Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Known Descendants of Jean and Pierre Laffite

This is a "work in progress" and we're now focusing on Cuban Archives and Church records there.

Here's the latest list of descendants:

Known Descendants of Jean and Pierre Laffite (from the New Orleans Sacramental Records)

1.Jean Laffite and Catherine (called "Jeannette") Villars had:

- Pedro (a.k.a. “Pierre”) Lafitte, born Nov 4 1815 in New Orleans. He was baptised on Feb 21 1820 and his sponsors were Pierre Laffite/Laffita and Adela Lafitte (we don't know who this is unless it is a previous wife or mistress of Pierre's known as Adelaide Maselari-Lafitte).

Note: “Jeannette” was spotted in Galveston with JL before he evacuated his base there, but we’re not sure what happened to her. JL had gifted her some real estate in New Orleans’ French Quarter so she probably went back there.

2. Pierre Laffite had a son with Juana Delas (of Baracoa?):

- Pierre Laffite, Jr. (not sure when/where born…probably in Baracoa or Pensacola) who married Maria Berret (sometimes spelled Veret/Verret of Baracoa) in New Orleans on Dec 16, 1820. The witnesses at this marriage were Juan Rodriguez, Christoval De Armas, Simon Cucully and Juan Castenado. These two may have returned to Baracoa (?). Maria's parents were Ambrosio Veret and Maria Mas of Baracoa, Cuba.

3. Pierre Laffite and Marie Louise Villars/ (Maria Luisa) had:

- Joseph Lafitte/Laffit/Laffite, baptised Aug 7, 1821, born May 2, 1821. Sponsors Joseph Aicald and Marie Filiosa (?) Aicalde.

- Juan Laffite, baptised Jan 31, 1820, born Oct 27, 1816... sponsored by Juan Lafitta and Rose Lafitta

- Rosa Villar Lafita, baptised Mar 22, 1814, born Aug 28, 1812. Sponsored by Martin Lafita (“brother”) and Caterina Lafita (“sister”)

We know Rose stayed in New Orleans and we have traced her lineage and found a direct female descendant named Diane Burkette. We know all about this because the descendants of Rose filed a lawsuit in New Orleans in 1922. Because Rose was ¼ black, her descendants were all classified as “black” on their birth certificates even though they all intermarried with whites and they looked totally white. However, Louisiana law said that ANY black blood in the past resulted in a “black” classification for all descendants. The suit was filed against New Orleans Department of Health (who issued the birth certificates) because even in the 1920’s it was ILLEGAL for a black to marry a white. Rose’s descendant wanted her birth certificate changed to say “white” so she could legally get married to a white man. This lawsuit is how we tracked down the descendant Dianne Burkette. I have a copy of this lawsuit in my files.

- Catherine (Caterina) Coralie... I am not sure when she was born but she married Pierre Roup on March 19, 1825) She was the "sponsor" at Rosa's baptism (noted above). Catherine and Pierre had two kids: Marie Roup (2/25/33) and Joseph Roup (11/3/28) and she stayed in New Orleans.

- Jean Baptiste Lafitte, baptised May 20, 1811. He may have died young...

- there was another Jean Laffite born to Pierre Lafitte and Maria Luisa Villars on Oct 27, 1816. We don’t know what happened to him.

4. Pierre had a daughter with Adelaide Maselari (resident of parish of St Louis of Jeremie, St Domingue):

- Marie Josephe Lafite, baptised Jan 16, 1811, born Oct 27, 1810. Sponsor: Louis Badela (from Marseilles) and Louise Le ???, (infant's maternal aunt from Jeremie, Santo Domingo). It was said that this daughter grew up in the home of Pierre's attorney, named Joseph Sauvinet (on Barracks Street in New Orleans). So, Pierre left her in his care but we don’t know what became of her.

All of these records are from the Sacramental Records of St Louis parish of New Orleans. The names were sometimes recorded in the “Spanish version” if they were written by a Spanish-speaking priest. So, “Pedro “Laffite would have never been known as “Pedro” but as “Pierre”, as he was named by his parents.

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