Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Juzan Family- Part 1

Although I am not a descendant of the Juzan family, the family has ties with my own. I have been in contact with several descendants of Charles, Mary Josephine and Daniel over the last decade. When I first started out, there was (and still is) a lot of rumors about the family. It wasn't until I found this document that some of the pieces actually began to fit together.

Pierre Gabriel Juzan, born March 20, 1736 is the progenitor of the Juzan family within the United States. The only son of Pierre Gabriel Juzan the first, who died in the battle of Ackia on May 26, 1736 and Marie Francoise Trudeau who died March 25, 1736, Pierre Gabriel Juzan the second is seen in most records as Pedro or Peter. We know that Pierre had only two legal wives, Catharine Parant, the mother of his eldest son Pierre Francis Juzan (who is found as Francis in documents), and Pelagrie Lorriens, his widow at his death. Mr. Toulmin gives an excellent account of the life of Pierre in the document linked above, and has provided very useful information. There are a few points that I intend to elaborate on, or even disagree, but that is based on additional information that I have found.

Pierre had four other children all of whom are illegitimate, information obtained from the mystic will of Pierre Juzan. The eldest of these children, Daniel, is the ancestor of Mr. Toulmin. From various documents, he was born most likely towards the end of  1760 (since Pierre's widow died December 1759) to early in 1761. The mother of Daniel can't be Henriette De Livoix because she has a child born with her husband and baptized in Mobile that same year. Though there is no evidence, I don't believe you can rule out Marie Henriette Rochon as the mother of Daniel, but in the same manner, you can't say she's his mother either. She was a neighbor and such relationships while frowned upon, did occur.

No birth records or baptisms exist for the rest of the Juzan children. Though, to be honest, it is possible there are baptisms for the youngest two daughters, and possibly Charles in New Orleans which is where Henriette was from. The British had control over the territory beginning in 1761 and the lack of baptismal records is due in large account for the British restrictions on the religion. Catholicism was still illegal in Britain in 1761, so very few records exist from 1761-1781, and those that do lack the detailed information that was contained under both the French and the Spanish. It is likely that many of the French Catholic families in the area practiced their religion in secret.

Before I speak to the rest of the children, I would like to address the tradition of names among the French Catholics of this period. All children had two names, the first was a Saint name, most often Jean (or John). for boys, but any of the apostles could be used. For girls, the name was most often Marie (or Mary). It is my opinion, given the first three generations that do have baptismal records, that Pierre (or Peter) is the name for the Juzan family. Though we don't have, and likely will never see, a baptismal record for the last four children, it doesn't mean that they didn't continue the practice. Most children went by the second name, but would still sign with their legal full name, or saint name on occasion. Thus, Daniel's full name was most likely Pierre Daniel Juzan, and Charles was Pierre Charles Juzan.

The reason I suspect Charles may have the same mother as Marie Josephine Juzan and Marie Marguerite Juzan is the baptismal records of the children of Marie Josephine. Marie's first child has Pierre and Marguerite Juzan as godparents, and the second lists Charles Juzan and his wife. None of the other children have a family member listed among the Godparents. Pierre, Marie Josephine's father, and Marguerite her sister, and Charles, her brother, I believe are listed because they have a close relationship. I suspect the same may not be true for Francis (his father's only legal heir) and Daniel, who really isn't shown in a lot of records.

We have no real idea when Josephine, Margaret or Charles was born, but we can speculate based on some information. Charles in his letter to the United States in 1829 states he had been among the Choctaw for forty years. Assuming he was 18-20 in 1789, he would be born 1769-1771, possibly as early as 1764. Josephine married Adam Hollinger in 1789, and had been a godmother to several members of the Tensaw/Tombigbee settlement in 1787 and 1788. I suspect she was anywhere from 15-25 at the time of her marriage, or born about 1764-1774, her tombstone gives the date as 1766. Margaret was probably the same so based on her marriage in 1796 we can expect that she was born 1771-1781. The only document we have that names a mother for any of the children is the marriage of Margaret  Juzan that Mr. Toulmin provides information about.

In 1764, Madame De Livoy is named as a french inhabitant that swore an oath of allegience to the British in Mobile. In 1769 a deed in Mobile names the house owned by Pedro Juzan and Henriette De Livoy. This definitely puts the couple together at least by 1769. Though among the French a woman was entitled to her own property, it is possible that Henriette would have to forfeit some of her wealth if she remarried. This may explain why Pierre and Henriette never married. Baptismal records for Henriette's children with Lt. Herceuax (?sp) De Livoy show three children, baptised in 1758, 1760 and 1763 in Mobile.

The children of Henriette and her husband were Pierre Jacque De Livoy baptised July 17, 1758, Marie Henriette De Livoy baptised March 1, 1760, and Louise Elizabeth Armanthe De Livoy baptised March 1, 1760. I found a spanish letter in Kinnard that mentions in 1778 a De Livois who had visited the Choctaw, and a Joseph, son of the late Captain mentioned as fighting in the American Revolution in two places. The Aunt mentioned can be traced back to Henriette's sister. Since Pierre Juzan was the War General of the Tombigbee and indian agent in 1778, I believe this supports the relationship of the two.

Henriette's full name was Henriette de St. Aignet, and though I can't prove it, I do believe that she is the mother of Pierre Gabriel Juzan, II's three youngest children, Josephine, Charles and Margaret, and that both Daniel and Francis have different mothers.

Next post I will discuss the children of Pierre.

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