Genealogists across the globe and particularly in Acadia have reason to celebrate. Champlain, the library at the University of Moncton, and the Center for Acadian Studies has recently acquired a large collection of documents from the National Archives of the United States.
The acquisition brings together over 4,000 microfilms, including immigration and census records dating from the nineteenth and twentieth century, as well as various U.S. states where the Acadians were present.
These documents come from five Record Groups (RG):
RG 15 - Department of Veterans Affairs
RG 29 - Census Bureau Records
RG 36 - US Customs Records
RG 85 - Immigration and Naturalization Service
RG 94 - Records of the Adjutant General's Office
A brief history: "Acadians" represent the migrating population from France in the 17th century, who settled in Acadia, what is now the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The name also refers to the Acadian communities which are now scattered about the world, in locales such as Canada, France, the United States, the Falkland Islands and around the Caribbean, united by their culture and genealogy.
With the acquisition of territory by the British crown, after decades of conflict with France, over 10,000 Acadians were taken prisoner and deported to British colonies, in both Britain and France.
In 1764, following the Treaty of Paris and the Seven Years War, many Acadians settled into Louisiana. The name Acadian became what is known in modern day America as ‘Cajun’, and was used as a pejorative term until it developed more cultural relevance. Some Acadians were allowed to resettle in Nova Scotia but they were forced to live in small groups and outside of the formerly colonized areas.