Archive for First Antilles French

The Original Settlement of St. Christopher

In 1620, Thomas Warner, who had been adventurous at heart since boyhood, joined an expedition under Captain Roger North. Captain North had been hired by a small group of wealthy Englishmen to found a settlement on Guiana, near the Amazon River.

Captain North landed a contingent of his followers on Guiana, and promptly sailed back to England. Among those left on Guiana, was Thomas Warner and a man known as Capt. Painton In 1622, there not being much to do on Guiana, Capt. Painton convinced Thomas Warner that they should sail to St. Christopher, an island in the area. Warner agreed and sailed from Guiana with a group of fifteen other men.

Warner arrived at St. Christopher and went ashore on January 28, 1623. Upon landing, Warner was met by a group of Caribs, including their Chief,
Tegreman and several Frenchmen, castaways, who were living with the Caribs and planting tobacco.

Warner and his group remained on St. Christopher several months and engaged in planting tobacco and living and eating as the others who lived there. Warner’s group built crude shelters and also a fort on the hill in the center of the island. They ate cassava bread, fish, potatoes, plantains and pineapples. They drank nicknobby, a drink made from potatoes.

Their tobacco crops were ripe and ready to harvest when on September 19, 1623, a hurricane destroyed everything included the dwellings and tobacco crops..

Undaunted, Warner and his men rebuilt the dwellings into stronger houses and planted more tobacco. They also finished building the crude fort

The new crop of tobacco ripened and Warner, after putting a man in charge of the small settlement, sailed to England with his harvested tobacco. Once in England, Thomas Warner looked for his old friend, John Jeaffreson. Together they sought funding for a settlement on St. Christopher. A wealthy merchant, Ralph Merifield, agreed to fund the expedition.

The three men worked out an agreement of partnership. The terms, Merifield would provide the funds, Thomas Warner would sail back to St. Christopher with as many volunteers as could be found. Once on St. Christopher, Warner would send word to Merifield and Jeaffreson would sail with a cargo of supplies and another contingent of volunteers.

Thomas Warner left England with sixteen other men, including his thirteen year old son, Edward.

On January 18, 1624, Warner dropped anchor on the Western side of St. Christopher, near Old Road Bay.

On the 19th of September 1624, once again a hurricane destroyed the crops. Warner repaired the damage and planted more tobacco.

Jeaffreson arrived on St. Christopher on March 18, 1625 with a shipload of supplies. Meanwhile, Merifield was so pleased with the result of his investment that he applied for a charter for himself and his two partners, Thomas Warner and John Jeaffreson. Merifield easily obtained a patent from King Charles on September 25, 1625.

The patent stated that “Ralph Merifield, his partners and agents were permitted to traffic at the islands of St. Christopher, Nevis, Barbuda and Montserrat. Thomas Warner and after his death, John Jeaffreson, would have governance of these islands.”

Note that these three men, Ralph Merifield, Thomas Warner and John Jeaffreson, now owned and held title to St. Christopher, Nevis, Barbuda and Montserrat, islands which the Spanish, under Columbus, had claimed for Spain. This title having been granted by the King of England. To be sure, Spain would not be too happy about this.

Also, in 1625, the French, led by Pierre Belain, Sieur D’Esnambuc arrived on St. Christopher.

Anne-Marie Danet

1 – First French In the Antilles

originally posted 02/15/2001

(by Anne Marie Danet)

It is a sad, sad state of affairs, when a people have been deprived of their history.  But what is even more distressing is that so many people have no desire to learn about their ancestors, to know their heritage.

In many interviews with some of the descendants of the original French pioneers to the Antilles, we have been amazed at their lack of knowledge and at the cavalier attitude in which it is dismissed.  Can we wonder then, that complete strangers, who know nothing about the history, make up their own stories about the origins of the French settlers?  Here are the origins of the first settlers on Saint-Barthelemy.

The first persons to arrive in the Antilles, who bore names which are still found today, were:

– Jacques Aubin who is said to have arrived with Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc.  Jacques Aubin was listed as being from  Octeville.
– Robert Questel, a native of Saint-Arnoult, Normandie, France.  He was hired in 1636 to travel to the islands (of the Antilles).
– Jean Bernier, a native of Chateau Chinon, Burgundy, France, whose marriage certificate indicates that he arrived in  the islands in 1657.
– Jacques Greaux, sometimes listed as Gruau and/or Gruault, whom documents indicate arrived before 1660.
– In a census taken on Saint-Barthelemy, in 1715, we find listed in the employ of the Comany LeGrand, Charles Questel,  armed.
– Listed as unarmed employees of the same company are, Jacques Questel, Martin Daniel… common ancestor of the Daniels  of Saint-Barthelemy.
– Pierre Bernier, common ancestor of the Berniers.
– Jacques Gruau, father, Ancestor of all the Greaux.
– Jacques Gruau, the son.

Another document later that same year lists Jacques Greau and Pierre de LaPlace.  There are no Aubins listed so we  presume that the Aubins had not yet arrived on Saint-Barthelemy.   (…to be continued!)

2 – First French in the Antilles

originally posted 02/16/2001

Most of these family names had already existed on the Mother-Island of Saint-Christophe, (now St. Kitts) for some years before they were sent to Saint-Barthelemy or before they volunteered to settle there.

We continue with the origins of first settlers on Saint-Barthelemy…

Aubin 1681 Toulon
Bernier 1681 Chateau Chinon
Berne 1760 Saint-Brieuc
Berry 1724 Bordeaux
Blanchard 1795 Lille
Brin 1724 Martinique – No record is available of arrival from Ireland
Chapelain 1803 Marseille
Dalchet 1795 Agen
Danet 1752 Nantes, Brittany
Deravin 1800 Martinique – No record is available of arrival from Europe
Duzant 1772 Rouen
Greaux 1657 – ? Origin not specified
Ledee 1704 Sansais – the Niort region
Magras 1724 – ? Origin is Ireland but exact country not traced
Olive 1775 Marseille
Questel/Quetel 1715 Saint-Arnoult
Vantre 1795 Marseille

3 – First French In the Antilles

originally posted 02/19/2001

…They had origins in Aquitaine, Flanders, Poitou, Burgundy, Provence, Saintonge and from the Province of Berry. They came from the towns and cities of La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Chateau-Chinon, Rennes, Rouen, Nantes, Marseille, Saint-Arnoult, Sansais, Toulon, Nice, Lille, Agen, Saint-Brieuc and Bastia, in Corsica. These are the origins of the French from Saint-Barthelemy.

(This information is from  Le Peuplement de Saint-Barthelemy by Jean Deveau)

The following are the dates of some of the marriages between arrivals from Europe and descendants of the early settlers on Saint-Barthelemy, between the years 1724 and 1833…

1724 Pierre Mathieu, native of La Rochelle, espoused Catherine Ledee.
1725 Jerome LaVigne, native of Bordeaux, espoused Anne Magras.
1731 Jean-Baptiste Montgouge, a native of Rouen, espoused Jeanne-Rose Bernier.
1733 Jean Texier, native of La Rochelle, espoused Marie Bernier.
1733 Andre Rey, of Issoire espoused Magdaleine Ledee.
1752 Pierre Danet, native of Nantes, in Brittany, espoused Margueritte Greaux.  He is the ancestor of all the Danets of Saint-Barthelemy.
1760 Pierre Berne, native of Rennes espoused Angelique Magras.
1762 Joseph Roustan, native of Marseille, married Marie-Rose Pimont, widow of Jacques Greaux, the former commandant of the island.
1763 Gabriel Lalaire, of Quebec, Canada, espoused Suzanne Ledee.
1765 Louis Lorange, native of Toulon, espoused Marie-Rose Greaux.
1766 Claude Le Blanc, native of Nice, espoused Suzanne Questel.
1766 Georges Sorin, native of Pons, in Saintonge, espoused Rose Mulryan.
1774 Antoine Giraud, native of Saint-Martin de Re, espoused Marie-Marthe Vittet.
1775 Jean-Jacques Olive, native of Marseille, espoused Henriette Questel.
1787 Jean Querrard, native of the Nantes region, espoused Suzanne Le Blanc, daughter of Claude Le Blanc.
1789 Andre Texier, native of Marseille, espoused Jeanne Questel.
1794 Charles Curet, native of Marseille, espoused Florence Magras.
1795 Jacques Andre Blanchard, native of Lille, espoused Marianne Questel.  He is the ancestor of all the Blanchards of  Saint- Barthelemy.
1795 Jean Derripx, originally from Casgogne, espoused Marie-Marthe Greaux.
1795 Charles Vantre. native of Marseille, espoused Marie-Magdaleine Greaux.
1795 Francois Dalchet, originally of Agen, espoused Marianne Magras.  This name is sometimes written Dalche, sometimes Darche or Darcher.
1796 Etienne Maussion de La Berliere, native of  Sainte-Martin de Re, espoused Felicite Laplace on May 12, she died on 8th September of the same year.
1796 Jean-Baptiste La Montagne, native of La Marche espoused Elisabeth Bernier.
1799 Joseph Turbe, Official of the French Navy, a native of Nantes, espoused Anne-Rose Greaux.  He is the ancestor of all the Turbes of Saint-Barthelemy.
1801 Manuel Gonzalez, of San Sebastian in Spain, espoused Honoree Ledee.
1802 Etienne Blanchard, native of Menton espoused Suzzanne Ledee. It seems that he did not remain on Saint-Barthelemy.
1802 Pierre Viannis, native of Marseille, espoused Catherine Berry.
1803 Lazare Chapelain. native of Marseille espoused Genevieve Danet.
1807 Joseph Boissel, native of Vesoul espoused Catherine Laplace.
1813 Jean Robinet, native of La Rochelle espoused Marie-Anne Magras.
1817 Phillipe Degausse, native of Bordeaux, espoused Anne Ledee.
1818 Joseph Lange Spanet, native of La Carierre (Bouche du Rhone);  espoused Rosalie Greaux.
1819 Joseph Lagoix, native of Genoa espoused Marie-Marthe Ledee.
1819 Jean Baquie, native of Pau espoused Marie-Elisabeth Blanchard.
1821 Florentin Passerat, native of Saint-Brieuc espoused Marie-Magdaleine Mayer.
1824 Frederic Julien, of Marseilee espoused Marie-Rose Ledee.
1828 Jean-Baptiste Aubery, native of La Rochelle, espoused Angelique-Rose Greaux.
1829 Louis Monie, originally of Picardie, espoused Elisabeth Greaux, sister of  Angelique-Rose.
1829 Jean-Joseph Meissonnier, native of Draguignan, esoused Rosaline Greaux.
1829 Charles-Louis Cigogne of Nantes, espoused Elisabeth Danet.
1833 Angel-Francois Phillipe, native of Bastia in Corsica, was married to Elisabeth Greaux, widow of  Louis Monie.