The Chegau family is indigenous to North America and is of Lu’nu, Mi’kmaq ancestry. The Mi’kmaq lived in the Mi’kmaq Territory of Mi’kma’ki which includes Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and the North East area of Maine.
The Mi’kmaq Tribe represented by the Sante Mawiomi (Grand Council), numbered about 35,000 in the 1600s. Prior to contact tribal genealogies were kept by oral tradition and resource, trade and territory negotiations were represented and administered through Chiefs, Grand Chiefs, Councils, kinship relationships, Wampum agreements and canoe, tree and rock markings.
The Mi’kmaq lived amongst other Tribes that spoke the Algonquin dialect. The 2500 year-old Augustine Mound, archeology site, of stone smoking pipes, copper beads, shell necklaces and flint knives confirm the Mi’kmaq carried out a complex trading system with many different tribes from a great distance away.
In 1610 the first registration system for written records is created in Mi’kma’ki when Chief Membertou makes a Wampum with the Holy See and Vatican. Mi’kmaq birth, baptism, marriage and death records have been kept at Catholic Church registries throughout the East Coast of North America since 1610. Today, the 1610 Wampum is still in the possession of the Vatican and Holy See.
By the 1700s the Mi’kmaq population is reduced to 2000 Mi’kmaq. Early records for the Chegau family from the 1700s can be found in the Roman Catholic Registers of St. Jean Baptiste, Annapolis Royal, 1702 - 1755 and in the Roman Catholic Registers of Caraquet, New Brunswick. Piere (Pierre) Chegau, Etien (Etienne) Chegau and Jacque Chegan signed the 1726 Peace and Friendship Treaty. All are shown on the Treaty under the signature of Chief Jean Baptiste, Cape Sable, as living at Cape Sable.
Piere Chegau married Marguerite, the daughter of Chief Jean Baptiste, Kespukwitk, Mi’kma’ki (Cape Sable). Paul married Marie Son and Paul and Marie’s daughter married Henri L’Official who was of Abernaki and French ancestry. The next generation intermarried with the Camus, Alexander and Benoit families and mainly settled in Newfoundland, Labrador, Cape Breton and Nova Scotia.
By 1755 the Mi’kmaq and Acadian people have intermarried for about 150 years, France and England continue to fight and England forcibly removes the Acadians on to ships and deports the Acadians from Mi’kma’ki. Mi’kmaq people with Acadian ancestry, including the grandchildren of signatories of the Peace and Friendship Treaties are forced aboard ships and removed from Mi’kma’ki. Some of the Mi’kmaq deported by the British dies at sea during the Acadian Deportation.
In 1760 the British order Acadian land tenures to be forfeited to the British which the British later give to New England Planters in the form of land grants. Several Mi’kmaq, of Acadian ancestry, wrongfully lose title to their farms resulting in the removal of Mi’kmaq names from the land registry.
DNA results from the Chegau Mi’kmaq Family DNA project and the expanding Chegau family tree show the Chegau family is intermarried with the Inuk, Beothuk, Maliseet, Mohawk, Abernaki, Cree, Chipewyan and Salish people. As well the Mi’kmaq was amongst the first tribes to make contact with the various explorers, traders and fisherman that first visited the East Coast of North America.
In 1829, the last known Beothuk, Nancy Shanawdithit, died of tuberculosis. DNA testing of a Chegau descendant in Newfoundland confirms Mi’kmaq and Beothuk DNA. The Beothuk Tribe may be extinct but the Beothuk DNA is not extinct.
In genealogy a brick wall is caused by the environment such as an earthquake, flood, or fire and/or by human activity such as genocide. Brick walls unique to people with DNA indigenous to North America have impacted the genealogy of the Chegau family.
Thank you, for contributing your genealogy and family photographs that confirm your relationship to our Mi’kmaq ancestors and to the Chegau family tree. The Chegau family genealogy is indigenous to North America.