275th Anniversary: Antoine Vidrine
By Mardell Sibley
The following is a brief sketch of the the second and third generations of the Vidrine and related families. Additional information is forthcoming. Colonial and civil documents from the early to mid 1800’s are stored in various locations across the State; indexes are difficult to come by and are very limited. Records are just beginning to be digitized, so much is not yet online. Researching is a slow process. Many of our ancestors used the same or similar names, older records are in French and Spanish and we want to properly document the information we are providing.
The second and third generations of our Vidrine and related families were Catholic and primarily descendants of retired French and Spanish military officers or administrators. Thanks to the documentation of the Catholic Church and the French and Spanish governments, we are able to learn much about our ancestors’ lives. Church archives, census records, tax rolls and other civil records such as marriage contracts, family meetings, successions, and land transactions provide valuable insight to tell the story of our family.
During the colonial period, once girls reached the age of 14 they were considered eligible to marry. Marriage contracts were very common and provide us with much information about the families and circumstances of the couple.
Where our family lived and moved as new lands were opened up for homesteading, strongly influenced the choice of spouse, education opportunities and livelihood. Retired St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court Archivist, Keith Fontenot, tells un in his book Southwest Louisiana Courthouse Inventory Volume One, that land was taxed at 3 different levels: prime crop land, undeveloped crop land/vacherie and wooded/swamp land. All assets were taxed, including the number and type of of livestock, slaves, and the number and size of carriages. That, too had an impact on their choice of livelihood.
This sketch establishes a starting point for the story of each of the five children and their families. There is much more on each to be shared, and over time each of the five Vidrine children and their stories will grow and corrections will be made as they are provided with documentation. Sacramental records and references are attached to the family tree at www.vidrinefamily.com.
A brief introduction into the second generation Vidrine families:
Winston DeVille’s publication Southwestern Families in 1777, Census Records of Attakaps and Opelousas Posts provides us the following: Jean Baptiste Pierre de Védrines and Elizabeth de Monchervaux’s daughter, Marie Jeanne Vidrine was married to Jean Baptiste Richaume Soileau and living at the Avoyelles Post that year. Jeanne was 16 years old, Richaume was 25 years old and they had a 2 year old son, Jean Baptiste Soileau. The census showed they owned 25 cows, 1 horse, 10 hogs and no sheep. Perinne died and was buried January 7, 1808 ( Opel.Ch.: v1-A-p244.
Church records tell us that Jeanne Vidrine and Jean Baptiste Richaume Soileau had 3 children:
Jean Baptiste Soileau
Eugenie Soileau – b – December 1777, bt – February 8, 1778, sponsors Augustin Soileau and Elizabeth Mochervaux married Henri Fontenot (of Alabama, son of Pierre and Louis Doucet) Opel.Ch.: v.1 p. Witnesses R. Soileau, Augustin Soileau, Elie Clernion, Fr. Pedro de Zamora Opel. Ch.: v.1-A p.48)
Godefroi Soileau (Jean Baptiste Richaume and Marie Jeanne Vidrine married DeNeiges Fontenot (LSAR: Opel.: 1800, daughter of Luc Fontenot and Severise de Soto de St. Denis) witnesses Augustin Soileau, B Soileau, Delamorandiere fils, L. Touriac, Etienne de la Morandière, Fr. Pedro de Zamora (Opel.Ch.: v.1-A p.90)
Jean Baptiste Pierre de Védrines and Elizabeth de Monchervaux’s younger daughter, Agnes Vidrine, married Joseph Bartholomew Rozat in 1778. Church and Civil records tell us that Agnes Vidrine and Joseph Bartholomew Rozas had the following children:
Alexander Rozas bt Aug. 27, 1782 at 18 mos old. (Opel CH.: v.1 p. 28)
married Theresa Vasseur Aug. 19, 1806 (Opel. Ch.: v.1 p.159)
married Marguerite ( L or T) ertant ( ? )
Jean Louis Rozat bt Aug. 27, 1782 at 1 month (Opel. Ch.: V.1 p. 28)
Died July 17, 1788 at 7 years (Opel. Ch.: V.1 p.7)
Francois Rozat b. September 25, 1784 (Opel. Ch.: v. 1, p.52)
married Lize Desmaret/Demarais Jan. 1809 ( Opel. Ch. v.1 p. 184)
Lazaret Rosat b. Dec. 16, 1787 (Opel.Ch. v.1 p. 112)
Jean Baptiste Pierre de Védrines died on January 15, 1788. Church records records tell us three of his children married in the following year:
Agnes Vidrine’s husband, Joseph Bartholomew Rozas, of Avoyelles Post, died September 16, 1787 at 28 years old (Opel.Ch.; v.1 p. 2) . Several months later, in January 1788, Agnes married Jean Posony of the Avoyelles Post. (Opel. Ch. : v., p.13)
Pierre Vidrine and Perrine Vidrine married one week apart in July 1788. The Vidrine family was certainly very busy during the 1788 year! Imagine preparing for three of your children’s weddings, but wait, a person generally had two marriages, Civil and Church!
Father Jason wrote about Pierre Vidrine and Marie Joseph Brignac in a prior post. Church records tell us Pierre and Marie Joseph Brignac married on July 7, 1788 ( Opel. Ch.: v.1, p.16 ) and had the following children:
Pierre Vidrine married Adelaide Fontenot
Marie Celeste Vidriine married Edward Fontenot
Hyacinth Vidrine married Marcellin Garland
Jean Baptiste Vidrine, dit Doisite married Eloise Pitre
Marie Dennise Vidrine married Joseph Manuel Ortego
Denis Vidrine married Nancy Reed
Elizabeth Vidrine married Andre Petrowich, Alexandre Lazard Biladinoviz
Andre Vidrine married Marie Sophie Guillory
Florentine Vidrine married Celiss LaFleur
Lisandre Vidrine married Adolmelise Guillory
Perrine Vidrine married Charles dit Belair Fontenot (Joseph Fontenot and Marie Brignac) on July 12, 1788 (Opel.Ch.:v.1, p.17) . Witnesses : B. Soileau, Pierre Vidrine, L. Fontenot, Fr. Joseph de Arenza, Opel.Ch.: v-1-A p. 17. Perrine died and was buried on January 7, 1898. (Fr. Louis Buhot Opel. Ch: v. 1-A P.244). She and Charles had the following children:
Ophelia Fontenot married Ancilet Ortego
Zennon Charles Fontenot
Suzanne Fontenot married Ancilet Ortego
Felicia Fontenot married Michael Marcantel
Leufroy C. Fontenot married Celeste Hebert
Augustin Fontenot married Celeste Hebert
Elisa Fontenot married Vital Pepin.
The fifth child of Jean Baptiste Pierre de Védrines and Elisabeth de Monchervaux is my 4th great grandfather, Etienne dit Lapaise Vidrine. He was 17 years old when his father died in 1787. He lived with his mother until he was 25 years old and then married Victoire Soileau, daughter of Noel Etienne Soileau and Angelique Fontenot (daughter of Pierre Fontenot and Marie Louis Doucet) on August 19, 1795 (Opel. Ch.; v.1, p.57).
Their marriage contract found below is translated and published in Avoyelles Parish Marriage Contracts, 1792-1800 by Le Comite des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc.
Etienne Vidrine and Victoire Soileau – July 25, 1795
“Before us, D” Estevan de La Morandiere, Lieutenant of the Army of His Majesty, Militia Captain, Civil and military Commandant of the Post and District of Avoyelle, and in presence of the two undersigned assistant witnesses, were present D” Etienne Vidrine, legitimate son of D” Jean Pierre Vidrine of La Paise and Mrs. Elizabeth de Montchairveau, his father and mother, on one hand; and Miss Victoire, legitimate daughter of D” Noel Soileau, Second Lieutenant of the King’s armies and Grade Captain of the militia, and Mrs. Angelique Fontenot, her mother and father, on the other hand’ these parties, in presence and by the advice and consent of their parents and friends, to wit: on the part of D” Etienne Vidrine, D” Jean Baptiste Soileau, his brother in law, and D” Noel Soileau, her father stipulating and accepting for her, Mr. Augustin Bordelon and Joseph Lemoine, her brothers in law; promise to take each other for husband and wife, and to celebrate their marriage in front of Our Mother the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church: as soon as it can be done, one of the contracting parties will call for the other.
The said future husband and wife will not have to pay each other’s debts, created before their future marriage” they will, on the contrary, be paid by he or she whom will have contracted them without depending on the wealth of the other.
The said future husband and wife will jointly share in all of their personal property and real estate, present and to come, following the custom of Spain, to the subject of which, the said joint estate will be drawn up, renouncing all others on the contrary, even though they might happen to establish their residence out of this province, considering all of their successive entitlement, personal property and real estate; paid and payables; those of the future wife primarily of
- Five arpents of land of front to the ordinary depths of forty, bounded on one side by Sr. Joseph Lemoine, and on the other by D” Noel Soileau. This land is estimated at one hundred piastres (100)
- A furnshed bed, estimated at the sum of forty piastres (40).
- Six complete sets of utensils, a dozen dishes, four plates, and four kettles. All estimated at twenty -eight piastres. (28)
The said future wife acknowledges to have received from her father, D” Noel Soileau, these three items amounting to the sum of one hundred sixty eight piatres ( 168)
- Forty-one horned animals, large and small, of which seventeen are cows, of which ten are with their calves, three mares and their colts, and fifteen pigs. The total estimated at the sum of three hundred piastres (300), coming from savings of the future wife.
The possessions of D” Etienne Vidrine, future husband, consisting of eight horned animals, of which is one is an ox, five cows and two calves, eleven horses, and a furnished bed. The total coming from his savings and estimated at the sum of two hundred and eight piastres (208).
And for the good and sincere friendship that said future husband stated to have for the said future wife, he made to her by these present, pure and simple gifts, and in the best form that gift could be made, , the sum of one hundred piastres as well as a tenth of his possessions, present and to come’ to this end, the said future wife could take and receive the greater part of his possessions, after death of the future husband, the said future wife will be able to dispose, as she please, this tithe, which she will be able to leave by testament, to whoever she sees fit, if she does not bear children from this future marriage.
The said future wife will be at liberty, and to those of her pedigree and lineage, to accept or renounce the said joint estate, enabling the said future wife to recover that which she will have legitimately contributed, as well as, all other rights that would be due her by inheritance or otherwise.
And also for the good and sincere friendship that the said future husband and wife stated they have for each other, make to themselves by the reciprocal and irrevocable mutual gifts of all their personal property and real estate, which will be found between them at the time of death of the first, without harm to the rights of the infants that shall be born of this future marriage.
The said and future husband acknowledges to have received from the said future wife the above mentioned amounting to the sum of four hundred sixty eight piastres, and promises to support with firmness and stability, the contents of this present contract, as well as the gift which he made to the said future wife, which he promises not to revoke by testament, nor by and public act, approving it and confirming it, as if , conforming to that which the laws prescribe.
All of the above was also granted and negotiated between the two parties. Done and passed at the said Post of Avoyelles, the twenty fifth day of the month of July in the year one thousand seven hundred ninety five, in the presence of Mr. Louis Grisey and Mr. Jean Ponsony, assistant witnesses, who have signed with the contracting parties, their parents and friends, and Mr. Augustin Bordelon and Joseph Lemoine having declared not knowing how to write, made their ordinary marks, which our aforementioned Commandant faithfully done, having approved the words ( of these) in the space between the lines on the second page.
/s/ Etienne de Vidrine: /s/ Noel Soileau: /s/ Victoire Soileau; /s/ B. Soileau; /s/ Etienne de La Morandiere fils; /x/ Agustin Bordelon; /x/ Joseph Lemoine; /s/ Louis Grisey; /s/ Jen Ponsony; /s/ Etienne de La Morandière. “
Etienne and Victoire had the following children:
Etienne Vidrine Jr.- bt February 12, 1797 (Opel. Ch.: v.1 p 173
married Caroline Fontenot – Nov 20, 1821 (Opel. Ch.: v.1, p .388)
Nov 19, 1821 (Opel. Ct. Hse. Mar. # 57)
married Domolise Guillory –
Etienne died Sept. 19, 1830 (Opel.Ch.:v.2, p.17). His estate appears not have been probated due to the marriage contract. We do have a copy of Victoire’s succession and will elaborate more in the future.
Zenon Vidrine, Sr. -b. Febr. 26, 1799 (Opel. CH.: v.1, p. 230)
married Marie Joseph Fontenot Oct. 16, 1821 ( Opel. Ch. v.1, p.385)
Oct. 15, 1821 ( Opel. Ct. Hse.Mar.#49)
Eloise Vidrine – bt. Sunday, July 20, 1800 Pats: Pierre Vidrine and Elizabeth Monchervau; Mats Noel Soileau and Angelique Fontenot; Spons: Augustin Gradneigo and Elizabeth Monchervaux. Marginal note by Rev. Michel Barriere: “ Lis ‘de Vidirne, Voy page 113” (Read ‘de Vidrine’, Spanish text has ‘Bidrine’) See page 113) Fr. Pedro de Zamora (Opel. Ch.: v.1-A, P.229).
Antoine Vidrine – bt Jan. 24, 1802 at 3 months (Opel Ch. v.1, p.271). Sponsors were Antoine Chesnier and Marie Anne de Lamorandiere (Opel. Ch. v. 1-A-p.271)
married M. Eloise LaRose Fontenot-July 10, 1874 (Opel. Ct. Hse. Mar. # 34)
July 28,, 1824 (Opel. Ch. v.1, p.424)
married Marie Josephine Ortego-May 21, 1828 (Opel. Ct. Hse. Mar. # 26)
June 3, 1828 (Opel. Ch. v.1, p. 515)
Eliza Vidrine, died as a child July 22, 1803 (Opel.Ch.: v.1 p.530)
Louis Vidrine – bt June 22, 1807 at 3 yrs old ( Opel. Ch. v.1 p. 414)
married Mannette Guillory May 6, 1826 ( Opel.Ct. Hse. Mar. # 36)
May 16, 1826 (Opel.Ch.; v.1 p. 461)
Jean Baptiste Vidrine – bt Mar. 7, 1806 at 6 weeks old (Opel. Ch. v.1 p.368)
Edouard Vidrine – b. July 3, 1810 (Opel. Ch.: v.1 p. 530)
married Celeste Guillory
Charles Vidrine – bt May 28, 1809 at 9 months ( Opel.Ch.: v.1 p.467)
Augustine Vidrine – bt Jan. 21, 1813 (Opel. Ch.: v.1 p.579)
married Eugenie Goudeau, Married Josephine Fontenot
Victoria Irene Vidrine- b Jun 22, 1815 ( Opel.. Ch. v.2 p 64)
At 16 yrs old, married Dennis Fontenot , 21 yrs old,
on Aug. 26, 1830 (Opel. Ct. Hse. Mar. #37)
on Aug, 31, 1830 ( Opel. Ch.: v 1, p.285
Evariste Vidrine – b Oct. 3, 1816 ( Opel. Ch. v.2 p. 161)
died Aug. 28, 1819 at 2 yrs ( Opel. Ch. v.1 p.179)
Leon Vidrine – b May 14, 1818 ( Opel.Ch. v.2 p.161)
married Agatha Vidrine,Manette Soileau
The story of my 3rd great grandfather…Antoine Vidrine
Antoine Vidrine, the fourth child of Etienne Vidrine dit Lapaise and Victoire Soileau, was born in October 1801 and baptized on January 24, 1802 at the age of 3 months at St. Landry Church in Opelousas, LA. His sponsors were Antoine Chesnier and Marie Anne de La Morandiere (Opel. Ch.: v.1-A-p.271)
December 27, 1817 – Antoine bought from Edouard Simon 10 by 40 arpents at Grand Prairie (Opel. Ct. Hse. No C Bk, pg 149 act 021) no image available, further research is being done.
July 28, 1824 – Antoine married Marie Eloise Fontenot (Larose) daughter of Philip Larose Fontenot and Marie Joseph Ortego at St. Landry Church in Opelousas, LA (Cte. Hse. Mar #34). They had one son, Joseph Valerin Vidrine, born on December 13, 1826 and baptized nearly two years later 25 on September 25, 1828 at St. Landry Church in Opelousas, LA with Denis Fontenot and Marie Doralise Guillory serving as godparents. Marie Eloise died tragically in 1828.
June 3, 1828 – Antoine married Marie Eloise Fontent’s first cousin, Marie Josephine Ortego, daughter of Jean Francois Ortego and Eugenie Larose Fontenot (daughter of Joseph LaRose Fontenot Sr. and Magdalyn Hays) at St. Landry Church in Opelousas, LA (V.1, p.515). They had the following children:
1829 Onezime Vidrine
1830 Emilite Vidrine – married Joachim Landreneau
1832 Francois Vidrine married – ?. Guillory
1834 Josephine Vidrine married Gabin Guillory
1836 Celima Vidrine
1838 Antoine Vidrine, Jr.
1839 Leontine Vidrine married Clermont Vidrine
1840 Emile Vidrine married Felonise Sylvester
1843 Leon Vidrine married Eliza Jane DeBarge
1845 Alcin Vidrine married Estelle Andreport
1847 Achille Vidrine married Euphemie Bordelon
1849 Alexandre Vidrine married Marie Hermina Richard
1850 Leonie Vidrine married Louis Zenon Lafleur
1854 Dominique Vidrine married Aglae Doucet
August 8, 1828 – Antoine signed on behalf of his wife, Josephine Ortego, a land sale from the heirs of Eugenie Fontenot (her mother) to Joseph Larose Fontenot Sr. (her father)(Opel. Ct. Hse. Book No-A p.225 Act 8327-1828).
October 27, 1828 – Antoine is involved in the Estate of Charles Belair Fontenot land sale to Hubert Doucet et al. Also involved were Vital Pepin and Francois “Poupon” Pitre (Opel. Ct.Hse. Book No..A p. 233 Act 8411, microfilm 008411).
October 31, 1828 – Heirs of Joseph Larose Fontenot Sr. partitioned the estate, and Antoine signs on behalf of his wife, Josephine (Book No.1 p. 235 act 8419).
January 26, 1829 – Antoine bought land from Hubert Doucet – the same 6 arpents by 10 arpents that Doucet acquired from Charles Belair Fontenot in Bois des Baton Rouge. This document listed his name as Valerian Antoine Vidrine (Opel. Ct. Hse. Book No. A p.251 act 8570).
January 26, 1829 – Land sale from Valerin Antoine Vidrine to Joachim Ortego – the same 6 by 40 arpents of land (Opel. Ct. Hse. Book No. A p. 252 act 8572).
In the 1830 US Census taken during June 1830, Antoine’s young family appears. Antoine (28) is listed with his wife, Josephine Ortego (19) and their children: Joseph Valerin (4), Onesime (1), and Emelite (a few months old). They were still living at the Quartier dit du Baton Rouge (Ville Platte, LA) near his father, Etienne Vidrine, dit Lapaise.
**February 11, 1837 – Antoine purchased the home and 3 by 40 arpents at Grand Prairie Rd to Bayou Grand Louis from Jean Baptiste George Demarest (Opel. Ct. Hse. Book No A p. 461, Act 13290-183).
August 10, 1840 – he sold his land at Baton Rouge Prairie to Zennon (Opel. Ct. Hse. Act 15629-184).
February 15, 1841 – Antoine and B. G. Demarest bought from Gabin Guillory land in Grand Prairie (Opel. Ct.Hse. act 15911-184).
February 4, 1847 – he and B. G. Demarest bought land from Thomas Bledsoe Estate (Opel. Ct. Hse. Book No. 2, p.240 Act 19932-184).
February 6, 1847 – he and B. G. Demarest bought land from Thomas Bledsoe Estate (Opel. Ct.Hse. Book K1 p.589 act 19939-184).
March 30, 1848 – Antoine and Demarest divided the land at Old Grand Prairie (Opel. Ct. Hse. Book O page O act 20811-184).
In the 1850 US Census taken on June 1, 1850, Antoine (48) is listed with his wife, Josephine (39) and their children: Francois (17), Leontine (11), Emile (10) Leon (7), Alcin (5), Archille (6), Alexandre (1) and his nephew, Theodule Vidrine (8) (son of his brother Augustine Edouard Vidrine, Sr.) They are now living at Grand Prairie and had 11 Slaves and 400 acres, 200 of which are improved, and on which he produced 2,000 pounds of cotton, grew 350 bushels of corn and 100 bushels of sweet potatoes.
November 23, 1856 – he sold 3 a small acreage to Hyacinth Joubert. It fronted the Washington/Ville Platte Hwy
January 30, 1858 – Pierre Larose Fontenot Heirs sold land to Hypolite Hebert (Book Q1 page 459 STL 22430).
February 25, 1858 – Antoine bought from Pierre Jeansonne land in Prairie plaisance (Book Q 1 pg 493 atc STL 22487).
In the 1860 US Census taken on June 1, 1860: Antoine (59) is listed along with his wife, Josephine (49) and their children: Emile (19) was manager of Antoine’s farm; Leon (17) was working on the farm; the next 3 children had attended school within the year: Alcin (15), Archille (13), Alexandre (11); Leonie (10), and Dominique Antoine (6) did not attend school. Antoine had $1,496.23 in gold, $47.40 in cash, 130 head of cattle, 20 head of horned cattle, 2 pair of oxen, 10 horses, and 3 mules. The total of his estate was $8,386.00 Personal estate value was $26,000 and real estate value was $4,000.
February 27, 1861 – Antoine bought land from Zennon Marcellan Lafleur (Opel. Ct.Hs. Book T page 130 act No. 5052). These land entries will be elaborated on late. A map will be included at the bottom of this post.
In the 1870 Census taken on June 1, 1870, an older Antoine (69) appears with his wife, Josephine (59) and their youngest children: Alexandre (21), Leonie (20), and Dominique Antoine (16). His Personal Estate value was $2,200 and Real Estate value was $2,000, indicating that, like many, he had suffered loss as a result of the aftermath of the Civil War and the time of Reconstruction in Louisiana.
There is much to post about the Civil War and our family’s participation in active service as well as contracts to provide food and goods to the Confederacy. That will come later.
Antoine Vidrine’s and Josephine Ortego’s Succession
The Heirs of Antoine Vidrine filed a request to partition and settle debts due by them to the Estate (Opel.Ct.Hse. Book No. 2 p. 349 act 14146).
The Succession of Antoine Vidrine and Josephine Ortego is 60 plus legal pages. It stated that Antoine owned 450 arpents, bordered to the North by Alfred Stagg and Alexandre Fontenot, South by Bayou Carron, East by his son Alcin Vidrine and West by Zennon Lafleur. More to come…..
The map below is from the Antoine and Josephine ’s succession…And below is a map of the area from 1975. Alcin Vidrine, donated the land where the Grand Prairie Church is now. Etienne sold some land that was near where the old Grand Prairie Church was. I have info and a photo of the old Church. That will be shared a little latter.
The following two pictures are in the private collection of my cousin, Kathleen Deville Godchaux. The two pictures hung on the wall above the fireplace in the bedroom of my great grandparents (Alfred Vidrine and Aurelia Hargroder) home in Nuba. As children, Kathleen, my mom and other cousins assumed the pictures were of Alfred’s parents Alcin Vidrine and Estelle Andrepont. However, known identified photographs of Alcin Vidrine clearly show Alcin is not the man in the photo and we have known identified photo’s of my great grandmother’s mother Emilie Riviette, who is clearly not the woman in the photo. At a prior reunion, Kilren Vidrine ( a descendant of Antoine’s first son Joseph Valerin Vidrine) stated he believed the picture was of Antoine Vidrine because of the mode of dress and facial hair which would date the photo’s circa late 1860’s early 1870’s. We believe these are the photos of Antoine Vidrine and Josephine Ortego.
The following is a known photo of Alcin Vidrine and his second wife, Celima Thibodeau in 1919.
This is a portion of a long panoramic photos of the Knights of Columbus, Opelousas Council in 1911 in front of the St. Landry Catholic Church. I tried to scan the long panoramic original photo which belongs to the mother of Ashley Wilson Michot, Ville Platte. Ashley’s great grandfather is on the front row left. My great grandfather ,Alfred Vidrine next to him, second from the left, the next 2 men are two of his brothers, we believe to be Jacques Vidrine and Frank (JF) Vidrine. The older man on the left top row is Alcin Vidrine and the man next to him is another of his sons. There were many people in the photo and on the right end of the panoramic photo were several women all in white dresses. The panoramic picture was taken by Jasper G. Ewing. I contacted his descendants who are still in business in Mississippi to see if I could buy a copy of the entire image. They stated that a fire in the 1920’s destroyed all of his older photos and negatives. If anyone has a copy of this photo and is willing to allow us to scan a better copy of the entire photo and we can try to identify all of the people in the photo, please contact either me or Fr. Jason. Ashley’s mother had a second KC panoramic photo from several years later, but my scan did not come out.