The Acadian community consists of the descendants of French settlers who arrived between 1604 and 1755 in what is now known as:

  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Prince Edward Island

During the Seven Years War (1756-1763), the British deported Acadians. They were dispersed to more distant areas, including to parts of Quebec, France and Louisiana. Descendants of those who returned or avoided deportation make up an important part of the Maritime population today.

On this page

Before you start

Gather information such as:

  • name(s)
  • where the family lived

Places to look

There are several ways to approach researching your Acadian ancestors.

Census records

LAC holds the records for all official Canadian censuses. These include the Maritime provinces starting in 1851.

There are also some census records from earlier years, including Acadian censuses from 1671 to 1763. You can find information on how to consult them in our guide on Early census and related documents (1640 to 1945).

Birth, marriage and death records

Provincial and territorial government offices record births, marriages and deaths. These are also known as civil registration records. Those offices regularly transfer older records to the provincial or territorial archives. See researching your ancestors in birth, marriage and death records for more information.

Deportation records

We hold some files relating to the deportation of Acadians from Canada. These include:

  • Fonds Archives des colonies, série C14, Correspondance générale; Guyane française: This series includes a census of the inhabitants of Sinnamary, a place of refuge for displaced Acadians, 1765.(MG1-C14, volume 28, pages 348 to 352v).
  • Archives des colonies, série C11D, Correspondance générale : Acadie, 1603-1788 : This series includes documents relating to Acadian refugees (MG1-C11D, volumes 8 to 10, microfilm F-168 to F-173)
  • Papers relating to the Acadians deported to Massachusetts in 1755: This collection includes petitions and lists of names of what the State called “French neutrals” from Nova Scotia, 1755-1769 (MG18-F15, microfilm M-81 and M-82).

Published histories and genealogies

Many Acadian researchers, historical societies and communities have published their own histories. You might find stories to help you better understand the experiences of your ancestors in these publications. They may also include information about specific individuals. You can search Aurora to find these publications. Try keywords like:

  • Acadian genealogy
  • Acadian biographies
  • Acadian history
  • a place name

To help you with your research, our genealogy staff have compiled a list of books in our Aurora catalogue. Most of these books include information about individuals compiled from multiple sources. Others are genealogy research guides and histories.

Each title in this list includes the author and the LAC call number.

  • If the call number includes the word genealogy, that means the book is in the genealogy room at our Ottawa location.
  • Example of a call number: Genealogy Ref. - CS88 A2 A38 2003

You can click on a title in the list to open the full catalogue entry. Then if you scroll down, you will see a list of other libraries that hold copies. You can also check your local library’s online catalogue.

Unpublished histories and genealogies

There are several unpublished studies on Acadian genealogies and some archival records. You can find them by searching in Collection Search using keywords such as “Acadie” and “Acadian”. Here are some examples:

  • Placide Gaudet fonds: This fonds contains extensive genealogical information on Acadian families (MG30-C20, microfilm C-2238 to C-2241).
  • Prudent-L. Mercure fonds: This fonds contains genealogical information on Acadian and Indigenous families in the Madawaska region of New Brunswick (MG30-C5, microfilm C-3109 and C-3110).
  • Archives départementales du Morbihan: This fonds includes the genealogies of Acadian families who settled on Belle-Isle-en-Mer, France, 1767 (MG6-A6, Series E, microfilm F-1556)
  • Monsieur de La Rochette Fonds: This fonds includes lists of Acadians and prisoners of war (MG18-F14, volume 1, pages 388 to 429 and volume 2, pages 427 to 429).

Search tips

  • Consider how Acadians experiences have been shaped by larger historical events:
    • King William’s War (1688-1797)
    • Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713)
    • King George’s War (1744-1748)
    • The Seven Years War (1756-1763)
    • The deportation of Acadians
  • Spelling was not standardized, and the same names might be written in many different ways.

Access the records

Digitized records

If you find a record of interest, there may be a digital image. Some of these are available through Collection Search. Others, particularly digitized microfilms, are available through Héritage.

Non-digitized records

For records that are not digitized, you will need to see them in person. If you cannot visit us in person, you may want to order copies or hire a researcher.

Related records

In partnership with other archives, Library and Archives Canada digitized some records in the New France database. You can try a search by name, place or subject. When searching for references to Acadians, use the French word "Acadien".