- THE WILL OF ALEXANDER VERDUN
Filed in Terrebone Parish Courthouse; Book E No. 829, page 94, 95, 96:3/521. Submitted by Audrey Westerman.
State of Louisiana
Parish of Terrebonne
The twenty-ninth day of the month of April, of the year of our Lord,one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, and the fifty-third of theIndependence of the United States of America, before be, LeufroyBarras, judge for the Parish of Terrebonne and ex-officio notarypublic in the said parish, personally appeared Mr. Alexandre VERDUN,inhabitant living in this parish, who, being healthy of body and ofmind, as he appeared to us, but well persuaded of the frailty of
things human and of life, wanting further to put his affairs in orderin case of his death, has declared in the presence of Messrs. JosephDelaporte, Auguste H. Verret and Henry C. Thibodeaux, witnessesdomiciled and required for this purpose, his will and act of last willas follows,
FIRSTLY, I declare that my name and Christian name are AlexandreVERDUN, and that I am native of the parish now under the name of theParish of Jefferson at a league and one-half from New Orleans.
Also, I give and bequeath to EULALIE, free colored woman and child ofMARIE GREGORIE, a savage* woman, the seventh of my property upon mydeath.
Also, I give and bequeath to PAULINE , free colored woman and childof MARIE GREGORIE, a savage* woman, the seventh of my property uponmy death.
Also, I give and bequeath to MELASSIE , free colored woman and childof MARIE property upon my dead GREGORIE, a savage* woman, the seventhof my property upon my death.
Also, I give and bequeath to URSINE,free colored man and child ofMARIE GREGORIE, a savage* woman, the seventh of my property upon mydeath.
Also, I give and bequeath to FELICITE MARGUERITE, free colored womanand child of MARIE GREGORIE, a savage* woman, the seventh of myproperty upon my death.
Also, I give and bequeath to JEAN BAPTISTE, free colored man and childof MARIE GREGORIE, a savage* woman, the seventh of my property uponmy death.
Also, I give and bequeath to VICTORE, free colored man and child ofMARIE GREGORIE, a savage* woman, the seventh of my property upon mydeath. Also, I institute and name my executor the holder of theproperties Mr. Jacques Gabriel Leboeuf, to whom I hereby give power totake possession of all my properties upon my death, after having madean estimative inventory thereof, the guard and manage the saidproperties as a good father of the family and keep account of therevenue thereof until all and each of the legatees hereinaboveinstituted reach the age of majority, without the oldest being able todemand profit of any part of my properties before the youngest be amajor thereunto authorizing; however my said executor to use therevenues of properties or such part thereof which shall be necessaryto maintain, dress and nourish these legatees who shall be under theage of majority.
Also, when the youngest of my legatees shall have reached the age ofmajority or if he should die before the time wherein the next youngestshall have reached the said age, then my said executor shall proceedto the division of the said properties and it is understood that nopart of my properties shall be sold or exchanged, but that the wholeshall remain such as it will be the day of my death until the saiddivision.
Finally, I revoke and annul every will or codicil thereof precedingthe present one.
This will has been dictated to me, and Judge, in the presence of thewitnesses hereinafter named and undersigned, and after it was read tothe testator aloud and intelligibly in the presence of the saidwitnessess, he declared that he understood it perfectly and persistedin his opinion thereof.
In faith whereof the said appearer has signed by making his ordinarymark, not knowing how to write, and the said witnesses have signedwith me, said Judge, the day, month, and year as first above written.
Joseph DelaporteAlexandre Verdun X his mark
A.H. Verret Leufroy Barras, Parish Judge and
Henry ThibodeauxNot. Pub.
Recorded this 14th day of May, 1829. The word 'I annul all otherwills or codicils preceding the present one' interlined approved.
*SAVAGE WOMAN = Indian woman (she was of the Houmas Indian Tribe)
ALEXANDRE VERDUN, child of Sieur Adam Verdun and (Mother no named) wasbaptized in New Orleans, La. on 1 November 1771; his date of birth wasnot listed. His sponsors were Francois Drouet and Margueritte Drouet. (REF. Baptismal Registers of St. Louis Cathedral, Vol. VI page 122,Record courtesy of Mrs Larue S. LeBlanc.
ALEXANDRE VERDUN died on 10 June 1833 in Terrebonne Parish accordingto his succession (No. 38-B) filed at the courthouse. No record hasbeen found on the death of Marie Gregorie. His heirs, and childrenwere:
1. Eulalie Verdun, also called Eulalie Gregorie, born 1806/1810married Salomon Verret 20,July 1824, Houma Courthouse, s/o JacquesVerret and Celeste Lamatte.
2. Pauline Verdun, also called Pauline Gregorie, was born between1810 and 1819. She married Jean Marie Naquin s/o Charles Naquin andMarie Magdeleine Lebouef.
3. Melassie Verdun, b. ca. 1819 married Joseph Celestin Billiot s/oJacques Billaux and Rosaline Corteaux. Rosalie Corteaux was aprincess of the Houmas Indians.
4. Ursin Verdun, b. ca. 1822 was married three times. The first wifewas Arthemise Billiot, d/o Jacques Billiot and Rosalie Corteaux; thesecond wife was Jane Loving; the third wife was Marie Plaisance.
5. Jean Baptiste Verdun, b. ca. 1820/22 married Arcene Gregorie, d/oJoseph Gregorie and Constance Jaceau at the Houma Courthouse. Arcenewas the second wife; the first wife was Rosalie Ramagos d/o RuanieRamagos and Lise Carriere.
6. Felicite Marguerite Verdun b. 10 Jan. 1818 was baptized perrecords at Plattenville, La. on 16 Dec. 1818. She married at theMontegut Catholic Church on 21 Sept. 1865 to Alexandre Billiot s/oJacques Billiot and Rosalie Courteaux.
7. Victor Verdun married Genevieve Celina John/Jeanne.
NOTE; In the book, LOUISIANA MARRIAGE CONTRACTS 1725-1758 by Forsythand Pleasonton, page 210, Adam Verdun is shown as the brother in lawof Marie Dauphin d/o Jean Joseph Dauphin and Marie Ann Meunier on themarriage contract of Marie Dauphin to Jean Baptiste Senet. Alsosigning that contract was Ann Dauphin. There are several baptisms forchildren of Verdun-Dauphin in the index of St. Louis Cathedral givingus a clue that Anne Dauphin was indeed the wife of Adam Verdun.Interested parties may refer to the early issues of GENESIS if theydesire to prove this as she should be listed on some of the baptismsif she is the mother. Also, I refer you to NEW ORLEANS FRENCH whichlists the marriage of Jean Joseph Dauphin and Marie Anne
Meunier and to SOME LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LOUISIANIANS by JacquelineK. Voorhies for census listing of this family. Adam Verdun is alsolisted in the St. Charles Parish Civil Records book of Glenn Conrad inreference to the succession of Jean Baptiste Senet.
Some conclusions can be made from the will of Alexandre Verdun.1.)Marie Gregorie must have died prior to the will. 2.)The childrennamed in the will (most of them) were minors. 3.)Alexandre wasevidently concerned about the welfare of the children and chargedJacques Gabriel Leboeuf to look after the property 'as a good father.'--A strong trust and friendship is indicated here.
The marriage of Alexandre Verdun and marie Gregorie will probablynever be found. Probably the reason Alexandre wrote the will in suchfashion, not calling the heirs his children (but most of them areproven children from church record), was the fact there was a law thatoffspring of mixed races could not legally inherit property. Theirparents marriage was probably according to Indian customs, bothparties appear to have recognized by white law. It appears thatLeufroy Barras, Joseph Delaporte, Auguste Verret, and Henry Thibodeauxwere aiding Alexandre Verdun in his attempt to see that his rightfulheirs did gain legal access to their father's property. Only thedescendants know for sure if the will was honored. Alexandre was notan Indian. Marie Gregorie was a Houmas Indian of the Biloxi Nation.This tribe was so peaceful they were
rewarded by being pushed further and further toward the Gulf of Mexicountil there was no further to go. Evidently Alexandre Verdun realizedthis and made a last attempt to secure for his children what wasrightfully theirs.
.. Taken from the Terrebonne Genealogical Society 1984 PioneersPublication