Antoinette Landry


The identity of the parents of Antoinette Landry has been a much disputed genealogy issue for decades.  Many websites list her parents as Jean-Claude Landry and Marie Salé, both born in France at the outset of the 1600s. This information (at least the surname of the father) has, however, been more recently challenged by a number of prestigious genealogists.


The error apparently originated with noted genealogist Archange Godbout, who plausibly concluded that if René Landry was residing with his mother, Marie Salé, during the 1686 census, that Marie (widow of Jean-Claude) must have been the wife of Jean Claude “Landry.”  No Jean Claude Landry, however, is found anywhere on any Acadian census of the period.   “Jean-Claude” is only mentioned in the 1671 and 1678 censuses of French colonists, in the phrase: “Marie Salé, widow of Jean-Claude.”  Jean-Claude’s omission form any census of French colonists suggests (but does not prove) that he was of Indian blood rather than French, a circumstance borne out by the citation of Antoinette Landry  and Rene Landry as ancestors of subsequent Métis citizens of eastern Canada. (The criteria for inclusion in Métis citizenship lists is itself likewise a much disputed topic).  


The use of the surname Landry for Jean Claude was perpetuated in the work of Father Leopold Lanctot, Adrien Bergeron and Bona Arsenault, but has since been disputed by Father Clarence d'Entremont, who refers to Jean-Claude as a Mi’qmak Indian, and by Alexandre Alemann, expert Métis genealogist, formerly of the prestigious Drouin Institute, who includes Antoinette Landry in a list of 115 provable Métis women of eastern Canada. Note: Many of the names on this list are disputed by other researchers, and several have later been proven via mitochondrial DNA tests to exclude the named individual's mother as having a Native American Haplotype. Those test do not exclude any other ancestor of those particular women from having Amerinian DNA, but make it very unlikely, given the early-mid-seventeenth century timeframe, that a European mother would have had an Amerindian father. An mtDNA test would prove nothing about Antoinette's Metis bloodine, since it is her father's Y-DNA that would hold the clue. To date (26 Jan 2007), I have found not DNA results posted on any project that disproves or proves anything at all about Antoinette's paternal bloodline. 


Despite Alemann and Father Clarence d'Entremeont's assertions that Jean Claude was Mi'qmak (Mi'maw), there remains doubt whether Jean Claude was French or Mi'qmak. Stephen White of the Center for Acadian Studies states: " for Jean Claude, I took the trouble to explain in the DGFA-1 that Claude is and was a perfectly good French family name, so there is certainly as much likelihood that Marie Sallé's last husband was French, as there would be that he was Native American." Note that this cannot be interpreted as an opinion by White that Jean Claude was either French or Indian; rather he disputes the certainty of Mi'qmak blood placed by Alemman and d'Entremont. (DFGA-1: Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes, Part 1 published in 1999, Stephen A. White, Centre d'Études acadiennes, Université de Moncton.) 


René and Antoinette are known to be siblings, but why they bear the Landry surname is still a mystery. These two are referred to as children from Marie Salé’s second marriage ( to Jean-Claude). Marie had previous married Martin Aucoin, and children from that marriage were: Michelle, Francois and Jeanne Aucoin.


A more detailed discussion of this topic may be found at: Dr. Donald Landry's website

Alexandre Alemann's genealogical trace for the family of Richard Oakes, which includes Antoinette Landry and several other Métis mothers may be viewed here.
see also Alexandre Alemann's list of 115 Metis women.


Note: Some of the women on this list have recently been proven to have passed European mtDNA to their matrilineal descendants, thus invalidating their inclusion on this list. The list itself is now considered generally discredited, for this reason.  Antonette’s mother’s ethnicity is also shown a s European by mtDNA test, but that was never really in question, as Marie Salé is acknowledged as of French origin. MtDNA testing would, however prove nothing with regard to Jean Claude’s ethnicity, as mtDNA does not reflect the father’s DNA, at all.  Jean Claude’s heritage and thus Antoinette’s Métis status thus remain unproven, but likewise not disproven.