There is an unusual oral tradition Acadians have used to define their ancestry back to the very beginnings of the colony. In some areas, it is still in use today. The unbroken chain, both paternal and maternal, allows the listener to know from what family and what area of Acadia the speaker is describing. In one string, I can be transported from 2011 New England, to the Village of Memramcook, New Brunswick after Le Grand Dérangement, to Needham, Massachusetts during the exile, to a mid-1600s farm on the north side of the Rivière Dauphin near Port Royal, Acadia.
|Sign near Monument-LeFebvre in Memramcook|
Between each first name is the French word “à” which in English translates as “to”.
I had never met the man before, but within moments he knew how we are related. And it still amazes me today.