Michel de FOREST (±1638-±1690)
Acadie flagMichel de FOREST is quadrisaïeul of Celeste MOISE, wife of Louis PARENTON. So all American PARENTON are his descendants.
Michel de FOREST was born in 1638, probably from Poitou in France and died about 1690 in Port Royal, Acadia, New France.
It is one of the first inhabitants of Acadia and many today are his descendants in U.S. and Canada.
map of Acadia in 1654Acadia was colonized in 1604 by Pierre Dugua de Mons and Samuel de Champlain. Port Royal was founded in 1605. It is now almost the provinces of Canada called New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
stamp effigy Port Royal
Replica house Samuel de Champlain in 1605 in Port Royal © Danielle Langlois 2004
As few documents from this period are available, it is difficult to ascertain its origin. Several assumptions, as whimsical as each other exist, including that it would be a descendant of the founder of New York.
To the most plausible is that Michel would have happened on the new continent 12 years old in 1650 during a voyage of Charles de Menou d'Aulnay Lieutenant General and Governor of Acadia.
Charles de Menou d'Aulnay - Governor of Acadia in 1647He brought the pioneers to each of his trips to France.
Michel is Catholic and most likely of modest although we find the name of "de" Forest on two censuses in Acadia and his son René signed "de" Forest. The use of the particle is not an absolute sign of nobility but in many cases this could mean particle from origin of the person.
It would have been as a laborer on the banks of the river Royal (now Annapolis River), 8 miles upstream of Port Royal. At the time, it was with the hunting and fishing, the only way to survive.
In 1666, he was 28 years old and married Marie HEBERT, born in Acadia who was 15. She died in 1677 after the birth of their sixth child Jean-Baptiste.
The 1671 census indicates that the population of the colony is 441 people, including 363 in Port Royal.
Extrait du Roole des familles de l'Acadie de 1671 :
« Laboureur-Michel de Forest âgé de trente trois ans, sa femme Marie hébert aagé de vingt ans, Leurs enfants 3.- Michel aagé de 4 ans, Pierre deux ans et demy- René un an. Leurs terres en Labour deux arpans. Leurs bêstes à Cornes douxe, et deux brebis » (sic).
Estats des habitants du Port-Royal en 1678 :
…michel forest Veuf (28). 4 arpans en valeur, 3 vaches, 2 veaux, 1 fuzil. 4 garçons: Michel 12 ans, Pierre 10 ans, René 8ans, Jean-Baptiste 3 ans. 2 filles: Gabrielle 6 ans, Marie 4 ans ».
En 1686, Michel a 47 ans, il épouse en deuxièmes noces Jacqueline BENOIT 13 ans, qui lui donnera en 1687 une fille nommée Marguerite.
Port Royal Census in 1686
Port Royal Census in 1686 :
Michel Deforest 47 years of Port-Royal. Michel has a new wife, Jacqueline Benoit 13 years and children from a first marriage: 19 years Michel, Pierre 18, Rene 16, Gabriel 13, Marie 11 years, Jean-Baptiste 9. He also has one rifle, 8 cattle, 4 pigs, 5 acres value.
Port Royal censuses show that three generations have occupied this land to the "Great Upheaval" of 1755.
The "Great Upheaval" is the name given to the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, a massive expropriation of French-speaking people of America when the British took possession of a part of the French colony in North America.
Grandparents Celeste MOISE, who lived in this period and who were born in Acadia, returned to France and were married there. Since they had nothing, they decided to create a new life in Louisiana.