Madeleine LeBlanc (1753-1851)
In 1755, Madeleine LeBlanc, daughter of Pierre LeBlanc and Marie-Madeleine Babin of the Grand-Pré region, was deported along with her family to Salem, Massachusetts. In 1771, Madeleine's father and François Doucet, another family man, heard that there was land available for Acadians on the Baie Sainte-Marie in southwestern Nova Scotia. The two men therefore took their own boat and went to explore. The following year, the two families left together. According to an oral account, when the families got off the boats with their meagre provisions and saw the virgin forest before them, they all started crying except for young Madeleine, who was 19 years old at the time. Madeleine picked up an axe, chopped down a first tree and said, "Enough crying, we now must think of building a shelter for the night". In 1774, Madeleine married Charles-Marin Belliveau, son of Jean Belliveau and Marie Madeleine Gaudet. The new couple settled in Anse-des-Belliveau in Baie Sainte-Marie and had six children, who would themselves have large families.