THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF JEAN BAPTISTE JACQUET
A narration of
THE HISTORY OF THE BLACK JACQUET FAMILIES IN LOUISIANA
A Black History Story
FROM 18TH CENTURY FRANCE,
TO 21st CENTURY AMERICA
Volume One: from François Hyacinthe Jacquet to Oscar Jacquet
Volume Two: from Angèle Jacquet to Hyppolite Jacquet
Researched and written by Russell LaMar Jacquet-Acea
The Sons & Daughters of Jean Baptiste Jacquet: A History of the Black Jacquets in Louisiana
Researched and written by Russell LaMar Jacquet-Acea
First Printing of Volume one September 1995 – 55 copies
First Printing of Volume two June 2005 – 200 copies
Copyright © 2005
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any manner whatsoever without written or vocal permission from the author, with the exception by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review, a lecturer or presenter who may use multi-media equipment to present, display, exhibit, or promote the book and/or Jacquet family history.
For more information, questions or corrections email to:
For updates, book and CD purchases of the book, purchases of photos in the book, visit the Jacquet Family History website: http://rjacquet.tripod.com
Frontispiece: Julius Jacquet, Johnny Linton Jacquet and Gilbert Joseph Jacquet (3rd, 4th and 5th from front right)
and other relatives and friends of the band dining and enjoying the music entertainment at a Houston nightclub circa late 1940’s – 1953. Gilbert’s other two sons Robert Russell Jacquet and Illinois Jacquet are playing with their jazz band at the show.
Printed in the U.S.A. by
3212 E. Hwy 30
Kearney, Ne 68847
The Sons & daughters
Jean Baptiste Jacquet
Parishes of Present Day Louisiana
- Table of Contents -
- Illustrations......................................................................................................... xiii
- Chronology of Louisiana......................................................................................... ix
- Introduction.......................................................................................................... xi
- The Jacquet Name.... ....................................................................................1
- Hyacinthe Jacquet................................................................................................... 3
- The Berard Family.................................................................................................. 5
- Louisiana historically and the Spanish land grant era.......................................... 11
- Attakapas/St. Martin Parish..................................................................... 13
- Spanish Land Grants.................................................................................. 14
- Rosine, first matriarch of the Black Jacquets..................................................... 17
- Jean Baptiste Jacquet, first patriarch of the Black Jacquets................................ 21
- The sons & daughters of Jean Baptiste Jacquet...................................................... 37
- Casimir Jacquet...................................................................................................... 41
- The son of Casimir - Casimire Jacquet Jr. ............................................... 45
- The descendants of Casimir Jacquet............................................................ 49
- Belizaire Jacquet.................................................................................................... 51
- The descendants of Belizaire Jacquet......................................................... 53
- Onezime Jacquet..................................................................................................... 55
- The descendants of Onezime Jacquet...........................................................60
- Jean Baptiste Jolivet Alexandre Jacquet................................................................ 61
- The Cormier family.................................................................................... 64
- Rose Jean Louis and the Daniel family....................................................... 68
- The death of Jolivet Jacquet and his property distribution....................... 73
- The descendants of Jolivet Jacquet............................................................. 89
- Jean Baptiste “Fils” Jacquet, first son of Jolivet Jacquet......................... 93
- The children of Fils Jacquet........................................................... 98
- The descendants of Joseph Vickner Earthna Anthony Jacquet........103
- The death of Fils Jacquet................................................................. 105
- Pop Fils Jacquet and the Bourque and Raymond families...............106
- Alexandre “Aléxson” Jacquet and his descendants......................................121
- Barbara Jacquet, the Olympic track & field coach......................... 126
- Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis........................................................... 129
- Rosita Bazille Jacquet, first daughter of Jolivet Jacquet.......................... 130
- Oscar Jacquet.............................................................................................. 131
- The descendants of Oscar Jacquet................................................... 133
- “Coming Next!”, Highlights from volume two........................................... 135
- REFERENCES to volume one.....................................................................138
- INDEX of names to volume one..................................................................140
CHAPTER DISCOURSE PAGE
Part 2 - Jean Baptiste Jacquet, first patriarch of the Black Jacquets………………………… 151
- The Children of Jean Baptiste Jacquet ……………………………………… 158
Part 2 - François Hyacinthe Jacquet and French origins. …………………………………… 161
- The first Jacquets in New Orleans, Louisiana …………………………….. 171
Chapter 4 - Angela Jacquet ……………………………………………………………..…… 179
- The descendants of Angela Jacquet ………………………………………… 180
Chapter 5 - The continuation of “The children of
Jean Baptiste Jolivet Alexandre Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis”..……………… 183
‘ - Jean Louis Jacquet …………………………………………………………….. 193
- Roseline Jacquet ………………………………………………………………. 196
- Albert Jacquet …………………………………………………………………. 197
- William Alexandre Jacquet …………………………………………………. 199
- Martin Jacquet ………………………………………………………………… 201
- Pierre St.Ville Jacquet ………………………………………………………… 203
- Athanaise Jacquet …………………………………………………………….. 206
Chapter 5-L - Gilbert Joseph Jacquet……………………………………………………….. 207
- Marguerite Trahan and the Trahan family ……………………….. 211
- The Sioux Indian Nation …………………………………………. 212
- Pierre Trahan and his descendants ……………………………… 216
- Acadia, Original home of “The Cajuns” ………………………… 218
- Emerande, the mother of Pierre Trahan ………………………… 222
- The Descendants of Pierre Trahan …………………………. 230
- The brother & sister of Pierre Trahan, Jean & Célasie ……. 235
- The descendants of Jean Trahan & Rosemma …………….. 245
- The Genealogy of the Durousseau Family ………………… 249
- Evariste Trahan & Trahan, LeBlanc Ancestries of France …….. 259
- The Descendants of Gilbert Jacquet & Marguerite Trahan ………………. 266
- Origins of Jazz Music ………………………………………………... 267
- Julius Jacquet …………………………………………………………. 270
- Isabella Jacquet ……………………………………………………….. 270
- Johnny Linton Jacquet ……………………………………………….. 271
- Mary Jacquet …………………………………………………………. 271
Chapter 5-L-v - Robert Russell Jacquet……………………………………………… 273
- The Descendants of Robert Russell Jacquet ……………………. 276
- The Neveu Family ………………………………………………… 278
- Elizabeth Egas …………………………………………………….. 285
- John Adriano Acea & the Acea family …………………………. 294
- The Descendants of Adriano Acea ……………………. 297
- The genealogy of Elizabeth Egas and
- The Egas, Mallory, Cox and Acea families …………………….. 305
- Descendants of Alexander Mallory of Grand Turk Island …… 311
- The Garland Family of Grand Turk Island …………………….. 318
- History of the Mallory name on Grand Turk Island …………… 324
- Descendants of Alexander Cox & Caroline Harriott of GTI
and a Brief History of the Turks & Caicos Islands …… ……… 330
- Brief History of Ecuador and Guayaquil………………………… 342
- Origin and History of the Egas name …………………………… 348
Chapter 5-L-vi Jean Baptiste “Illinois” Jacquet, the world’s greatest Jazz saxophonist 357
- Marie Rose Jacquet…………………………………………………………… 371
- Helouise Jacquet ……………………………………………………………… 374
- Lo Lo Louis Jacquet …………………………………………………………... 376
- Mitchel Jacquet, last child of Rosa Jean-Louis and Jolivet Jacquet ……… 379
Chapter 6 - Charles Jacquet…………………………………………………………………….. 383
- The end of the Civil War and Slavery ……………………………………… 385
Chapter 7 - Edouard Jacquet …………………………………………………………………… 389
- The descendants of Edouard Jacquet ………………………………………. 391
Chapter 8 - Marie Zoée Jacquet ………………………………………………………………… 399
- The Great Flood of 1927 ……………………………………………………… 402
- The descendants of Marie Zoée Jacquet ……………………………………. 403
- Prosper Berard and the Berard family ……………………………………… 404
Chapter 9 - Pierre Jacquet ………………………………………………………………………. 407
- The descendants of Pierre Jacquet ………………………………………….. 408
- The descendants of Marie Rita Jacquet …………………………………….. 416
- Reverend Mark O. Figaro, the Priest of St. Martinville …………………… 417
Chapter 10 - Marie Josephine Jacquet …………………………………………………………. 423
- The descendants of Félicité de Kerlégand …………………………………. 425
Chapter 11 - Oscar Jacquet ……………………………………………………………………… 429
- The descendants of Oscar Jacquet Sr. ………………………………………. 432
Chapter 12 - Marie Rose Jacquet………………………………………………………………… 435
- The descendants of Jacquet Wilson …………………………………………. 441
- The descendants of Marie Rose Jacquet & Joseph Farin Malveaux …….. 444
Chapter 13 - Hyppolite Jacquet ………………………………………………………………… 447
- The descendants of Hyppolite Jacquet ……………………………………... 449
Chapter 14 - Albert Narcisse Jacquet, the enigmatic son of Jean Baptiste Jacquet………… 453
- The descendants of Albert Narcisse Jacquet ………………………………. 456
Chapter 15 - Jules Narcisse Jacquet, another enigmatic son of Jean Baptiste Jacquet…….. 459
- Victorine Narcisse - mother of Albert, Jules and Oscar Jacquet ………… 460
- The descendants of Victorine Narcisse ……………………………………. 462
- Volume One Updates and Corrections……………………………………………… 464
- Jacquets in the St. Martin de Tours Church Cemetery in St. Martinville, La …… 475
- Why I Am just an American! ………………………………………………………… 495
- References ……………………………………………………………………………… 497
- Index of Names …………………………………………………………………………. 507
Dedications and Acknowledgments
To Marie Bernice Jacquet Wiltz,
28 July 1894 – 6 April 2000
The late Matriarch of the Jacquet Family
Who served as curator of information
during her three centuries of life.
To Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet
31 Oct 1919 – 22 July 2004
The great family musician who fulfilled his promise:
“I know I’m not going to live forever,
I just want to contribute something.”
To the Reverend Donald J. Hebert
8 April 1942 – 22 Feb 2000
Louisiana researcher and creator of
“Southwest Louisiana Records”,
A monumental work for which this author
owes the writing of his history and this book to.
To the Ascended Masters East and West
The Preservers of Truth throughout the ages
To Sister Lucia the last of the Fatima children
And to beloved Pope John Paul II
18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005
Although he did not consecrate Russia to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary as instructed by Sister Lucia,
We do so ourselves:
“In the name of my Mighty I Am Presence and Holy Christ Self,
I Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I Consecrate every Son & Daughter of God in Russia,
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I Consecrate every Child of God in Russia
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Chronology of Louisiana
Map of the Acadiana area of Louisiana
Illustrations, Photos and Charts in Volume 2
Jacquet Music Show & Dinner Photo i
Map of present day Parishes of Louisiana iv.
Map of the local Acadiana area centered on Chronology of Louisiana History ix
The Lafayette/St. Martinville area x
Original Marriage License between Jean Baptiste Jacquet & Céleste Augustin 154
Photo of the French ship Le Tonnent and the Berard House in St. Martinville 165
Original death certificate of François Hyacinthe Jacquet 168
“Sign that Document!” Original signatures of Jolivet Jacquet’s estate. 202
Family Photo of Pierre Trahan 215
Trahan Direct descendant line from Nicolas Trahan (born in 1570 France) 217
Family photo of Jean Trahan, Baptiste Trahan & their wives. 242
Gabriel Abat Family Photo 247
Durousseau Family photo 250
Durousseau Ancestor Lineage from France 251
Genealogy chart of Evariste Trahan 265
Photo of Jacquet & Trahan family Gravesites 272
Photo of Russell Jacquet’s band “The California Playboys.” 275
Genealogy Chart of Lenola Neveu 277
Photo of Russell Jacquet’s three children 284
Photo of Adriano Acea and Elizabeth Egas 292
Photo of the four sons of Elizabeth Egas 299
Photo of the children & grandchildren of Elizabeth Egas Booth 304
Descendants of Omelia Parker & Nathaniel Rigby of Grand Turk Island 316
Photo of Garland family relatives of Grand Turk Island 320
Chart of the descendants of William Knight Rycraft Mallory of Grand Turk 323
History of the Mallory name on Grand Turk Island 324
Photo of the ships “Iroquois” and “Yuna” dedication shipwreck plaque 326
Chart of the descendants of Alexander Cox & Caroline Harriott of Grand Turk 330
Photo of the Delvitt, Egas & Acea families at Coney Island 334
Egas family photo 340
Genealogy Chart of Elizabeth Egas 356
Photo of Illinois Jacquet & his big band 365
Illinois Jacquet discography 366
The Jacque Rabbits hit record on Ara records 367
Genealogy Chart of Illinois Jacquet & Russell Jacquet 370
Outline of the 200 acres of land bought by the five Jacquet brothers in 1884. 391
Family photo of the Berard family 406
Family photo of Lionel Jacquet & Florida Regis 409
Lafayette graduates of Immaculate Heart of Mary School in 1923 413
Father Mark Figaro celebrates 25 years of Priesthood 418
Résumé of Father Mark O. Figaro 419
Photo of Louis Jacquet Malveaux
Possible genealogy of Victorine Narcisse 461
Jacquets in the St. Martin de Tours Church Cemetery in St. Martinville 475
Volume one update photos - Jacquets, Steiner family, Henri Gaspard 471
The story of the Jacquet family is a 200-year history of their trials and tribulations in Louisiana from the beginning of the 19th century to the 20th century. The story of the Jacquet family history in Louisiana is very much connected with the city of St. Martinville which became the seat of Government for St. Martin Parish in 1807. The city is located in Southwest Louisiana on the Bayou Teche just south of the city of Lafayette and about 120 miles west of New Orleans. The Area was originally called Attakapas Post named after the local Native American Indian tribe. To the east of Attakapas, a tribe was known for hanging freshly killed animal carcasses on a certain tree to warn other tribes that this was their territory. The tree (stick) dripped red in blood. The area was known as “The Red Stick.” In the French, the name would stay the same but be translated and soon called “Baton Rouge” when the French colonized the area.
While many Jacquet families began to move out and explore the high frontier of the West at the turn of the 20th century, other Jacquet families remained and still live in the St. Martinville area and surrounding cities and in some cases still live on the same property their Jacquet forefathers lived on.
There are stories to tell in this book that some may find disheartening. Stories of slavery, of illegitimate children, of death, of family deceit, betrayal and infidelity and other stories that many may find unsettling. Never-the-less there are much more stories of the good times and highlights of Jacquet family members that must be told – the field workers who toiled day and night, the musicians, priests, teachers and athletes who left behind their legacy to be passed on, gene by gene. The truth must be told no matter how good or bad they may appear to others, for to hide the truth only allows future generations to look upon us with despitefulness.
Future generations will want to continue this research about the Jacquet family and other related families, research which can never be complete, because no matter how much information you may obtain, there is always more to discover. Our genealogy goes back more than just a few hundred years and God only knows how many mothers and fathers have come in line before us. Thus the research and writing of the Jacquet family history is on going. Notes that were hastily scribbled on pages of notebook paper during family re-unions and research trips to Louisiana became the typewritten pages of volume one, the prototype of this volume 2 book. Perhaps the next generation of Jacquets will take the torch and continue the research and follow up with volume 3. Most of the information gathered about the Jacquet family in this book has been obtained from records in the city of St. Martinville, mostly from church and courthouse records. There were also countless interviews with family members who are quoted in the book. References are numbered with an asterisk such as (*1*) which can be located in the last part of the book under the reference section giving the source of the information. With the documents from St. Martin, you may see a reference to where the document came from such as “SM.ch.v.11, p.334”or “SM.ct.hse. succ. #3016”. The first reference translates to “St. Martin Church, Volume eleven, page 334,” while the second reference translates to “St. Martin Courthouse, succession (probate) number 3016.” The church is called St. Martin de Tours Church and is located in the heart of the city of St. Martinville. The courthouse is one block away to the south. The famous Evangeline tree and the Bayou Teche are behind the church to the East, with the church graveyard across the Bayou. Much more information to start off the search of a particular ancestor involving birth, marriage and death dates has been obtained directly from or referred to from the works of Father Donald J. Hébert (pronounced A-bear). His works entitled “Southwest Louisiana Records” are a most valuable resource as virtually all of the church baptismal and marriage records in the Parishes of SW Louisiana from about 1756 to about 1908 have been cataloged and alphabetized by name and year in separate books making it much easier for a researcher to locate the who, when, what, where and how information the researcher seeks. What you find in Hébert’s books is going to be just as good as when you pay $5 or more to get a copy from the church. Since the church will not allow the public to see the original documents, the church genealogist fulfills requested document orders by reading the original documents mostly in French, translating them and writing it down on a new baptismal, marriage or death certificate before mailing it to you. Since you are at the mercy of the present genealogist of the church, you have to accept what they interpret and spell. If you are not sure of the information and if there is a difference in Father Hebert’s books, write to the church and be specific about your questions. This goes true for any church you request records from. Much of this volume of work on the history of the Jacquet family in Louisiana could not have been found out without the help of Father Hebert’s books. Truly, the entire history of the Black Jacquet families can be found within the courthouse and church records of Louisiana!
The name of "Jacquet" is of European but particularly of French speaking origin. In the French it is pronounced “zsah – K”. The accent is on the second syllable and the T is silent. There is no English sound equivalent to the French J but it is almost like saying “Zha” as in “Zha-Zha” Gabor. The name can be traced back to the European countries of France, Belgium and Switzerland. According to records at the Mormon (Latter Day Saints) Library, the name can be traced back as far as the 1500's to Jacquet families in Switzerland. The earliest Jacquets in the LDS Church's ancestral files list Pierre Jacquet born in 1500, and Michel Jacquet born in 1528, both born in Switzerland. The Jacquet name closely resembles two other French origin names of Jacques and Jacquot. The French name Jacques translates to "Jack" or "James" in English and the French name "Jacquot" translates to "Jim" or "Jimmy" in English. It also means Polly. While both the names Jacques and Jacquot represent proper names when translated into English, the French name of Jacquet interestingly, translates into the English game word "Backgammon". Yet another closely related French name is the name of Jacquette or Jaquette which translates in English to mean "a man's tailcoat or morning coat" or "a woman's jacket." *(31)*
In conclusion, there were hundreds of interviews conducted by me in trying to find out the correct family information and hundreds of documents to read through, interpret and translate. Obviously there will be mistakes and omissions and I make apologies here in advance. The greatest fear is that someone who should be in the book is left out. However, I can only go by what names and information people send me, if they send it at all. Hopefully, there will be a second edition and corrections and additions can be made.
Jean Baptiste Jacquet
(1st begotten Son of François Hyacinthe Jacquet & Rosine)
Jean Baptiste Jacquet was the first person of color in the United States to go by the surname of Jacquet. He had at least 13 children that are documented to be fathered by him. There were two other sons born whose father was Jean Baptiste Jacquet but since his son Jean Baptiste “Jolivet” also went by the name Jean Baptiste Jacquet, there is no definite conclusion as to which one fathered the two sons because the evidence points to legitimate reasons why either one of them could have been the father. From the documentary evidence that has been reviewed and whether he fathered 13 or 15 children is not as important as to what followed in history with this statement I shall make:
“All of the Colored/Negro/Black/African-American people in this country with the last name Jacquet are all related because our common ancestor was Jean Baptiste Jacquet!”
Jean Baptiste Jacquet was born on the 25th day of June in the year 1808. The Reverend Gabriel Isabey baptized him according to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church on the 30th of March in the year 1809. His sponsoring Godparents were François Berard and Uranie Fuselier (*14*). Jean Baptiste Jacquet’s mother was Rosine and his father was François Hyacinthe Jacquet. His mother, the first matriarch of the Black Jacquets, was a slave who was first owned by the elder Jean Baptiste Berard (b.1737) before being passed down to his son Jean Baptiste Berard II and finally to the elder Berard’s grandson. Rosine was born sometime between the years 1789 – 1790 according to the slave inventory of her deceased owner Jean Berard, Sr. who bequeathed in his will “…the slave Rosine (age 28) and her four children: Jean Baptiste, Joséphine, Angélique, and Louise…” Rosine and her four children were willed to his wife Anne Broussard on 16 July 1817 (*9*, *197*). No exact Month and day is given for the birth of Rosine except for the year of her baptism and birth. The Reverend Michael Bernard Barriere baptized Rosine in the year 1794. The baptismal document says that she was born in the year 1790. She was the daughter of Angelique and Ambroise. Both of Rosine’s parents were slaves of Mr. Jean Baptiste Berard also. Her sponsoring Godparents were Jean – slave of Simon Broussard and Marie Anne – slave of Mr. Flamin (*253*).
Jean Baptiste’s father was a free white man but his mother Rosine was a slave. In that case, Louisiana law dictated that the child also be a slave. Article 10 of Le Code Noir, (The “Black Code”) issued in 1724 by French King Louis XIV said:
“If the husband be a slave and the wife a free woman, the children shall be free like their mother. If the mother is a slave the children shall be slaves.”(*15*)
Despite the pain of slavery, this code was strictly enforced during 18th and 19th century Louisiana life. We see many free people of color who were born free simply because their mother was free. There were many examples of white men who fathered mulatto children and if they were female they seemed to have been granted their freedom easier then men. In that case when the free woman had children, the children were born into freedom. This was very common with mulatto, quarteroon, octeroon and other “partially” colored people as they were expected to breed with each other. It was rare in 18th and 19th century Louisiana for a free man or woman of color to mate with a female or male slave but there are examples.
How we know that Hyacinthe Jacquet is the father of Jean Baptiste Jacquet can only be proved through circumstantial evidence after putting the pieces of the puzzle together. This is common amongst black genealogists who try to trace their roots back through slavery. There are probably very few black/African-American people in this country who do not have a white forefather somewhere in their past. Since the birth/baptismal document of Jean Baptiste is silent when revealing who his father is, the evidence is clear that it is Hyacinthe Jacquet based on five main points:
1. Jean Baptiste’s father must have been a Jacquet because the surname he chose after slavery ended was Jacquet.
2. On his marriage certificate of 1867, Jean Baptiste is named as “…the oldest son of the deceased Jacquet…” (*1*).
3. Jean Baptiste was of mixed race, in particularly a “mulatto” which means half Negro and half white. Since his mother was always listed as “Negro”, his father must have been white.
4. Census records of 1810 of Attakapas Parish showed that Hyacinthe Jacquet, a “free white male”, was the only Jacquet in the entire Parish, which at that time comprised of the areas that now make up part of present-day Iberia Parish and all of St. Mary, St. Martin, Lafayette and Vermillion Parishes. The only Jacquets in the state during that time were from a New Orleans family who went by the spelling of “Jaquet.”
5. Hyacinthe Jacquet lived on the property of his military friend Jean Baptiste Berard, the owner of the slave Rosine. When F. Hyacinthe Jacquet died on 1 October 1810, his death certificate read: “…décedé la veille par l’habitation de Mr. Berard Pere pres de l’eglise…” which translates to “he died the night before in the house of Mr. Berard Sr. near the church” (*8*). Hyacinthe Jacquet worked for the church as a witness to 130 weddings between 1804 and 1810 because he lived so conveniently close by. The Berard house was less than a minute walk to the church!
Clearly the implication is clear. Jean Baptiste Berard the elder, owned 39 slaves at the time of the 1810 census and one was named Rosine, the mother of Jean Baptiste Jacquet. It was sometime in the early fall season of 1807 when he and Rosine conceived of the child which was to become Jean Baptiste Jacquet. Was it love? Lust? Rape? That part will never be known, nor is it clear that Jean Baptiste was the only child fathered by Hyacinthe. It appears that Jean Baptiste was Rosine’s first-born child at age 18, and no other children older than Jean Baptiste is listed with her on slave inventories but we cannot rule out earlier unknown children born to her.
Before Jean Baptiste Berard the elder (b.1737) died on October 8, 1821, he bequeathed in his will the slave Rosine and her four children to his wife Anne Broussard. Anne however, died in 1820, and ownership of Rosine and her children, particularly Jean Baptiste Jacquet passed into the hands of Jean Berard’s older son Jean Baptiste Berard (b.1773) and his wife Marguerite Decoux. This Berard however, died in September of 1830, so ownership of Celeste and Jean Baptiste Jacquet, by now about the age of 24, passed into the hands of his widow Marguerite Decoux. When Marguerite died on June 9, 1849, several events lead to the breaking up of some of the Jacquet family members as some of them were sold to other plantation owners. Jean Baptiste Jacquet became the property of the youngest son of Jean Baptiste Berard and Marguerite Decoux - Eugene Rosemond Berard. Rosemond fathered a mulatto son ca. 1833 with a slave named Zelphire. The very fair-skin son was named Prosper Berard who later married Jean Baptiste Jacquet’s daughter Zoée Jacquet in 1871.
By the year 1849, Jean Baptiste Jacquet was about 43 years of age. Céleste Augustine, the woman whom he had already fathered nine children with and who was to be his future wife, was about the same age. Their son Belisaire was 18 years old, their daughter Angela was 15, their son Jolivet was 11, and Celeste was with four other young children: Charles who was 9, Edouard who was 7, Zoe who was 5, and Pierre who was 15 months old. All of them were together under the ownership of the Berard family when Marguerite (Decoux) Berard died in June of 1849. On August 6, 1849, an inventory of her estate was appraised. One hundred and seventeen separate articles were inventoried. Articles 82 through 109 was an inventory of the slaves owned which included Jean Baptiste and some of his family (*2*):
85: Jean Baptiste, mulatre de 43 ans (years)
90: Belisaire, mulatre de 18 ans,
98. Celeste, negressa de 42 ans, et enfants
Edouard de 7 ans, Zoe de 5 ans,
Charles de 9 ans, et Pierre de 18 months,
104. Jolivette, negre de 11 ans,
106. Angele, negresse de 15 ans,
The estate sale and distribution took place mostly on the date of February 17, 1851. The eight heirs were eight of the children of Marguerite and Jean Baptiste Berard. The Berard brothers and sisters took many of the slaves as part of their inheritance. Other slaves were sold. The distribution and sale of the estate of Marguerite (Berard) Decoux meant the break-up of Jean Baptiste Jacquet’s family. Angela went to Euranie Berard, Jolivet was sold to Nicolas Cormier, Belizaire went to Balthazaro Berard, Celeste and her four children Edouard, Zoe, Charles and baby Pierre were sold to Charles St. Maurice Olivier, the husband of Aminthe Berard; and Rosemond Berard came into the possession of Jean Baptiste Jacquet at age 43.
It would be 14 more years before Jean Baptiste Jacquet and his family would be freed from the captivity of slavery. When it was finally and mercifully over, Jean Baptiste Jacquet would do the same as many former slaves did who had children with another slave on the same Plantation – he would consecrate his vows in holy matrimony to Celeste Augustine. They would marry in the St. Martin de Tours Church on July 20, 1867. (*1*)
Original marriage certificate
#1973 L’église Paroissìale de St. Martin #1973
Jn Bte Jacquet
Le vingt Juillet mil huit cent soixante sept,
vû la dispense des trois publication de bans,
vû aussi la license délivrée au cour à la dâte du
seize courant, nous quâtre soussigné avons célébré
le mariage de Jn Bte Jacquet affranchi de Ms.
Roséamond Bérard, fils majeur des feux Jacquet
et Rosine, né et domicilié en cette paroiss d’une
part, et de Céleste Augustin affranchie
de M. St. Maurice Olivier, fille majeure
des feux Augustin et Sélaisse née également
et domiciliée en cette paroìsse d’autre part.
Par ce présent acte les surdits époux
déclarent reconnaître et vouloir légitime
les sept enfants dont les noms suivant:
Bélisaire Jn Bte Jacquet âge de vingt huit ans
Jolivet Jn Bte Jacquet “ de vingt quatre ans
Pierre Jn Bte Jacquet “ de dix neuf ans
Angèle Jn Bte Jacquet “ de vingt six ans
Marie Zoé Jn Bte Jacquet “ de vingt et un ans
Marie Josephine Jn Bte Jacquet “ de seize ans
Marie Rose Jn Bte Jacquet “ de quatorze ans
Ont assisté comme témoins à ce mariage
Adolphe x Prute - Edouard x Onésime x Félix
qui ne sachant signer ont fait leurs croix
Céleste x Augustin - Jn Bte x Jacquet
Adolphe x Prute - Edouard x - Onésime-x Félix
A. M. Jan
Filed 23 Aug 1867
Jn Bte Jacquet
The twentieth of July, eighteen hundred and sixty seven, recognizing the deposition of three publications of marriage vows, given also the license delivered at court on the date of the sixteenth current, we the four undersigned have celebrated
the marriage of Jean Baptiste Jacquet, freed man of Mr. Roseamond Berard, oldest son of the deceased Jacquet and Rosine, born and living in this Parish on the one hand, and of Celeste Augustin, freed woman of Mr. St. Maurice Olivier, oldest daughter of the deceased Augustin and Selaisse also born and living in this Parish on the other hand.
By this present act the above cited spouses
declare to recognize and claim legitimate
the seven children whose names follow:
Belizaire Jn Bte Jacquet age twenty eight years
Jolivet Jn Bte Jacquet “ of twenty four years
Pierre Jn Bte Jacquet “ of nineteen years
Angele Jn Bte Jacquet “ of twenty six years
Marie Zoe Jn Bte Jacquet “ twenty one years
Marie Josaphine Jn Bte Jacquet “ sixteen years
Marie Rose Jn Bte Jacquet “ of fourteen years
Assisting and were present as witnesses to this marriage:
Adolphe x Prute - Edouard x Onezime x Felix
who not knowing how to sign have made their cross.
Celeste x Augustin - Jn Bte x Jacquet
Adolphe x Prute - Edouard x - Onezime x Felix
A: M: Jan
filed 23 Aug 1867
( ?? )
English/French translation by Frederic K. Baldwin and Russell Jacquet-Acea
Some very interesting notes can be taken from this 1867 marriage document. Edouard (Edward) and Onezime were sons of Jean Baptiste Jacquet but were not listed in the “claim to recognize legitimate” along with the seven above. This could mean that although they were sons of Jean Baptiste Jacquet, Celeste was not their mother. This is probably unlikely since the previous slave inventory records show that Celeste was with “Four children”, one of which was Edouard, and also that the marriage record of Edouard does list Celeste as his mother. Birth and Marriage records do however show that Jean Baptiste Jacquet had three perhaps four other children in which the mother was different - Casimir (Marthe Celaisse but this could be the same as Marie Celeste Augustine), Oscar (Victorine Onesime Narcisse), and quite possibly Albert (Victorine Narcisse), and his brother Jules (Victorine Narcisse). None of these children were at the wedding or mentioned. One likely scenario here was that the only ones present at the wedding, as real witnesses were Edouard, Onezime and Felix. The other seven children mentioned: Belizaire, Jolivet, Pierre, Angele, Zoe, Josephine and Rose; were not present at the wedding and thus their father and mother Jean Baptiste and Celeste had to give account of their children and legally recognize them in the document. We know that the records show that Celeste had a son named “Charles”, but why is he not mentioned? He fought in the Civil War and may have died in it. And who is this “Felix” that signed this marriage document as witnesses with the other brothers Edouard and Onezime? Could this be the son Hyppolite Jacquet? Or perhaps this is another name for Charles?
Another puzzling item on the document is the ages given for the children. For example, on the slave inventory of Jean Berard’s wife Marguerite Decoux’s estate, we read “Jolivet was eleven years of age.” Since exactly 18 years had passed between this episode and the marriage of Jolivet’s father and mother, he should be listed as 29 years of age, but instead is listed as “24”! Zoe was five at the time of the 1849 inventory and should be 23 years old at the time of the marriage but is listed as only 21 years of age. Could it be possible that the parents could not remember their own children’s age? Probably yes, since they had been split up for several years and probably not had contact with each other. Also, judging by the fact that Celeste and Jean Baptiste were illiterate, and did not know how to sign their names, it is very possible that they did not fully understand the passage of time in terms of years and reading a calendar. Another possibility is that someone else wrote down their “estimated” ages without consulting the parents. Estimating ages in those days must have been a common occurrence that unfortunately resulted in many errors. For example, Celeste herself is listed as “55” years old on the 1870 census, but ten years later on the 1880 census, she is now “60” years old. Her son Belizaire, who was living with her at the time of the 1870 census, is listed as being “30” years old, but ten years later on the 1880 census he is now “48” years old!
The break-up of the Jacquet family in 1851 during the sale and distribution of the former slaves of the Berard family saw Jean Baptiste Jacquet go one way, and what would then be considered his “common law wife” Celeste go another. If we are to take the marriage certificate ages as being correct, and in some cases we have nothing else to go on, then it would appear that Jean Baptiste and his future wife Celeste had a few occasions to “get together” just after the time of the break-up of his family. For both Marie Josephine and Marie Rose would have been born between one to three years after the sale of Celeste Augustin to Mr. Maurice Olivier. Or it could be that these were the last two to be born due to the fact that Jean Baptiste and Celeste found it impossible to reunite again? How many more children they might have had if they had not been split up would be a good guess.
It was the 26th of January in the year 1870, that Jean Baptiste Jacquet would make his untimely death. At only 62 years of age, freed from slavery, recently married and ready to retire on his newly acquired property purchase, Jean Baptiste Jacquet was certainly not ready to die yet. Nevertheless, his son Belizaire Jacquet would have to petition for the lawful inventory and appraisal of his father’s property. Thus on the 22nd day of April 1870, a public inventory was made to decide what belonged to the community of Jacquets and his surviving wife. The St. Martin Parish court appointed both Francois Scheuer and Desire Lessard to appraise the estate. (*27*) Jean Baptiste Jacquet had purchased a small lot of land about a one-minute walk from the Church and the Berard house where he was born and raised. The church cemetery was across the street. He had a lot of materials that showed he was raisng a few horses and living the simple life of retirement with his wife Celeste. The following is what was appraised on 5 July 1870, in regards to the small piece of property he owned:
Property belong to the community (of Jacquets)
Art. 1 “A certain lot of ground situated in the town of St. Martin’sville, parish of St. Martin, on the east side of Bayou Teche, measuring more or less, one arpent front by, more or less, one arpent in depth, bounded south by a lot of Mistress Clara Landry, east by the public road, west by lot of succession Pierre Laviolette and north by a street running from the Bayou towards the catholic grave yard and opening on the public road, by which said lot is bounded on the east, appraised at the sum of seventy five dollars.” $75. (*27*)
This date is but four weeks after the most recent government census of 1870 came to the Jacquet residence. According to the 1870 census taken on June 7th, in what was called “The Corporation of St. Martinville”, Celeste was living on the small one arpent property with her sons Belizaire and Pierre whose occupations are laborers, and her daughters Zoe and Rose whose occupations are listed as domestic servants. Oscar Jacquet is listed as living in the next dwelling house, which probably means that they had two houses on the property. Marthe Jacquet lives with him and is a housekeeper. This is most likely Belizaire Jacquet’s wife Mathida Pillet as her age is given as 36 years old.
Jean Baptiste Jacquet lived but a short 62 years. Nevertheless, his legacy of the black Jacquets lives on for eternity. The fathering of at least thirteen children along with the resulting estimated offspring of nearly 80 grandchildren and more than two hundred great-grandchildren, assured that his legacy would live on far into the future. The story of Jean Baptiste Jacquet is a typical story of a black man growing up in the United States of America at this time period of our history. Born into slavery from a black mother and white father, toiling day after day for his master, fathering children and raising a family only to see them be broken apart from him, and finally being freed from slavery. It is a story of happiness mixed in with mishaps and hardships but a typical story of the Black American heritage. We shall now take a look at the children of Jean Baptiste Jacquet, the black Jacquet families and their “extended families” that followed after him and the children they brought forth in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
The Children of
Jean Baptiste Jacquet
Jean Baptiste Jacquet was born on 25 June 1808 in St. Martinville. He was baptized on 30 March 1809 at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church. His father was François Hyacinthe Jacquet, a French seaman who appears to have served in the French Marines and may have been from Verdun, France. Jean Baptiste Jacquet’s mother Rosine was a slave under the ownership of Jean Baptiste Berard. Rosine was born ca. 1790 and was the daughter of Ambroise and Angelique. Jean Baptiste Jacquet bore twelve children with Marie Celeste Augustin whom he married on 20 July 1867 in St. Martinville. He also bore at least one and quite possibly three children with Victorine Onesime Narcisse. Jean Baptiste died on 26 January 1870. As of the most recent research, Jean Baptiste had 77 grandchildren and 195 “Documented” Great-grand children!
Children of Jean Baptiste Jacquet and Celeste Augustin:
1. Cazimir Jacquet born ca. 1826. A marriage document says his mother was “Marthe Selaisse”, but the name “Selaisse” is the same name as “Celeste” so this is probably the same mother as the rest of the children. Cazimir married Martha Provost Blondin on 1 August 1869 in St. Martinville. He fathered one child with her. He died on 24 April 1891.
2. Belizaire Jacquet born ca. 1831. He married Mathilda Baptiste Pillet on 28 November 1869. He fathered six children with her. Belizaire died on 26 August 1907.
3. Onezime Jacquet born ca. 1832. He married Philogene Arcene Allen ca. 1863 when their slavemaster gave them their marriage blessing. This caused a controvery in court years after his death when his one daughter Virginia had to prove her descendancy from Onezime.
4. Angela Jacquet was born ca. 1834. She married Jean Pierre Manneaux on 15 October 1874. She bore at least one daughter with him. Angela died ca. 1887.
5. Jean Baptiste Jolivet Alexandre Jacquet born ca. 1836. He fathered two sons with Maristeen Bourque during the Civil War. He may have fathered two more sons with Victorine Angelique Onesime Narcisse right after the Civil War but they may have been sired by his father who went by the same name. Jolivet Jacquet married Rosa Jean Louis, the daughter of Roseline Antoine and Jean Louis, on 15 March 1867 in St. Martinville. He fathered 14 children with her. Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet died on 21 May 1899.
6. Charles Jacquet was born ca. 1840. Charles served in the US colored Infantry during the Civil War. It is believed he died during the war because no records of him can be found after that time.
7. Edouard Jacquet was born ca. 1842. He married Estelle Ambroise but no record of their marriage has been found. He fathered seven children with her. He died on 23 March 1916.
8. Marie Zoée Jacquet born ca. 1845. She married Prosper Berard on 11 October 1871. She bore 11 children with him.
9. Pierre Jacquet born in June 1848. He married Aimee Gaspard on 26 May 1875. He fathered seven children with her. Pierre died on 14 June 1942.
10. Marie Josephine Jacquet born ca. 1851. She married Raphael Kerlegand Jr. on 11 Feb 1879. She bore at least four children with Raphael before she died sometime before the year 1887. Raphael had re-married by February 1887 to Alphonsine Collins.
11. Oscar Jacquet born October 1850. His mother was Victorine Narcisse and he is with her during the February 1851 inventory of her slave master. Oscar married Louise Etie on 7 February 1872. He fathered seven children with her. Oscar died on 13 December 1940.
12. Marie Rose Jacquet born ca. 1853. She bore one son with Gilbert Urbain Wilson and three children with Joseph Farin Malveaux. Rose died ca. 1932.
13. Hyppolite Jacquet born ca. 1854. He fathered a son with Lucie Pellerin. He married Angelique Rosemond on 30 June 1900. Hyppolite and Angelique had already had eight children together before they married. He died on 8 July 1903.
14. Albert Jacquet born ca 1864. Albert’s mother was Victorine Angelique Onezime Narcisse. Since Jean Baptiste Jacquet’s son Jolivet also went by the same name it is not totally clear which one is the father of both Albert and Jules. Most of the evidence points to the elder, however, his younger son fathering 2 children between his two relationships with Maristeen Bourque (1861-1864) and his wife Rosa Jean Louis (1866 – 1899) seems more logical than the older father at age 57 and 15 years after he fathered Oscar with her. Albert married twice – the first time to Arcene Lasseigne on 9 December 1890. When she died and his brother Jules died, he married for a second time to Arcene’s sister Odile Lasseigne on 16 March 1918. Albert died 25 September 1919.
15. Jules Jacquet born ca. 1866. His mother was Victorine Narcisse. Jules married Odile Lasseigne on 16 Dec 1884. Her sister Arcene married Jules’ brother Albert. Jules died at an early age on 16 Mar 1888. It appears no children were born.
Jean Baptiste Jacquet Scroll
(François?) Hyacinthe Jacquet
Hyacinthe Jacquet can be said to be the Grandfather of the Black Jacquets in America. In brief, he came over to the Louisiana territory from France with the French military or while he was still in the service of the French military during the latter part of the 18th century. He briefly lived in Attakapas Parish which later would be re-named St. Martin parish. Although he would die at a fairly young age, Hyacinthe Jacquet lived long enough to father a mulatto son who became Jean Baptiste Jacquet.
As of the writing of this book, not much is known about the family of Hyacinthe Jacquet. What is known is that he was a very close friend of the Berard family, particularly Jean Baptiste Berard (père b.1734). Hyacinthe was an officer of the French military, more specifically, the French Navy, and was living in the St. Martinville area at least as early as July of 1806, for in a record of the sale of the estate of Michel Doucet on July 25, 1806, Hyacinthe Jacquet is listed as one of the people that Michel Doucet owed debts to. (*25*)
How François Hyacinthe became the father of Jean Baptiste Jacquet can only be proved through circumstantial evidence since there are no birth documents that can be found to indicate the father as being Hyacinthe. Nevertheless, the evidence is clear based on four main points. To begin with, we know that Jean Baptiste’s father was a Jacquet because his last name became “Jacquet”. When slavery ended, ex-slaves had to choose a surname and Jean Baptiste’s surname became Jacquet. No Jacquet had been in the St. Martin Parish area since François Hyacinthe Jacquet died in 1810. It is with certainty that Jean Baptiste always knew who his father was while growing up. On his marriage license of 1867, Jean Baptiste is named as the “oldest son of the deceased Jacquet” (*1*). Jean Baptiste Jacquet was of mixed race, his father white, his mother black, for on the slave inventory of August 6, 1849 upon the death of Rosemond Berard’s mother Mrs. Jean Baptiste Berard (Marguerite Decoux), Jean Baptiste is listed as “Mulatre de 43 ans.” (Mulatto of 43 years of age.) (*2*) Hyacinthe Jacquet is definitely listed as those in the category of “free white males” on the 1810 census of the Attakapas Parish (later St. Martin Parish). Although it is known that there was at least one family of “Jaquets” living in New Orleans, census records of the time show that there were no other Jacquets in the Louisiana area at the time, specifically in Attakapas Parish. Hyacinthe was the only Jacquet listed as residing in the entire Attakapas Parish which at that time, before the carving up of Attakapas parish, comprised the areas of what is now present-day St. Mary, St. Martin, Lafayette, Vermilion, and part of Iberia parishes, which had a parish total of 3,269 inhabitants. 934 free white males, 653 free white females, 150 free persons except Indians, and 1,532 slaves in 1810. (*3*) The spelling of the name “Jacquet” does not come up in the census records in the entire state of Louisiana until the 1830’s when four Jacquets in New Orleans parish appear on the records! However, we do know that there were several people going by the name “Jaquet” who lived in New Orleans during the turn of the century and there may be a connection. According to the 1810 census, which must have been completed in Hyacinthe’s area just before he died, Hyacinthe lived on the property that was the plantation of the Berard family and was listed as “head of household”.
The original Berard house built by Jean Baptiste Berard, Sr. was built right next to the Evangeline Oak tree and across the road from the St. Martinville Church. The house burned down and according to his great-great grand-daughter Carol Asher, Jean Berard Sr., “Got out of the burning house with the clothes on his back!” Berard had the house rebuilt and it was eventually donated to the St. Martin church by him and became “Mercy High School” run by the nuns of the church. It next became a bed and breakfast place and still remains so as of the year 2004. When F. Hyacinthe Jacquet died on October 1, 1810, he apparently died while at the house of Jean Baptiste Berard, as is stated in his succession record of 6 Jan. 1811, “...The deceased taken at the house of Jean Berard in the same parish...” (*4*), as well as his death certificate from the church which said “…décidé la veille par l’habitation de Mr. Berard Pere pres de l’eglise...” which translates to English that “...he died the night before in the house of Mr. Berard Sr. near the church...”(*8*). Clearly we can see the close connection between Hyacinthe Jacquet and the Berard family. Jean Baptiste Berard (b.1737) was the owner of 39 slaves at the time of the census and his son Jean Baptiste Berard (b. 1773) owned 17 slaves. Amongst the more or less figure of 39 slaves that Jean Berard owned, one was named ROSINE who would become an important name in the history of the Black Jacquets in Louisiana, for it was her who was to become the mother of Jean Baptiste Jacquet and the grandmother of the sons and daughters of Jean Baptiste Jacquet.
It must have been somewhere between three to five years before the death of Hyacinthe that he met one of the beautiful slave girls of Jean Berard and was able to romance her. How long it lasted is not known. Was it love? Lust? Rape? That part will never be known, nor is it clear if Jean Baptiste was the only child fathered by Hyacinthe. Nevertheless, the 16 or 17-year-old Rosine became pregnant with what appears to be her first child and gave birth in 1808. Rosine’s slave master at the time was the elder Berard – Jean Baptiste Berard (b.1737), but she was also very familiar with his oldest son Jean Baptiste Berard (b.1773), and with the elder Berard’s grandson Jean Baptiste Berard (b.1795). Rosine herself, having been born in 1790, had grown up knowing three generations of Jean Baptiste’s living concurrently and side by side with her. Was it any wonder when her first son was born that she would name him “Jean Baptiste”?
According to the 1810 census of Attakapas parish, Hyacinthe’s age is checked off in the box marked “26 – 44 years old”, a very unreliable method of finding out someone’s exact age. However, the death certificate from St. Martin de Tours church indicates that he was 54 years of age at the time of his death. Hyacinthe’s date of death is listed as October 1, 1810. He was buried from St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, La. And according to the certificate was: “Officier de la Marine au service y de la Republic Françoise.” (Officer of the Navy in the service and of the French Republic.) (*8*) While the date of his birth as of this date is unclear, we can place him being born somewhere between 1754 and 1764, with the death certificate being the most reliable of the two sources.
Searching the National archives of France shows us that there were two men with the last name “Jacquet” who enlisted in the French Marines in the 1700’s. Among the two Jacquets found on the lists of the Archives Nationales who were enlisted in the Marines in the 1700s, were Pierre Jacquet, who was an ordinary seaman in 1787, and Charles Jacquet, who was a boatswain on the river Loire in 1782. Their files can be studied at the Archives Nationales in the Bibliothèque National in Paris. Could one of these men be Hyacinthe? Based on tradition in Louisiana, I strongly believe that Hyacinthe was his “worldly” name and his “Christian” name was not used. So we are probably looking for our Jacquet ancestor with the name ___?___ Hyacinthe Jacquet. Upon the visit to the Paris Archives at the Bibliothèque National, the document entitled “Dossier de Pierre Jacquet (Matelot 1787)” actually turns out to be a series of three correspondences regarding a person named François Jacquet from the city of “Verdun” in France. No mention of a “Pierre Jacquet” is made within any of the three documents and what is the reason for this mix-up is just another mystery. The main story behind the three documents sent to and from Rochefort, France between April 4th, April 25th and August 28th of the year 1787, is that “...François Jacquet natif de Verdun a embarque sur Le Vaisseau du Roy Le Tonnant...” with the English translation being: “François Jacquet, native of Verdun has boarded the King’s vessel “The Tonnant”. However, the documents report that François has not come aboard and is missing or dead. Just where did he disappear to??? With the first of the three documents dated 4 April 1787, a letter is addressed to the representatives of Mr Dela Grandville of the French Navy to “make verification of the condition of François Jacquet.”
4 Avril 1787
“Il a été adressé des representations à M.(Monsieur) Le Mal de Castrier, à l’effect de savoir ce que pouvait être devenu Le nommé François Jacquet, natif de Verdun, qu’un expose avoir été embarqué pendant la guerre dernieresur le Vaisseau du Roy, le Tonnant. Ce Batiment ayant Désarmé a Rochefort, M. Dela Grandville est prié de faire constater le sort du dit Jacquet, et s’il y a lieu d’adresser au Ministre son extrait mortuaire ou autres pieces equivalente.”
Vrai copie signé de la Grandville (*173*)
(French translations by R. Jacquet-Acea and Edwin Hébert)
With the translation to English sounding something like the following:
4 April 1787
“The representations to Mr. Le Maréchal de Castrier have been addressed for the purpose of knowing what might have become of the named François Jacquet, native of the city of Verdun, who is stated to have been embarked during the last war on the King’s vessel, Le Tonnant. That ship having been disarmed at Rochefort, Mr. Dela Grandville is invited to make verification of the condition of the said Mr. Jacquet and if there is cause, to appeal to the ministry his death certificate or other equivalent papers.”
True copy signed by de la Grandville
With the second document entitled “Réponse du Bureau Des Armement”, the documet talks about a search for François Jacquet on the ship Le Tonnant, but he could be found. It has been three weeks since Mr. Grandville’s inquiry and the Bureau of armed forces writes the following directed at Mr. Grandville:
“Le Bureau des Armement a infructueusement fait la plus scrupuleuse recherché sur les roles d’equipage et de rations du vaisseau, Le Tonnant, pour avoir trouvé que le nommé François Jacquet y ait été employé et le seule noms qu’il ait rencontré les plus aprochant à celui de ce marin sont ceux de Jean Fois Gasquet de Toulon aid cannonier à 27 qui a fait tout la campagne de ce batiment, et celui de Joseph Gasquet de Creste, timonier, à 20 qui est entré à l’hopital du Cap Leig avril 1779, où il est mort le 6 mai de la même année.”
Rochefort le 25 Avril 1787.
With this second letter, it sounds like the François Jacquet in question could not be found but that there may be a mixup between him and two other men named Jean François Gasquet and Joseph Gasquet. The translation into English sounding something like:
“The Bureau of Armament has unfruitfully made the most scrupulous search of the registers of the crew and rations of the ship le Tonnant, in order to have found if the one named François Jaquet had been employed there, and the only names that have been found the closest to his of this sailor are those of Jean François Gasquet of Toulon a gunner’s aide age 27 who has made all of the campaigns of that ship, and the one of Joseph Gasquet of Creste, helmsman age 20 who entered the hospital of Cap Leig April 1779, where he died the 6th of May of the same year.”
Was he really on the ship? Is someone covering for him? The Bureau of arms uses the name “Jaquet” and perhaps this mis-spelling is the name they were looking for instead of the proper spelling of “Jacquet”. The matter has not come to a conclusion by August of that year as a third document appears to be a letter verifying that François Jacquet did embark on Le Tonnant vessel during the last war but that something in the letters “could be susceptible”:
Rochefort Le 28 Août 1787.
Diréction Gale Taner No. flumin 3 May
M. Dela Grandville Monseigneur
“J’ai l’honneur de vous renvoyer la copie d’une note qui m’a été addressé de vos bureaux le 14 decembre au sujet du M. François Jacquet natif de Verdun embarqué pendant la guerre derniere sur le vaisseau, le Tonnant, et sur lequel on demande des renseignement. Cette note est emargée des réponses don’t elle peut être susceptible.”
Je suis avec respect
Votre très humble et très obeisant serviteur de la Grandville.
Somehow it seems as if this third letter should have or could have been the first letter. If the date is correct, and this letter was written after the first two we now have verification that François Jacquet was indeed on the ship Le Tonnant but the answers to his whereabouts seem to have become “classified.” The translation into English would sound like:
I have the honor of sending you a copy of a note that has been directed to your offices on the 14th of December on the subject of Mr. François Jacquet, native of Verdun, embarked during the last war on the ship Le Tonnant, and of whom is requested some information. This note is marked with some answers that might make it sensitive.”
I am with respect
Your humble and obedient servant
De la Grandville.
How did he all of a sudden “re-appear” on the Tonnant when he could not be found four months earlier? Was François a late addition? The last line talks about giving answers that might make it sensitive. We are not priviledged to see what was said as no other documents were in his file. What exactly was so sensitive that could not be read by anyone? Did he “jump ship” and go AWOL?
LEFT: “Le Tonnant” Classified as a Privateer Corvette Marine Ship flying the French flag. It was armed with 80 canons with over 800 Marines aboard. François Hyacinthe Jacquet probably served on it.
RIGHT: The Berard House. The original house built by Jean Baptiste Berard near the church. François Hyacinthe Jacquet lived here when he died. The house burnt down and was rebuilt and later donated to the St. Martin Church and became Mercy High School. As of the turn of century Y2K, it was a bed & breakfast lodge. Distance from Evangeline Oak Tree – 50 feet. Distance from Bayou Teche – 100 feet. Distance from St. Martin de Tours Church – 100 feet.
Just what did happen to François Jacquet at this time? 1787 was a very tumultuous time for the French. They had just helped the Americans in the U.S. war of Independence. The French army and navy performed creditably during that conflict, and the prestige of France in Europe was greater in 1783 than it had been for 40 years. But the war was not an expedient one and the French problem was not military but financial. It was in February of 1787 when French leaders summoned to Versailles the Assembly of Notables, which represented the privileged orders – great nobles, bishops, parliamentarians in the hope of transforming France back to order, but the notables refused and in August 1787, the Paris Parliament was exiled to Troyes, then recalled, dismissed and recalled once again in September of 1788 to help stop a breakdown in law and order in France. A constant struggle between the French Crown and aristocratic groups grew stronger. The stage was set for the coming French Revolution of 1789. What began in 1787-1788 as a conflict between royal authority and traditional aristocratic groups had become a triangular struggle, with “the people” opposing both absolute rulership and privilege. Heads began to roll and by 1793 King Louis XVI and his Queen Marie Antoinette would be sent to the guillotine and lose their heads. If François Jacquet wanted to escape all of the turmoil in France, getting aboard a ship and sailing west to the “New World” would not have been a difficult task for him. He was an experienced navigator and was familiar with sea charts.
We look at the life of another contemporary French figure named Jean François Jacquet born on 9 Nov 1756 in Montigny, a city about 120km (75mi) directly south of Verdun. His parents were Jean-Baptiste Jacquet, a shoemaker (cordonnier), and Marie Ambroise. He became a priest and entered the priesthood at the city of Reims in 1781. He was the Vicar at Montblainville starting in 1784 and faithfully served until 1793 when he was stopped and transported out (“s’est soustrait à la deportation…” ) for using the most criminal of laborers to corrupt the public spirit (“…emploie les manoeuvres les plus criminelles pour corrompre l’espirit public.”) He took refuge at the Le Château of Imécourt before leaving the religious order there (*252*). But did he stay? Could we include this particular Jean François Jacquet in our search for the father of our French-Creole Jean Baptiste Jacquet? Hyacinthe Jacquet worked for the church while he was in St. Martinville so it would not have been impossible for him to be in the religious orders while in Louisiana if that was his true profession. It is difficult to believe that he was both a warrior and a priest but the death document does indicate that he worked for the church and was a French Marine. So did he come over to the land that became the United States to escape something? While the birthplace in France has not been definitely determined as of this date, we do have a good estimation of where he was born. The complete information on the death certificate of Hyacinthe by the St. Martin church was written as follows:
L’an mil huit cent dix le premier octobre a été inhumé dans le cimetière de cette paroisse par moi le curé de l’église le corps de F. Hyacinthe Jacquet native de la ville de BR_ _ _ _, officier de la marine, au service de la republique française décídé la veille par l’habitation de Mr. Berard père pres de L’église, agé d’henviron cínquante quatre ans. En foi de quoi j’ai signé avec le temoin...
F. Marc Gabriel Isabey, Cure Louis Chemins
The very badly written and two century old document in French was not easy to translate. This Death Certificate of Hyacinthe Jacquet from the St. Martin de Tours Church in St. Martinville dated 1 October 1810 is not accessible to the public. The church is real strict about NOT letting the public view documents. I was given a very rare and special dispensation during the summer of 2000, from the chief archivist at the Lafayette, Louisiana Archdioses Archives which has all of the St. Martin church records on private microfilm collections which act as a backup copy in case the St. Martinville records are lost or destroyed. In a US State that often gets battered by hurricanes and floods, that is a very good idea. They did not have a copy machine for the tape reels but I was allowed to take a photo of the document with my 35mm camera.
A magnifying glass helps to give a very close examination of the document. It begins by saying:
“…on the 1st of October 1810 was buried in the cemetery of this parish by me, the Cure (Parish Priest) of the church was the body of F. Hyacinthe Jacquet…”
One important clue as to the full name of Hyacinthe comes on the second line just before stating the name of the deceased. At first glance it appears that the statement is made out to be “...le corps de M. Hyacinthe Jacquet...” (the body of Mr. Hyacinthe...) in which Father Hebert has translated just “Hyacinthe Jacquet“ in his monumental “Records of SW Louisiana.” However, a closer examination and comparison of similar lettering on the page reveals that Father Hebert’s team has overlooked and missed a very large letter before the name Hyacinthe! The letter is not “M” but most definitely an “F” as in Francis or the French version of “François.” Other lettering in the documents written by the Reverend Paul Isabey are consistent with this letter being an “F”. The best example is the same document which has “F. Marc” signing the death document. We know from many sources that this F. Marc was a close friend of Hyacinthe and had many business dealings in St. Martinville. His full name was “François Marcot” who also went by the name François Marc and also Marc François (*9, 20*). We see this name reversal with another local named “François Raymond” who also went by the name “Raymond François.” Therefore it is clear that this was how they wrote the abbreviated name since it was so common. Since no other records outside of St. Martin parish can be found of anyone with the same name as “Hyacinthe Jacquet” the strong possibility exist that he had a not-so-often-used first name while in St. Martinville. Since the name “François” was such a common name, many recorders abbreviated it. Fcois was the most common abbreviation seen and F by itself is also seen in place of the name “François”. We can also see the same type of abbreviation for the common name of “Jean Baptiste” which was often written as “Jn Bte” and “Chas” for “Charles” during this era. Thus the name François has to be the frontrunner in the possible first name of Hyacinthe Jacquet.
One of the biggest misfortunate occurrences in Jacquet history research has to be the fact that some careless recorder spilled a bit of liquid – glue? Coffee? Ink? on the edge of the page right where the name of the city of Hyacinthe’s origin is being written... “natif de la ville de BR_ _ _” is all we are able to see according to Father Hebert‘s translations. It is the last word on line two, the second of five lines written and from the looks of when the recorder stopped writing at the end of the page, there could not be more than five or six letters in the name of the city. The first two letters are almost pretty clear that it is B and R, and the third letter looks more like an “i” rather than an “e” so that gives us a search parameter of looking for cities in 1750 France having four or five letters, maybe six starting with BRI or BRE. Where could that be??? Could it be the major city named BREST? BRIEC is also southeast of Brest. BRIEY is southwest of Luxemberg. BRIE appears to be a region of northern France between the Seine and Marne valleys southwest of Paris. The region is known for it’s rose culture, introduced about 1795 by the navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, but more famously known for the soft white cheese called Brie. We have never questioned Father Hebert’s translation of the two or maybe three letters being B and R. However, upon closer examination, we may have to realize that they may be two other letters. If the letters turn out to be V and U or V, E and R then we are no doubt dealing with the François Jacquet born in Verdun who left the French Marine and Le Tonnant sometime around the year 1787. Historical documents around the year 1790 classified the ship “Le Tonnant”, as a French Privateer Corvette. In the late 18th century “privateers” were small fast merchant vessels carrying large areas of sail and highly armed with small caliber guns. Unlike “pirate” ships they flew their national flag. The Tonnant had 80 canons and 812 marins (marines). Its commandant was Amiel.
The next words on the death certificate written after the unknown city of origin are the words:
“…officier de la marine, au service de la republique française…”
Officier de la marine translates in the French to mean “naval officer”. Au is a contraction of “a le” meaning “to the” followed by “service of the French Republic.” It seems quite clear that F. Hyacinthe Jacquet was indeed a naval man and one that had a higher degree of responsibility. Finally we are given the statement that:
“…décidé la veille par l’habitation de M. Berard père pres de L’église…”
Translated to say that he died at the house of Mr. Berard, Senior near the church. That statement there turns out to be a major clue that this particular Jacquet was the father of the first Black Jacquet of Louisiana Jean Baptiste Jacquet, the mulatto son of the slave Rosine.
ABOVE: Death Certificate of “F. Hyacinthe Jacquet” made out by Church Father Gabriel Isabey and witnessed by Louis Chemins and François Marc. He died on 1 October 1810 in St. Martinville at the house of Jean Baptiste Berard.
BELOW: Close up of death certificate. The damage at the end of the second line cloaks the revelation of François Hyacinthe Jacquet’s French birthplace.
While he was in St. Martinville, F(rançois) Hyacinthe Jacquet had other close associates other than Jean Baptiste Berard. Some of these people he worked with and this may give us a clue as to where they came from. Hyacinthe Jacquet worked for the church as was noted on his succession record and from the marriage documents of many who were married by the church. Some St. Martin clergy say that Hyacinthe could have been a sacristan of the church, helping the church with its sacraments and daily rituals. However, current Pastor Austin Leger of the St. Martin church as of the year 2001 said the following:
“It is unlikely that he would have been an employee of the church having been a naval officier. Besides, tradionally sacristans have been women. He apparently lived close to the church which may account for his many times that he witnessed.”
Dispite what Pastor Leger says, the church owed François Hyacinthe Jacquet $49.56 for work done in the year 1808 according to his succession record when he died in the year 1810. He did perform services for the church in some way and was due payment for it, a late payment that was never received.
Living near the church with Mr. Jean Baptiste Berard (père) could have been the reason he worked for the church, or perhaps working for the church was the reason why he lived with Mr. Berard. It would have been a one-minute walk from one place to the other. Never the less, the records show that he was the witness to 130 weddings at the church from the years 1804 to 1810. In the year 1804 he witnessed two marriages that may have begun his career with the church. Both marriages took place on the same day starting with the marriage of David Hayes and Pelagie Leleu on 26 Dec 1804 at the St. Martinville church. He witnessed five marriages in the year 1805, four of them on 5 Feb 1805. In 1806, he witnessed a career high 36 marriages with the busiest day occurring on 6 May 1806, when he witnessed five marriages. In 1807, Hyacinthe witnessed 27 more marriages and in 1808, 13 more. The year 1809 saw him witness 29 marriages with the last one for him that year occurring on 12 Sept 1809. His last year working for the church was 1810. That year he witnessed 18 marriages with the last one occurring on 10 July 1810 when he was the witness to the marriage of Celeste Breaux and Constant Braud. This date is 12 weeks before his death. So just why did he stop witnessing for the church? Did he become ill? The two previous years he did not work for the church as a witness after September. Never did he witness any marriages in October. Only in the year 1807 did he work in November and only in 1810 did he work in March. These patterns may someday help to gain more information about the life of Hyacinthe by future researchers. Hyacinthe also was a witness to a sale of property between Louis Guido de Kerlegan and Jean & Celeste Launier Nipper. The document was dated 5 Jan 1810, but finalized at the St. Martin Courthouse in conveyance book 1, #116 on the date of 18 March 1811, a few months after Hyacinthe Jacquet had died.
People that Hyacinthe was associated with while he lived in the St. Martinville area were: Marc François a native of Malan (or Malon), France who was born on 18 Jan 1783 and died 19 Sep 1826 (succ.#423, Opel.ct.hse). Marc François is most likely the witness (le temoin) to the church burial of François Hyacinthe Jacquet whose named is signed “F Marc”.
Louis Chemin, a native of Paris and a 70-year-old sacristan to the church of Attakapa of Paris. Louis Chemin was also a former sacristan to the St. Martinville church. He also lived near the St. Martin Church and was one of Jean Berard and Hyacinthe Jacquet’s neighbors. He died on 8 Nov 1819 at the home of Mr. Bernier Sr. (succ. #343, sm.ct.hse.);
Nicholas Collins born on 4 August 1752 in Jersey, in Franche county, diocese of Besançon in France. Nicholas Collins died on 23 Dec 1813 (succ.#147, sm.ct.hse.);
Reverend Gabriel Isabey, (père) Cure of St. Martin de Tours Church and “Native de Malan en Franche Comte”, who was born on 16 July 1759 at Dole, France and who died on 2 July 1823 (succ. #482 sm.ct.hse).
Was there a common thread to all of these associates who originated in France and found their way to the Louisiana territory during the late 18th century? The city of Besançon, near the Switzerland border, is but a mere 200 kilometers (120 miles) from the city of Verdun on the river Meuse. Besançon is located in the French region of Franche-Comté and that is the county where three of his closest associates appear to be from.
Upon the sudden and early death of Hyacinthe, the court appointed Nicolas Collins, a merchant, and Louis Judice, local appraiser, to be responsible for the appraisal of the estate of Hyacinthe Jacquet:
“...and there being no heirs nor representatives of the heirs of the deceased Hyacinthe Jacquet within this territory of Orleans (lower half of present day Louisiana), so far as can be now known, I do therefore appoint Nicolas Collins of the parish aforesaid curator of the aforesaid...this 26th of January 1811.” (*4*)
Jean Baptiste Jacquet, being the “illegitimate” two and a half year old son of Hyacinthe, and the son of a slave woman, would have had no legal status in becoming the heir to his father’s property. The estate of Hyacinthe Jacquet was a small one and was as follows:
7 Sea charts appraised @ $.75 each -$5.25
1 volume of a treatise of navigation -$1.00
1 Sea chart (torn) -$ .75
9 linen shirts @$1.25 -$11.25
8 pair of overalls @$1.00 -$8.00
7 vests @ $.75 -$5.25
4 handkerchiefs @ $.25 -$1.00
A looking glass & shaving instrument
appraised together -$3.00
1 pair spectacles, 1 brush, 1 snuff box,
1 small jacket, 2 pair of suspenders,
a small trunk -$2.00
a Musketto net -$1.00
1 blanket (Capot) -$ .50
1 jacket -$ .50
1 hat -$2.00
1 trunk -$2.00
In cash, sixty-two and ½ cents. -$ .62 ½
An amount against the church stating
to be due for the year 1808, forty nine
dollars, four bits* and a half equal to -$49.56 ¼
total appraisal of Estate -$93.68 ¾
The estate was owed debts by Chauvet and Lenormand, bringing the value of the estate to $141.18. Debts were owed for funeral, legal services and other charges, and to Joseph A. Parrott and Louis Chemin. The remainder, amounting to $91.11 was to be divided between creditors. The items were sold at the public auction of May 19, 1811. Included were some items not on the original appraisal list. Most of the items were sold for more or less than were originally appraised. A sample is as follows:
1 watch to Rosemond Leblanc -$8.00
10 old vests and jackets to
Pelletier Delahoussaye -$1.50
1 looking glass & shaving instrument
to Theophile Broussard -$ .75
1 pair of spectacles, 1 brush, 1 comb
to Marie Declouet -$1.00
1 Musketto net to Marie Declouet -$2.12 ½
8 sea charts & treatise on navigation
to Louis Gary -$3.00
Eight dollars and five bits* from
Maurice Abat security -$8.62 ½
*(one bit = 12 ½ cents)
The total monetary figure from items sold was $41.68 ¾. Interestingly, no mention of a small piece of property Hyacinthe had purchased very recently was made. At a public sale of the assets of the company of Garrigou (he died 9 June 1810) and Abat, Hyacinthe purchased at this public sale, a small piece of property (lot #75) for $17.00 sometime during the latter part of August and the early part of September of 1810 when the public sale was opened. (*9*) Perhaps his sudden and untimely death prevented the transaction from being completed.
Whenever Hyacinthe came to Louisiana for the first time is still unknown. Did he come over to escape the turmoil of the French revolution? Did he come as an active French military marine man? Did he want to escape religious persecution? He obviously was a sea going man due to the list of sea navigation charts he held in his possession at the time of his death. The death document does say “in the service of...” and does speak of his service in the French Marines in the present tense. The French certainly were active on the high seas during the 1700’s. During the time of the American Revolution, the French succeeded in holding and even reversing the advance of England. A contemplated invasion of England did not take place, but for a brief period, the French navy had control of the high seas. More credit should have been given to Admiral François Joseph Paul de Grasse (1722 – 1788), the real victor of the battle of Yorktown, Pa (1781), where the British were defeated, rather than to General George Washington. It was de Grasse’s fleet that had entered the fight in Chesapeake Bay to help out the early American Colonist and change the tide of the war.
If François Jacquet wanted to escape all of the turmoil in France, getting aboard a ship and sailing west to the “New World” would not have been a difficult task for him having already been associated with the marines at sea and life aboard a ship. So when did he come over to the land which became the United States? When we look to Louisiana at the end of the 18th century for Jacquets, they are almost non-existent except for a few references in New Orleans. Francisco Jaquet a “native” to the city of New Orleans, married on 25 October 1796, Dona Francisca Carrel. Francisco was the son of Santiago Jaquet and Maria Sabois (or Savoie or Savoy). Francisca was also a native of New Orleans and the daughter of Don Carlos Carrel and Dona Petrona Dubal (*171*). Since the Spanish now ruled the territory of Louisiana and New Orleans, records were kept in Spanish with French names being translated into Spanish. In the marriage records we see examples such as “Don Juan Bautista Felix Epervie, a native of Leon in France...” and “Francisco Renee Benoit, a native of Nantes, France, son of Juan Carlos Benoit...” Even though these people originated from France and obviously had French names, they were translated into their Spanish equivalences. The French Charles became Carlos. The French François became the Spanish Francisco. The French Jacques (English James) became the Spanish Santiago and the French Jean Baptiste (English John (the) Baptist) became Juan Bautista.
A year and a half after his own marriage, Francisco Jacquet witnessed a marriage between Agustin Silve and Felicitas Stoupe on 31 May 1798 at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans (*171*), and again Francisco Jaquet witnessed the marriage between Francisco Dionisio Picault, a native of Thouars, France and Jazinta Clarisen, of New Orleans on 10 May 1804 (*171*). At the St. Martin Courthouse (act #22-227), we find a Jacquet who purchased items at an auction on 10 April 1805: “…item cinq chausses, trios paires ?unlottes et six ?nouchoirs adjugeé au Sd. Jacquet…”. In the land records of Attakapas and St. Martin Parish, we find a Procuration of land on 22 August 1806, when Adelaide Navarro, resident of Attakapas and wife of Louis Desmaret who has been absent for seven years, gave François Jaquet, resident of New Orleans, her power of attorney to sell a lot and house on Burgundy Street (*9*, 172). Is this the same person? Is this in fact “the missing François Jacquet of Le Tonnent“? Or is this the grandson of the one named Jean François Jacquet, probably the earliest Jacquet to arrive in the Louisiana area? There was in fact a François Jacquet, who most likely was the descendant of the earliest Jacquet to Louisiana and who certainly was alive after 1810, when F. Hyacinthe Jacquet had already died in St. Martin Parish. According to slave sale records, François Jacquet bought “Antoine” from Miss Nieto on 6 April 1809 in New Orleans. He sold “Gotton” and “Laurette” to Adelaide Mouton Vve (widow) Olivier on 16 Feb 1817 (*197*). In a New Orleans probate record (page 474), the deceased François Jacquet had property described on Burgundy Street that was adjudicated to Carlos Jacquet. Who were these earlier Jacquets in Louisiana?
With the colonization and settlement of the French that began in 1702, the name of Jacquet began to appear in the Louisiana area. Embarked on the ship Mutine bound for New Orleans, Louisiana from Lorient France, on 14 November 1720 was Jacques François Jacquet with his wife Jeanne (Marie Dubois), and sons Etienne, André, Jean Guillaume, and Jean Jacques Jacquet. (*16*) Also from Lorient France to Louisiana, 21 August 1720, on the ship Saint Andre was Toussaint Jacquet, a gardener. By the year 1724, Jacques François Jacquet was in court regarding some trouble with his wife. The court’s council sent him a memo ruling that “Jacquet’s wife is now French, and continues her life of debauchery, selling brandy etc…” He also had to act as a witness to a payment refusal and property seizure (*233*). On the Louisiana troops roll, there is a Charles Jaquet who enlisted in 1768, but deserted in September of 1769. Another of the earliest Jacquets on record according to the Cabildo records of New Orleans, is that of a Santiago Francisco Jacquet. According to the court records, of May 25, 1773, a certain Maria Theresa Leiveille wanted to donate property to Mr. Santiago Jacquet, a soldier of the battalion of Louisiana, as payment for room and board. Maria’s estranged husband Philippe Flotte contested the case in court. (*7*) Santiago Jacquet, soldier of the battalion, would have to sue Maria Theresa Levielle as a 3rd party to compel Theresa’s husband to pay the debt on her behalf:
“…He wants husband living separate from his wife to pay room & board and his wife’s debts… She had lived in his house for three years and had never paid for food and lodging…” The case was made 18 Jan 1774 in the court of Governor Unzaga. Phillipe Flotte contested that he had been “…separated for many years and is not responsible as he pays her 60 pesos/annually and has allowed her to use the slave Rosa and her two children to serve her…She sold Rosa and her son Philippe to Mr. Lorraine for 280 pesos and the daughter Mariana to Mr. Duplessis in 1770 for 150 pesos…she still has a slave of mine called Francisca and asks she be prevented from selling or disposing of her…” (*233*)
On 5 August 1774, Santiago Jacquet and Philippe Flotte arranged their differences by notary act and applied for leave to discuss the suit to prevent further expenses.
Since the Spanish name for Jacques translates to Santiago, and François to Francisco, then Santiago Francisco Jacquet has to be the original Jacquet named Jacques François Jacquet who came over from Lorient France in 1720. But which one of the four sons is François Jacquet who married Françoise Carrel? The greater possibility is that François Jaquet is the son of Jean Jacques (Juan Santiago) Jacquet, the youngest of the four sons of Jacques François Jacquet from Lorient France.
FRENCH SPANISH ENGLISH
Charles Carlos Charles Translations
François Francisco Francis of common
Henri Enrique Henry proper names in
Jacques Santiago James, Jim French/Spanish
Jean Juan John Louisiana
Pierre Pedro Peter
If this is the same François Jacquet/Francisco Jaquet that may have came to St. Martin parish, then what about his life in New Orleans before he came to the St. Martinville area. From the records we can see that he had at least two children. With the death of Carlos Jaquet on 17 January 1847, the death certificate tells us that his parents were “François Jaquet” and “Franchionette Carrel”, the same couple who married in 1796:
“...in and for the Parish and city of New Orleans personally appeared Mr. Gustave Jaquet a native of this city, merchant residing on St. Peter street between Chartries and Royal streets, in the first municipal by ?okis? by these presents, declares that Carlos Jaquet born in this city aged forty five years, legitimate son of Mr. François Jaquet and of Ms. Franchionette Carrel, died in this city on the seventeenth of January of this present year (17th January 1847). Deceased was a widower.” (*174*)
The document was witnessed and signed by Gustave Jaquet. Carlos Jaquet, born circa 1801, had married Josephine Gaspard and what appears to have been the couple’s first child was a girl named Armantine Jacquet born on 8 Oct 1832 in New Orleans Parish. The records do not show any more children being born and with the title of widower by 1847, it is possible that Josephine died in childbirth. The fact that it is Gustave Jaquet who is the key informer for the death certificate information may indicate that he was the son of François Jacquet/Jaquet. The record books of New Orleans births show that Gustave Ursin Jaquet and Marie Corinne Verloin Degruy gave birth to Joseph Alcee Jaquet born on 7 October 1845, and Louis Stephen Jaquet born on 26 August 1847. Both sons are “white male” according to their birth records. The census of New Orleans taken in 1830 shows one Carlos Jacquet aged between 30 and 40 living between Esplanade street and Marigny street. Living with him were two female children aged: one is under 5 and the other is between 15 – 20 years old. His wife is aged between 40 – 50. Living in the same area between Esplanade and Marigny streets were Fcis Jacquet and G? Ursin Jacquet who live next to or in the same building. Fcis is most like the abbreviated form of the common name “François/Francisco/Francis” with an age given as between 50 – 60. Two females live with him aged between 15 – 20 and his wife is aged between 50 – 60. The G? Ursin has to be Gustave Ursin Jacquet with age given as between 30 – 40. A boy under 5 and a female under 5 along with his wife aged between 20 – 30 years of age live with him. Carlos and Gustave Ursin are most likely the two sons of François Jacquet who appears to be still living at the time of the census in 1830. If this is truly the François Jacquet, son of Santiago Jacquet then he is most likely the grandson of the original Jacquet immigrant Jean Jacques Jacquet (Juan Santiago Jacquet) and this cannot be the same François Hyacinthe Jacquet of St. Martin Parish. Jean Jacques lived on Royal Street according to a 1732 census of New Orleans. It turns out that Royal street runs between both Esplanade and Marigny streets and thus we can almost positively conclude that these are the descendants of Jean Jacques Jacquet who arrived in New Orleans on the ship named the “Mutine” from Lorient, France on 14 November 1720 with his wife Jeanne, sons Etienne, André, Jean Guillaume and Jean Jacques Jacquet (fils). By the 1732 census, only two of the children are shown living with Jean Jacques. The area between “Esplanade and Marigny” on Royal street is about 3 – 4 blocks north of the Mississippi River and about 1 – 3 blocks east of the Eastern border of the “Vieux Carré” or “Old Square” known today as the “French Quarter”. There may be more children that are descended from François Jacquet, born circa 1775 as there are many more Jacquets born between 1834 and 1884.
Rosine, the mother of Jean Baptiste Jacquet, had more children later on. She may have ended up moving to and living in New Orleans as a free person of color. When her original slave owner Jean Baptiste Berard, Sr. gave his last will and testament on 11 July 1817, he bequeathed 1/5th of his property to his wife “…in the form of a slave: Rosine, and her four children…” (*23*). From earlier slave inventory records we believe that three of the children were named Josephine, Angelique and Louise (or Louis). Later slave inventory records say she had additional children named Rose, Victoire baptized in 1821, and Augustin baptized in 1824. A New Orleans death record shows a colored female named Eulalie Rosine Jacquet who died on 11 May 1833 at the age of 39. Did Rosine gain her freedom from the Berard family and move to New Orleans?
Eulalie Rosine Jacquet’s estate was not appraised and inventoried until well after her death. It was the petition of Rosine’s son-in-law Clement Camp f.m.o.c. (free man of color) on 26 Jan 1851 when the estate was finally settled.
“…the petition of Clement Camp f.m.o.c. that Eulalie Rosine Jacquet…mother of your petitioner’s wife, died in New Orleans on 11 May 1833. That the only heirs are her three natural children named Joseph Telisphone Varion, Marie Louise Selasie Varion the wife of your petitioner and Elida Varim all of age and residing in this city…Clement Camp residing at No207 Maine St…declares that his mother-in-law Eulalie Rosine Jacquet a f.w.o.c. age 39 years, a native of this city died in this city on 11 May 1833…the opposition of François Varim…the said Eulalie Rosine Jacquet died leaving five children, 2 died, all are the natural children of himself and of the late Eulalie Rosine Jacquet f.w.o.c….who has left no other children natural or legitimate who are now living…Antoine Jacquet…is the brother of the late Eulalie Rosine Jacquet…François Barim is the natural father of the said Jean Telisphone Barum, f.m.c.; Marie Louise Selisie Barin wife of Isaac Clement Camp f.m.c. and Elida Barim, f.w.c. be recognized as heirs, each for 1/3rd…
1. A lot of ground on Frenchmen Street between Love and Crape Streets;
2. Jules a mulatto boy aged now about 16 years;
3. Bolivar, a mulatto boy aged now about 14 years…further ordered that the opposition of François Barin to the account presented by Clement Camp administrator of succession be dismissed, ordered this 24 March 1851 (*231*).
Further research will have to be made to determine if this woman named Rosine is the mother of Jean Baptiste Jacquet who came from the Berard plantation and also if the man named François Jacquet fits the description of F. Hyacinthe Jacquet, born circa 1754 in the city of what looks like BR_?_ on the death document but may turn out to be two other different letters which would most likely be the city of Verdun, France. There are plenty of records to look at for the city of Verdun, France. To begin with, there are three cities in France with the name Verdun: VERDUN-sur-Garonne; VERDUN-sur-le-Doubs and VERDUN-sur-Meuse (Verdun on the Garonne river, Verdun on the Doubs river and Verdun on the Meuse river). By far, Verdun-sur-Meuse is the largest of the three and one of France’s major cities and is well known by the name “Verdun”. The other two cities with the name Verdun, are quite small and can almost without a doubt be excluded as the “Verdun” from whence the documents are talking about. Verdun sur Meuse is located in the northeast part of France, near Luxemberg and Germany. The city is so large that there are at least eleven major Cathlolic diosese that baptismal, marriage and death records can be researched (*244*):
Saint Amand Parish
Saint André Parish
Saint Jean Parish
Saint Jean Baptiste Parish
Saint Médard Parish
Saint Nicholas Parish
Saint Oury Parish
Saint Pierre-L’angelé Parish
Saint Pierre le Chéry Parish
Saint Sauveur Parish
Saint Victor Parish
A search through the records, although not nearly exhaustive, found a few surnames with the names Jacquet, Hacquet, Jacquot and Jacques. If we are looking for a spelling exclusively of “François Jacquet” within the time frame sometime around 1754, we find the following:
François Jacquet, born 14 February 1747, St. Pierre L’angelé Parish, Verdun, France.
François Jacquet, born 19 September 1755, St. Pierre L’angelé Parish.
François Jacquet, born 17 April 1758, St. Pierre L’angelé Parish.
This particular St. Pierre L’Angelé Parish has more Jacquet names to search because we find a marriage certificate at Saint Victor Parish from 19 Jan 1745, which says:
“…Pierre Manget fils de defunt Nicolas Manget et de defunte Lucie Jacquet de la Parroisse de St. Pierre L’Angelés, …mariage Elizabeth Champion…”
Pierre Manget’s mother was the deceased Lucie Jacquet and the spelling in the document is exact. We also get a reference about a Jean Jacquet from the same Parish who came to either witness or act as Godfather during a baptism of two twin children at St. Victor Parish Church on 24 Oct 1760:
“…baptisé de Marie Oury fille de Pierre Oury et Jeanne Georges…à L’eglise, en presence de Jean Jacquet le (parrain? or passant?) de la Paroisse de St. Pierre le Chery et de Marie Oury la (Marrain? or Masane?) soeur de Cónfant…et de Jean Baptiste Oury L’enfant a été nomme Jean Baptiste par Jean Oury le Parrein oncle de L’enfant et pas Nicole Gastand la (Marraine? or Maiseine?) femme de Jean Jacquet la (couleur?) de la Paroisse St. Pierre La Chery…”
The French writing in this document was difficult to read. My limited knowledge of French was not good enough to translate the questionable words into their proper context while at the library viewing the tapes without a French dictionary. The document sounds like Jean Jacquet is playing the role of Godfather for at least one of the children. He has traveled from the Parish of St. Pierre and plays some kind of role as a go-between or mediator between the two church Parishes. Nicole Gastand is somehow closely associated to Jean Jacquet as “the woman” (la femme) of Jean Jacquet who helped name one of the children. The word couleur means “color” but it could be “couler” which means to run. Was Jean Jacquet a “homme de couleur”, a man of color?
Since there were at least three François Jacquets born in St. Pierre L’Angele Parish with the exact spelling of Jacquet during the eleven-year period from 1747 - 1758, we can assume there are many more Jacquet families there. We find a few names in some of the other parishes that come close but the spellings are slightly different.
Jean François Jacquot (Jean Jacques McCharpenties Jacquot & Jeanne Marie Remy) was baptized on 4 Dec 1753 in St. Medard Parish.
François Hacquet was one of many of the “noms des Confirmeés de L’anné 1754…” at the Saint Victor Church on 22 Dec 1754.
We find references to quite a few more Jacquot families in St. Sauveur Parish and a few Jacquet families as well. We find Jean Jaquet who is married to Lucie Bonnet. We see that Nicolas Jacquet and his wife Catherine Diard had their one-day-old son buried by the church on 3 March 1742. Nicolas Jacquet and Catherine later had a son named Jean Nicolas Jacquet that was baptized on 26 Feb 1743. The same couple had children in another parish in the city of Verdun, France: Pierre Jacques is the way the surname is spelled when his parents Nicolas Jacques and Catherine Diard had him baptized at St. Pierre L’Angelé parish on 5 Sep 1752. The name goes back to the spelling of “Jacquet” when their daughter Jeanne Catherine Jacquet is baptized at the same church on 12 June 1754, and finally, another daughter named Elizabeth Jacquet is baptized there on 16 Feb 1756. Nicolas signed the baptismal certificate as “Nicolas Jacquet.” This shows that future researchers should investigate all the names “Jacques”, “Jacquot”, and “Jacquet”. By the year 1760 Nicolas Jacquet is dead, for we read “…le cure baptisé…la fille posthumes de défunt Nicolas Jacquet et de Catherine Diard…Louis Jacquet, le parrain, frere a l’enfant et la marraine Marie Anne Diard, tante…a nom Marie Rose...” Nicolas and Catherine’s daughter was baptized on 28 Aug 1760 after Nicolas Jacquet had died (*244*). It appears that Nicolas’ brother Louis Jacquet played the roll of Godfather, and Catherine’s sister Marie Anne Diard played the roll of Godmother to Marie Rose Jacquet.
François Hyacinthe Jacquet died too early in his life to leave us with more clues in the search for finding out his ancestry. The Church recorder/curator that damaged the death document in the location revealing Hyacinthe’s origin made it more challenging for family historians to find it. Just who are the parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents of François Hyacinthe Jacquet? Perhaps a future family researcher who writes volume 3 will answer that question!
4 Angèle Jacquet
(4th Child and 1st begotten Daughter of Jean Baptiste Jacquet & Celeste)
In the first volume, we placed Angéle as being the sixth born child to Jean Baptiste Jacquet. The birthdate however, was always uncertain. We have three birth dates for Angela Jacquet:
1. The slave inventory of Marguerite (Decoux) Berard (*2*) of August 6, 1849 which states that Angela was 15 years old at the time which would place her birth year at circa 1834, younger than older brother Onezime but older than younger brother Jolivet. The 1849 slave inventory lists the children in order of their age and she was listed between her two brothers and this appears to be a reliable source of information.
2. The 1867 marriage document (*1*) between her mother and father legitimizing Angèle as their daughter says “Angèle Jean Baptiste Jacquet of twenty six years old…” which puts her birth year at 1841.
3. We have the marriage certificate (*170*) between Angèle and Jean Pierre Maneaux of 15 October 1874 that states that she was 32 years of age, which would place her birth year at 1842. Hebert’s Southwest Louisiana records have her listed under the name “Jacquot.”
The marriage certificates appear to be the least reliable because we have verified more reliable ages of the children that are different than what was stated on the marriage document. Also, due to the fact that if Angéle was born circa 1842 she would have been seven years old at the time of the 1849 slave inventory. In that case she would have been kept under her mother’s care and would have been inventoried with her mother Celeste and sold and transferred with her as “mother and child” according to Louisiana slave laws which did not happen. “…Céleste, negresse de 42 ans et les 4 enfants, Edouard de 7, Zoé de 5, Charles de 9 et Pierre de 18 mois…” Charles was nine and Edouard was seven years old so Angéle would have been included if she was in fact close to the ages of the two. From the August 1849 succession of Marguerite Decoux and paraphrasing from the French language it was written in:
“...(Their son) Belisaire was 18 years old, (their daughter) Angela was 15, (their son) Jolivet was 11, ...and Celeste was with four other young children: Charles who was 9, Edouard who was 7, Zoe who was 5 and Pierre was 15 months old...” (*2*)
With this re-evaluation of the evidence, we are re-positioning Angéle Jacquet as being born before both her brothers Jolivet and Charles and making her the 4th child born to Jean Baptiste Jacquet instead of the 6th as had been written of in volume one.
The distribution and sale of the estate of Marguerite Decoux Berard after her death in 1849, meant the break-up of Jean Baptiste Jacquet’s family. Angela went to Euranie Berard, Jolivet was sold to Nicolas Cormier, Belizaire went to Balthazaro Berard, Celeste and her four children Edouard, Zoe, Charles and baby Pierre were sold to Charles St. Maurice Olivier, the husband of Aminthe Berard. Pierre’s father Jean Baptiste Jacquet went into the possession of Rosemond Berard (*2*).
Dispite the question of Angela’s birth year, it is with almost certainty that she was the oldest daughter. Since the marriage document of her mother and father lists the children in the following order: Bélisaire; Jolivet; Pierre; Angele; Marie Zoé; Marie Josephine; Marie Rose (*1*); we have to conclude that the order was chosen not for the order of birth, but to separate all of the boys in their order of birth, and then the girls were listed in order of their birth. Unless the Angele listed on the slave inventory is another Angele on the Berard/Decoux plantation, the conclusion is that Angela was born ca. 1834 and not ca. 1841-42 and was really about 40 years of age instead of 32 when she married Jean Pierre Manneaux on 15 October 1874. Jean Pierre was the widower of Mary Miller, his first wife. Angela was the widow of Charles Prescott her first husband. From the St. Martinville courthouse, we have the marriage license that said:
Église paroissiale de St. Martin
“Le quinze Octobre mil huit cent soisante quatorze, après une publication faìte dessous l’eglise de cette paroisse sans opposition ni empiétement connu, vû la dispense des ?deron? derniere bans, vû aussi la licence délivirée en cour à la dâte du six courant, nous prêtre soussigné avons célébré la mariage de Jean Pierre Manneaux veuf de Mary Miller fils majeur de feu François Manneaux et Rosette né et domicilie en cette paroisse d’une part, et d’Angèle Jacquet veuve de feu Chas Prescott fille de feu Jn Baptiste Jacquet et de Céleste née et domicilieé en cette paroisse d’autre part.
Ont assisté commenter avec à le mariage Bélisaire Jacquet, Alexandre Jacquet, et Marcellin François qui n?os sac?hirst? signer out? Fait leurs croix avec les Épouse.” (*170*)
The document clearly states that Angèle’s husband before this marriage named Charles Prescott is dead. Jean Pierre’s former wife Mary Miller is also deceased. All six persons present – Angèle Jacquet, Jean Pierre Manneaux, Bélisaire Jacquet, Alexandre (Jolivet) Jacquet, Marcellin François and the Reverend A. M. Jan signed the document. The marriage party members made their “cross-mark” while Reverend Jan signed his name.
As far as the records show, Angela and Jean Pierre had one child named Marie Clementine Manneaux born in February 1876 and baptized on 23 April 1876. Clementine married Berthenance François on 8 November 1898 in St. Martinville. Berthenance was the son of Marcellin François (Sr.) and Adele Ambroise. (sm.ch.v12,p56). The first two children born to Clementine and Berthenance were:
1. Catherine Manilla François born on 6 April 1899
2. Laurence Phocas François born on 5 March 1901.
Berthenance’s parents Marcellin François and Adele Ambroise were married on 25 July 1868 in St. Martinville (sm.ch.v10,p85). Marcellin was a freed slave and the son of Louis François and Celine. Adele was the daughter of Alexandre Ambroise and Lucie Abram. There is a Louis François in the record books that married “Melite” on 7 September 1858 at the Opeloussas church, so “Melite” and “Celite” may be the same person. Louis was a slave of Mr. François Jean and Melite was a slave of Mr. Clement Holier.
As far as the records show, Louis François and Celine had at least two children:
1. Marcellin François Sr. affranchi, married Adele Ambroise on 25 July 1868. Marcellin and Adele had at least three children:
A. Marcellin François Jr. He married Rosalina Gerard on 17 April 1900 in St. Martinville. St. Martin courthouse marriage record #7674 says they received their marriage license on 31 March 1900. Rosalina was the daughter of Georges Gerard and Rosalie Sam. Marcellin Jr and Rosalina’s first-born child was Marie Mertrice François born on 24 February 1901 in St. Martinville.
B. Berthenance François. He married Marie Clementine Maneaux on 8 November 1898. The first two children born to Clementine Maneaux and Berthenance were:
i. Catherine Manilla François born on 6 April 1899 in St. Martinville.
ii. Laurence Phocas François born on 5 March 1901 in St. Martinville.
C. Celina François. She married Sebastian Phillips on 5 November 1900 in St. Martinville.
2. Azelie François was a second child of Louis François and Celine. Azelie married Valsin Pierre Fontenot on 6 December 1869 in St. Martinville.
Adele Ambroise’s parents Alexandre Ambroise and Lucie Abram had at least five children as far as the records show:
1. Adele Ambroise. She married Marcellin François on 25 July 1868. Marcellin and Adele had at least three children (see above).
2. Felicie Ambroise. She married Honnore Ledai on 30 March 1869 in St. Martinville.
3. Celestine Ambroise. She married Narcisse Louis on 14 August 1869 in St. Martinville.
4. Alexandre Ambroise. He married Zoe François on 29 November 1869 in St. Martinville. Both of Alexandre’s parents had died by the time of the marriage. Zoe was the daughter of Alexandre François and Mirthee Alexandre.
5. Alexis Ambroise. He married Arthemis Symphane on 30 February 1870. Arthemis was the widow of W. Sam. There is a high probability of an error in the record books with these two names, which may in fact be reversed. Octavia Jacquet was the second child born to Oscar Jacquet and Louise Etienne born in 1873. Octavia married Joseph Regis on 12 April 1899 in St. Martinville. According to the records of both Joseph and another Regis sister named Louise, It says that Joseph and Louise were the children of Alexis Symphore Regis and Arthemise Ambroise.
Jolivet Scroll Chart
5 Jean Baptiste Jolivet Alexandre Jacquet
(5th begotten Child of Jean Baptiste Jacquet & Celeste Augustine)
The children of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis
In Volume one we discussed the lives of the first four children born to Jolivet Jacquet. He fathered two sons with Maristeen Bourque during the early 1860’s – Jean Baptiste “Fils” Jacquet and Alexandre “Alakeson” Jacquet. Rosita Bazille Jacquet and Oscar Jacquet were the first two of 14 children born between Jolivet Jacquet and his wife Rosa Jean Louis during the late 1860’s. There is also the high probability that Jolivet fathered two more sons in between his romances with Maristeen and Rosa with a woman named Victorine Angelique Narcisse. The father of Victorine’s two sons named Albert Jacquet and Jules Jacquet was “Jean Baptiste Jacquet” according to their marriage and death documents. Since both Jolivet and his father went by the same name, it not absolutely certain who is the father. The weighing of the evidence tips toward the elder Jacquet being the father at 57 years old but the younger 28-year-old Jolivet seems more logical when other facts are looked at.
Jean Baptiste Jolivet Alexandre Jacquet was born ca. 1836 according to the best estimates of census records and other documents. Rosa Jean-Louis became the wife of Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet. The two married in 1867 in St. Martinville and had already begat one child between the two of them. Rosa may have possibly bore at least one child before her marriage to Jolivet, and Jolivet had at least two and quite possibly four more sons from two different women before his marriage with Rosa. The marriage document at the St. Martin courthouse between Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis on 16 March 1867, says that Rosa’s parents were Jean Louis and Roseline. (*59*) Her parents had been slaves under the ownership of the Cormier family for on the marriage certificate it states (in French), that “Rosa Jean Louis affranchie de veuve Nicolas Cormier (Jean Louis & Roseline) m. 16 Mar 1867, Alexandre Jean Baptiste, affranchi de veuve Nicolas Cormier...” which in English translates to mean that they were both freed by the widow Mrs. Nicolas Cormier (Emily Ledoux). Jolivet Jacquet had been purchased by Nicolas Cormier from the Berard family in 1851 during the estate sale of Jean Baptiste Berard’s deceased wife Marguerite Decoux.(*2*) Rosa may have come into the Cormier possession from elsewhere. The possibility that Rosa Jean-Louis is a descendant of the Jean-Louis of the Congo, who was bought over to the American continent from Africa as a slave, will have to be further examined.
Jean-Louis of the Congo was one of, if not the first slave to go by the name of Jean-Louis. He was bought over to the American continent in the late 1760’s or early 1770’s and sold to the Simon Broussard plantation. He was probably born sometime during the early to mid 1750’s, because records show that his first child was a daughter named Marie Jean-Louis born circa 1775. Jean Louis of the Congo had at least three children: Jean Jean-Louis, born circa 1783; Genevieve Jean-Louis, born circa 1786; and Marie Louise Jean-Louis. Jean Louis became a “free person of color” (FPC) sometime about the turn of the century. It was shortly after this time that he began to purchase members of his family and free them from slavery. In March of 1805, he paid $500 for the purchase and emancipation of a slave Marguerite who was most likely the mother of at least two of his daughters (*64*). In December of 1807, Jean Louis purchased from Amand Broussard, for the ownership and emancipation of a slave who was his 21-year-old daughter Genevieve, native of Attakapas Parish, for the price of $500 (*65*). In October of 1810, Jean Louis purchased from Jean Berard, for the ownership and emancipation of a slave who was his 35 year old daughter Marie, for the price of $600. He had to mortgage his farm at Côte Gelée (*66*). This Jean Berard is the same who was in the possession of the slave Rosine, the mother of Jean Baptiste Jacquet and the first matriarch of the Black Jacquets. Jean Louis of the Congo was probably not able to purchase and free his son Jean Louis (Fils), (or perhaps Jean Louis Jean-Louis may have been his entire name), and he remained in the possession of the Broussard family until Anne Thibodeaux, the widow of Edouard Armand Broussard, granted him his emancipation in 1845 at the age of 62. Although records do not clearly indicate that Jean Louis (FPC) bought his son Jean Louis Jr. out of slavery, there is evidence to indicate that the possibility did exist. The problem with historical records such as the one we are searching for is that more than one person in the same area possessed the same name and sometimes it is difficult to determine which one is the correct person you are researching. Nevertheless, conveyance records at the courthouse in Attakapas Parish (later St. Martin Parish), show the following: On 1 April, 1811, “...Catherine Wisse, widow of Armand Ducrest, declared she had freed her slave Jean-Louis (FPC)...” (*67*); on 27 Nov 1815, “...Jean Louis (FPC) sold to Thomas Béraud a slave named Jean (16 years old) he purchased from Henry Pintard in December 1809...” (*68*); but this transaction appeared to be more of a “six month loan” because on 20 July 1816, “...Thomas Béraud sold to Jean Louis (FPC) a slave named Jean (16-17 years old), the same slave Jean Louis sold to him in November of 1815...” (*69*); on 30 Nov 1816, “...Jean Louis (FPC) sold to Ignace Viator a slave named Jean (17 years old) for $720...” (*70*); and finally, on 30 July 1817, “...Jean Louis (FPC), sold to Joseph Landry a tract of land at Côte Gelée, 6x40 arpents for $600...” (*71*). Only the last entry could definitely be considered to be the Jean Louis (FPC) of the Congo, the first person of color in Louisiana named Jean Louis, since he owned property in Côte Gelée, an area west of Bayou Tortue and north of New Iberia. The other entries do not make it clear if either of the two are Jean Louis of the Congo or his son Jean Louis Jr.
It was not all uncommon for people of color to own slaves in pre Civil War Louisiana or other southern states. Slavery in Louisiana however, was unique. It arrived nearly a century later than on the East Coast and it did not fair so well in the beginning. Between 1719 and 1731, the French who colonized Louisiana imported 6,000 Africans. Slaves soon composed more than 60 percent of the population in which the French could not control. Hundreds fled into the wilderness followed by periodic raids of French settlements and a great rebellion in 1729 in Natchez where escaped slaves and Native American Indians left more than 200 settlers dead. The French would cease to import slaves for 30 years. To stabilize things it was necessary to modify existing law regarding slaves. Louisiana’s “Code Noir” came into being. This “Black Code” specified that slave families were to be kept together when possible and all slaves were to be instructed in the Catholic Church. Slave Children younger than 14 were not to be separated from their parents. Slaves can have no right to any kind of property. A slave master who fathered children with his slave was to lose both slave and child, a rule often ignored, as were many other codes. Many Blacks were set free by their White slave-owners and became known as “gens de couleur libre” or “free people of color”. They in turn would also buy and sell slaves. The minutes of a 26 August 1846 Citizens board meeting, show directors considered a request from Marie Rosette, a free woman of color. Marie Rosette wanted to trade a slave of hers for her son, who was owned by a plantation that had been seized by the Citizens Bank of Louisiana in a foreclosure. The board approved the swap (*265*). One such notable freed Louisiana slave was Marie Therese Coincoin. Born in 1742 into the household of French founder/governor of Natchitoches Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, she was the second daughter of African slaves on the Louisiana frontier. At the age of 25 she caught the eye of Frenchman Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer and he arranged with her owner to live with her for 19 years in defiance of both church and politics. She fathered ten children with him. In addition, she bore four children in her younger days. Metoyer ultimately set her free with 68 acres of land. Gradually she managed to buy all of her children out of slavery. She acquired more land and 16 slaves of her own. By the time she died around 1817 at the age of 75, she and her children had amassed nearly 12,000 acres of plantation land and at least 99 slaves (*191*).
Once free in a frontier area like Natchitoches, slave ownership was virtually the only proven path to economic security and advancement. Free Blacks who worked scores of slaves on their own plantations often bought, sold and employed them just like their White counterparts but in this case much of the slave ownership was not solely for economic reasons. Coincoin and her descendants apparently treated their slaves much as others in the area were treated but generally with less physical abuse and punishments. It took lots of time and money to free a slave even if it was a close relative. The 1830 census documented 3,600 “Negro slaveholders” but the deceptive figure does not show that the vast majority of those “Negro slave owners” were holding as slaves their spouses or relatives and were forbidden by various state laws from formally setting them free (*191*). Marie Coincoin’s eldest son Nicolas Augustin Metoyer, founded the Catholic Church of St. Augustin near Melrose, Louisiana which still stands. White people sat in the back. Coincoin’s descendants would become the wealthiest family of free Negroes in the United States. Coincoin’s descendants sent their sons to France to be educated.
There was more than one slave who went by the name “Jean-Louis”, and which one is the father of Rosa Jean-Louis has yet to be determined. The evidence is very strong however, that they all descended from the original Jean-Louis of the Congo. When Marguerite Decoux, the wife of Jean Berard died in 1849, it caused the break-up of the family of Jean Baptiste Jacquet’s family. His son Jolivet Jacquet came into the possession of Nicolas Cormier while Jean Baptiste Jacquet himself came into the possession of Rosemond Berard. Along with Jean Baptiste Jacquet was sold a 23-year-old slave by the name of Jean-Louis. Could this have been the father of Rosa Jean-Louis? His birth year circa 1826 would be about the correct age since Rosa was born circa 1847. Rosa Jean-Louis and Jolivet married in the year 1867, but Rosa was not the only Jean-Louis to marry that year for according to Hebert’s records of South-west Louisiana:
Celestine Jean Louis (Jean Louis & Amelie) m.31 Jan 1867 Pierre De, affranchi de Mr. Jean Baptiste Barrat (SM.ch.10#6).
Martin Jean-Louis, f.m.o.c., m.25Feb1867 Dina Latoussaint (Charenton ch.1,p.142)
Rosa Jean Louis (Jean Louis & Roseline), affranchie de veuve Nicolas Cormier m.16Mar1867 Alexandre Jean Baptiste, affranchi de veuve Nicolas Cormier. (SM.ch.10#17)
Jean Louis (Jean & Nancy), affranchi de veuve Alexandre Babin, m.20Jul1867, Eloise Etienne, affranchie de Desire Judice. (SM.ch.10#36)
Jean Louis of Vermillion Parish (Simon & Bethsy), affranchi de Charles Trahan, m.30Sep1867, Felonise, affranchie de Gabriel Fuselier. (SM.ch.10#53.)
Martin Jean Louis, f.m.o.c. m.25Feb1868, Marie D. Louis f.w.o.c. (Lafayette Ct.hse.Marr.#931)
* affranchi = set free, emancipated; veuve = widow; f.m.o.c = free man of color
In trying to trace the roots of Rosa Jean-Louis, we look back at the succession record #1423 at the St. Martin Courthouse of Mrs. Nicholas Cormier and find out that she had died on 20 November 1838. However, the succession was re-opened on 9 May 1854, and there we find an inventory of some of the slaves involved including the most likely parents of Rosa Jean-Louis:
51... “un mulatre nomme Philogene age d’environ vingt ans” - $1000 piastres;
(a mulato named Philogene age of about 20 years)
52...”un negro nomme Jean Louis age d’environ vingt huit ans” - $1000 piastres;
(a negro named Jean Louis age of about 28 years)
77...”Roseline negrissa age d’environ vingt deux ans avec er deux enfants Rosa et Hermogene” - $1650 piastres
(Roseline negro age of about 22 years with (her) two infants Rosa and Hermogene) (*188*)
However, a year and a half later on 29 October 1855, on the succession record #1481, at the St. Martin Courthouse of Nicholas Cormier Sr. we find that Roseline now has three children...
21...”une negresse nomme Roseline et ses trois enfants, Rosa environ huit ans, Hermogene, mulatre d’environ quatre ans, et Baptiste negre d’un an et Roseline est age vingt cinq ans - $1800 piastres.”
(a negro named Roseline and her three children, Rosa about 8 years old, Hermogene a mulatto of about 4 years old, and Baptiste a negro of one year and Roseline is age 25 years.) (*188*)
Although not listed here as a daughter of Roseline, a sister of Rosa Jean-Louis may have been Siciane Jean Louis. Siciane married Jack Boulet on 13 April 1883 in St. Martinville and Siciane’s parents are listed as Louis and Roseline. Jack’s parents are Daniel Boulet and Silie Gibson. The first succession document gives us the age of Jean-Louis, most likely the father of Rosa, as 28 years of age on the date of 9 May 1854, giving Jean Louis a birth year circa 1826. In Hébert’s Southwest Louisiana records of Blacks, there are five candidates relating to a baptism of a “Jean Louis” and who his mother was. All of those Jean Louis males were born baptized between the years 1826 and 1828 at the St. Martin Parish Church.
Jean Louis (Julie), bt. 1826, (SM.ch.; v.3S, #970)
Jean Louis (Caroline, esclave a Charles Comeau)
bt. 23April1826 at age 3 months. (Laf.ch.; v.2, p.40.
Jean Louis (Eugenie), bt. 1827, (SM.ch.; v.3S, #1008)
Jean Louis (Charlotte), bt. 1827, (SM.ch.; v.3S, #1009)
Jean Louis (Adele) bt. 1828 (SM.ch.; v.3S, #1042
The second succession document of 1855 gives us a better estimate of the age and birth years of the three children of Roseline. The document also puts Roseline’s age at 25 years. The earlier document from 18 months prior said that Roseline was 22 years of age. From these two succession/inventory documents, Roseline was born circa 1832 according to the first inventory and circa 1830 from the second inventory. Since there is very little documentary evidence of her true birth year other than these two, for now the average of the two years of 1831 will be taken as the birth year of Roseline, the mother of Rosa Jean-Louis. The birth years of the three children of Roseline can be estimated to be 1847 for Rosa (Jean-Louis); 1851 for Hermogene (Daniel), and 1854 for the younger Baptiste. The age and birth year for Rosa would match up with what was indicated on her marriage license. Rosa’s age being determined as a “minor” when she married Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet in March of 1867 which means she had not yet reached the age of 21. With Roseline listed as negro and two of her children listed as negro and mulatto and Rosa’s race not listed, it is almost with certainty that the children did not have the same father. Hermogene, is without a doubt the half brother of Rosa. The Philogene who was listed as 20 years of age in the 1854 inventory has to be her mother’s younger brother (by about 17 years) who came to be known to many families as “Samuel Philogene Daniel” aka S.P. Daniel.
The estimated ages and birth dates are important to us as we can get some sense of history here in looking for the genealogy of Rosa Jean-Louis. We know from more than one document that Jean-Louis was Rosa’s father and Roseline, later Roseline Antoine, was her mother. To find Roseline’s mother, we have to go back to the original succession record #875 of 20 November 1838 of Mrs. Nicholas Cormier. Searching the slave inventory of her estate, we find the apparent mother of Roseline...
“un negre nomme Sophia age vingt huit et quatre infants – Audopous six ans, Roseline, Lorince, Adeline et Hypolite.” - $1500 piastres.
(“A negro named Sophia age 28 and four children – Audopous six years, Roseline, Lorince, Adeline and Hypolite...”)
There is a note in the margin that one of the children is “free” but does not state which one is free. Since the record entry says “and with her four children” followed by five children listed, it appears that one of the children has been entrusted in her care. This is most likely the child that was “free” since the Louisiana “Code Noir” states that “if the mother is a slave, the child shall be born a slave”. Sophia could be the Godmother or has temporary custody of the child. The date is 1838, and unfortunately the document does not give the ages of any of the children except for Audopous stated as six years of age. It is difficult to assume the ages of the rest of the children. If we are to take the birth year of Roseline as 1831, she should be around 7 years of age at this time. Roseline’s mother Sophia is said to be 28 years of age, which would place her birth year circa 1810. We do find two matching names of a “Roseline” whose mother was “Sophie” in volume 33 of father Hébert’s Southwest Louisiana Records in the “Records of Blacks” but only one of them matches the approximate dates:
Roseline (Sophie) bt. 1838 (SM Ch.: v.3s, #1594)
If this is the family ancestors we are looking for, that would mean Roseline was baptized much later after her birth. Not so common but certainly not impossible. The baptismal took place at the St. Martin church so we are at least in the right parish. An examination of the original document, or at least a copy of what was translated and sent upon request reveals that we have found a match. The document states that Roseline was “eight years of age” at the time of the baptism (*196*). It also indicates that Sophie was “a Nicholas Cormier” which means she belonged to and was owned by Nicholas Cormier, the same person or family that came into the ownership of Roseline’s daughter Rosa Jean Louis. There can be little doubt about the maternal lineage from Sophie to Roseline to Rosa as being correct. Can we look back another generation to find Sophie’s mom? Looking at the Southwest Louisiana record books of father Hebert, the only “Sophies” that possibly match up with an 1810 birth were the following two:
Sophie (Celeste) bt. 1811 (SM.ch.v.3s, #427)
Sophie (Benedicte) bt. 1806 (SM.ch.v.3s, #214)
After a request from the St. Martin Church, the certificate of baptism for Sophie, daughter of Benedicte, tells us that Sophie was a “griffe libre”, which means that she was about 3/8ths colored and born free, and that her mother Benedicte was a Negro woman liberated by Jean Berard. Sophie was 3 years old at the time of the July 1806 baptism giving her a 1803 birth. All of these factors lead up to the conclusion that this particular Sophie, could not be the mother of Roseline. If we were to look at the other Sophie born to Celeste and take the birth year as 1810, that entry for a Sophie being baptized during the year 1811 would seem to be the correct one. Here we find that Celeste had two of her children baptized on the same day who according to the church record:
(English Translation) “The year 1811 the 11th day of August I have baptized Eloy 2 years of age. Natural son of Celeste, slave of David Babineau. Sponsors: Henry slave of David Babineau and Angelique slave of widow Paul Thibodeau. The same day I have baptized Sophie 5 years of age natural daughter of Celeste – Sponsors: Poupaire slave of Widow Paul Thibodeau, Colette slave of Michel Martin.” (*241*)
We find out that if this is the Sophie we are looking for, she was born under the ownership of David Babineau. To authenticate this as the mother of Roseline, a search must be made for a slave sale or slave transfer to the Nicholas Cormier estate.
If we are to continue searching the Southwest Louisiana records for a “Celeste”, we find:
Celeste (Maria) bt. 1790, (SM.ch.v.1s, #122)
Celeste (Hance), quarteronne esclave, esclave a Gadenigo, bt. May-Oct 1787 at age 1 year (opel.ch.v.1.p.2)
Celeste (Iris), bt. 1795 (SM.ch.v.1s, #186)
The Celeste born and/or baptized during the year 1790 seems to be the best choice. She would have been around the age of 20 when she gave birth to Sophie. The quateronne Celeste would also match up age-wise, but does not seem to be a good choice being that she was baptized in Opeloosas, whereas the other two Celeste were baptized in St. Martinville. Since slaves were bought and transferred to a different Parish, we cannot rule out this Celeste. The Celeste baptized in 1795 was probably born around the same time and would have been about 15 when and if she gave birth to Sophie. So far, the Celeste whose mother was Maria seems to be the most likely choice. Thus far, the list is slim of “Maria or Marie’s” in the record books that could be the mother of Celeste and we may have reached the impassable wall:
Marie Stephanie (Charlotte), bt. 1759, (Arnaudville Ch.v.1, p.23)
Most of the women with the name Maria were born too near to or after the date of 1790 to have been the Marie of Celeste baptized in 1790. A few others are listed, but no date is given but we have to include them because we are getting close to a person “who may have come off the ship!”:
Maria – A negro adult of the Meyendet nation. Baptized at age 28 years (SM.ch)
Maria Ana – Negro from the Chiambas nation – parents are unknown. Baptized at age 24 years (SM Ch.)
Mariana – adult slave of the Mandingo nation (SM Ch.: v.1)
and finally we have, perhaps a connection with the Celeste of Opeloosas, as well as a connection with the mother of Marie, is the death of:
Magdeleine, negresse esclave a Gradenigo, died 18 Dec 1787 at age 36. (Opel.ch.v.1, pg.4)
Looking back into the history of the Cormier family. Marie Ozéa Boudreaux was the wife of Nicholas Cormier Sr. and when she died in 1854, an inventory of her estate was taken on 30 May 1854 (*188*). We find that “Sophie” age 42, has three more “infants” with her: St. Ville, Juliette and Belizaire. On the 1855 succession of her son Nicholas Cormier Jr., the ages of the children are then respectively given as 9 ½, 8 and 3. If this is still the same Sophie, she would have been born ca 1811-1812 which means this is most likely the same Sophie but with three additional children. Her older daughter Roseline is 22 years old and with two children – Rosa (Jean-Louis) and Hermogine (Daniel). A more detailed look at the records backed up by additional references and documents to prove direct lineage between Sophie and any of these possible ancestors will have to be performed by future researchers. On future succession documents we find that both Sophie and Roseline have more children.
The Cormier family was in the possession of some of the Jacquet family before slavery ended. On the succession document of Nicholas Cormier Jr submitted by his wife Emelie Ledoux, on 24 October 1864, we see Jolivet (Jean Baptiste Alexandre Jacquet) age 25, and what was to become Jolivet’s wife Rosa (Jean-Louis) age 16. Rosa is with her mother Roseline, a Negro age 35. Roseline has three additional children with her: Adeline age 8, Theodule age 6 and St. Clair age one. Roseline’s mother Sophie is also present at age 54. Listed on the inventory of the estate are Sophie’s younger children – Sainville age 17, and Belisaire age 12. What is most likely Jolivet’s brother is a listing of “Charles” age 24. Charles, Jolivet, Sophie and her children, Roseline and her children along with Maurice age 8, Zenon age 16 and Jean Baptiste age 10 are under a special listing on the document which says (in an unsure and unclear translation):
“…Esclaves appartenant à la communauté partis avec les fédéraux, partis ici pour mémoire:” (Slaves belonging to the (French) community parted with the federalist, parted here as a reminder”) --- Jacob negre de 60 ans, Pierre negre de 52 ans, Charles de 24 ans, Sainville negre de 17 ans, Belisaire, negre âgé de 12 ans, Hermogène negre de 11 ans, Sophie négresse de 54 ans, Peggy mûlatresse de 48 ans, Roseline négresse âgée de 35 ans avec ses enfants, Adéline de 8 ans, Theodule de six ans, St. Clair d’un an, Betsy negresse âgée de 33 ans avec son enfant Leontine de 9 ans, Victoire négresse de 32 ans avec ses enfants Celismine de 8 ans et Célima de 6 ans. Juliette negresse de 17 ans, Rosa négresse de 16 ans, Clara 12 ans, Martial 10 ans, Maurice de 8 ans – Zénon de 6 ans, Ernestine de 2 ans – Jean Baptiste de 10 ans.” (*188*)
The slave listing was again listed on another (duplicate?) succession at the St. Martin courthouse just a week later on 29 October 1864. The handwriting is difficult to read so this may not be an exact translation but is the document speaking of slaves who were taken off by the Federal Union troops? Were they rescued by the Union troops and sent elsewhere? Here we again see the matriarchal side of the Jacquet family. They are listed by the only name they had but they would soon take on surnames. Rosa (Jean-Louis) is here at 16 years old. She would marry Jean Baptiste Jolivet Alexandre Jacquet in 1867. Rosa’s mother Roseline (Antoine and Daniel) is with this party with her children Hermogene (Daniel) and Theodule (Daniel) and other children of hers. Roseline’s mother Sophie is also present. According to the succession document of Nicholas Cormier, it was September of 1864 when his slaves were taken by the Federal Union troops (*188*). Slave owner Nicolas Cormier most likely died as a war casualty and the Civil War was nearing its end. All slaves would soon be free. Earlier that same month of September in 1864, General William Sherman captured Atlanta. After victoriously marching through Georgia and North Carolina, he receved the surrender of J. E. Johnson on 26 April 1865 and bought the war to its conclusion. Ex-slaves now with deep concern but with composed enthusiasm, looked far and wide to decide on which surname they would choose. Rosa chose the name of her father Jean Louis and became Rosa Jean-Louis, Jolivet’s family chose the surname of their father Jean Baptiste at first but after he chose the surname of his French father François Hyacinthe Jacquet, they changed it to Jacquet as well. Rosa’s mother Roseline chose Antoine and her children chose Daniel and some also chose Antoine, probably the name of each of their fathers.
Since Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis were both owned by the Cormier family, they obviously met during their time at the Cormier plantation. Jolivet however would have one and possibly two major romances before his marriage to Rosa Jean-Louis. He would first have a relationship with Maristeen Bourque in the early 1860’s and have two sons; Jean Baptiste “Fils” Jacquet, born circa 1861, and Alexandre “Aléxson” Jacquet born circa 1863. In between his relationship with Maristeen Bourque and his marriage to Rosa Jean-Louis in 1867, was the tumultuous Civil War, and it must have caused more than one up heaval in the lives of many families. As we have seen on the Cormier succession document, Federal Union soldiers took Jolivet, Rosa, and other family members away before September 1864. But where did they go? It was during this interlude that Jolivet Jacquet most likely had a relationship with a woman by the name of Victorine Narcisse. Living in the St. Martinville area during the latter half of the 19th century was Albert Jacquet. According to the marriage certificate of Albert, he married Arsene Lasseigne on December 9, 1890. On the certificate his father is named as Jean Baptiste Jacquet and his mother was Victorine Narcisse (*61*). As has been discussed in volume one, we are not absolutely sure if it was in fact Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet who fathered this child, or his father Jean Baptiste Jacquet who was in fact the father. Nevertheless, the two ages of the father and son Jacquets gives us the probability that the most logical occurrence is that Jolivet was the father because Albert Jacquet was born circa 1865-1866, and Jolivet would have been about 29 or 30 years of age when he fathered this child. If we say that Jolivet’s father Jean Baptiste fathered this child, then he would have been about 57 or 58 years of age when he fathered the child, not improbable just unusual. The fact that there is no indication that the groom’s father is “deceased” on the marriage certificate of Albert Jacquet and Arsene Lasseigne, a normal notation when a parent has already died, leads more credence to the fact that it was Jean Baptiste “Jolivet” Jacquet and not his father Jean Baptiste Jacquet who sired Albert, since Jolivet’s father had died in January of 1870 and Jolivet was still alive at the time of the marriage in 1890.
On the 1880 census taken on the 12th day of June, we find that Victorine Narcisse lives near her son Aristide Landry and his wife Alice Jacquet. The census shows her living there with her two sons Albert, 14 years old, Jules, 13 years old, and her daughter Eloise, 12 years old. If this is indeed the “Albert Jacquet” that married in 1890, and thus far there is no evidence to prove otherwise, then Albert would have been born around the year 1865-1866, his brother Jules born about the year 1866-1867, and his sister Eloise born about the year 1867-1868. There is the very strong possibility that Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet was the father of both of the two sons, which leads to the speculation that he may have been the father of all three children. We find that the records show that there was a Jules Jacquet who married Marie Lasseigne and then died on 16 March 1888 at the age of 23. This Jules Jacquet would have been born about the year 1864 - 1865 which indicates that this must be the same Jules that lived with his mother Victorine Narcisse and his brother Albert Jacquet, the son of Jean Baptiste Jacquet. If Jolivet Jacquet is indeed the father of these three children, then the total of his offspring would be 19; two children with Maristeen Bourque, 3 children with Victorine Narcisse and 14 children with Rosa Jean-Louis.
Rosa Jean Louis may have also bore at least one child before bearing children with Jolivet. Whatever the past was for the two, it seems that it was quickly forgotten as both Jolivet and Rosa agreed to marry each other. Thus it was on the 12th of March 1867, that Rosa and Jolivet went to the St. Martin Parish courthouse to file for a marriage license. (*59*) On the marriage license document they recognized and claimed legitimate their daughter Rosita. Rosa is said to be the “minor daughter” of the deceased Jean Louis and Roseline. This means Rosa could not have been over 20 years of age yet and would place her birth around the year 1846-1847. Rosa and Jolivet were married at the St. Martin de Tours Church in St. Martinville four days later on March 16, 1867, by the Reverend A. M. Jan (*60*). Thirteen other children would follow Rosita between the years 1867 and 1889. Rosita Bazille and Oscar Jacquet were their first two children and were discussed in the first volume. Jean Louis Jacquet was their third child and we continue discussing their children in volume 2.
Scroll of Jolivet’s section
JEAN LOUIS JACQUET
(3rd begotton child of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis)
Jean Louis Jacquet was born in the year 1868 and was the third child born to Rosa Jean-Louis and Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet. Jean Louis married Rachel Brown on 17 March 1892 (SM.ch.v.11,p.220), and the two had at least four children: Louis Murphy Jacquet born on 16 Feb1893; Philomene Ephy (or Effe) Jacquet born on 13 Mar 1894; Marie Edwige (or Elphege) Jacquet born on 14 Aug1896; and John Rufus Jacquet born on 30 Jan1898. There was a very unfortunate catastrophic family accident, which caused the early deaths of the first three children born. Louis Murphy, Philomene Ephy and Marie Edwige all died on the date of the 17th of November 1897. There was a fire at the home of Jean Louis Jacquet and the three children were burned to death. A newspaper article entitled “THREE CHILDREN BURNED”, from the St. Martinville “Weekly Messenger”, published every Saturday, gives an account of what happened that day:
“Tuesday evening a most horrible accident occurred in this parish near Cade Station, when three colored children were burned to death while their parents were in the field nearby picking cotton. The children were those of a young colored man named Jean Louis Jacquet, and were aged 7 and 5 years and one 23 months. There was no fire in the house, and it is presumed that the children while playing with some matches, set fire to the house, and when they saw the building on fire instead of running into the yard they hid themselves under the bed where they were burned to a crisp holding themselves in one another’s arms.
When the fire was discovered the small building was wrapped in a mass of flames and all help to save the children who were yet alive was impossible. The children in their horrible agony understood that their father and others were trying to rescue them, and the oldest one appealed to his father to relieve them of their horrible condition, but all human efforts were in vain against the devouring element, and in a short time the work was done, the cabin was burned to the ground and the charred remains of three unfortunate children were picked up and could only be recognized by their size.” (*144*)
For some reason, the date of births of the three children listed on the death document are given as much as two years earlier as those given on the birth/baptismal documents. (SM.ch.v.6,p.70). The age and birth-year discrepancy is also shown by the ages given to the children in the news article. According to the news article of 1897, Louis Murphy was said to be seven, Philomene was said to be five years of age, and the youngest child Marie was said to be 23 months old placing here birth year circa October 1895. The Death certificates say that “Murphy Jacquet” died at age 6 years, 8 months which would put his birth circa March 1891. “Ephy Jacquet” died at the age of 5 years putting his birth circa November 1892, and “Elphege Jacquet” died at the age of 1 year 6 months putting her birth circa May 1896. However, these ages do not match up with the baptismal certificates of the three children that say that Louis Murphy Jacquet was born on 16 Feb1893; Philomene Ephy (or Effe) Jacquet was born on 13 Mar 1894; and Marie Edwige (or Elphege) Jacquet was born on 14 Aug1896. The age differences could be that all three children were in fact born much earlier than the birth dates indicated on their baptismal certificates or due to simple error on the part of the parents who did not remember the children’s exact ages, especially in the light of the stress they must have been under at the time.
When Jean Louis Jacquet’s father Jolivet Jacquet died in 1899, Jean Louis inherited along with his 12 other surviving brothers and sisters, a portion of his father’s estate. Jean Louis was allotted 9 & 41/100 arpents (8 acres) of a tract of land in St. Martin Parish listed as property #2 on his fathers estate inventory. The value of the Real Estate had a cash value of $248.05 at the time of the Real Estate distribution in 1904. (see volume one, pages 84-86).
Rachel Brown and Jean Louis Jacquet did not remain married because the records show that she married a second time to Jules LeBlanc. Jean Louis died sometime about 1910 – 1911, and this could be the reason why Rachel Brown married a second time. The St. Martin de Tours church in St. Martinville recorded that there was a funeral in early 1911 for a Jean Louis Jacquet, which must certainly be the Jean Louis of this chapter (*104*). Rachel Brown died about the year 1924. Before her early death, she married Jules LeBlanc. For Jules, Rachel became his second wife, being that his first wife Mathilda Hardy had died (*72*). It appears that Rachel and Jean Louis did not have any other children after the birth of their fourth child John Rufus Jacquet born on 30 January 1897, just 10 weeks after the family tragedy that took the lives of their first three children. When Rachel Brown died in the early 1920’s, she left behind some property in the Parish of Lafayette. Thus is was on the 16th of April, 1926, that her second husband Jules LeBlanc and her son Rufus Jacquet appeared in the Lafayette courthouse to try and settle the matter of the Real Estate that Rachel had left behind:
STATE OF LOUISIANA,
PARISH OF LAFAYETTE,
Be it known that on this sixteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nine-teen hundred and twenty-six, before me Charles D. Caffery, Notary Public, in and for the Parish of Lafayette, State of Louisiana, duly commissioned and sworn as such,
Personally came and appeared (1) JULES LEBLANC, widower by first marriage of Mathilda hardy, deceased, and by second marriage of Rachael Brown, also deceased, and (2) RUFUS JACQUET, sole heir of his mother the said Rachael Brown, who was first married to John Louis Jacquet, both residents of Lafayette Parish, and which said appearers declared that they are owners in indivision of the following described property, to wit:-
FIRST: “One certain lot of ground, with all improvements thereon, situated in the Mouton addition in the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, and being a portion of lot number three hundred and twenty-three (323) of said Mouton addition; said portion herein referred to having a front of forty-three (43) feet more or less, on Jackson street, starting from the corner of the store building, as it now stands, and running easterly, with a back line of thirty-six (36) feet ; the depth thereof being as shown by map of J. D. Torrence, and is bounded north by Jackson street; south by lot number two hundred and forty-one (241); east by that part of lot three hundred and twenty-three (323) not included herein, and west by Gordon street. See act number 53963, Clerk’s Office, Lafayette Parish, and also act of partition among the heirs of Mary Plonsky, widow of B. Falk, recorded in book A-5 page one, Clerk’s Office, Lafayette Parish, number 48492.”
SECOND: “Another parcel of ground, with all improvements thereon, situated in the Mouton addition in the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, and being a portion of lot number one hundred and fifty two (152) and is located in the southwest corner of said lot number 152, and measures thirty (30) feet front on Convent street, by the depth in parallel lines of sixty (60) feet, and being bounded north and east by balance of said lot 152; south by Convent street; and west by lot 153. See act number 60260 dated October 1st., 1921, also act 33441 book X-5, page 383, Clerk’s office, Lafayette Parish.”
It is agreed that the said Rachael Brown, wife of said Jules Leblanc, died about two years ago, and that both of the above described properties were acquired during the existence of the marriage community; that accordingly the share of Jules Leblanc in said property is one-half of the first and one-fourth of the second, and that the share of the said Rufus Jacquet is one-half of the first and three-fourths of the second. It is further agreed to by the said Rufus Jacquet that the community of acquets (assets?) and gains between his mother, said Rachael Brown, and the said Jules LeBlanc, is indebted unto the said Jules LeBlanc in the sum of FOUR HUNDRED ($400.00) DOLLARS, for money derived by him from the sale of property belonging to him before marriage, situated at Grand Coteau, Louisiana. It is further agreed that the said Jules LeBlanc has or will pay all legal charges necessary for the settlement of said succession, and that upon the basis of the above declaration said appearers do now make the following partition of said above property.
(A) The said JULES LEBLANC takes and accepts and there is allotted to him the following described property:-
“That certain parcel of ground, with all improvements thereon, and being a portion of lot number three hundred and twenty three (323), and which is FIRST herein above fully described.”
(B) And the said RUFUS JACQUET, sole heir of his mother, the said Rachael Brown, takes and accepts and there is allotted to him as his distinct share of said property the following:-
“That certain parcel of ground, with all improvements thereon, situated in the Mouton addition in the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, and being a portion of lot number one hundred and fifty two (152), and is otherwise hereinabove fully described following the word “SECOND” on the first page hereof.”
It is further agreed that considering all of the foregoing tract that the property taken by Jules Leblanc, allowing for the obligations assumed by him, still exceeds in value, that taken by the said Rufus Jacquet by the sum of SEVENTY FIVE ($75.00) DOLLARS, which amount is paid to him by the said Jules LeBlanc at the signing of these presents, and for which acquittance and discharge is granted by the said Rufus Jacquet, and accordingly this partition is final and definitive and the parties hereto agreed that the same is made with full warranty of title and possession one unto the other.
THUS DONE READ AND SIGNED at Lafayette, Louisiana, on the date first above written in presence of (signature of) John J. Marsh and (signature of) Ethel Bacquet , competent witnesses, and me officer. (*72*)
(signature of) Jules Leblanc
(signature of) J. J. Marsh
(signature of) Rufus Jacquet
(signature of) Ethel Bacquet
(signature of) Char. D. Caffery
It would be but a few days later that for some reason, Jules LeBlanc would make his last will and testament at the Lafayette Parish courthouse and bequeath the section of property named lot #323 that he had just inherited over to Rufus Jacquet:
“...Jules Leblanc, widow of Rachael Brown in the parish court house presented his last will and testament. “I give and bequeath unto RUFUS JACQUET, my step son, in full ownership of the following property...That certain parcel of land...in the Mouton addition in the city of Lafayette, lot #323 – 43 feet on Jackson street by 36 feet....” (*73*)
The document was signed and witnessed by Ethel Bacquet, John J. Marsh and Felix Duhon.
The property once owned by Rachel Brown, Jean Louis Jacquet, John Rufus Jacquet and Jules LeBlanc is located in the eastern part of the city of Lafayette about five to six city blocks north-east of the University of Louisiana Layfayette, (formerly known as University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL)), and west of Evangeline highway (route 167), about equal distant from the two landmarks and on the east side of Johnston street.
(4th begotton child of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis)
Roseline (or Rosaline) Jacquet was the fourth child born between Rosa Jean Louis and Jolivet Jacquet. She was born in the year 1869. As soon as Roseline reached adulthood she married Julien Lambert on 21 December 1891, in St. Martin Parish. Julien Lambert was the son of Magloire Lambert and Cecile Thomas (SM.ch.v.11,p.198). Julien was born circa 1865 according to both the 1870 and 1880 census. Julien came from a large family. He is seen on the 1870 census with his other brothers and sisters who were named Lucille, Joseph, Mary, Florence, Scholastic, Clara, Marie, William and Pacifer Lambert (*106*). Julien’s father Magloire Lambert is listed as 50 years old on the 1880 census, but only 30 years old on the 1870 census. Julien’s mother Cecile is listed as age 38 on the 1880 census, and 35 on the 1870 census. Julien is 14 in 1880 and (as “Jules”) 6 years old in 1870. All of the ages of the Lambert family don’t match up ten years later. Because of the ages and name deciphering, some of the names listed above as Julien’s brothers and sisters may be the same person. The Marriage document of Roseline and Julien says that Roseline’s parents were Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Daniel. As was previously discussed, Rosa had at least one half brother whose name was Philogene Daniel (also written as Samuel Philogene Daniel and S. P. Daniel), who quite probably went by the name Philogene Antoine before he reached his adulthood. Rosa’s mother was Roseline Antoine and her father was Jean Louis. The surname “Antoine” may be giving us a clue to who was Roseline’s father. Both Rosa and Philogene probably briefly used the last name “Antoine” and/or “Daniel” and then had their surnames changed to what their father’s name was. Philogene changing his name from Philogene Antoine to Philogene Daniel and Rosa changing her name from Rosa Daniel to Rosa Jean-Louis. Another half-brother of Rosa was most likely Samuel Daniel who married Olivia M. Readom. The marriage date given at the New Iberia Courthouse (succ. #3000, marr. #7056) indicates the date of 23 Nov 1931, however it probably occurred earlier. Witnesses to the marriage were Sanville Jacquet, Gilbert Jacquet and A. M. Daniel.
Roseline Jacquet and Julien Lambert had at least three children, the first three of which were all daughters: The first child born to the two was Louise Lambert born on 7 April 1893, and baptized on 24 June 1893 (SM.ch.v.13,p.275). The next child born to Julien and Roseline was Marie Rita Lambert who was born on 17 July 1896 (SM.ch.v.14,p.73). The next child born to Julien and Roseline was Liliane Lambert who was born on 4 October 1898 (SM.ch.v.14,p.173).
On the census of 1880, we find Roseline living with her parents, her eight other brothers and sisters and her uncle Onezime Jacquet. She is eleven years of age and she and her other five younger brothers and sisters have not attended school yet. Her older siblings Rosita, Oscar and Jean Louis are at school at the time of the census. When Roseline’s father Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet died in 1899, Roseline inherited a part of her father’s estate. She received 7 & 8/10 arpents (6.63 acres) of property #4, and 1 & 53/100 arpents (1.3 acres) of property #2 of her father’s Estate during the Real Estate distribution to the wife and 13 children of Jolivet on February 4, 1904. The property was located in St. Martin Parish and had a total cash value of $243 (see pages 84 – 86 in volume one for a more detailed description).
(5th begotton son of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis)
Albert Jacquet was the fifth child born between the union of Jean Baptiste Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis. No birth/baptismal record has been found of him from the church but the birthdate of 21 June 1872 is given on his Louisiana death record (*74*). Albert Jacquet married Coralie Laurence (also spelled Lawrence and sometimes Lorins, as was the original French spelling) on 11 December 1893. Coralie was born circa 1870, and may have been the first child born to her parents Leon Laurence (also Lorins) and Cèlasie Trahan. Cèlasie’s brother Pierre Trahan would have a daughter named Marguerite Trahan who would later marry Albert’s brother Gilbert Jacquet.
Albert Jacquet and Coralie Laurence had at least eight children as far as the records show: The first child born to Albert and Coralie was Mary Bertha Jacquet. The second child born to Albert and Coralie was Joseph Lynch Jacquet. The third child born to Albert and Coralie was Joseph Turner Jacquet. The fourth child born to Albert and Coralie was Joseph Randolph Jacquet. The fifth child born to Albert and Coralie was Agnes Jacquet born on. The sixth child born to Albert and Coralie was Joseph Dallas Jacquet born. The seventh child born to Albert and Coralie was Marie Serina (or Corinna) Jacquet. Her baptismal record has her name spelled “Marie Serina”, but later documents, including the 1920 census has her name spelled “Corinna”. Fanuel Jacquet appears to be the last child found to be born between Albert and Coralie.
On the 1920 census taken in the first Ward of St. Martin Parish on the 14th of January 1920, we find Albert Jacquet and his wife Coralie living with his younger brother Willie Jacquet and Willie’s wife Leontine Lawrence (also spelled Lorins and Laurence). The two brothers Albert and Willie Jacquet married the two sisters Coralie and Leontine Laurence. Also living under the household of Willie Jacquet were the rest of Albert’s children; sons Lynch at 23 years of age, Turner at 20 years of age, Randolph at 18 years of age, Dallas at 10 years of age and Fanuel listed as 7 years of age. Two daughters are also living with them: Anice (probably Agnes) listed as 14 years of age, and Corinna Jacquet listed as being 8 years of age. All of the ages seem to be from one to three years off according to their baptismal records. Albert, Lynch, Turner and Randolph are listed as farm laborers.
Albert Jacquet, the son of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis, died on the 20th of February 1924 in St. Martinville at the age of 53, according to his death certificate, however he would have been 51 at the time of his death and would have reached his 52nd birthday in June of 1924 according to his birth record. His death certificate says that he died of chronic lepolitis brought on from the overuse of alcohol and complications from a spirochete bacterium infection (*74*).
1. Mary Bertha Jacquet born on 17 Oct 1894.
2. Joseph Lynch Jacquet was the second child born to Albert and Coralie. Joseph was born on 7 Jan 1896 in St. Martinville. Joseph Lynch died on 15 Dec 1948. He is buried in St. Martin de Tours Church cemetery. His tombstone says he served in World War I.
3. Joseph Turner Jacquet was the third child born to Albert Jacquet and Coralie Laurence on 3 Oct 1898. He married Evelyn Johnson. Turner and Evelyn had at least two children:
A. Gertrude Jacquet born circa 1925. Gertrude married Aaron Williams in New Iberia, Louisiana on 22 Feb 1944. Aaron was the son of Weekly Williams and Helen Broussard.
B. Robert James Jacquet born circa 1928. Robert James Jacquet married Lillie Lucile Latulas, born circa 1930. The couple was married in New Iberia on 2 May 1949. Lillie Latulas was the daughter of Aristide Latulas and Mabel Walker.
4. Joseph Randolph Jacquet was born on 15 Aug 1900. Randolph died in July 1972 in Louisiana. He may be the Randolph buried with his brother Lynch Jacquet in St. Martinville.
5. Agnes Jacquet was born on 1 May 1904.
6. Joseph Dallas Jacquet, the sixth child born to Albert Jacquet and Coralie Laurence, was born on 2 February 1907 and died in July 1958. He is buried in the St. Martinville Church cemetery. Joseph Dallas married Eliza Martin on 10 May 1941 in St. Martin Parish. Dallas and Eliza had five children:
A. Dallas Jacquet Jr.;
B. Embry J. Jacquet born on 19 Jan 1944. Embry died on 2 Sep 1982.
C. Warren Jacquet was the third child born to Dallas Sr.
D. Aaron Jacquet. Aaron had a son named Chandler Jacquet and a daughter named Lana Jacquet.
E. Janice Marie Jacquet.
7. Marie Serina (or Corinna) Jacquet was born on 30 Mar 1909. Her baptismal record has her name spelled “Marie Serina”, but later documents, including the 1920 census has her name spelled “Corinna”.
8. Fanuel Jacquet was the eighth child and last son born to Albert Jacquet and Coralie Laurence. He married Elisa Martin. Fanuel Jacquet died on 27 Jan 1977. Fanuel and Elisa had at least eleven children:
A. Gloria Jacquet who had three children: Cyd, Kim and Dominque;
B. Albert Jacquet
C. Jeanita Jacquet
D. Joyce Jacquet who had a son Nicolas
E. Josephine Jacquet who had a daughter Tamesha
F. Donna Jacquet who married and became Donna Rhinehart and had two sons named Robert and Joshua Rhinehart
G. Amanda Jacquet
H. Jocelyn Jacquet
I. Timothy Jacquet
J. Cora Jacquet
K. Tami Jacquet.
WILLIAM ALEXANDRE JACQUET
(6th begotton son of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis)
William Alexandre Jacquet was the sixth child born between the union of Jean Baptiste Jolivet Alexandre Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis. William was born on 25 Mar 1874 in Louisiana. At the age of 21, on 27 Nov 1895, William married Leontine Laurence (also seen spelled as Leontine Lorins) (*120*). Leontine Laurence was born on 5 May 1876 in St. Martin Parish Louisiana (SM.ch.V.11B,p.284). Leontine’s parents were Leon Laurence and his wife Cèlasie Trahan. Cèlasie’s brother Pierre Trahan would have a daughter named Marguerite Trahan who would later marry Albert’s brother Gilbert Jacquet. Leontine was a younger sister of Coralie Laurence, who became the wife of William’s older brother Albert Jacquet.
The spelling of Leontine’s surname as well as her sister’s and brothers can be also seen as “Lawrence” and it seems that on many documents the name is spelled as “Lorins”. This is due to the fact that the original name came from Leon’s father Hyppolite Lorins who was born in France. The name “Lorins”, which when spoken in French, sounds and translates to the English sound and spelling of “Law-rance”. On the succession document of William’s father Jolivet, the Real Estate inventory gives an account of a tract of land owned by Jolivet Jacquet as: “...acquired by Leon Lorins...bounded south by Leon Lorins, east of Bayou Tortue...”, however, four years later when the Real Estate was re-appraised, the same property is described in the exact manner as the first appraisal with the exception of the name spelling which is spelled in two different ways on the same page: “...bounded north by public road, south by land of Leon Lawrence, east by Bayou Tortue...same land bought by deceased from Leon Laurence...” (*35*) It would definitely appear that the spelling of Leon’s surname was changed from Lorins to Lawrence or Laurence during the second inventory. With the birth records of Leon’s children born between 1882 and 1893, we see the spelling evolve from Lorins to Laurens to Laurence!
William Jacquet and Leontine Lawrence had at least two children as far as the records show: Marie Laurie Jacquet who was born on 3 Feb 1902; and Aurelia Jacquet who was born in 1906. Aurelia Jacquet married twice. The first marriage was to Foster Coleman on 26 Jan 1921. There were three children born: Ethel Coleman who married Warren Marks; Joseph Coleman who married Bertha Trahan; and Mary Almetta Coleman who married Clarence Davis (*120*). The second marriage was to Paul Simon on 12 Feb 1934, but no children were born of the second marriage.
On the 1920 census we see Willie and his wife Leontine living on their property in St. Martin Parish. His older brother Albert Jacquet along with Albert’s wife Coralie Laurence and seven of their children are living with them. They live next to the Laurence families, which means that most likely this is the property of Leontine Laurence bequeathed to her from her father Leon Laurence. Pierre Trahan and his brother Jean Trahan live on both sides of the Laurence/Jacquet families. Celasie Trahan, the wife of Leon Laurence is the sister of both Pierre and Jean. Pierre Trahan’s daughter Marguerite Trahan had already married into the Jacquet family by wedding Willie’s younger brother Gilbert Joseph Jacquet.
Willie Jacquet almost lived to be 100 years old. He fell just six weeks short of his 100th birthday. He died on 22 Feb 1974 in St. Martin Parish Louisiana. His granddaughter Ethel Coleman would petition to the St. Martin court for the inventory and distribution of her grandfather’s property.
“...The petition of Ethel Coleman, wife of Warren Marks of Texas, and Mary Almetta Coleman wife of Clarence Davis...that Willie Jacquet and Leontine Lorins were married once on 27 Nov 1895, and only one child was born: Aurelia Jacquet who married twice:
First to Foster Coleman, 26 Jan 1921 (Sm.ct.hse.marr.#11849), there was born three children: Ethel (Jacquet); Joseph (Jacquet) husband of Bertha Trahan; and Mary Almetta (Jacquet).
Second to Paul Simon on 12 Feb 1934 (Sm.ct.hse.marr.#14218). No children were born...”
“Willie died on 22 Feb 1974 in St. Martin Parish; Leontine died 10 Nov 1964 in St. Martin Parish; Aurelia died on 19 July 1973; Foster died in May 1926; Paul Simon died in 1942. The petitioners and their brother Joseph as being the only children of Aurelia Jacquet, the sole heirs of Willie Jacquet and Leontine Lorins are entitled to be placed in possession of all property left by their grandparents...
First – land on the west side of Bayou Teche 9 & 6/9 arpents north by public road, south by Leon Lorins, east by Albert Jacquet and west by Sanville Jacquet - $6,062
Second – Land on the west side of the Bayou Teche, 12.3 arpents bounded east by T. J. Labbe and west by the Coulee LaSalle - $8,610. Total real estate value = $14,672...” (*120*)
Although virtually all of William’s brothers and sisters had lost the
property bequeathed to them when their father Jolivet died in 1899, it appears
that Willie still retained his. Nine of
Jolivet’s children drew the 87-arpent track of land listed as property #3 on
the revised 1904 inventory/appraisal and each received 9 & 6/9 arpents
(8.22 acres) each (*35*). This would be
the property listed on William’s succession record as “First – land on the
west side of Bayou Teche…”
(7th begotton child of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis)
Martin Jacquet was the seventh child born to Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis. Born on 23 Dec 1875, in St. Martinville, Louisiana, Martin was an early Christmas present for his parents. Martin did not have the opportunity to live a long and productive life, as he died three months before his 24th birthday on 29 Aug 1899. This was but three months after his father Jolivet had passed away in May of the same year. There are no records found that would indicate Martin married or had children.
document line drawing)
PIERRE ST. VILLE JACQUET
(8th begotton child of Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean Louis)
Pierre St. Ville Jacquet was more commonly known by the Jacquet family as Stanville Jacquet. The name can also be seen as being spelled “Sanville” which is probably more correct in it’s pronunciation. This is probably due to the French pronunciation of the word “Saint” (St.) as “San”. Was Pierre Stanville named after a French Saint? If so, who was Saint Ville? No record can be found of any such Saint. Since Ville = City, perhaps there is a “holy city” he was named after. Stanville was the eighth child born to Jolivet Jacquet and Rosa Jean-Louis. Stanville was born 17 Feb 1877 in St. Martinville, Louisiana. Through the partitioning of Real Estate bequeathed from his deceased father Jolivet Jacquet, Pierre Stanville inherited 8.2 acres of land near Cade Louisiana, which at the time was worth the sum of $255 in 1904. (*35*)
Since there appears to have been another Jacquet in the same area with the same name, it is difficult to piece together the correct information about his marriages and children. The other possibility is that it could be the same Stanville Jacquet. Nevertheless, it appears that Stanville Jacquet married Marie Lea Augustin on 1 August 1905, in St. Martinville (SM.ct.hse.marr.#8739). We also see a marriage between Stainville Jacquet and Lillie Mouton on 21 August 1920 listed in the St. Martin courthouse (#11780) which says that Stainville Jacquet, age 37, is the son of the deceased Jean Baptiste Jacquet and the deceased Rosa Jean Louis. It says that he was never married. Born in 1877, Stanville is actually 43 years of age. Lillie Mouton is age 24, and the daughter of Urbin Mouton and Mary Alexense/or Aluyense/orAlufense. If this is indeed the correct “Urbin” then the wife he married was Angele Williams. Urbin (also Urbain) is the son of Augustin Mouton and Emerenthe Trahan/Schexneider. Emerenthe’s grand-daughter Margerite Trahan had married Stainville’s brother Gilbert Jacquet in 1903, so St. Ville was already an “In-law” of the Mouton family. Both of Lillie’s parents are still living.
There could be a good reason why the marriage license of Stanville’s second marriage to Lillie Mouton had the term “…was never married…” He may have been on one end of a “shotgun wedding” and married against his wish. There appears in the St. Martin Courthouse records a court-suit dated 2 November 1911 that Stanville bought against his wife Marie Lea Augustin:
“…The petition of Stainville Jacquet, that he was married August 1905 to Marie Lea Augustin and since the said marriage they have never lived together as man and wife. There were two children born of their marriage but both are dead. Petitioner said Marie Lea Augustin has never taken residence with him since marriage and has been guilty of adultery, especially during the year 1911 at or near Duchamp Station with one George Burke. He desires a divorce from her “A Vinculo Matrimonii”. Request that during the pendency of this suit that her domicile be fixed at her mother Leontine Broussard’s residency on the plantation of Mr. Louis Olivier at Duchamp Station, La…” (*275*)
There was also additional testimony from some of Stanville’s friends or relatives. One such notable testimony was from Joseph Jacob who testified that:
“…I live at Duchamp Station on Olivier’s plantation and had sexual intercourse with Marie Lea Augustin one time…I have seen the defendant at night goint to Balls at 11 or 12 o’clock at night. The marriage between plaintiff and defendant was a shotgun affair and immediately after marriage plaintiff left and did not live with her…”
It took the court case a little more than five months to conclude and for the court to come to a ruling after hearing all the evidence “…that in the support of plaintiff’s demand, the evidence being in favor of the plaintiff Stanville Jacquet, decreeing a divorce and that defendant pay all costs of this suit…” Stanville won this court battle but future court battles would not be so good. Stanville would be in the midst of his Jacquet brothers and sisters who had to fight to save their properties from being seized by creditors during the next 15 years. Stanville wasn’t the only Jacquet family member bringing their spouse to court on the charges of adultery. It was during the same time during Stanville’s currently open case, that his cousin Angelle Jacquet, the daughter of Belizaire Jacquet came to the St. Martin Courthouse on 1 February 1812 to sue (#10842) her husband for adultery:
“…The petition of Angelle Jacquet that she was legally married to Alcide Malveaux in the year 1887, from their marriage four children were born…she alleges that since over 3 years her husband has abandoned her…and committed adultery…and has lived in an open concubinage with one Italia Gardner of St. Martin Parish…”
Angelle Jacquet was victorious in her court case and was granted a divorce as well as permanent care and custody of her two minor children Wade Malveaux and Lilly Malveaux. Ex-husband Alcide had to pay the court costs.
Stanville Jacquet was next to be found living in the city of Lafayette. He purchased some property on 14 October 1926 from Edna Trahan, the wife of the late Danton J. Veazey:
“…Stanville Jacquet, who was married to Lilly Mouton, bougtht from Edna Trahan a lot of ground in the city of Lafayette, lot #6, of block #18 – 50 feet front on Foch Street, depth of 125 feet, bounded north by Fosh Street, south by lot #7, easty by lot #5, and west by Warne Street…sale was for $175.00 in which $58.00 was paid as a downpayment and $117.00 due in two equal annual installments of $58.50…” (*166*)
This piece of property was almost lost by Stanville in 1936. It was during this time that Stanville Jacquet on 19 September 1938, “...paid the city $10.02 in taxes owed for the year 1936...property lot #6, block #18 of the Veazey Addition...property redeemed, restoring rights, liens and mortgages of the city of Lafayette...” (*166*)
Stanville Jacquet’s wife Lillie Mouton would die in the year 1948 and Stanville would again marry for what is believed to be the third time in 1949 to Harry Lee George. Stanville did live a long and fruitful life well into his eighties, and was still fathering children at the age of 76! He had moved to Lafayette Louisiana with his family sometime in the 1920’s and would die there in June of 1963. His sister HeLouise Jacquet and nephew Mitchell Jacquet would petition to the Lafayette courthouse on 14 Feb 1964 for the settlement of his estate:
“...The petition of Louise Jacquet, her brother was Stanville Jacquet who died 22 June 1963, Mitchell Jacquet (nephew) appointed administrator. Stanville married Lillie Mouton who died in 1948. There was property left in the city of Lafayette...
Lot in city, lot #6, block #18, 50 feet on Foch street by 125 feet, north by Foch street, west by Marine street. $5350.00
He married second to Harry (Carrie) Lee George on 22 December 1949. Born from this marriage were:
1. Peter Stanville Jacquet Jr. born 3 September 1950, died in infancy.
2. A girl, no name, born in 1951, who died in infancy.
3. Joseph A Jacquet, born 18 October 1953. (now 12 years old)
Mrs. Harry Lee Clay will become the natural tutrix of Joseph...and is in custody of his mom Harry…” (*137*)
Stanville Jacquet married Harry Lee George on 22 December 1949. Harry was the daughter of Daniel George and Mary Alexander. Their first child Stanville Jacquet Jr. born on 3 September 1950, was baptized on 24 September 1950. His sponsoring Godparents were Felix George and Yola Mae Davis. Stanville Jacquet Jr. died in infancy. Things began to transpire between the interlude of their marriage and three children born that caused a short-term marriage. Harry Lee George was a 17 or 18-year-old girl when Stanville married her. Since he was 75 years old, it was an odd relationship. Stanville’s nephew Willie Jacquet recalls the odd relationship destined to end up in a bad way:
“…Uncle Stanville was 75 years old when he married Harry Lee who was only 17 or 18 years old at the time. Stanville was an insurance agent and he kept giving her money and I think she thought he had a lot more money so she married him. When she was about 20 or 21 years old, Stanville caught his wife with another guy in the act. The guy was a 25-year-old policeman. Stanville was crazy about the girl but it broke his heart and he had to let her go…”
It would be in 1956 that Stanville would seek to sever the bonds of matrimony with his wife Harry Lee George. On 4 Dec 1956, Stanville’s attorney Kaliste J. Saloom Jr. represented Stanville in court:
“…the law and evidence being in favor of the plaintiff…it is ordered that the preliminary default entered herein on 20 Nov 1956, be now confirmed and made final that there be judgement in favor of plaintiff, Stainville Jacquet and against defendant Harry Lee George, decreeing a divorce “a vinculo matrimonii” between them, forever dissolving the bonds of matrimony her to for existing…” (*223*)
Although we are not sure if Stanville in fact married three times, one certainty that we do know of is that Stanville must have been an extraordinary popular uncle and cousin, for no one attended and was witness to more family weddings than Stanville Jacquet! Illinois Jacquet described him as “Uncle Vin” and said he was the administrator of the legal aspects of Jacquet family property matters. The final words of Illinois about his uncle during an interview with the author were:
“Uncle Vin had a big house in Lafayette with lots of pecan trees on it. He was a playboy and was responsible for some of the legal screw-ups that led to many of the Jacquet family members losing their property.”