L'Acadie des terres et forets: frontieres contestees, familles retrouvees / The Acadia of the Lands and Forests: impugned boundaries, found families
The URL above (server at the Université de Laval in Quebec) is reached from http://expoatf.ca/en (server at the Musée de Madawaska at the Université de Moncton, campus de Edmundston, Nouveau-Brunswick). The indexed database holds the findings of the commissioners appointed by New Brunswick for Canada and of the commission appointed by Maine and Massachusetts for the United States following the Webster--Ashburton Treaty of 1842. The treaty settled the Northeastern border of the US 59 years after the American colonies gained independence from England in 1783. Settlers who had moved to the Upper Saint John Valley in those 59 years were squatters, and their possessory claims needed to be documented in order to fulfill Article 4 of the treaty, where by those in possession of a lot for six years were to be given title to the lot. The University of Laval teamed up with the Univeristy of Moncton at Edmundston (with significant help from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and other archives) to create a map of all lots occupied on either side of the Saint John River, now the international border, The map shows the name of the person in possession of a given numbered lot as of 1844 (US) or 1845 (Canada). The depositions made by occupants on the American side have not surfaced in spite of a significant effort to locate them. However, the owner's name and lot number permit researchers to do trace the ownership history of a given lot down to the present from the original deed issued in 1945 (US). Fortunately, the depositions made by occupants on the Canadian side have survived and are transcribed here. The entry for Angélique [Cyr] Martin (entry 12501) is a prime example. Her deposition provides the exact date that her husband's father purchased the lot, that her husband purchased the lot from his father, the number of years her husband was in possession of the lot before he died and the number of years she has been in possession. the names of each of her children (including the names of each daughter's husband), and the number of acres in the lot with number cleared for planting. Many other depositions provide a three generation genealogy as this one does. Most cover the years from 1785 to 1845. All French-Canadian researchers whose families located in the Upper Saint John Valley from the Lower Saint Lawrence, and all Acadian researchers whose families have moved to the Upper Saint John Valley from the French Village area near Fredericton will find important information in this database and its accompanying map.