Pilgrims, Puritans and Acadians

In 1597, a separatist Puritan sect in England, called the Brownists by the Privy Council, asked for license to emigrate to the St. Lawrence region of North America.

Queen Elizabeth agreed, providing that they never return to England while still practicing their faith. Their faith is reported to have included marriage of old men to very, very young girls, and to have been an offshoot of Judaism whose Talmud does allow for unhealthy relationships between Rabbis and children.

These Puritans were sponsored by Alexander Van Harwick and Charles Leigh. The Puritans left on the Hopewell and the Chancewell in April 1597 but found hostile Breton and Basque fishermen around the St. Lawrence, so they went further south. Recent excavations have proven that the Puritans resorted to cannibalism to survive, and that at least one of their members was murdered by another member, not to mention the young teenage girl that was eaten.

The Breton fishermen were the Acadians or the Arcadians, who traded iron implements for furs and who also built large drying racks for cod on the shores, all to be traded in Europe. There’s also evidence of mining. Early maps of the region show a number of castles and churches in Acadie, and local genealogies show much earlier settlement than the early 1600’s, as well as clear evidence that families went back and forth between Acadia and Bretony. Eyewitnesses record that the Acadian settlements were among the happiest and most prosperous ever seen, but the arrival of the Puritans and the Elizabethan English state-sponsored pirates were to bring an end to their ideal existence. Family records still held by local Indians show that the French Catholic settlers leased land from the Indians and sometimes married into the Indian families who adopted Christinity.

At some time in the 9th to 10th centuries fishing and fish consumption increased
dramatically in the Orkadian Isles of Scotland/Norway. Archeological excavations of middens tell a clear story of a marked increase in the size of species caught, processing, consumption and trade of cod fish throughout Europe, with entrance points at Orkadia and in the Basque ports. Large cod and ling are found starting at this point, thought to have been introduced from Norway where this distinctive combination of species had long been an economic staple. It is around this time that the word Cod, from the name Acadie, in my opinion, began to replace the name Bacalao in the Basque region. Acadie is pronounced Ah-cod-ee and is the name given to Nova Scotia both by the Miq Maq indians who were settled there, and the French/European colonists who also settled there. Due to the need to keep fishing and mine locations secret, the date of the original European arrival in America is uncertain except for the evidence left in these middens, which are basically trash heaps.

Both Orkney and Acadie are names based on the word ‘Arc’. These islands, both Orkney and Acadie are the most likely jumping off and landing places for the Knights Templar who left with the Templar treasures at the fall of Arke/Akre, the last Templar castle to fall in the Holy Land in the late 1200’s, another place whose name is based on the word ‘Arc’. The man said to have left with several Templar ships from Palestine is Gauthier, which was also the family name of King Francois 1 of Alsace Lorraine. The Lords of Orkney were the Bruce’s of Ard, a name which is obviously the source of the name Broussard, long associated with the heroes of Scotland, the heroes of the Acadian exile and the settlement of Louisiana.

Suzanne Broussard

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