Francois Quétant and Clothilde Girod – Assumption Parish, 1840s-1860s

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.

J.C.L.H.

3 thoughts on “Francois Quétant and Clothilde Girod – Assumption Parish, 1840s-1860s

  1. Jari, fantastic report on the Quetants. I assume the source report on Francoise Marie and Clothilde comes from Slave Sale document since they were both born as slaves. I have the document where old man Francois frees Clothilde before the Civil War. We had to pay to have that document translated into English. The one thing we haven’t found is how you’ve managed to source Charles to old man Francois Quetant. I have no birth info for Charles.

  2. Bonjour Mr. Khaton! I am glad you found this article informative. I shared the information with a friend of mine, Mr. Evans, who is also a Quetant descendant. The information on Charles Quetant comes from his marriage record (bride: Louise Jones) dated 7 September 1889. In your research, it would be interesting if you could determine whether Clothilde was born into the possession of Nicolas Girod or whether he purchased her from someone. Great to hear from you! A bientot!

    • Mr. Honora,
      Yes, we have the marriage information, which we retrieved from the N. O. Public Library with the assistance of a very helpful librarian in the genealogy section. We like to have multiple sources when we can get them and the only problem with the marriage record is that it lists Charles father as Joseph Quetant when it should be Françoise Quetant. We don’t know if this is a middle name or what. Consequently, we’ve been searching for another document referencing Françoise Quetant’s full name; or, a document referencing Françoise Marie Quetant and Charles Quetant as brothers.
      Louise Jones (originally Louise Jean) was my great grandmother and she lived long enough for me to know her.

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