Sunday, June 14, 2015

Isabelle LaForce

Not much is known about Isabelle LaForce. It was thought that she was the wife of Basil Ladner. However, I have come across information that leads me to believe they were never married. While doing some research for a friend, Dorty Necaise,  I came across the baptismal record in The Ladner Odyssey by Nap Cassibry for Alexander Basil Ladner son of Isabelle LaForce and Basil Ladner.
On the 18th day of February in 1817, I the undersigned Priest of the St. Louis Church, New Orleans, baptized and imposed with Holy Oils, a boy, born on the 29thof May, 1813 legitimate son of Basil Ladner and Isabelle son in Biloxi and Gravela Lafaure(Isabelle La Force) born and living in this city.
         Paternal grandparents: Bautita Ladnair and Maria Francisca Boudreau.
         Maternal Grandparents:Joseph Lafaure (Quebec) and  Marie St. Germain(Natchez)
         Godparents:Norbert Brutin amd Margarita Fernandez. to whom I notified of the spiritual   relationship. So that it may be evident I signed. /S/ Father P. Koine (SLC BB 8  90b A 458)

Note, that it states born and living in this city, as though Isabelle still lives in New Orleans where the baptism record was written. Also knowing that by 1817 when this baptism took place Basil was married to Helen Morin and had several children with her. 

Therefore either Isabelle and Basil were never married or she had died before he married Helen. But since she is mentioned as though still living in 1817 I would think it would be  more likely to be they were not married. 

A quick dig through the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Record Vol. 2&3 found the Laforce family in Assumption Parish. Several children are listed in baptisms in Assumption Parish. 
Santiago(Jacques) LaForce born in 1800 lists his grandparents as Paul Laforce and Magdelene Bijeau and Francois ST. Germain and Marie (metiza) (Indian).

In the  Ms  Coast Historical & Genealogical Society Vol 17-20 it states that Isabelle LaForce is recorded as "natural  de Ochita' Or as an Ouachita Indian. It also says that Jacques Ryan married Elizabeth LaForce and Thomas Ryan Married Isabelle Laforce, Basil Ladner also married an Isabelle LaForce. Azelie LaForce was godmother to Pierre Ryan and Victor LaForce was godfather to Victor Ryan. Most of the LaForce baptisms and marriages took place between 1810 and 1840. One of the Laforce family, Santiago is recorded as a resident of Lafourche Parish , La. 

One of the children of Basil, Jean Baptiste was born in 1811 which indicates that he may also be the son of Isabelle. He is listed in the 1850 census as a Mulatto, which could be because of his Indian heritage. He married Emma George and they had 5 children one of which was Hermogene Ladner, (aka Eugene) who went on to marry Catherine Raboteau who was a mulatto woman, the daughter of free persons of color Jules Cyrille Raboteau and Ophelia Rochon.

Hermogene and Catherine had the following children:
Marcelin who is living with her Rochon family in the 1900 census along with several siblings and they are all listed as black .
Ernest, Euphrasia Ophelia, Marie Eulalie, Eugene, Aurelia Catherine, Elizabeth, and Marie Victoria Ladner. 

The Laforce family was apparently affluent enough to own several slaves and a large section of land in Assumption Parish, La. Joseph Laforce listed his occupation in the 1865 Louisiana IRS Tax Assesment List as a Retail Dealer. Several lines above him is the name J. Lafitte, wholesale dealer.  In 1788 in Natchez Joseph mortgaged his estate for $565.00 and in 1793 he sold 1000 arpents of land on the Ms River near the mouth of the Yazoo, which had belonged to his wife Marie St Germain which she had inherited from her father. In the book Shawnee Heritage it says Joseph Laforce was a mulatto who married an Indian and their family was a Black/Cherokee metis.

.Marie St. Germain's father was Jean Louis Pochet dit ST. Germain he was an Interpreter for the Natchez Indians he died shortly before 8 May 1786 near Natchez after "a fall from the top of a tree in the Cypress Swamp." (McBee, pages 33 and 34.)Marie's mother was a metiz woman or half Indian, her name was Marie LeFleur the daughter of Henry LeFleur the Indian Interpreter, who owned a good bit of land in Natchez and whose common law wife was an Indian woman. More can be found about Henry LeFleur in the book The Natchez Court Records, 1767-1805, by May Wilson McBee

  Basile basically had two separate families. One of mixed Indian heritage that married into the local mulatto families of Rochon and Raboteau and the other family being white.