ANNE MURRAY’S ACADIAN ROOTS
Anne Murray, "Canada’s Songbird" grew up in the small, coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. For over forty years, her unique voice and heartwarming style have made Anne Murray a household name in Canada and around the world. She has sold close to fifty million albums and has a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Nashville’s Walkway of Stars. With four Grammy Awards and thirty-one Juno Awards, Anne has amassed more musical accolades than almost any female singer in history. However, Anne has never forgotten her Acadian roots.
Arthur and Mary
Burke on their 45th
Anne Murray’s mother, the former Marion Burke, is 100% Acadian. Marion was born in 1913 to Arthur Burke and Mary Belliveau. Anne’s maternal grandfather, Arthur Burke, was descended from Joseph-Andre LeBlanc, who had hidden out with Pierre Belliveau during the Acadian Deportation of 1755. Joseph-Andre LeBlanc was Marion Burke’s great, great, great, great grandfather on her father’s side, and Pierre Belliveau was Marion’s great, great, great, great grandfather, on her mother’s side.
Marion Burke’s mother, Mary Belliveau, could trace her ancestry back to Antoine Belliveau in Port Royal (1645). Several families, including the Belliveaux, Bourques (Bourcs) and LeBlancs, had settled in Port Royal. Pierre Belliveau, also known as “Piau”, grew up in Port Royal and managed to escape the Acadian Expulsion in 1755. The families of Piau Belliveau, Joseph-Andre LeBlanc, and several others hid out under severe conditions in the Miramichi area of New Brunswick for five years. They finally took the oath of allegiance after the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Many years later returned to Nova Scotia, but Piau Belliveau and Joseph-Andre LeBlanc settled in the Memramcook Valley of New Brunswick. Damien Belliveau, Anne’s great grandfather, was a member of the first graduating class of St. Joseph University in Memramcook, which is now the University of Moncton.
Tradition has it that Joseph-Andre LeBlanc and Pierre Belliveau were responsible for the capture of an English schooner near Sackville, New Brunswick, in 1756. Anne says of her Acadian background: “I am living proof. My great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Piau Belliveau, Antoine's grandson, seized a British ship, threw the captain overboard and then hid out in New Brunswick. He later led twelve families to their ‘promised land’, and established the hilltop village of St. Joseph, which overlooked the tidal marshes of the Memramcook River. He was said to have lived to 110. Not all were so fortunate."
Marion (Burke) Murray was born and grew up in Joggins, Nova Scotia. In 1934, she moved to Springhill to train as a nurse at All Saints Hospital. It was there that she met Anne’s father, Dr. Carson Murray. Anne’s parents were married in 1937.
The Anne Murray Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia, proudly displays Anne’s family tree, dating back to 1621. A visit to the Centre will give you the opportunity to check whether you and Anne share the same Acadian roots.