1671 Census and the Hebert Families

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The following is a reprint (with thanks) of article which appeared in the Baton Rouge newspaper The Morning Advocate dated May 7, 1998 in Damon Veach ‘s Column, and entitled “Louisiana Ancestors”. The original author of the article was Brian Comeaux.

1671 Census and the Hebert Families

The first Acadian census in 1671 mentions two Hebert families.  The first was that of Anthoine Hebert and his wife, Genevieve Lefranc, and the second was that of the widow of Estienne Hebert, Marie Gaudet.

Due to the number of certificates of marriage dispensation that still exist, it has been possible to determine that Anthoine and Estienne Hebert were brothers.

They were the sons of Jacques Hebert and Marie Juneau of Balesmes, in the present day French department of Indre-et-Loire, located near the city of Tours.  They came to Port Royal around 1648 during the governorship of Charles de Menou d’Aulnay, whose French seigneurie was not far from Balesmes.

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D’Aulnay’s business agent, Emmanel LeBorgne, sieur du Coudray, recruited colonists from d’Aulnay’s seigneurie and the surrounding towns as colonists for Acadie.

Anthoine was apparently married before his departure and came to Port Royal with his wife.  Estienne married within a year of his arrival to Marie Gaudet, the daughter of Jehan Gaudet and Francoise Marie Daussy.  They were two of the earliest Acadian settlers.

Estienne and Marie Gaudet had 10 children, five boys and five girls.

The five girls in order of their birth were:

Marie (born 1650, married 1666 Michel DeForest)
Marguerite (born 1652, married 1670, Jacques Nicolas LePrince)
Francoise (born 1661, married 1679, Jean Commeau)
Catherine (born 1663, married 1679 Philippe Pinet dit Bellefeuille)
Martine (born 1665, married 1682, Nicolas Barrilot (Barrileaux)

The five boys were:

twins Emmanuel (born 1653, married 1679, Andree Brun) and
Estienne (born 1653, married 1678, Jeanne Commeaux)
Jehan (Jean) (born 1658, married 1691, Jeanne Douaron)
Michel (born 1666, married 1691, Isabelle Pellerin)
Anthoine (born 1670, married 1690, Jeanne Corporon, married 1737 Anne
Orillon dit Champagne)

The second Hebert brother to come to Acadia, Anthoine, had only 3 children with his wife, Genevieve Lefranc.  The two sons were both named Jehan (Jean), one born in 1649 and who disappeared from the Acadian censuses after 1671, apparently leaving no descendants.  The second son, Jehan le cadet was born in 1653 and married Anne Doucet, the daughter of Pierre Doucet and Henriette Pelletret of Port Royal in 1676.  Their only daughter, Catherine, was born in 1656 and married Jacques LeBlanc, the son of Daniel LeBlanc and Francoise
Gaudet in 1673.

Some of the descendants of Emmanuel Hebert, one of the twin sons of Estienne Hebert and Marie Gaudet, were among the many Hebert families who eventually made their way to Louisiana following the deportation.  Emmanuel and his wife, Andree Brun, settled near Port Royal.  Emmanuel likely inherited the farm of his father.  This was Andree Bruns second marriage.  Brun was widowed from Germain Therriot and had 3 children, two boys and a girl, from her first marriage.  By the census of 1693, Emmanuel had become one of the most prosperous inhabitants of the Port Royal region.  He had 30 arpents in cultivation and owned 20 head of cattle and 15 swine.

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Emmanuel Hebert and Andree Brun had 6 children, five boys and one girl.  The girl was named Marguerite.  She was born in 1681 and married Jean Pierre Thibodeaux, the son of Pierre Thibodeau and jeanne Therriot (Theriot).

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The five sons were:

Guillaume (born 1680, married about 1706, name unknown, married 1711, Marie Josephe Dupuis) Jean dit Emmanuel (born 1683 at Port Royal, married 1704 Magdeleine Dugas, the daughter of Claude Dugas and Francoise Bourgeois)
Jacques (born 1684 at Port Royal, married 1706 to Marguerite Landry, the daughter of Pierre Landry and Magdelaine Robichaud) Alexandre (born 1686, married 1712 to Marie Joseph Dupuis, a daughter of Pierre Dupuis and Magdelaine Landry)
Martin (born 1687, disappeared from the census records after 1701)

Jean dit Emmanuel, his wife, Magdeleine Dugas, and their family helped to found the Memrancook-Chipoudy region in present day New Brunswick, Canada.

One of their sons, Jean Baptiste, married Claire Robidhaud, the daughter of Charles Robichaud.  Eventually a feud erupted between the Heberts and their allies, the Cyrs (Suire) agains the Blanchard family.  One of the Cyr boys, Jean Jacques, married the second daughter of Jean dit Emmanuel named Marie Josephe.

Jean Jacques Cyr and his wife and two of  her younger brothers, michel (who married Elizabeth Benoit) and Belony (who married jeanne Savoie, daughter of Francois Savoie), encroached on land along the Memramcook River claimed by the Blanchard family.  It was no doubt therefore a Blanchard who gave the Hebert settlement the rather unflattering name of Butte a Retard.

Finally, one of the sons of Jean dit Emmanuel, Armand, married Madeleine Richard, the daughter of michel Richard dit Beaupre.  Madeleine’s brother, Jean Baptiste, was an ally of the Blanchard family, and this marriage began a process of reconciliation between the Blanchards and the Heberts in the Memramcook Valley just a few years before the British invasion of 1755.

Continued on May 24, 1998:

Five Hebert families and two single Hebert men were among the earliest Acadian arrivals in Louisiana.  The five families were all settled along the first Louisiana Acadian Coast in St. James Parish, while the two single men settled in the Attakapas country by 1766.  One of the five St. James Parish families was headed by Claire Robichaud, the widow of Jean Baptiste Hebert of Memramcook.  In 1767, nine more Hebert families arrived in Louisiana from exile in Maryland and settled near present day St. Gabriel in Iberville Parish.

One of the Hebert families that arrived from Maryland provided Louisiana with its 15th governor.  Paul Octave Hebert, the great-great-great-great grandson of the original Estienne Hebert was Louisiana’s governor from 1853-1856.  He was born and raised on a sugar plantation a few miles down river from Plaquemine in Iberville Parish.  His father was named Paul Hebert, who married Eugenie Hamilton in 1817.

A number of Heberts eventually settled along the Bayous Teche and Vermillion. At least one of the sons of Jean dit Emmanuel Hebert (who married Magdelaine Dugas) of Memramcook, Belony, was one of these settlers.  He and his wife, Jeanne Savoie, and at least two of his sons, Joseph Pepin (who married Madeleine Trahan in 1771) and Jean Charles (who married Madeleine Robichaud in 1773) settled along the Bayou Vermilion.  Many of their descendants still live along the bayou in Lafayette and Vermilion parishes.

Another line of Attakapas region Heberts was launched by three sons of Jean Baptiste Hebert and Claire Robichaud, who migrated to Bayou Teche in the late 1760s.  Jean Baptiste II married Theotiste Hebert in 1768 and lived near St. Martinville.  His brothers, Joseph, who married Francoise Hebert in 1762 and
Mathurin, who married Catherine Dore in 1787 lived near Fausse Pointe.  Jean Baptiste II later moved nearer to his brothers.

Some of their grandsons eventually moved west into Calcasieu Parish, thus establishing the Hebert name there.  Eighteen Hebert families arrived with the Acadians from France in 1785.

Most of these families settled in the Lafourche and Terrebonne regions.  One of the largest of these families was headed by Jean Pierre, who married Suzanne Pitre.  Jean Pierre was the son of Rene dit Gros Hebert.  Rene was the son of Jehan le cadet and the grandson of Anthoine and Genevieve Lefranc.  His sons settled along Bayou Lafourche near Thibodeaux.  Bobby Hebert, ex-NFL quarterback, is a descendant of Jean Pierre Hebert and Suzanne Pitre.  Another family that arrived in 1785 was headed by Joseph Hebert, who married Marie Jeanne Durembourg and settled in present day Terrebonne Parish along Bayous Terrebonne and Petit Cailou.

Today the Hebert family is one of the largest in Louisiana.  There are concentrations of the families throughout Acadiana, but especially in Lafayette, Vermilion, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

Please note the details of e-mail message received from Jayne A. Hebert on December 5, 2000, relative this Page:

“While interesting and informational, there are unsubstantiated facts in this article. Most of the literature I have read and other data suggest the parents of both Etienne and Antoine are unknown. Antoine’s surviving son Jean, had several children that were not mentioned and I am a direct descendent of one of them Augustin.”

Sincerely, Jayne A. Hebert