Montet Family

Cousin Henri Montet

Henri Camille Montet

Have I ever blogged about cousin Henri? I can’t remember so I’ll just blog about him now.

Henri Camille Montet was my granny’s cousin in that iffy, Cajun way in which the family tree is simplified by just calling someone a cousin when you can’t remember the exact connection. In fact, Granny’s grandmother and Henri’s father were brother and sister. So, they were third cousins. I think.

Henri was a great favorite of my granny even though they were 25 years apart in age. Apparently they loved to attend church fairs together. My granny always did love a church fair.

Since he died long before I was born, I never met Henri. But I certainly heard about him. He was an only child, and death was a constant visitor in his life.

When he was less than a year old, his father and grandfather died within weeks of each other on the family property in Assumption Parish. The grandfather was 65, but his father was only 24. It’s possible the same illness took both of them.

Henri’s mother was of sturdier stock. She never remarried and lived to be 95.

Henri’s brides weren’t as fortunate. He married twice. Both of his brides died within months of the weddings. His first wife, Olimpe, died seven months into the marriage. His second wife, Rosalie Emma, died fourth months after saying I do.

After that, Henri was a confirmed bachelor so I was shocked to discover he fathered at least one child. Baby Hesta – born to an African American woman named Bertha Thomas in a neighboring parish – died of the Spanish flu in 1918 at just a few months old. Henri arranged for the baby’s burial. His name is on her death certificate, which is the only reason I know Hesta even existed.

Henri built a career as a justice of the peace in Assumption Parish. He also was a member of the Police Jury. He moved in with two unmarried sisters in his final years and left them what he had when he died in exchange for taking care of him.

Now I wish I’d asked my granny how she and Henri became such good friends (since they didn’t live in the same town). Apparently he showed my country girl granny the big town of Napoleonville when she was a young girl and took her to the church fairs. Later, after she married and started raising her six children, they kept up a correspondence. Henri’s letters always encouraged my granny to come visit and take in another church fair.

Assumption Parish Genealogy, lafourche parish, Montet Family, Uncategorized

My distant relation, the congressman

According to the internet – and we all know everything we read there is true – Kate Middleton and Prince William are distant cousins. More specifically, they’re fourteenth cousins, once removed.

Reading that inspired me to find the most famous branch of my family tree.

Here it is:

I am distantly related to the late Congressman Numa Francois Montet. His grandfather and my great-great-great-great grandfather were brothers. It’s amazing we never met with close ties like that!

I don’t know much about Numa other than that his tomb in the Plattenville cemetery is very grand compared to my poorer relations’ crumbling tomb. Apparently his Montets were more prosperous than my Montets.

Isn’t genealogy fun?

Assumption Parish Genealogy, Court records, Montet Family

Marie Josephe Montet Boudreaux

Marie Josephe Montet Boudreaux died in 1844, requiring her widower, Jean Joseph Boudreaux, to inventory her property. From what I can gather, standard practice in the 1800s was for the court to appoint a few men to go out to the house and tally up the household goods.

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She wasn’t fabulously wealthy. But the appraisers counted every single kitchen utensil.

Here’s what she left behind:

Chairs

Three tables

A mantlepiece clock

Demijohns and lard pots

Crockery ware

Kitchen utensils

Carpenter’s tools

Farming utensils

Old iron

Grind stone

Timber

Grey horse

Bay horse

Yoke of oxen

2 milk cows

4 sheep

A negro man named George

A tract of land on Bayou Boeuf

$199 in cash

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The inventory also lists the surviving children who were present when the appraisers repaired to the Boudreaux homestead “on the Bayou Boeuf”:

  1. Henriette Adelina, wife of Jean Baptiste Penisson, and her husband (since wives weren’t allowed to authorize anything in those days).
  2. Azelie, wife of Jean Baptiste Giroir
  3. Marie, wife of Robert Love
  4. Pierre Lucien
  5. Felicite, wife of Valgrant Verret
Assumption Parish Genealogy, Montet Family

Adrien Pothier

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Adrien Pothier’s death certificate

Adrien Pothier was the uncle of my great-great grandmother Elizabeth Montet Giroir. Elizabeth’s mother was a Pothier.

Uncle Adrien was a successful man in Assumption Parish. He was a war veteran, an overseer and a judge. He never married. With his death, the Pothier name died in Assumption Parish.

The Pothiers weren’t marrying people. Of Adrien’s six siblings, only one married. It was the same story with Adrien’s aunts and uncles. His father was one of 10 children. Only two of those children married.

What Uncle Adrien did have in abundance were nieces and nephews. His sister Marie made sure of that. His other sisters lived with him and took care of the cooking and cleaning. So Uncle Adrien really didn’t need to marry.

Adrien died in 1911 at age 81. His heirs were his sister Marie’s children: Rene, Augustin, Azelie, Mary, Clairville and Elizabeth. Henry Montet inherited through his deceased father Joseph, who also was Marie’s child. Each received $143.15 ($3,850 in today’s dollars).

I’ve read mention of the distinctive colored roof on Adrien’s home in newspapers so I wondered just what he left. Succession records filled in the details. Adrien owned a lot of land.

He owned land in Assumption Parish next door to my great-great grandmother, a house lived in by Clairville Montet, 100 acres on the east side of Grand Bayou, land on Bayou Olivier, land between Grand Bayou and Bayou Corne, land on Bayou Sec, land on Bayou St. Vincent, land on Bayou Des Olivier, land on Bayou Lafourche, $6,208.14 in cash at the Bank of Napoleonville, $350 in cash at the Bank of Paincourtville, beds, armoirs, tables, chairs, three cows, a calf, a horse, two mules, wagons, a buggy, plows and a silver coin watch.

It appears that after the land was sold, the heirs got another distribution. This time, each received $1,141.81 ($30,000 in today’s dollars).

 

Genealogy tools, Montet Family

Inflation calculator

I know that Joseph Florentin Montet (my ancestor) left an estate worth $10,278.39 when he died in 1886. But I don’t know what that really means.

An inflation calculator helps. Here’s a handy dandy one: http://www.in2013dollars.com/1860-dollars-in-2017?amount=1 

Are you ready to find out if he was a rich man or a poor man? Are you excited?

He was worth about $279,000. The cash he had on hand would be about $43,000 in today’s dollars.

Isn’t math fun?

 

Assumption Parish Genealogy, Montet Family

Taught by the nuns in Plattenville, Part 2

I reached out to the Sisters of Mt. Carmel in an attempt to sort out the story that my great-grandmother was taught by the nuns in Plattenville. This is confusing to me since the Catholic school in that area is in Paincourtville.

Here’s what I got:

Your gr-grandmother could have been taught in Plattenville … we were there for a time … in the early 1800’s and then in the late 1800’s. (1890-1917).  Once I have names, I’ll check if we have anything confirming your information.  We do have a few records for Plattenville and for Paincourtville that  have survived multiple moves and multiple floods, hurricanes, etc.
So it’s possible that Isabelle Giroir did indeed go to school in Plattenville. It’s also possible that her grandmother, Marie Colette Pothier, went to the same school.
Curiouser and curiouser.
Assumption Parish Genealogy, Montet Family

Taught by the nuns in Plattenville

I always heard growing up that my great-grandmother Isabelle Giroir was educated by the nuns in Plattenville until her parents moved to the country, where they could buy more land at a cheaper price. This was a family story because it meant she could actually read and write, unlike her younger siblings who didn’t get an education in the country.

Certainly, there is no Catholic school now in Plattenville so I always wondered if that story meant a neighboring town such as Napoleonville or Paincourtville. What I think is likely is that the school was in Paincourtville and administered for a time by the Plattenville church. Maybe someone in the know could tell me.

I came across this on the Plattenville church’s website:

“In 1825, an American congregation, named the Sisters of Loretta at the Foot of the Cross, opened a school at Plattenville. As they lacked full knowledge of French, it was difficult to work with the parishioners. Therefore, they turned it over in 1828 to religious of the Sacred Heart Sisters from Convent, Louisiana. They, in turn, gave way to the Sisters of Mount Carmel, a pioneer foundation of this order in the state. The Sisters of Mt. Carmel were sent to Plattenville in 1833 during the pastorship of Father Charles Boutelow de St. Aubin. Father Boutelow had been obliged to flee from France during a revolt there. This was the Mt. Carmel sisters’ first house to be established in Louisiana.”

Unpacking that a bit, Isabelle was born in 1895. Her mother, Elizabeth Montet, was born in 1869. So it seems likely that both Isabelle and Elizabeth were educated by the Sisters of Mt. Carmel. Why Elizabeth was Elizabeth instead of Isabelle (French for Elizabeth) is something I’ll never know. Maybe she made up for it by naming her daughter Isabelle instead of Elizabeth.

Anyhoo, back to the Sisters of Mt. Carmel …

In 1905, the sisters held a ball:

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Now, if only I could find school rosters.

Assumption Parish Genealogy, Montet Family

Plantations of Assumption Parish

I’ve mentioned that the Montets owned Aurelie Plantation in Assumption Parish. The family story is that they let it go to taxes after the Civil War. I’m sure there’s a way of tracking that down. I just haven’t gotten around to it.

I came across this interesting map of plantations in Assumption Parish.

Given that Joseph Florentin Montet married into the Pothier family, I wonder if Pothier once belonged to his wife’s family.

What’s really interesting to me is that Aurelie is below Plattenville. There’s an existing Montet Road that’s above Plattenville. I wonder what the connection is.

At some point, I’ll do a newspaper archive search for some of these plantations and see what I find.

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Genealogy tools, Montet Family

Montes who aren’t Montets

In researching the Montet family, I often look at what could be misspellings of the name. Sometimes I strike gold. Other times, I find Montes who aren’t Montets.

That’s what happened when I looked at New Orleans death records. I’m sharing what I found in case they’re useful to someone else.

Here’s Mary Alice Monte, the daughter of John R. Monte and Alice Scroggins:

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John and Alice also lost a son:

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