The English Regime - Families take root

Forillon National Park

During the British Conquest of New France (1758), troops led by General Wolfe destroyed the fishing stations on Forillon peninsula. From Penouille to the cove that since 1993 has been called L'Anse-aux-Amérindiens, including Grande-Grave, soldiers set fire to houses, fishing boats and gear, and destroyed several thousand quintals of cod.

Following the war, British soldiers began settling in the Gaspé-Forillon region, aware of the economic opportunities offered by the peninsula as well as its strategic importance.

Thus, as early as 1764, Richard Ascah, a British army officer settled with his family at Penouille (which became “Peninsula” in English). Over time, the region welcomed in immigrants from England, Scotland, Ireland, New England and, above all, Jersey and Guernsey, the Channel Islands located between England and France, and attached politically to the United Kingdom.

From Jersey to Forillon

The British Conquest opened the door to merchants from the islands of Jersey and Guernsey who quickly became interested in the Gaspé’s fish-bearing waters. Of that number, Charles Robin, a Jerseyman, was the first to settle in Chaleur Bay, in 1767. Other Jerseymen soon followed, including the Janvrin brothers (Francis and Phillip), who, from 1798, controlled the fish trade all around Gaspé Bay and along the coast of Forillon peninsula, from Malbaie to Anse-au-Griffon.

In their ongoing quest for manpower, Jersey-based fishing companies hired a considerable number of fishermen, clerks, carpenters, seamen and other workers from Jersey and Guernsey. Many last names, such as Bourgaise, Fruing, Gavey, Janvrin, LeBoutillier, Lemesurier, Lescelleur, Luce, Pipon, Roberts and Simon bear witness to the important role played by Channel Island families in the settlement of Forillon.

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