According to the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville, Louisiana, Diego Hernandez, born in c1739 perhaps in Spain, or on a Spanish island in the Mediterranean, or on one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, or on a Spanish island in the West Indies, was an Acadian. However, pre-eminent Acadian genealogist, Stephen A. White, has found no evidence that Diego Hernandez lived in greater Acadia.
But there is no doubt that Diego Hernandez married an Acadian. He made his way to the Atlantic British colonies, where he married Judith-Théotiste Babin, probably an Acadian exile from the Minas valley of Nova Scotia, in either the late 1750s or early 1760s. The family was not counted by colonial officials in Maryland with other Acadians in July 1763. Perhaps Judith-Théotiste had been exiled to another British colony in 1755 and married Diego there, or she moved to Maryland in the mid-1760s and married him in that colony.
LOUISIANA: RIVER SETTLEMENTS
Diego Hernandez, age 28, his wife Judith-Théotiste Babin, age 23, and their daughter Marguerite, born on the voyage from Baltimore to New Orleans, came to Louisiana in July 1767 with the second contingent of Acadian refugees from Maryland. Spanish officials in New Orleans sent them to the new Acadian community of St.-Gabriel d'Iberville on what came to be called the Upper Acadian Coast.
Descendants of Diego, Jacques, or Denis HERNANDEZ (c1739-1815)
Diego or Jacques, sometimes called Denis and Grégoire, Hernandez married Judith-Théotiste Babin probably in Maryland in the late 1750s or early 1760s. After they settled at St.-Gabriel, they had more children, including at least four sons. Their daughters married into the Barete, Berret, or Berette, Hébert, and Rivet families. Diego, called Dennis by the priest who recorded his burial, died near St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, in February 1815; the recording priest said that "Dennis" was 72 years old when he died, but he was probably closer to 76. All four of his sons married Acadians and remained in what became Iberville Parish. Their children also tended to marry fellow Acadians. Three of his sons lines died out early, and the one line that survived was a small one.
Oldest son Olivier, baptized at St.-Gabriel, age unrecorded, in January 1774, married Marine, daughter of Acadian Amand Hébert, at St.-Gabriel in May 1792. They settled at Plaquemine, across the river from St.-Gabriel. Their son Joseph le jeune was born probably at Plaquemine in February 1793, Sylvère or Gilbert in January 1796, Olivier, fils in March 1798, Marcellin in November 1801 but died at age 6 months in June 1802, and Victorin was baptized at the St. Gabriel church, Iberville Parish, age 4 months, in November 1806 but died at age 6 months in January 1807. Their daughter married into the Landry family. Olivier, père died probably at Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, in February 1807; he was only 33 years old.
Joseph le jeune died probably at Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, in August 1820. He was 27 years old and probably did not marry.
Gilbert married Marie Mathilde, called Marcellite, daughter of Acadian Joseph LeBlanc, at the St. Gabriel church, Iberville Parish, in March 1824. Their son Bélisaire was born probably near Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, in November 1829, and Jean Baptiste le jeune in March 1832. Their daughter married into the Lemox and Villiers families. Gilbert died probably at Plaquemine in November 1837; he was only 41 years old.
Bélisaire married Elizabeth, daughter of Nicolas Valega, at the Plaquemine church, Iberville Parish, in January 1855.
Santiago or Jacques, fils, also called Jaime, born at St.-Gabriel in c1777, married Anne-Manette, called Manette or Manon and sometimes Henriette, daughter of Acadian Pierre Rivet, at St.-Gabriel in June 1798. Their son Jacques III born at St.-Gabriel in November 1801. Their daughters married into the Capdeville, LeBlanc, and Melançon families. Jacques, père died near St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, in February 1841; he was 64 years old. His only son probably died young, so, except for its blood, this line of the family probably did not survive.
Jean-Baptiste, baptized at St.-Gabriel, age unrecorded, in August 1779, married Clarisse, daughter of Acadian Charles Hébert, at St.-Gabriel in May 1806. Their son Jean Baptiste, fils was born near St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, in July 1810 but died at age 12 in August 1823, and Eugène was born in November 1812 but died at age 9 1/2 in June 1822. Jean Baptiste, père remarried to Marie Cléonise, another daughter of Pierre Rivet and his brother Jacques's wife's sister, at the St. Gabriel church, Iberville Parish, in November 1823. Jean Baptiste died near St. Gabriel in July 1851; he was 72 years old. His line of the family died with him.
Youngest son Joseph, born at St.-Gabriel in March 1783, married Françoise, daughter of Acadian Paul Chiasson, at St.-Gabriel in September 1803. Their son Joseph Herbert, called Herbert, was born near St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, in July 1804, Jean Baptiste le jeune in March 1806, Eugène in December 1807 but died at age 5 in January 1812, and Hervillien was born in July 1815 but died at age 9 months in May 1816. Their daughters married into the Capdeville, Gomez, and LeBlanc families. Joseph may have remarried to Anglo-American Marie Félicité Crocker by the late 1820s, when he was in his mid- or late 40s. Their daughter married into the Roth family. Only one of Joseph's sons seems to have reached adulthood, and he probably did not marry, so this line of the family, except for its blood, probably did not survive.
Herbert, by his first wife, died near St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, in April 1837. The priest who recorded his burial said that "Heubut" was "age 31" when he died, but he was 32, almost 33. He probably did not marry.
NON-ACADIAN FAMILIES in LOUISIANA
Most of the Hernandezs of South Louisiana are not Acadians but Hispanics of various nationalities, the great majority of them descendants of Isleños from the Canary Islands whom the Spanish government sent to the colony via Cuba in the late 1770s:
Governor Gálvez settled the Isleños in four communities: at Nueva Gálvez or San Bernardo, also called Galveztown; on Bayou Terre-aux-Boeufs and English Turn on the river below New Orleans, in present-day St. Bernard Parish; south of the city at Barataria in present-day Jefferson Parish; at Galveztown on the right bank of the Amite River in present-day Ascension Parish; and at Valenzuéla on upper Bayou Lafourche, which the Acadians called Assumption. Most, if not all, of them married fellow Isleños. Some of their children and grandchildren, at Ascension and on Bayou Lafourche, married Acadians from the Bergeron, Bourg, Dupuis, Gautreaux, Guidry, Guillot, and Theriot families, but the majority of their descendants continued to take Isleño spouses.
Some of the Hernandez families who settled at Galveztown and Valenzuéla in the late colonial period were those of Bartoloméo, married to Isabel Hidalgo; Bartoloméo, married to Isabel Mendes or Mendoza; Bartoloméo, married to Isabel Perez; Bartoloméo, married to Rosalia Antonia Maria de Vega; Estevan, married to Isabel Rodriguez; Jose, married to Maria de la Cruz Morera of Tenerife; Juan, married to Petrolina or Petronilla Sanchez and to Gregoria Ruano; Juan Angel of Tenerife, married to Gregoria Sanchez of Guimes; Lazaro, married to Maria Lopez Machado; Lorenzo Augustino dit Capito, married to Maria del Rosario Ximinez de Torres; Manuel, married to Andrea Corbo or Gonzales and to Maria Aleman; Sebastian, married to Theresa Lopez or Avares or de Jesus Suarez; Vicente, married to Isabel de Albarado; and Vicente, married to Juana Cavallero. Their descendants settled in what became Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, and East Baton Rouge parishes, some moved downriver to New Orleans and San Bernardo, and others to the western prairies.
Some of the Hernandez families who settled at San Bernardo in the late colonial period were those of Antonio, married to Josepha de la Concepcion; Antonio, married to Sebasiana Delgado; Antonio Josef of Los Llanos, Isla de la Palma, married to Maria Antonia Rodriguez; Bartolomeo, married to Josefa Ortega; Cayetano, married to Thomasa de Horta; Juan, married to ____ Buas; Domingo, married to Maria Gonzales; Francisco, married to Maria Barrosa; Hieronimo of Grand Canaria, married to Isabela Provot; Jose Hernandez Querido, married to Maria Josefa ____ and Antonia Maria De Guia; Jose Martin, married to Maria del Christ Leon; Jose, married to Barbara Rita Grado; Jose, married to Francisca De Vera; Juan of Yngenio, married to Petrolina Sanchez of Aguimes; Juan Angel of Tenerife, married to Gregoria Sanchez of Guimes; Marcelino of Los Llanos, married to Maria Joaquina Bisoso or Vizoso of Hares, Galicia; Pedro, married to Josepha Hernandez of Tenerife and Juana Augustina ____ of Tenerife; Pedro of Orotaba, Isla de Tenerife, married to Isabel Rodriguez of Orotaba; Pedro of Aguimes, married to Maria Ruiz; and Tomas, married to Petronilla Ramos. Some of their descendants settled at New Orleans.
Spanish soldiers stationed in Louisiana during the late colonial period also bore the name Hernandez, as did other peninsular Spaniards, a Cuban, and a Mexican who settled at New Orleans:
Joseph, son of Juan Hernandez and Petra Antonia de Alanisa, a soldier of the Louisiana Regiment, married Maria Margarita Beatriz, daughter of Christoval Quintero of the Canary Islands, at New Orleans in March 1782. One wonders if Joseph also was an Isleño.
Juan Antonio, son of Gregorio Hernandes and Antonia Galvana of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, was a 26-year-old convict with no wife when he died at the Royal Military Hospital, New Orleans, in January 1793. He, too, may have been a soldier.
Domingo Hernandes of the Third Company, First Battalion, of the Louisiana Regiment, died at the Royal Military Hospital, New Orleans, in November 1794.
Pedro, son of Silvestre Hernandes of Montront, Miranda de Castanal, was a soldier in the First Company, Second Battalion, Stationary Regiment of Louisiana, when he died at the Royal Military Hospital, New Orleans, in November 1795, age 28. He had no wife.
Ygnacio, son of Ygnacio Hernandes and Maria Francisca Zeballos of Mexico, was a soldier in the Fifth Company, First Battalion, Stationary Regiment of Louisiana, when he died at the Royal Military Hospital, New Orleans, in December 1795, age 36, a bachelor.
Jose, son of Jose Antonio Hernandez and Maria Guillelma Camargo of Mexico City, married Eugènia, daughter of French Creole Jean-Louis Robeau or Rogaud, at New Orleans in October 1796.
Mathias Hernandez of Castil-Verruezuco, Daroca, Aragon, Spain, married Antonia Dufars Lafond of Mobile and settled at New Orleans by the late 1790s.
Juan Manuel Hernandez of Havana, Cuba, another soldier in the Louisiana Regiment, died at Baton Rouge in March 1798. He was only 28 years old and never married.
Torivio Hernandes, a grenadier in the Second Battalion of the Stationary Mexican Regiment, died at the Royal Military Hospital, New Orleans, in August 1801. The clerk who recorded Torivio's burial said nothing of a wife.
Benito, son of Jose Antonio Hernandes and Maria Magdalena Antela of Havana, Cuba, a soldier in the Second Battalion of the Mexican Infantry Regiment, married Maria, daughter of Juan Bautista Orso, at New Orleans in September 1802.
Maria Romona, daughter of Jose Martin Hernandez of Illinois, gave birth to daughter Maria de Candelaria at New Orleans in March 1803. The priest who recorded the girl's baptism did not give the father's name.
During the late colonial and early antebellum periods, Hernandezs from revolution-torn Mexico, as well as Isleños from the Bayou Lafourche valley, settled on the western prairies in what became St. Landry, St. Martin, and Lafayette parishes. At least one Spaniard with the name settled on the river along the old Acadian Coast:
Miguel, son of Miguel Hernandez and Josefina Jurs of Andalusia, Spain, married Madeleine, daughter of French Creole Charles Quebedeaux, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in June 1809. Their son, name unrecorded, had died near Opelousas at age 2 in November 1802, years before their marriage, and another child, perhaps a son, name unrecorded, died in St. Landry Parish at age 5 weeks in April 1811. Miguel's succession record was filed at the Opelousas courthouse in May 1812. His line of the family probably died with him.
Maria del Refugio, daughter of Joseph Antonio Hernandez and Marie Gertrudes Vasques of Guadalaxara, Monterey, Mexico, married Francisco, son of Joseph Benabides and Maria Francisca Rodrigues of Rebillos, Loyola Province, Mexico, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in April 1814. The priest who recorded the marriage noted that Maria del Refugio had been living "in the parish" for five months, and that Francisco and his family also had been living there for five months, being refugees "because of the Revolution in the internal provinces" of Mexico.
Maria Thomassa, Maria del Refugio's sister, married Isidoro, son of Francisco Buenteo and Maria de Flores of Camargo, Mexico, at the Opelousas church, St. Landry Parish, in October 1816. The recording priest noted that Isidoro's family had been "residing in this colony for 5 years and in St. Martin parish for 10 months." They, too, were refugees from the upheaval in their native Mexico.
Joseph Raphaël, son of Emanuel Hernandez of Mexico and Maria Rita Aenno, married Maria, daughter of Joseph Maria Podia or Paris and Marie Eugenia de Aragon of Natchitoches, probably in St. Martin Parish by the late 1810s. They, too, may have been Mexicans who had fled the revolution.
André Hernandez married French Creole Victoire Masse. The succession record of son Sylvestre, age only 10, was filed at the Opelousas courthouse, St. Landry Parish, in September 1827.
Julien Hernandez, native of Cartagena, Spain, died in Ascension Parish in May 1829. He was only 30 years old. The priest who recorded Julien's burial did not give his parents' names or mention a wife.
Pedro Hernandez, called Pierre by his francophone neighbors, married Anna Maria, called Maria or Marie, Dominguez, Domingue, or Domingo probably in Lafayette Parish in the 1830s. They settled near Carencro. Their son Augustin was baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age 2 months, in November 1834 but died at age 3 in October 1837, Vincent died, age unrecorded, in November 1837, Pierre Farbonnet was born in October 1838, and Paul Vincent in March 1842. Pierre died at Carencro in May 1848; he was only 45 years old. One wonders if he was Mexican, Spanish, or Isleño.
During the antebellum period, Hernandezs on the western prairies, including children of Pierre, married into the Comeaux, Dugas, Guidry, Mouton, and Sonnier families, but, like Pierre, most of them married fellow Hispanics.
One of the earliest, if not the first, Hernandez to settle in Louisiana was Diego, also called Jacques and Denis, who came to the colony from Maryland with his Acadian wife in 1767. Judging by his given and families names, Diego doubtlessly was Hispanic; how and when he got to Maryland is anyone's guess. After they reached New Orleans, Diego and his wife followed their fellow Maryland exiles to St.-Gabriel d'Iberville on what came to be called the Upper Acadian Coast. They brought a young daughter with them to Louisiana and had more children at St.-Gabriel, including four sons, all of whom married Acadians and settled at St.-Gabriel or across the river at Plaquemine in what became Iberville Parish. Their sons' lines were not vigorous, however; three of them died out by the 1850s. Only the Plaquemine line survived. No Acadian Hernandez lived west of the Atchafalaya Basin or in the Bayou Lafourche valley, at least not during the antebellum period.
The great majority of the Hernandezs of South Louisiana are not Acadians but Hispanics of various nationalities, most of them descendants of Canary Islanders, called Isleños, whom the Spanish government sent to the colony in the late 1770s. Governor Gálvez sent them to Galveztown, Valenzuéla, San Bernardo, and Barataria in present-day Ascension, Assumption, St. Bernard, and lower Jefferson parishes. Families from Galveztown moved up into Iberville and East Baton Rouge parishes. From Valenzuéla, which the Acadians called Assumption, Isleños moved down bayou into Lafourche Interior Parish, but most of them remained in Assumption Parish. Families from San Bernardo and Barataria also settled at New Orleans. During the antebellum period, Hernandezs from Spain and especially from revolution-torn Mexico settled in St. Martin, St. Landry, and Lafayette parishes; some, especially the ones in Lafayette Parish, married Acadians. At least one Hernandez from Spain lived in Ascension Parish during the early antebellum period.
No descendants of Diego Hernandez appeared on the federal slave censuses of the late antebellum period, so they participated only peripherally in the South's antebellum plantation economy. A Hernandez in the Western District of Lafayette Parish owned three slaves in 1850. Another, probably an Isleño, in Assumption Parish owned nine slaves that year, and another in the same parish owned three. Several Hernandezs held one and two slaves in their households at New Orleans in 1850. In 1860, a Hernandez in Ascension Parish, probably an Isleño, held five slaves, a Hernandez in East Baton Rouge Parish owned a single slave, and so did another in Lafayette Parish. One Hernandez kept six slaves in his household in the Sixth Ward at New Orleans, and two others held one and two slaves in their Fifth Ward households in 1860. The largest slaveholder in the family was Manuel Hernandez of Rapides Parish, who held 11 slaves in November 1850 and 21 slaves in 4 houses a decade later.
Dozens of Hernandezs served Louisiana and Texas in uniform during the War Between the States. ...
The family's name also is spelled Arnandez, Ernandes, Ernandez, Ernendeste, Harnandez, Hernandes.
Sources: 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Slave Schedules, Assumption, Lafayette, Orleans, & Rapides parishes; 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Slave Schedules, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Orleans, & Rapides parishes; BRDR, vols. 2, 3, 4, 5(rev.), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Hébert, D., South LA Records, vols. 1, 3, 4; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-B, 2-A, 2-C, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; NOAR, vols. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 429, 432; Wall of Names, 19.
(present-day parishes that existed during the War Between the States in parenthesis; hyperlinks on the abbreviations take you to brief histories of each settlement):
Lafourche (Lafourche, Terrebonne)
|SB||San Bernardo (St. Bernard)|
Attakapas (St. Martin, St. Mary, Lafayette, Vermilion)
San Luìs de Natchez (Concordia)
St.-Gabriel d'Iberville (Iberville)
Bayou des Écores (East Baton Rouge, West Feliciana)
New Orleans (Orleans)
St.-Jacques de Cabanocé (St. James)
Baton Rouge (East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge)
Opelousas (St. Landry, Calcasieu)
For a chronology of Acadian Arrivals in Louisiana, 1764-early 1800s, see Appendix.
The hyperlink attached to an individual's name is connected to a list of Acadian immigrants for a particular settlement and provides a different perspective on the refugee's place in family and community.
|Diego HERNANDEZ 01||Jul 1767||StG||born c1739; also called Jacques, Denis, & Didier; married Judith-Théotiste BABIN; in report on Acadians who settled at St.-Gabriel, 1767, age 28, head of family number 20, assigned farm number 4, with wife Judith age 23, & daughter Margarita age 6[mos.]; died [buried] St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, 20 Feb 1815, age 72[sic]|
|Marguerite HERNANDEZ 02||Jul 1767||StG||born c1767, on voyage from MD to LA; daughter of Diego HERNANDEZ & Judith-Théotiste BABIN; in report on Acadians who settled at St.-Gabriel, 1767, called Margarita, age 6[mos.], with parents|
01. Wall of Names, 19, calls him Diego HERNANDEZ; BRDR, 3:434 (SGA-8, 71), his death/burial record, calls him Dennis HERNANDEZ, "age 72 yrs.," but does not give his parents' names or mention a wife. See also Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 429, 432.
I have found his family in neither Arsenault, Généalogie, nor White, DGFA-1, only in Wall of Names, so I must assume that the researchers at the Acadian Memorial have found an Acadian origin for him that has eluded me. In the St.-Gabriel church records, he is sometimes called Dennis, as in his burial record, or Didier & even Grégoire. See, for example, the birth/baptismal & marriage records of several of his grandchildren in BRDR, 2:380 (SGA-11, 110), 3:434 (SGA-11, 164, 226, 257), 435 (SGA-11, 194, 218), 439 (SGA-11, 205, 238; SGA-14, 63), 440 (SGA-11, 153).
What was his nationality? Probably Spanish. When did he arrive in Acadia? Where did he marry Acadian Judith-Théotiste BABIN? Who were her parents? If he & Judith married in Acadia and were exiled to MD in 1755, they would have come from one of the Minas settlements--Rivière-aux-Canards, Grand-Pré, Pigiguit, unless they were deported to another colony in 1755 & moved to MD before 1767. See Appendix.
02. Wall of Names, 19, calls her Marguerite HERNANDEZ. Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 430, states clearly that she was born on the voyage from Baltimore to New Orleans, so she would have been 6 months old, not 6 years old, when the Spanish counted her with her parents at St.-Gabriel in 1767. What happened to her in LA?
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