CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 33
REPRINT ANNOUNCED: The progenitor of the Louisiana Fontenots was Louis Fontenot dit Colon and his wife Louise Angelique Henry. Now with a new reprint from Claitor’s Publishing, researchers can once again have access to all the well-documented material available on this family and its allied lines.
The Fontenot Family 1600-1903 is the compilation of material presented by the Evangeline Genealogical & Historical Society, a massive amount of data that was just too much to print in their quarterly publication. It tells the story of Louis, a sergeant in the French Army who arrived in Louisiana around 1720. In 1726, he married Louise Henry, the widow of Thomas LeBeghes at Mobile. Thomas had died in 1721 at Chapitoulas near New Orleans.
It was due to the encouragement of Judge Albert Tate Jr. to pursue the research of the Fontenot family, and he and members of the society sponsored Robert Bruce L. Ardoin, a native of Evangeline Parish living in Paris, to do further research into the origins of the Fontenot family in France. Ardoin spent a lot of time in the Poitiers area doing this research. He learned that Louis Fontenot was the third of at least six children born to Joachim Fonteneau and Marie Pradeau. He was born December 18, 1686 and baptized the same day in the Parish of St. Jean de Montierneuf at Poitiers, France.
Jouachain (Joachim) Fronteneau (Fontenot) and Marie Prousdeau (Pradeau) were married in the Parish of St. Porchaire on October 13, 1681. In this marriage record, it shows that Joachim was a son of Nicolas Fonteneau and Jacquette Devilliers. Marie is listed as a daughter of Louis Pradeau and Catherine Billouin. It even showed that Nicolas and Jacquette were deceased at the time of the marriage. Louis Pradeau is also listed as deceased.
In doing research on the Fontenot family, Ardoin learned of several spelling variations of the surname – Fronteneau, Fonteniau, and Fonteneaux. Pradeau was found to be also spelled as Prouteau, Peraudeau, and Peratteau.
Louis was about 34 years old when he arrived in Louisiana. At the time of his marriage, he was in the company of Monsieur de la Tour. Various military rolls indicate that Louis served at Mobile, Post des Alibamns (Fort Toulouse) and at Fort Tombekbe. It was at Fort Toulouse that Louis Fontenot died in 1755.
Louis and Louise had twelve children, and all but one of the seven sons of this marriage migrated to the Opelousas area. The lone son was Jean Louis dit Cadet. He and his wife Marie Francoise LaGrange elected to settle along the Mississippi River north of New Orleans. One of Jean Louis’ sons, Louis “dit Grand Louis” later joined the Fontenot relatives in Opelousas where he Marie Fontenot, his first cousin, in 1786.
This study of the Fontenot family is one of the most thorough I’ve seen in quite some time. It is definitely a must in every Fontenot home, and all major genealogical libraries should make this one available for researchers.
This new soft-cover edition from Claitor’s Publishing is price at $65.00. Order Now!
ACADIAN DATA: It is always a pleasure to receive review copies of Acadian Genealogy Exchange. I have followed the work of Janet Jehn for many years, and her work has always been in the excellence category. Like many other genealogical researchers, she has other projects in addition to this publication, and when that extra effort is completed, Jehn will have something of which to be very proud.
She calls it The Book, but whatever it ends up being called, it is a look at the descendants of Anne Gaudet and Pierre Vincent. Right now, it is over 600 pages – and growing. When she thinks she has finished the manuscript, something else comes up. That is the realistic side of genealogical research.
Jehn’s latest look at early Acadian records includes ancestor charts, baptisms at Grand Pre, descendants of Charles Emmanuel Duke of Savoy, and lots of other timely data for researchers. Subscription to this publication is $17 annually with an everyname index included in the October issue. Queries are free to subscribers.
For more information on Jehn’s work, contact her at 3265 Wayman Branch Rd., Covington, KY 41015. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
HISTORICAL STUDIES: Genealogical research is more than just finding old records. It is also a glimpse into the history of the period of time in which our ancestors lived. We learn of their skills, their hardships, and along the way, we manage to learn a lot about the reasons of why they moved from one area to another.
In a short film made in the swamp country of South Louisiana in 1949, life in this part of our state comes alive through the Cajun craftsman making a pirogue the old way – no power tools, all done by hand. Note also in this film of the serving of Cajun coffee in demitasse cups with tiny spoons, a tradition that still endures today. (It certainly brought back memories to me of when I had my first cup in a friend’s home in Convent, Louisiana. There is a lot of difference in a regular cup of coffee than one served up the Cajun way.)
It is also interesting to note in this film that there are no obese adults or children that I suppose proves that food wasn’t an obsession and with all the hard work, calories were burned easily. The other thing I observed about this film was that everyone seemed to be having a good time. This is such a nice vintage film and depicts the old art of carving out the Cajun pirogue. Enjoy.
FREE SERVICE: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. The e-mail address is email@example.com. Queries and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Claitor’s Publishing can serve as a distributor for self-published genealogy titles. Go to their homepage for details on how you can obtain this excellent service.
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