(Now outdated) Catherine Lejeune reasoning:



Where was I able to obtain the names of Catherine LeJeune's parents, wife of François Savoie?

I believe that Stephen White says that Catherine and Edmee (sisters) are the daughters of  parents unknown.”

  No parents are listed in the DGFA for these two sisters. According to Rameau de Saint Pere, A Feudal Colony in America, Acadia 1604-1881, Vol 2, p. 318-320,: “… the LeJeune-Briard family was part Métis Native American, and part French. The LeJeune Métis family had settled at Merligouesh (Indian and Métis village located between Cap-de-Sable and La-Heve), because two men from Port Royal had married two of the LeJeune women between 1638 and 1650. In fact, in 1650, Catherine LeJeune, at 17 years of age, married Francois Savoie. Sixteen years earlier, in 1636, her oldest sister, born in 1623  had married Francois Gautherot.
      Three of their sons appear to have become "coureurs de bois" with the Indians and Métis: Jean, Francois and Germain Gautherot... These marriages will later be blessed by the Recollets when they come back to Acadia. Jeane Lambert, a woman named LeJeune and perhaps a man named Guildry would have been among them. We will find many of their descendants in the Métis and indian villages.   
      The LeJeunes will use the surname of Briard: sometimes the surname of their true ancestor, LeJeune; at other times they will assume his surname of Briard which would seem to indicate that their ancestor came from Brie, a region east of Paris.
      The consanguinity of the LeJeunes, (called) dit Briard, is sometimes difficult to establish for the reason that many of them will continue to live in Indian and Métis villages; others will settle in Piziauid, south of the Bassin des Mines. This being said, little remains of the registers from the two parishes of this settlement: Sainte-Famille and l'Assumption. The Acadian ancestor of the LeJeune-Briards had at least three children who reached adulthood: Emdee, Pierre, and Catherine.” 


In addition to the Rameau source, this above info comes from: Steven Cormier’s “Acadians in Gray: Appendice A: Pioneers of Acadian Families Who Migrated to Louisiana,” as well as the family research of Robert Lee LeJeune. Much of my faith in this claim is based upon the co-location of the family’s descendants in Abenaki\Mi’qmak tribal settlements. This is considered speculative and circumstantial by many, but in the 1600s men (excepting Jesuits priest) who wintered year after year amongst the Indians – (in their villages, not a nearby French fort), slept with the Indians, and I personally find arguments against that (based on a lack of paper documentation) quite naïve.  Pierre LeJeune is clearly identified as one of these “coureurs de bois” in Rameau’s work, which in turn references as a primary source the Actes de l‘eglise de Port-Royal.  While the evidence for Amerindian origin cannot, in my opinion, be said to be conclusive (rather only probable or circumstantial), the only valid argument until recent mtDNA tests that had been made for French birth is that no documented proof exists that the girls were Métis.


(A document that I have erroneously described as…) “The 1661 Quebec Register “ refers to two sisters Edmee and Catherine LeJeune “en Acadie”  as  “vici en France ou de mère indienne” – this (if truly a 1661 register) would have illustrated that even in 1661 the origin of the two girls was not certain, but that indian blood was suspected, else it would not have even been mentioned in the register.  The Acadian Research Center in St. John, New Brunswick has in the past provided documentation to various Lejeune descendants expressing the belief that Edmee and Catherine were Métis. The misidentification of this documents stems for the following scanned image, obtained from the Acadian research center in St. John, New Brunswick. Note the label “1661 Quebec Register” in the right margin.

 See: "so-called" 1661_Quebec_register

Stephen White identified this document as a working document of researcher Archange Godbout, rather than a 1661 register of any sort. Because, as White points out, the handwriting does certainly appear to be much more recent in style than would have been the case for a 1661 sample, and because White has indicated to me that his copy obtained from the archives at the University of Moncton does not have the “1661 Quebec register” label,”   I am confident that White is correct. The 1661 label must, therefore, have been erroneously added, at some later point, by an unknown individual (or visitor?), at the Acadian Research Center in St. John.  My part in propagating this error was in posting the Acadian Research Center copy that has the 1661 label, and in referring to it by that name, as well as not having noted that the handwriting style is too recent in appearance to be of 1661 vintage.


As part of the previous arguments proposing that the Lejeune sisters might be Amerindian, I also noted that Edmée’s son Charles Gautreau married Francoise Rimbault, the Métis daughter of (mtDNA-proven haplotype A) Amerindian Anne-Marie. 


However….recent mtDNA test results for several of Catherine and Edmée’s descendants have consistently indicated a haplotype of U6a.


www.acadian-home.org list this type as “U6a-European,” but more formal genetics sources and studies consistently refer to U6a as North African in origin, primarily concentrated in, but certainly not limited to  Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, and also beyond North African in Croatia, Czechoslovakia and the Ukraine. U6a is also found in statistically significant distribution on the Iberian Peninsula (believed introduced there with the spread of Islam), and is not identified anywhere that I have seen as a potential Native American haplotype.  The “North African” origin attached to U6a certainly is not inconsistent with a French ancestor, Although there are other haplogroups more common in France, the spread and intermingling of civilizations throughout the millennia often introduced North African DNA into Europe, particularly into Spain and Portugal, but it would be absurd to believe that France would be isolated from such inter-mingling, and several individuals tested as U6a list France as the ancestors earliest know point of origin. The same remarks above related to the reliability of commercial testing DNA results would also also apply here, but if such results can be trusted (and there seems to be less ambiguity here about U6a vs. Radegonde Lambert’s X/X2/X2b), then Catherine and her sister Edmée could no longer reasonably be believed to be Métis (at least not through her mother), despite all circumstantial evidence to the contrary. Having said that, I would again suggest that you converse, if possible, with a professor or similarly-qualified expert in a university genetics research project, and I believe you will realize that the definitiveness of any such results are somewhat questionable. Even the links on such testing company sites about understanding your results will help you understand that these tests predict the “likelihood” of such haplotypes (with what even they describe as a high “probability” and not a certainty), but are insufficiently extensive to irrefutably prove what we may have believed they might, or to absolutely prove or discount a particular ethic origin.  While the mtDNA U6a results also exclude Catherine’s mother’s mother, that still leaves 7 great grandparents whose DNA was not tested, including three on Catherine’s maternal tree. Hypothetically, any or all three of those could have been full-blooded Amerindian and still be consistent with the mtDNA test.  This is, however, very unlikely given the believed\approximate date of birth for Catherine. It would have been particularly noteworthy by both religious and civil authorities had Catherine been born in Canada from U6a European mother and mixed-blood male.


Several people have stated at Internet genealogy foruma and websites that Sterphen White has stated that it is a son Pierre, Jr., that married an Ameridian, not the father, so Edmee and Catherine would not have Amerindian blood; only the descendants of the son Pierre, Jr. would have that Amerindian blood.

No one is disputing the claim that the younger Pierre married an Amerindian. That in no way precludes, disproves or weakens the circumstantial evidence above or below suggesting that the father also did. The mtDNA results,on the other hand, solidify White’s conclusions drawn from more traditional research methodology. Stephen comments in more detail on this matter at:




Sue Allen presents a document trail supporting the Métis origin at her site :


In addition to letters from the Acadian Research Center, and pages from Lanctot, and Rameau, she also has scanned images of the transcribed pages from the document that the Acdian research center in St John, NB had (erroneously) identified as the 1661 Quebec Register.


There has been so much controversy about this particular line that several of their descendants have now done DNA testing to see if there is Indian blood. You may peruse at your leisure such discussion at Genforum.com and find a couple of postings that say theirs came back strong positive for Indian blood, and another one that said no (although that person had a mtDNA test = maternal line only, done and her lineage was inaccurate according to how to how Stephen White details the same line. Per that lineage the tested individual was NOT a direct descendant of Catherine or her sister Edmée LeJeune, - instead, that person’s matrilineal line led to Marie Gautrot\Gautreau, daughter of Marie (unknown) who FIRST married Francois Gautrot instead of his SECOND wife Edmée. This test therefore provided no insights other than not one of that test subject’s female ancestors had Indian blood, including the unknown Marie. The previous question, however, discussed other more recent test results that discount the likelihood of Amerindian blood, at least on the part of the girls’ unknown mother and their maternal grandmother.



Here are some extracted Stephen Whites comments at Lucie Consentino’s site about Amerindian/Métis families: http://www.acadian-home.org/Mikmaq.html




Many people who feel that there is too little information to prove any ancestor, just stop at that point. You certainly don't need my consent or anyone else's to take that option. I have not stopped at that same point with certain ancestors, because:  first) I believe that evidence is strong enough to warrant it; second) It is easy to say that now-deceased, but once-equally-acclaimed genealogists made lots of errors, but that does not compute that therefore they were also in error on an entirely different person; third) at least some Acadian Genealogy centers and paid professional researchers still agreed (until mtDNA tested otherwise) with the Métis ancestry, and  finally) Official Métis oragnizations still listed Edmée and Catherine's descendants as of Métis descent.


****  Now having U6a haplotype results for Catherine Lejeune, I have removed my Amerindian tag for Catherine Lejeune.   


- MM