At the onset of the colonization, the major concern for the Acadians
was survival in a hostile environment. They provided for themselves through
farming, trading(sometimes illegally), and fishing. Despite these activities,
life was very difficult and colonists died from scurvy, infections, and
With the cooperation of the local Indians, called the Micmacs, the Acadians
were better able to adapt to the land and survival became somewhat easier for
subsequent generations. The Acadians focused their attention more on the family,
their crops and religion which they held very dear.
The majority of the Acadians lived by farming and depended entirely
on the fertile land for their livelihood. They developed an innovative method
of turning the salt marshes into arable land by the use of a
Although Acadians knew little of the luxuries of life, their prosperous farms
also assured that they would be spared the ravages of famine.
During the first half of the 18th century, the Acadian birth rate was
relatively high and the child mortality rate was low. This period of Acadian
history ( 1680- 1740 ) is known as the Golden Age of Acadia. Large families were
not uncommon, the Girouard family was no exception. Often many generations
lived under one roof, the Girouard's built a number of homes in what was
called Girouard Village, in what is now called Tupperville, Nova Scotia. Besides
these blood ties, the community was also close knit through marriage links.
It often happened that brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles chose life partners
from the same lineage as that of another family. For example, Doucets, Martins
Godets often married Girouards etc.
Family ties and the Catholic religion also played an important role in
the lives of Acadians. The Acadians always had a special place in their
hearts for the Catholic faith and its clergy. Both of which were key elements
of the social fabric before and after the deportation.