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David DNA
  1. Family Historian Earl David
    1
    Family Historian Earl David
  2. Port at La Rochelle, France
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    Port at La Rochelle, France
  3. Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel's final resting place in La Rochelle, France
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    Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel's final resting place in La Rochelle, France

On a Quest for an Ancient Bloodline, a Family Genealogist Follows Ancestor from the Fortress of Louisbourg to La Rochelle, France

...by Marie Rundquist and Earl David
The devastating effects of the forced expulsion of an Acadian people from Nova Scotia in the mid-eighteenth century are no more apparent than in Louisiana-born Earl David's family genealogy. Marred by loss of life, forced separation, and exile, the David (pronounced “dah-VEED”) family history during the years between 1755 and 1759 is characterized by human tragedy on a grand scale. 
At the center of the cataclysm is paternal ancestor, Jean Pierre David, a Master Blacksmith for the King of France, Louis XV, who lived with his family at the Fortress of Louisbourg until the late 1750s [1].

Referred to in primary source records, as “Sieur Jean David,” Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel was born between 1699 and 1700 in the Parish of Saint Nazaire, Diocese of  Nantes, France [2], and arrived at the Fortress of Louisbourg, on the northern coast of Cape Breton, at about 1714 [3].  Sometime after 1716, Jean Pierre David met and married Marie Magdelaine Monmillion dit Saint Germain of New France and with her raised a family of seventeen children including eleven sons and six daughters [4].  Jean Pierre's auspicious start at the Fortress of Louisbourg in the early 1700s was met by turmoil and political strife as the mid-point of the eighteenth century neared.  After the first siege of the Fortress of Louisbourg on the 16th of June, 1745 when a New England colonial force aided by a British fleet captured Louisbourg, Jean Pierre and his family were deported to Rochefort, France along with approximately 1,900 French inhabitants [5].
The David family returned to the Fortress of Louisbourg in 1749 after the 1748 signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended the War of Austrian Succession and of which Great Britain and France were involved [6].  Peace was a scarce commodity for the family of Jean Pierre David following their return to the Fortress. First, Jean Pierre's wife, Marie Magdelaine passed away in the spring of 1755 [7]. Then, on October 27, 1755, during the first phase of “Le Grand Derangement,” eldest surviving son Michel David was deported with his wife and children, from Grand Pré to Maryland [8]. Finally, in 1758, after a second siege of the Fortress by the British, the widower Jean Pierre David and his daughters, Francoise Charlotte and Jeanne Olive, along with Charlotte's family, were deported to La Rochelle, France [9]. Sadly, Jean Pierre died in route and was laid to rest upon arrival, in the grounds of the ancient cemetery of the Hospital General of La Rochelle [10], which Earl David, had the opportunity to visit when he traveled to France in October of 2012.

By the end of 1759, only two sons of the family of Jean Pierre David: Michel and Louis are known to have fathered sons to carry on Jean Pierre’s bloodline.  Furthermore, the life stories of five other surviving sons, Jean Jacques, Claude Thomas, Jacques Andre, Joseph and Jacob go unrecorded.  Of three surviving daughters, only Marie Josephe and Jeanne Olive would bear sons and daughters and Francoise Charlotte would bear none.

Uncovering  the paper trail that bridges the gap between Nouvelle France and France for this David family has been a long and arduous task.  Recent inroads to genealogists in France, including the introduction by Louisiana genealogist, Paul LeBlanc, to the late Francois Roux, has uncovered significant new findings which have filled voids in this family's ancestry and narrowed the search of their French origins.  However, there are no guarantees that primary source records have survived or can be uncovered  which document into French antiquity the history of this David family line.  

For family researchers Earl and Robert David, and in memory of third cousin, the late Joseph “Bernie” Wayne David, the bloodline of ancestor Master Blacksmith Jean Pierre David, carried in the Y Chromosome DNA of his sons and paternal line descendants, may very well be the most promising key to their lost legacy -- in France!

Y Chromosome DNA tests are particularly revealing of a shared, paternal line ancestry. The David surname study benefits from Y chromosome DNA tests as the male chromosome passes from a father to a son, by way of inheritance, virtually unchanged except for mutations. Matching genetic sequences, discovered among surname study participants, can determine the probability of a most recent common ancestor -- a family patriarch - within a genealogically significant period of time.

Within the David DNA surname study, where David descendants research the paternal line of Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel, short tandem repeats (STRs) are particularly useful.  A close, Y chromosome DNA match, calculated at 67 (STR) markers, found among descendants of Jean David dit Saint Michel, may be used in concert with traditional, records-based genealogy to confirm a shared, paternal-line ancestry. DNA tests may also be used to uncover deepest ancestral origins.
67-marker Y Chromosome DNA tests, conducted for second cousins Robert and Earl David, have yielded an R1b1a2 result.  Each has only the other David surname study participants in his list of Y Chromosome DNA matches -- at 12 and 67 markers!  Each David participant in the study has the signature, Y chromosome genetic sequence that is unique to Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel's descendants. Further comparison shows that Robert and Earl have a 99.32% probability of having shared the same common ancestor within the past 12 generations, appropriate for descendants of Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel.  The Y Chromosome DNA results for all three David participants, Robert, Earl, who had the 67-marker Y Chromosome DNA test, and the late Bernie David, who had participated in a twelve-marker Y Chromosome DNA test in his lifetime, resolved to a genetic distance of "0," expected for closely related cousins.

As Earl David, Robert David, and the late Bernie David, share Acadian, French, and Native American ancestry by way of their ancestors, the French Michel David dit Saint Michel, of the Fortress of Louisbourg, and his wife, Genevieve Hebert of Grand Pre, maternal line descendant of "Anne Marie ?," a Mi'kmaq woman of Port Royal, Nova Scotia, each has maintained his Y Chromosome DNA test results in the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia Family Tree DNA study ( click here to view ).

Help research the David family! The Acadian Amerindian Ancestry Family Tree DNA Project and Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel descendant, Earl David, encourage MALE participants who have the "David" surname and suspect that they descend from David dit Saint Michel to verify their genealogy and order a Y chromosome DNA test through the David dit Saint Michel Family Tree DNA project. ( Click here to place your order ).  Please contact the administrator if you have questions about ordering your test.

Re-live ancestry!  Travel back in time to over 300 years ago for the live story of Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel his family and descendants by visiting Earl David’s website, Davids of New France, at  http://www.DavidsofNewFrance.com .  Please contact Earl David directly for questions about the David family line of France.

Copyright 2013
1. Secondary Source Record: Eric Krause of Krause House Info-Research Solutions, Fortress of Louisbourg Historical Memoranda Series 1964 to Present H F 25 1989, Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel: Blacksmith. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records, http://www.davidsofnewfrance.com/images/G9_Jean_Pierre_David_LAFL_HF25_1989.pdf

2. Primary Source Burial Record Translation by Francois Roux: On 30 April 1759, by me the undersigned, was buried in the cemetery of the hospital the body of Jean David inhabitant of Louisbourg of the parish of St Nasaire diocese of Nantes of sixty years died the previous day provided the sacraments of the church attended his burial. JB Debroise, The Biquais, Jean Limousin, J E ArivéArchives La Charente-Maritime, France,
http://charente-maritime.fr/archinoe/registre.php , La Rochelle, Collection communale, Hospitalier, Baptêmes Sépultures, Hôspital general, 1737-1759, Image 185. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records: Jean Pierre David’s Place and Year of Birth - 1699 to 1700 ( click here for more details )

3. Primary Source Ship Manifest Record: On 7 September, 1714, a primary source ship's passenger manifest lists a Jean David on a departing voyage of the 180 ton vessel, Saint-Joseph of Saint-Malo, mastered by ship's captain, Phillipe Le Viray with a crew of 68, departed the port of Bordeaux, France bound for the port of Louisbourg, Cape Briton Island and returning to France on 8 October 1714. Within the same ship's manifest on 8 October 1714, a Jean David is listed a second time. Could this second entry be Jean Pierre's arrival in the new world? It is unconfirmed that this Jean David is our Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel, however, the timing, the ports of departure and the voyage destinations indicate a viable possibility. Archives Canada France,
http://bd.archivescanadafrance.org/acf/search-acf.xsp , Archives départementales de la Gironde (France), 6B 230 92, Folio# 79, Image 81 and Folio# 79, Image 94. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records: Jean Pierre David’s Ship Passage from France to Nouvelle France – 1714 ( click here for more details ).

4. Secondary Source Record: Fortress of Louisbourg Archives. Family Reconstitution File for Jean Pierre David dit Saint Michel - 1722 to 1758. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records:
http://www.davidsofnewfrance.com/images/G9_Jean_Pierre_David_LAFL_Family_Reconstitution_10500.pdf

5. Primary Source Burial Record Translations: The following 2 primary source burial records confirm the deported presence of Jean David’s family in Rochefort, France in 1745. Angélique David, two year old daughter of Jean David and Madelaine Montmeillon, died 14 December 1745 and was buried the next day by me, the undersigned priest of the mission by the curial functions in the presence of the undersigned. Bouru, Coumaillaud, Le??? Priest François David, blacksmith of Isle Royale, age of 19 years, died the 21st December 1745 and was buried the next day by me, the undersigned priest of the mission by the curial functions in the presence of the undersigned Coumaillaud, Coumaillaud, Issaly Priest. Archives La Charente-Maritime, France,
http://charente-maritime.fr/archinoe/registre.php , Rochefort, France, Collection communale, Sépultures, Paroisse Saint-Louis, 1743-1748, Images 113 and 116. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records: Jean Pierre David Family’s Presence in Rochefort, France - 1745 to 1749 ( click here for more details )

6. Primary Source Census Record: 1749, Numéro 76. "Dénombrement général des familles d'officiers et habitans existens dans la colonie de l'Isle Royale la présente année XVIIe quarante neuf. Recensement nominal”, Translation: Number 76. "Counting general families of officers and existing inhabitants in the colony of Isle Royale this year seventeen forty-nine. Census nominal. Archives Canada France,
http://bd.archivescanadafrance.org/acf/search-acf.xsp , Archives nationales d'outre-mer (ANOM, France), COL G1 466/85p, 1749-1750, Image 32. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records: Jean Pierre David Family’s Presence at the Fortress of Louisbourg 1749 to 1750 ( click here for more details )

7. Primary Source Burial Record Translation: The 1st day of May 1755 buried in the cemetery of this city the body of Marie Magdelaine Montmellian, wife of Jean David, age about 60 years, given the sacraments by me ……. Signed ……Archives Canada France,
http://bd.archivescanadafrance.org/acf/search-acf.xsp , Archives nationales d'outre-mer (ANOM, France), COL G1 409, Registry 1, Folio 57v, 1755, Image 16. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records: Marie Magdelaine Monmellian Death and Burial - 1 May 1755 ( click here for more details )

8. Secondary Source Record: Gregory A. Wood, A Guide to Acadians in Maryland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Baltimore; Gateway Press, 1995) 111-112.

9. Primary Source Ship Manifest Record: 1759, avril, 28, Liste générale des familles, officiers-majors d'épée, de plume et de justice, négociants, principaux habitants et autres particuliers de l'Ile Royale débarqués à La Rochelle, tant existant au dit lieu que partis avec permission aux différents endroits du royaume, Translation: General list of families, headquarters officers sword, pen and justice, traders, residents and other key individuals of l'Ile Royale landed at La Rochelle, as existing at said place left with permission to different parts of the kingdom. Archives Canada France,
http://bd.archivescanadafrance.org/acf/search-acf.xsp , Archives nationales d'outre-mer (ANOM, France), COL C11B, 38, Folio 276, Image 23 and Folio 283, Image 38. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records: Francoise Charlotte, Jeanne Olive & Jean Pierre David’s Arrival at La Rochelle, France - 29 April 1759 ( click here for more details )

10. Primary Source Burial Record Translation by Francois Roux: On 30 April 1759, by me the undersigned, was buried in the cemetery of the hospital the body of Jean David inhabitant of Louisbourg of the parish of St Nasaire diocese of Nantes of sixty years died the previous day provided the sacraments of the church attended his burial. JB Debroise, The Biquais, Jean Limousin, J E Arivé. Archives La Charente-Maritime, France,
http://charente-maritime.fr/archinoe/registre.php , La Rochelle, Collection communale, Hospitalier, Baptêmes Sépultures, Hôspital general, 1737-1759, Image 185. Earl J. David Collection of Notes and Source Records: Jean Pierre David’s Burial in France - 30 April 1759 ( click here for more details )