Written by Flo Daigle Perkins
Where did the Daigles come from and how did they end up in Louisiana? Researchers tell us most Daigles came from a town that existed in France called Aigre, which was about 32 miles northwest of Angauleme, France. Perhaps the Daigles who migrated to Canada and Nova Scotia, being peasants, had no last name and were therefore called Daigre or D'Aigre after the town they came from. The spelling of "Daigle" first appeared in Beaubassin, Nova Scotia in 1727.
History tells us that the Daigle family in Louisiana consists of both Acadians who were deported by the British from Nova Scotia in 1755 and French Canadians who came directly from Quebec in 1711. The Acadians descend from Olivier Daigre, who was recruited to help settle Nova Scotia in 1632 when Nova Scotia was a French territory. The French-Canadians descend from Jean Daigle who left France and migrated to Canada in the 1600's. He had a son, Etienne who came to Louisiana in 1711 on an expedition and never returned to Canada. Etienne, son of Jean, made his home in the New Orleans area and raised his family there. His descendants decided to seek a better life and acquired large land holdings in the Church Point, LA area. There are many descendants of Etienne living in the Church Point and Southwest areas of Louisiana to this day.
The descendants of Olivier Daigre lived a good life in the Port Royal and Grand Pre areas of Nova Scotia for three generations. In 1755, because they would not sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to England, they were deported with nothing but what they had on their backs. Their ships were sent to Virginia where Acadians were refused to be accepted. They were then sent to England and stayed there as "prisoners of war" for 7 years and then sent to France, where they had been promised land equal to what they had lost in Nova Scotia. The land they were given was not fit to grow crops, so they spent 29 years in France trying to find a home. In 1768 they found themselves again on the French government role and living in Nantes, France.
At last some hope was coming; negotiations were started by the government of Spain who owned Louisiana to try and get the Acadians in France to come to Louisiana and to join their Acadian cousins who were already enjoying a good life in Louisiana. These Acadians had been deported to other New England states who had accepted them and had made their way to Louisiana from these states.
In 1785, Spain acquired 7 ships and started sending the French Acadians to Louisiana. So it was Spain, not France, who provided a solution to our family's problem. Our Acadian Daigles were on these ships. Some settled in the Bayou Lafourche area and others in the St. Gabriel, LA area.
Today there are Daigles living all over Louisiana, in just about every state in the United States and in Canada and France. The 1999 reunion in Morgan City, LA was a huge success in reuniting these Daigle cousins and we look forward to the return to our homeland, Nova Scotia, for the 2004 reunion.