Possible answer to your question. IN the mid 1700's, specifically 1755-1762, the Acadians,(the frenchmen of Nova scotia)were deported from Canada, by the English. Thousands of Acadians, were forced to move to the British Colonies (now New England states), to Quebec, a few to Europe, a great many, however were deported to the Louisiana territory. About 1763, many returned to their homes in Canada, but some stayed in the US. Families were seperated, homes had been looted and burned, some perished during this ordeal. One such man walked barefoot all they way back to Canada to rejoin his family. You may read about this very interesting period at http://collections.ic.gc.ca/acadian/english/ea1763/ea1763.htm
Hope this helps.I am searching for information on Marie Judith Letellier, who married Alexis Vaillant, if anyone is connected.