Legitimized Children in
St. Landry Parish, Louisiana,
1821 — 1833

Abstracted by James Pylant

Reprinted from
"Concubinages and Legitimizations in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana (1821-1833),"
American Genealogy Magazine, Vol. 13, Nos. 1 & 2.
DO NOT POST OR PUBLISH WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION


Although illegitimate children were barred by law from inheriting, some parents chose to legitimize their offspring by making an official acknowledgment of paternity. From 1821 until 1833, several St. Landry Parish couples filed notarized statements of their intention to marry and legitimize children born during that “concubinage.” Article 217 of Louisiana’s civil code decreed that, "Children born out of marriage, except those who are born from an incestuous or adulterous connexion, may be legitimated by the subsequent marriage of their father and mother, whenever the latter have legally acknowledged them for their children, either before their marriage or by their contact of marriage itself." According to Article 221, "The acknowledgment of an illegitimate child shall be made by a declaration executed before a notary public, in presence of two witnesses, whenever it shall not have been made in the registering of the birth or baptism of such child."

Conveyance Book F (1821— 1825)
Page 37
State of Louisiana, Parish of Saint Landry—This day the twenty sixth of June in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty one. Before me George King Judge in and for the aforesaid Parish and Ex officio Notary Public appeared personally Francis Fruger & Julie Mercie widow of Louis Menard decd, of said parish, who declared that they had been living together about six years in a state of concubinage, during which time they had two Children to wit, the Eldest bearing the name of Orillia Fruger aged about four years, and the other bearing the name of Francois Fruger fils aged between two and three years, of which children the said Francis Fruger and Julie Mercie being about to unite together in the bonds of Matrimony have made this public acknowledgement in order that the aforesaid Children may after their marriage enjoy all and singular the legitimate rights which they might or could have had, provided they had been born during Marriage.
     In testimony whereof the said Francois Fruger and Julie Mercie have hereunto Signed by making their ordinary marks not knowing how to write in presence of the subscribing Witnesses and Judge aforesaid the day and year above Written at Opelousas. Francois Fruger (his mark) {Seal} = Julie Mercie (her mark), widow of Louis Menard {Seal} = Witnesses = James Ray, Pierre Lacomb = George King P. Judge

Page 269
This day the twenty fourth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty two. Before me George King Judge in and for the Parish of St Landry, State of Louisiana, & Ex officio Notary Public, personally appeared Baptiste Guillory & Ositte Laperche of said State and Parish, who declared that they had been living together in a state of concubinage, about six years, during which time they had two Children born (to wit) the first or eldest bearing the name of Ositte Guilliory now aged about two years and seven months and the other the name of Louis Guilliory aged about six weeks, of which said Children the said [page 270] Baptiste Guilliory & Ositte Laperche hereby acknowledge themselves to be the father and mother. And they being about to unite together in the bonds of Matrimony have made this public acknowledgment in order that the aforesaid Children may, after the Marriage, enjoy all and singular the legitimate rights which they might or could have had, provided they had been born during Marriage. In testimony whereof the said Baptiste Guilliory & Ositte Laperche have hereunto signed by making their ordinary marks, not knowing how to write, in presence of the subscribing witnesses & before me the aforesaid Judge the day & year above written at Opelousas. Baptiste Guilliory (his mark) {Seal} – Ositte Laperche (her mark) {Seal}. Witnesses = James Ray = Geo. R. King P. Judge.

Page 424
State of Louisiana, Parish of St Landry. This day the fourth of September in the Year one thousand eight hundred & twenty three, before me James Ray Notary Public in and for the aforesaid Parish for the office of the parish Judge thereof, personally appeared Michael Lacaze fils & Louise Carriere, both of the said Parish, who declared that they had been cohabiting together as man & wife for about four years, during which time they had two children born & now living. The first or oldest of whom bears the name of Louise Lacaze, age about three years, and the other Michel Lacaze aged about nine months, of which said two children, the said Michel Lacaze & Louise Carriere, hereby acknowledge themselves to be father & mother. And they the said Michel Lacaze & Louise Carriere being about to unite together in the bonds of matrimony have made this public acknowledgement in order that the aforesaid children, may after their marriage, enjoy all & singular the legitimate rights which they might or could have had, provided they had been born during marriage. In testimony whereof the said Michel Lacaze & Louise Carriere have hereunto signed & sealed by their ordinary marks not knowing how to write, in presence of the subscribing witnesses & Notary aforesaid the day & year above written. Michael Lacaze (his mark) {Seal} = Louise Carriere (her mark) {Seal} = Witnesses – Wm Humphreys = George King = James Ray Notary Public.

Page 466
     This day the fourteenth of November in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty three. Before me James Ray Notary Public, in and for the Parish of St. Landry, state of Louisiana, personally appeared Arsene Lebleu of said Parish, who declared, that he lived a number of years in a state of concubinage with Sarah Andrus, now deceased, during which time, they had four children born, to wit, The first, or eldest, named Martin Lebleu now aged about eight years, the second named Maria Josette Lebleu aged about six years, Arsene Lebleu aged about three years, & Michel Lebleu aged about two years – of which said children be the said Arsene Lebleu acknowledges himself to be the father – this acknowledgment made in order that the said children may be admitted to the enjoyment of their rights as such in the Estate of the declarant. In testimony whereof the said Arsene Lebleu has hereunto signed by making his ordinary mark, not knowing how to write, in presence of the subscribing witnesses & before me the aforesaid Notary the day and year above written & in the forty eighth year of the Independence of the United States. Arsene Lebleau (his mark) {Seal}. Witnesses: Reuben Andrus[,] George H. Bell – James Ray Notary Public for the office of the Parish Judge of St. Landry.

Page 687
State of Louisiana Parish of St Landry — This day the twenty second day of February in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty five, before me, George King Judge in & for the aforesaid Parish, & Ex officio Notary Public, personally appeared Ceasar Hanchett and Sarah Corkran of said Parish, who declare that they had been living together in a state of Concubinage about twenty four months, during which time they had a daughter born, which they call by the name Mary Charlotte Hanchett, now aged about sixteen months of which said child they the said Ceasar Hanchette & Sarah Corkran hereby acknowledge and declare themselves to be the father and mother – and that they being about to unite together in the bonds of Matrimony have made this public acknowledgement in order that the said Mary Charlotte Hanchett, may after the marriage, enjoy all & singular the legitimate rights which she might or could have had, provided she had been borne during marriage. In testimony whereof the said Ceasar Hanchett & Sarah Corkran have hereunto signed with me, the Judge aforesaid in presence of the subscribing witnesses, at Opelousas the day & year first above written – Ceasar Hanchett {Seal} = Sarah Corkran (her mark) {Seal} = Witnesses = James Ray = Ben B. Jefferson. Geo. King P. Judge.

Conveyance Book G (1825 — 1829)
Page 208
State of Louisiana, Parish of St Landry. This day the eighteenth of August in the year of one thousand eight hundred & twenty six, before me the undersigned authority in & for the aforesaid Parish personally appeared Furcy Hollier & Marie Felonise Rangette, both of said Parish, who declare that they had been living together in a state of concubinage, about five Years, during which time they had three children born, to wit, the first, or eldest bearing the name of Eliza Hollier, aged about four years, the second Seline Hollier, aged about three Years, & the third Zelia Hollier aged about fourteen months, of which said Children the said Furcy Hollier & Marie Felonise Rangette hereby acknowledge themselves to be the father & mother, and they the said Furcy Hollier & Marie Felonise Rangette, being about to unite together in the bonds of Matrimony have made this public acknowledgement in order [page 209] that the aforesaid children may after their marriage, enjoy all & singular the legitimate rights which they might & could have had, provided they had been born during marriage. In testimony whereof the said Furcy Hollier & Marie Felonise Rangette, have hereunto signed, in presence of the subscribing witnesses & before the aforesaid, & undersigned authority at Opelousas, the eighteenth day of August one thousand Eight hundred twenty six, as first above written – Furcy Hollier {Seal} = Marie Phelonise Rangette (her mark) {Seal} = Witnesses = Charle De Villier = Vallerie Langlois = James Ray Notary Public.

Page 461
Be it remembered that on the eleventh day of December in the year One thousand eight hundred & twenty eight, before James Ray Notary Public in & for the Parish of St. Landry, State of Louisiana, (acting as notary as aforesaid in the Office of the Parish Judge of Said Parish) personally appeared Charles Bourque & Celeste Hebert, both of said Parish who declared that they had been living together in a State of Concubinage about five years, during which time they had four Children born to wit, the first or eldest bearing the name of Eugene Bourque aged about three & a half years, the second, Charles Bourque aged about three & a half years, the third Pierre Bourque aged about two years & the fourth & youngest, Leandre Bourque, about nine months old — of which said Children, the said Charles Bourque & Celeste Hebert acknowledge themselves to be the father & mother & they the said Charles Bourque & Celeste Hebert, being about to unite together in the bonds of matrimony have made this Public acknowledgment, in order that the aforesaid Children may after their marriage, enjoy all & Singular the legitimate rights which they might or could have had, Provided they had been born during marriage.
In testimony whereof the said Charles Bourque & Celeste Hebert, have hereunto in presence of & before the aforesaid Notary & undersigned Witnesses, the day & year above written at Opelousas — Charles Bourque {Seal} — Celeste Hebert {Seal} — Witnesses Ben B. Jefferson — Ldr Bourque – James Ray Notary Public.

Conveyance Book H (1829 — 1836)
Page 50
State of Louisiana Parish of St Landry } Before me George King Parish Judge and in offices Notary Public in and for the aforesaid Parish and in presence of Francis Cullam and John Sillers, residents of said Parish assisting witnesses, appeared personally John S Evans and Sarah Grooms and acknowledged themselves the Father and Mother of four children (to wit) Saryann a girl aged about seven years, Lewis a boy aged about five years, Caroline a girl aged about three years and Virginia a girl about one year old. In testimony the said John S. Evans and Sarah Grooms being about to unite themselves in matrimony and with the intention that this act and their intended marriage Shall legitimate the aforesaid four children have hereunto signed with the aforesaid Witnesses and Parish Judge and ex officio Notary Public as aforesaid this twentieth day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty. John S. Evans = Sarah Grooms[.] Witnesses Francis Cullom = J. Seller – Geo. King, P Judge and ex officio Notary Public.

State of Louisiana. Parish of St Landry — Before me George King Parish Judge in and for the aforesaid Parish appeared personally Faustin Fontenot and Marie Louise Ramires of said Parish and declared that they had lived together about ten years, during which time they had four children, to wit, Clement, Euphrasie, Alexander and Lucie all of whom had been baptized with the family name of Fontenot, of which said children they acknowledge themselves to be the father and mother. They further declare their intention to join themselves this day in the Holy bonds of matrimony with a view to lead lives conformally to the laws of country and to legitimate their aforesaid children — and they the said Faustin Fontenot and Marie Louise Ramires do by this act after the moment of their marriage according to the laws of this State and in such cases made and provided. In Witnesses whereof they have hereunto signed by making their ordinary marks not knowing how to write in presence of the undersigned Witnesses at Opelousas this fourteenth day of October in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty. Faustin Fontenot x his mark = Marie Louise Ramires x her mark = Witness D. Falvious H. Rossi = Josephus Hall x his mark. = Geo. King Judge.

Page 75
State of Louisiana, Parish of St Landry — Before me George King Parish Judge in and for the aforesaid Parish appeared personally Faustin Fontenot and Marie Louise Ramires of said Parish and declared that they had lived together about ten years, during which time they had four children, to wit, Clement, Euphrasie, Alexander and Lucie all of whom had been baptized with the family name of Fontenot, of which said children they acknowledge themselves to be the father and mother. They further declare their intention to join themselves this day in the Holy bonds of matrimony with a view to lead lives conformally to the laws of country and to legitimate their aforesaid children — and they the said Faustin Fontenot and Marie Louise Ramires do by this act declare their said children legitimate from and after the moment of their marriage according to the laws of this State and in such cases made and provided. In Witness whereof they have hereunto signed by making their ordinary marks and knowing how to write in presence of the undersigned Witnesses at Opelousas this fourteenth day of October in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty. Faustin Fontenot x his mark = Marie Louise Ramires x her mark = Witness D. Falvious H. Rossi = Josephus Hall x his mark. = Geo. King Judge.

Page 91
State of Louisiana, Parish of St Landry. This day the third of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, before me George King Parish Judge and ex officio Notary Public in and for the aforesaid Parish appeared personally Louis Daigle and Adeline Lejuine both of the State and Parish aforesaid, and in presence of Alexandre Daigle and George R. King assisting Witnesses, acknowledged that they had been living together in a state of concubinage about eighteen months, that during the time of said concubine, to wit, on the twenty fifth day of December last the said Adeline Lejuene became the mother of a male child named Louis, which said child the said Louis Daigle and Adeline Lejuene acknowledge to be their own, and the fruit of their concubinage — and being desirous of legitimating said child, they the said Louis Daigle as fully and completely as though he had been born during marriage. In testimony whereof the said parties and Witnesses have hereunto signed at Opelousas the day and year first above written. (Signed) Louis Daigle = Adeline Lejuene x her mark = Witness — A. Daigle = George R. King — Louis Souleau fils = George King Judge.

Page 105
Know all men by these presents whereas Joseph Guillory [f.m.c.] fils of the state of Louisiana and Parish of St Landry and Louise Tessier [f.w.c.] of the same State and Parish aforesaid have for several years lived in a state of concubinage, and Whereas they the said Joseph and Louise became during said state of concubinage the parents of two children the fruit and offspring of their illicit intercourse to wit Marie Louise a girl aged about twelve years and Apoline a girl aged about ten months of whom the said Joseph hereby acknowledges himself to be the father and the said Louise acknowledges herself to be the mother and whereas the said Joseph and Louise are about to be joined in the Holy bonds of matrimony and are desirous of legitimating their said children and vesting them with all the rights and privileges appertaining to a legitimate birth. Now therefore they the said Joseph Guillory fils and Louise Tessier do hereby legitimate their said children Marie Louise and Apoline vesting them with all the rights and privileges which they would have enjoyed had they been born in lawful wedlock. In testimony whereof they have hereunto signed at Opelousas by making their ordinary marks not knowing how to write in presence of George R. King and Jean Miramond assisting Witnesses and before George King Parish Judge and ex-officio Notary Public in and for the aforesaid Parish of St this nineteenth day of July in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty one = (signed) Joseph Guillory fils x his mark = Louise Tessier x her mark = Witness = Geo. R. King = J. Miramond[.] Geo. King P Judge.

Page 117
Whereas we Sylvert Thibodeaux and Colastie Parissseau of the State of Louisiana and Parish of Saint Landry have lived together for several years in a State of concubine, and become the parents of five children, to wit Pierre, Placide, Alphonse, Celesie, and Melisse, which said children were hereby acknowledge to be the fruit and offspring of the illicit connexion which has existed between us — And whereas we the said Sylvert Thibodeaux and Colastie Parrisseau have resolved to unite ourselves in the Holy bonds of matrimony, and at the same time to secure to our said children the rights of legitimate filiation: Now therefore know all men by these presents, that we do hereby acknowledge and vest said Pierre, Placide, Alphonse, Celesie and Melisse with all the rights, priveleges and advantages secured by the laws of this State to legitimate children as fully as though they had been born in lawful marriage. In testimony whereof we have hereunto signed at Opelousas in presence of George R King and Samuel M Lee assisting Witnesses and before George King Parish Judge and ex-officio Notary Public in and for the aforesaid Parish this third day of November in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirtyone = (signed) = Sylvert Thibodaux x his mark {seal} = Colastie Parrisseau x her mark {seal} = Witness = Samuel M Lee = Geo: R King = Geo King Judge.

Whereas Pierre Belard and Denise Bourassa of State of Louisiana and Parish of Saint Landry have lived together for a number of years in a state of concubinage, and become the parents of four children, to wit Pierre, Clementine, Josephine and Marie Laurette which said children we hereby acknowledge to be the fruit and offspring of the ilicit connexion which has existed between us: And whereas we the said Pierre Belard and Denise Bourassa have resolved to unite in Holy bonds of matrimony and at the same time to secure to our said children the rights of legitimate filiation. Now thereunto know all men by these presents, that we do hereby acknowledge and vest the said Pierre, Clementine, Josephine and Laurette with all the rights privileges and advantages secured by the laws of this State to legitimate children, as fully as though they had been born in lawful marriage. In testimony whereof we have hereunto signed at Opelousas this third day of November in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty one in presence of Samuel M. Lee and George R King assisting Witnesses and before George King Parish Judge and ex-officio Notary Public in and for the aforesaid Parish of Saint Landry = (signed) Pierre Belard x his mark {seal} = Denise Bourassa x her mark {seal} Witness = Samuel M. Lee = Geo. R. King = Geo. King Judge.

Whereas James Dyson and Catharine Frugé of the State of Louisiana and Parish of Saint Landry have lived together for some years and become the parents of two children to wit: Thomas a boy [page 118] aged about eighteen months and Elizabeth a girl about two months old whom they hereby acknowledge to be the fruit and offspring of the illicit intercourse which has existed between them and whereas they the said James Dyson and Catherine Frugé are about to unite themselves in the Holy bonds of matrimony and wish at the same time to secure to these said children the rights of legitimate filiation. Now therefore know all men by these presents, that they the said James Dyson and Catharine Frugé do hereby acknowledge and vest the said Thomas and Elizabeth with all the rights privileges and advantages granted by the laws of this State to legitimate children as fully as though they had been born in lawful marriage. In testimony whereof they hereunto signed at Opelousas this fourth day of November in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirtyone in presence of the subscribing Witnesses and before George King Parish Judge and ex-officio Notary Public in and for the Parish aforesaid (signed) James Dyson {seal} = Catharine Frugé x her mark {seal}. Witnesses = Hardy Coward = William Neyland = Geo King Judge.

Page 129
State of Louisiana, Parish of StLandry: This day the fourth of February in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, before me George King Parish Judge and ex officio Notary Public in and for the aforesaid Parish, appeared personally Jean Florentin and Junon Florentia both free negroes of the aforesaid Parish, who declared that they had lived together in a state of concubine more than forty years, the greatest part of the time in a state of slavery, during Which State of Slavery they had five children, to wit: Jean Florentin, Francois, Marin, Auguste and Euphemie of which said children they acknowledge themselves to be the father and mother. That on the 16th day of Octr. 1815 the said Jean obtained his liberty and the said Junon obtained hers on the ninth of March 1827. That they purchased their son Francois, and on the 22nd of July 1828 passed an act of liberty in his favor. That these other four children are yet in slavery, but they trust and hope that by their industry they will in a short time be able to procure their liberty. That they are now about to unite themselves together in the Holy bond of matrimony — and also that it is their wish and intention that their said children as soon as they shall have obtained their freedom shall be considered their legal heirs and entitled to the inheritance of the property which they may die possessed of — and that the said Francois already free is to be legitimated by their intended marriage. In testimony whereof they have hereunto witnessed by making their ordinary marks not knowing how to write in presence of George R King and Valentine King competent Witnesses at Opelousas the day and year first above written (signed) Jean Florentin his x mark = Junon Florentin her mark = Witness = Geo. R. King = Valentine King = Geo. King P Judge.

Page 272
Be it to all whom it may concern that I Pierre Carriere Senr of the State of Louisiana and Parish of Slandry, do hereby decalre that I have no legitimate Ascendants or descendants; that I lived in a State of concubinage with Marie Louise Vivare widow Ortolon upward of thirty Years past — that during the said State of Concubinage with the Said Marie Vivare we had nine children to wit, Francoise Carriere now widow McCoy, Hyacinte Carriere, Joseph Carriere, Melanie Carriere widow Bello, Ursin Carriere, Denise Carriere wife of Louis Sauvier, Louise Carriere wife of Michel Lacasse, Francoise Carriere wife of Soulange Lacasse and Pierre Carriere, of which said children I acknowledge my self to the father; and I do hereby declare that it is my intention to legitimate the aforesaid children, that they may enjoy al the benefits and privileges contemplated by an act entitled “An Act to repeal Articles 217 and 3319 of the Civil Code, and for other purposes[”]. And I do by this act acknowledge the aforesaid Children the lawful Heirs of the Estate which I may die possessed as fully and completely as though they had been born during marriage. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto signed by making my mark being unable by debility to write in presence of Anthony McDaniel and Olivre Richard fils competent Witnesses and before George King Parish Judge and ex officio Notary Public at Opelousas this twenty first day of September in the Year one thousand eight hundred and thirty three. Pierre Carriere Senr x his mark = Witness Anthony McDaniel = Or. Richard fils = Geo. King P Judge.

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