Present Day Malpeque Harbor, P.E.I.


In 1735, there were 35 Acadian families from Acadie who established themselves in Prince Edward Island, including Joseph Arsenault who married Marguerite Boudrot on July 28, 1739 in Port-Lajoie (now Charlottetown) These families moved to Prince Edward Island because it remained a French possession, until Louisbourg on nearby Cape Britain Island was captured by the English in 1758. Consequently, many of these families were transported to France, while others were taken prisoner by the English and subjected to the same faith as the Acadians during the deportation of 1755.

All did not fare well and a large number of Acadian refugees who had moved to Prince Edward Island, were completely destitute and living in an unimaginable state of poverty, and therefore went to join the numerous other Acadians who had found refuge in the wooded regions of Cocagne, Bouctouche, Richibouctou and Miramichi in present day New Brunswick. In 1772, seven of the first Acadians who were settled in Cocagne received legal title to their land, among them Pierre, Francois and Joseph Arsenault.


Along the curving shore of Malpec on the northern coast of Ile Saint Jean, were the farms of many hundred Acadians who had settled in the parish of Malpec. The parish Church which was dedicated to the Holy Family was situated at Pointe-aux-Vieux. The site of this Church can be easily distinguished as well as the remains of the old cemetary, a great part of which has been washed away by the sea. This burial place is the last home of many of the earliest Acadians. The father of Joseph Arsenault (Joe League and a half) Louis DesRoches and wife, Abram Arsenault and wife, were all laid to rest within this site. In 1763 when peace was proclaimed, many of the Acadian exiles returned to Ile Saint Jean. Those that came back to the parish of the Holy Family settled several miles south of the original village of Malpec on Township 17.

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