillip A. Buckner and John G. Reid. The Atlantic Region to Confederation. A History. University of Toronto Press, 1994,; p65 (Native and French relations); p 70 (seigneury); p75 (health); 75-76 (population growth, housing).
  3. 1707 homestead location of Jean Prejean. In Au Coeur de l'Acadie Acadian Settlement on the Annapolis River 1707 Map Parks Canada
  4. Statistics Canada defines an arpent as 0.845 acres. According to Clark (see reference page 87), "The arpent was a basic French unit of land measurement, both linear and areal, but its size at the time is uncertain. In length, 200 feet may be a rough equivalent for an arpent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; it was later standardized to 192 feet. An areal arpent may have been something less than an acre (the usual equivalent was .845 acres) although it has been given the equivalent of as much as an acre and a half in some twentieth century definitions."
  5. Clark, Andrew Hill, Acadia: The Geography of Early Nova Scotia to 1760. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968, p 85-6 (1606/7 Lescarbot's description of productive farming and husbandry on the shores of present-day Annapolis Basin; p 87 (arpent of land); p 88-89 (role of women in the success of agriculture).
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 Dunn, Brenda. A History of Port Royal / Annapolis Royal 1605-1800. Nimbus Publishing, p vii,ix,1-12 (early European settlement); p13 (1629 Food abundance Scottish settlement); p32 (Church and School 1686));p 40,43 (1693 PR raid); p44-45 (1697 Treaty of Ryswick); p52-53(1702 Queen Anne’s War); p61-62 (Blockade of PR); p 71-73(1707 Attack on PR); p82-85(1710 Siege of PR).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Webster, John Clarence. Acadia at the end of the Seventeenth Century. Letters, Journals, and Memoirs of Joseph Robineau de Villebon, Commandant in Acadia 1690-1700. Saint John NB: The New Brunswick Museum, 1934. p 128 (Port Royal 1699 agricultural produce; clothing wool and linen)
  8. 8.0 8.1 C.P.Stacey, “PHIPS, SIR WILLIAM,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003, accessed November 20, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 C.Bruce Fergusson,“LA TOURASSE, CHARLES,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003, accessed November 20, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Griffiths, Naomi E.S., From migrant to Acadian : a North-American border people, 1604-1755, Montreal (Québec), McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005, p147-151 (King William’s War); p 267-268 (oaths of allegiance)
  11. George MacBeath, Biography – RAZILLY, ISAAC DE – Volume I (1000-1700) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed November 20
  12. 12.0 12.1 Massignon, Geneviève. "Les parlers français d'Acadie, enquête linguistique", Librairie Klincksieck, Paris, 1962, 2 tomes, p32 first French families in Acadia.
  13. William I. Roberts, 3rd, “SEDGWICK, ROBERT,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed November 20, 2013
  14. In collaboration, “MORILLON DU BOURG,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed November 20, 2013
  15. Biography of William Phipps
  16. The Neutrality: Political Context, in 1755 l'Histoire et les Histoires, University of Moncton
  17. The Neutrality, 1755 Histoire et Les Histoires, University of Moncton
  18. Griffiths, Naomie E.S. The Contexts of Acadian History 1686-1784.Published for the Center for Canadian Studies Mount Allison University, Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1992, p61 (golden age);
NOTE: originals of the censuses may be viewed here:
  • 1686 Acadian census at Port Royal, Acadia: Jean PRIJEAN 35, Andree SAVOYE 21; child: Marie 2; 2 guns, 1 arpent, 1 hog.
  • 1693 Acadian census atPort Royal, Acadia: Jean BRIGEAU 42, Andree his wife 26, Marie 9, Anne 6, Pierre 3, Jean Baptiste 1; 6 cattle, 8 sheep, 5 hogs, 14 arpents, 1 gun.
  • 1698 Acadian census at Port Royal, Acadia: Jean PREJAN 47; Andree SAVOIE (wife) 31; Marie 14; Anne 11, Pierre 9; Jean 7; Francois 3; Madeleine 1; 17 cattle, 19 sheep, 5 hogs, 8 arpents, 60 fruit trees.
  • 1700 Acadian census at Port Royal, Acadia: Jean BRIGEAU 49; Andree (wife) 33; Pierre 10; Jean-Baptiste 8; Marie 16; Anne 14; 7 cattle 6 sheep, 14 arpents, 1 gun.
  • 1701 Acadian census at Port Royal, Acadia: Jean PREJAN 52, Andree SAVOYE (wife) 35; Pierre 12, Jean 10, Francois 8, Joseph 5, Marie 17 Anne 14, Magdeleine 3; 1 gun 16 cattle, 10 sheep, 12 hogs, 3 arpents.
  • 1703 Acadian census at Port Royal, Acadia: Jean PRIJAN [Prejean], his wife, 4 boys, 3 girls, 1arms bearer.
  • 1714' Acadian Census, at Port-Royal, Acadie. The two eldest daughters Marie and Anne were married by 1714. The 8 sons are Pierre L'Aine, Jean Baptiste, François, Joseph, Nicolas, Charles, Pierre le Cadet and Honoré. The original census can be found at Acadian Census microfilm C-2572 of the National Archives of Canada “Acadie Recensements 1671 – 1752”, Images 239
LE BRETON and wife, 8 sons, 2 daughters.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Jean by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Jean:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 4

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Source cited. Thank you Jacqueline for your eagle eye!
posted by Annette Cormier
Would a PM please define the cited source MASSIGNON.
posted by Jacqueline Girouard
He is most likely on the 1714 census as "Le BRETON and his wife, 8 sons, 2 daughters." Stephen A. White does call him Jean Prejean dit Le Breton. It does fit the characteristics of his family (many sons, few daughters)
posted by Donna (Friebel) Storz
I removed the parents of Jean Prejean pending further evidence.
posted by Annette Cormier

Jean is 12 degrees from Greg Clarke, 16 degrees from George Hull and 17 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

P  >  Prejean  >  Jean (Prejean) Préjean

Categories: Acadians | Port-Royal, Acadie | Collaborative Profile of the Week