According to the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville, Louisiana, Pierre, son of Claude Primeau and Angélique Bavin or Babeu, born probably in Canada in c1739, was Acadian. If he did live in greater Acadia before Le Grand Dérangement, his exile to Maryland means that he likely resided at Minas. Interestingly, he would have been only 16 years old in 1755. This author suspects that his ancestor Pierre was not an Acadian but rather a Canadian who somehow found himself in the British colony during the Acadian Grand Dérangement.
Pierre Primeaux married Susanne, daughter of French Canadian Jacques Plante and Anne Spencer, probably at Baltimore, Maryland, during the mid- or late1760s. The young couple came to Louisiana with Acadian and Catholic German families aboard the ill-fated British vessel Britannia. Although Susanne was from Baltimore, their ship set sail from Port Tobacco, Maryland, on the lower Potomac, in January 1769. Unfortunately, the Britannia missed the entrance to the Mississippi River and ran aground on the Texas coast at Espiritu Santo Bay. A Spanish patrol "rescued" the passengers and crew, and Spanish authorities held them at the interior post of La Bahía for several months, suspecting them of being spies or smugglers. After the Spanish released them, Pierre and Susanne and their fellow passengers traveled 420 miles overland to Natchitoches Post, Louisiana, arriving there in late October. Spanish authorities in Louisiana allowed them to settle where they wanted. Pierre and Susanne chose the Opelousas District, west of the Atchafalaya Basin.
LOUISIANA: WESTERN SETTLEMENTS
The only "Acadian" Primeaux family in South Louisiana settled west of the Atchafalaya Basin:
Descendants of Pierre PRIMEAUX (c1739-1790)
Pierre, son of Claude Primeaux and Angélique Bavin or Babeu, born probably in Canada in c1739, ended up as an exile in Maryland, where he married Susanne, daughter of French Canadian Jacques Plante of Baltimore, in the 1760s. They came to Louisiana in 1769 with the last contingent of Acadian exiles from Maryland and, after a harrowing experience in Texas, chose to settle on the western prairies of Spanish Louisiana. They were childless when they reached Louisiana, so all of their children were born at either Opelousas or Attakapas. In July 1779, at Opelousas, Susanne was baptized a Roman Catholic, and their marriage was validated. Their daughter married into the Conner family. Pierre died at Opelousas in August 1790; he was only 51 years old. After his death, Susanne took their children to the Attakapas District, where she remarried to Christoval Simon Abreo of Aragon, Spain, in April 1795 and settled on the lower Vermilion River. Three of her five Primeaux sons created families of their own, and, like their sister, none of them married an Acadian. All three sons settled near their mother on the lower Vermilion.
Oldest son Donat, born at Opelousas in March 1776, married Marie, 16-year-old daughter of French Creole Pierre Dubois of Brittany, France, and St.-Jacques on the Mississippi, at Atakapas in May 1797; Marie's mother was a LeBlanc. Donat and Marie settled on the lower Vermilion. Their son Julien le jeune was born in June 1798 but died the following September, Donat, fils was born in November 1802, Jean in August 1805, Charles in August 1807, and Ursin in May 1809. Their daughter married into the Lormand family. Donat remarried to Émilie, daughter of fellow Acadian Charles Guilbeau and widow of Joseph Mire, in St. Martin or Lafayette Parish probably in the 1820s.
Charles, by his first wife, married Claire, daughter of Anglo-American Robert Bell, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in August 1829; Claire's mother was a Broussard. Their son Symphorien was born in Lafayette Parish in August 1832, and Valérien in September 1834 but died at age 3 in September 1837. ...
Donat, fils, by his first wife, married Séraphine, "natural daughter" of Marguerite Baudoin, at the Grand Coteau church, St. Landry Parish, in May 1821. Their son Lessin was born in Lafayette Parish in April 1822, Jean in May 1824, Ursin le jeune was baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age 4 1/2 months, in November 1828, Méance at age 8 months in November 1833, and Donat III was born in March 1836. ...
Jean, by his first wife, married Marie Céleste, called Céleste, daughter of fellow Acadian Joseph Mire, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in October 1826; Céleste was a daughter of Jean's stepmother, Émilie Guilbeau. Their child, perhaps a son, name unrecorded, died in Lafayette Parish an hour after its birth in March 1831, son Aurelien was baptized at the Vermilionville church, age 9 months, in July 1834, and Euclide at age 2 months in June 1839. ...
Ursin, by his first wife, married Marie Azema or Zulma, daughter of Acadian Isidore Broussard, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in May 1829. Their son Ursin, fils was born in Lafayette Parish in July 1838. ...
Joseph, born at Opelousas in March 1778, married Marguerite-George, daughter of German Creole George Albert of St.-Charles des Allemands on the Lower German Coast, at Atakapas in October 1797. They also settled on the lower Vermilion and then at L'île des Cypres, today's Lake Martin, near Breaux Bridge. Their son Joseph, fils was born at Atakapas in February 1802, and another Joseph, fils in July 1805. Their daughters married into the Champagne, Hargrave, Hulin, McCall, Newman, Patterson, and Trahan families. Joseph died in St. Martin Parish in October 1835; the priest who recorded his burial said that Joseph was 61 years old when he died, but he was 57; his succession record was filed at the St. Martinville courthouse the following month. (Daughter Eugènie, born in September 1810, married thrice, her third husband a Texan who had fought in the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836; they settled in Milam County, Texas, by 1850; she died and was buried at Austin, Texas, in January 1891, age 80.)
Joseph, fils married Marie, daughter of French Creole Antoine Champagne of L'île des Cypres, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1823. Their son Joseph Valsin was born in St. Martin Parish in November 1825, Joseph Émile in August 1829, Joseph Valcourt was baptized at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, age 7 months, in June 1833, and Joseph Lessin was born near Grand Coteau, St. Landry Parish, in September 1839. Their daughter married into the Gaspard family. ...
Théodore, baptized at the Opelousas church, age unrecorded, in June 1780, may have died young.
Julien, born at Opelousas in October 1784, died at Atakapas in December 1790. The priest who recorded his burial said that Julien was 12 years old when he died, but he was only 6.
Youngest son François, born at Atakapas in February 1787, married Justine or Augustine, daughter of French Creole Pierre Baudoin of St.-Charles des Allemands but living on the lower Vermilion, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in February 1808. They also settled on the lower Vermilion. Their son Franèois, fils was born in St. Martin Parish in December 1808, Joseph le jeune in July 1812, François Rémise in September 1820, and Euclide in August 1829. They also had a son named Pierre. Their daughter married into the Bertrand (French Creole, not Acadian) Brasseaux, Dugas, Frederick, and Gisclard families. Francois's succession record was filed at the Vermilionville courthouse in June 1833; he would have been 46 years old that year.
Pierre married Célestine, daughter of French Creole Noël Gisclard, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in November 1829. Their son Pierre Aurelien was born in Lafayette Parish in November 1832, and Joseph Florestan was baptized at the Vermilionville church, age 5 months, in May 1836. ...
Joseph le jeune married Félicité Elina, daughter of Acadian Louis Hébert, at the Vermilionville church, Lafayette Parish, in September 1830. Their son Sevin was born in Lafayette Parish in July 1831, Joseph Théoville was baptized at the Vermilionville church, age 8 months, in October 1833, and Francois le jeune was born in July 1840. ...
Other PRIMEAUXs on the Western Prairies
Area church and civil records make it difficult to link some Primeauxs in the western parishes with known lines of the family:
Alphonse Primeaux married Arthémise Wiltz and settled in St. Martin Parish by the late 1820s.
Joseph Primeaux married Marguerite Trahan. Their son Jean Darcour married Marcellite, daughter of French Creole Francois Doré, at the St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, in September 1834.
Only one Primeau family settled in South Louisiana. A Canadian married to a fellow French Canadian came to the colony from Port Tobacco, Maryland, in 1769. They settled on the western prairies, where all of their children were born. After Pierre Primeaux died in August 1790, his widow, Susanne Plante, took his children to the Attakapas District, remarried, and settled there. Interestingly, Pierre's children, who settled on the lower Vermilion River in what became Lafayette Parish, at Île des Cypres near Breaux Bridge in St. Martin Parish, and at Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish, married few "fellow" Acadians. ...
The family's name evolved from Primeau to Primeaux in Louisiana. It also is spelled Preinot, Primau, Primaux, Primo, Primot, Prinne.
Sources: De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777, 27; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-A, 1-B, 2-A, 2-B, 2-C, 3; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," 140-42; Pam Lynn, descendant.
(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)|
Atakapas (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.
|Pierre PRIMEAUX 01||Oct 1769||Natc, Op||born c1739, Canada; son of Claude PRIMEAUX & Angélique BABIN; exiled to MD 1755, age 11; married Susanne PLANTE, daughter of Jacques PLANTE & Anne SPENCER of Baltimore, 1760s, probably MD; not in any records of Acadians in MD; departed Port Tobacco, MD, 5 Jan 1769 aboard English schooner Britannia with wife; lost in the Gulf of Mexico & held by Spanish at La Bahia, TX; arrived Natchitoches Post, LA, 24 Oct 1769, overland from TX, age 30; moved to Opelousas District; in Opelousas census, 1774, called Piere PRIMAU, no age given, with 1 unnamed child [daughter Victoire], 0 slaves, 2 cattle, 0 horses or mules, 4 swine; in Opelousas census, 1777, called Pierre PRIMOT, age 38, head of family number 132, with wife Suzanne age 20, son Donnate age 1, & daughter Victoire age 4, (no economic statistics shown)[sic]; marriage to Susanne PLANTE validated by the Church, 4 Jul 1779, Opelousas; on Opelousas militia list, Jul 1789, fusilier, called Pierre PRIMEAU; died [buried] Opelousas, Friday, 16 Aug 1790, age 46[sic]; one of the author's maternal ancestors|
01. Wall of Names, 24, calls him Pierre PRIMEAU; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:629, 650 (Opel.Ch.: Bapt. Reg.: v.1-A, p.18), the validation of his marriage, calls him Pierre PRIMEAU, calls his wife Susanne PLANTE, gives his & her parents' names, calls his mother Angelica "BAVIN" (BABIN), calls her mother Anne SPLIENDER (SPENCER), lists his & Susanne's children as Victoire, Clara, Donato, & Joseph, & says the witnesses to his marriage validation were Angel BOURQUE, Charles COMONT, Pierre RICHARD, & Jean-Baptiste FIGURON.
Despite the editorial addition in Father Hébert's Southwest LA Records, cited above, Pierre's mother was not an Acadian BABIN, if she was even a BABIN. Descendant Pam Lynn's ancestry.com family tree calls her Angélique BABEU. Moreover, I have found in neither Arsenault, Généalogie, nor White, DGFA-1, Acadian families named PRIMEAU or PLANTE. I have found them only in Wall of Names, so I must assume that the researchers at the Acadian Memorial have located an Acadian origin for these families that eludes me. In the baptismal records of a son & 2 daughters, & the marriage records of 2 sons & a daughter, Pierre is consistently described as from Canada & Susanne from Baltimore or MD or the Potomac River. See Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:648-51 (SM Ch.: v.4, #139; SM Ch.: v.4, #146; SM Ch.: v.4, #155; SM Ch.: v.5, #79; SM Ch.: v.5, #85; SM Ch.: v.5, #326; SM Ch.: Marriage Investigation: Folio D, #10). The same holds true for baptismal records of 7 of his grandchildren in Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-B:596-98. Moreover, Pierre & Susanne are found in no reports on Acadians in MD during Le Grand Dérangement. See Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, index. Susanne, in fact, was baptized a Catholic as an adult & had her marriage to Pierre validated by the Church in LA. Despite what the Acadian Memorial implies by listing him on their Wall of Names, one suspects that Pierre was a Canadian who never lived in greater Acadia, though what a young Canadian was doing in MD in the 1760s is anyone's guess.
If one follows the age given for him in the Opelousas census of 1777 instead of that given for him in his burial record, he died at age 51.
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