Love Story

Just a lovely comment by Carol Valentine…

By the way, many of my direct grand-parents lived in the Acadian House.  Anastasie Hebert who married John Smith; also Landrys, LeBlancs, and several others.  

Pierre, if you follow Julienne Lareau back on my family tree, you will see quite a lot of information under John Smith/Anastasie Hebert.  

Now here’s the part I find quite ironic-my father Robert I. Valentine (1926-1996) grew up in Bristol, CT, but knew next to nothing of his French-Canadian heritage (apart from speaking French with his relatives), yet somehow he decided to move away from Bristol, and raise his family within walking distance of the Acadian House in Guilford, which I would often walk by when I was a girl.  

And, compounding the irony, the descendants of those same families, who had spent 17 years in forced exile in Connecticut, would one hundred years’ later immigrate back to Connecticut to settle in Bristol!  

I have often wondered about the experiences of these folks.  Two of the French women in Guilford married two of the Smith Brothers, who were steadfast puritan sons of the New Haven Colony’s founding fathers, and yet somehow these fine French women managed to drag their Puritan husbands back to Canada with them just as soon as they were able to go, and then quickly converted their mates into Roman Catholics!   

Strange tales-Strange trails!  

-Carol Valentine


9 thoughts on “Love Story

  1. Pierre,

    You sent me a photo of the gravestone for my 2nd Great-Grand parents from Bristol, Jean-Baptiste Landry and Julienne Lareau.

    Both of these grandparents are descendents of progenititors Jacques Menard (Maynard) and Catherine Forestier.
    I descend from Jacques Menard’s son Maurice Menard’s children on both sides.
    Jean-Baptiste Landry descends from Maurice Menard’s daughter, Marguerite Menard, and Julienne Lareau descends from Maurice Menard’s son, Antoine Montour Menard.

    Small gene pool-everyone’s a cousin!

  2. I recently discovered I descended from John and Anastasie via my Remillard line (their daughter Cecile married Louis Marie Remillard). In another small world circumstance, I live in the next town over. I’m a cyclist and for over two decades rode past the Acadian House in Guilford, never giving it much thought. Needless to say, I now often wonder what stories that home can tell.

    There’s a certain poetic justice to John and Anastasie’s story, and there’s something to be said about the type of men the Smith brothers were, leaving their lives in the British colonies with their Acadian brides for a land and culture no doubt foreign to them. In another twist, John’s maternal grandmother was Mary Forbes, who I believe was the sister of Captain Samuel Forbes, the shipbuilder who captained the ship that brought the Hebert family to CT.

    A great story where love triumphed, and the world is much smaller than we sometimes realize!

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