Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Introduction

   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 present.  The story of the Jacquet family history in
Louisiana is very much connected with the city of St. Martinville, the focal point of our story.
The city of St. Martinville, became the seat of St. Martin parish in 1807.  It's location is in
southwest Louisiana on the Bayou Teche, just south of the city of Lafayette and about 120 miles
west of New Orleans.  St. Martinville was originally known as Poste de Attakapas  (Attakapas
Post).  Attakapas was the name of the local native American Indian tribe in the southwestern
Louisiana area.  It was originally settled during the era of the seven years war in 1760, when the
French and Spanish were at conflict with each other.

   While many Jacquet families began to explore the high frontier of the west at the turn of the
20th century and move to other states such as Texas and California, many other Jacquet families
remained and still live in the St. Martinville area and surrounding cities such as Cade, Parks,
Lafayette, New Iberia, and Loreauville, and in many cases live on the same property that 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 and betrayal, and other stories that many may find
unsettling.  Never-the-less, there are also the good times and the highlights of the Jacquet family
members that must be told, 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
destain.

   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 recover.  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.  We begin with volume
one, with volume two to be written soon.  Perhaps the next generation of Jacquets will take the
torch and continue the research and follow up with volume 3, 4...??? in a century or so.  Most of
the information gathered about the Jacquet family in this book has been obtained from records in
the city of St. Martinville.  Mainly from church records and courthouse records.  The source from
which the information came from will be listed throughout the book in abbreviated form so that
others may take the torch and do their own research on any particular person.  You will see for
example such notations as: "SM.ch.V.11,p.334" to indicate where the document was obtained
from or "SM.ct.hse. succ#3016".  The first reference translates to: "St. Martinville Church,
Volume eleven, page 334."  while the second reference translates to: "St. Martin CourtHouse,
succession number 3016."    The church referred to is the Catholic church named St. Martin de
Tours Catholic church, and the St. Martin court house represents the courthouse for the Parish of
St. Martin.  Both are located in the heart of the city of St. Martinville and are but a few blocks
away from each other.  Much of the information compiled has been obtained directly from
research work done at the parish courthouses in Louisiana, particularly in St. Martin, New Iberia
and Lafayette.  Research information involving birth, marriage and death dates and other
information has also been obtained directly from or referred to from the works of Father Donald
J. Hebert.  His works entitled "Records of South-West Louisiana" are a priceless resource as
virtually all of the church baptismal and marriage records in the parishes of South-West Louisiana
from the latter part of the 18th century through the 20th century have been cataloged and
alphabetized by name and by year making it much easier for a researcher to locate the who,
where, when and how information the person seeks. The researcher only needs to make the
proper requests for the document in question at the proper Parish courthouse or church.   Much
of this work on the history of the Jacquet family as well as related families could not have been
completed without the help of Father Hebert's books.  Truly, the entire history of the Jacquet
family can be found in the courthouse and church records of Louisiana!

HYACINTHE JACQUET

   Hyacinthe Jacquet can be said to be the Father of the Black Jacquets in America.   In brief, he
came over to The Louisiana territory area from France with the French military during the latter
part of the 18th century and briefly lived in the Attakapas parish which later would be named St.
Martin parish.  Although he would die at a fairly young age, Hyacinthe Jacquet lived long enough
to father a 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
(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 Hyacinthe became the father of Jean Baptiste Jacquet can only be proved through
circumstantial evidence since there are no birth documents which can be found to indicate the
father as being Hyacinthe.  Nevertheless, the evidence is clear based on three main points.  To
begin with, we know that Jean Baptiste's father was a Jacquet because his last name became
"Jacquet", and 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.)
Census records of the time show that there were no other  Jacquets in the Louisiana area at the
time.  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. (*3*)  In fact, there are no Jacquets listed in the census records
in the entire state of Louisiana until the 1930's when four Jacquets in New Orleans parish appear
on the records!  According to the 1810 census, which must have been completed in Hyacinthe's
area just before he died, Hyacinthe lived on the property of or right next to the property of the
Berard family and was listed as "head of household".  When Hyacinthe 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*).
So it clear to 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...