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Source: Acadians in Gray

A French Creole family sprang from a young French nobleman who, despite his father's objections, took an Acadian bride and settled in the Baton Rouge area during the late colonial period:

Descendants of Félix-Gilles-Louis BERNARD du MONTIER (c1762-1843)

Félix-Gilles-Louis, called Louis, son of French nobleman Louis-Gilles Bernard du Montier and Pérrine-Josèphe Cornen de Restiqouat of St.-Brieuc, Brittany, France, came to America in the early 1780s as a French naval midshipman. He served in the Yorktown Campaign in Virginia during the American Revolution. After the war, Louis returned to France and fell in love with an Acadian girl at St.-Malo. According to family tradition, Louis's father refused to sanction his son's marriage to a lowly Acadian. Louis persisted in his ardor, however, and when her family chose to emigrate to Louisiana in 1785, Louis became a crewman on La Ville d'Archangel, the ship his beloved took from St.-Malo to New Orleans. Louis followed the majority of the passengers from his ship to the new Acadian community of Bayou des Écores, north of Baton Rouge, where he married Marie-Victoire, called Victoire, daughter of Acadian Ambroise Bourg, in January 1787. After a series of hurricanes smashed the Bayou des Écores settlement in the early 1790s, Louis and Victoire joined the exodus out of the community and moved downriver to Baton Rouge, where they raised a large family. Their daughters married into the Devall and Molaison families. Félix-Gilles-Louis died at the residence of a son-in-law, Major James Devall, in West Baton Rouge Parish in August 1843; he was 81 years old. Two of his sons and several of his grandchildren also married Acadians.

1. Oldest son Louis-Robert, called Louis, born probably at Bayou des Écores in March 1789, married Rosalie, daughter of Pierre Viroso or Visotes1, probably at Baton Rouge in the early 1810s. Their son Louis, fils was born near Baton Rouge in August 1812, Félix Balthazar in July 1814, Théodore Gilles in January 1818, and Philippe Gilbert in May 1822. Louis, père died at Baton Rouge in August 1825; he was only 36 years old.

Louis, fils married Eléonore, daughter of Acadian Ursin Landry, at the Baton Rouge church, East Baton Rouge Parish, in February 1834. Their son Louis Gustave was born near Baton Rouge in January 1835 but died near Baton Rouge in June 1862; he was only 28 years old and did not marry. One wonders if his death was war-related.

2. Onésiphore, born at Baton Rouge in March 1795, married Marie Iréné, called Iréné, daughter of Acadian Jean Baptiste Hébert of Virgin Mary Parish, Baton Rouge, at the St. Gabriel church, Iberville Parish, in June 1818. Their son Ange Alphonse was born near Baton Rouge in May 1827, Félix Edgar in December 1828, Antoine Dulud was baptized at the Baton Rouge church, East Baton Rouge Parish, age unrecorded, in January 1832, and a son, name and age unrecorded, died in July 1840. Their daughter married into the Duval family. Onésiphore remarried to Acadian Zelamie Blanchard probably in West Baton Rouge Parish in the 1840s; he was in his early 50s at the time of the wedding. Their son Edgar was born probably in West Baton Rouge Parish in c1847 but died near Brusly in April 1854, and Albert was born in May 1851. In August 1850, the federal census taker in West Baton Rouge Parish counted 13 slaves--8 males and 5 females, all black, ranging in age from 45 to 4--on O. Bernard's farm; this was Onésiphore. Later in the month, the same census taker counted a single slave--a 15-year-old mulatto male--on O. Bernard's farm in another part of the parish. In July 1860, the federal census taker in West Baton Rouge Parish counted a single slave--a 50-year-old black female--on O. Bernard Sr.'s farm next to O. Bernard, Jr., who owned 2 slaves--a 55-year-old black female and a 50-year-old mulatto female.

During the War Between the States, Félix Edgar served in Company H of the 4th Regiment Louisiana Infantry, The West Baton Rouge Tirailleurs, raised in West Baton Rouge Parish, which fought in Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama. Félix enlisted in May 1861, age 32. He was reported present on company rolls to December 1862, so he probably survived the carnage at Shiloh, Tennessee, in April 1862 and the sharp fight at Baton Rouge the following August. Nevertheless, he deserted his regiment in January 1863 when it was stationed at Port Hudson, Louisiana, across the river from his home in West Baton Rouge Parish.

3. Agricole, born at Baton Rouge in March 1801, married Amaranthe, daughter of Acadian Mathurin Landry, at the Baton Rouge church, East Baton Rouge Parish, in January 1825. They settled in West Baton Rouge Parish. Their son Agricole Edmond, called Edmond, was born in October 1827 but died at 4 1/2 in August 1832. Their daughter married a Landry first cousin. Agricole remarried to French Creole Azélie or Zélie Allain at the Baton Rouge church in May 1838. Their son Louis le jeune was baptized at the Baton Rouge church, age 3 months, in June 1839, Justin Félix was born near Brusly, West Baton Rouge Parish, in August 1848, Pierre Bertrand in May 1850, Émile Albert in December 1851, and Oscar Ulysse in April 1856. In August 1850, the federal census taker in West Baton Rouge Parish counted 14 slaves--5 males and 9 females, 8 blacks and 6 mulattoes, ranging in age from 50 to 4--on Agricole Bernard's farm next to brother Félix. Agricole died near Baton Rouge in April 1857; the priest who recorded his burial said that Agricole was 50 years old when he died, but he was 56. In July 1860, the federal census taker in West Baton Rouge Parish counted 6 slaves--1 male and 5 females, all black, ages 40 to 11, living in 2 houses--on Widow Agricole Bernard's farm; these were Zélie Allain's slaves.

Louis le jeune, by his second wife, married cousin Augustine, daughter of French Creole Zenon Allain, fils, at the Brusly church, West Baton Rouge Parish, in April 1861; Augustine's mother was an Acadian LeBlanc; they had to secure a dispensation for third degree of consanguinity in order to marry. Their son Louis, fils died in West Baton Rouge Parish at age 1 1/2 months in January 1862. Louis le jeune died in West Baton Rouge Parish in September 1862; he was only 23 years old.

4. Angèl died at Baton Rouge at age 2 months in November 1803.

5. Youngest son Lindor Félix, called Félix, fils, born at Baton Rouge in August 1805, married cousin Josephine Adélaïde, daughter of François Seguin, at the Baton Rouge church, East Baton Rouge Parish, in January 1828; Josephine's mother, also, was a Bourg; they had to secure a dispensation for second degree of relationship in order to marry. Their son Félix Louis, called Louis, le jeune, was born near Baton Rouge in April 1830, Gustave in February 1832, Philippe in September 1835, Balthazar in West Baton Rouge Parish in June 1845, and Gilbert in March 1848. Their daughters married into the Aucoin and Blanchard families. In August 1850, the federal census taker in West Baton Rouge Parish counted 2 slaves--a 44-year-old black male and a 24-year-old black female--on Félix Bernard's farm next to brother Agricole. Félix died near Baton Rouge in December 1852; the priest who recorded his burial said that Félix was 40 years old when he died, but he was 47.

5a. Louis le jeune married Nathalie, daughter of Acadian Pierre Prosper Blanchard and widow of Désiré Richard, at the Brusly church, West Baton Rouge Parish, in October 1856; Louis's sister Cephalide married Nathalie's brother Anselme. Louis le jeune and Nathalie's son Félix le jeune was born near Brusly in December 1857 but died at age 7 months the following July, and Benjamin Franklin was baptized at the Brusly church, age 2 months, in October 1859. In July 1860, the federal census taker in West Baton Rouge Parish counted 5 slaves--3 males and 2 females, all black, ranging in age from 69 to 17, living in 2 houses--on Louis Bernard's farm.

5b. Gustave died at Baton Rouge in July 1859. He was only 27 years old and may not have married.

5c. During the War Between the States, Philippe served in Company F of the 4th Regiment Louisiana Infantry, raised in West Baton Rouge Parish, which fought in Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama. He was captured at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, in April 1862 and held at Cincinnati, Ohio, and Cairo, Illinois, before being exchanged the following November. He was wounded in the Battle of Poor House, Georgia, in July 1864, and spent time in several hospitals, including one at Charlotte, North Carolina, before returning to duty in April 1865, a month before his unit surrendered at Meridian, Mississippi. Philippe married Virginie, daughter of Acadian Pierre Blanchard and widow of W. Nolan, at the Brusly church, West Baton Rouge Parish, in September 1865.

5d. Balthazar died at Baton Rouge in October 1867. He was only 22 years old and probably did not marry.

  
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