Most of the Gaudet and Gaudette families in Canada and the trace their ancestry to Jean (or Jehan) Gaudet, who settled in Port-Royal, Acadia in the early 1600s.This web site is intended to be a compendium of the research done on him and his descendants. Much has been published on this family in various historical books and family histories, some of it accurate, some not so accurate. As is often the case with family histories, once something is in print, it often is considered to be "gospel". It is my hope that this web site will facilitate a critical examination and discussion of the facts, legends, and myths surrounding this Gaudet family and to allow us Gaudet and Gaudette researchers and descendants to learn more about our origins and our relatives' contributions to early America. The best way to separate fact from fiction and to resolve conflicting information is to go back to the primary sources (see Documenting Your Genealogy Research - Guide to Citing Sources). These include records of marriages, births, deaths, and burials, census listings, Bible records, tax lists, probate and land records, etc. The information in the descendant listings on this web site will include documentation of the primary sources as much as possible, and transcriptions of many of those sources will be presented in links below. This is a working document and not necessarily definitive, since much of it is based upon information found on the Internet or in published secondary sources. It will be modified and (hopefully) improved as more researchers provide input and, most importantly, evidence.
My database currently includes 7,581 descendants, of whom 5,823 carry the Gaudet surname (or a variant like Gaudette, Goditt, or Goody).
The land of Acadia was a originally a French colony in what is now Nova Scotia in Canada's Maritime Provinces. Since the initial settlement of Acadia by the French in 1604, control of the colony was contested by France and England, exchanging hands a number of times. England captured Acadia's capital of Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia) in 1710 and the resulting Treaty of Utrecht (1713) put control of Acadia into the hands of the British. The descendants of the French settlers of Acadia (including the Gaudet family) remained there, living under British rule until most of them were deported in 1755 for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to Great Britain at the outset of the last of North America's French and Indian Wars (1756-1763). Some of the Acadians escaped deportation by fleeing westward into Quebec or the backwoods of New Brunswick.
Jean (or Jehan) Gaudet settled in Port-Royal, Acadia in the early 1600s. His age in the 1671 census of Port-Royal is given as 96 years. If correct, this would put his birth at about the year 1575. There is no other known confirmation of this birth year. The place of origin for this Gaudet family may be Martaizé in the Poitou region of France, where the Acadian Governor Charles de Menou d'Aulnay's families had land holdings. (See Genevieve Massignon's article " La seigneurie de Charles de Menou d'Aulnay, gouverneur de l'Acadie, 1635-1650", published in 1963 in French.) A number of surnames of Acadian settlers are found in Martaizé and nearby Aulnay during the early 1600s. A particularly interesting document is a report to the King, dated 1634, by Nicole de Jousserand, Dame d'Aulnay (mother of the future Acadian Governor), in which she mentions a Jean Godet and several other Godets: Aveu au Roi, 1634. (Thanks to Michele Touret for transcribing this document and to Pierre Gaudette of St-Basile-le-Grand, Quebec for sending it to me.) Is this the same Jean Gaudet as our immigrant ancestor? Additional documentary evidence has not been found in the Martaizé parish registers (see Poitou, France below), but perhaps we can find a Gaudet (Godet) descendant in France whose direct paternal lineage can be traced (with clear documentary sources) to a Gaudet (Godet) in Martaizé. By comparing this person's y-chromosome DNA to that from a known descendant of our Jean Gaudet, we can determine if our Gaudet family is closely related to those in Martaizé, supporting the Martaizé origin.
The name of his first wife (whom he probably married in France) is not known. Three children were born of the first marriage: daughters Francoise (born about 1624) and Marie (born about 1633), and a son Denis (born about 1625). On the 1671 Port-Royal census, he appears (as a laborer) with his second wife Nicolle Colleson (born about 1606) and their son Jean (born about 1653). Jean/Jehan Gaudet (the immigrant) probably died not long after the 1671 census, as he was of a very advanced age and does not appear in records after 1671. His widow last appears in the 1686 Port-Royal census (as Nicole Colson) in the same household as her son Jean and his family.
Note: Due to the variation in spelling of the names in the primary records, I will use the conventions Je(h)an Gaudet and Nicol(l)e Col(le)son to indicate the uncertainty regarding a standardized spelling. If further primary records surface that show a leaning toward a particular spelling, I will change this. The spelling of the surname also varies quite a bit. In Acadian records, it is most often written as Godet, but later in New Brunswick and Quebec records, after the forced exile from Acadia, the spelling appears mostly as Gaudet, and sometimes as Gaudette. (Many of the descendants in the use Gaudette as the spelling.) Some Quebec parish records show the same individual signing his/her name as Gaudet in one record and as Gaudette in another. This shows that the surname was pronounced as go-DET, not go-DAY, in Quebec. In Prince Edward Island and parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the terminal "t" is often not pronounced. That is why you find some of the Gaudet immigrants to the New England region of the with the surname spelled Goody or Goodie.
Je(h)an Gaudet's oldest daughter Francoise first married to a man named Mercier (first name unknown). They had a daughter (Marie, who married Antoine Babin). Mercier died, and then Francoise remarried (probably in the 1640s) to Daniel Leblanc. Most of the Leblancs in Canada are probably descended from this couple. Daniel Leblanc died between 1693 and 1698, probably in Port-Royal. Francoise is listed as a widow in the 1698 Port-Royal census. The date and place of her death are not known.
Denis Gaudet, son of Je(h)an Gaudet, married (probably in the early 1640s) to Martine Gauthier (or Gautier). Most of the Gaudets (and Gaudettes) in Canada and the are descended from this couple. Denis appears as a widower in the 1693 Port-Royal census. He was buried there in 1709.
Marie Gaudet, daughter of Je(h)an Gaudet, married (probably in the late 1640s) to Etienne (or Estienne) Hebert. He died around 1670 (probably in Port-Royal). Marie remarried in the 1670s to Dominique Garault, who died between 1686 and 1698. Marie was buried in Port-Royal in 1710. Marie left many Hebert descendants in Canada and the.
Jean Gaudet, son of Je(h)an Gaudet and Nicol(l)e Col(le)son, was married three times. His first wife was Francoise Comeau (whom he married after 1671). He appears in the 1686 Port-Royal census with his second wife Jeanne Henry. She died between 1686 and 1693. By 1698, he remarried again to Jeanne Lejeune dit Briard. Jean last appears in the 1714 census of Pisiquit (on the Baie-des-Mines) with his wife. The date and place of his death is not known. Jean Gaudet had at least four children - three daughters and a son. Some of the Gaudets in Canada and the today may be traced to Jean's son (Jean).
The Gaudet family settled along the upper reaches of the northwestern shore of the Dauphin River.
Note: On this web site and in my records, I have chosen to omit the correct French accent marks (e.g., grave, acute, circumflex) since I am not fluent in the French language and am using an American English keyboard. My apologies go out to my French-Canadian cousins!
Here are listings of known descendants (through ten generations):
[Note: To view the Adobe Acrobat files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. This can be downloaded free from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. You can download the files to your disk to view them, or use your web browser with the appropriate plug-ins.]
Children of Je(h)an Gaudet & ----- [first wife] & Nicol(l)e Col(le)son
Descendants of Francoise Gaudet (#1) & ----- Mercier & Daniel Leblanc
Descendants of Denis Gaudet (#2) & Martine Gaut(h)ier
Descendants of Marie Gaudet (#3) & E(s)tienne Hebert & Dominique Garault
Descendants of Jean Gaudet (#4) & Francoise Comeau & Jeanne Henry
There are some Gaudets who have not yet been placed in this Gaudet family. If you know of primary source information
that shows where these branches fit in the family, please let me know. [Note: The prefix for these individuals is "z".]
Miscellaneous Gaudet Descendants
Descendants of Ant(h)oine Hebert (#ha) & Genevieve Lefranc
(Ant(h)oine Hebert may be a brother to Marie Gaudet's husband E(s)tienne Hebert. I have included Ant(h)oine's descendants on this web site to differentiate his descendants from those of E(s)tienne. Most, if not all, of the pre-1755 Heberts in Acadia are descended from either Ant(h)oine or E(s)tienne. The descendants of Ant(h)oine Hebert and Genevieve Lefranc are prefixed with the descendant ID "ha". )
GEDCOM (Gaudet, Generations 0-10)
Index of Names
Explanation of Format of Descendant Listings
1851 New Brunswick
1861 New Brunswick
1871 New Brunswick
1881 New Brunswick
1891 New Brunswick
1901 New Brunswick
1911 New Brunswick
1838 Nova Scotia
1861 Nova Scotia
1871 Nova Scotia
1881 Nova Scotia
1891 Nova Scotia
1901 Nova Scotia
1911 Nova Scotia
Cheticamp, Inverness Co., Nova Scotia
1861 Prince Edward Island
1881 Prince Edward Island
1891 Prince Edward Island
1901 Prince Edward Island
1911 Prince Edward Island
Kent Co., New Brunswick
Westmorland Co., New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Montcalm Co., Quebec
Nicolet Co., Quebec
St-Gregoire, Nicolet Co., Quebec
St-Hyacinthe Co., Quebec
Vercheres Co., Quebec
Canada World War 1 Attestation Papers
USA World War 1 Draft Registrations
USA World War 2 Draft Registrations (Old Man's)
GenForum - Gaudet, Gaudette
RootsWeb - Gaudet, Gaudette
Facebook - Gaudet Group
DNA ResearchGaudet DNA Project
A new tool in genealogical research is the use of genetic markers in DNA to establish family relationships. See Genetics, DNA and Health History. The Y-chromosome is passed down from father to son to grandson to great-grandson, etc. along the male line (as are surnames in many modern western societies). Occasionally, due to random mutations, one or more of the genetic markers may change in an individual and be passed down to his son that way (similar to a surname changing from Gaudet to Gaudette). Standard tests are available (based on a cheek swab) to identify 12, 37, or 67 markers on the Y-chromosome. (The more the markers, the more precise the idenfication; I strongly suggest 37 or more markers, in order to be useful for genealogical purposes.) All direct male descendants of Je(h)an Gaudet would have a very similar, if not identical, set of markers (or haplotype). Someone with a surname of Gaudet (or some variation), whether or not they had done in-depth genealogical research, could compare their haplotype to known Je(h)an Gaudet direct male descendants to see if they were likely to be a direct male descendant of Je(h)an Gaudet. Likewise, the Je(h)an Gaudet haplotype could be compared to haplotypes of other families to see if these families were closely related in France. I would like to establish a confidential database of haplotypes of Je(h)an Gaudet's direct male descendants to give us a tool to identify Je(h)an Gaudet descendants and to find closely related Gaudet families from France. Ideally, we would need several samples from direct male descendants of each of Je(h)an's grandsons (those of his sons Denis and Jean, who carry the Gaudet Y-chromosome). The Family Tree DNA testing service is the best suited for surname genealogy. If anyone is interested, please contact me by e-mail. The tests can be ordered from Family Tree DNA as a part of the Gaudet DNA Project.
To help defray the cost of the testing, I have set up a Gaudet DNA Project fund that will allow those of us without the Gaudet Y-chromosome (such as females born with the maiden name of Gaudet) to jointly share in the cost of this project. If everyone interested in this avenue of research can contribute a little from time to time, it will greatly help to increase the level of participation by direct male descendants with the "right" DNA. If you would like to take advantage of the fund for your test, let me know. Those of us not fortunate enough to have the Gaudet Y-DNA chromosome may help others out by contributing. Pick the letter "G" on the menu and indicate that you wish to contribute to the "Gaudet" project.
French-Canadian & Acadian Genealogy Sources
If you find this information useful and would like to contribute a small (or bigger) amount to help fund this research, please consider selecting one of the options below. This helps me pay for subscriptions to web sites (e.g., Ancestry.com), reference materials (maps, books), supplies (paper, ink, binders, folders), time, and travel.
If you would like to comment on any information contained within, or wish to correspond with me about this family, please send me an e-mail message at: email@example.com. Additions and corrections are greatly appreciated. I am especially interested in receiving information obtained from primary sources (census listings, Bibles, cemeteries, vital records, probate and land records, etc.) and photographs and digital images relating to this branch of the Gaudet family so that I can incorporate them into this page. Also, I would like to provide links to other pages on the Internet that deal with Gaudet genealogy.
Mark B. Arslan