Marguerite-Blanche Thibodeau dite Tante Blanche (1732-1810)

Many Acadian pioneer families who arrived in the Madawaska region between 1785 and 1820 suffered from famine since resources were very limited. The year of the "misère noire", 1797, was particularly difficult for the Madawaska region's inhabitants, early snow having buried their harvests. Oral accounts relate the exploits of an exceptional Acadian woman, Marguerite-Blanche Thibodeau, wife of Joseph Cyr. Reputed for her courage and physical strength, she went from door to door asking those who could afford it to give to the poor. She also saved the lives of numerous sick individuals by seeing to their essential needs. The people of the Madawaska nicknamed her "Tante Blanche", as she became a source of moral support in the community with her numerous acts of kindness. When she died, her body was interred inside the church of Saint-Basile, cradle of Madawaska, which, at the time, was a great honour.

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