Acadians - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The nuclear family is at the center of the social structure of Acadians. Apart from identifying strongly with their immediate family, people also identify with their extended family, or parenté, including grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, and even to a certain extent with distant relations with whom they share a common lineage. Because of the limited number of families that gave rise to the Acadian people in the seventeenth century, the community today can be considered a type of large, extended family, where multiple alliances have been formed among Individual kin groups over the years. The fact that they are a Minority group with no distinct territory has contributed to making Acadians aware of the importance of maintaining the bonds existing among families. In the past, knowledge of one's lineage was maintained orally by a family elder. Today, Acadians use archival sources to trace their family trees, often seeking to trace both their male and their female lineages.

Kinship Terminology. It is common practice to refer to an individual by his or her father's first name rather than by family name. For instance, in a village where there are several families sharing the name Bourgeois, the son of Georges Bourgeois may be known as Léandre à Georges, rather than Léandre Bourgeois.

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