1850 Federal Census; Francois Quétant, Clothilde, Francois; Assumption Parish
In recent years, a growing degree of scholarship has been given to the so-called “Foreign French.” Unlike their Acadian and Creole confreres, these Frenchmen only settled in la belle Louisiane in the nineteenth-century. Not a small number of these recent arrivals from the Fatherland journeyed out of New Orleans and settled in the rural hamlets of the state. The Bayou Lafourche country drew at least a few of these settlers, among them, Francois Quétant, a native of Thônes, Departement de la Haute-Savoie. Quétant was a nephew of Nicolas Girod, the Mayor of New Orleans, who in addition to his famed “Napoleon House,” in the French Quarter, owned a sizable sugar plantation in Assumption Parish.
On 8 March 1845, Francois Quétant purchased from his uncle’s estate, a twenty-four years old slave, Clothilde, and her eighteen-month old son, Francois-Marie. Francois Quétant was the father of Clothilde’s son and would live as man and wife with her until his death in 1871. Quétant acquired a few parcels of land upon which he earned a livelihood as a farmer. In addition to Francois-Marie, they had a son Charles and two daughters, Celamise and Marie.
In the 1860s, Francois Quétant and Clothilde Girod (the name by which she is referenced in her son’s marriage) migrated to New Orleans. He died in the city on 31 August 1871. Clothilde died on 15 July 1890. Besides Francois-Marie, they had other children: . Francois-Marie Quétant established a tailoring business which remained in his family for at least three generations. Modern descendants of Francois and Clothilde Quétant carry the “Quétant,” name and sadly an Americanized variation, “Khaton.”
Sources: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 Federal Censuses; Testamentary Executor of Nicholas Girod to Francois Quetant, Sale of Slaves, Record of Conveyances, Assumption Parish Clerk of Court, Volume 8, Page 490; Orleans Parish Marriage Records, Volume 5, Page 555.