I am fascinated by the tenacity of my ancestors’ connections to Miquelon during the eighteenth century when the conditions were rough and European politics forced many migrations to and from the island. But what happened after 1816 when families were able to stay for as long as they liked?
I know my direct ancestors left the island sometime between 1828 and 1844 — but did anyone in the family remain? Is anyone still there today?
If there are any modern Leborgnes at Miquelon, they are not direct relations of my 4G grandmother Euphemie, or her father, Francois. Instead, they are descendants of Francois’ uncle, Nicolas Leborgne, and his aunt, Marie Elisabeth Beaudry.
Nicolas and Marie Elisabeth’s son, Louis, married Nicolas’ sister Marguerite’s daughter, Marie Eugenie Poirier. They were first cousins. Louis and Eugenie had nine children between 1832 and 1856. Two sons stayed on the islands: Alexis Louis and Emile Gratien.
Alexis Louis married Josephine Marie Elisa Le Roux. They moved from Miquelon to the neighboring island of St. Pierre in 1872. Their son, Joseph (born 1863), stayed and married Julie Quirk. Joseph, Julie, and their two sons — Louis and Henry — were still on St. Pierre as late as 1902.
Emile Gratien married his first cousin, Marie Louise Poirier, (daughter of his mother Eugenie’s brother, Alexis.) They had seven children. Emile, Louise, and their son Emile Alfred were still at Miquelon in 1907. Emile Alfred was living with his wife, Josephine Arantzabe, and their two-year-old daughter, Berthe Marie Eugenie. Perhaps they eventually had a son.
That is not to say that there isn’t a lot of Leborgne blood left on the islands. There were many Leborgne women who married and stayed upon the islands. There might be Leborgne blood in the Poirier, Gaspard, Cormier, Orsiny, and others, if they are still there today.