Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do you have Creole Ancestors?

While I was going to college I had to write a 20 page research paper and decided to do research on the Creoles in Louisiana. This sent me to a different section of the library. And what do you know? I discovered another source of genealogical information.

Since most of my Louisiana ancestors are German or Acadian, I hadn't even thought about having Creole ancestors. I'll give you the original definition of Creole, a child of European parents who came to the New World. These parents were French and Spanish who came directly to Louisiana. Most of these people settled in New Orleans, but some had plantations in the rural areas and homes in the city, and others did settle in rural areas. A few names in my family who would be Creoles are Charpentier, Moutare, and Duplantis. The Chauvins are sometimes called Creoles, but I call them French-Canadians as these ancestors came from France to Montreal and Quebec, Canada before coming to Louisiana.

The Creoles have a heritage that is different from the Acadians and Germans and I found it very interesting reading. This adds another chapter to the kinds of people that formed my heritage.

Two of the books that have a lot of genealogical information are "New Orleans, the Glamour Period.1800-1840" by Albert Fossier and "Creole Families of New Orleans" by Grace King. These books can be found in section 976.335. The first book is advertised as having more than 1000 names of people in New Orleans between 1800-1840. These are people of all nationalities, but there is one chapter devoted to the Creoles and their lifestyle.

The second one has a separate chapter om about 38 families of New Orleans. There is no index to show the many names of several generations and who they married. One of the families she writes about from St. Charles is the D'Arensburg, who was one of the early settlers on the German Coast.

Many of these Creole men had children with black women and these children became known as Creoles of color. One book records the lives of 50 of these families in the middle and late 1800's. It is "Our People and Our History" by Rodolphe Lucien Desdundes.

If you have Creole ancestors be sure to check out this section of the library.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Elizabeth:

    Would you know which one of Karl Frederick D'arensbourg sons served in the German coast militia under Bernardo de Galvez during Louisiana participation in the American Revolution 1775-1783? It's my understanding Karl Frederick D'arensbourg died in 1777.