My research on Nova Scotia DNA Links has uncovered some new and unexpected connections but none more unexpected than the following. While researching DNA links for Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (home of Captain James Knowles, see above) I started noting a number of matches to the le Jeune / lejeune (AKA Young) name. D’Entremont in his “Histoire du Cap-Sable, 1763”, states the first Lejeune (Pierre) plus his French wife and children arrived in Acadia before or during the time of Isaac de Razilly (1632-1635). Pierre Lejeune had a son, Pierre Lejeune dit Briard, who in 1689 was a fur trader in the Cape Sable region (near Barrington). This Pierre married a Mi’maw woman and his descendants settled in La Heve Nova Scotia (near Lunenburg). The family was dispersed following the fall of Louisbourg in 1758. One branch of the le Jeune / lejeune family moved to Little Bras d’Or, Cape Breton, NS and then (c 1820s) to Sandy Point, on the west coast of Newfoundland. Some of these later changed their name to Young (see: Family names of the Island of Newfoundland – Young and ).

I get over 50 DNA matches to the Lejeune name and Nova Scotia many leading back to Germain LeJeune (son of Pierre Lejeune dit Briard) born in Port Royal or Pisiguit, Acadia (inland from Halifax, see map below).

Acadian Genealogy Homepage; Definitions of Common Acadian Terms. |  Genealogy map, Genealogy, Canadian history

I also get a number of matches to Lejune, le June and Young from Sandy Point, Newfoundland but what is most interesting are the 68 of non name specific matches I get to Sandy Point. My Newell cousins also get a large number of matches to this town. What makes this unusual is that Sandy Point was a small (now abandoned), isolated, community on the opposite side of Newfoundland from where my relatives lived! However, in the 1700’s and 1800’s, Sandy Point was the commercial center of the West Coast of Newfoundland ( Sandy Point is described as having a small population of multi-cultural and multi-lingual residents including Mi’kmaq, English, Jersey, and French residents (Wiki). Searching my matches for sandy Point I find names like Picot, Messervey (Meserve), Renouf, leRoux and Lefillatre which are all names associated with the Channel Islands (Channel Islanders were early settlers of Conception Bay).

The Channel Island web Site provides the following info on LeJeune on the islands:

A Jersey Post stamp in the 1985 Huguenot Heritage series depicts Lord St Helier, born Francis Jeune, suggesting that his family was of French Huguenot refugee origin, and this is supported by the entry for his father in George Balleine‘s Biographical Dictionary of Jersey, which says that the family arrived in Jersey during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). This was the first wave of Huguenot refugees which followed the Massacre of St Bartholomew in 1572. However, the family name was known in Jersey in the late 13th century, long before the arrival of Huguenots. The name is also found in the Assize Roll of 1309.

It should be noted that the Jeune spelling of the name is more common than le Jeune on the Channel Islands with le Jeune identified as a variant (see: theislandwiki Web Site). I get two matches for the Jeune name on the Channel Islands, both with Marguerite Jeune born c 1660 at St Martin, Jersey, Channel Islands who married Jacques Messervy from Jersey. Marguerite and Jacques had a daughter Elizabeth Messervy born 1686 at St Martin, Jersey. Both trees have this Elizabeth marrying a Clement Noel from Jersey. In both cases the tree show this Clement as the father of  Clement Noel of Freshwater, Carbonear,  Newfoundland. Both of my Newell cousins have matches to the Jeune name on Jersey (most 18th Century) but one does have the same Marguerite Jeune. Peter Noel has a Clement (born 1714/15) son of Clement Noel and Elizabeth Messervy in his Noels of Newfoundland tree.

Further research uncovered more strong DNA connections to other French families in Nova Scotia including: Boutilier ,Langille, Melanson, Surette, le Blanc, Doiron, La Brun and Canol. The number of Nova Scotia linked DNA matches for many of these families exceeded those for New England families (e.g. Newell and Knowles) and in some cases matching my Newfoundland matches! Not long after conducting this research I found that ancestry had connected me to the Canadian Maritimes Acadians community!

Not all of these French families were part of the original (17th century) predominantly Catholic Acadian population. The Boutilier and Langille families were part of a group of French-speaking Protestants brought to Nova Scotia via Rotterdam in 1752 by a Dutch shipping agent named John Dick. These settlers were recorded as being from Montbéliard, a small city in eastern France 18 km from the Swiss border (80 km SW of Staufen). These families were part of a larger group of some 2,700 new settlers who arrived in Halifax between 1750-52, coming mostly from the Palatinate, Württemberg, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Switzerland and Montbéliard. The new arrivals spoke German, except those from Switzerland and Montbéliard, who spoke French (see The Foreign Protestants). The German names in this group included a Knihule from Wurtemberg, Germany.

In the 17th Century Montbéliard, a French speaking mainly Huguenot county was under the jurisdiction of the Lutheran Duke of Wurttemberg. The population of the city increased from 2000 inhabitants in 1590 to 3600 in 1618 due notably to the French Huguenots who had came to Montbéliard in the wake of the French Wars of Religion. After the transfer of Montbéliard to France in 1793 a combination of out migration of Protestants, in-migration of Catholics and conversions resulted in an increase in the Catholic population. In 1850, Catholics represented 10% of the overall Christian population, and by 1920, this number had gone up to 50%, to reach 85% today (Source: History SAINT-MARTIN” – MONTBÉLIARD).

There was also a Boutillier family, merchants who operated at Paspébiac, Gaspésie region of eastern Quebec in the early 1800s, who had connections to the Channel Islands ( see: Le Boutillier Brothers). The Boutilier spelling is mainly found in Nova Scotia while the Boutillier name is found in northern France and the Channel Islands. Interestingly, I have DNA links to both names as do my sister and cousins (see Table of matches below). I also get matches to the Butler name from Nova Scotia which may reflect Anglicization of one of the French names.

Memy SisterCousin 1Cousin 2
Butler (N.S.)12171112
Boutilier 69674238

One might expect that these protestant families from Montbéliard (Boutilier and Langille) might not mix with the earlier Acadian families (e.g. le Jeune); however, there is evidence to indicate that they eventually did.

On September 25, 1812, John Young [LeJeune] married Catherine Boutilier. Catherine was the daughter of Frederic Nicholas Boutilier; in 1807, Frederic Boutilier and his family relocated from Lunenburg County to Cape Breton County.  John Young was born at Petit Bras d’Or in 1793 to Charles “Joseph” LeJeune and Agathe LeJeune. Charles “Joseph” LeJeune was born on the Island of Miquelon in 1763, shortly after his family’s return to North America from La Rochelle, France. Charles “Joseph’s” parents, Joseph LeJeune and Martine LeRoy were deported from Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island) by the British following the fall of Louisbourg in 1758 ( ).

The Melanson family were early (1657) settlers that may have originally been French Huguenots or English or Scottish. By 1671, the Melansons were major landholders at Port Royal. Some members of this family moved to Boston.

Many of my Surette matches link to a Pierre Suret / Surette born in la Rochelle, France who moved to Port Royal. His son, Pierre Surette [jr] was born in Port-Royal in 1709 and married in Grand-Pre, September 30, 1732. After the Treaty of Paris in 1763, he was released from a prison in Halifax and settled in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia.

The Doiron family traces its roots back to Jean Doiron, born in France about 1649. He died between 28 April 1735 – 03 June 1736 at Ste-Famille de Pisiguit, Acadia. He married Marie Anne Canol c. 1671 (note see Ancestry DNA Results Part II, The Old World section for more background information on the Canol name and links to Knol). Circa 1710 Anne Le Blanc (see le Blanc name in matches) married Jean Doiron, son of Jean Doiron and Anne Marie Canol at Grand Pre. In 1740 Philippe Doiron married Ursule le June linking this family with le Jeune (above). The most famous member of this family was Noel Doiron who was born at Port RoyalAcadia in 1684 and lived most of his childhood at Pisiquid (present day Falmouth, 18 km from Grand Pré). By 1714, Doiron and his family were established in Noel, Nova Scotia. The Doiron family grew to include five sons and three daughters—one son died in Vila Noel before 1746.  Doiron and his family were deported in 1758 and died when the ship they were on sank about 20 leagues from the coast of France. 

I have 17 DNA matches to individuals with a Le Brun / Brun ancestor from Nova Scotia. May of these are also a match for my sister who has 50 Brun/LaBrun matches. Both my 3rd cousins who share a common Newell ancestor also have numerous matches to Beun/LeBrun. Brown, the English equivalent to Brun, is one of the most common surnames in English-speaking countries; however, Brun and Le Brun are less common. The Le Brun name and the anglicized version Brown are connected to other families investigated on this Web Site (see seperate page on this surname). For example:

  • Le Brun (later Brown) are names connected to early (pre 1800) settlers of Harbour Grace and Bonavista, Newfoundland. In the former case this family was likely connected to the Channel Islands (see Peter Noel’s research on this family).
  • The Newells and Knowles of Cape Cod, MA and southern Nova Scotia intermarried with several Browns.
  • Several branches of the Brown family of Scotland trace their roots to Le Brun ancestors who came to Scotland after 1066.
  • In 1784 a letter was sent from Paspébiac by Charles Robin & Co. to Captain John LeBrun. Paspébiac is in the Chaleur Bay area of the Gaspé Peninsula  and following the deportation in mid 1700s some 1000 Acadians headed to Chaleur Bay.  In 1864 Captain Edouard Le Brun, left Jersey early in the spring with a general cargo, and arrived at Paspébiac on the 12th May. This ship belonged to the Boutillier family, merchants who operated at Paspébiac (see earlier discussion of this family).
  • Many sources give Madeleine Lebrun as the mother of Marie-Anne Canol, Marie-Anne arrived in Port Royal in 1671 and married Jean Doiron.

Although I have no Noel matches that trace to early Noels in Acadia (N.S., N.B. or P.E.I.) there were some early Noels who settled in this area. The earliest was : Louis-Noël, called Noël, de Labauve or Labove married Marie, daughter of René Rimbault and Anne-Marie ____, in c1678.  De Meulles counted them at Minas in 1686 (see: ).

During 1697, the following seigneuries were granted in Acadia:..; Boissellery Noel, Cape St. Louis (Pictou) (see and at Cap-Louis to the Sieur de La Boissellery Noël (perhaps made earlier, in 1690) (see: In 1762, Chief John Newit (Noel) of Pictou signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship at Halifax and John Noel, a later Mi’kma Chief, was born at Pictou, N.S., on 3 May 1829.

Pierre Noel was born about 1725/1729 in Acadia or Paris?. He was exiled from Acadia and died 22 Aug 1765 in St-Servan, Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France.

In my discussion of Ancestry DNA links to Newfoundland I researched the family of William Freeman of Newfoundland. One possible branch of this family, the Freeman family of Placentia, Newfoundland, may be a link between the New England settlers, the Acadians and Newfoundland.

Placentia, Newfoundland was first settled by Basque and French fishermen in the 16th century but in 1711, a British fleet almost annihilated the French at Placentia. In 1713 the French abandoned their Placentia Bay settlements and migrate to Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Placentia became a British possession. Many of the French fishermen who had to abandon the fisheries in Placentia ended up at the fisheries in Isle Royale, otherwise known as Cape Breton Island (see Wiki).

In my research on William Freeman (see earlier discussion) I mapped out some key events related to the Freeman name including:

  • 1726 a Nat Freeman; Capt of Pelican from Rhode Is. was at Ferryland, Newfoundland;
  • May 1727 there is a reference to a “Nath. Freeman” in Colonial Office Records (CO 194/ 8) at Placentia (in the same set of records there is a petition from Merchants of Bideford and Barnstaples [UK] trading to Placentia signed by Richard Newel);
  • 1748 Isaac Freeman; Master Boston Privateer at St. John’s
  • 1757 Moses Freeman received a license for Public House at Placentia and was appointed Constable;
  • 1761 Elisha Freeman, moved his family to Liverpool Nova Scotia from Massachusetts;
  • 1762 Edward Freeman and Joseph Newell from Newfoundland travel to Boston (see earlier discussion);
  • 1766 Moses Freeman protested a tax on liquor at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia;
  • 1768 Moses Freeman was recorded as a resident of Louisbourg.

Channel Islanders may have also played a part in linking Placentia and Acadia. In the 18th century there were also a large number of settlers from the Channel Islands, at Placentia from which , Jerseyside, a prominent section of the town, derives its name (Wiki).  In a study of the “Anglo-Normans” [Channel Islanders] the author, Frenette, states that: from their base in Newfoundland, the Anglo-Normans moved quickly into the Gulf of St. Lawrence following Canada’s final cession to the English in 1763, taking advantage of their knowledge of French to form alliances with the Acadians.

There is one possible link between the Newell surname in Nova Scotia and the original Acadian settlers. In 1749 a James Newell arrived in Halifax on the ship Canning (one of the Cornwallis immigrant ships). In this record he is identified as a fisherman. In 1752 James Newal (spelling) was in hospital (Halifax Victualing Records 1753); in October 1754 he was married to Mary Pres at St. Paul’s in Halifax (note: there is a possibility that Pres is a reference to her religion not her last name); in October 1754 they had a daughter Ann; in March 1767 Mary Newall died (note spelling as recorded at St. Paul’s). At this point the trail on Halifax James goes cold which is one reason to suspect that he may have departed Halifax for other opportunities elsewhere. Many of the original Cornwallis immigrants moved on to New England. However, there was a James Newell, Captain of the schooner  Boscowan , which was used in the Acadian Expulsion of 1755. There is no evidence linking this James to the Halifax James and many of the ships used came from New England; however, someone who was a fisherman in 1749 might have become a Captain of a Schooner by 1755. The Boscawen commanded by James Newell (there was another ship with the same name) ran aground at Piziquid (Pisiquid present day Falmouth) and probably was not used. If this James was a relative it would be nice to assume that he ran aground intentionally.