Thursday, August 18, 2011

Finding Jules Perrodin

The above picture of Jules Perrodin was taken around 1915, and was in the local newspaper. If anyone happens to have a picture of him, I’d love to have a copy.


Jules was the oldest, known paternal progenitor of my family line in Louisiana. We refer to him thusly because we didn't know who his parents were. The story I'd heard as a little girl was that he was Caucasian, but his family didn't want him so he was raised by African Americans. When he was older, his family came to claim him, but he chose to remain with the family who raised him.

How much of this story is true. Who knows. The details have, for the most part, been lost in time. But, for those of my family members who are interested, I did find out quite a bit about our patriarch..

Jules Perrodin was born in 1856, in St. Landry Parish. His wife, Celimene Broussard was born in 1860. Her parents were Sosthene Broussard, born abt 1832 and Marie Jean-Louise Jason, born abt 1845. Jules and Celimene had seven children. Theresa, born abt 1879, Marie Rosa, born abt 1881, Gaston, born 1882, my great grandfather Ferdinand, born 1887, Oscar, born 1889, Leonel, born 1893, and Marie Eunice, born in 1895.

I started my search for Jule's parents by going through the census records. I was unable to find him prior to the Civil War. The first census record I found with him listed is in 1870. He is fourteen-years-old, listed as a mulatto, and living in the home of Charles Landry. Charles Landry, I later discover is the son of Aimee Delahoussaye, born in 1805 and Joseph Marie Firmin Landry, born in 1778. Aimee is a free person of color FPOC, and had her own household in the 1850 and 1860 census records.

I wondered why Jules would be living in the home of Charles Landry in 1870 rather than with his own parents. And I wondered if the story I'd heard as a child was true. That he'd been given up by his biological parents. Or, possibly he was related to Charles Landry. One clue happened to be Jule's son, Ferdinand who married a girl named Alice Lee, daughter of Albert Lee and Irene Landry. Irene Landry's father was Joseph Dalcour Landry. Joseph Dalcour Landry's father was Joseph Marie Firmin Landry (also father of Charles Landry).

My wonderful distant cousin, Christophe Vanderhogen Landry (check out his Facebook group: Louisiana and Colonial Louisiana Genealogy -Lower Mississippi, Alabama, Flo). He's a linguist, a genealogy wizard, and most patient person ever, taught me how to search for Louisiana records. I kept being told to search Father Ebare's records. I had no idea who he was or what records. Christophe explained that in actuality it was Father Hebert's records. Which if you live in Louisiana you can go to the library and find. Given I live in California, it wasn't so easy for me.

Father Herbert compiled dozens of Catholic Church records for southern Louisiana. I was able to get my grubby, little hands on Jules Perrodin's marriage record from the St. Martin of Tours Church. It listed his mother’s name as Celestine Delahoussaye. I also found that Louisiana has their death certificate records listed online. This service only issues certified copies of microfilmed death certificates for deaths that occurred in Louisiana between 1911–1960. I was able to order a copy of Jules’ death certificate, which listed his father as Jules Perrodin Sr.

I then started searching the census records again, and duh...there's Jules in 1880 with his wife. And on the bottom of the previous page is listed his mother, Celestine and her new husband, Henry Sorel. Yes, this was indeed a face palm moment. The reason I never noticed her was because I didn't check the previous page. Talk about months of frustration. I ordered Celestine's records from the St. Martin de Tours Church.

This is the translation from the back of the marriage certificate for Henri Sorel and Celestine De la Houssaye who were married in St. Martin of Tours Church, St. Martinville, St. Martin, Louisiana.

Translation:
The 19th January 1869 after one publication made in the chur of this ? Carvine without opposition or impediment known and having seem the license dated the 16th of this month, I, priest whose signature is below have celebrated the marriage of Henri Sorel, son of major age of Jos. Toussaint and of Eugenie, born in St. Mary Parish and living in this one of the first party, and of Celestine De la Houssaye daughter of major age of deceased Clarisse De La Houssaye, born living in this parish of the other party.


By the present act by the said spouses declaring their birth and wishing to legitimize the three children whose names follow: Julie, age 8; Jeanne, 7 and Horense, age 5.


Assisting as witnesses to the marriage: Mrs. Hilaire Rochon and Raphael Kerligant who sign with me.


A.M. Jan


(Signatures of Henri and Celestine are made with a X. Hilaire and Raphael wrote their own signatures.

If you read this translation carefully, you would also see the name of Celestine and Aimee's mother. Clarisse De La Houssaye, father not known.

In the next post, I will follow up with the continued search for Jules Perrodin’s father, Jules Perrodin Sr. and his family.





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