Acadians Who Found Refuge in Louisiana, February 1764-early 1800s
René, son of Jean Rassicot and Marguerite Crosnier of St.-Jean-Ursin, bishopric of Coutances, France, born in c1705, reached Île St.-Jean, today's Prince Edward Island, in the late 1720s. In October 1729, he married Marie, daughter of Michel Haché dit Gallant and Anne Cormier of Chignecto and widow of François Poirier, at Port-Lajoie on the island. He and Marie had six children, including Jean-Baptiste dit Ratier, born on the island in c1731; René, fils in October 1733; and Marie, birth date was unrecorded. At least two of René and Marie's sons created families of their own:
Jean-Baptiste dit Ratier, born probably at Port-Lajoie in c1731, married Marie-Henriette, daughter of Louis Pothier and Cécile Nuirat, at St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, in January 1754. Jean-Baptiste became a sailor.
René, fils, born at St.-Pierre-du-Nord in October 1733, married Marie, daughter of Charles Benoit and and Madeleine Thériot of Pigiguit, at Port-Lajoie in October 1757.
LE GRAND DÉRANGEMENT
When the British rounded up the Acadians in Nova Scotia in the fall of 1755, descendants of René Rassicot, living in territory controlled by France, remained unmolested. Their respite from British oppression was short-lived, however. After the fall of the French fortress at Louisbourg in July 1758, the victorious British swooped down on the island, rounded up most of the Acadians on Île St.-Jean, and deported them to France:
René Rassicot, fils, age 25, wife Marie Benoit, age 22, crossed on the British transport Tamerlane, which reached St.-Malo in mid-January 1759. Both survived the crossing. René, fil's older brother Jean-Baptiste dit Ratier and wife Marie-Henriette Pothier also ended up in France, at Cherbourg, where at least five children were born to them: Jean-Baptiste, fils in c1761, Louis in c1763, Jean-François in June 1765, Anne-Marguerite in c1768, and Marie-Henriette in c1770. In late May 1771, they sailed from Cherbourg to St.-Malo, arriving there the first of June. They settled at Plouër, near St.-Malo, where Jean-Baptiste died at La Ville de Port St.-Hubert in June 1771; he was only 40 years old. In the early 1770s, Marie-Henriette and her children were part of a venture in Poitou that attempted to settle Acadians from the port cities on land owned by an influential French nobleman near the city of Châtellerault. Marie-Henriette remarried to Pierre, son of fellow Acadians Augustin Gaudet and Agnès Chiasson of Chignecto and widower of Anne Giroir, at Châtellerault in October 1775. After two years of effort, Marie-Henriette, her new husband, and her Rassicot children joined hundreds of other Poitou Acadians who retreated to the port city of Nantes. By 1785, Marie-Henriette was a widow again. Meanwhile, her son Jean-Baptiste Rassicot, fils married Rose, daughter of fellow Acadians Joseph D'Amours de Chaufours and Geneviève Leroy, at St.-Martin-de-Chantenay, near Nantes, in May 1781. René, fils and wife Marie Benoit seem to have been that rare Acadian couple who had no children. They were at Châteauneuf, near St.-Malo, in 1759-60. In 1760, René, fils volunteered for privateer service aboard the corsair L'Hercules, was captured by the British, and held as a prisoner of war probably in England. Meanwhile, Marie moved from Châteauneuf to nearby St.-Servan in 1761 and was listed there in 1764 as a widow. In January 1766, she remarried to Joseph, son of fellow Acadians Jacques Hébert and Marguerite Landry and widower of Marguerite Richard, at St.-Servan.
Jean-Baptiste dit Ratier and René, fils's sister Marie, widow of Nicolas Laporte, did not end up in France. She remarried to Prosper, son of architect Jean Meunier and Marguerite Simonet of Macon, France, at Môle St.-Nicolas, French Dominique, today's Haiti, in November 1780.
In the early 1780s, the Spanish government offered the Acadians in France a chance for a new life in faraway Louisiana. Hundreds of them, including Marie-Henriette Pothier and three of her Rassicot children, agreed to take it. Her son Jean-Baptiste Rassicot, fils, however, chose to remain in the mother country.
LOUISIANA: LAFOURCHE VALLEY SETTLEMENTS
Marie-Henriette Pothier, age 46, widow of Jean-Baptiste dit Ratier Rassicot, and three of her children--Jean-François, age 20, Anne-Marguerite, age 17, and Marie-Henriette, age 15--sailed to Louisiana aboard L'Amitié, the fifth of the Seven Ships from France, which reached New Orleans in November. They followed most of their fellow passengers to upper Bayou Lafourche, where Marie-Henriette Potier died in January 1787.
Older daughter Anne-Marguerite married Tranquille-François, son of fellow Acadians Pierre Arcement and Marie Hébert, at St.-Jacques on the river, in July 1788. They settled on upper Bayou Lafourche. Anne Marguerite died in Lafourche Interior Parish in July 1834, in her mid-60s.
Younger daughter Marie-Henriette married twice, first to French Creole Pierre Lecompte at Lafourche in July 1791. A few years later, she was a young widow and caught the eye of one of the most influential men in the colony. Louis Judice, born at New Orleans in October1731, had married Marie-Jeanne, daughter of Jacques Cantrelle, founder of the Cabanocé/St.-Jacques settlement. By 1765, Louis Judice and his family were living on a large holding at Cabanocé granted to him by the French authorities in New Orleans. After the Spanish took over the colony in March 1766, Louis became co-commandant of the Cabanocé district with his brother-in-law, Nicolas Verret. In 1769, Spanish General Alejandro O'Reilly appointed Louis as commandant of the Lafourche des Chitimachas District, which the Acadians called Ascension. Louis and Marie-Jeanne Cantrelle had a number of children, including Michel, born in c1759, who became a lieutenant of militia and another shaker and mover in the colony and also commanded at Ascension. By the 1790s, the aging Louis was a widower, but he was determined to take another wife. In June 1795, 64-year-old Louis Judice, captain of the German Coast militia and commandant of the Ascension District, married 25-year-old Marie-Henriette Rassicot, the widow Lecompte, at Ascension. Marie-Henriette died a widow in Ascension Parish in February 1826; she was 56 years old.
Marie-Henriette Pothier's son Jean-François was the only Acadian male Rassicot to make it to Louisiana. He also settled on upper Bayou Lafourche.
Descendants of Jean-François RASSICOT (1765-c1797; René)
Jean-François, called François, son of Jean-Baptiste dit Ratier Rassicot and Marie-Henriette Pothier of Île St.-Jean, born at Cherbourg, France, in June 1765, came to Louisiana with his widowed mother and two sisters aboard L'Amitié, the fifth of the Seven Ships, in 1785, which reached New Orleans in early November. François followed them to upper Bayou Lafourche, where he married Marie-Madeleine, daughter of fellow Acadians Antoine Boudreaux and Brigitte Apart, in January 1787. A native of Trigavou, near St.-Malo, Marie-Madeleine also had crossed to Louisiana aboard L'Amitié, so she and François may have known one another in France or met aboard ship. She died within days of their wedding, so she gave him no children. François remarried to Marie-Josèphe, daughter of fellow Acadians Pierre Robichaux and his second wife Anne Hébert, at Lafourche in June 1788. Marie-Josèphe was a native of St.-Suliac, near St.-Malo, and had crossed to Louisiana aboard Le St.-Rémi, the fourth of the Seven Ships. She and François settled on upper Bayou Lafourche. Their daughters married into the Bergeron, Bertrand, Gaubert, Guillon or Guillou, Richard, and Robichaux families and remained on Bayou Lafourche. François died at Assumption in c1797; he was only 32 years old. He fathered no sons.
NON-ACADIAN FAMILIES in LOUISIANA
A Foreign Frenchman with a similar name married and an Acadian and settled on Bayou Lafourche after the War Between the States:
Joseph Rossicot, probably no kin to the Acadian Rassicots of the Bayou Lafourche valley, married Acadian Camilla Guidry and settled near Lockport, Lafourche Parish, where a daughter was baptized in November 1867.
Jean-François Rassicot, the only male member of his family to emigrate to Louisiana, fathered no sons. As a result, the Acadian branch of the family did not take root in the Bayou State. Its blood, however, did survive in a number of South Louisiana families.
The family's name also is spelled Raciacaud, Racico, Racicot, Racio, Raciquo, Rascicaux, Rasicau, Rasicaud, Rasique, Rassecaut, Rassicau, Rassicault, Rassicaux, Raucot, Razicot, Rosiaot, Rosicau, Rosico, Rossico, Rossicot.
Sources: Arsenault, Généalogie, 2136; BRDR, vols. 2, 3, 4; Hébert, Acadians in Exile, 326, 375; Hébert, D., South LA Records, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4; <islandregister.com/1752.html>; <perso.orange.fr/froux/St_malo_arrivees/Tamerlan.htm>, Family No. 2; Robichaux, Acadians in St.-Malo, 463, 687-89; Robichaux, Acadians in Nantes, 49, 187; Appendix.
(present-day civil parishes that existed in 1861 are 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.
|Anne-Marguerite RASSICOT 01||Nov 1785||Asp, Lf||born c1768, Cherbourg, France; sometimes called Nanette; daughter of Jean-Baptiste RASSICOT dit Ratier & Marie-Henriette POTIER of Île St.-Jean; sister of Jean-Francois & Marie-Henriette; sailed from Cherbourg to St.-Malo, France, aboard La Jeanne, arrived St.-Malo 1 Jun 1771; at Plouër, France, 1771; sailed to LA aboard L'Amitié, age 17; in Valenzuéla census, 1788, right bank, called Nanette, age 20, with brother & sister; married, age 20, Tranquille-François, son of Pierre ARCEMENT & Marie HÉBERT, 13 Jul 1788, St.-Jacques; in Valenzuéla census, 1791, left bank, called Anne RACIQUO, age 22, with husband, 1 daughter, & husband's cousin Joseph BOUDEREAU; in Valenzuéla census, 1795, called Ana RASSICAUX, age 27, with husband & 2 daughters; in Valenzuéla census, 1797, called Anne RASSICOT, age 23[sic], with husband & 2 daughters; in Valenzuéla census, 1798, called Anne, no surname given, age 29, with husband, 1 son, & 2 daughters; died Lafourche Interior Parish 8 Jul 1834, age 64[sic], a widow|
|Jean-François RASSICOT 02||Nov 1785||Asp||born & baptized 4 Jun1765, Trés-Ste.-Trinité, Cherbourg, France; called François; son of Jean-Baptiste RASSICOT dit Ratier & Marie-Henriette POTIER of Île St.-Jean; brother of Anne-Marguerite & Marie-Henriette; sailed from Cherbourg to St.-Malo, France, aboard La Jeanne, arrived St.-Malo 1 Jun 1771; at Plouër, France, 1771; sailed to LA aboard L'Amitié, age 20; married, age 22, (1)Marie-Madeleine, daughter of Antoine BOUDREAUX & Brigitte APART, 22 Jan 1787, Ascension, now Donaldsonville; in Valenzuéla census, 1788, right bank, called François RACICO, age 23, with sisters Nanette age 20, Marie age 17, 0 slaves, 6 arpents, 0 qts. rice, 20 qts. corn, 0 horned cattle, 0 horses, 4 swine; married, age 23, (2)Marie-Josèphe, daughter of Pierre ROBICHAUX & his second wife Anne HÉBERT, 29 Jun 1788, Ascension; in Valenzuéla census, 1791, right bank, called François RACIQUO, age 25, with wife Marie-Josèph[e] age 22, daughter Henriethe age 1, 0 slaves, 12 arpents, 0 qts. rice, 100 qts. corn, 7 horned cattle, 1 horse, 15 swine; in Valenzuéla census, 1795, called Juan RASSICAU, age 30, with wife Maria age 28, daughters Hanrrieta age 5, Maria age 4, Isabel age 3, & Clementa age 1; in Valenzuéla census, 1797, called François RASSICOT, age 31, with wife Marie age 29, daughters Henriette age 6, Marie age 5, Isabelle age 4, & Clémence age 3, 0 slaves; died before Jan 1798, when his wife was listed in the Valenzuéla census as a widow|
|Marie-Henriette RASSICOT 03||Nov 1785||Asp, Asc||born c1770, Cherbourg, France; daughter of Jean-Baptiste RASSICOT dit Ratier & Marie-Henriette POTIER of Île St.-Jean; sister of Anne-Marguerite & Jean-Francois; sailed from Cherbourg to St.-Malo, France, aboard La Jeanne, arrived St.-Malo 1 Jun 1771; at Plouër, France, 1771; sailed to LA aboard L'Amitié, age 15; in Valenzuéla census, 1788, right bank, called Marie, age 17, with brother & sister; married, age 21, (1)Pierre LECOMPTE, 25 Jul 1791, Ascension, now Donaldsonville; married, age 25, (2)Louis-Jacques, son of Jacques JUDICE & Marie JEANTY of New Orleans, commandant of the Ascension District, captain of German Coast militia, & widower of Marie-Jeanne CANTRELLE, 19 Jun 1795, Ascension; died [buried] Ascension 1 Feb 1826, age 56, a widow|
01. Wall of Names, 42, calls her Anne-Margueritte RASICAUD; Robichaux, Acadian in St.-Malo, 687-88, Family No. 801; BRDR, 2:32, 616 (SJA-2, 5), her marriage record, calls her Ana RASICO, calls her husband Tranquil ARSEMAT, gives her & his parents' names, & says the witnesses to her marriage were Josef ÉBER & Maria RASICO; Hébert, D., South LA Records, 1:468 (Thib.Ch.: v.1, #647), her death/burial record, calls her Anne ROSSICOT m. d.Tranquille ARCEMENT, but does not give her parents' names.
02. Wall of Names, 42, calls him Jean-Francois RASICAUD; Robichaux, Acadian in St.-Malo, 687-88, Family No. 801, his birth/baptismal record, calls him Jean-Francois RASSICOT, gives his parents' names, says his godparents were Francois MAZIERER & Véronique RENON, & that he & his family "arrived at St.-Malo from Cherbourg on June 1, 1771 on the ship, La Jeanne from Cherbourg & lived at Plouër in 1771; Hébert, D., Acadians in Exile, 375, his birth/baptismal record, calls him Jean-Francois ROSICO, calls his father a "mariner," & says his godparents were Francois MAZIERE & Veronique RENON; BRDR, 2:109, 616 (ASC-2, 6), the record of his first marriage, calls him François ROSICO, calls his wife Anne Magdalina BOUDREAU, does not give any parents' names but says he was "an Acadian," & that the witnesses to his marriage were Michel DUGAS & Étienne BUDRO; BRDR, 2:616, 638 (ASC-2, 14), the record of his second marriage, calls him François RACICOT, calls his wife Maria ROBICHEAU, does not give any parents' names or mention his first wife, & says the witnesses to his marriage were Pierre-Olivier PITRE & Jean-Batiste HÉBERT.
Judging from the notations for him in the Valenzuéla census of 1788, taken in Jan, his first wife must have died soon after their marriage. Notice how quickly he remarried. Who were her parents? Was she an Acadian immigrant, or was she born in LA? My guess is that she was Marie-Madeleine, not Anne-Madeleine, daughter of Antoine BOUDREAUX & Brigitte APART/PART, who came to LA with her widowed mother & siblings aboard L'Amitié also & had a younger brother named Étienne. An odd burial record for "widow" RASSICOT, dated 25 Jan 1787 at Ascension, is probably her. If it is, she died only 2 days after their wedding! See BRDR, 2:616 (ASC-1, 201b). Needless to say, she gave him no children. All of his daughters were from his second wife.
He was only in his early 30s when he died. His wife remarried to fellow Acadian Jean-Baptiste DE LA MAZIÈRE, who also died in his 30s.
03. Wall of Names, 42, calls her Marie-Henriette RASICAUD; Robichaux, Acadian in St.-Malo, 687-88, Family No. 801; BRDR, 2:488, 616 (ASC-2, 40), the record of her first marriage, calls her Maria Henrietta RASSICOT, calls her husband Pedro LECOMPTE, does not give any parents' names, & says the witnesses to her marriage were François RACICOT [her brother] & Amant HÉBERT; BRDR, 2:395, 616 (ASC-2, 64), the record of her second marriage, calls her Maria Ennrica RASCICAUX (RASSICOT), "recent widow of Pierre LECOMPTE," calls her husband Luis JUDICE, "widower of Maria Juana CANTRELL & Captain of German Coast Militia, Commandant of this District," gives her but not his parents' names, & says the witnesses to their marriage were Pedro SABAT & Pedro LANDRY; BRDR, 4:468 (ASC-4, 183), her death/burial record, calls her Marie RASSICOT, "age 56 yrs., wid. of Louis JUDICE," but does not give her parents' names.
Her husband's parents' names can be found in daughter Marguerite JUDICE's baptismal record, dated 7 May 1799, in NOAR, 6:157 (SLC, B14, 88). Her husband was the Louis JUDICE, full name Louis-Jacques, who commanded the Ascension District from 1769 & was old enough to be Marie-Henriette's grandfather, having been born at New Orleans in Oct 1731--nearly 40 years her senior. See his baptismal record, dated 21 Oct 1731, in NOAR, 1:138 (SLC, B1, 13), which says that his father was "resident upstream of the river." Louis's father Jacques, a native of Thianeour, Diocese of Besançon, France, son of Barthélemy JUDIS & Jeanne LEMAIRE, had married his mother at New Orleans in Apr 1730. She was a native of Theree, Diocese of La Rochelle, France, & was the widow of Antoine GABINION, "surnamed FRAPPE," who had been killed in the Natchez massacre of 1729. She probably was one of the few survivors of the massacre, along with her son Louis's future father-in-law, Jacques CANTRELLE. Louis died at Ascension in Jun 1806, age 74. See the burial record of Louis JUDICE, dated 20 Jun 1806, in BRDR, 3:456 (ASC-4, 65); it does not give his parents' names or mention a wife, but this probably is him.
Not bad for an Acadian girl! She evidently did not remarry.
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