According to one site, my ancestor, Nicolas Godefroy Barbin, Prosper’s father was the private secretary of Louis XIV, King of France. He was commissioned by the king to take charge of the government store at La Balize, just south of New Orleans. He died in 1759. But other sources indicate that it was his father, Louis Barbin de Bellevue (born 1698 in Paris, France; died 1759) who was given that appointment. (Nicholas was born in 1700 and this document is dated September 8, 1703). This is a translation of that document.
“Today the 8th day of the month of September in the year 1703, the king being at Versailles and wishing to select a capable and loyal person to serve as Warehouse-Keeper at La Balize in the province of the Louisiana, and knowing that Sr. Barbin has the necessary qualities to acquit himself well; His Majesty has engaged and commissioned him, engaging and commissioning him Warehouse-Keeper at La Balize in the said province, to take charge in said capacity of the merchandise and munitions which have been or will be sent to him for the service of His Majesty, to record both the incoming and outgoing of said merchandise and munitions and to render an account thereof to the Directorate of the Naval Commissary in the said province of the Louisiana; And he is to send nothing without [a requisition] and for the said use, and to implement the [instructions] which will be directed to him by the state and the regulations which will be drawn up for that end. His Majesty sends word to the said Directorate to make known to the said Sr. Barbin his appointment as Warehouse-Keeper and matters relating to the said service. And in testimony of his wish, His Majesty has commanded me to dispatch the present commission which it has pleased him to sign with his own hand and to be countersigned by me, Counsellor-Secretary of the State and of his Commandments and Finances.
La Balize was the first French fort and settlement near the mouth of the Mississippi River in what became Plaquemines Parish.
The contract of the marriage of Nicolas Godefroy Barbin to HélèneModeste Voisin in 1735 indicates that Nicolas was “Gard de Magazine” (chief administrator) (or warehouse keeper) at Fort La Balize, the post once held by his father, Louis. Among witnesses to the wedding was Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, Governor of Louisiana at that time and Louis Barbin, Nicolas’ father. Nicholas and Hélène had nine children, all born in New Orleans.
It was also Balize that was one of the stopping off points for the Acadian exiles from Nova Scotia.
From there they moved on to the prairie regions west of the Atchafalaya Basin or to the upper stretches of Bayou Lafourche. Few Acadians remained in New Orleans.