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CMA 2014 TERRIOT REUNION: Unbelievable but it’s history!

Couleur PantoneFor the past two years, many of us have been very preoccupied with planning, writing and organizing for the CMA 2014 Reunion of the Terriot family. And now, it is over… history!  I can’t believe it. But what we have are some very sweet memories, many new friends and a few more cousins than we thought we had.


J. Ralph Theriault (left) and George Michaud (facing away standing next to J. Ralph) teaming up to tell the story of John Baker and his mill, as well as the very interesting story of the three ton water turbine found in the vicinity of the old Don Fraser mill by the Société historique et culturelle de Baker Brook. The conferencees are standing where the old Timiscouata railway once was. On the left is the beautiful St John River.


J. Ralph Theriault telling the story of the first mill in the Madawaska territory built by Nathan Baker in 1817. Unfortunately, Nathan died at an early age so his brother John who had settled in St Francois du Madawaska, moved to the Baker Brook settlement and continued the operation of Nathan’s mill. Recently, the Société H&C de Baker Brook commissioned the metal sculpture and monument to focus on John Baker and the very interesting role he played in Baker Brook history.

Many people go for the parades, the partying and the various cultural events that the CMA organizes so well. And those are alot of fun but I get a giant kick from meeting new cousins and friends and connecting with them. That is huge fun and those connections last for years.

During the ‘Retrouvailles’ in New Brunswick in 1994, in an interview by Barbara Leblanc, Director of Grand-Pré, Clive Doucet, author of ‘Notes from Exile, On Being Acadian‘ said:

“To me, connections are what these academic meetings and family reunions are all about. We’re trying to expand the heart and soul of Acadie, back in time and also forward. Back to the places where we have come from and forward to the times to come. That’s why we’re here, to make connections with each other that we need to take with us into the future, not just as individuals, but as a people. The speeches (will be forgotten) but the connections between people that are happening now, between you and me, between people from the States, from Ontario, from Québec, at family reunions in Shediac, Richibucto, Cocogne and so on, they will endure. They will make a difference.” 

In any case, it was fun guys. I’m already looking forward to CMA 2019 wherever it will take place.

But back to reality, I am making an appeal to any who attended the conferences at Baker Brook and at Fort Kent. If you took photos, please send copies to me at TERRIOT@TERRIAU.ORG.  I would immensely appreciate your generosity. By the way, here is a souvenir brochure that summarizes our conference preservations.

Also, for those who were not able to attend the Terriot Reunion Conferences, we just posted the text and handouts from the conferences both for Guy Theriault’s presentation and mine. You will find them in ‘Our Document Library‘ of our website.

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dictionnaire biographique de sainte thereseWork on this dictionary started in October 2011. The 480 page book contains the biographies of 2200 people that form part of the history of the area of Sainte Theresa. It is published by the Société d’histoire et de généalogie des Mille-îles de Sainte-Thèrèse.

The dictionary is $ 25 sold by our company.

People interested in the book can contact me.

André Thériault


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Association logoCouleur PantonePRESS RELEASE: June 1, 2014

Baker Brook Conference on the Theriault Family titled


The ‘Association des familles Thériault d’Amérique’ and the ‘Terriot Acadian Family Society’ together will hold a Conference in Baker Brook, NB on August 16 to discuss the migration of the Theriault family to the Madawaska region from 1790 to 1890. The conference will be hosted by the ‘Société historique et culturelle de Baker Brook’ at the Saint Heart of Mary Catholic parish church in Baker Brook. The guest speaker is J. Ralph Theriault, a native son of ‘Sainte Luce’, Upper Frenchville, Maine, whose book “Destination: Madawaska” was published in 2009 by the ‘Société historique du Madawaska’ in Edmundston, NB.

Please note that all times expressed in this article are in ATLANTIC (NEW BRUNSWICK) TIME.

The bilingual conference is scheduled to take place Saturday morning, August 16 starting at 10am and finishing at 12 noon. The sponsors invite all members of the Theriault family and the members of the open public to attend. Admission is free, however seats will be reserved only for those who register in advance for the conference. Donations will be accepted at the door to support the work of the local history society, the Société historique et culturelle de Baker Brook.

Register on our Registration Page.

Lunch will follow the conference at noon. The lunch by the local historical society will be available to conference attendees and is priced at $18.

After lunch at 1pm, Mr. Theriault will conduct a 45-minute walking tour of Baker Brook which will focus on the mills of Baker Brook beginning with the Nathan Baker mill, followed by the mills of Don Fraser, Joseph & Joachim Theriault and James Murchie. The tour will be based on Mr. Theriault’s research for his upcoming book “Moulins du Madawaska” to be published in 2015.

In addition, the sponsoring organizations have organized three other walking tours including St. Basile, St. Jacques and Ste Luce (Upper Frenchville) which all focus on the Theriault settlers. Admission to the tours is also free however please register with us to help us with our planning.

The schedule of events is as follows :

  1. WALKING TOUR OF ST BASILE, NB; Friday, 15 August, 1130-15:30 hr, village history, lunch, Religieuse Hositalière de St Joseph Convent, Art Gallery.
  2. BAKER BROOK CONFERENCE;  Saturday, 16 August, 1000-1200 hr,  Conférencier:  J. Ralph Theriault,  “Migration of Theriault family to Madawaska territory and some of the ‘movers and shakers’ of the family”. Presentation in French.
  3. BAKER BROOK LUNCH; Saturday, 16 August, 1200-1300 hr: 18$, Baker Brook, NB.
  4. WALKING TOUR OF BAKER BROOK; Saturday, 16 August, 1300-1400 hr,  mill history.
  5. THERIAULT FAMILY REUNION; Saturday, 16 August, 1600-2200 hr  (3-9 pm EDT), Theriault history, dinner, entertainment. (More details later.)
  6. WALKING TOUR OF ST JACQUES;  Sunday, 17 August, 1130-1230, Charles Terriau history, Theriault milling history.
  7. WALKING TOUR OF STE LUCE; Sunday, 17 August, 1500-1600 hr  (2-3pm EDT), Upper Frenchville, Maine; parish and Theriault migration history


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We are very pleased to announce that we have a plan for CMA 2014 in Acadia of the Lands and Forests.

Couleur PantoneI am also very proud and excited of the fact that our little organization and the Association des familles Thériault de l’Amerique du nord (headquartered in Québec) are collaborating in our planning and conduct of our activities for the CMA. We look forward to spending time with the Association members to explore and learn about an important Acadian settlement; the Madawaska region.

The CMA2014 will open on August 8th and will close on 24 August. The official Theriault Reunion will be held in Fort Kent, Maine on Saturday, the 16th in the afternoon. The planning for that event is still in progress. In addition to and supplementing the reunion in Fort Kent, the Terriot Acadian Family Society and the Association des familles Thériault have made their plans which are outlined as follows:

CONFERENCE:  Both organizations along with our host organization, the Historical and Cultural Society of Baker Brook invite all of the Theriault’s of the Madawaska region to the church of ‘St Coeur de Marie’ at 9am on Saturday 16 August in Baker Brook, NB for a conference on the migration of the Theriaults to the Madawaska region from 1785 to 1875. I am very honored to be the speaker for the conference which will be bilingual. The discussion will go into the details of the specific lineages who migrated from Acadia directly to the Madawaska region and those who came after migrating to Québec for a few generations. We will talk specifically about the migrations to St-Basile in 1785, to St-Jacques in 1821 and to other settlements in the mid-1800’s.


View of the St-John valley from the top of our mountain in Sainte Luce (Upper Frenchville, Maine) looking west toward Baker Brook, NB in the top left. The blue haze in upper left is the modern lumber mill in Baker Brook owned by J.D. Irving. The original mill at that location was the mill that Joseph Theriault, my great-grandfather built in 1907 after he moved from Moulin Morneault. When Joseph’s health failed in 1913, he asked his son, Joachim to take it over. Joachim sold it to the Couturier family in 1947.

For the past 2-3 years, I have been involved in writing my second book which will be titled “Moulins du Madawaska” (Mills of Madawaska) and will share with the conference some of the details about the Theriault lineages that were involved in the milling industry. In fact, Baker Brook is the site of one of the early mills in the Madawaska region by Nathan Baker and his brother, John. And later, again in Baker Brook, there were several mills built by Don Fraser and in 1905, a mill by my great-grandfather Joseph which today is a very large industrial mill owned by J.D. Irving.

Attendance will be free and will be open to the public. However, the members of the three sponsoring organizations will be seated prior to opening the conference to the public. The conference will adjourn around 11am before lunch.


During the three days around the Theriault Reunion, the Terriot Acadian Family Society in collaboration with the Association des familles Theriault, will organize a tour of the four heritage sites that are important to the history of the Theriault family in the Madawaska region:  St-Basile, NB;  St-Jacques, NB;  Sainte-Luce (Upper Frenchville, ME), and Baker Brook, NB.

The tour will not be held as a single continguous activity but will be organized as four separate events held at different times:

St-Basile (15 August, morning). We will spend about an hour outside at a venue where we will be able to appreciate the specular view of the St-John Valley as we talk about the first arrival of the Theriault’s in 1785 to St-David (across the St-John River) and St-Basile. The parish of St-Basile is the mother parish for all parishes in the St-John Valley. Therefore, the parish records include the vital records for a very large number of Theriaults. St-Basile was also the site of the very first hospital in the valley which was built by the Religieuses Hospitalières de St-Joseph, an order of Catholic sisters who are still there today. Some of the early administrators and directors of the hospitals were descendants of the Theriault family. Soeur St-Charles, whose mother was Pélagie Thériault was educated in nursing in Nashua, New Hampshire, Boston and St-Louis, Missouri and was the first radiologist in the region in the 1930’s.


Plourde Office, present-day Moulin Morneault in the 1940’s.. The hamlet of Moulin-Morneault from the Chemin St-Joseph looking southwest. Joseph Thériault was raised by the Rousseau’s in the house (identified with a circle on the right) built by Pierre Plourde. Later, around the time that he married, he built his own house which is around the location of the house to the left (also identified with a circle).

St-Jacques (17 August, morning).  As an option, the tour group will be invited to join us for Mass at the parish church in St-Jacques which sits on the land that was claimed by Charles Theriault who was the first Acadian to settle in present-day St-Jacques in 1821 on the Madawaska River. After Mass, the tour group will move to a location on the land of Joseph Theriault in the small hamlet of St-Jacques called Moulin Morneault where the first mill in the area was built by Pierre Plourde, brother in law of Charles Theriault. We will talk about Joseph Theriault, his life in Moulin Morneault and his move to Baker Brook.

ste-luce-church3Sainte-Luce (15 August, after St-Basile tour).  My native parish, the parish of Sainte-Luce in present-day Upper Frenchville, Maine was a founded in 1863, about 20 years after the establishment of the international boundary between the United States and Canada in 1842 with the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. By this time, word had spread to the Theriaults who had migrated to Québec of the wealth in the natural resources and the availability of land in this rich valley. As a result, a third and fourth wave of migrations occurred moving from Québec to the Madawaska region. Here, some of the Theriault lineages settled in Sainte Luce, Fort Kent and others further east in Grand Isle and other parts. The church of Sainte-Luce is a most beautiful church inside and standing on the front steps as our tour group will, offers a most beautiful view of the St-John Valley as well.

Baker Brook (16 August, noon).  The powerful Baker Brook captured the attention of Nathan Baker in 1817 and later inspired Don Fraser and Joseph Theriault to each build their mills at that location. Today, Joseph Theriault’s water-driven mill has been expanded into the J.D. Irving lumber mill which produces some 16 million foot board measure of lumber and is a very large enterprise. The tour will gather in front of the Church of the St-Coeur de Marie where we will once again see a beautiful view of the valley and St-John River. The local historial society will have on display the iron turbine that was used to power the D. Fraser mill. If there is sufficient interest, we may be able to organize a tour of the Irving mill while we are there.

Terriot Acadian Family Society Reception.  Finally, for our Terriot Acadian Family, we will organize a reception in St-Basile at a time during these 3 days (15, 16 or 17 August). The reception will be held at the old Hotel Diel, the old hospital. We will need to know how many Delegates will be joining us, so please let us know of your plans to attend. There will be a small presentation on our current status and progress of our genealogy and an open discussion among all Delegates on the future of our organization. It was always nice in the past CMA festivals to see each of your and to spend at least a few hours catching up with each other. This time, I hope you will give me the honor of welcoming you to my native land.

Those of you who have not yet secured lodging, please let me know if you need help. I have some ‘connections’ which may be helpful. Some of the residents up there are opening up there homes as sort of ‘B&B’s at reasonable rates.  Right now, all of the major motels are nearly fully booked. However, motels are still available in towns like Presque Isle, Maine which is about 45 minutes away from the CMA area.

Please let me know of any questions.

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Here’s the problem:  we have this organization called the “Terriot Acadian Family Society”, or simply “Terriot Acadian Family” for short. It was founded in 1999 just before the turn of the new century. Today, many continue to refer to it as “Joe-Ralph’s organization”, or “Joe-Ralph’s website”… “Joe-Ralph’s Grand Branches”, etc.

To introduce and explain our organization, we have an “About Us” page here on our blog and of course, throughout our website, we have an extensive introduction to our mission, our work and our organization on our website.  Still, many continue rudely ignore the work of so many other people. Our website is the work of many devoted delegates; our Jehan Terriot Archive is the work of some 100 delegates each representing their respective Great-Branches.

Perhaps it is the nature of our organization. We don’t have a headquarters, or a central location. We are an e-society. We talk to each other by e-mail, sometimes by phone and some times by virtual conference over Webex, GoToMeeting or Skype. And at other times, we enjoy each others company in personal visits as some of us travel around the North American continent. Many delegates have never met in face-to-face meetings but all have worked together to bring their genealogy together and to accomplish other family projects. Our membership is by invitation only and we do not levy membership dues which makes us a little unusual, I suppose. As the sole condition for membership, each member has agreed to represent his or her branch and to help develop the genealogy and possibly also the history of his or her branch.

Great-Branch Lineage Table. (CLICK TO OPEN DOCUMENT)

Great-Branch Lineage Table. (CLICK TO OPEN DOCUMENT)

Our goal is to integrate the genealogy of the descendants of Jehan and Perrine Terriot. To date, we believe that the first 5 generations are complete as defined by the best research of our Acadian researchers like Stephen White, Fidèle Thériault and Karen Theriot Reader. To date, we have documented in our Archive about 900 members of the 9th generation. Our ‘Great Branch’ concept bases its definition of a Great Branch on the members of the 9th generation:  each member of the 9th generation defines a Great Branch. Using statistical analysis and a few assumptions about the size and composition of our families, we believe that we will eventually discover another 100 members of the 9th generation.

To date, we have documented about 100 Great Branches up to the contemporary 14th generation as shown in our ‘Great Branch Lineage Table‘. Although we have the data for many more Great Branches, we will not document them until and unless someone volunteers to bring his or her branch to us and volunteers to serve as a delegate for the Great Branch. That is our operational concept. This limitation is imposed because we are not just a genealogical organization. We are also a historical and a social organization of family members who work together and exchange family information. (See our new “Photo Histories” section.) This is our experiment; to see how far we can go to integrate our genealogy as we get to know each other and thus pull together the various Great Branches of our family. Finally, while we are not just a genealogical organization, our genealogy is distinguished from the others (with the exception of Stephen White and Karen Theriot Reader) in that we document our sources. To date, we have well over two thousand documented sources as listed in our ‘Archive Sources‘.

We continue to be contacted by members of the family who just learned about our website and ask how they could join. Gradually, slowly, our Great-Branch count increases. Our beautiful website continues to serve as a beacon sending out the bilingual message throughout the world about the story and descendants of Jehan and Perrine Terriot.

How long will it take to find and document all 1000 Great-Branches?  That is an open question.

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cma2014 logoJust a short message to let all delegates know that Mr. Richard Lyness of the CMA L’Acadie des Terres et Forets in Madawaska, Maine called us to let us know that the Terriot Family reunion has been scheduled to open on Saturday, 16 August 2014.

I called the organizer, Ken Theriault, Jr and asked him to confirm the date which he did. He did not know how many days the reunion would last. In the past, it has always been at least one day sometimes lasting as many as two days.

Please let me know of any questions.  We will be posting and updating on our website and blog our information on available motels/B&B/campgrounds, etc., that are available. When the Theriault Reunion organization begins their plans, they will be publishing a website which will include information on available accommodations.

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Just puttering around the family website this morning and I was reminded of a gem of a slide presentation that I received from a cousin in Québec.  For those among you who enjoy good music, here are some of the words from the music section of the Terriot website “Acadian, Cajun Music” and the words that introduce the video presentation:

A Most Beautiful Memory of our parents and grandparents

This beautiful video presentation created by ‘Creations TONYM’ with the music by Jean Lapointe. Take a few moments to view the presentation. You will most certainly enjoy it. If you are familiar with our great French Canadian and Acadian custom for music at home, this presentation will bring back fond memories. If you are not familiar with the custom, the presentation makes a good lesson in the history of our culture. 

Click here to start the presentation