The Mother of Us Landrys was a Babin
I was thinking of naming this post “Joseph Ignatius’s Mother Was a Babin,” but decided to give her a little more prominence than that. I wrote about Joseph Ignatius a few weeks ago to talk about the five ways my tribe and I descend from that ancestor. This week I’m going a generation back to talk about his mother.
The ancestor I’m talking about is my great great great great grandmother Marie Magdelena Babin. She was born in Pisiquit, Acadie, around 1725. She married Augustin Landry some time around 1747. He was a widower and he had two children by his first wife Ann Rivet. Magdelena probably took care of her step-children Maria and Joseph Marie as well as the children that she and Augustin soon started having. Magdelena gave birth to Joseph Ignatius, Mathurin, Marie Madeleine, and Marguerite. There were most likely more children born that did not survive, but the ones I named have documentation.
At some point during this time of child-bearing, Magdelena and Augustin, along with the children born by 1755, were ripped from their homes by the Grand Derangement. The English took over the land that they wanted for their own subjects and sent the Acadians away violently. The Landry family spent about a dozen years in Exile in Maryland where the last of their children were born. I can’t imagine rearing six children during their formative years in a foreign environment where you didn’t feel welcome.
Things changed in 1767 when Spain offered land grants to settlers who wanted to relocate to Louisiana. The Landrys decided to take a chance in Louisiana. They were aboard the ship “The Virgin” that brought a load of ‘French neutrals’ to Louisiana on July 12, 1767. They brought with them all of their worldly possessions. That amounted to two trunks and everything they contained. They were given 8 arpents of land fronting on the Mississippi River.
This was really a huge turning point in the lives of our ancestors. I came to this realization this week when I found the document that inspired me to write the topic of this week. I’m a little reluctant to say that I was a bit touched by this document. The document is titled “Succession Vve. Augustin Landry” and the date is March 25, 1814. “Vve.” is the abbreviation for veuve, the French word for widow. So it is the succession information for our Magdelena. It was written by John Dutton, Judge of the Parish of Iberville.
What was so touching to me was the way Judge Dutton talks about entering the Landry home after Magdelena’s death. He talks about her death being two days previous (on the 23rd), and how he walked into the principal hall and placed a seal on the large armoire (painted red) he found there. It sounds like he was making sure that her legal possessions were not disturbed until there was an inventory a few days later. He proceeds down the hall and puts another seal on a “door of a chamber in the back gallery…”
Judge Dutton also mentions family members that he interacted with and were present at the Landry home. Joseph LeBlanc dit Michel was her son-in-law. He was the husband of Marguerite and son of Michel LeBlanc (hence the dit name). A John Baptiste a gros LeBlanc is mentioned, but I can’t figure out his connection to the family. (See update below.) Two witnesses are named. Aubry Dupuy was the brother to our Magloire Dupuy . Antoine Serrette is another witness and he was the brother of Henriette Serrette, Magloire’s wife. Ten years later, Magloire and Henriette‘s daughter Zerbine would marry Joseph Ignatius’s son Elie Onezime Landry.
It is such a revealing document from over 200 years ago. I was happy to see that this first generation of Acadians in Louisiana were prosperous. This can be seen by the list of their belongings on this and further documents. It included much more than what could be placed in two trunks. I was not happy to see more individuals who had been enslaved by my family. Though it sounds like these individuals were treated considerately, it was still within the confines of slavery.
It also seems like the family was coming together for Magdelena’s funeral. She lived to be almost 90 years old. Oh, what a story she could have told! So by the time of her funeral, her children (natural and step) had children of their own. All but one of the children (Marguerite) had predeceased her. But by the look of the names of witnesses at the bottom of the document, Magdelena’s family had come to her house to mourn or to celebrate her life. Included in that list is Emanuel Landry, one of her three grandsons that I descend from. Other grandsons include Elie, Bellonni LeBlanc, Xavier Landry, Josephe Landry, and Ursin Landry. Pierre Paul LeBlanc was a grandson-in-law.
And now all of us, her great great great grandchildren and beyond, are celebrating her life again.
April 2, 2021 Update – I recently found the connection to John Baptiste a gros LeBlanc. Marie Magdelena (Widow Landry) had a daughter named Madeleine who married Joseph a gros LeBlanc. (Yes, sister Marguerite married another Joseph LeBlanc, but that one was dit Michel.) Joseph a gros LeBlanc had a brother named Jean Baptiste a gros LeBlanc, who I’m pretty sure is the John Baptiste a gros LeBlanc mentioned in this succession paper.