Most, well all, of my mother’s ancestors came to Louisiana from France. I’ve traced them in Louisiana, through the expulsion from Acadia and in Acadia, but tracing them to their French origins is trickier. There is a brilliant site, http://french-genealogy.typepad.com/, that tells you which departments in France have their genealogy records online. Love, love, love this site.
Here’s my predicament. My ancestor, Claude Guillaume Montet, lived with his family in Belle-Ile-en-Mer, which Louis XV wanted to populate after the Brits captured it and held it for several years.
Guillaume Montet is something of a mystery man. He married his wife, Marie Josephe Vincent, in England, where she was deported from Acadia. I can find no trace of Guillaume in Acadia. Indeed, Acadian genealogy experts identify him as a non-Acadian. So what was he doing with the exiled Acadians in England?
When asked to give his genealogy in Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Guillaume said he was born on Jan. 23, 1737 in Cajolay (Perigeaux), France. Happy with this new knowledge, I put the words Cajolay and Perigeaux into Google and got nothing. Nada. Zilch. A search for Perigeaux produced Perigueux in southwestern France. But Cajolay? No clue. Was it horribly misspelled? Was it a small village that turned into a ghost town or got absorbed into another town? I turned to a French genealogist for help. Her response: What the heck is Cajolay?