Melanson Family History

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Location: Worcester Diocese, United States

Born in Bitburg, Germany, Paul Melanson is a Catholic lay-philosopher and apologist whose work has appeared in many publications and websites including The Union Leader, The Wanderer, Seattle Catholic, Newsblaze, Helium, and Amazines. He has been interviewed by The National Catholic Register, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the television newsmagazine Chronicle.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Melanson Settlement

Melanson Settlement National Historic Site of Canada

Melanson Settlement: A Rich History

The Melanson Settlement was an Acadian family settlement in the former Port-Royal area. It was located on the north shore of the Dauphin (now Annapolis) River, 6.5 kilometres down river from the town of Port-Royal (later Annapolis Royal.) Like the other Acadian settlements scattered along the river, the Melanson Settlement was an agricultural community where family members and neighbours worked co-operatively in the distinctive dykeland agriculture that was unique in colonial North America.

The houses, farm buildings and other architectural features of the settlement, as well as its orchards and upland gardens were situated on an upland terrace, overlooking the river, while its dykes and extensive fields were located on the salt marshes. Because it was on the approach to the fort at Port-Royal/Annapolis Royal, engineers recorded the Melanson Settlement on several 18th-century maps, providing an unusually detailed record for a pre-Deportation Acadian settlement.
Early Years

The settlement was founded by Charles Melanson dit La Ramée and Marie Dugas after their marriage in about 1664. The couple built their home on the edge of the upland adjacent to the St. Charles marsh and, working with the Guilbeaux, their neighbours on the other side of the marsh, built the first dyke across the extensive marsh. Before Charles Melanson's death in about 1700, the couple had 14 children. As they grew to adulthood and married, eight of the children chose to remain in the family settlement, but not all at the same time.
British Period

Under the British, the Melanson Settlement was part of a wider area sometimes known as Oak Point or Pointe aux Chesnes. Alexandre Robichaud and later Jean Melanson served as a deputy, representing the area in its dealings with the British governor and council at Annapolis Royal. The settlement on the upland grew slightly but seems to not have exceeded 10 to 12 households.

Dykeland agriculture continued at the site. A second dyke had been constructed by 1708. By 1725, the reclaimed marshland extended all the way to the river on both sides of the Melanson Settlement. Significant portions of the 17th and 18th-century Acadian dykes still survive.
By the time of the Deportation, four generations of Melansons had lived in the Melanson Settlement. Its residents were among the 1666 Acadians deported from the Annapolis Royal area in December of 1755. All of the buildings of the settlement probably were destroyed at this time.

Post-Acadian History

In 1759, the north shore of the Annapolis Basin and the Annapolis River, including the lands of the Melanson Settlement, became part of Granville Township and was granted to New England Planters. The Planter and later landowners of the former Settlement continued the cultivation of the dykelands. They built their homes along a road, away from the upland terrace that held the remains of the Acadian buildings. Over the past 250 years, the Acadian foundations have remained relatively undisturbed. - Source: here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Acadian Culture

"Acadian Girl."
Artist: R. Harris
Medium: Imprint of sketch

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sign at the Melanson Family Settlement, Acadia.
Questions or comments? email:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mt. Fuji Japan, 1953
Photograph courtesy of the
Melanson Family Foundation
Camille Melanson collection.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Camille Alfred Melanson

Camille Alfred Melanson, loving husband and father, career soldier and devout Catholic who consecrated his entire life to Our Lady. It is my belief that my father was a mystic. We often discussed matters of prophetic significance. Even in death his life was surrounded by supernatural events:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Paul Anthony Melanson being sworn into the United States Air Force
Manchester, New Hampshire.
Photo courtesy of the Melanson Family Foundation.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Melanson Heritage

His Excellency Archbishop Louis-Joseph Arthur Melanson -

1879-1941. Second Bishop of the Gravelbourg Diocese

from 1933 to 1937.

His Excellency Archbishop Louis-Joseph-Arthur Melanson was born in Trois-Rivières on March 25, 1879. Soon after, his family moved to New Richmond in Cascapedia Bay, New Brunswick. He studied theology in the seminairies of Rimouski and Montréal.

Arthur Melanson joined the Chatham Diocese in New Brunswick where he was ordained into priesthood by Bishop Barry on July 9, 1905. He was assigned to the Campbellton Parish as assistant priest where he dedicated his first years of ministry to the pioneers living in the forest near Colebrook and Glenlivet. Pastor of Balmoral in 1907, he was also entrusted with the care of the lumber camps. His efforts initiated a movement of colonization which succeeded in the founding of two new parishes.

In 1909, he was confided to the Campbellton Parish. In 1925, Father Melanson founded the teaching order of the Daughters of Mary of the Assumption. In 1930, he became Vicar General of the Chatham Diocese and was made Protonotary Apostolic by the Holy See. He was elected second Bishop of the Gravelbourg Diocese on November 25, 1932, and was consecrated in Chatham by the Apostolic Delegate, the Most Reverend Andrea Cassulo, on February 22, 1933.

Bishop Melanson was a firm supporter of all forms of Catholic action : youth movements, religious or lay vocations, Collège Mathieu, study groups and the Catholic Press. He was committed to the task of ensuring the survival and development of the young Church of the prairies assigned to him by the Sovereign Pontiff. His first pastoral letter, "Catholic Action; The Apostolate of the Laity in the Diocese", was published at the beginning of Lent during his first year in Gravelbourg.

Bishop Melanson founded an annual pilgrimage in honour of Mary and chose Our Lady of Auvergne Sanctuary in Ponteix. Gravelbourg's first diocesan congress on Catholic Action was held in 1935. Soon after, Bishop Melanson started a diocesan newspaper, "La Voix Catholique". The Most Reverend Arthur Melanson was promoted to Archbishop of Moncton on December 16, 1936, and was consecrated on February 22 of the following year. Archbishop Arthur Melanson died on October 23, 1941, in Moncton.