I am a great supporter
in what I call the primary research strand in family history research.
There is little doubt in my mind that the most productive results
in developing a family tree will be the result of making links with
distant cousins where ever possible. The thinking behind this is
that knowledge and artifacts travel down all family lines and not
just your own. Indeed if you descend from younger siblings in the
family, it is likely that much more is known by the descendants of
the older children in these distant families. My own grandmother,
born at the tail end of 12 children is a case in point. Largely reared
by her older sisters, she knew little of her parents' origins and
yet when I talked to the children of her older siblings, they were
comparitively well versed in their ancestry.
Thus in my mind the primary research trail has to be locating distant
cousins and apart from searching them out in electoral rolls, telephone
directories and the like, one of the better ways of finding them
is by advertising your research interests widely. I have used the
Genealogy Research Directory (GRD) extensively and had good results.
I also use family history magazines and society journals too. I find
journals published by societies residing where my ancestors lived
to be particularly useful. The advantage of using these tools is
that you pick up fellow genealogists in your own extended family.
However, the web just outranks all the previously listed modes hands
down and you get picked up by not just fellow genealogists. How many
readers have googled surnames of interest themselves?
I have a rather rare name which helps the process, but I will relate
just two of many contacts I have received by having a Jaunay web
first refers to a contact I received fro a cousin living in Paris. Our
common ancestor, François Marie JAUNAY died in 1839 and the cousin
descend through the eldest child, Ann, while I descend through the
youngest child, Louis. This cousin has an original painting of the
children of François Marie which dates to about 1825. I have
a rather poor photograph of the small painting and hope one day to
obtain a decent copy. He also sent me copies of the architect's drawings
for the rennovations in 1816 of the Jaunay property in Leicester
The second contact happen just this August when a doctor living in
New Orleans advised me that he was living in a creole house built
by Charlotte Jaunay in the late 1820s. This man has rennovated the
house and attached slave quarters with great care. Unfortunately
I cannot yet link Charlotte to my family but her father originates
from the same place, Angers, as my family.
Charlotte, the daughter of Jean JAUNAY and Marie Anne Jeanne MUGNIER
was born in St Domingue in 1772, She and her husband escaped the
1804 revolution by fleeing with thousands of others to Cuba. When
Spain expelled the French refugees from Cuba in 1809, almost 10,000
of them including the Santo Domingo family migrated to New Orleans.
By then, there were two children, Louise and Louis Joseph, the latter
born in Cuba in 1804.
There are several parish court records in the New Orleans Public
Library that illustrate the life of Charlotte. The first, in September
1816, involved her husband’s estate. In the record, Charlotte
stated that her husband had died in July and that his death had left
her a few pieces of furniture and a slave with two children. No real
estate was mentioned. In a notarial document, Charlotte renounced
her marital status because her husband's estate owed her $11,789
from her dowry. She was awarded the money.
A second suit was launched in October a year later against a ship's
captain, John David, whom Charlotte sued for $200. The circumstances
of her husband’s death were revealed in the document. In the
summer of 1816, the Santo Domingo family was relocating to Puerto
Rico. In May, her husband booked passage from New Orleans for $260;
the entourage was to have included himself, Charlotte, their son
Louis, and two female slaves with their three children. For unexplained
reasons, after the captain received a promissory note for the trip,
only Charlotte’s husband was able to go. Unfortunately, he
died 15 days after he arrived in the capital of Puerto Rico, in July
1816. The captain turned the note over to Santo Domingo’s executor
who paid it, unaware of the circumstances. Charlotte successfully
argued in her suit that the ship, the Fornax, had been fully loaded
when it left New Orleans, and that the captain had knowingly cheated
her out of a refund.
Yves Le Blanc owned a store on Royal Street New Orleans at the corner
of Toulouse Street when he bought the property of Urban Meilleur
on Toulouse Street in 1822. After Le Blanc died in 1826, his estate
sold the property on Toulouse on 27 January 1827 to Charlotte Jaunay,
the widow of Louis Honore August SANTO DOMINGO for $1520.
the time she bought the Le Blanc property in 1827, Charlotte Santo
Domingo was fifty-five years old. There is some evidence that Charlotte
began the process that resulted in the present house at 926 Toulouse
Street (pictured) today. Tax records for 1836 assessed the property
at $1200. In 1837, the assessment rose to $2000 and, in 1838, to
$3000. Shortly after the home was constructed Charlotte sold the
Pictured (with permission): 926 Toulouse Street from L-R starting
at top: Street frontage, slave quarter in rear garden, slave quarter,
of home, interior of slave quarter.
Gould Genealogy is
undertaking a new exciting venture and Adelaide Proformat is delighted
to be a part of the project. More in the next