On January the 8th, 1721, the French flute BALEINE anchored at Ship Island, nine miles off the coast of present-day Biloxi, Mississippi. The small transport carried a precious cargo – as many as eighty-eight young women and girls who had each volunteered to emigrate from France and begin a new life as the wife of a soldier, sailor, or settler residing at Biloxi, which was then the capital of Louisiana.
Unfortunately, the list of their names was lost for 266 years. In 1987, it was discovered misfiled in the French Archives and published by Bruce Ardoin in the National Genealogical Historical Quarterly. Twenty-six of the girls eventually founded large families in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Illinois.
I created a Free Space project to recognize their contributions to the genetic foundation of the Gulf Coast. 11 profiles already exist in WikiTree.
As I build up the rest of the profiles, I hope to be joined by other descendants or interested party.
**UPDATE - All 88 profiles with spouses and parents have been created. Anyone wishing to provide additional updates are welcome and appreciated.
[Edited to add tags: Joyce Rivette]