Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Saint Louis Cemetery

When I sit in my office at the O'Dell House Museum I have a rather limited view of the world. I can see part of the Museum's backyard and a large portion of Saint Louis Roman Catholic Cemetery. Seeing as the AHS Genealogy Centre is among my charges, I feel that it is quite appropriate that the cemetery is a part of my view. It is nice to know that part of your constituency is close at hand. It is also quite convenient when someone comes to the Genealogy Centre looking for a relative buried in this cemetery. All I need to to is open the back door and point.

While the presence of the Roman Catholic Church in Port Royal goes back to the arrival of a Priest with deMonts and Champlain, the local parish, St Jean Baptiste, traces its origins to 1636. It is in this year that the settlers who had been living with Isaac de Razzily in the LaHave area of Nova Scotia moved across the peninsula to Port Royal. deRazzily's successor Charles de Menou d'Aulnay decided that the area previously inhabited by the French under Poutrincourt and the Scots under Sir William Alexander was a more defensible position for his colony. With d'Aulnay came the ancestors of many of the people who now call themselves Acadian or Cajun and the re-establishment of the Roman Catholic Church. St Jean Baptist is the second oldest Catholic parish in Canada with only the one in Quebec City being older.

Saint Louis Chapel in the lower town was built in 1835 for the cost of 197 Pounds. By this time the congregation consisted of descendants of the Acadians who had returned after the 1755 deportation and newly arrived Irish Catholics. A cemetery was established behind the chapel. In 1910, a new church, known as Saint Thomas, was built in the upper town. By 1930 Saint Louis Chapel was no longer in use and the deconsecrated building was torn down. The name Saint Louis was transferred to the newer church but the cemetery obviously remained in the lower town.

All for now,

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