- According to the Devoe - deVaux Family History 1691-1991 (pages 46-47):
Acadians had been at La Baie des Espanols (now Sydney) as early as 1752 when as many as 183 persons, mostly Acadians, had lived there. A short distance to the northwest lay Petit Bras d'Or (later Little Bras d'Or) where in 1753 lived some 129 people, again, mostly Acadian. The Deportation of 1758 left few at that place but after the total conquest of Canada by the British they began to return. In the early part of the 19th century the place had become known as the French Village of Labrador as well as Little Bras d'Or. The lakes, incidentally, were originally known as the Labrador Lakes from whence came their present name (not, as some suggest, Arm of Gold, as a translation of Bras d'Or). In 1815 there were 20 to 25 Acadian families there. Though since 1784 Roman Catholics were allowed to own land through Crown Leases, the maps show that of some one hundred grants/leases made in the immediate Bras d'Or area the only old Acadian names are Lejeune, Forest, and Fortin (Forton). A few others appear to be of French or possible French origin, i.e., Marche and White (LeBlanc ?).
Many Acadians from the Isle Madame area frequented this location, fishing in the summer months, and it is probable that the men who moved their families, including Pierre [deVaux], had done this. Tradition tells us that in 1848 the families of Pierre [deVaux], François Regis Richard, Placide Dugas and Pascal LeBlanc sailed to Little Bras d'Or in four "pinks" (small, two-masted vessels with pointed bow and stern, some 30-40 feet in length). We are told the move was precipitated by the fact that Pascal LeBlanc had had a fight with Father Courteau the pastor at St. John the Baptist Church. The teller, an elderly man in 1962, gave the parish priest's name without prompting. The records at River Bourgeois confirm his memory in this regard.
The journey appears to have included the entire family of each man, including in at least some cases, their married children. Sabine [deVaux] and her husband André Dugas were among the travellers and later records at St. Joseph Church, Little Bras d'Or, record the marriages of many of the children of Regis Richard. Pierre's family at the time included at least eight minor children ranging from Edward aged 17 to Melanie aged 2. The last child of Colombe and Pierre, William, is believed to have been born at Little Bras d'Or not long after the migration.
An article in the Cape Breton News Archive Archive for May 13th, 2009 at https://caperfrasers.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/ states:
A very prominent family name of Alder Point is Deveau (also spelled Des Veaux and Devoe the original spelling being de Veaux). They were a seagoing family of ship masters the brothers, Captains Peter, Charles and Simon. Captain Simon Deveaux married Margaret Walsh a daughter of John Walsh and Margaret Kidd November 2, 1860 at Bras d'Or. John Kidd had the land grant that now includes the property where St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church stands. Captain Simon and Margaret had 15 children. One of those children, Howard, born in 1880, married Walter Dugas' sister Agnès. Simon's son Charles born in 1874 was the father of Genevieve Walker, an only child who grew up to marry George Walker and become the mother or twenty-one children. Genevieve lives today in Alder Point on the property where she grew up and enjoys good health and is now into her nineties.
Captain Simon Deveau died May 2, 1926 at Deveau Point. Captain Peter Deveau (1832-1899) married Charlotte Richard in 1854, at Bras d'Or, approximately 153 years ago. One to their sixteen children, James Willis Deveau, born 1876 was the father of Mary Deveau Thurbide who lived in the Deveau family home which if still standing would be over a 160 years old.
The foregoing individuals were in my opinion the original pioneers of Alder Point. There then was an influx of others who could be classified as settlers. These folks cleared their own land, were for the most part without servants, and made their living off farming and fishing. Those who had means and the entrepreneurial spirit started enterprises that gained them wealth and provided employment for others. In the early 1900s with the opening of the coal mines everything changed and we then see an influx of people from other parts of Cape Breton, the mainland, as well as other newcomers from Newfoundland and Europe. Members of families who traditionally earned their keep through fishing and farming commenced leaving these pursuits for the more lucrative (cash money) work in the coal mines.
It is reasonable to believe Pierre deVaux is recorded in the 1811 Census of Grand Digue (now Poulamon) as the 1 Male under 14 residing with Joseph De Veaux, and in the 1813 Militia Roll for D'Escousse and Grand Digue as the 1 Boy residing with Joseph Deveau age 64.
The 1838 Census of Grand Digue to River Inhabitants records Peter Devaux [and] Colmbe (sic) occupation Fisherman with 3 Males under 6, 1 Male 6-14, 1 Female 6-14, and 1 Female over 14 for a total of 8.
The 3 Males under 6 are sons Peter, Charles, and Simon; and the 1 Male 6-14 is son Edward. Either the Female 6-14 or the Female over 14 is daughter Sabine. I do not know the identity of the other Female. She may be a daughter who is as yet unidentified, a daughter who died young, or a servant.
The Census section containing Peter deVaux and Colombe Landry covers from the Ferry at Grand Digue to the lower part of River Inhabitants. Peter deVaux and Colombe Landry are Family 6 and it is reasonable to believe they reside in Grand Digue (now Poulamon).
The 1861 Census of Sydney Mines, Cape Breton County (Polling District 4 Abstract 6 Family 10) records Peter Desaveon (sic) with 2 Males and 5 Females, consisting of 1 Female 5-10, 1 Male 10-15, 2 Females 15-20 Single, 1 Female 20-30 Single, 1 Female 50-60 Married, and 1 Male 60-70 Married.
Except for the 1 Female 5-10, they are consistent with the family of Pierre deVaux and Colombe Landry who reside in or near North Sydney in 1861. Perhaps Pierre deVaux and Colombe Landry had a daughter after son William Elias and she died young.
Son William Elias is the 1 Male 10-15; daughters Melanie Adele and Ann Philomide are the 2 Females 15-20 Single; daughter Colombe (Colette) is the 1 Female 20-30 Single; mother Colombe Landry is the 1 Female 50-60 Married; and father Peter deVaux is the 1 Male 60-70 Married. Despite the unusual surname, it is reasonable to conclude this is the family of Pierre deVaux and Colombe Landry. None of their married children (Sabine, Edward, Peter, Charles, or Simon) reside with them.
Perhaps the enumerator's notes were transcribed onto the final Census pages, and the transcriber could not decipher Peter's surname?
Pierre DeVaux's ages are recorded as follows in the 1861 and 1871 Census, and in his Death Registration:
1861 Census age 60-70, implying year of birth about 1790-1800
1871 Census age 70, implying year of birth about 1800-1801
1877 Death Reg'n age 80, implying year of birth about 1796-1797
The 1813 Militia Roll for D'Escousse and Grand Digue records the following Deveau's in Grand Digue:
1. Joseph Deveau age 64 born Nova Scotia Fisherman with 1 Woman, 1 Boy, and no Girls
2. Joseph Deveau Jr age 24 born Cape Breton Mariner with no Women, Boys, or Girls
3. Simon Deveau age 18 born Cape Breton Mariner with no Women, Boys, or Girls
They are Joseph DeVaux, husband of Anne LeBlanc, and sons Joseph and Simon. As Pierre is not listed in the Militia Roll, he is younger than Joseph and Simon. The 1813 Militia Roll for D'Escousse and Grand Digue records 6 members age 16. So, it is reasonable to believe Pierre is younger than 16. Thus, it is reasonable to believe he was born about 1799.