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View Tree for Joseph Beausoleil BroussardJoseph Beausoleil Broussard (b. 1702, d. 5.September.1765)

Joseph Beausoleil Broussard (son of Jean Francois Broussard and Catherine Richard) was born 1702 in Port Royal, Acadie, and died 5.September.1765 in St. Martinville, St. Martin Ph., LA331. He married Agnès Annette Thibodeaux on 11.September.1725 in Port Royal, Acadie332, daughter of Michel Thibodeaux and Agnès Dugas.

 Includes NotesNotes for Joseph Beausoleil Broussard:
Bona Arsenault notes he left Port Royal to establish himself at Chipoudy. He lived at Chipoudy until he went to Louisiana where he was Commandant of the Attakapas County (St. Martinville, LA)


Published on 3/3/99

All in the Family

Acadiana bureau

LAFAYETTE — Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, Acadian patriot, is
probably the primary reason so many Cajuns live in Louisiana today.
Beausoleil first led the Acadian resistance to the British, and later asked
that his families be deported to the same location and not separated.

And so it is appropriate that his descendants, the large and boisterous
Broussard clan, are planning what promises to be the largest family
reunion for Congrès Mondial Acadien this year.

CMA, the World Acadian Congress, began in 1994, when nearly
225,000 Acadians from around the world were reunited in southeastern
New Brunswick for the first time since the 1755 deportation.

The second CMA will be held in August with two weeks of activities
planned — the first week in the Houma-Thibodaux region and the
second week in the Lafayette-Lake Charles region.

This year’s gatherings coincide with Louisiana’s statewide celebration of
its French heritage on the 300th anniversary of French explorer
Iberville’s 1699 expedition to Louisiana.

Events planned include concerts, academic conferences, tours,
festival-like activities and family reunions.

The Famille Beausoleil, as the Broussard family calls itself, already has
had a minireunion in, where else, Broussard, and has plans in place for a
huge family reunion in Blackham Coliseum the weekend before the
Congrès starts.

More than 500 people now belong to the Famille, according to Brent
Broussard, one of the group’s organizers.

The key, he said, is organization.

"We have regular monthly meetings; that’s a big part of it," Broussard
said. "And getting people involved."

Broussard became involved after seeing an advertisement in a
newspaper asking for volunteers to help plan family reunions for

He called the CMA office and was sent an organization packet. He
thought he was just volunteering to help someone else set up the whole
thing, he remembers.

"I found out that I was it," he said.

Broussard organized a meeting of about 17 Broussards in Abbeville,
and they formed a committee to get the ball rolling.

"We’ve been working hard to get participation from the Broussards and
related families," Broussard said. "We’re inviting everyone to join us.
The reunions are going to be the core of the Congrès."

At the first Congrès, organizers made the mistake of putting their money
and emphasis on conferences and other activities, explains Valerie Roy,
CMA director of communications.

But it turned out that the participants were more interested in meeting
their cousins, she said. The 1999 CMA will not make that mistake.

"We’re putting the emphasis where the people want it. It’s the most
important part of the Congrès," Roy said. "After what happened, after
the Acadians had to leave Nova Scotia, a lot of them were separated
from their families. So this is something all the Acadians have wanted for
a long time."

More than 80 families so far have signed up to hold reunions during the

"A lot of the Acadian families are meeting for the first time, but some of
them meet every couple of years," Roy said.

Those interested in attending a reunion may call the CMA office at
(888) 526-1999 to find out about their family’s plans.

Because they share a dramatic history, many Acadians are interested in
their genealogy; Broussard is one of them. It’s been his hobby for the
past 10 years. He started tracing his roots soon after learning the true
significance of his forebear, Beausoleil, to the history of the Acadians.

Joseph and his brother, Alexandre, were among the primary resisters to
the British attempts to remove French settlers from Acadia in the
mid-18th century.

They resorted to guerrilla-like tactics to fight the British, and are
considered to be the first Europeans to use such tactics. After years of
resistance, the brothers surrendered and were deported.

After an unsuccessful attempt at colonization in Santo Domingo, the
family settled in Louisiana.

"The people in Canada are surprised when they learn that there is no
monument to him here," Broussard said. "He is a hero there."

The story of the Broussards’ deportation and eventual settlement in
Louisiana mirrors that of so many Cajun families. Those stories will be
told at the myriad family reunions planned this fall.

"It’s heartbreaking, what actually happened," Broussard said of the
deportation, known as le Grand Dérangement.

Some Acadians signed allegiance to the king of England and were
allowed to remain. Others were imprisoned; others deported.

Beausoleil was imprisoned in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1764. Eventually,
he was allowed to leave.

"He came to New Orleans in the early spring of 1765," Broussard said.

That April, Beausoleil signed a contract with a cattle rancher named
d’Auterive, and conducted one of the first cattle drives across the
Atchafalaya Basin.

"To this day, there are still a lot of Broussards who raise cattle,"
Broussard said. "I raised cattle until I got married. My grandfather, all
his relatives, all had cattle. They’re not there to raise money, it’s in the

There’s more in the blood, Broussard learned during his visits to New
Brunswick. He tells of meeting Canadians who resemble his relatives
back home.

"It’s really something," he said.

Roy said she knows what Broussard is talking about.

"I find the same thing. I’m from New Brunswick, and I see people and
immediately have the feeling I’ve met them before," she said.

"The reunions are the most important part of the Congrés," said Roy. "If
we did not have the reunions, there would be no point in even having the


Grand reunion makes festive time

Acadiana bureau

LAFAYETTE -- When Joseph Broussard dit
Beausoleil and his Acadian resistance army
surrendered to the British, their first request
was that their families not be separated.

Through the long and difficult deportation, the
Broussards worked hard to stay together.
More than two centuries later, they have
accomplished their ancestor's goal.

The Famille Beausoleil began its reunion Friday
night, one of the first events of Congrès
Mondial Acadien Louisiane, an international
reunion of the descendants of the Acadians
who were deported from what is now Nova

The reunion was in full swing by Saturday, when hundreds of Broussards
and descendants of Broussards came to Blackham Coliseum to see their

"It's going great," said Brent Broussard, one of the reunion organizers.

"We have family here from all over the United States. We have
Broussards from New Jersey, from Wyoming. The Texas Broussards
are showing up en masse."

Raymond Broussard and his wife, Luella, came from Vidor, Texas.

"We first heard about this reunion over a year ago, and we started
planning to head in this direction," Raymond Broussard said.

Raymond Broussard was born and raised in Texas, but his father was
from New Iberia, his mother from Lydia. Luella, whose maiden name is
Bodin, is a native of Jeanerette.

Both trace their genealogy back to Beausoleil and his brother,

Raymond Broussard's father is a descendant of Alexandre, his mother of
Joseph. Luella Broussard's mother is a descendant of Joseph.

The backbone of the Congrès are the reunions. Over the next two
weeks, more than 100 families of Acadian descent will hold reunions
across South Louisiana.

The first Congrès, Congrès Mondial Acadien Retrouvailles, was held in
1994 in New Brunswick, Canada. It is hoped that the third will be held
in Nova Scotia in 2004, the year that marks the 400th anniversary of the
founding of Acadie.

One of the activities planned for each reunion is genealogy research.

That activity was a big success at the Broussard reunion.

"We're getting information from people, and filling in the blanks," Brent
Broussard said.

There were three computers and various genealogy books available for
Broussards to track their family lines, and many genealogists were
picking the brains of the older Broussards for memories.

Most Louisiana Broussards track their lines back to Joseph and
Alexandre, who were the leaders of the Acadian resistance to the British
before their surrender in 1764, nearly a decade after the Grand
Derangement, as the main deportation of the Acadians is known.

After a brief stop in Saint Domingue, the brothers arrived in Louisiana in
the spring of 1765. They died within a year.

In Nova Scotia, Beausoleil is a hero and is honored with many
monuments. He got one in Louisiana Saturday night, when a plaque was
unveiled commemorating his founding of the town of Broussard.

The bronze bas relief sculpture will be hung on a monument in front of
Broussard's town hall. The design was created by Lafayette sculptor
Celia Soper, from a drawing done by her husband, painter Patrick

The sculpture features an Attakapas Indian and an Acadian woman, the
original settlers of the area, Celia Soper explained. They overlook cane
fields, the crops the settlers planted and harvested, she said. There also
is a man on a horse, a portrait of a famous Broussard resident who led a
band of vigilantes near the end of the Civil War, and a steam train like
the ones that used to pass through the cane fields, she said.

The centerpiece of the sculpture is a portrait of Beausoleil, which the
Sopers created with some help from local historians.

Across the bottom is a banner with the current name of the town,
Broussard, and the original name, Cote Geleé.

"When they first arrived here, it was cold, and there was frost on the
ground," Celia Soper explained. "They named it Cote Geleé, which
means 'frozen hill.'"

J. Maxie Broussard, a longtime politician and a reunion organizer,
thanked the people of Broussard for planning and funding the monument.

"We are deeply appreciative of the gratitude and respect in this gesture,"
Broussard said. "We feel tremendously honored. It touches us in our


By Damon Veach
Genealogy columnist/The Times-Picayune
May 23, 1999

On April 4, 1765, in New Orleans, Joseph dit Beausoleil
Brossard, his brothers Alexandre and Jean Baptiste, his son
Victor, Jean Dugas, Joseph Guille, Oliver Thibaudau, and
Pierre Arcenaiud signed a contract with Antoine Bernard
d'Hauterive. The agreement was that d'Hauterive would
provide each family with eight cows and a bull for the families
to farm in the Attakapas region on a profit-sharing basis. This
agreement is recognized as the beginning of the Acadian
cattle industry in Acadiana.

To commemorate this historical event as part of the
countdown to Congres Mondial-Acadien, the Famille
Beausoleil Association (Broussard families) will re-enact this
historical signing at 2 p.m. May 29 at its reunion meeting. The
meeting and the re-enactment will be staged in the former
Richard Cattle Sales Barn (now Richard's Stockyard Saddle
Repair), located in Abbeville, one mile south of the intersection
of Louisiana 14 at 1307 South Henry Drive.

Broussard (Brossard)
dit Beausoleil
Date of Birth:
Shepody, Acadia

Catherine Richard
Jean-François Broussard
Married Agnès Thibodeau, daughter of Michel Thibodeau and Agnès Dugas, September 1725.
Jean-Grégoire (born 1726), Joseph "Petit Joe," Victor Grégoire (born ca. 1728), Raphaël (born 1733), Timothée (born 1741), Amand (born ca. 1745), François, Isabelle, Amand, Claude Eloy, and Françoise
Participated in French skirmishes against British forces near Fort Beauséjour, 1755. Led sixty men against the British forces beseigning Fort Beauséjour on June 16, 1755. Granted provisional amnesty by Col.Robert Monckton in exchange for Broussard's services as mediator between the British military and the French-allied Micmac Indians. Later organized Acadians in present-day New Brunswick into a resistance movement. Obtailed from the Canadian governor letters of marque and outfitted a privateer that captured several British ships in the Bay of Fundy. In November 1758, he led members of the Acadian resistance against British troops attempting to destroy Acadian settlements along the Petitcodiac River; wounded in the foot in the ensuing battle. Subsequently moved his family to the Miramichi River area. Identified by British General Jeffrey Amherst as the charismatic leader of the Acadian resistance, August 1761. When his followers faced famine, Broussard sued for peace. On the rolls as a prisoner of war at Fort Edward, ca. July 12, 1762. Subsequently moved to detention camps at Halifax, but his wife and children remained at Fort Edward. British records from Fort Edward, dated August 9, 1762, indicate that five members of his family were held as prisoners, but the family received only 3 1/3 rations. Released and later arrested at Pisiquid, Nova Scotia, and brought before the governor's council for carrying a letter from French authorities to the Acadians. Jailed until 1764.
Helped organize the migration of former Acadian prisoners at Halifax to Louisiana by way of
Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti). Departing Halifax in November 1764, Broussard and his followers
arrived at New Orleans in February 1765. Joined with other Acadian leaders in signing a contract to grow
cattle on shares for Antoine Bernard Dauterive, April 4, 1765. Louisiana's French colonial governor
appointed Broussard the first commandant of the Attakapas district, April 8, 1765. Departed with the
Acadians for the Attakapas country, ca. late April 1765. The fragmentary extant documentation suggests
that he settled with his brother Alexandre in the Fausse Pointe area.
Circumstances of
The date of his death is the subject of some considerable debate, because of the existence of two burial entries for Acadians named Joseph Broussard. The first indicates that he died in the Attakapas district on September 5, 1765.
Death Occurred At:
Attakapas district, Louisiana
Interred At:
Beausoleil settlement (location presently unknown)
Date of Burial:
C. J. d'Entremont, "Brossard (Broussard), dit Beausoleil, Joseph," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, pp. 87-88; Régis Sygefroy Brun, "Listes des Prisoniers Acadiens au Fort Edward," Cahiers de la Société Historique Acadienne, 3, no. 4, 24ième cahier (1969): 158-164; 3, no. 5, 25ième cahier (1969): 188-192; Grover Rees, trans., "The Dauterive Compact: The Foundation of the Acadian Cattle Industry," Attakapas Gazette, 11 (1976): 91; Hébert, Southwest Louisiana Records, rev. ed., vol. 1A, p. 137; Conover, Broussard, 5.

More About Joseph Beausoleil Broussard:
Burial: 20.October.1765, St. Martinville, LA.333

More About Joseph Beausoleil Broussard and Agnès Annette Thibodeaux:
Marriage: 11.September.1725, Port Royal, Acadie.334

Children of Joseph Beausoleil Broussard and Agnès Annette Thibodeaux are:
  1. +Timothé Athanase Broussard, b. 8.February.1741, Beaubassin, Acadie335.
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