Saturday, April 28, 2012

The 1699 Legacy

 This weekend D'Iberville lands again for the 313th time. It got me thinking what a big deal it is to the people of our Coast and to our heritage. I wonder what our ancestors would have thought of us dressing up and reenacting this each year?

We owe a lot to the men who braved this wild new land. They left Canada and came to a hot swampy land, full of mosquito's, disease, strange animals, hurricanes and Indians.

When D'Iberville came to the Coast in 1699, he brought with him soldiers and some Canadian men. They built a fort and established the first city in the colony of French Louisiana; Biloxi. Later in 1704 the King of France sent a ship of girls to marry the men. They are known forever as the Casket Girls because each woman had a casket given to them to carry their possession's. All but one of the 24 girls married a settler. My casket girl ancestor was Gabrielle Savary who married the Canadian, Jean Baptiste Saucier.   

Jean and Gabrielle had four living sons, and one daughter; Henri, Jean Baptiste, Jacques, Francois, and Anne. Henri Saucier had a large family on the Gulf Coast. Francois Saucier's descendants can be found in Kaskaskia, Illinois. 

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