BERBUDEAU, JEAN-GABRIEL, surgeon and subdelegate of the financial commissary of Île Royale; b. 17 Oct. 1709 at Saint-Georges d’Oléron (dept of Charente-Maritime), France, son of Jean Berbudeau, master surgeon, and Marie-Anne Duvivier; d. 4 Jan. 1792 at the hamlet of Saint-Antoine in the parish of Archigny (dept of Vienne),France.
The date of Jean-Gabriel Berbudeau’s arrival at Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) is not known. He was apparently not the first of the name to set foot there, for in a letter dated 24 June 1727 to Beauharnois*, the governor of New France, the minister of Marine, Maurepas, mentioned a “Sieur Berbudeau, surgeon at Île Royale.” The subject of this biography was certainly in Louisbourg in 1743, for on 19 September of that year he married Marie-Gervaise Paris there. In his marriage contract he described himself as “surgeon maintained [by the king] at Port-Toulouse [St Peters, N.S.].” Following a request made on 17 Oct. 1743 by Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Prévost* Duquesnel, the commandant of Île Royale, and François Bigot, the financial commissary, Berbudeau was appointed to Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) to replace Martin Descouts*, “surgeon maintained by the king with a salary of 600 livres.”
There is no record of Berbudeau and his wife during the British occupation of Île Royale and Île Saint-Jean from 1745 to 1749. After these and other territories were restored to France by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Berbudeau was commissioned to accompany Claude-Élisabeth Denys* de Bonnaventure to Île Saint-Jean in 1749. Bonnaventure had been instructed to take possession of the island, rebuild its fortifications, and promote settlement, which had languished. Berbudeau and his family, then including two children, settled at Port-La-Joie (Fort Amherst). In 1751 he replaced François-Marie de Goutin* as the subdelegate on Île Saint-Jean of the financial commissary of Île Royale. Three years later, with the support of the financial commissary Jacques Prevost de La Croix, he also received his brevet as military surgeon.
Berbudeau’s whereabouts during the second siege of Louisbourg in 1758 are not known, but on 28 April 1759 he landed at La Rochelle with his family and a large number of refugees. He settled there and carried on a private practice among the Acadians; only the surgeon-major Louis Bertin had been kept on active service. There is some evidence that in 1763 Berbudeau went to Guiana with the Acadians whom the minister of Marine, Choiseul, hoped to settle there; if he did, however, his stay was short. In 1766 his name was put forward for service on the Île de Ré, but his candidature was not accepted. Some years later he devoted himself to the Acadian refugees whom the Marquis de Pérusse Des Cars was taking on his lands in Poitou, at Archigny, Monthoiron, La Puye, and Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé (dept of Vienne). At Des Cars’s request, on 11 Nov. 1771 the king granted Berbudeau an annual pension of 354 livres.
Berbudeau passed away peacefully in 1792. Four of his seven children died in infancy. It seems that only his daughter Marie-Reine married; in 1783 her husband, Pierre-Alexis Texier de La Touche, became the syndic of the Acadians in Poitou.
AD, Vienne (Poitiers), E, 4, 16–17, 62. AN, Col., C11B, 25, 33, 38; D2C, 1 ter; E, 27 (dossier Berbudeau); Section Outre-mer, G3, 2047/1, 18 sept. 1743, 19 août 1751. Archives communales, Archigny (dép. de la Vienne), Registres paroissiaux. Archives maritimes, Port de Rochefort (France), 1E, 133–39. Ernest Martin, Les exilés acadiens en France au XVIIIe siècle et leur établissement en Poitou (Paris, 1936), 777. Pierre Massé, “Descendances acadiennes: les quatre filles de Marie-Reine Berbudeau,” RHAF, V (1951–52), 531–41; VI (1952–53), 252–62; VII (1953–54), 426–34; VIII (1954–55), 415–25; “Le syndic de la colonie acadienne en Poitou,” RHAF, V (1951–52), 45–68, 252–64, 373–400.