ACADIAN-CAJUN Genealogy: Step by Step, Ch 9
Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History
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Acadian-Cajun Genealogy: Step by Step
Chapter 9: Acadian-Cajun Genealogy Online

     When this book was first written (1992), the Internet was in very few homes.  Now (2000), the internet is being used more and more each day.  It is estimated that Internet use doubles every 100 days.  Over half of the U.S. population is expected to be online by 2005.  Since a major feature of the internet is the sharing of information, it makes for a fantastic tool in the area of genealogy.

In this Chapter, you will find information on:
  I've got Acadian-Cajun roots, and I just got online ... now what?
  Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History Websites
  General Genealogy Websites
  Webtools for Genealogy
  Building Your Own Genealogy Website
I've got Acadian-Cajun roots, and I just got online ... now what?

   The first thought you might have is to look for pages on your surname.  But if you enter a surname, for example Boudreaux, into one of the popular search engines, it will give you hundreds or thousands of hits ... most of them with no relation to genealogy.  You can refine the search by adding key words, such as genealogy, to the search.  A search for Boudreaux genealogy should give you a reasonable list of pages to look at.  Also, you can go to a surname link page.  There is one at <> that links to Acadian-Cajun surnames that specialize in a surname, or surnames.  You will also want to check to see if there's a website for an family association/organization for your surname.  The Fédération des Associations de Familles Acadiennes [FAFA] and the Confederation of Associations of Families Acadian Inc. [CAFA] <> maintain links to association websites.
    If you are new to genealogy, there are a number of general genealogical resources.  For material specific to Acadian-Cajun genealogy and history, it would be best to go to <>.  There is are subsites specifically devoted to Acadian Genealogy and Cajun Genealogy, as well as hundreds of pages of associated material.  For example, a couple of popular locations are pages with all of the extant Acadian censuses and pages with the passenger lists of the seven ships bringing Acadians to Louisiana in 1785. 
   To get an overview of the website, look for a site index page.  The site index lists and links all of the pages included in the website.  Some sites also have search engines just for that site. 

   You may also want to connect with other people online.  The first step would be to look at forums or bulletin boards.  People have posted questions and answers on all sorts of things, including genealogy.  There is a general Acadian-Cajun forum <> at Rootsweb.  You will probably want to check surname and location forums related to the names and places in which you are interested.  Continue reading for more information on forums in the Webtools section. 

   The next step would be to sign up to a mailing list.  When someone sends an email to a mailing list, a copy is sent to all members on the list.  You can send out a question, and perhaps one of the hundreds of subscribers will have an answer for you.  You will probably want to sign up to a general Acadian-Cajun mailing list, surname mailing lists (for names you are working on), and location mailing lists (for the areas in which you are working).  Continue reading for more information on mailing lists in the Webtools section.

   At this point, you may want to look further into some of the websites.  Some sites, though not specializing in your surname, might have useful information buried with the genealogy of other Acadian-Cajun names.  Also, it may be of interest to check out the information on the history of Acadian and Cajun cultures.  This will help you to understand the setting for the genealogy of your ancestors. 
   The most comprehensive site on the subject is at <>, the website created and maintained by the author of this book.  This website has 500+ pages with sections on every aspect of Acadian and Cajun genealogy, history, and culture.  Everything in this chapter (including the complete text of the chapter <>) is located at this site.  Links to hundreds of Acadian-Cajun sites can be found at the links page <>.  More details on this site and others are found in the Websites section of this chapter.  The best of those sites are listed, but you'll want to spend some time looking through as many as possible.

Acadian-Cajun Genealogy Websites
    There are five basic types of Acadian-Cajun websites that will be helpful in your work with Acadian-Cajun Genealogy.  They are:constructed genealogy pages, raw data, historical data, links, and combination sites. Though some sites overlap two or more of these categories, I've placed some of the major sites into their most appropriate category as examples.
1) The constructed genealogy page is the online version of a paper pedigree chart.  Some may be only one page long, while others can be large (200KB+) and encompass numerous pages.  Sometimes, a GEDCOM is offered for you to download. They are often within a family page, though there are a few sites that specialize in just pedigree charts.  A few sites offer large amounts of genealogy on numerous surnames.  The four best websites specializing in Acadian-Cajun constructed genealogy are:
  • Acadien Descendants <> by Joe Hebert

  • Joe has several different databases covering thousands of Acadians.  He has also worked towards correcting the material with respect to White's Dictionnaire.  It's definitely worth looking at.
  • Ancestry World Tree <>

  • While not specifically Acadian-Cajun, accepts pedigree files (GEDCOMs) and allows full access to the information online.  It includes found thousands and thousands of Acadian-Cajun entries here, and you can download complete GEDCOMs for free.  For example, a search for the Acadian surname HEBERT in early 2000 found over 8000 records!
  • Ensemble Encore <>

  • This site, part of the Acadian Memorial, contains the basic genealogy (parents, children) for those Acadians who immigrated to Louisiana.  It includes references and a good bibliography.
  • Steve's Ancestry<> by Steve Fleming

  • Steve has several databases, each concentrating on a separate surname.  Steve's page includes databases on: Altofer, Arsenault, Babin, Benich, Bergeron, Blanchard, Blouin, Bourgeois, Bradley, Broussard, Brou, Doucet, Dugas, Engler, Fannaly, Fleming, Fontenot, Forest, Gaudet, Gauterot, Geisser, Hebert, Heidel/Haydel, Huber/Oubre, LeJeune, LeMire/Mire, Leroux, Mayer, Melanson/Melancon, Michael, Mount, Petitpas, Poche/Pock, Pusey, Richard, Rommel/Rome, Roussel, Schexnayder, Schneider, Schaaf/Schoff/Choffe, Steeger, Theriot, Trahan, Weidler.
     At some point, the Centre d'etudes acadiennes plans to put the basic genealogy of Stephen White's Dictionnaire online for a subscription fee. 
     A number of pages only concentrate on a single surname (though other surnames are naturally included).  A list of them is kept at Acadian-Cajun Surnames & Researchers <>.   Some of these are:
  • Arseneau <>
  • Blanchard <>
  • Bourgeois<>
  • Broussard <>
  • Caissy <>
  • Chiasson <>
  • Comeau <>
  • Daigle <>
  • Forest <http://www.MEDENT.UMontreal.CA/~forestd/>
  • Girouard<>
  • Guedry<>
  • Hache-Gallant<>
  • Hebert<>
  • Jeansonne <>
  • Landry <>
  • Melanson <>
  • Rivette<>
  • Robichaud <>
  • Saulnier<>
  • Thibodau <>
  • Trahan <>
2) Raw data consists of church records, civil records, census data, passenger lists, etc.  Usually these have been transcribed by a private individual, though some sites are official.  There is not a lot out there at the moment, but plans are underway to put more and more data online.  Here are three sites with raw data; though one of them is actually a collection of hundreds of sites.
  • Banque le Parchemin 

  • <>
    Chambres des Notaires du Quebec has a site about their business ... notaries.  A section of the site interests genealogists, is a database of 30,000 notarial acts dating back to 1635.  You will find many Acadian records.  Though it is in French, you can get the basic information if you understand a few French words.  Or, you can use a translation service such as Alta Vista's Babel Fish <>.
  • Poitou, Acadie, Bretagne  <> by Francois Roux (French)

  • Though this site has constructed genealogy on the Boudrot and Daigle families, it's high point is the data on the Poitou settlement, the Belle Isle en Mer settlement, and the lists of movements of Acadians into (ship lists from England) and around (the 4 convoys from Chatellerault) France ... some of it not found elsewhere online. 
  • USGenWeb <> 

  • There are sites for every parish/county in the country.  There are several special projects that involve putting raw data, such as censuses and cemetery listings, online.  There is an Archives <> that keeps thousands of pages of data.  For Acadian-Cajun research, you should check out the Louisiana and New England area especially.  There's also a WorldGenWeb <>.  You may want to check the sites for Canada <> and/or France <>.
3) Historical sites offer an insight into the history that was going on around our ancestors.  It is sometimes helpful to know the history of their location to help determine their movements.  It also adds color to the basic lineage.  For example, knowing how, why, and under what conditions your ancestors sailed across the sea is much more interesting than just stating that they did so.
  • The Acadian Odyssey <> by the Acadian Centre at St. Anne University

  • There is a short history of the Acadians, along with a few graphics.  It gives you the story in less than 2 dozen pages.
  • Histoire du Canada et de l'Acadie <> (French)

  • No graphics, but lots of great information on the people and history of Acadia, as well as New France.  
  • Histoire du peuple Acadien<> by Daniel Robichaud (French)

  • This site contains a variety of pages on Acadian history. 
  • History of Nova Scotia <>  by Peter Landry

  • Mr. Landry maintains a well-documented and detailed history of Acadia.  He also has biographies of all major persons in the history of Acadia and Nova Scotia.
  • Il était une fois l'Acadie <> by Robert Duguay (French)

  • Robert's site is the best graphical presentation of the Acadian saga.  The details are few, and it is in French; but you owe it to yourself to take a look.  He also has a good section on old maps.
4) Some sites primarily consist of links to other sites.  The links may be on one area, or many.  They often contain some pages of data, but the focus of the site is to provide links to related areas.
  • Acadian Genealogy Homepage<> by Yvon Cyr

  • Sponsored by the producers of the "In Search of Acadian Roots" CD, this site started as a group of Acadian and genealogical links.  One of the first Acadian websites, it has expanded to include a number of other pages (ie. chat page).   There are over 1000 external links (with about 1/3 somehow related to Acadian-Cajun sites), and almost 100 pages at the site itself.
  • Acadian GenWeb<> by Michele Doucette

  • The GenWeb project is spreading around the world.  It is designed to get every country, state, province, county, etc. online.  Though most of the sites are based on geographical boundaries, the Canadian GenWeb graciously allowed for a special site to be set up for Acadians.  There are almost 400 external links and several dozen pages at the site itself.
5) Most sites (including some already listed) are actually a combination of the above types.   These sites will have each of the types of information already listed and more.  A good example of this is:
  • Our Acadian and French Canadian Ancestral Home <> by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

  • Lucie started simply but has added a number of items.  As with any good site, she continues to add new information regularly.
There is one site that offers a large amount of several sections, because that's the way it was designed ... to completely cover the area of Acadian-Cajun Genealogy, History, and Culture.
  • Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History <> by Tim Hebert

  • The most comprehensive website on the subject, consisting of over 500 pages and continually growing.  This website was contructed by and is maintained by the author of this book.  Some of the major sections of the site include: 
  • Acadian History

  • This is the most detailed history of the Acadians on the web ... with maps, a timeline, and images from the best Acadian-Cajun artists.
  • Acadian Genealogy 

  • The genealogy of the Acadians is covered in two periods; data in this section includes the Acadian censuses of 1671, 1678, 1686, 1693, 1698, 1700, 1701, 1703, 1707, 1714, 1751/52, 1752.  There are pages about the church records, notarial records, and compiled works.  There are also pages devoted to each of the Acadian surnames ... with basic information, beginning genealogy, and links to related pages.
  • Cajun History

  • This includes the transition of Acadians into today's Cajuns ... from their first days in Louisiana in the 1760s to the present day.
  • Cajun Genealogy

  • This section includes passenger lists for the seven 1785 ships that brought 1600 Acadians to Louisiana.  It also contains a listing of ALL other 18th century Acadian immigrants to Louisiana.  Information on tracing Cajun genealogy through the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries is included.
  • Acadian-Cajun Genealogical Periodical Article Index

  • The complete text of this book, which I compiled in 1990 is online.  It includes 5000+ articles related to Acadian-Cajun genealogy.  The updated edition covering articles up to 1999 should be out in 2000.
  • Acadian-Cajun Genealogy: Step by Step 

  • This section describes this book.  It is an expanded table of contents for the book, including a new (2000) chapter on Acadian-Cajun Genealogy Online.
  • Acadian-Cajun Links 

  • This links page contains the best sites for genealogy, history, tourism, etc. relative to the Acadian and Cajun people; it includes brief comments on most of the sites
  • Congres Mondial Acadien - Louisiane, 1999

  • There is an entire section on  the history and events of this major event.
  • The Hébert Family 

  • This is a surname site with information about Acadian Héberts before the Exile, and a great deal of information on them afterwards ... especially in Louisiana;  it includes a constructed genealogy of the first 6 generations
  • Miscellaneous

  • Some of the other pages at the site (though there are hundreds more) include:
    Acadian-Cajun Book List 
    Acadian-Cajun Places to Visit
    Acadian-Cajun Surnames & Researchers
    Acadian-Cajun Supply Store
    Acadian-Cajun Art Gallery
    Acadian-Cajun Articles
    Encyclopedia of Acadian Life
    Encyclopedia of Cajun Life
General Genealogy Websites 

     There are literally thousands of websites related to genealogy.   Even though a website doesn't specialize in Acadian-Cajun material, you will usually find information that you can use.  You may have a number of lines that aren't Acadian-Cajun.  There are websites that cover just about any area of genealogy you can think of.  Also, there are sites that specialize in certain locations.  You'll want to check out those sites that cover the areas of your ancestors.  And there are general sites, such as census information, that will be of help no matter what type of ancestry you have.  Here are some of the best general genealogy websites. 

          Ancestry <>
             Although it is a commercial enterprise, there is also a lot of free information.
             As previously mentioned, the World Tree contains millions of names accessible for free.
          Family Tree Maker <>
             Although it is a commercial enterprise, there is also a lot of free information.
          Family Search <>
             The genealogy site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
          Genweb <>
               Genweb host many genealogy sites and contains thousands of forums and mailing lists.
          Helm's Genealogy Toolbox <>
             This site contains several sub-sites to help you with your online genealogy.
          RootsWeb <>
             Rootsweb started out hosting many genealogy sites and continues to do so on a major scale. 
             It also contains thousands of forums and mailing lists.
          USGenWeb <>
             This site has already been mentioned.  It has a site for every parish/county in the country. 
             There are also sites for other countries at WorldGenWeb <>.

          A Barrel of Genealogy Links <>
          Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet <>
          GenGateway <>

          The Genealogy Home Page <>
          Genealogy Online <>
         Genealogy Resources on the Internet <>
          The Surname Web <>
          Top Genealogy Sites <>

Webtools for Genealogy

Search Engines
        Search engines visit websites and index them.  When you enter a word (or words), it will tell you which pages contain that information.  They are not foolproof.  Some sites may not be in their database.  Sometimes the genealogy site you want is number 9998 out of 10000 hits.
        Most search engines look through their entire database for information.  So if you enter a name, looking for genealogical information, you may get thousands of other hits from sites that have nothing to do with genealogy.
        If you use one of the major search engines, remember to include other words with the surname, such as "genealogy", a specific location, etc.  Some of the major search engines are Alta Vista, Yahoo, Excite, Infoseek, and Lycos.
        One of the latest types of search engine specializes in searching only genealogy-related pages.  It eliminates a lot of undesired "hits" that you get on a general search engine.  If you are looking for Landry information, it will not give you Landry's Grocery, Jim Landry-architect, etc.
  • Ancestry Search <>

  • You can submit a search which will go through all of the Ancestry online products.  It will give you the number of hits in each database.  Since there are some free databases, you may be able to find some material even if you don't subscribe to's library (see below).  The best part of this is that it searches the free Ancestry World Tree.
  • Genealogy Detective <>

  • This is a program ($24.97), and not a subscription service (though there are annual updates).  It is available as a download or on disk.  It has a number of features to help you in your online quest of genealogy.
  • Internet Family Finder <> 

  • This service, by Family Tree Maker, gives you the hits in their own products, as well as other webpages online.
   You may also want to 'connect' with other people online.  The first step would be to look at forums or bulletin boards.  People have posted questions and answers on all sorts of things, including genealogy.  There is a general Acadian-Cajun forum <> at Rootsweb.  Genweb has forums for thousands of surnames <>.  You can search the site, or just replace the *** in the following URL <***> with the surname you are interested in to see if the name has a forum.  If it doesn't you can always ask them to start one.  You can see if there's anything that might be of interest to you, and can leave any questions you have to see if someone else may be able to answer. Rootsweb has a much more detailed surname section <>.  It allows you to search for a surname in numerous ways.  There are separate surname forums for queries, Bible records, bios, deeds, obituaries, pensions, and wills.  Links to the Acadian-Cajun surname forums at Genweb and Rootsweb can be found at the Surnames & Researchers page <> at 

Mailing Lists
    A mailing list is a subscription service.  When you subscribe, everything that gets sent to the list address gets forwarded to all members of the list.  So if the list has 1000 people on it, you send your message to one location and it will be sent to each of those 1000 members.  You can send out a question, and perhaps one of the hundreds of subscribers will have an answer for you. 
    Some lists are available in digest form.  That means that all of the messages for one day are saved up and sent to you in one large email at the end of the day.  You may not want to get dozens of emails a day ... which is possible on some of the larger lists.  But if you like to get email, you can sign up to several lists and will always have something to read when you check your email.  In addition, some lists are archived.  That means that all of the messages are saved at a remote location.  If you want to check on a past message, you can consult the archived messages.
    The original Acadian-Cajun mailing list is at Genweb.  You just need to send a note to [email protected] and write only subscribe acadian-cajun in the body  of the message.  There is another Acadian-Cajun mailing list at Rootsweb and a Cajun-Acadian list at Genweb.  Some surnames and localities have their own mailing list, also.  Check with Rootsweb <> and Genweb <> to see if there's is a mailing list for the names you are interested in. 
   Mailing lists are also available for certain areas and locations.  If many of your relatives are from a certain country, area, state, or parish/county, you may want to subscribe to a mailing list for that region.  Both Rootsweb <> and Genforum <> have hundreds of regional lists.

Chat Rooms
    You may also want to use chat software, such as ICQ or IRC, to contact others.  Several chat sites exist.  Ancestry, for example, has numerous chat rooms for different areas of genealogy.  There is a Parachat page at the Acadian Genealogy Homepage. 

Online Libraries
     There are currently 2 major online genealogy libraries.  Both of them add a number of new books each week.  By early 2000, each of them had over 2000 publications at their respective sites. 

  •  <>

  • Ancestry started this concept by offering online access to hundreds of publications.  You can subscribe for $19.95 a quarter or $59.95 a year [2000 prices].
  •  <>

  • FamilyTreeMaker also has an online genealogy library over over 2000 databases (with 3 new ones added each day).  You can subscribe for $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year [2000 prices].
You might want to check out the listings of books included for each online library to determine if one, both, or neither would be the best bet.  Neither are very heavy with Acadian, Cajun, French, or Canadian material.

     You will find that a number of pages dealing with Acadian material are in French.  If you don't understand the language, you will want to use a translation program or web page.  There are several good programs (such as Easy Translator) that you can buy that will translate documents, including web pages.  Or, you can use an online translation service. 
     A pretty good one can be found at Alta Vista <>,  though it will not let you translate more than a couple of hundred words at a time.  You can get around that by cutting out sections of the page and translating them one at a time.  There is a link on the page if you'd like to purchase the program that does the translating.
     Be aware than it will sometimes make translations when you don't want them.  For example, if you put in Joseph Semer, b. Grand Pre, it will translate it as "Joseph to sow, b. Large Pre".

Building Your Own Genealogy Website

Where to Start
      There are also a number of websites that offer assistance in setting up a website.  One good place to start is at Cyndi's Genealogy Homepage Construction Kit <>.  There is also a webpage with helpful information on starting your own family page at <> that you may want to consult if this is new to you. 

Creating Web Pages with Genealogy Programs
     The genealogy program that your are using to maintain your family tree may already have the tools you need to start.  Several of them allow you to create a website using your database.  If you use Family Tree Maker, for example, it will create a series of web pages from your file and upload it for you at their site if you are a registered user. Family Origins will also create a website that you can upload, but you have to have web space somewhere.  That shouldn't be a problem, since there are many sites that offer free web space.  Check out Yahoo's listing of free webspace providers <>.

Turning GEDCOMs into Web Pages
    Even if you don't have a program that does this for you, you can use one of several programs that will take a GEDCOM file and create web pages out of them.  Some are free, while others have a small cost.  You can go to ZDNet and enter 'genealogy' in their search engine.  This will show you a variety of genealogy programs available for download.  Some of the programs that will turn a GEDCOM into web pages are: GenDesigner, uFTi, andGEDBrowser.
   Alternatively, you can just upload your data to Ancestry's World Tree <>.  They will convert the GEDCOM to web form and it will be accessible to the WWW.

What Do I Want at the Website
    You might want to decide what your page will cover.  Will it be just your family?  Do you want to specialize in one or more surnames ... locations?  Do you have any special information that would help people?  You will have to decide if you will post it once and just leave it up, or if you will maintain and update the site.

    If you would like a traditional printed resource, you might want to get Publishing Your Family History on the Internet <> by Richard S. Wilson [$19.95 + 3.50 s/h].

 Copyright 1999-2000 Tim Hebert