There has been a lot of speculation concerning the origins of the first Pierre Arseneault who many Geneologist think went to Acadia aboard l’Oranger in 1671 from La Rochelle, France.I found postings from an Arsenault in Vermont that the first Pierre came from Haute Savoie (French Alps), this information was furnished by a French Consular Officer serving in Canada. Most postings, however show Saintonge, Charente Maritime which was a Province in the southwest region of France centered around Saintes, Cognac, La Rochelle in the Charente Maritime in the 1500’s.This location has been the most prevailant.One birth certificate was found in La Rochelle but the date of birth was after Pierre was in Acadie. My Grandfather (Telesphore Arsenault) who did his research in the 1930’s with help from Acadian Geneologist and archivist in Ottawa showed Saintonge, Charente Maritime.Having been in France and Belgium since 1997, we have done extensive travels and research all over France.We have found Arsonneau, and Arsonnaud, also a few Arsenault’s and Arseneault’s but they were all Canadian or American cousins like me residing in France.We even visited the maritime archives in Rochefort near La Rochelle in 1997, and the Archivist there told us that we were the second Arsenault family that summer looking for passenger list for the ship l’Oranger.Another Arsenault had been there looking, however we were told that passenger list were not kept until 1673.
Shortly after our son Christopher arrived in France last year, he began searching online records and he discovered a Pierre Arsonneau that was born 25 September 1646 in the town of Migre which is in the old province of Saintonges.He found the birth certifcate by looking in the online Archives for the town of Migre.He found a spreadsheet with all the villages where they had baptism, marriage or death certificates recorded from 1600 to 1850 with the family name Arsonneau.He started searching in the village of Migre because there were over 300 Arsonneau’s recorded in he village of Migre which was more than all other cities and towns.We checked all marriage and death certificates to make sure this Pierre did not marry or die in France. We found numerous birth records for Pierre Arsonneau, but only one with a birth date of 1646.In the Migre online records, we found a Pierre Arsonneau who died 4 June 1693; the death certificate states that he was ninety-nine years old which would put his date of birth o/a 1594. If this were Pierre’s father who was married to Jeanne Goizin then his age would have been 52 when Pierre was born. Not impossible since our male forbearers married women much younger.
I believe that the Pierre Arsonneau that my son found from the digitized birth records for Migre, Charente Maritime is the first Pierre. All Arsonneau’s who were baptized at the church of Migre were actually from the hamlet of La Flamancherie which is a few kilometer from Migre.Most of them were farmers.We visited Migre this past summer and the Mayor told us that today there are no Arsonneau’s who live in the area, however many Arsonneau’s still live in Charente Maritime who trace their ancestors to La Flamencherie near Migre.We found some Arsonneau’s who live at La Rochelle, Ile de Re, Vienne and other parts of Southwestern France. Since Migre is about 70 km from La Rochelle, it would make sense that his descendents would have passed down to siblings that he was from La Rochelle, Province of Saintonges.
All Geneologist agree that Pierre’s birth date is 1646.If Pierre as speculated left on the ship L’Oranger in 1671, he would have been twenty five years old which would make him a mature young man ready to seek challenges in a new world.
Three years before Pierre’s departure from France, a Jean Ratier three years older than Pierre Arsonneau imigrated to Quebec from the village of Migre.Jean Ratier, like our Pierre also imigrated from the port of La Rochelle.
We have not been able to find a birth certificate for Pierre’s father but I believe that he might be the Pierre Arsonneau who died in 1693 would indicate that Pierre’s father was born o/a 1693.
Pierre (Pierre’s father) was married to Jeanne Goizin daughter of Francois Goizin and Francoise Arsonneau; she was born at Migre in 1608, (the day and month are not legible), her godfather’s name is not legible, her godmother was Jeanne Loribault.Pierre’s mother Jeanne Goizin would have been 28 years old when she had Marie, 31 years old when she had André, 33 years old when she had Magdelaine and 38 years old when Pierre was born. Listed below are the relevant birth certificates for the children of Pierre Arsonneau and Jeane Goizin as well as the death certificates for Pierre Arsonneau and Jeanne Goizin, digitized records can be found at http://charente-maritime.fr/archinoe/registre.phphttp://charente-maritime.fr/archinoe/registre.php.
Once at the site choose all records for the town of Migre, the medieval records are faded and difficult to read is very difficult to read.People looking for other geneological birth, marriage and death certificates might also find these digitized records helpful.Here is what we have so far:
Pierre Arsonneau born o/a 1693 in Migre married to Jeanne Goizin daughter of Francois Goizin and Francoise Arsonneau baptized in (date and month ineligible) 1608 in Migre, Charente Maritime (page 3, side 1, 1st entry).They had the following children:
Marie Arsonneau daughter of Pierre Arsonneau and Jeanne Goizin was born 6 February 1636 in Migre, Charente Maritime, godfather Francois Goizin, godmother Marie Arsonneau Migre (page 48 side 2,3rd entry).
André Arsonneau son of Pierre Arsonneau and Jeanne Goizin was born 28 Dec 1639, godfather Pierre Goizin, godmother Françoise Arsonneau, Migre, (page 57 side 2, 4th entry).
Magdelaine Arsonneau daughter of Pierre Arsonneau was born I July 1641, godfather André Leguiller, godmother Magdelaine Arsonneau, Migre (page 61, side 2, 2nd entry)
Pierre Arsonneau son of Pierre Arsonneau and Jeanne Goizin was born 25 September 1646 in Migre, Charente Maritime.godfather Pierre Leguiller and godmother Michelle Goizin Migre Page 71, side 2, last entry.
Jeanne Goizin died 5 October 1661, present were Pierre Arsonneau, Mathurin Arsonneau, Marie Gondeau, Jean Cibodeau and Marie Goizin, Migre Page 110 side 1