Mark your calendar – October 8th. That’s the date of the Guédry-Labine & Petitpas Reunion at the Cut Off Youth Center in Cut Off, LA. The Guédry family has members throughout the United States and Canada and they are coming to Cut Off. The original Guédry name has undergone many transformations and today we are called Guidry, Guedry, Gaidry, Guildry, Guitry, Geddry, Gedry, Jeddry, Jedry, Labine, LaBine and LaBean. But whatever the name, we are all cousins and all descend from the same Acadian couple – Claude Guédry dit Grivois and Marguerite Petitpas.
Claude Guédry dit Grivois probably arrived in Acadia shortly after 1671. The first written record we find of him is the baptism of his daughter Jeanne by a Mi’kmaq Indian Kesk8a on the banks of the St. Jean River in June 1681. Shortly afterwards, he married the widow Marguerite Petitpas, daughter of Claude Petitpas, Clerk of Court at Port-Royal, and Catherine Bugaret. The young couple settled at the small Mi’kmaq-Acadian community of Merliguèche by 1686 and remained there most of their lives except for a brief return to Port-Royal in 1690s. By 1753 all but one Acadian had left Merliguèche - Paul Guédry, youngest son of Claude and Marguerite. Paul was there when the Foreign Protestants arrived at Merliguèche Bay in 1754 and renamed the community Lunenburg.
Claude and Marguerite had ten children – eight boys and two daughters – between 1682 and 1703. Four of their sons and both daughters have left descendants whose families survive today. In the early 1750s most of the children of Claude and Marguerite had moved eastward to Cobequid (Truro today), Pisiguit (Falmouth & Windsor), Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island) and Ile St-Jean (Prince Edward Island) to escape the wrath and threats of the British. With the Acadian deportations from mainland Nova Scotia in 1755-1756 and from Ile Royale and Ile St-Jean in 1758-1759 the Guédry family was scattered throughout the eastern seaboard of the emerging United States and the west coast of France.
After the 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War in America, the Acadians saw reunitement in French territory as possible and strove to make it happen. Jean-Baptiste Guédry dit Labine, son of Pierre Guédry dit Labine and Marguerite Brasseau and grandson of Claude and Marguerite, was exiled to Boston, Massachusetts from 1756 to 1766. He and his large family resettled at St-Alexis, Québec (northeast of Montréal) in 1767. This family later became Labine’s, LaBine’s and Guildry’s and, when a branch later moved to southern Michigan in the mid-1840s, it became LaBean. Olivier Guédry, a son of Jean-Baptiste Guédry dit Labine did not adopt the Labine name, left Québec and resettled in south Louisiana about 1793. Many of his descendants today live from Lafayette to Jennings, LA. They are called Guidry. In the early 1900s a great-great-grandson of Olivier Guédry, Joseph Villere Guidry, moved his family from Lafayette Parish to Orange, Texas and founded the Guidry family of that area of Texas.
Only one Guédry is known escaped the deportations and remained in Acadia. He was Augustin Guédry, the youngest son of Pierre Guédry dit Labine and Marguerite Brasseau. Augustin hid in the woods from 1755-1765 and survived with the aid of his friends the Mi’kmaq Indians. He eventually came out of hiding during 1766 and settled near Plympton, Nova Scotia on St. Mary’s Bay. Shortly afterwards in 1767 he moved down St. Mary’s Bay and founded the town of Chéticamp (today St-Alphonse), Nova Scotia. Nearby is the small community of Meteghan. The Guédry families of these two communities are known as Jeddry, Jedry, Geddry and Gedry today
Most children of Augustin Guédry, the 5th child of Claude and Marguerite, and his wife Jeanne Hébert escaped to Ile Royale and then returned in 1754 to their homes in Merliguèche. The British captured them at Merliguèche in late 1755 and deported them to North Carolina. They eventually migrated to Philadelphia and Maryland from where they sailed to Louisiana in 1767 and 1768. The descendants of this large family are found principally in St. Martin, St. Landry, Lafayette and Acadia parishes as well as St. James and Ascension parishes today. We know them as Guidry and Guedry. In the mid-1840’s Ursin Guédry, a great-grandson of Augustin Guédry, moved his family to Texas to obtain the cheaper land there and settled the Sour Lake and Batson areas. Members of this family are Guedry’s today.
The children of Paul Guédry, youngest son of Claude and Marguerite, and Anne Mius were deported to both the eastern seaboard of North America and to France. Their son Joseph Thomas Guédry was imprisoned in Halifax, Nova Scotia until 1765 when he traveled with about 200 other Acadians to Santo Domingue first and then to Louisiana – settling in the Attakapas region (today St. Martin Parish). Joseph Guédry eventually settled near Convent, Louisiana in St. James Parish. Other sons of Paul Guédry were deported to France where they remained until 1785. With the assistance of Spain they came to Louisiana with other Acadians in a series of seven expeditions during 1785. The Guédry families on these ships eventually settled in Iberville, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. Today they are called Guidry, Guedry and Gaidry. A grandson of Claude and Marguerite, named Claude , married first Anne LeJeune and then Anne Moise and was deported to France. The identities of his parents are uncertain. His father may have been Charles Guédry, Jean-Baptiste Guédry or Paul Guédry – sons of Claude and Marguerite. Regardless, most of the Guidry families along lower Bayou Lafourche descend from Claude Guédry, husband of Anne LeJeune and later Anne Moise.
So whether you are from Southeast Texas, Southwest Louisiana, the Lafayette area, the Baton Rouge area or Southeast Louisiana, set aside Saturday, October 8, 2011 (8 am until 4 pm) as the day to meet your cousins. Come to the banks of Bayou Lafourche in Cut Off, LA and spend the day hearing interesting histories of our family, listening to Cajun music by Nonc Jules Guidry and the Lachez-Les Band, learning about growing up along the Bayou from and its unique culture from Ron ‘Black’ Guidry, studying the many displays about our family and eating wonderful Cajun food prepared by a trio of Guidry Cajun chefs. And, yes, we’ll even have some items you can purchase to take home. For more information email Martin Guidry at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone him at 225-755-1915 (or 225-202-2478). Put ‘Guedry-Labine’ in the Facebook search engine to see our Les Guédry d’Asteur Facebook Page.