Our Activities

Since its founding in 1994, the ABAD has actively taken on the activities laid out in its mandate, including organizing the "Retrouvailles" family gatherings, supporting regional Bourgeois family groups, publication of the newsletters, promotions of the association at various Acadian festivals and the sharing of genealogical research on the Bourgeois family.

The "Retrouvailles Bourgeois" family gathering”

There have been five family gatherings organized within the framework of the Acadian World Congress (CMA).

1st CMA (1994): New Brunswick

From the 12th to the 22nd of August, 1994, nine New Brunswick municipalities worked together to organize the event: Bouctouche, Cape-Pelé, Dieppe, Richibucto, Rogersville, Saint-Anthony, Saint-Joseph/Valley of Memramcook, Saint-Louis-de-Kent and Shédiac. On the program: many shows, family meetings, a series of conferences at the University of Moncton, the Women’s Summit and much more. The president of the Congress was André Boudreau whereas the president of the organising committee of the CMA was Ovila Doiron.

2nd CMA (1999) : Louisiana

The second World Acadian Congress took place from July 31st to August 16th, 1999 in south Louisiana. The activities took place in several cities and villages within the Acadiana area which is conprised of 22 parishes. The managing director of the 1999 Acadian World Congress (CMA) was Brian Comeaux.

3rd CMA (2004) : Nova-Scotia

The 3rd World Acadian Congress (CMA) was held in Nova-Scotia from July 31st to August 15th 2004. The director of the 2004 CMA was Vaughne Madden. The 3rd CMA coincided with the 400th anniversary of the first settlement of Acadia by Samuel de Champlaim.

4th CMA (2009): St-Isidore, New-Brunswick

The fourth family gathering took place from 13th to the 14th of August, 2009 in the area of Tracadie-Sheila in the North-Eastern Peninsula of New-Brunswick. The "Retrouvailles" organizing committee, under the presidency of Murielle Bourgeois-Gallien, prepared and hosted the "Retrouvailles Bourgeois 2009".

5th CMA (to 2014): Edmundston, New-Brunswick

The fifth family gathering was held from 13th to the 14th of August, 2014 in St-Basil (Edmundston) in North-Western New-Brunswick. The organizing committee of "The Retrouvailles Bourgeois 2014" chaired by Marc Bourgeois organized the event which was attended by some 110 family members. The event highlights included French and English presentation from acadian authors, a local historian and our family historian, a walking tour of St-Basil, many groups events and Cajun music by the Bayou Hot Shots.

The Bulletin “le bourgeois”

The Association was quite active until 2007, publishing the bulletin "le bourgeois" at a rate of twice a year. Only 2 bulletins were published between 2007 and 2009 due to the death of its editor, Paul-Pierre Bourgeois, in the fall of 2007 following a long fight against cancer. Starting in 2011 the newsletter was reactivated with Caroline "Caro" Bourgeois as the new editor. With the help of Marc Bourgeois, the 'le bourgeois' is now available in two formats, a print edition and an electronic edition delivered via e-mail. The ABAD hopes to make it available to its members through its new Web site in 2015.

The Jacques Bourgeois Monument Project

This project has been a goal of the association since its inception, which is intended to recognize the fact that Jacques, two of his sons and some colonists arrived in the Beaubassin area around 1672 where they founded the first colony to be established outside of the Port-Royal region. According to the historian Paul Surette, there is no doubt that Jacques was the person responsible for the establishment of all the Acadian colonies in this area. In October 2014 the board of directors approved the creation a subcommittee, presided by Louis Bourgeois, the ABDA vice president, with the goal of inaugurating a monument in the memory of Jacques Jacob Bourgeois and Beaubassin, during the Retrouvailles 2019 family gathering to be held during the CMA2019 in south-eastern New-Brunswick.
What form it will take or where it will be located has not yet been determinine. The association executive has mandated that the subcommittee first tasks be to come up with a design for the monument, to establish a budget and to look for a location near Beaubassin in to install it.
For the moment the association has placed a commemorative plaque at the entrance of the Nova Scotia Tourist Center located not far from the original Bourgeois colony.
In order to finance this project the association has and will continue to collect donations for the project which are being placed in the Association's bank account for the monument.

The Association Website

In the spring of 2009, just prior to "Les Retrouvailles Bourgeois 2009" family gathering the association received a submission by Marc Bourgeois, owner of the Histoire de Bourgeois genealogy website, to design and host the association's website. The submission was accompanied with a demo website for the executive to review. That same spring the association approved the proposal, and the new website was published on the web, as a tool to promote the organization and the "Retrouvaille Bourgeois 2009" family gathering. At the same time, Marc developed a discussion forum for both the association and his genealogy website.

In the fall of 2014, the association's website was completely redesigned in order to implement new web standards, add features and make it more relevant to members. At the same time, a new Facebook group was created for association members. This Facebook group will allow association members to keep up to date on association activities, ask questions of the executive, provide input to association ask genealogy questions, share genealogy information and exchange with other members of the association.

Acadian Festivals and Events

Since in 2011, a concerted effort has been made to modernize and promote the association and its objective. Part of this effort has involved attending major Acadian festivals. To this end, Alfred Bourgeois the president of the association and Marc Bourgeois the web coordinator attended the "Grand Réveille Acadian" held in Louisiana in October 2011 and the "Grand Ralliement Acadien du Québec" held in Saguenay, in June 2012. Both events provided opportunities to meet Bourgeois cousins and network with executive of the CMA and leaders of various Acadian federations such as the FAFA (translation: Federations of Associations of Acadien Families).

The Bourgeois Story / Histoire de Bourgeois Website

The association has been collaborating with Marc Bourgeois our family historian and web advisor to build the best genealogical resource available for the Bourgeois family. His Histoire de Bourgeois web site presently documents more than 16,000 Bourgeois descendants of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan and contains several thousand media objects consisting mainly of photos, headstones and obituaries related to the Bourgeois family.

The Coat of Arms

In 1998, the ABAD, then called "Association des bourgeois d'Amérique" joined the "Association des Bourgeois d'Acadie" in a project to develop a coat of arms for Jacques Jacob Bourgeois and his descendants. The Bourgeois coat of arms was then granted to the "Association des Bourgeois d'Acadie" by the Honorable Romeo LeBlanc in the fall of 1998. Following discussions with the president of the now defunct “Association des Bourgeois d’Acadie” and the Canada Heraldic Authority, the Association of the Bourgeois’ of Acadian Descent (ABAD) received official confirmation of its right to bear the Armorial Bearings that had been assigned to the “Association des Bourgeois d’Acadie” on March 10, 1998. This right and the emblems were accorded to the ABAD on October 15, 2013 will appear in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada at page 274 of volume VI. Read more