Pierre and Marie
Pierre Jardelat was born about 1733 in New Orleans to Alain and Marie Jardelat.1 At least two of his older siblings had already died by the time he was born. Pierre married Marie Songy in New Orleans on 19 May 1761.2 In a list of French military troops in the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast in 1745, "Alain Jardelas called Tempete" and "Pierre Saunier called Languedoc" are both fusiliers - soldiers who carried muskets.3 Because Marie often used the name Languedoc instead of Songy, this Pierre could possibly have been her father.
In 1766, Pierre appears in a census taken at the Arkansas Post, a military garrison near where the Arkansas River flows into the Mississippi, in present day Arkansas.4
In 1686 the Arkansas Post became the first permanent European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley. In 1763 the Spanish took possession of all French territory west of the Mississippi River. Three years later, on 5 March 1766, Antonio de Ulloa arrived in Louisiana to take over as the first Spanish governor. Two months later he ordered a census taken of the new colony.
The Arkansas Post had never been a thriving metropolis. The actual site of the Post was moved several times due to flooding and erosion. In 1744 there were only twelve soldiers and ten slaves as well as some "habitants" - or settlers - who were mostly traders. There was also an Indian village nearby. In 1763 there were 31 officers and men. When the area was ceded to Spain, many of the French soldiers stayed on, swearing allegiance to Spain.5
Pierre appears at Arkansas Post for the first time in the 1766 census and is listed as "Francisco [Pedro] Jardela" according to the transcription made from the original census. He was head of a household which consisted of himself, one woman, two boys not yet of military age, one girl and no slaves. He was not listed as part of the militia. In 1768 the family size remained the same. The family lived in an area considered at the time to be a primitive outpost. To travel up the Mississippi at that time took about 35 days from New Orleans to the Post, including three days of hard paddling to get from the Mississippi to the Post itself.6
By 5 January 1770 the family had grown: Pedro Jardelat, Maria, his wife, three boys (Pedro and two unnamed), one girl named Carla and one girl unbaptized. At that time, the total population was 79, more than half the population being children.
In 1780 Pierre is listed as Corporal 2d Class Pedro Jardelat. His son Pedro, about sixteen, was also a member of the militia. Pedro, the father, would have been about forty-seven.
In 1791 the census lists Pierre Jardela, white male, age category 3, farmer, and three slaves.7 Being in category 3 - 49 and older - probably meant that Pierre was no longer in the militia because of age and was now a farmer. His crops in the next few censuses consisted of maize, wheat and tobacco. Also listed in 1791 are Marie, his wife, age category 2; five sons, two under thirteen and two of military age; three daughters, two under thirteen and one over thirteen; and three black slaves.
In 1793 Pierre's wife is listed on the census as Marie Lanode. This is probably an error due to handwriting and transcription. 8
In 1793, Pierre and Marie had nine children living at home. Their oldest daughter, Charlotte (Carlota), had married Josef Reynes in 1786 and was living in New Orleans. There were forty households at that time living at the Post with a total of 220 people. A year later, in 1794, the population had grown to 336 and all of the children are named in the census: besides Pedro (Pierre) and Maria (Marie), there are three sons of military age: Pedro, Luis and Alexo, and two younger sons, Juan and Jose; three daughters over thirteen: Louison [Louisa], Maria Louisa and Margarita, and one under thirteen: Judit. A daughter, Adelaide, was born 15 March 1779 and baptized on 9 July 1786 at the same time as her brother Alexis, but she does not show up in the list of names in any of the censuses or other documents.9 It is possible that she died, but no record has been found for her except her baptism.
By 1796 Louisa and Margarita were no longer listed. They had not yet married and it is not known where they were. One possibility is that they had been sent, being young ladies, to the Ursuline Convent school in New Orleans. In the many recorded documents, several of the daughters sign their names to the documents. Louise, at her marriage, signs the marriage document and her sister Maria Louisa, signs as a witness. Charlotte also signs her name to various documents but none of her brothers do. In one record, the priest, Don Pedro Janin, notes "she [Charlotte Jardelat Reynes] signed with me, the godfather [Pierre, her father] not knowing how to write." In another record the priest notes that Marie Languedoc, their mother, cannot write. Some of the daughters in the family, before they were married, are not listed in the census and it is possible that they were in New Orleans in school.10
On 28 April 1798 Pierre Jardelat was buried at the Arkansas Post. Present for the burial were his children Pierre, Louis and Marie Louise.11 Several months later, on 2 December 1798, a final census was taken. The "Widow Jardelat" was listed as raising wheat and maize, but not tobacco. Seven children were still living with her, two of whom, Jose and Judit, were still thirteen or younger.
In 1803, with the Louisiana Purchase ceding the area to the United States, more American settlers began moving in. Charlotte, Marguerite, Louise and Luis had married, Charlotte in 1786, Louise in 1798, Marguerite in 1799, and Luis in 1802.
Marie was still living at the Arkansas Post on 30 July 1806 when she sold a slave, Marie Jeanne, to Mr. Jean Larquier. Marie signed with her mark.12 Jean Larquier was the husband of Marie's daughter, Marie Louise.
In 1804, the Spanish Commandant lowered the flag at the Arkansas Post and the American flag was raised. In October 1818 both Alexis and Jean Jardelat were still in the area of the Arkansas Post.13 In researching the history of one of the buildings at the Arkansas Post, Montgomery's Tavern, it was found that the tavern sat on part of a one-acre lot of land that had originally belonged to Louis Jordella (Luis Jardelat) where he ran a trading post. Jordella sold the property before 1806 when he died.14
Marguerite, through whom I descend, married a Spaniard, Pablo Graupera in 1799 in New Orleans;15 their daughter, Pauline, married Celestino Gonzalez of Pensacola in 1825.16
Marie, Pierre's widow, remained at the Arkansas Post where she died in 1809. She dictated her will to a notary, Andre Fagot, on 6 July 1809, naming herself as "Marie Languedoc, daughter of Languedoc and Mary Soignez" [Sogne, Sogny]. She passed on her estate, including eight slaves, to her children: "My house, my property funds, my furniture
and all my animals horned cattle as well as horses, mares and what follows will be sold and equally divided between my children." She owned a business with her son John (Jean), a billiard parlor. She leaves to her son [in-law] Jean Larquier the task of collecting and distributing the equal portions to her "absent children." Her daughter Charlotte had moved with her family to France, and other children were in New Orleans. A message to her children comes at the end of her will: "I have no doubt about the tenderness of
my children and I believe to live a long time in
their memory, I hope they will remember the desire that
I always had to preserve a good understanding among them
and that they will always seek to live in good conscience." 17
The Jardelat family of Arkansas Post
Descent report for Alain Jardelat and Marie Guerique
Chart showing the descent from Alain Jardelat to Anne Healy Field
A Note on Names in old French and Spanish Documents in Louisiana and Arkansas
Children of Pierre Jardelat and Marie Songy (dit Languedoc)
The 1728 map of New Orleans was taken from from "Report on the Social Statistics of Cities," Compiled by George E. Waring, Jr., United States; Census Office, Part II, 1886. Available from the website Wikimedia Commons, and is in the public domain.
Abstract of Catholic Register of Arkansas (1764-1858), Dorothy Jones Core, compiler and editor. DeWitt, Arkansas, Grand Prairie Historical Society, 1976, p. 83. Pierre's parents are given in the burial record as Pierre Jardelat and Marie Guerique. In his marriage record to "Marie Sogny" his parents names are given as Alen Gerdela and Marie Kierite.
The transcription of the marriage record gives her name as Sogny, but most other records of this name are spelled Songy, sometimes spelled Saunier, Sonnier or Songe. In Pierre and Marie's marriage record, Marie's parents are Pierre Songy/Sogny and Jeanne Genton.
At the baptism of Pierre and Marie Jardelat's daughter Charlotte, the godparents, or sponsors, are ____Songy and Charlotte Rillieux, who signs as Charlotte Songy.
Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, vol. 2, 1751-1771, edited by Rev. Msgr. Earl C. Woods and Dr. Charles E. Nolan. New Orleans, Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1988, p.155 (SLC, B5, 138). Baptism was 20 July 1766.
In another child's record of baptism, Charlotte Rillieux is also the sponsor, along with a Pierre Songy who is in the militia. Charlotte is listed as the wife of Joseph Songy, scrivener for the navy.
Sacramental Records, vol. 2, p.213. The sponsors at a baptism for Anne Charlotte Mouton are Pierre Songy, militia officer, and Charlote Rilieux, spouse of Joseph Songy, scrivener (SLC, B5, 109).
Joseph Songy, married to Charlotte Rillieux, is the son of Francois Songy; he has a brother, Francois, and a brother Pierre, a goldsmith. These Songys are most likely related to Marie Songy but it is not known yet what the relationship was.
Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, vol. 2, 1751-1771, edited by Rev. Msgr. Earl C. Woods and Dr. Charles E. Nolan. New Orleans, Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1988, p.136. Jardelat is spelled Gerdela. Marie's surname is Sogny or Songy in the marriage record but later she goes by Languedoc.
De Ville, Winston, French Troops in the Mississippi Valley and on the Gulf Coast: 1745. Ville Platte, Louisiana, 1986.
Arkansas Colonials: a Collection of French and Spanish Records Listing Early Europeans in the Arkansas, 1686-1804. Comp. and ed. by Morris S. Arnold and Dorothy Jones Core, Commemorating the 300th Anniversary of Arkansas Post. A Sequicentennial Project of the Grand Prairie Historical Society. DeWitt, Arkansas: DeWitt Publishing Co., . All census information in the following paragraphs comes from this source.
Arkansas Colonials: a Collection of French and Spanish Records Listing Early Europeans in the Arkansas, 1686-1804.
"The Arkansas River and the Development of Arkansas Post," by Roger E. Coleman, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Originally presented as a paper at Arkansas Post National Memorial on May 18, 1991 for the tenth annual Arkansas Heritage Week. Published to the web by the National Park Service Archives at http://www.nps.gov/archive/arpo/history/coleman.htm. Accessed 22 April 2009.
Rather than stating ages of people in the census, it was done by age categories. Age category 1 was thirteen and under; age category 2 (military age) was over thirteen and under fifty; age category 3 was over forty-nine. At one point in the census, categories one and three were switched.
Languedoc can be a "dit" name for Saunier or Songy, meaning that the person sometimes went by another surname. Languedoc was also sometimes transcribed as Langdoc. If the handwriting was hard to decipher in the original records, as it often was, Langdoc could look like Lanode, which is how it was transcribed in one record. In the marriage record for Pierre ("Pierre Gerdela, son of Alen [Gerdela] and Marie Kierite") he married Marie Songy on 19 May 1761. Marie Songy and Marie Languedoc are the same person.
Abstract of Catholic Register of Arkansas, 1764-1858. Adelaide's birth date is given in the record of baptism.
More research needs to be done on this topic. Where would these young ladies have learned to write? Where might they have gone to school? The Ursuline Convent did educate young ladies at the time and they may have gone there.
Abstract of Catholic Register of Arkansas, 1764-1858. The names listed as present at the burial may have been just the names taken as witnesses. There may have been others at the burial.
"People of the Post: Mary John, Slave, Cook and Tavern-Keeper." The Arkansas Post Gazette, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Winter 2002-2003, p.6. Marie Languedoc, the Widow Jardelas, appeared in court to sell her slave, Marie Jeanne, a creole negress. She would have died some time after this.
Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas. Josiah H. Shinn. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967, p.97.
“Montgomery’s Tavern and Johnston and Armstrong’s Store.” Historic Structure Report, Historical Data, by Edwin C. Bearss. Washington, D.C., Office of History and Historic Architecture, Eastern Service Center, May 31, 1971. Published to the web at http://www.nps.gov/archive/arpo/monttav/index.htm. Accessed 22 April 2009.
Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Vol. 6, 1796-1799. Ed. by Earl C. Woods and Charles E. Nolan. New Orleans, Archdiocese of New Orleans, p.53, 140, Marriage of Margarita Jardelat and Pablo Graupera, April 2, 1799. Margarita is from Las Arcas (Arkansas). He is from Calella, Catalonia [Spain]. They were married in the St. Louis Cathedral but not the one presently standing which was rebuilt in 1849-50 after being destroyed by fire.
Marriage Certificate for Celestino Gonzalez and Pauline Graupera. Escambia Co., Florida, Marriage Records. Book A, p.18. FHL Microfilm 941001.
Will of Marie Languedoc. Copy of original handwritten will with English translation from French accessed at the University of Arkansas, University Libraries, Digital Collections website: http://digitalcollections.uark.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/CAPA/id/325/rec/1. The will is from the series: The Colonial Arkansas Post Ancestry Digitized Collection.