"The Pitre Trail from Acadia"
This site is designed to assist Pitre descendants in finding their way back through history.
To accomplish this you will find an extensive Pitre-surname descendant tree, Pitre extractions and transcriptions from parish registers and censuses, a Civil War Confederates and Civil War Union Soldiers list, an article about the Pitres who went to Louisiana in 1785 on the ‘Seven Ships’, and more.
The tree is an ongoing project, so although I have made an attempt to be as accurate as possible there will be errors and omissions. The tree is frequently updated as more names, dates, and sources are checked. Please check your own lines against what is here and contact me if you have additions, corrections or queries.
I also have some Pitres in my database for whom I have no parental link. You may have the vital clue to complete that link. So if you have a Pitre who is not listed, but whose parents are, please let me know so that they can be added.
Hundreds of Pitre descendants have emailed me since the site was launched on 18th March 2000, offering anything from a couple of names to entire lines. Your generosity with your time and research has been overwhelming! On behalf of our ever-growing Pitre family allow me to offer my heartfelt thanks!!
A long-time correspondent has emailed me recently with updates. His kind words exemplify what I hope this site is and will continue to be: "I visit your site often because I feel that it is “the” internet site for accurate Pitre information." Thank you, Yvon!
Another user wrote, "What a wonderful site.....I have been doing research/genealogy for over 30 years and I would say that this is the first time I've come across such a complete site." Thank you Judy for your kind words!
The site is divided into two sections, the research and the tree. The guide will allow you to view much of the research I've conducted. I have made every effort to transcribe registers, censuses, etc. accurately. If you have checked the original source and I have transcribed this incorrectly, please copy and scan the appropriate page for me so that I can make corrections.
The tree begins with Jean Pitre and Marie Pesseley as generation one, listing the succeeding generations through generation nine or ten depending on the dates.
Each Pitre has the following information, if known: name, birth date/place, death date/place, marriage/s date/place. Likewise for spouse/s’ info, plus the spouse/s’ parents. While the marriages of Pitre women are included, the descendant lines of females are not followed on this tree for reasons of space and accuracy.
During the 1800’s many Acadians found themselves in areas that were no longer predominantly French or French-speaking. Because of this and other factors some Acadians, including the Pitre, gradually or eventually adopted a “dit” as their surname, or an Anglicized or different spelling altogether. Those that have been discovered thus far, and appear within the tree, are: Peters, Lepitre, Lapete, Lajambe, Lashamb, Lashomb, Cayen, Peat, Peats, Peet, and Petry.
Realising that most of us have limited access to the more reliable sources, I will be happy to provide a transcription of my source or my reason for a link.
Within the Pitre tree, generations one, two, and three are covered in Stephen White’s excellent and meticulously researched Dictionnaire Genealogique Des Familles Acadiennes. Generations four and five pull from a variety of Acadian registers, various censuses, and other published material and are more difficult to completely verify.
Much of the source material for the 30-year exile in France (1755-1785) and the Pitre presence in Louisiana (1765 to 1920) is in book form accessible at many archives and libraries. The Pitre branches on Prince Edward Island and in other parts of Canada can be traced with a good degree of accuracy using filmed copies of parish registers and censuses.
My own descent line is through one of the Lafourche branches in Louisiana. I am currently in the process of viewing and transcribing the Pitre entries from many Canadian parish registers. These will be placed online as each is completed. If you have done such a transcription of any register or census and would like to share it, please get in touch.
If you have contributed to the tree in any way and you wouldn’t mind being contacted by other researchers, please get in touch! Many people have helped me in my research over the years and I hope that this site will help others in return. You may have vital local knowledge that may help another Pitre descendant find an important connection.
Photographs for lagniappe!
One of the many reasons behind my creation of The Pitre Trail website was an attempt to clarify assumptions and to dispel inaccuracies regarding Pitre descendants. This is ongoing as more and more source material becomes accessible. All this stemmed from my own research on my family history, therefore my personal tree is also included on this site. My father's Pitre branch is mostly Acadian. My mother's Harris branch has no Acadians. Also added is my husband's Roostan branch as my children were forever asking if my conversation was about living or dead people. My research has brought many of them alive to me so have a stroll with our ancestors if you'd like!
Just because it's written here does not necessarily make it so!
Check original sources wherever possible.
For contributions or queries please contact me by e-mail.
The search engine below will search every page of this site. BUT, it can only search the spelling you provide. Angele may be Angelique, Arseneau can be Arsenault, Peters may be Pitre, Mary Ann may be Marie Anne, Melanson may be Melancon, etc. [The site is spidered monthly; usually on the 8th of the month.]
Last updated: 22 April 2013
This update: More 1940 census extractions, obits & newspaper articles, and the odd snippet found in old documents now accessible online.
[11 November 2012 update: More 1940 census (families noted and individual state pages), particularly Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Idaho, California, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington. Still incomplete but working.
[12 September 2012 update: 1940 census: New York; 9 more Louisiana parishes; Michigan]
[6 June 2012 update: Maine 1940 census.]
[15 April update: Start of 1940 census transcriptions. Placed on family pages to begin with as census can only be browsed at present. Will eventually set up census pages as previously. Mostly Louisiana and New York at the moment.]
1) That Jean Pitre has a 'dit' name aka dit Beneque: This is not applicable to Jean Pitre or his descendants. Stephen White makes no mention of it and the only time I have run across it is in regards to a family in Quebec in the mid-1700's. The progenitor couple are Pierre Benequai (also listed as Pierre Benequai/Beneque Pitre) and wife Genevieve Dufrene. I can find no connection between him and the Acadian Pitres. Somewhere along the line someone attached this 'dit' to our Pitre line and the error is still frequently appearing. ***5 June 2012 - for possible explanation, see FAQ page
2) That Jean Pitre's parents are Mathurin Pitre & Felicite Thibodeau. Have no idea how this connection has been made. Mathurin Pitre & Felicite Esther Thibodeaux are my 3 x great-grandparents. Mathurin Pitre is a 3 x great-grandson of Jean Pitre. Jean Pitre's parents are still unknown and his birthplace is inconclusive.
Important Note: The information presented here may be freely downloaded, copied or printed, but must not be redistributed for commercial gain. The author cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy that may be present. All original work is subject to copyright.