When did the Acadian Commandant Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil really die?
By Stanley LeBlanc
Several references,including Quest for the Promised Land by Carl Brasseaux, state that Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, the Commandant of the Acadians at Attakapas, died September 4, 1765. This was apparently based upon the following two SWLR [Southwest Louisiana Records] entries:
BROUSSARD, Joseph died 4 September 1765; buried 5 September 1765; funeral recorded: 7 September 1765. Fr. Jean FRANCOIS (SM Ch.: v.1, p.12)
BROUSSARD, Joseph died 4 September 1765; buried 5 September 1765 "au dernier camp enbas" [at the last camp or burial place on the lower section]; funeral recorded: 7 September 1765 Fr. Jean FRANCOIS, cure (pastor) of the new Acadia. (SM Ch.: Slave Register - Funerals: v.1, #20)
The two references above do not refer to the Joseph Broussard who died 4 September 1765 "dit Beausoleil" nor as the Capitain or Commandant of the Acadians. The following two SWLR entries for a burial of 20 October 1765 however, specifically refer to the death of Joseph dit Beausoliel as the Capitain Commandant des Acadiens:
BROUSSARD, Joseph dit Beausoleil - "Capitain Commandant des Acadiens des Atakapas" [Commanding or leading captain (Leader) of the Acadians of Atakapas]. buried 20 October 1765 at the Camp [place or location] named Beausoleil; recorded 25 November 1765. Fr. Jean FRANCOIS (SM Ch.: v.1, p.78)
BROUSSARD, Joseph dit Beausoleil - "Capitaine Commandant des Acadiens aux Atakapas" buried 20 October 1765 at place called Beausoleil, Record entered: 25 Nov. 1765. Fr. Jean FRANCOIS, Cappucin. (SM Ch.: Folio B-1, Funeral)
My research indicates that the Joseph Broussard who died 4 September 1765 was most likely Jean [-Joseph], the grandson of Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil and Agnes Thibodeaux and the son of Victor-Gregoire Broussard and Elisabeth LeBlanc [Rene LeBlanc & Anne Theriot]. Jean [-Joseph] was born 15 September 1753 as recorded in the Acadian Church Records. Acadian Church Records, 1679-1757 by Winston Deville Parish Churches of Ste. Famillie De Pabok, of the Baie-des-Chaleurs, of the Grande Rivière and other places inhabited in Gaspésie from Eshedoik to Kamounaska
September 30, 1753 Jean Brussart - born September 15, 1753, son of Victor Brussart and Izabelle Leblanc. Sponsors: Raphael Brussart and Rosalie Le Blanc
[Note: Raphael and his two children - Joseph and Francoise - died before 1765. His widow, Rose LeBlanc, sister of Elisabeth became the first Acadian nun in Louisiana . Victor Broussard was one of the Acadians who signed the Agreement with Dauterive in 1765. His wife, Elisabeth LeBlanc died 10/29/1765 in Attakapas. Their daughter Agnes apparently died before they arrived in Louisiana because there is no mention of her in the records.] In the 25 April 1766 census of Bayou Queque de Tortue (Attakapas) is listed a Victor Broussard with no family (Voorhies "Some Eighteenth Century Louisianians" p. 124). All the other Joseph Broussards in Attakapas at the time were alive after 1765. It seems logical to conclude therefore, that the Joseph Broussard, who died on 4 September 1765 was Jean [-Joseph], the son of Victor-Gregoire and Elisabeth LeBlanc and grandson of Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil.