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The Franco-American Connection

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Who are the Franco-Americans

French speaking immigrants from the Provinces of Québec and New Brunswick started migrating to the United States before the Civil War.

Immigrants to Maine often traveled from the Beauce county in Québec to Augusta Maine along the trail that became known as The Old Canada Road. Other settlers came to the St-John river area from Québec and from Acadia because of its fertile lands. Once the boundary between Canada and the US was agreed on in 1842, many French speaking immigrants found themselves on the US side.

After the turn of the century, many more French Canadians migrated to the US in search of work in the newly formed companies of the industrial revolution. They moved to states from New England to the Midwest and worked in paper mills, saw mills, cotton factories, auto factories, shoe factories and the steel industry, to name a few. They planned to only stay a few years, but most stayed forever and raised their families here. And they brought with them their language, their culture and their religious traditions. And they became today's writers, teachers, doctors ...  And now the Franco-Americans, as they are called, are distributed all over the US as seen in this demographic map. This site is dedicated to the descendants of these brave expatriates.

This migration to New England was beautifully summarized in an essay written by Emily Williams, a Brunswick student attending the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone. Her essay details the initial migration of French Canadians into Brunswick, ME and their assimilation with the English and other immigrants.

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Last updated: May 10, 2006