Our initial goal in developing this website was to share our cemetery database with genealogists. My husband and I spent a considerable amount of time photographing the many gravestones in the Acadian Catholic cemeteries of Baie-Sainte-Marie (Clare) and we were looking for a way to share these photos with others, particularly people from away who might like to see the gravestones of their ancestors and ‘cousins’. We have attempted to provide you not only with photos of the stones but also a fully-searchable database to make your search easier.
At the time our website went live (May 2014), the cemetery database was the cornerstone of the site. Our future plans were to share with you much more from this beautiful corner of the world, rich in history and folklore. Located in Digby County, in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada, the Municipality of Clare (Baie-Sainte-Marie) is home to many descendants of a small group of Acadians who were allowed to settle here, starting in 1768, after the long difficult years of the Acadian Deportation (1755-1763).
The current day Municipality of Clare, ‘Clare’ or ‘Baie-Sainte-Marie’ is nestled in an area about 30 miles long, from the outskirts of the Loyalist town of Weymouth to the community of Beaver River, just outside the Yarmouth County line. The main highway running through the communities of Clare has been described as “the longest main street in the world”. Highway 1 (le chemin du roi, – the King’s Highway, or the Old Post Road) wanders through a dozen communities, following the curves, inlets and cliffs of St. Mary’s Bay (or Baie-Sainte-Marie as it was named by Champlain in 1604).
In the first phase, our website offered a photo database of all the cemeteries located in these communities with a short history of each parish. We also included maps showing the location of each cemetery and parish church.
We also set up two other categories of information on the website but these are still in the developmental phase. One is History and the second is Stories. In the future we will add a section for Culture and one for Genealogy.
History will include Historical notes on the Township of Clare and each of its communities, notes on significant Events and short Biographies of some of its residents. I have posted one short Biography, that of Léo Melanson, because of his significant contribution to the construction of many churches and fine homes in Clare.
Stories will include mostly those written about Clare, its residents and events. For the ‘purist’ historians and genealogists, please know that these are “stories” which may or may not be totally factual. If you plan to use any of the information within the story in academic works, you will be well-advised to check for factual accuracy. Otherwise, enjoy the stories! The first set I included was drawn from the 100 Short Stories written by Father Clarence J. d’Entremont and published in the Yarmouth Vanguard. I provided links to the ones about people or events in Clare.
Today (March 2, 2015) we are pleased to introduce a new module to our website “Shipbuilding in Clare”. This is but a small subset of a very large research project carried out by Delbé L. Comeau of Meteghan River (La Butte); Delbé has always had a major interest in this topic and is building a database of all ships built in Clare (Baie-Sainte-Marie). Delbé’s research was originally published in Clare Photo Album – Clare en Photos (Volume 2 pp. 139 to 177) compiled by Gerald J. Comeau (Published 2014). We are very grateful that Delbé and Gerald J. Comeau have graciously allowed us to publish this Clare shipbuilding research on our website so that it may reach a wider audience.
Navigation on this site: You can navigate the site by using the tabs at the top of this page, or on the sidebar menus when doing cemetery searches.
Feedback: We welcome feedback, whether it be requests for additional information, reporting errors on the website, broken links or suggesting enhancements and additions to the site.
Website Research: The research on this site was conducted by Marcelle Comeau, a tenth generation Acadienne de la Baie-Sainte-Marie and amateur genealogist and historian. We will also highlight the work of the many other authors and researchers who are either from Baie-Sainte-Marie or have written about Baie-Sainte-Marie.
Material will continue to be added to the site so we encourage people with an interest in the history and genealogy of the area to visit us often as we continue to add material. We also welcome research contributions to our site, where we will fully credit the authors.
Sources: For genealogical research, the website author will attempt to provide the most accurate information available and to provide sources for all material provided. However, it is good research practice to verify data from more than one source so we encourage everyone to conduct their own additional research. We appreciate any genealogical material that visitors to the site are willing to share with us.
Website development: John Berkey.
Copyrights: This site is protected under Canadian copyright laws. Any material downloaded from this site should credit the site and developers of the site. You may download gravestone photos for personal use only.