About Jean-Claude Landry
For many of us researching the Landry family, "Jean-Claude Landry" is thefocal point of muc h debate! He represents our connection between the OldWorld and the New World. Wishful thinki ng has many people believingaccounts that he is that connection while others insist on verifi cationbefore accepting that claim. The uncertainty is increased due to the lostof some Acadia n church records kept back in the 1600's which weredestroyed during a fire in the early 1700' s. Mention has been given tothis topic in one of our other sections, but we feel that the sub ject isimportant enough to merit its' own section!
A recent newspaper article published in certain areas of Louisiana andCanada made reference t o the fact that Jean-Claude Landry was indeed theprogenitor of this particular line of Landry s. Dr. Don Landry of Metaire,Louisiana, Historian for the Landry Family Association, has writ ten thefollowing rebuttal to these articles in the hope of answering thequestion.....myth o r progenitor?
REBUTTAL OF THE JEAN-CLAUDE LANDRY MYTH AND THE SUPPOSED ORIGIN OF LANDRYFAMILY
Sometime during February and March, 1998, a two part series on the LandryFamily appeared in t he Lafayette, Louisiana "Daily Advertiser" and againon Sunday March 16th and Sunday March 23r d the same, or similar articleappeared in Damon Veach's column, "Louisiana Ancestors" which i s a morewidely spread genealogy column, and is published in the editions of theNew Orleans Ti mePicayune, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, the Lafayette andpossibly the Lake Charles,Alexandr ia and Shreveport newspapers. Accordingto the articles, the information on the genealogy an d origin of theLandry Family of Acadia was received from a Paul Surrette, historian andgeneal ogist from Moncton, New Brunswick; Brian Comeaux, of the committeefor the Congres Mondial Aca diennes-Louisiana, 1999 and Ray Landry, amember of the Landry Family Association. Unfortunate ly the articlesappear to be merely a paraphrasing of Father LÃ?opold LanctÃþt, o.m.i.'saccoun t of the "The Landrys in Acadia" in tomes I et II, Ã?ditions duLibre-Ã?change ISBN 2-89412-00 3-6 and L'Acadie des origines LÃ?opoldLanctÃþt, o.m.i. Ã?ditions du Fleuve, MontrÃ?al, 1988 , whichunfortunately are filled with errors, presented as documented facts.
For the past 8 to10 years, since I have been doing genealogical researchinto the Landry famil y, I have run across researchers and documentswritten by researchers that hold to the theor y that the parents of RenÃ?Landry, le Jeune married to Marie Bernard was Jean-Claude Landry a ndMarie SalÃ?.
On more that one occasions noted genealogists, including Stephen A.White, genealogist and his torian at the University of Moncton's Centred'Etudes Acadiennes in Moncton New Brunswick an d Father Clarence J.d'Entremont, Middle West Pubnico - Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia, have moreth an adequately rebutted this theory. They and the others theorize thatthis error was caused b y the early censuses of Acadia, which enumeratedMarie SalÃ? as the "widow of Jean Claude" i n the cenuses of 1671 and1678, and then in the 1686 census, no mention was made of her deceas edhusband Jehan Claude, Marie SalÃ? was enumerated as 86 years old andliving between RenÃ? La ndry, le Jeunne and RenÃ? Landry's oldest sonAntoine Landry. This caused noted genealogist, A rchange Godbout, to leapto the conclusion, that since Marie SalÃ? was living in close proximi tyto RenÃ? Landry, le Jeune, then she was the mother of RenÃ? Landry, leJeune. And still a gr eater leap was made to conclude that if Marie SalÃ?was the widow of Jean Claude, then Jean Cl aude was the father of RenÃ?Landry, le jeune and Jean Claude, in fact was actually Jean-Claud eLandry, father of RenÃ? Landry, le jeunne. I am sure that mostresearchers understand the imp ortance of having all of the informationdocumented, and I am sure that they assume that, sinc e the informationthey received was from credible sources, that it was documented andfactual g enealogical and historical data. What I am afraid of is thatsince this error was so widely pu blished throughout Louisiana, especiallyin south Louisiana, where the majority of the Louisia na Acadianpopulation resides, these errors will be perpetuated for a long time tocome. And ju st as the errors of Fathers Archange Godbout, Leopold Lanctotand Adrien Bergeron, Bona Arsena ult and countless others, have beenbelieved to be documented facts, these errors will also b e believed to bethe documented facts, just because they were printed in a reputablecolumn.
Probably prompted by the above census entry, the writings of AdrienBergeron in his "Le Gran d Arrangement des Acadiens au Quebec" vol IVp.283, says that Marie SalÃ? is married to Jean-C laude Landry and had twosons RenÃ? Landry, the elder and RenÃ? Landry, the younger. And i n a moreelaborate extension of this error, Leopold Lanctot, o.m.i., in hispublication "Famill es Acadiennes", makes the following suggestions as tothe beginnings of the Landrys in the Ne w World, when he states on page 7:"It all began in the year 1640 or 1641 when a group of 10 f rom the Landryfamily came to Port Royal, Acadia from France. The Landry family wasoriginall y from La Ventrouze, near Mortagne-au-Perche. Department ofOrne, France. They were encourage d to come to Acadia by MargueriteLandry, daughter of Jean-Claude Landry and Marguerite's husb and RobertMartin, who had been in Acadia for several years. The group of 10consisted of Jean- Claude Landry and his second wife, Marie SalÃ?e (40years) with their son RenÃ? Landry, dit l e jeune (6 ans) and threechildren of Jean-Claude Landry from his first marriage: twins, RenÃ? Landry dit l' aisne (22 years) and Antoinette Landry (22 years), PerrineLandry (29 years) wit h her husband Jacques Joffriau. Also in the groupwere three of Marie SalÃ?e's children from h er first marriage to MartinAucoin. These children were: Michelle Aucoin (22 years), Francoi s Aucoin(18 years) and Jeanne Aucoin (8 years). The group probably settled nearthe Saint-Joh n River in the Cape Sable area. They later moved to PortRoyal. Please note that there were tw o named RenÃ? in this group, RenÃ?Landry, the elder (son of Jean-Claude Landry from his firs t marriage) andRenÃ? Landry, the younger (son of Jean-Claude Landry and Marie SalÃ?).RenÃ?, t he elder married Perrine Bourg, widow of Simon Pelletret, in1645. Perrine had 2 children fro m her first marriage: Henriette Pelletret(4 years)and Jeanne Pelletret (2 years). "On pag e 9 Leopold Lanctot, indiscussing the 1686 census, mentions" "Marie SalÃ? age 61 ans, widow o fJean Claude" but he adds the surname LANDRY in parentheses "(Landry)". Helike all the other s before him, suggests, on page 11, that RenÃ? Landry,l'aine and RenÃ? Landry, le jeune are h alf brothers, and again adds, inparentheses, "(le jeune, demi-frere de RenÃ? Landry, l'ainse) " behindRenÃ? Landry, the younger's name. And again adding, in parentheses "(merede RenÃ? Lan dry, le jeune)" behind Marie SalÃ?'s name. Leopold Lanctotsuggests, on page 15, in a chapte r on RenÃ? Landry, dit le jeune, andMarie Bernard, again suggests that RenÃ? Landry, le jeun e is the son of"Jean-Claude Landry and Marie SalÃ?" but notice that the hyphen betweenJean an d Claude has been added and the surname Landry is not placed inparentheses. The placing of th e earlier assumptions such as the surnameLandry and Marie SalÃ? being the mother of RenÃ? i n parentheses, whichwere later presented with out the parentheses, and the addition of ahyphe n between Jean Claude's name, show the gradual progression of theseerrors into what is now be lieved by many to be documented facts. Theseerrors are also found on pp 623-624 of "Histoir e et Genealogie desAcadians" by Bona Arsenault, where Arsenault states:- "Jean-Claude Landryb n. 1593 and Marie SalÃ? bn. 1600 daughter of Jean Denys SalÃ? andFrancoise Arnaud, were marri ed in Department of Orne in France, in 1633.This was the second marriage for both. One chil d was born from thismarriage, Rene, born 1643. Jean Claude died in 1671 inMortagne-Au-Perche , France. The name of Marie SalÃ?, age 86, appears inthe 1686 Census of Acadia, living with h er son RenÃ?"
However, throughout this time, Professor Stephen A. White, historian andgenealogist with th e Centre d'etudes Acadiennes at the University ofMoncton in Moncton, New Brunswick, and his f ellow historian, genealogistand author, Father Clarence d'Entremont from Middle West Pubnico, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia have steadfastedly held that the theory thatRenÃ? Landry's parent s were Jean-Claude Landry and Marie SalÃ?, wasfalse. As Father Clarence d'Entremont states i n a letter of November23rd: "NOWHERE in any census or other documents is to be found an Acadi anby the name of Jean-Claude Landry. So, who was the father and mother ofRenÃ? Landry? I do n ot know, nor does anybody know.... Thus thedescendants of RenÃ? Landry, in my humble opinion , cannot go further upin their Landry genealogy, as we do not know who the parents of RenÃ?La ndry le Jeunne were, nor where in France he was born".
"Jean-Claude Landry is effectively fictitious. There is no record showingthat such a person e ver existed. The husband of Marle SallÃ? is simplycalled Jean (or Jehan) Claude in the census es of 1671 and 1678. Accordingto archives, Marie SalÃ? was married to Jean Claude; if she i s to becalled the mother of RenÃ? Landry, necessarily we have to give herhusband a name of Je an Claude LANDRY. But, I repeat, the name Jean ClaudeLandry is not to be found anywhere in th e history of Acadia at the time;plus that the husband of Marie SalÃ? was Jean Claude, PERIOD . He was aMicmac Indian. The Indians with the name Claude used to be quite numerousin Nova Sc otia, The name became Glaude; in my young days I knew a numberof them, who would write thei r name Glode (In French "au" is pronounced"o"). . His name occurs twice in the Port Royal Chu rch Registers, ALWAYSas Jehan Clause, NEVER given as family name "Landry". As a matter offact , if Clause had not been his family name, it would mean that theregister gives him his firs t and SECOND name. Moreover, the registers ofPort Royal ALWAYS give the WHOLE name of persons ; but the fact is thatJehan Clause has his name given thus, NEVER with another name added tot hose two. If the family name had been omitted in the registers, it wouldbe the only time tha t such a thing occured in any register. Thus CLAUDEwas the family name."
An enthusiastic and overly imaginative researcher added Landry to thisindividual's name in a n effort to explain why Marie SallÃ? residedbetween the younger RenÃ? Landry and his son Anto ine Landry in 1686. Hesupposed that this was the same Marie SallÃ? who married Martin Aucoi n atLa Rochelle in 1632, which does seem quite possible, and through thatmarriage she was rel ated to Michelle Aucoin, with whose daughter sheresided in 1671 and 1678, which is also possi ble. But the only way thisresearcher could connect Marie SallÃ? with the younger Rene Landr y was inguessing that her Jean Claude was really a Landry and further that hemust have been t he younger RenÃ?'s father. This is merely wishfulthinking. The other difficulty with the youn ger RenÃ? Landry concerns hisabsence from the 1671 census. Some researchers have thought tha t thissignified that he had not yet immigrated to Acadia by that time, but itcan be shown tha t the 1671 census is incomplete, and thus the omission ofanyone from it does not prove that t hat person only arrived in Acadiaafter that date. Indeed the records of the LeBorgne family i n series E ofthe Archives des colonies (dossier E 277) mention transactions involvingthe youn ger RenÃ? Landry's wife's brother-in-law, Guyon Chaisson, between1668 and 1674, so we know fo r certain that the Chiassons were at"Mouchecoudabouet" during those years. It is my opinion q uite likely thatthe younger RenÃ? Landry and his family lived in close proximity with theChia ssons in "Mouchecoudabouet", around that time. As Bona Arsenault hasindicated, for the elde r RenÃ? Landry to have been called "l'Aine" in the1671 census presupposes that another RenÃ ? Landry must have livedsomewhere in Acadia at the same time. As Father Archange Godbout ment ionsin his Dictionaire des Acadiens, the younger RenÃ? "came from France withhis wife". Thi s quotation is lifted from several of the depositions ofthe Acadians at Belle-Ile-en-Mer. A s Father Godbout pointed out in theMemoires de la SocietÃ? gÃ?nÃ?alogie canadienne- franÃ?ais e (vol. V. p.5), this expression on those depositions means simply that both thehusband and w ife were born in France, but does not necessarily mean thatthey came to Acadia together, muc h less already married to one another.So all we can say is that RenÃ? Landry was born in Fran ce about 1634. Wedo not know whether he came to Acadia alone or with other relatives. As Ihav e explained above, however, we do know that he was not nearly relatedto any of the other Land rys in Acadia."
It is further stated by both Father d'Entremont and Professor White thatit is very doubtful t hat two different census takers at two differenttimes would have omitted the last name Landr y when referring to thedeceased husband of Marie SalÃ? and if the family name had been omitte din the church and other public registers, it would be the only time thatsuch a thing occure d in any register. Therefore they both conclude thatthe addition of the surname Landry to Jea n Claude is an error.
In a letter witten in early 1998, Stephen A. White, Genealogist, Centred'etudes Acadiennes wr ites: "What can I tell you about "Jean-ClaudeLandry" that I have not already said? Not much , I can assure you. No onehas brought forward any new information to show that two differen t censustakers, at two separate times, both forgot to put the name Landry in theentries perta ining to the widow Marie Sale. No one has discovered a cacheof passenger lists for any of th e vessels mentioned by Father Lanctot toshow, as he maintains, that "Jean-Claude Landry" arri ved in Acadia on acertain date, at the head of a group of a specific number of familymembers , In these circumstances, serious researchers must agree thatnothing supports the contentio n that there ever was a "Jean-ClaudeLandry" in early Acadia." "No one really knows how the La ndrys came toAcadia, how many of them came together, if indeed they did come in agroup, or i f and how they were related, beyond the simple fact that ReneLandry l'aine and Antoinette Lan dry were brother and sister. We certainlyhave no documentation to show that Rene and Antoinet te were twins! Eventhough Rene and Antoinette are said to have both been fifty-three yearsol d in the 1671 census, no experienced genealogist would read that asmeaning that they necessar ily born at the same time, because such recordsare rarely strictly accurate. After all, fifte en years later, in 1686.Antoinette is said to have been eighty! And by 1693 she had regresse d toseventy-six. Such records are merely guides; they do not admit strictinterpretation. To g o further, without additional proofs, is to indulgein the creation of romantic fiction". "I t is most regrettable that FatherLanctot chose to present his account of the history of our e arly Acadianfamilies as though all of his points were based on documented facts. Andit is rep rehensible that a publisher saw fit to distribute such anadmixture of truth and fantasy, as t hough it were serious history. Theresult is particularly invidious insofar as those people wh o have littleor no means to consult the original records are concerned. They are leftto suppo se that Lanctot's work is a reliable piece of research, where asit is in fact treacherously m isleading, because there are some extremelygood information mixed in with the bad."
Stephen A. White writes: "Regarding the origin and parents of RenÃ?Landry, le Jeunne there i s probably no other Acadian family about whosebackground there has been so much speculation a nd wishful thinking. Theresult is that what we actually know about the Landry families whoimm igrated from France to Acadia, has come to be regrettably enshroudedin a dense fog of error a nd confusion."
Dr. Donald Landry Metaire, Louisiana Don2717@aol.com
Jean-Claude Landry, est originaire de La Ventrouze , en Mortagne, auPerche. Il arrive vers l a fin de 1640, en compagnie de ses deux enfants,dont on ignore le nom de lâ??Ã?pouse. RenÃ? L andry, nÃ? en 1618, etAntoinette Landry, nÃ?e en 1620, Ã La Ventrouze. Jean-Claude Landry es taussi accompagnÃ? de sa nouvelle Ã?pouse, mariÃ? en 1625, Marie SallÃ?,veuve de Martin Aucoi n, et des enfants Aucoin, dont Michelle Aucoin, nÃ?een 1618, qui Ã?pouse en 1641, Michel Boud rot , qui a aussi un lien dedescendance dans cette gÃ?nÃ?alogie.
Lâ??aÃ?nÃ? RenÃ? Landry, nÃ? en 1618, Ã?pouse Ã Port-Royal vers 1644,Perrine Bourg, nÃ?e e n 1626, originaire du Loudunois, sÅ?ur dâ??AntoineBourg , nÃ? vers 1609, mariÃ? depuis 1636 , Ã sa sÅ?ur Antoinette Landry,nÃ?e en 1620. Des cinq enfants du couple Perrine Bourg et Ren Ã? Landry,deux filles nous tissent des rameaux. Lâ??aÃ?nÃ?e, Marie ouMarie-Henriette Landry , nÃ?e en 1648, Ã Port-Royal, Ã?pouse en 1667,Lawrence-Laurent Granger, matelot, originair e de Plymouth en Angleterre.La deuxiÃ·me Landry, Magdeleine, nÃ?e en 1656, Ã?pouse en 1680, Ã Port-Royal, RenÃ? Richard, sieur de BeauprÃ?, nÃ? en 1657, fils delâ??ancÃ®tre originaire d u Saintonge, Michel Richard , dit Sansoucy et deMagdeleine Blanchard . AprÃ·s le dÃ?cÃ·s de R enÃ? Richard, MagdeleineLandry Ã?pouse en 1693, Pierre Dupuis.
Avant dâ??arriver en Acadie, Jean-Claude Landry et Marie SallÃ?, ont euau moins un fils, nomm Ã? aussi RenÃ? Landry, le cadet, qui lediffÃ?rencie de RenÃ? Landry, lâ??aÃ?nÃ?, son demi-frÃ ·re. RenÃ? (lecadet), nÃ? en 1634, Ã?pouse vers 1659, Marie Bernard, nÃ?e en France,fille dâ? ?AndrÃ? Bernard , homme de La Tour, et dâ??AndrÃ?e Guion. Unefille de RenÃ? Landry et Marie B ernard nous tisse aussi un autre rameauau Landry. Marie Landry, nÃ?e en 1670, Ã Grand PrÃ? , devient l'Ã?pouseen 1686, de Martin Dupuis, nÃ? Ã Port-Royal, en 1665, fils de MichelDupeu x, dit Dupuis et de Marie Gautherot.
Lâ??aÃ¯eule Marie SallÃ? dÃ?cÃ·de entre 1686-1693.
L'Ã?tymologie du nom Landry est d'origine germanique, Landrik (nation outerre - puissante). I l y a plusieurs variations du noms comme : Landre,Landru et Landron.