The Simoneau family arrived in North America before the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. While taking French at Rivier College, I decided to finish what I had started a few years ago; find the connection between my family and Rene Simoneau dit Sanschagrin. All it took was finding out who my great, great grandfather was, and I was able to connect the dots.
While Rene Simoneau dit Sanschagrin did not come to “New France” until the early 1690’s (1692 to be exact), his great uncle Jacques Simoneau landed on Sable Island, Nova Scotia in 1598 as part of a colonization plan from Henry IV, King of France. He returned to France in 1603.
There can be no question that the Simoneau Family is indeed from Bouin, France, and that Rene came over to New France (Quebec, Canada). Questions however arise with the “colonization party” that came to Sable Island. Some texts say that the party that Jacques Simoneau was a part of was a group of 60 “hardened convicts”. While I would hate to think that a person in our lineage was a hardened criminal, this was not uncommon in during the time frame in question.
The Simoneau family has many intertwinings with the Sevigny family as well as Grondin and others. My direct line of Simoneau has many Sevigny marriages. While I was researching, I created a PDF of the actual tree, and it’s ridiculously large (see link below to PDF). It has not been updated since 2004, and there have been deaths in the family since then. Please keep that fact in mind while looking at it.
There are quite a few Simoneaus in Nashua, NH, and I get asked frequently if I am related to them or not. As I understand it, we are all related distantly, except for the family that spells their name “Simoneaux”. That family changed their name to “Simoneaux” upon being cast out of Acadia and landing in Louisiana. For some reason, the original name escapes me. More research is required, as some of the “Simoneaux” family may actually be descendants of “Simoneau” who were just “signing in front of the X”.
Most of my research came from multiple websites of other families of Simoneau, as well as Sevigny, Campbell, but most importantly Pierre Simoneau’s website. Information sharing is much better now than it was 10 years ago when I first took on this project, so I think I probably will revisit the process in the near future and update.
Enjoy the family tree I created of my line of the Simoneau Family!
Pepere “Pete” on the pedestal.
Pepere Pete and his family