Those Famous Laplace Brothers

Some, time ago I read an essay by Geraldo Guirty wherein he states that the French migration from Saint-Barthelemy started in 1848, when two members of the Laplace family, through curiosity, visited St. Thomas. Mr Guirty was writing about the Laplace brothers, Dumay and Toiny, who have been made famous by that bit of misinformation.

The story has been told in many ways, by many writers, each copying from the other, over the years. None of these writers did any research. They just wrote what someone had told them. Or someome else had written.

The facts are that in 1848, Dumay Laplace was only three years of age. His brother, Toiny, was not born until six years later.

These two Laplace men were not even the first persons to migrate to St. Thomas. There were quite a few French from Saint-Barth aleady on the
island when these two brothers arrived.

What a joke has been played on the unsuspecting populace!

In the marriage register of the Roman Catholic Church on St. Thomas, we find that Jacques Vitalis (Dumay) Laplace was born in 1845, he died in 1902… We also find that Jacques Vitalis (Dumay) Laplace was married to Marie Augustine Laplace, (a distant relative) , on June 5th 1889..Dumay was 44 and Marie Augustine was 19 years..Dumay died in 1902 and Marie Augustine later married Jean Baptiste Brin, on April 27, 1903.
Antoine (Toiny) Laplace on the other hand, was born in 1854, which is six years after he was supposed to have come visiting as a grown man. At his death in 1915, the burial register states that he migrated to St. Thomas in 1865.

Toiny Laplace married Anne Josephine Laplace, sister of Marie Augustine, in April, 1894. He was 40 and Anne Josephine was only 16 years of age. After Toiny died., Anne-Josephine married Leon Brin on December 28, 1915.

It seems both brothers were widowers when they migrated in 1865.. Dumay already had a son who was an adult when migration took place.

The father of the Laplace brothers was also Jacques Vitalis Laplace. The name of the mother was not listed on the register. They did not migrate to St. Thomas, only Dumay and Toiny migrated.

Jacques Vitalis Laplace III was married, on St. Thomas, to Elisabeth Laplace, on November 25, 1895. He is listed on the marriage register as being 21 years of age. Jacques Vitalis III is listed as being born in 1874 which would mean that his father, Jacques Vitalis II was 29 years old, when his son was born.

Anne-Marie Danet

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