CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 4, Number 25
EXCELLENT PUBLICATION: The September issue of Le Raconteur is a fitting tribute to National Acadian Day, which was recently celebrated in Canada and South Louisiana. It features an important article on the Acadians who arrived in Louisiana from France in 1785.
After the British expelled the Acadians from Acadia in 1755, thousands found their way to France. Unhappy with their situation, and hearing favorable news from other Acadians who had settled in Louisiana, many of them were persuaded to leave France and migrate to Louisiana. Spanish officials agreed not only to transport them, but to provide support for a considerable period of time. Nearly 1,600 Acadians took them up on the offer and departed France in what would become known as the Seven Acadian Expeditions of 1785.
The French vessels which brought the Acadians to Louisiana were Le Bon Papa, Le Bergere, Le Beaumont, St. Rémy, L’Amitié, La Ville d’Archangel, and La Caroline. The crew and passenger lists of these seven ships have been available to genealogists for many years. Historians have also written about the extraordinary efforts made by the Spanish government to settle the Acadians in Louisiana. However, additional details abound in the Spanish governmental records, many of which have never been published before. These records are found in the collection entitled the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, commonly known as the Cuban Papers.
Translated abstracts of a large quantity of this correspondence provide detail about the Acadians’ subsistence, medical care, and transportation to their selected settlements in Louisiana. Of greatest importance to genealogists are the many details about the individuals. Much of it deals with the arrangement of individuals in family groups. Lists of marriages which occurred in Louisiana after their arrival, some of which were apparently not recorded in the church records, are also provided. Other types of details include information on individuals who were omitted from the passenger lists or who appeared under different names.
Louisiana researchers can always count on Le Raconteur to provide significant genealogical material. This issue is certainly no exception.
This quarterly comes with an annual membership in Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane. To join, visit their website at www.lecomite.org where a membership application can be printed and mailed. Individual, Family, Library, and Business/Corporate Membership categories are available. A PayPal option is also provided.
DOMINGUE FAMILY: In going through more of my files for donation to my library collection in DeSoto Parish, I am re-discovering books that are so important to genealogical researchers. Domingue of Louisiana: Immigrants to Spanish Colonial Louisiana is one of those great publications.
The compiler of this family history is Edward J. Domangue (another spelling variation), and his interest in family history came about while being in the Austin Public Library with his son who was doing research for a high school assignment. While going through some of the books on Louisiana history, he learned that 10,000 refugees from the Caribbean island of St. Domingue (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) immigrated to Louisiana during the Haitian revolution of 1791-1804.
With this new interest, the pursuit of ancestral research was started. His investigations resulted in the reconstruction of the lineages of Manuel and Domingo Dominguez, who like many other seventeenth and eighteenth century Europeans, made one-way voyages to the New World in search of more opportunity and liberty. It was learned that Manuel and Domingo were recruited from the Canary Islands, and their descendants practiced agriculture on the bayous of southern Louisiana. Most of the Domingue ancestors are descendants of these two Spaniards.
The surname Domingo was sometimes used interchangeably with Dominguez. It is suspected that French-speaking individuals recorded Dominguez as Domingo, but both are common Spanish surnames. The name is derived from the Latin word Dominus, meaning Lord. In western cultures, Domingo is also used as a first name. Domingo (Spanish and Italian), Dominque (French), and Dominic or Dominick (English), honoring St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican religious order, are examples of this.
It was learned that the Domengeaux family are not related to the Domingue family, but their name is a Gailic version of the same Spanish surname, Domingo. They are believed to be descended from French creoles who escaped from the island of St. Domingue during the revolution and immigrated to New Orleans.
Edward J. Domangue did a fine job explaining the relationships and separating the families with the different spellings of this surname. The Dominque family is a separate family. This surname appears in the early church records but was not researched. Because of the similarity in the spellings, this name was sometimes confused with Domingue. The spelling of Dominique was occasionally changed to Dominque, and even Domingue. Some persons with the Domingue surname may not be descended from immigrants to Spanish Colonial Louisiana. Also an occasional record of a Domingue family member would be spelled as Dominque or Dominique. It appears that the error was isolated and the spelling was not permanently altered, but it is still confusing.
Additional similar sounding but unrelated families are Domiano, Domec, Donato, Domino, Domene, Domez, and Donahoe. Even though I found all of the spellings confusing, it did not take away from the importance of the work done by Domangue in compiling this book. At the time I first received this book, Domangue lived in Round Rock, Texas.
VITAL RECORDS: Another older book which is important for genealogical researchers is South Louisiana Vital Family Records 1902-1905, published by the Terrebonne Genealogical Society. It is an invaluable source of data for anyone with family ties to Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.
Many sources were used in compiling the material in this book - marriage bonds and marriage records, probate and succession records, newspaper publications, cemetery recordings, church records, and records from the files of society members. Check at your local library or directly with the society to see if this book is still available.
The copy in my library is a hardcover format, and it serves as a credit to this society for all the hard work that went into compiling and organizing the data.
CIVIL RECORDS: The last book I want to mention is Saint-Jean-Baptiste des Allemands, Abstracts of the Civil Records of St. John the Baptist Parish with Genealogy and Index, 1753-1803 by Glenn R. Conrad, Director, Center for Louisiana Studies in Lafayette. This is the area of Louisiana known as the Second German Coast, and its history constitutes an important segment of the history of French and Spanish Louisiana. The First German Coast was in St. Charles Parish.
The St. Charles settlement was one of the earliest in Louisiana. The settlers were German farmers who contracted with John Law and his Company of the West to undertake the cultivation of farms in the Louisiana wilderness. They came from all areas of Germany.
Conrad provides researchers with an extensive look at this period, and this is very important for understanding the material that makes up the content of the book. This is just another of the long list of research books that are so important to people researching their ancestries.
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 can be any length, and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. All genealogical/historical/preservation books are reviewed in this column format, but a review copy is necessary for this service. Another service is offered here too. 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. It is a way to get out-of-print books back into the system and definitely is a great assistance to genealogists who may need this information.
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