Project Description

Crispo

Crispo

Marc Crispo arrived in Harbour au Bouche in the early days of the 19th century. Family tradition has passed down the story that two Crispo brothers, one being Marc, deserted ship in Harbour au Bouche. They were hidden in the home of Michael Theodore Webb and his wife Jeanne D’Aigle until the departure of the ship. Marc eventually married Marguerite Webb, the second oldest daughter of the Webb family. His brother is said to have moved on to California.

The earliest known references to Marc Crispo are found in the marriage records of the couple’s four children, Rebecca, Timothee, Stephen and Michael, all of whom married in Harbour au Bouche. Marguerite (Webb) Crispo is referred to as Widow Crispo in the Census Return of 1838 for the Township of Tracadie so this implies that Marc Crispo died before 1838.

It has long been held that the Crispo’s were of Portugese or Basque origin, perhaps because Edme de Saint-Pere, a french historian who visited Harbour au Bouche in the 1860’s, noted that the name Crispo is of Portugese origin.

Joel Fiset, a descendant of Marc Crispo has done research to determine that the name Crispo is of Italian and not Portugese origin. The surname Crispo first found in Northern Italy evolved from the place named Crespi d’Adda in Bergamo. However, Marc Crispo’s appearance in Harbour au Bouche did coincide with the arrival of Basque fishermen in and around Isle Madame in the early 19th century. Furthermore, a glance at the map of Europe highlights the proximity between Northern Italy and the Basque region between Spain and France. Marc Crispo’s arrival preceded the large out migration from Italy to the United States in the 1800’s by at least half a century.

Interestingly, a number of Marc Crispo’s descendants in Harbour au Bouche declared that they were of Italian heritage in the 1771 census of Nova Scotia and Michael Crispo, born about 1825, went so far as to say that his father Marc had been born in Italy.

Regardless of their ethnicity, the Crispo descendants have long been an industrious and enterprising corner stone of our Havre Boucher community.