To get the maximum benefit from this Study on the Native American ancestry of
the Lejeune family, print out this document as well as the Chart found at the
link given above so you can refer to both while reading the different
sections.The chart will help you to
visualize each section.
Note: The Study begins at the bottom of the Chart and
works its way back to the top.
I - MtDNA Test Results for a descendant of Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart -
Native American Haplogroup A.
Last year a descendant who descends through the maternal line of Jeanne Lejeune
had their MtDNA tested as seen on the very bottom row of boxes on the
Chart.The haplogroup of this
individual revealed their Haplogroup was the Native American Haplogroup A.Although this test result was never
needed to prove the Native American ancestry of Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart,
it does corroborate what the documents reveal about her ancestry and will
be brought back into play later in the Study.
If you follow the Red Line back from the Descendant Haplogroup A Box,
the arrow will stop on the Catherine Joseph - Haplogroup A Box.The Marriage of Catherine Joseph.
II - Marriage of Catherine Joseph
It is important to break at this point because when Catherine Joseph was
married to Jean Comeau on January 7, 1720, the marriage record recorded
that both François Joseph and Jeanne Lejeune were of « La
Nation Sauvage - The Indian Nation » - Click to view partial Marriage
Record. This record which can be viewed by visiting the online
databases of the Public Archives ofNova Scotia,clearly
indicates that not just François Joseph was deemed to be of the Indian
Nation, but that his wife, Jeanne Lejeune was also of the Indian Nation.
It should not be forgotten that by the time of Catherine Josephs wedding, her
father François Joseph, an Amerindian, probably Mikmaq, was long dead and
Jeanne Lejeune had since been remarried to Jean Gaudet.The last time François Joseph was
recorded in the census I believe, was in 1693 and by 1698, Jeanne Lejeune
was remarried to Jean Gaudet.
Considering François Joseph was long dead and his wife had been remarried,
it is very significant that after 33 years, this family was still clearly
noted to be of the Indian Nation. This, in and of itself, is a poignant indication that their
affiliation with the Indian Nation was not based solely on the Native
American ancestry of François Joseph. As stated earlier, François
Joseph had been dead for a long
time, yet the affiliation of this family to the Indian Nation had clearly
not been severed or attenuated in the intervening years since his death.
The marriage record of Catherine Joseph also shows us, that it was known LONG
BEFORE DNA testing, that Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart was a Native
American.Did people intentionally
suppress this information?Did
they feel she was only deemed Native American because her husband
was?Were they just unaware that
the record existed?I wont
speculate as to the motives, if there are any, for concealing this
information, but I think it is important to make it clear at this point,
that an MtDNA test of one of Jeanne Lejeunes descendant WAS NEVER
NEEDED to prove she was of Native American ancestry.Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart was in the
same category as some of our other Native American ancestors like
Marie-Thérèse who married Claude Petitpas and Marie the wife of Philippe
Mius dit dAzy, whose origins were known through early colonial
records.The origins of these
women do not need to be proven through MtDNA, however I would strongly
encourage anyone who descends down a maternal line from any of our known
Amerindian Mothers, to take the MtDNA test.
Although the record of the Native American ancestry of Jeanne Lejeune was
suppressed and mostly dismissed in the past, while others seem to have
surfaced unchallenged, with the advent of DNA testing, this record can no longer
be dismissed in any way, shape or form.So far, there is a single MtDNA test which confirms what the record
for the marriage of Catherine Joseph had been saying all along, that
Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart was a Native American woman.
To recapitulate, here is the proof we have with regards to the Native
American ancestry of Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart:
marriage record of her daughter Catherine Joseph indicates her mother
Jeanne Lejeune was from the Indian Nation.
haplogroup of Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart was Haplogroup A, a Native
Leaving the marriage of Catherine Joseph on the Chart, we now follow the
Red Line up to the box which includes her mother, Jeanne
Lejeune-Haplogroup A and stop at the section entitled, "1708 Indian Census."
III - 1708 Indian Census
This section of the Chart presents us with a snapshot of the Lejeune family
as they were found in the 1708 census. I changed the order of how they
were listed because of the flow of the chart, but the actual census
records are found further down on the page.The important thing is that they were all listed together.
What the 1708 census reveals to us is that, the Lejeune dit Briart
all CLUSTERED TOGETHER in the 1708 census in the Indian
Territory of La Heve.
all CALLED BRIART;there
being Pierre Briart, Jeanne Briart & Martin Briart.
all in the SAME AGE CATEGORY.
We also know that:
Lejeune dit BRIART married François Joseph an AmerIndian.
ii.Martin Lejeune dit BRIART married Marie Kajigonias an AmerIndian.
iii.Pierre Lejeune dit BRIART was referred to
as « un espèce de sauvage », which is a definite
indication he was part Indian.
record found in the 1708 Indian Census is pivotal in understanding the
Native American ancestry of the Lejeune family being studied.The 1708 census gives us a glimpse or
snapshot ofthe LEJEUNE dit BRIART
family like no other record found in early Acadia.They were all clustered around each
other, living in Mikmaq territory, marrying Amerindian spouses, being
referred to as « espèce de sauvage » instead of the Métis term
we know today forFrench-Indians,
and clustered with other Mikmaq
It is the 1708 census that shows Pierre Lejeune dit Briart, Martin
Lejeune dit Briart and Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart were all siblings.
If you obtain a copy of the 1708 census, you will note that the Indian
families were enumerated by Cabane
in the Indian Village of Pintagoet. That is to say, they were not listed
by family as most of the other places in the census had been
enumerated.The number of people
in each Cabane could vary from
5 up to as many as 35 individuals.This is a clear indication that even though other areas such as La
Heve, Les Mines, Mouscoudabouet, etc. were listed by family, they would
have also been living in the same type of dwellings as family units, or
With the concept of Family Clusters living in Cabanes,
look below at how the Lejeune family was recorded, though in their case
they were listed as families.There were 25 members in the family.Did they all occupy one Cabane? Did i and iishare a Cabane since Marie Briart
married to Joseph Boutin was their daughter?Did iii and iv and v
all share a Cabane since Anne Briart was the daughter of Martin Lejeune
Although there is no mention of Cabanes
in the La Heve section of the census as I show below, its easy to see a
picture like the one presented, especially in light of the fact we now
know extended or several related families lived together as family units
in Cabane.These Cabanes
would have been the traditional Mikmaq dwelling, the Wigwams.
That Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart
was a Native American by way of two undisputable proofs:
Marriage record of her daughter Catherine Lejeune
Native American Haplogroup A found among her descendants.
That she married an Amerindian
That her brother Martin
Lejeune dit Briart married an Amerindian
That her other brother Pierre
Lejeune dit Briart was referred to as some sort of half-breed
That her brother Pierre was
used as a mediator between the Indians and the French for trade
That they all lived in Indian
Territory and among other Mikmaq families, clustered
around one another
That it is quite probable by
extrapolation, based on the census records for Pintagouet, that they all
shared one Cabane or two between them
That many of the descendants
of her brother Pierre Lejeune, as well as her own would be clustered
together in Bras dOr in the 1750 period
That the following children of
Pierre Lejeune Espèce de Sauvage and Marie Thibodeau married another
Lejeune to Marie Guédry (grand-daughter of Philippe Mius & Marie -
Lejeune dit Briard to Jean-Baptiste LeRoy (son of Jean Roy and Marie Aubois -
Lejeune in 2nd marriage to Pierre Gautreaux (grandson of Réné Rimbault
and Anne Marie - Amerindian)
Lejeune to Antoine LaBauve (grandson of Réné Rimbault and Anne Marie
That Germain Lejeune mentioned
above and many of his children were not deported because they disappeared
into the woods with their Mikmaq cousins.
That many, if not all ofLejeune descendants of Jeannes
brother, Pierre Lejeune, in Louisiana have oral histories of Indian blood
The question which remains, Can we logically conclude from these
documents, as I have done throughout this Study on the Native American
ancestry of the Lejeune family, that Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart was the
sister of Pierre Lejeune dit Briart and Martin Lejeune dit Briart, since
there are no known marriage records or birth records which we can draw
I believe the answer is a resounding YES.
Some will claim that besides proximity (the fact all these Lejeune
families were listed in the 1708 census together), there is nothing else
to go on and therefore it is erroneous to claim that Jeanne Lejeune dit
Briart was the sister of both Pierre and Martin.
However it is clear that those who make such a claim, are either unaware of
the records above or choose not to see the snapshot and history of the
Lejeune family they unveil.As
for the former, the purpose of this Study is to inform them, the
descendants of the Pierre Lejeune in question and his Native American wife,so they might be aware of
what the records reveal about their ancestors.As for the latter, the most I can say is A man persuaded
against his own will, is of the same opinions still.
It is the totality of the records which allows us to dismiss the
proximity argument as being insufficient proof.
Why, you ask.
Because the relationship between these Lejeune families found in the 1708
census goes well beyond proximity, it has to do with:
fact we are continuously exposed to the Indianness of this
lived among the Indians
lived in Indian Territory
married Indian spouses
traded and mediated with the Indians
were referred to as Half-breeds
children married other Indians and continued to do so up until the
fact the marriage record of the daughter of Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart and the
Native American Haplogroup A confirm Jeanne Lejeune was a Native American,
furtheraffirming why all of the above
were true of the Lejeune family.
fact the location and presence of the Lejeune families in the census records
changed, fitting the description of the Indians with no fixed village as
revealed to us in the 1722
Indian Census - Click to View Record record (non point de village fixe -
no fixed village).
fact these families possibly shared a Cabane together in Le Heve when the
1708 census was taken, although as mentioned earlier, this is only an
extrapolation of the way the census was taken in Pintagoet.
fact Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart was not a much younger sister of the other two
fact Pierre, Martin and Jeanne were all in the same age category.
fact the families were clustered together, not just in the 1708 census, but
that the two families were and are still clustered up to our present day.
fact we are left with trying to find another Lejeune male, more elusive than
Pierre Sr. Lejeune, to be the father of Jeanne Lejeune, should we be unwilling
to accept the family cluster laid in our lap, and choose to ignore Pierre Sr.
Lejeune and his Native American wife as her mother.
fact that the Lejeune family in question, much like other known Mikmaq families
ofEarly Acadia such as the Petitpas
and the Mius families, has a recurrent Native American theme.
In conclusion, the only logical ending we can come to in this study on the
Native American ancestry of the Lejeune family, when faced with all the records
above, the Indianness of this family and the proven Native American ancestry
ofJeanne Lejeune, is that the family
of Pierre Lejeune Sr. and his wife, was a Native American family and
that Jeanne Lejeune, Pierre Lejeune and Martin Lejeune were all siblings.
The Lejeune family in question should never be referred to as Acadians.
They were Mi'kmaq.Fr. Bailly, missionary to the Indians, refers to them in his records as Acadian
Micmacs - Click to view Record.But even this record is
incomplete as they were simply Mikmaq of Mikmaki .
We further conclude that since Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart was of Native American
ancestry, then both Pierre Lejeune dit Briart and Martin Lejeune dit Briart
were also of Native American ancestry.In the diagram (Part 4) both Pierre Lejeune and Martin Lejeune have the
same Haplogroup A as Jeanne Lejeune, however it was only Jeanne Lejeune who was
able to pass it to the next generation.
If Jeanne Lejeunes Haplogroup was the Native American Haplogroup A, then we
must also conclude, the woman her father, Pierre Lejeune married, was of Native
Part VI - Most probable parents
of the wife of Pierre Lejeune
According to Stephen White of the Acadian Studies Centre out of Moncton,
his research, based on a dispensation given for the marriage of Claude
Trahan to Anne LeBlanc, leads him to believe that the wife of Pierre
Lejeune was a daughter of Germain Doucet1, whose name is unknown.
If this is true, and I see no reason why it isnt, then we also have to
conclude that Germain Doucet had at least two wives and not one, since
some of the descendants of his daughter, Marguerite, have tested for the non-Native American Haplogroup T2, yet Jeanne Lejeune dit Briart, who
would also be his grand-daughter based on the dispensation, had the Native
American Haplogroup A, indicating that her mother and Marguerite Doucet
were half-sisters with different mothers.
A special thank you to all who provided input
and help with proofing reading this document.
Pierre Lejeune was married to a Doucet (see Le Dictionnaire généalogique des
familles acadiennes by Stephen White, pp. 1048-1049).