In May of 1763, a French ship, La Dorothée, set sail from England bound for the port of St. Malo, France.
Joseph Babin and his wife Marine (LeBlanc) were Acadians originally from Grand Pré. Victims of the atrocity known as Le Grand Derangement (expulsion of the Acadians), the Babins were initially deported to Virginia and subsequently to England where they were interned for some seven years from 1756 to 1763.
In that same year, the Treaty of Paris restored some semblance of peace to France and England and made it possible for Acadians, and among them the Babin family, to seek shelter in France, the home of their forefathers.
The voyage across the English Channel was eventful and fortuitous in that a child, a daughter, was born to Joseph and Marine on May 19 named Marie-Victoire.
The family resided at Belle-Ile-en-Mer and later at Saint-Servan before making their way, early in 1784, across the Atlantic to the island of Miquelon. There Marie-Victoire, then 21 years old, met and later married a French soldier, Jacques-Joseph Marmaud, son of Joseph Marmaud and Marguerite Mercier of Anglefort in Bugey, France.
After two years on Miquelon, Jacques-Joseph and Marie-Victoire made the crossing to Cape Breton settling at Little Bras d’Or where Jacques-Joseph supported his family as a shipwright and carpenter. In 1789 John Leitch found the Marmaud family on a point on Bras d’Or Lake below the western end of Pottle’s Lake.
In 1795 Jacques-Joseph, along with 14 other residents, petitioned Father Lejamtel of Arichat to provide the services of a priest once per year and proposed to defray expenses incurred.
Jacques-Joseph Marmaud had been granted 168 acres of land by Lieutenant-Governor DesBarres but had failed to take the necessary legal steps to obtain permanent title before he died in 1804. Consequently, in 1813, when Francois, the oldest of the Marmaud children, petitioned for title to his father’s tract, he discovered that it had been granted to William Gammell. For three years, the family was unsuccessful in its attempts to recover their land, and in 1816 they left Little Bras d’Or for Arichat.
By 1820 the widow Marie-Victoire had purchased property from Firmin LeBlanc at the western end of the community. Marie-Victoire never remarried; she remained a widow for 47 years, but through the marriages of her seven children (six of whom settled permanently on Isle Madame), she presided over a sizeable family.
Perhaps the most accomplished of the clan was the youngest son, Hippolyte who distinguished himself as an innovative ship designer during the booming ship-building era 1830-1860. He is credited with conceiving, developing, and building the first tern (three-masted) schooner, the Lady Mulgrave, 108 tonnes in 1858.
Marie-Victoire died on February 18, 1851 at the advanced age of 87. She is buried in the Marmaud family plot in the old cemetery in Arichat.