Joseph Bourgeois 1736 - 1812
Joseph was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1736. He married Marie Magdeleine Giroir. In 1759, Joseph and his family were held captive in Ristigouche. In 1761, Joseph and his family were prisoners of war at Fort Edward, Nova Scotia. In 1762, British records show that Joseph and other able-bodied Acadian men were sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia. On August 9, 1762, British records show that there were 3 members of the family captive, but the family only received food rations for 2 people.
Antoine de St. Maxent received a receipt from a New Orleans merchant for 1,681.08 livres in Canadian paper money sent to Bordeaux on behalf of the Louisiana Acadians for their loyalty to the French crown.
Joseph probably arrived with his family through New Orleans around 1765 by ship. The 1766 Census of Cabannocé shows Joseph Bourgeois, Marie Giroir (wife), Marie (daughter), and brothers: Pierre, Michel, Paul & Rosalie LeBlanc (Wife). The family occupied a tract of land measuring six arpents frontage on the left bank of the Mississippi River. Joseph Bourgeois owned one sheep and one firearm. By 1769, They owned seven cows, two horses, twenty-five hogs, and one musket.
"Others made their way to Louisiana during the mid-1760's. At least nine Bourgeois men settled on the east bank of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish. Five of these, Paul, Joseph, Michel, Pierre and Jean-Baptiste, were brothers, the sons of Paul Bourgeois and Marie-Josephe Brun, originally of Beaubassin, Acadia. From this group came a number of successful sugar planters in St. James Parish."
Note: Check census and with Historical Society about settlement on East or West bank of the Mississippi.
In 1770, Joseph joined the First Company of the Acadian Coast militia unit as a fusilier under Commandant Nicolas Verret. In 1776 he served as the local churchwarden.
1777 Census showed that they purchased another arpent, for a total of 6 arpents of property, and now owned one slave, sixteen cows, and four horses.
In 1784 he joined Acadian leaders in denouncing the tyranny of the local curé. In 1786, he signed a petition with other church members about upholding church debt between priests. In 1795, he participated in a meeting of the District’s notables to discuss increasing local security in the before the abortive 1795 Pointe Coupée slave uprising. Joseph and Marie Magdeleine had 5 children:
Marie (b1762), Scholastique (b1770), Celeste (b1774 in St. James Parish, LA), Joseph Simon (b 1777 in St. James Parish, LA - d1821), Pierre Paul (b1780 in St. James Parish, LA)