Maps of Acadia, Dartmouth connections

The National Library of France has an impressive selection of maps of Acadia from the 17th and 18th centuries – one thing found in common across several of these maps is that the original French settlement of “Chibouctou” is shown on the Eastern side of the harbor.

It looks like Dartmouth could quite possibly have been the site of “Chibouctou”.

Map 1: Circa 16??

The map shows eight dwellings, and that is significant because it lines up perfectly with the Acadian census of 1687.

The “Recensement général du pays de la Cadie (General census of the country of Cadie)”…/pcb.1923095948…/1923087884680426/

“One house, 7 Mi’kmaq cabins, 3 guns, one-half acre of improved land”

1 house + 7 cabins = 8 dwellings, as seen on this map?
In Dartmouth?


Map 2: circa 16??

“ou il y a un petit navire sur le chantier abandonne”

“Where there is a small ship on an abandoned construction site”


Map 3: circa 16??

“marigot au navire a pa quinet”

This one is trickier to translate.

According to the ‘Dictionnaire de la langue française (Littré) Tome 3 (Hachette,Paris,1873);

“marigot” is defined as “Courir au marigot, aller au marigot, se dit, parmi les pêcheurs de maquereau, de l’action de ceux qui se retirent dans quelque endroit poissonneux, y pêchent pour eux, mangent leur poisson et se reposent.”

“To run to the backwater, to go to the backwater, says to himself, among the mackerel fishermen, the action of those who retire to some fish-bearing place, fish for them, eat their fish, and rest.

In other words, “a place where the ship rested to fish mackerel”


Map 4: Circa 1737

No notations this time, but two distinct marks in the same general vicinity as Map 1 – appears to be the eastern side of the harbor.

Further context here from “Encounters with tall sails and tall tales: Mi’kmaq society, 1500-1760” by William Wicken, about Mi’kmaq settlements around Chibouctou, as well as a table listing population of various settlements.…/pcb.1923095948…/1923080708014477/…/pcb.1923095948…/1923079784681236/


Map 5: Circa 1746

Two structures of some sort, again on the Eastern side of the harbor


Map 6: Circa 17??

A LOT of text here and detail on the Chebucto settlement that seems to indicate the land with crops. We are not experts of 17th century French, but attempted our best to transcribe and translate with some online tools such as U Chicago’s period French dictionaries. (…/dictionnaires-dautrefois)
Rough, but here it is:

“le port de chibouctou

la plus belle reconnaissance du la monde est celle du port de chibouctou par la montagne l’en sombre qui estant fort haute en est dautant plus facille a distinguer

son entree est nord 1/4 nord est et sud 1/4 sud ouest

il faut extremement ranger la coste du ouest jusques a ce que vous aye’s ouvert deux petits ilets en maniere de grave qui tienne a’la grand isle que vous bourrées apres quoy vous a’la mouille
a une demie port ce de canondeld nord et sud d’une petite isle toutte ronde qui pavois au fond de la baye

pour aux qui viennent du coste do ouest et qui veuelent donner dans chibouctou il faut bien qui le donne de garde d’approcher de l’isle lensemble accouse des roches et basser sourdes qui sont a l’entour de c’ette isle a un lieue et demie ou deux

la pesche est fort bonne partout a l’entree”

“The port of chibouctou

the most beautiful view in the world is that of the port of chibouctou by the mountain in the dark, which is very high and improves the view

its entrance is north 1/4 north east and south 1/4 south west

you have to stick to the west coast until you have see two small islands in a serious way that fits the big island that you drunk after you wet
has a half port that canondeld north and south of a small isle round all which bulware at the bottom of the bay

for those who come from the west coast and who want to give in chibouctou it is necessary who gives the guard to approach the isle the accuse set of rocks and beating deaf who are around this island isle a league and a half or two

the fishing is very good everywhere at the entrance”