JEANSON (Jeançonne), GUILLAUME (also William Johnson; he signed Gilliom Shanson), soldier and settler; b. August 1721 at Annapolis Royal (N.S.), son of William Johnson, a Scottish soldier, and Isabelle Corporon, an Acadian; m. c. 1751 Marie-Josette Aucoin; d. after 1777, probably at Tracadièche (Carleton, Que.).
Guillaume Jeanson is reputed to have served with the garrison at Annapolis Royal until he was accused of stealing supplies and discharged. He then joined the Acadian community, probably at Rivière-aux-Canards (near Canard, N.S.), where his son Jean-Baptiste was born in 1752.
During the expulsion of 1755 Jeanson and his family escaped to Miramichi (N.B.). He appears to have been active among the refugees who gathered there, for in 1758 he was reported in command of the Acadian irregulars harassing the British in Nova Scotia. In the spring of that year he was at Annapolis Royal, encouraging disaffected Acadians to join the forces of Charles Deschamps de Boishébert at Miramichi. In June 1762, however, he and his family were among Acadian prisoners being held at Fort Edward (Windsor, N.S.).
With the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763 the Jeansons were released and probably chose to settle in the Windsor area. In 1768 Jeanson was listed among those Acadians willing to take the oath of loyalty to the British king, and in that year he and 37 others at Windsor petitioned the government for provisions and a resident priest. From Windsor Jeanson appears to have moved to St Mary’s Bay. The date of his move is not known but he may have been with a group of Acadians that arrived there in 1769. This group obtained land grants in 1775; the same year Jeanson received a lot of 360 acres in the present village of Grosses Coques. Tradition has it that he established a sawmill there and, because he spoke English, acted as a spokesman for the Acadians.
Some time after 1774 Jeanson left St Mary’s Bay. The census of 1777 for Tracadièche lists him, his wife, and six of their children; the New Brunswick legislator Urbain Johnson* was a great-grandson.
N.S., Dept. of Lands and Forests, Crown Lands Office, Old book 12, ff.5–17 (mfm. at PANS). PAC, MG 30, C20, 11, pp.2604, 2605; 12, p.2613. “Prisonniers acadiens du fort Edward, N.-É., 1763, et pétitions des Acadiens de cette région, avec les listes des signataires, 1764–1768 (papiers Deschamps),” R.-S. Brun, édit., Soc. historique acadienne, Cahier (Moncton, N.-B.), III (1968–71), 188–92. Arsenault, Hist. et généalogie des Acadiens. L.-C. Daigle, Histoire de Saint-Louis-de-Kent: cent cinquante ans de vie paroissiale française en Acadie nouvelle (Moncton, ).