Jean Baptiste Pitre
January 1711 Acadia - 8 June 1758 Quebec
Jean Baptiste Pitre was born in January of 1711 at Port Royal, Acadia, the second son of Francois Pitre and Anne Prejean. 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 Prejean remarried to widower Michel Boudrot in April of 1732.
Around 1733 Jean Baptiste married Cecile Boudrot, the daughter of his mother’s new husband Michel Boudrot and his first wife Cecile Leblanc. The Boudrots were from Grand Pre which would explain the first two of Jean Baptiste and Cecile’s children being born at Grand Pre. 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 Cecile, 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 Francois 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 Francois 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 Quebec City.
Quebec 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 Cecile 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, Quebec. They settled at Becancour 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. Francois Mathurin became a priest, lived to the age of 82 and was buried at Nicolet.
Cecile Boudrot remarried to widower Pierre Pellerin in November of 1762 at Ste. Croix in Lotbiniere 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’.
Continuation of tree (3rd child of Francois Pitre/Anne Prejean); all known surname descendants:
3 Jean Baptiste Pitre b: January 1711 Port Royal, Acadia; d: 8 June 1758 Quebec
+Cecile Boudrot b: Abt. 1714 Acadia; m: Abt. 1733 Port Royal, Acadia [Michel/Cecile Leblanc]; d: 13 January 1811 Nicolet, Quebec
4 Marie Josephe Agathe Pitre b: 6 May 1734 Grand Pre, Acadia; d: 6 February 1808 Nicolet, Quebec
+Jean Baptiste Desfosses b: 20 February 1719 Nicolet, Quebec; m: 25 September 1760 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec [Jean Baptiste Lapron dit Defosse/Madeleine Geoffrey]; d: 10 March 1796 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec
4 Michel Pitre b: 2 October 1735 Grand Pre, Acadia; d: Bet. 3 June 1789-3 May 1790 Pisiquit, Gloucester, NB
+Marie Josephe Orillon b: 15 June 1736 Port Royal, Acadia; m: 14 May 1759 Notre Dame, Quebec [Charles/Anne Richard]; d: 24 November 1808 Bathurst, Gloucester, NB
4 Charles Modeste Pitre b: 21 December 1737 Port Royal, Acadia
4 Marguerite Anastasie Pitre b: 10 December 1739 Port Royal, Acadia
4 Marie Louise Pitre b: Abt. 1740 Beaubassin, Acadia; d: 15 May 1791 Nicolet, Quebec
+Gabriel Cottret b: 1 January 1737 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec; m: 10 October 1760 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec [Rene/Marguerite Theriot]; d: 20 February 1776 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec
4 Rosalie Pitre b: 4 November 1741 Beaubassin, Acadia
4 Anne Pitre b: 12 February 1744 Beaubassin, Acadia; d: 12 June 1758 Basilica Notre Dame, Quebec
4 Joseph Pitre b: 31 January 1746 Beaubassin, Acadia; d: 4 May 1823 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec
+Marie Antoinette Lupien b: 7 August 1755 Pointe du Lac, Quebec; m: 7 June 1770 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec [Jean Baptiste/Marie Antoine Pinard]; d: 8 March 1823 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec
4 Francois Mathurin Pitre b: 21 December 1747 Beaubassin, Acadia; d: 13 January 1830 St. Jean Baptiste, Nicolet, Quebec [priest]
4 Jean Baptiste Pitre b: 24 March 1750 Beaubassin, Acadia; d: 8 May 1758 Basilica Notre Dame, Quebec
4 Jean Baptiste Pitre b: Abt. 1752 Beaubassin, Acadia; d: 11 June 1758 Basilica Notre Dame, Quebec
4 Isidore Pitre b: 29 July 1754 Beaubassin, Acadia; d: 21 December 1758 Notre Dame, Montreal, Quebec
- Earliest items in RED sourced from Dictionnaire Genealogique Des Familles Acadiennes (Stephen A. White) and from extant registers.
- Later items in RED have been verified against parish register entries.
Last updated: 27 May 2017.