CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 39
BOOKS FOR RESEARCHERS: Claitor’s Publishing came up with a treasure trove of information when they agreed to re-publish all the publications from Winston De Ville. Under his banner. Provincial Press, he presented researchers with a wealth of information on early Louisiana records, residents, and even books containing data from other states and countries.
Overall, I’ve tried to present these to you over the period of the last year, but there are a few that I don’t think I touched on. If I did, the information here will only show that they are of extreme importance and should stay in print. If you see a duplicate note on any of these from past columns, just move on to the next one. I believe that this completes the collection, and hopefully other genealogical researchers will come forward to have their books returned to active status. This is an important part of the work being done by Claitor’s Publishing.
Let me start by mentioning St. Domingue, Census Records and Military Lists, 1688-1720, one of the few publications covering this period of Caribbean history. This is one of those rare finding-aids that don’t come along that often. This is a look at the first permanent settlers in the New World and contains information that touches not only on Louisiana but even for those early settlers coming through such cities as Baltimore, Charleston, and Philadelphia. It only contains 50 pages, but they are definitely important ones. The reprint from Claitor’s is selling for $26.00.
De Ville did three important books on the early records of Pointe Coupee. There are a number of good research books for this area of Louisiana, but De Ville’s works stand out among them.
The first one is Slaves and Masters of Pointe Coupee, Louisiana: A Calendar of Civil Records, 1762 – 1823. This book is based on ancient court documents and relates to people of African descent, both slave and free. At the same time, it provides a guide to all Europeans, Creoles, and others who had anything to do with slaves, freedmen, and their descendants. As one of the oldest settlements in the entire Mississippi River Valley, Pointe Coupee’s African-American history is rich, and the colonists who created that legacy enriched the state of Louisiana.
This book contains abstracts of over 1,000 documents with each providing the names of all principal parties, the date, and the nature of the act, such as sales of all sorts, leases, notices of slaves who had escaped their bondage, the all-important marriage contract, the equally important succession record and many more similar records. The African national origin is often named, and the original documents (if they are extant) are in the Office of the Clerk of Court at the courthouse in New Roads. This reprint is priced at $26.00.
Pointe Coupee Families in Colonial Louisiana: Abstracts of Civil Records, 1771 – 1782 is another important research aid for this part of Louisiana. Although settlement at Pointe Coupee began decades earlier, the first civil records extant in Pointe Coupee Parish started in 1771. Here you have genealogical abstracts for all records in this subject period. The index contains over 1,000 names – French, Spanish, Anglo-American, German, African-American, Native-American, and others. Containing 118 pages, this book is $35.00.
Pointe Coupee Documents, 1762 – 1803: A Calendar of Civil Records for the Province of Louisiana gives brief descriptions, names of principal parties, full dates, and covers approximately 2,000 documents. The earliest (1762 – 1765) have been missing from the local courthouse for over a century. It can be noted here that a major portion of this book – 1770-1792 – is based on archives that exist only in Spain. An appendix provides succinct, never-before-published data on some 100 Spanish land grants for the greater Pointe Coupee area, including False River, and even a few from Baton Rouge. There are over 3,000 index entries in these 121 pages. The price is $33.50.
Another important book in this collection of works is Saint Landry Parish Successions, 1807-1865, An Index to Probate Records in Southwest Louisiana. As all researchers know, succession records are invaluable to any genealogical specialist or general family historian. Of extreme importance is the fact that a married woman’s maiden name is almost always used. Also usually listed are relationships, names of minor children, inventories of property, and other points coming together in one location. This one is $26.00.
One book has largely been overlooked, and it is possibly one of the most important of the entire collection. It’s Selected Papers by Winston De Ville: A Collection of Articles for Colonial Genealogy and History. This volume contains 35 articles reflecting four decades of pioneering research and writing on the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast regions. The articles have been edited and expanded. This is a fairly large, soft-cover book, and it is priced at $38.50.
I realize the listing of material is lengthy, but it will give you an idea of what De Ville has done to further research in this part of the South. Here are the items:
The 1706 census of Fort Louis de la Louisiane (Mobile)
Anne Francoise Rolland and Her Early Years in Paris
Natchitoches and the Trail to the Rio Grande: Two Accounts by the Sieur Deranne
Register of Deaths at Old Fort Biloxi: 1720-1723
The 1721 Census of Fort Louis de la Mobile and Surrounding Villages
The 1722 Census of Settlements Along the Lower Mississippi River
The 1723 Census of Natchez
The 1723 and 1749 Census Reports of Arkansas Post
Death Records of New Orleans: 1724
The 1724 Census of Settlements Between New Orleans and the German Village
The 1725 Census of the Habitants at Dauphin Island, Mobile River, and Pascagoula
The Sauciers in 1726: Year of Decision for a Colonial Louisiana Family
New Orleans Baptisms: 1728
Louisiana’s First Archives Building: A Compromise with Wine in 1733
Louisiana Officers: 1738
A Canadian Military Expedition to Louisiana: 1739
A Quebedo Land Grant in Early Illinois
The German Coast of Louisiana: 1749
Louisiana Officers: 1750
French Soldiers for Louisiana: A 1751 Passenger List
Natchitoches in 1766
The Harang-Roman Marriage Contract: 1769
The German Coast Church in 1770: Three Documents of Ecclesiastical History
Three Little Orphans in 1777
Pierre Landrenaut, Interpreter to Indians: Two Pointe Coupee Colonial Documents
The Margarita Case: A Controversial Case in 18th Century Louisiana
The Inventaire Apres Deces in Colonial Louisiana: A Pointe Coupee Exhibit 1781
Marie des Neiges Juchereau de St. Denis: Her Louisiana Land Grant of 1784
Natchitoches Militiamen in 1785
Marital Separations in Colonial Louisiana: Two Examples from Opelousas Post
Louisiana’s Run-Away Slave Fund of 1792
The 1793 and 1796 Census Reports of Opelousas Post
Slave Masters of New Orleans: The Vieux Carre in 1796
The Billeaudeau Family of France, St. Domingue, and Louisiana: A Progress Report
The De Ville Family of Switzerland, South Carolina, and Louisiana
This book is one that needs to be in all major genealogical research library collections. Check it out.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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