May 23, 2018
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Acadian Festival, Cyr Family Reunion moving to August

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, Special to the BDN

The 34th Acadian Festival and the annual family reunion held at the same time in Madawaska are being moved from late June to Aug. 11-15 this year to coincide with International Acadian Day on Aug. 15.

This year’s gathering is the Cyr Family Reunion, celebrating ancestors and descendants of one of the St. John Valley’s Acadian families. Activities will include a Cyr genealogy presentation by Yvon Cyr 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at Madawaska Elementary School. Reunion details are available at

For more on the Acadian Festival, visit

Featured in the spring-summer 2011 issue of Le Forum, the journal of the Centre Franco-Americain, the Franco-American Center at the University of Maine, is the family of Pierre Belanger, born 1759 in St. Pierre de la Riviere du Sud, Quebec.

As author Jim Belanger of Hollis, N.H., points out, this is not the St. Pierre on Ile d’Orleans in Quebec City, but rather the St. Pierre on the south side of the St. Lawrence River in Montmagny County, Quebec.

The children of Ignace and Marie Genevieve (Gagne) Belanger were Ignace, Marie Marguerite, Marie Genevieve, Marie Francoise, Jean Baptiste, Marie Anne, Pierre, Francois, Madeleine and Reine Modeste.

Pierre’s own family, with wife Marie Marthe Talbot dit Gervais, included Marie Marthe, Pierre, unnamed child, Pierre, Marie Marthe, Francois, Pierre, Jeremie, Hermenegilde, Germain, Francois, Joseph Marie, Jean Baptiste, Celestin, Marie Marthe, Julie, Marie Marthe, Marie Constance, Alexis (who became a priest), Francois and possibly Joseph.

Several of the children, who were born at St. Roch des Aulnaies in L’Islet County, died at or near birth, and so the names were given again to later children.

The history that Belanger includes with the genealogy information is fascinating, as well.

If you have ancestors from the counties of Montmagny or L’Islet, check out the genealogy volumes by Brother Eloi-Gerard (Talbot) at Maine State Library in Augusta, “Recueil de Genealogies des comtes de Montmagny, L’Islet, Bellechasse.” You don’t need to read French to follow the genealogies, which follow the families back through lists of marriages.

This is the same format used by Bob Chenard of Waterville in his “Franco-American Families of Maine” feature in Le Forum, in this issue the Marquis family in St. Agathe, Eagle Lake, Fort Kent, Frenchville and Lewiston.

It was a childhood friend who told Marilyn (Lecombe) Snipe of Waterville about her descent from Renee Birette, one of the Filles du Roi, the King’s Daughters sent by French King Louis XIV to help settle colonial Quebec. Birette married Pierre Balan dit (called) Lacombe, some of whose descendants came to Waterville more than a century ago.

Juliana L’Hereux wrote about the Lecombe family for the new issue of Le Forum. Check out the Filles du Roi website to see whether any of your ancestors were among them at

Some of Le Forum articles are in English, some in French, some in both. One article in French is “Mon Acadie: Une Conference,” by Jacqueline Chamberland Blesso of St. Agathe and New Jersey, written about a conference held in April 2010 in Bergen, N.J.

Even if you only took French in high school, you may glean a lot out of this article.

“Ma genealogie est un melange de Quebecois et d’Acadiens arrives de la France au debut du 17e siecle et qui ont deja habite le nouveau monde pour 12 generations.” “My genealogy is a melange of Quebecois and Acadians who arrived from France at the beginning of the 17th century and who already have lived in the New World for 12 generations.”

Subscribe to Le Forum for $20 individual in the United States, $25 individual elsewhere, $40 library, sent to Le Forum, Centre Franco-Americain, Orono, ME 04469-5719.

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Wassebec Genealogical Society has asked me to give a program on “Franco-American Genealogy” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the conference room at Mayo Regional Hospital on Main Street, Dover-Foxcroft. For information, contact Estella Bennett evenings at 876-3073. All are welcome.

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The Centennial Exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1911, hosted by the Bangor Museum and History Center and Hose 5 Fire Museum, curated by Richard Shaw, is open through Sept. 30, at 73 Central St., Bangor. The display includes rare artifacts, photographs and first-person accounts. For information, call 942-1900.

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The Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in the meeting room at Thayer Parkway, Dover-Foxcroft, to continue its series on the Civil War. Wayne Bennett, Sons of Union Veterans member and Civil War historian, will speak about Company M, 1st Maine Cavalry. This is the unit in which Col. Calvin S. Douty served, a well-known name in the region. The meeting is open to all.

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Faith and Don Garrold will present a program on Searsport’s cemeteries at the meeting of the Searsport Historical Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at Curtis Hall on Church Street. They have spent much of their semiretirement researching the town’s seven cemeteries. All are welcome.

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Kevin Johnson, photo archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, will present “Greetings from Thomaston: Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company,” to the Thomaston Historical Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at Knox Farmhouse & Museum, 80 Knox St., Thomaston. The slide show is sponsored by Penobscot Marine Museum, and all are welcome.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402-1329; or email

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