Do you have ancestors who lived in Sainte Anne de Kent at one time or another? A few days ago, I went to a second hand store looking for books for my friend who was in the hospital. While browsing through the books , I decided to go look at the french books, and to my surprise, I saw a book on Sainte Anne de Kent by Anselme Chiasson and Arthur Poirier. Of course I picked it up right away to add to my book collection.
The pioneers of Sainte Anne came from Memramcook New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Minoudie, and elsewhere. They settled on vacant lands that later on the acquired. It is hard to pinpoint an exact time when they began settling there but there were some settlers before 1800. Some names of the first settlers according to land grants. Before 1900 Sainte Anne village included Caissie Village, St Martin,St Gregoire, St Francois and St Gabriel. Usually the families would live on the land for a long time before applying for land grants. And many times a group would apply for land grants and divide the land between them.
In 1805 in Caissie Village we find Jean Pitre, Simon and Laurent Richard,Sylvain and Laurent Babineau. In 1815 in Caissie Village we find Antonin Boucher,Josue, Olivier and Pierre Caissie, Dominique and Placide Richard and Charles Maillet. Fidele and Raphael Caissie got their lands in 1821. Other names who settle in and near Sainte Anne including Choqpish were Simon B Richard, Simon and Celestin Maillet,Laurent and Belonie Leblanc they were in Chocpish. In Saint Edouard we find Felix Leblanc and Moise Bastarache.
There were also english settlers such as Michael Harris the first english settler in Sainte Anne. He arrived in Richiboucto from Ireland. Later a young man from Escuminac named Martin Nowlan came to work for Mister Harris. Martin Nowlan married Polonie Robichaud of Bouctouche and had three sons. In nearby St Pierre we find Ken ,Neil, Norman Bowman and Archie McIntosh,Jim and Isaac Carter,Roberts, Johnsons, John Butler, Elliot McDonald and John McDonald. Maxime, Lucas and Charles Daigle later arrived in St Pierre. And then five brothers Maxime, Andre,Thomas,Jude et Dominique Boudreau arrived from Beaumont New Brunswick.
The first pioneer of St Gregoire was Gregoire Richard ,the one from St Francois. Lamand Maillet came from Memramcook. Honore Caissie was the first one of Belair later St Raphael ,Honore came from Richiboucto Village. Later followed by brothers Calixte and Amable LeBlanc.
Saint Maurice was named after Maurice Arsenault who came from the Cap Pele area and was from Prince Edward Island. Pierre, Louis and Olivier Savoie later settled in Saint Maurice. St Oliver was founded by Maillets and Allains from St Norbert. Au fond de la Baie was founded by Edward Jaillet who left his name is St Edouard. The Jaillets were Swiss Huguenots. Arriving in Memramcook with a friend Armand Surette he converted to the Catholic Faith. Perry Road had Pierre Perry from PEI as the first settler. In 1900 Sainte Anne and St Pierre amalgamated bringing the population up from 70 families to 90. In 1985 Sainte Anne's numbers rose to 400 families with a population of 1500 people.
The pioneers of Sainte Anne did not bring a fortune with them only courage and hope of a better future. First of all the men came mostly through the paths in the woods and on foot.They came from as far as Minoudie,Prince Edward Island , Memramcook and surrounding villages. On their way they would stop and rest at the homes of Acadians in Bouctouche and Cocagne. All they took for belongings were a pouch of flour, probably rope, a musket and an ax. The first arrivers would take land near the water and brooks in order to be near water for drinking and bathing and also for fishing.
They chopped down trees ,pulled out the tree stumps and cleared their land. Then they built their home , they built log cabins and insulated them with Moss. Then the men went and got their families. Can you imagine the courage of these women, leaving their homes to go to live in the wilderness. But they were going to land that would belong to them, they would not have to work for Desbarres of Minoudin and Memramcook. They wanted their own homes and land. In the beginning they had no matches so the native americans taught them how to make a fire by rubbing stones together or two sticks together.
In the book I am reading it says that they would take a turnip and take all the inside of it out, then add some cod fish oil inside and a wick and light it and have lights so they could see. Then they learned to make candles. Imagine being there and having to really work hard and to do without lots of things that we have today. But these pioneers were determined to make a better life for themselves and their families. They cleared their land and built homes. They hunted and fished for food, and gardened and picked berries and so on. They had to endure our harsh winters. We are so so very lucky, don't you agree?
Have a great day