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François Pitre (abt. 1748 - 1819)

François Pitre
Born about in Chepoudy, Acadie, Nova Scotiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1768 in Opelousas, St. Landry, Louisianamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 9 Aug 2009
This page has been accessed 2,871 times.
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François Pitre is an Acadian.
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François Pitre lived in Louisiana.
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Contents

Biography

Flag of Acadie
François Pitre migrated from Acadie to Louisiana.
Flag of Louisiana

François Pitre was born c.1748 in Chepoudy, Acadie,[1] son of Pierre Pitre and Agathe Doucet.[2] He was about seven years old when hostilities between the British and the French led the British to purge lands they controlled in Nova Scotia of its Acadian inhabitants, in a military maneuver that came to be known as Le Grand Dérangement.

From a document titled "Life," by Wendy Pitre-Roostan (references have been added to statements which have been verified):

The next twenty years of his life were probably more ordeal than adventure. Before he’d reached his teens the British were deporting Acadians in the thousands. François’ family probably sought refuge in the woods as their farms were burned and possessions confiscated. By 1763 his father was listed as a prisoner in Halifax. But by 1766 after lengthy journeys by sea François, along with his sister Catherine and father Pierre, are listed in Louisiana at the Opelousas Post.[1]
Within a couple of years of their arrival François married Marie Josephe Thibodeau, the daughter of Jean Baptiste Thibodeau and Marie Josephe Lanoue, who were also Acadian exiles.[1] Over the next 25 years they had fourteen children. Only seven survived childhood, and François outlived two of those as well as his wife.
During the American Revolution François was a soldier (fusilier) in the Opelousas Post Militia[citation needed] and participated in the Bernardo Galvez Expedition (September 1779) against the British at Manchac and Baton Rouge. [citation needed]
He settled in Plaisance, a few miles northwest of Opelousas, where he raised cattle.[1] In 1771 François had 6 cattle and 4 horses on 6 arpents of land.[citation needed] Six years later he was running 50 cattle and 12 horses and had 15 hogs.[3] By 1788 he had 130 cattle, 35 horses on 12 arpents of land and owned three slaves. [citation needed]
Wife Marie Josephe Thibodeau died about 2 ½ years before François, and her succession was filed in St. Landry Parish on 24 January 1818 as Mrs. François Pitre.[citation needed] Louisiana laws supported equal heirship, so her half of their property would have been equally divided amongst their children [with a life estate to her husband]. Her estate consisted of their shared plantation, 19 slaves valued at $12,400, 12 arpents of land at Prairie de Plaisance ‘with improvements’ - $1500, 112 ½ arpents adjoining that - $224, 84 arpents of woodland - $168, 15 arpents of adjoining land of mostly woods running to the Prairie Ronde - $400, plus various farm animals and furnishings. Three valuations of her estate ranged from $15,360 to $20,805.[4]

Slaves

The following slaves named in his wife's succession were sold:

  • Jenny, 40 & her children Rosalie 9, Jose 5, Pierre 3 (to Florentine Poiret for $2660);
  • Celeste, 16 (to Jean Rousseau for $1345);
  • Marguerite, 14 (to Valerie Auzenne for $1215);
  • Marie Louise, 11 (to Joseph Larose or Joseph Lacoste Fontenot for $1360);
  • Jan [Jean?] Louis, 24 (to Charles François Pitre for $1535);
  • Ben, 25 (to François Pitre for $1460);
  • Stephen, 23 (to François Pitre for $1505);
  • Joe, 45, his ‘mate’ Caroline 22, their children Faustin, 5; Julien, 3; girl, 2 months (to François Pitre for $3100);
  • Jaco (Joco, Jacob), 45, ‘imbecile’ ( to Eugene Ledoux for $305);
  • Casamire, 20, African, paralyzed (to Etienne Gabriel Lamonan (Lamonder) for $1295); and
  • Gustin 18 to François Fontenot for $1330).[4][5]

François Pitre's will was dated 22 December 1819 and is preserved as an Opelousas Colonial Document in the Louisiana State Archives:[citation needed]

In the name of God, Amen. By Celestin Lavergne, Public Notary in the Parish of St. Landry, State of Louisiana, and in the presence of the witnesses hereafter named. Present was Sire François Pitre, habitant of the said parish, native of L'acadie, legitimate son of deceased Pierre Pitre and Agathe Doucet; being sound of mind, memory and understanding, fearing death with the incertitude of his hour, he desires to make his will, putting his worldly affairs in order; to this effect he has dictated to the said notary his last wishes in the following manner.
1st. As an Apostolic Roman Catholic, I wish to be buried at the Catholic Cemetery of this parish, and I order that three masses be said for the repose of my soul, for such is my will.
2nd. I declare having been married to deceased, Marie Thibaudeau, from which marriage we had seven children, named Pierre, deceased but survived by two legitimate children who will represent him in my inheritance; François, equally deceased but survived by twelve children who will represent him in my inheritance; Charles; Louis; Joseph; Marie, wife of Laurent Dupres; and Silesse, wife of Eugene LeDoux; all the said children, I declare that they are my legitimate children born of my marriage with the said Marie Thibodeau.
3rd. I give and bequeath to my son, Louis Pitre, in consideration of the good care he took of me during illness, and of the services that he rendered me by coming to live near me, my young negress, Hyacinthe, aged about three years, daughter of my negress Caroline. I wish that he immediately takes possession of the said negress for such is my will.
4th. In consideration of the good and loyal services of my negress named Caroline aged thirty years, I wish, expect, affirm that immediately after my death my executor after having fulfilled all the required formalities of the law give to her, her freedom act free of charge so that she is no longer subjected to slavery and enjoy all the privileges accorded to the people of free color, for such is my wish.
5th. I name for my sole and universal treasure, the above mentioned, my seven children (or their children) that is to say the children of deceased Pierre Pitre in representation of their father or those of François Pitre also in representation of their father and my existing children Charles Pitre, Louis Pitre, Joseph Pitre, Marie Pitre wife of Laurent Dupres, and Silesse Pitre wife of Euguene LeDoux, so that after my death, they will benefit by equal possession all my wealth with God and my blessing, for such is my will.
6th. I name for my executor my son-in-law Eugene LeDoux, so that after my death he executes promptly the present will, gets the estimative inventory done, sells my possessions in a judiciary auction to the highest and last bidder on the terms and conditions that he finds expedient, ---- in this action with my other children, for which purpose, I accord him the time required by the law to do the collection and return of funds, and do the reckoning of share in equal portion among my seven children. I revoke and annul, render of no value or effect, all other will, codicil, authority or dispositions that I had made before the present, which only will be valid, such is my will.
Made and passed in the parish of St. Landry in the home of the benefactor this twenty second day of the month of December in the year of Our Lord eighteen hundred and nineteen: In the presence of Messrs Hypolite Gilbert, François Poiret, and Louis Bertrand, witnesses that have signed with the notary, and the benefactor having declared not knowing how to write has made his customary mark after perusal between lines the words my executor.
Customary mark of François Pitre.[4]
François’ succession was recorded in Opelousas on 11 February 1820, with Eugene Ledoux appointed as executor. The estate was appraised at $12,121, which consisted of cattle, nine slaves, a cotton crop to sell in New Orleans, and a crop of corn and rice – a far cry from the destitute Acadian refugee of 50 years earlier. [4]
The following slaves named in his succession were sold:
  • Ben, 25 (to Jean Fontenot for $1660);
  • Steven, 22 (to Joseph Lasou Fontenot for $1660);
  • Joe, 50 (to Charles Pitre for $1350);
  • Jim, 12 (to Joseph Pitre for $1110);
  • Fauster, 7 (to Jordan Pierre Pitre for $900);
  • Julie, 5 (to Pierre Pitre Jr. for $480);
  • Andre, infant (to Pierre Pitre Jr. for $315);
  • Marie Louise, 15 w/infant daughter, 1 month old (to Jacques Dupre for $1600).[5]
On 1st August 1820 – The slave Caroline (30) freed by estate executor according to will of François Pitre Sr. [Caroline, b. British Mainland Creole, had been sold to François by his son François Jr. on 8 Jul 1808 when she was 13 along with Jean Louis age 15, b. Brut, Africa.][citation needed][4]

Census Data

1777 Census of Opelousas Post,[3] Family 42:

- Francois Pitre, age 30; 50 cattle, 12 horses, 15 hogs, 0 sheep
- Marguerite Thibodaut, wife, 25
- Francois, son, 6
- Louise, daughter, 4
- Mannon, daughter, 2

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Stephen Cormier, Acadians in Gray website Descendants of François PITRE (c1748-c1820; Jean, Claude)
  2. Donald J. Hébert, Southwest Louisiana Records, 1750-1900, Vol. 33- Supplement (Baton Rouge, LA: Claitor's Publishing Division, reprinted 2008) p. 531
    PITRE, François native of Acadie (dec. Pierre & dec. Agathe DOUCET) Last Will & Testament dated: 22 Dec. 1819 (Opel. Ct.Hse.: Lavergne-DeBaillion Bk.A, p.135)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Winston De Ville, Southwest Louisiana Families in 1777: Census Records of Attakapas and Opelousas Posts (Ville Platte, Louisiana, 1987) citing Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, at the General Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain; legajo 2358, folios 258 -300
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Ancestry.com, Ancestry Family Trees, "Rider/Deshotel Family" by nrider1961, Ancestry Profile of Francois Pitre, document titled "Life," by Wendy Pitre-Roostan.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, the Center for the Public Domain, and ibiblio.org, "Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy 1699 - 1820 Database", Pitre slaves


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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with François by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with François:

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Research and revisions are underway per the Louisiana Project to meet WikiTree source standards.
posted by Stephanie Ward