A LeBlanc Family DNA Newsletter
First, I would like to address our French Acadian Tradition. We share a very rich Acadian French Heritage / Tradition that has been past down to us by word of mouth from generation to generation over these past 350 plus years. I have found most of these traditions used a narrative form of story telling to pass down cultural and family ancestry history. Many of you might know that scholars teach that myth and folklore contain elements of truth in them. Trying to deal with these traditional stories, “truth and the realm of myth” that have been received as pure truth because of popular belief has not been easy. Especially when these traditions and myths illustrate a pioneer ideal, such as the many stories associated with Daniel LeBlanc of Annapolis Port Royal, N.S. Acadia.
I am sure this “LeBlanc DNA Family Newsletter” will speak many things to many people. I would ask the readers, please don’t think for a moment that most of this information came out of thin air or any fanciful thinking. It’s not just my research alone, but it’s been the research of many others as well. I, along with other LeBlanc researches, hope that what you are about to read will introduce a spark that will light a fire of interest that will get more family members into doing their own research into our LeBlanc Family History.
The old people use to say; ”You might know for sure who your mother is, but knowing who your father and grandfathers really are might be something else.” Today through modern DNA Genetic Science we can truly know for sure, not only who our biological father is, but also ALL our biological grandfathers as far back as science will allow. The Art of Modern Y-DNA science that reveals our genetic paternal ancestry reveals our material make up which is handed down from generation to generation through our father’s line. Encapsulated within our own Y-DNA is our family history as individuals. Advance genetic technology is now unlocking and revealing our family roots.
Our Y-DNA does not fade with time like some old parchment paper or some written paper documents. It’s our ancestor’s same gene’s that LIVE in all of us today. Familytree DNA in Texas, has supplied me with much scientific genealogical information connecting our LeBlanc Tree with other family members long after our LeBlanc paper trail had grown cold. This is called ”Y-DNA Science” and it has helped to put flesh once more upon them old bones of Daniel LeBlanc of the 1600's. This same Daniel LeBlanc, through genetics science, has passed along his genes to his children and their children to this day. Daniel continues to live in all his generations long after he went to sleep back in 1698.
In a Court of Law today,
“Modern D.N.A. Science” will always trump any hear-say or paper documents as fact!
During my own family research into my different family lines, I have found much faulty written information among the many official paper documents. Because it was recorded as truth, I could not get that faulty information corrected. Unlike DNA, written corrupt information gets past down to the next researcher disguising itself as truth, but never telling the truth. So, when a researcher finds this faulty information there is almost no way to correct it and it just gets past along as being fact to the future researchers.
Sadly, this is what all of us are facing today. It seems, some have invested so much time and prestige into faulty research that their pride will keep them from being open to my research and new findings; preventing them from accepting these new truths for themselves. As they fight against the very truth of the matter, they continue passing on their faulty information because of their pride and/or prejudice. I hope anyone doing this type of research will use DNA science to prevent themselves from going down wrong information pathways. Doing their research with a combination of DNA science, paper trails, and family stories will help prevent errors, overcome their own pride and prejudice and get to the truth.
I have been very fortunate to have received much help from many talented LeBlanc and White family members who have given me their time and help with this project. Many of these family members have become modern day pioneers by agreeing to have their own Y-DNA genes tested for my research. Since many well-known family members have recorded their research already through old written documents, there is no reason for me to include their research into this newsletter. Anyone who is interested can do a computer search into the family name “LeBlanc” and read their work. I want to focus this newsletter mostly about our new LeBlanc Y-DNA research findings.
This “LeBlanc Y-DNA Family Newsletter” is by no means meant to be a final report; I only want it to be a beginning. I present my findings now as a tool that I hope will inspire
other family members to start or continue their own research and to be bold enough to share what truth they may find with the rest of our family.
Recorded history has not been very informative about where the first Daniel LeBlanc 1620's – 1698 of N.S. Acadia came from or who his father, mother, or grandfathers may have been. I know many of you, after reading this newsletter will say, ”I will not believe any of this until someone comes up with written documents backing these findings up!” Or, worse yet, say; "I will not believe any of this until they find them old bones of Daniel to get tested. Remember, (let me say it again) “In a Court of Law today, Modern D.N.A. Science will always trump any hear-say, or paper documents as fact! With this, I rest my case.
We all know there has been much speculation on the origins of this great Acadian Pioneer, Daniel LeBlanc, but nothing presented before now has been proven as fact! Knowing this much has inspired me over many years, after researching what others have found concerning our LeBlanc Family line, to do my own research.
Back in the early 1990’s while I was living in the State of Alaska, a friend from New York City called me and told me about this new genetic research called, “Y-DNA testing”. He knew I was doing research into my LeBlanc Family line and thought I’d be interested. I was, so I called Bennett Greenspan of FamilytreeDNA in Texas and ordered my own testing kit. At first, I did not match with any LeBlanc’s, (there was a kind of mix-up with test results) so they ran a new test that still showed no matches. That’s when I thought, maybe it’s because there hasn’t been any LeBlancs tested yet. I then called family members that I knew had traced their roots back to Daniel and they agreed to have their own Y-DNA genes tested. That’s when the matches began to come in.
These testing results proved to us that we all shared a common grandfather; Daniel LeBlanc of the 1600's. It’s recorded that Daniel LeBlanc had six sons and we know five of them had their own large families. These sons have passed their fathers (Daniel's) Y-DNA down the line to the many LeBlanc men of today. So, I did not find it strange that some LeBlanc’s that I match with came from different lines (Grandfathers) leading back to Daniel, with all having different grandfathers, but still sharing that same common grandfather “Daniel.” All sharing the same Y-DNA.
In 2011 after a number of years passed, I checked to see how many LeBlanc’s had been tested and found that number to be 32. However, I only matched with 11 of those that had been tested. Knowing many Leblanc’s came from the early Leblanc line from France and moved to New France, (Quebec) before the time Daniel LeBlanc was even born, lead me to more research because I did not match with any of these early Leblanc’s from Quebec. The more I researched into this I found information on early Acadian family records: which ship these families came over on; captains names; the names of the ships; Ports of Departures, and Ports of Call. Nowhere did I find in any ship records or any other place in France the name of Daniel LeBlanc. Note: as of October 2012, its now 40 LeBlanc's tested with still only 11 matches out of the 40 tested.
I was told all of Daniel’s records must have been burnt by the English during the 1755 expulsion out of the land of N.S. Acadia. I then thought, “How could only the records of Daniel got lost or burnt and none of the others? When I contacted the people at, “The Commonwealth Massachusetts Archives” in Boston, they told me they have no written documents in Boston ordering any burning of ay birth recorded documents during the time of the 1775 French Acadian Expulsion. Then I called and talked with a V.I.P in N.B. and told him what I thought had happened with Land Deeds. I thought possibly it was the deeds that got burnt; he agreed and told me that sounded very possible. By getting rid of all land deeds, if any of these French Neutrals were ever to go back to their homesteads they would not have any legal claim to their property. I also believe this is why you cannot find any French land deeds from the time after the 1775 expulsion. I truly believe none of the birth records or family information got lost during at that time.
I recommend checking this out for yourselves and see how you can find almost all the information on every French person in Acadia, but no birth record, ship records, records of departure from France, or landing in Acadia for Daniel LeBlanc.
That’s when I began to think, “Maybe Daniel did not come from Europe at all, but might have been fathered by someone already living in N.S. during that time”. So, I researched all the surnames of the men that lived in the Old Port Royal area and the Old Melanson Settlement during that time; no one living there matched any of my Y-DNA scores. Remember, Daniel lived with his wife at the Old Melanson Settlement before moving north of there to his new home site, now called Gesner’s Creek, Granville. With no matches there, that’s when I decided to do a much deeper test. I ordered that deeper Y-DNA test and that’s when the new name came in; “ALEXANDER”.
When I checked again I still could not find any Alexander that were permanently
living in Annapolis Port-Royal or the Melanson Settlement during that time frame. I then put the name ALEXANDER and the date into
my computer search engine and the name, Sir William Alexander (the younger)” came up showing him being at Annapolis Port-Royal during the late 1620's to 1631. BINGO! I then checked my
“Y-DNA Ancestral Origins” in Europe and was surprised to find Scotland as the most favorable place of my ancestors. Scotland is where Sir William Alexander (the younger) and his
family came from.
According to FamilytreeDNA, any percentages above a 4% match might be interpreted as a highly significant indication of my family’s Origins. My score is 4.1% with Scotland as being my place of European Origin, with only a very low score of 0.3% for France. The low score of 0.3% for France is understandable knowing every LeBlanc or Whites that had their ser name changed from LeBlanc that were tested, put down France as their place of Origin. I had done this myself, because that’s what we all have been lead to believe. This explains the very low score of 0.3% for France as being our place of European Origin. So now, knowing Sir William Alexander (the younger) was the father of Daniel, who could have been his mother?
This is where the trail gets a little smoky.
I had found that it was the custom of the Native people to offer their young maidens to these white men from Europe. The reason for this was to strengthen their own bloodline. These
mothers would keep the offspring from such unions, (called Metis) bringing them up in their own village in their own cultural ways. According to Bona Arsenault’s writings,
“History of the Acadians”, quote: “Mingling with the Indians ( Micmacs usually) they produced a number of Metis or half-breed children and these half-breed children, who in turn
produced Metis, whom became some of the staunchest allies of the French families in Acadia.” Researching into this further I had discovered that most of the time, the Catholic Church
did not record these Metis children when they were born. Could this be the reason why no one can find any church records on Daniel LeBlanc ever being born?
Then I found that there was a Micmac Chief called Segipt, (sometimes called Sakumow Sagma) he was the Chief of the Micmacs near Annapolis Port-Royal. Chief Segipt was chosen by the Micmacs as representative of the rest.” This Chief of the Micmacs asked the King of England for his protection against the French and for himself, “To be of our King’s religion.” Taken from “Transatlantic Encounters” (Disparate Encounters.) Etienne de LaTour was also a part of this party that went to England. This Chief Segipt knew Sir William Alexander really well and they became friends. So much so, that Sir William Alexander (The Younger) sent Chief Segipt to England in 1629-1630 to see the English King Charles. So, Chief Segipt went to England while his good friend Sir William Alexander (the younger) stayed back at Port Royal that winter. This is about the time Daniel was conceived according not only to what’s been recorded about the time of Daniel’s birth, but also my Y-DNA match time frame with the Alexander connection. All of this information on Chief Segipt can be found in the book written by Vaughn A.T. (2006) Transatlantic Encounter: American Indians in Britain, 1500-1776, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (BL Shelfmark”YC. 2007.a.7816) In this book it contains the section regarding Chief Segipt, as well as footnotes references to primary materials about the visit.
It’s this Alexander line from Scotland that all Acadian LeBlanc’s Y-DNA genes match with according to FamilytreeDNA and not with any Frenchman from France. But keeping in mind, the Leblanc line from Quebec, have very good paper trails going back into France.
When I talked with
Jennifer Valentine, (March 1, 2011) at FamilytreeDNA, she checked my scores and told me, according to their findings there is over a 90% probability that this Sir William Alexander (the younger)
was the father of Daniel LeBlanc. I then asked Jennifer Valentine if there has been any higher probability in testing then the
90% for me, and her answer was no; that’s been their highest
Concerning Acadian traditional myth:
When I was a young lad, I would climb up on my fathers lap and ask him to tell me some stories about his life in Canada. One of these stories was about a Grandmother of his that was a Micmac Native.
He also said, that we have this Micmac bloodline in us. When I checked my LeBlanc family line, there were no LeBlanc Grandfathers that married any Micmac wives. I then thought, maybe my
father just believed some old untrue family folklore story. Now I’m thinking, maybe my father did hear a true story. This is one of those LeBlanc Folklore Stories.”
Remember, many of these Folklore stories that have been told over and over
again, from family members to family members, over the many years have many elements of truth to them.
I remember my father telling me this, The first white baby born in Acadia was a LeBlanc and his native mother gave him the name of LeBlanc because when he was born he was so white, and that’s how the name began. He told me the old people in his family in N.B. Canada told this story.
Now for the name “Daniel.” Like many others, I found it interesting
and somewhat strange to discover that none of Daniel LeBlanc’s children or grand children or even great grandchildren for many generations was given the first name of Daniel. When I
look at my LeBlanc Grandfathers, for many generations, they all had given the names of their LeBlanc ancestors to their own sons.(Daniel excluded) We all know, the giving of a father or
grandfathers name to our children was a common custom for many generations in Acadia, and even still today. I had named my own first son after my father, and my other sons after LeBlanc
uncles. Could it be, that the name Danny, or Danny-boy was just to Scottish for them early LeBlanc family members that found themselves living among the French? Remember, these LeBlancs were
known as French Neutrals and would not fight against the English, or the French people, while living in N.S.
Knowing they were not of such beliefs as others like the Amish or Quakers, they
were all Catholic's and every one knows, these Catholics would fight
anytime. Also, it’s been written in many books that the common practice for these
native mothers to name their children. (See my father’s story and Arsenault’s book “History of the Acadians”
Now knowing, that many Micmac people spoke French, it would also make sense that Daniel’s mother could have given him the name Daniel, (the name of the Ships Captain that took Chief
Segipt to England) and for the family name, named him LeBlanc, seeing that he was a white baby. The French family name LeBlanc in English is WHITE.
I am now trying to find out if Chief Segipt had any daughters that got left behind at Port Royal when he made his trip to England.
As I stated previously, my research is continuing as I search for more answers to this complex puzzle. This is another family story that my last living LeBlanc Uncle told me about our LeBlanc Family. It was back in the mid 1990's, I was at my Uncle’s home in Leominster MA. I was visiting from my home in Alaska, and I wanted to record as much LeBlanc family folklore stores that I could before these stories got lost with time. This LeBlanc Uncle was the last of my father’s brothers that was living at that time. I asked him, if he could remember any stories pertaining to our LeBlanc family when they lived in the old days back in Canada? Once I started the tape recorder, with my notebook also in hand, he began. My Uncle looked at me as he leaned over the table, and spoke with a low voice, as to not let any one over hear what he was about to say. (There was only my uncle, his wife and me in the home) “I knew, he was making an unspoken statement by doing this”.
“DON”T TELL ANYONE!”
Quote: Robert, the old people of N.B. would tell the stories about the first LeBlanc in Acadia and how he would wear a Kilt.” I asked, “Why would a Frenchman wear a Scottish Kilt?” He said he did not know why, but that’s one of the stories, he himself had heard from the old people!
Its been recorded in some families web-site that "All the Scots moved out of N.S. when the French took over.” I have found this to be untrue.
Many Scots stayed and together with some French families lived at the Old Malanson Settlement along the Annapolis Royal River; Daniel LeBlanc was one of these people. Later when Daniel married, his wife and he moved up river to what was then called "The Daniel LeBlanc Homestead."
Sadly, I know “Political Genealogy” plays a big part in French Heritage with many that do French Genealogy. With such prejudice, comes the cover ups and the untruths. I pray that one day soon the truth will be made known.
One very important bit of information that all might like to know, is found in the book “French Neutrals in Massachusetts” written by Pierre Belliveau. He writes on page 208, quote:
“6 January 1757 towards evening, the parson (Rev. Parkman) and his wife walked to the Biglow place. Selectman Edward Baker was visiting there also. In the course of conversation, M. LeBlanc
said that his sister married an Englishman, that one of his daughters married Governor Cosby and another married Lieutenant Governor Handfield of Annapolis.” Taken from the Parkman
Dairy’s. This took place in the Town of Westboro MASS. 1756. And also, many today have told stories of how harshly the French were treated while living among the English in Mass. As it
has turned out, many LeBlanc families that lived in the State of MASS. were treated more than kind.
Knowing about the on going war between the French and the English, during that time, and the animosity between these two people, the question beckons, “Why would any Noble Englishman marry into a French family?” We all know, the English looked down upon the French. English Nobles would never want to marry into these French families. One more important fact…The Daniel LeBlanc property, after the expulsion, was then called “The Noble Property”. And it was a LeBlanc family relative David Seabury that got the LeBlanc property in 1783. Farm ownership information from History of the County of Annapolis N.S. including Old Port Royal.”
Did these English Nobleman know about Daniel and his descendents not being of French, but of Scottish ancestry?
I’m now looking into the many letter that have been written by Cosby and Handfield, hopping to find any information that would shed some light on this mystery. Remember also, that Daniel had found favor with the English Rulers and was given the Post of Councilman at Port Royal, to meter out justice and the English law, and for keeping the peace among the French people there.
After hearing that the French LeBlanc's were treated very badly after the expulsion of 1755, I
researched this and I am very happy to say, these LeBlanc’s that were related to English Nobleman were treated very well. It’s all in the records of the towns and cities were they were
living. I recommend reading the book by Belliveau for more details.
Some LeBlanc families were offered their own land if they would stay and not go back to Canada. Early History of 1775-1773 Oxford MASS. Recorded in the Oxford Town records "History of Oxford", page 126. As it has turned out, many LeBlanc families that lived in the State of MASS. were treated very well. Every petition that was presented to the Great Counsel of Boston, on behalf of these LeBlanc families, between 1755 –1763 were ALL” granted. These LeBlanc's had found much favor among their English captors. This information is found in “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Archives Collection.” Vol. 23-24. I also have in my hand, a copy of the “Oath of Allegiance” to the King of England, that Daniel had signed dated August 1695. Even when the French Neutrals were all set free, the French Governor of Quebec (New France) would not send any money to pay for these French Neutrals to move to New France.
It is recorded that this French Governor of New France made the statement; "Those French Acadian Neutrals are not French." In fact, the Government of France did not want them either for the same reason stated. This is when many French Neutrals went to New Orleans instead of returning to Canada.
Hearing this, the English people of the City of Worcester Mass. liked these Acadians so much, that they took up a collection for them and they paid all their expenses, not only for their trip up
north by ship, (they did not do any walking) but also enough money to support their needs for the first winter when they got back into Canada. I
read also that the French Neutrals were so respected by the English
as being honest, kind, and very hard workers, that they were also offered a place to stay if they wanted to, as free residents of the Commonwealth. All this information can be found in the
City of Worcester minutes of meetings. In the year 1763. As previously stated, my research is continuing as I search for more answers into this complex puzzle.
Some researchers are still not embracing the genetic science available to us. It is to their benefit and credibility to use DNA genetic science to prove their documented findings. I am related to Daniel, not only through a very good paperwork trail, (see Stephen White’s work) but also through Y-DNA testing. I have many LeBlanc/White family members that have been tested and we can mostly trace our matches through one or more of Daniel’s son’s. This shows that if two men match and they come from different sons of a father, they share the same grandfather and that grandfather’s own Y-DNA.
Some researches mistakenly think that women can test their father's Y-DNA. The only way she can only get this information is from her paternal side, so she must have a male in her family tested.
To be continued……
"Next will be my findings on our Arcadian maternal Jewish Grandmothers."
Robert J. LeBlanc Millbury MA. 01527
edited by P.T.