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The Sons and Daughters of Jean Baptiste Jacquet

A History of the Black Jacquets in Louisiana

– by Russell Jacquet-Acea


Marie Zoeé Jacquet was probably the seventh child born to Jean Baptiste Jacquet.and most likely the second daughter born.Her mother was Celeste Augustine.Her estimated birth date is around 1845.The slave inventory gives her approximate birth year of 1844, the marriage document indicates she was born circa 1846.The 1870 census appears to be the least reliable source as it puts her birth year at 1855. 

Zoeé Jacquet married Prosper Berard on 11 October 1871, in Charenton, Louisiana at Charenton’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (*212*).The city of Charenton is in St. Mary Parish just north of the city of Franklin, Lousiana.Zoe’s name is listed as “Zoee Jean Baptiste” and that is due to the Jacquet family taking on the surname of “Jean Baptiste” just after slavery ended, but then took on the surname “Jacquet” by the early 1870’s. Jean Baptiste was the name of Zoe’s father but Jean Baptiste’s father was François Hyacinthe Jacquet, a Frenchman and officer in the service of the French Republic who left behind objects relating to navigation at sea upon his death.


Prosper Berard was the son of Rosemond Berard and Zelphire Edouard.The 1880 census of Louisiana has his age given as 47 years of age, giving an approximate birth year of 1833.Prosper’s race is listed as “mulatto” and his occupation is a carpenter.He and his family live in St. Mary Parish in the First Ward.His wife Marie (Zoeé) is given the age of 25, pointing to a birth year of 1855.Like the 1770 census, we have the same birth year of 1855 again

The couple had at least eleven children from the resources listed in the record books.Félicie Berard was their first born child in 1871.Félicie would have been born just before the couple were married or perhaps right after, so it not with certainty that Prosper Berard as the father, and Zoé Jacquet as the mother are both of her parents. By the time of the 1880 census, we see Félicie Bérard living with her uncle Edouard Jacquet along with his wife and children living in their separate dwelling house next to his brother Oscar Jacquet and his family.All members of both Jacquet families are listed as “mulatto”.

From the record books, it appears that Zoé and Prosper had eleven children: 

6. Marie Eamily Berard was born 14 March 1879.On the baptismal certificate the name is spelled “Marie Amelie” but she spelled her name Eamily.Eamily married Ferdinand Thompson on 30 January 1901.The name is listed as “Fanon Tompson” on the marriage document and is obviously a translation error.Eamily and Ferdinand had seven children:

A. Alice Thompson was born ca. 1908.Alice died at the age of 90 in 1999.

B. Oliver Thompson was born ca 1909.

C. Wallace Thompson, born ca. 1910.

D. Hazel Thompson, born ca.1912.

E. Rosa Thompson, born on 13 May 1916.Rosa married Walter Ashford.Walterwas the son of John Ashford of Navasota, Texas, and Lucy Carter of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

F. Ferdinand Thompson Jr., born ca. 1919.Ferdinand’s oldest son was Rudy Thompson.Another son was named Anthony Thompson.

G.Clifford Thompson, born 31 May 1923.

The sixth child born to Prosper Berard and Zoé Jacquet was

Marie Eamily Berard born on 14 March 1879 in Louisiana.

Eamily married Ferdinand Thompson I.


Rosemond Berard, the father of Prosper Berard

The marriage record of Prosper Berard when he married Marie Zoé Jean Baptiste Jacquet on 11 October 1871, says that he was the son of Rosemond Berard and Zelphire Edouard.The 1880 census of Louisiana has his age given as 47 years of age, giving an approximate birth year of 1833.Prosper’s race is listed as “mulatto” which means that he had a white father.Since Zoe was in the hands of the Berard family during slavery, prosper could not have been too far away.

Prosper Berard was much more on the fairskin side of his mixed race genealogy.
His grand-daughter Rose Thompson Ashford describes him as "looking just like Abraham Lincoln!"
Prosper, the son of Rosemond Berard and Zelphire Edouard married Marie Zoé Jacquet


Eugene Rosemond Berard was born on 23 July 1811 in Louisiana.His parents were Jean Baptiste Berard (fils), and Marguerite Decoux.His parents married on 15 February 1773.Jean Baptiste’s (fils) parents were Jean Baptiste Berard (pére) and Anne Broussard.He married Anne Broussard around 1769.Jean Baptiste Berard (pére, the elder) was more commonly known as Jean Berard.He was born in 1737 in the French historic province of Dauphine, where the major city of Grenoble is located.Rosemond married Mary Odile (Huval) on 10 May 1836.Rosemond Berard died on 7 November 1867 at the age of 56.


Odillion Berard was Prosper Berard’s uncle.Odillion was the brother to Prosper’s father Eugene Rosemond Berard.Their father was Jean Baptiste Berard III.Odillion shot Vasslin A. Fournet to death in a gun duel and married Fournet’s widow.He later had lots of children with her.With Odillion are six of his daughters:



(top left to right) Cora Berard Oubre; Corrine Berard Stansbury; Marie Berard (never married); 

Emily Berard Breaux;

(seated L to R)Clara Berard Romero; Odillion Berard; Laura Berard Lapeyrouse.

Photo ca. 1890.From Savoy’s art gallery in New Iberia, Louisiana.