Tracing your ancestry can be fascinating. I also had ancestors who left France during the 17th century. From what I can tell it was because they were persecuted Huguenots. They first settled in the Staten Island area of New York, but future generations later immigrated to New Brunswick during the American Revolution.
That's really interesting and one thing that surprises me is that the "tip" of Brittany is not a major source of emigration compared to the rest of Brittany and all of Normandy. I wonder what they had there that made them want to stay since it is rocky land with miserable weather a lot of the time. Maybe they were just out of the loop and nobody told them that there was a good new place on the other side of the ocean.
Or maybe it's just the fact that even though it was annexed by the Kingdom of France in 1532, it was considered a "foreign province" until 1790 and subject to customs formalities.
htmb: There are quite a few Huguenots in my lineage as well. You'll notice a big cluster around La Rochelle. Often, the only clue I have is that they were baptised in this or that "Temple Calviniste". It's very interesting to note that your relatives went northward during the Revolutionary War, I would have thought they'd have embraced the change. French British Loyalists?
Yes, they were British Loyalists.
The surname of some of those first to leave Saintonge, France was Mersereau.
Saintonge was all I remembered from the research i was given. Actually, I was adopted. In an attempt to find some biological family history I had my DNA run a few years ago and I was put into contact with a woman from Maine. She and i share some maternal DNA. It's only through her DNA that I have learned this information. As unbelievable as it sounds, she was also adopted, but was found by her biological brothers at the age of fifty. Her brothers later shared family tree information. Some of the New Brunswick relatives moved into Maine around the turn of the 20th century and settled there. So, yes, Lizzy, we could share some DNA.
I had understood that DNA mapping (as proposed by National Geographic, for example) didn't get that specific. When I see the examples, it really looks much more general and far back in time -- showing where your distant ancestors passed through.
Correct, bjd. The DNA information connected me with a family whose members had done extensive genealogy research. That's how I was able to get more specific information about my maternal ancestry line.