TRAHAN, GRÉGOIRE, known as Gregory Strahan; soldier; b. c. 1752, son of Charles Trahan of Grand Pré, N.S., and Marie-Anne Landry; d. 21 Sept. 1811 in Philadelphia, Pa.
When still quite young Grégoire Trahan was caught up in the deportation of the Acadians [see Charles Lawrence*]. With his parents and elder sister Madeleine he was exiled to Concord, Mass., probably at the time of the main expulsion in the summer and autumn of 1755. About 12 years later the family, which had grown with the birth of five children in exile, immigrated to the province of Quebec. The Trahans settled at Yamachiche, where other Acadian exiles had begun moving in some three years before; they joined in opening up two concessions of unequal length, called La Grande-Acadie and La Petite-Acadie, making their own home on the former.
When the American invasion began in 1775 [see Benedict Arnold; Richard Montgomery*], Grégoire Trahan enlisted for six months as a soldier in the rebel army. Having been posted to a company in James Livingston’s regiment, in December he took part in the siege of Quebec, during which commissary John M. Taylor entrusted him with the keys to the army storehouse because he spoke “a little English.” When his period of enlistment ended in the spring of 1776 Trahan was discharged at Sorel. Colonel Livingston sent him to Albany, N.Y., and from there to Philadelphia with General Philip John Schuyler’s dispatches. Because of his service in the American army Trahan could rot return to Quebec without some risk; consequently he lived in Philadelphia, where on 18 Sept. 1780 he married Marguerite Bourque. In 1783 he came back to Quebec, but he was treated as a rebel and was dispossessed of the 80 acres of land he owned on the concession of La Grande-Acadie. He had to return with his family to Philadelphia, and there he followed the occupations of innkeeper and carter.
In 1810 Trahan petitioned the American government for the reward promised to those Canadians who had enlisted in the American army in 1775. His claims were not satisfied until 1826, 15 years after his death, following a new petition by his son Joseph. His widow and his children Joseph, Paul, Charles, and Mary are believed to have received a thousand acres near Lake Erie. Today most of Grégoire Trahan’s descendants in the United States bear the name Strahan.
ANQ-MBF, CE1-52, 27 févr. 1764; 2 sept., 7, 25 oct. 1767. Arsenault, Hist. et généal. des Acadiens (1978), 1: 198; 3: 1310–13. Raphaël Bellemare, Les bases de l’histoire d’ Yamachiche, 1703–1903 . . . (Montréal, ). Napoléon Caron, Histoire de la paroisse d’Yamachiche (précis historique) (Trois-Rivières, Qué., 1892).