09 February 2010
Tombstone Tuesday -- St. Louis Cemetery #1, New Orleans, Louisiana
Our 2nd great grandfather, James William Cresap, probably is here in St. Louis Cemetery #1 in the small section in back for Protestants. He died 16 July 1847. His wife Martha Bauduc's grandmother, who James William knew well, rests in St. Louis Cemetery #2. She died in 1843.
The grandmother (my 4th great), Marie Francoise Laurence LaClotte, gens de couleur libres, was born about 1768 in Pestel, Jeremie, San Domingue (now called Haiti). In 1803 Laurence and her daughter, Pulcherie Cassou, fled the Haitian revolution for Cuba sometime between Thermidor 15 (July 3) and Brumaire (October) year 12, as the French calendar adopted after their revolution put it. Some of Laurence's siblings also fled to Cuba: Jeanne, Eugenie, Maria Collette, and Jean Baptiste Edouard. They all lived in Santiago de Cuba for about six years, but when the Spanish kicked the French out of Cuba (1809-1810) they all fled again to New Orleans.
There were other siblings who stayed on the plantation in Pestel with their mother, Marie Louise Samore dite* Bumba: Georges Toussaint, Emilie Melanie, Josephine dite Zelmire, St.Cyr, and Elizabeth. Their father, Jacques Pierre LaClotte, a Grand Blanc, had recently died. Edouard, who came to New Orleans and fought in the battle of New Orleans under Andrew Jackson, eventually returned to Haiti.
I'm pleased to tell you all that the one cousin I am in touch with in Haiti, Didier Gilles, who descends from both Georges and Zelmire, survived the recent earthquake, as did his family. Alas, their house did not.
On November 1st each year, the folks of New Orleans celebrate their dead.
*dite is a French term meaning "called" so it denotes a nickname.
Posted by Lavinia Grace Gilbert Schwarz