Marie Carmelite’s Story

My dad Robert Joseph Landry, Jr.’s family tree showing his paternal great grandmother Marie Carmelite Hebert.

Marie Carmelite Hebert was born on February 3, 1802, in Brusly, Louisiana.  Her parents were Simon Hebert, 24, and Marie Marthe Hernandez Hebert, 21.  This was during Spanish rule of Louisiana and Brusly was a small town on the west bank of the Mississippi River in what is now known as West Baton Rouge Parish.

Though Simon and Marie Marthe look like they might not be related since their last names are Hebert and Hernandez, they are in fact related.  They were third cousins through their common Acadian great great grandparents Anthony LeBlanc and Marie Bourgeois.  They also have common Landry, Dupuis, and Babin lines.  Marie Marthe, though, was the daughter of Diego Hernandez, who was seemingly Spanish.  His ancestry is not known.  Her mother was Theotiste Babin, an Acadian Exile.

On April 17, 1802, Simon Hebert died.  This left young Marie Marthe a widow with a two and a half month old daughter.  There are court documents that discuss Simon’s inheritance and the guardianship of Marie Carmelite.  Her paternal grandfather Pierre Hebert was named guardian.  On March 5, 1806, Pierre appears in court and relinquishes guardianship and passes the responsibility over to is son Ely Hebert.  Pierre then dies some time within the next ten days.

I’m not really sure why Marie Carmelite needed a guardian since her mother Marie Marthe was alive during that time.  In an 1803 court record it shows that Marie Marthe received her own share of her husband’s property and that Pierre Hebert received Marie Carmelite’s share since he was the guardian.  I don’t know the dynamics of the relationships nor am I familiar with all of the Spanish laws that were in effect at the time, but it sounds like it could be a difficult time for the young mother and her daughter.

Marie Marthe then married Pierre Rivet in 1807.  Her brother was also married to a Rivet.  Marie’s brother was married to Pierre’s sister.  Marie Carmelite was an only child until this point.  Her mother did have three sons with Pierre Rivet.  Pierre was born in 1808, Louis was born in 1810, and Auguste was born in 1812.  According to my information they all died within a year of their births.  That sounds really tragic, so I hope the information I have is wrong, especially for little Marie Carmelite’s sake.  If it is correct, at the age of 11 she would have experienced the death of her father, her grandfather, and all three of her siblings.

I thought about warning you that this was a sad story, but I held back on that.  I only have birth dates and death dates available to me, so I really don’t know the overall experiences of her life.  But having your father die at an extreme young age is rather sad.  At least she had her mother for a dozen years.  That’s right.  Marie Marthe died in 1814 at the age of 33.  So that left Marie Carmelite an orphan at the age of 12.

Marriage record for Narcisse Landry and Marie Carmelite Hebert in St. Gabriel, Louisiana.

She still had her grandfather Diego, but then he died the next year as well.  At least her grandmother Marie Theotiste Babin Hernandez survived until Marie Carmelite had reached adulthood and gotten married.  From the court documents it seems like the different family members in both the Hebert and Hernandez families were willing to help.

She married Narcisse Landry on February 13, 1819, in St. Gabriel.  As you can see in the marriage license, both of Narcisse’s parents were deceased at the time of their wedding.  He was 10 years older than she was and did not lose his parents at as young of an age.  Still, he was only 27 and both of his parents had died.

I hope they had a happy life together.  During the next 25 years they brought 8 children into the world.  I’m glad they kept going until #7 and #8, because #7 is my great great grandfather Trasimond Landry and #8 is my great grandfather Alcide.  It was a different life, though.  Her whole life was spent during slavery times in southern Louisiana.  She and her husband lived on a plantation in Brusly that incorporated slave labor.  It was a terrible institution to be involved with.

She died in 1856.  I am glad that it looks like she did not have to experience the death of any of her children.  With such an abundance of deaths to deal with in her early life, that was a relief to find out.  I wish I had a photo of her and old Narcisse.  They are the only two great great grandparents that I don’t have photos of.  As it is, I only have one photo each of the two sons I descend from.

Of course, photos were not as widespread as they are now.  I suppose there could be a portrait of them somewhere out there, but I haven’t heard of such.  We’ll just have to be satisfied with the few bits of information about them that we can piece together.  So ends the story of Marie Carmelite.

The story continues…

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