About the Foley Family
There are two Foley families in North America. We can assume that they are ancestors from the same family in old France. This focus of this web site is the first Foley family to come from France and settle in North America around 1650. This was Francois Foley and his wife Jeanne Aucoin. They left France and came to North America to live in Port Royal, Acadia, New France. Today this is now known as Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada. The group of French people that established this colony have came to be known as the Acadians.
The Acadians were a peaceful people that found the Bay of Fundy environment to be easy to manage by creating dikes on the inlets. The Acadians families helped each other and lived peaceably with the native Indians, the Micmacs. The rule of this new land passed a number of times between the French and the English,but all the Acadians wanted to do was to be neutral in the conflicts. They refused to take sides and sign an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. In 1755 an English Governor, Charles Lawrence had 10,000 Acadians deported from their beloved Acadian homeland, burned their villages, and killed their animals in case they somehow returned. They were dispersed to various locations on the Atlantic seaboard and England. In some cases families were split up never to see each other again and many died.
The Acadian Foley Family is now split into 3 groups, those who found their way back to Canada and settled in Quebec, those who escaped the deportation found themselves in New Brunswick, and the third which were sent to England prisons, then to France and finally in a Spanish colony which we now know as Louisiana. A large number of the descendants from the 2 Canadian groups came into New England during the expansion of the textile mills in the 1850s. Their descendants have now spread across the US.
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