Houmas Indians of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

The photo above is a group of mixed Houmas Indians in Bayou Lafourche in 1907

The Draft Registration for WWI was really a wonderful historical opportunity.  While other documents, such as the Indian Census, were taken only of tribal members, the draft asked each individual their race.  They got to decide what they said, not as dictated by another body, such as a tribe or a school or a registrar of some sort.  Some claimed mixed race.

In Louisiana, probably half of the people who claimed they were Indian came from Terrebonne Parish.  The rest were scattered in other parishes, and New Orleans, of course, but Terrebonne probably had as many as all the rest put together.  So I set about trying to discover who these Indians were.  Ironically, the history of Terrebonne parish doesn’t say anything about Indians, which I found unusual, but I did find information in some other places.

It turns out that the Houmas Indians were the primary group found there in the 1800s and early 1900s, but they weren’t there earlier.  Sometimes given as Ouma (French) or Huma. The name translates literally as “red” and is apparently a shortened form of Saktci-homma, the name of the Chakchiuma meaning “red crawfish.” Houma in southern Louisiana are sometimes referred to as Sabine, a derogatory term usually intended as a racial insult.

The first mention of the Houmas Indians is found in LaSalle’s report of the existance of the “Oumas” village in March of 1682, though he didn’t actually visit the location. (B.F. French, ed., Historical Collections of Louisiana, 1846, V. 1, p. 47-49) In 1686, Chevalier de Tonti went up the Mississippi River and found the “Oumas tribe, the bravest of all the savages. The location of the tribe at this time was east of the Mississippi River in West Feliciana Parish … near present-day Angola state prison. (Chevalier de Tonti, Relation De La Louisianne et de Mississippi, 1734, p. 45) In 1699, Bienville noted the conflict between the Houmas and the Bayougoula Indians, who lived further south. (Swanton, Bulletin 43, p.287-288) The two tribes had set up a red pole (from which the city “Baton Rouge” got its name) to mark the boundary of their hunting areas. (Richebourg Faillard McWilliams, Fleur de Lys and Calumet, 1953, p. 25) By the following year, the conflict had been resolved and the tribes made peace. (B.F. French, ed., Historical Collections of Louisiana and Florida, 1869, p. 55)

In 1700, the Jesuit Father Paul Du Ru joined Iberville in a trip to the Houma village. He left his servant, who directed the Indians in building a Catholic church … the first Catholic church in the Mississippi Valley. It was 50 feet long and had a cross almost 40 feet tall. (Roger Baudier, The Catholic Church in Louisiana, 1939, p. 2) On a later trip (1701-1702) to the village, Iberville counted 150 families in the tribe. (Margry, Decouvertes, Vol IV, p. 418)

About 1706, the Houmas and nearby Tunicas were feeling threatened by northern tribes from Mississippi. The Tunica settled in with the Houmas, only to later turn on them and kill over half of the tribe. The remaining Houmas moved southward. They probably settled around the mouth of the Lafourche. Some say that they moved to Bayou St. John, but is seems that they only visited that area seasonally. (Bernard de La Harpe, Historical Journal, p. 100-101) It is thought that their hunting area extended from the Lafourche eastward to Lake Ponchatrain. The main movement of the Houmas down the Lafourche probably came after 1770. The oral tradition of the Houma Indians says that one branch of the tribe settled at present-day Houma … which was in the center of their hunting land from Atchafalaya to Barataria. The village was named Chufahouma. (Oral History, Curry: # 2, #6, #15)

The following years saw the Houmas making peace … with the Chitimacha in 1716, and the Tunica and Natchez in 1723. Bienville noted in 1723 that “this nation (Houma) is very brave and very laborious.” It was reported in 1749 by Joseph De LaPorte that the Houmas lived in two villages located about six miles south of the Lafourche. De Kerlerec noted in 1758 that their location was about 66 miles upriver from New Orleans.

The latter half of the century was not a good time for the tribe. In 1771, John Thomas reported that there were 46 Houma warriors. In the latter half of the 18th century, a number of small conflicts between the Houmas and other tribes were reported. Their land, for which they had received a verbal guarantee, was sold out from under them. Legal battles were attempted … some lasting for decades … but failed due to a lack of a written document. The tribe was still on the land in 1785 and refused to move.

In 1803, Daniel Clark reported that there were 60 Houmas living on the east bank of the Mississippi River, about 75 miles upriver from New Orleans. John Sibley reported in 1806 that there were just a few Houmas living on the east side of the Mississippi just south of Bayou Manchac. Sibley also noted that some of the Houmas had traveled west and intermarried with the Attakapas tribe.

At this point, the story becomes somewhat clouded. Oral tradition of the Indians says that Alexander Billiot, the Houma chief, was living at the site of present-day Houma when the “white man came.” The traditions states that he was later given a grant for the land, though no proof of this grant exists. When they applied for the land (without a written grant), it was rejected (in 1814). They applied for “a tract of land lying on Bayou Boeuf, or Black Bayou.” This is the area between present day Houma and Morgan City. Without tribal land, the Houmas had to acquire land as private citizens.

The documented proof of Houmas Indian migration to Terrebonne Parish is lacking. The tribal identity and specifics of the Indian presence in Terrebonne Parish is still being looked into by the Bureau of Indian Affairs who issued a report which you can see at this link:   http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~laterreb/houmaindians.htm

In the mid 1990s, BIA came out with their genealogical report on the Houmas tribe. To summarize, they found only 3 progenitors that could be clearly identified as Native American:  Joseph Houma Courteau, Jeanet, and Marie Gregoire. Courteau’s daughter married Jacques Billiot.  Jeanet married his brother Joseph Billiot. Marie Gregoire married Alexander Verdin.  Courteau was said to be an “Indian of the Biloxi nation.

There are several others with possible connections. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, several other French men married Indian brides. Many of the names of these men are still recognized as being (primarily) Indian names. The surnames include: Billiot (see above), Verdin (see above), Solet, Verret, Parfait, Dardar (Michel Dardar, a Frenchman, married Adelaide Billiot, non-Indian daughter of Jean Baptiste Billiot & Marie Enerisse, in 1809), , , Naquin (Acadian Charles Naquin arrived in LA in 1785; his grandson Jean-Marie Naquin married Pauline Verdin, a daughter of Alexander Verdin & Marie Gregoire), Chiasson (Andre J. Chaisson married Felicite Isilda Billiot, non-Indian daughter of Jean Billiot & Manette Renaud).

The earliest Indian settlements in Terrebonne Parish were along Bayou Terrebonne and Little Caillou. By 1850, the settlements had spread to Pointe Aux Chenes and Bayou DuLarge.  As the English, French, Acadian, etc. came into the parish, the Indians were forced further south. In 1907, John Swanton counted almost 900 people in several settlements. These included 175 at Bayou Sale (below Dulac), 160 at Pointe Aux Chenes, 117 at Isle de Jean Charles, about 90 at Bayou DuLarge, and 65 at Pointe Barre. (Swanton, Bulletin 43, p. 291) The Indian population was reported at 2,000 by Franklin Speck in 1941. (Speck, “Report … on Historical and Economic Background of Houma Indians,” p. 14-16)

The Houmas war emblem was the crawfish, representing both honor as it wouldn’t back down from anything, even unto death, and the most abject poverty if you ate it.

You can read more about the history of the Houma at this link: http://www.dickshovel.com/hou.html

To read about the Confederation of Biloxi, Chitimacha and Choctaw, tribes of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes, visit this site:  http://www.biloxi-chitimacha.com/

You can read more about their history here:  http://www.biloxi-chitimacha.com/history.htm

Interviews and photographs:  http://oralhistory.blogs.lib.lsu.edu/tag/houma-indians/

Sources:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~laterreb/indian.htm


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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140 Responses to Houmas Indians of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

  1. Hannah says:

    Trying to find out more info from my grandma’s past. She grandmother was a Blackfoot from Lafourche. She married a Naquin.

    • Michael Leon Dardar I says:

      There are no historic Blackfoot from the Lafourche area, nor anywhere near Louisiana. But actually, people of that region didn’t refer to themselves as Houma until it was suggested to them by researchers that had read John R. Swantons assumption that they were when he did his research in 1907. Interestingly,that assumption was never confirmed by researchers before nor after him. Researchers after him always reference his book when mentioning that their was a small remnant of Houmas counted in an earlier census. Swanton claimed that the census taker overlooked the larger part of the tribe down in the Laforche bayous. It is that assumption that all following researcers refer to. But there is no document that connects those Houmas on that census to the families living in Lafourch area. And this what at the same time the known progenitors and their children were living, like Marie Gregoire and Roslie Courteau. Documents prove that Courteau was of the Biloxi Nation, and Marie Gregoire’s parents and uncle were in the western part of Louisiana know as the Attakapas region, where there were Chitimacha settlements. Since Alexander Verdun and his older brothers had lived in that area, now known as St. Mary Parish, there’s no doubt Marie was Chitimacha. Jeanette’s, (the Native American that married Joseph Billiot) tribe has never been verified/identified.

      But in the early days when the name Houma was being “suggested” as the people’s tribe,there were some, like my grandfater who had been told long ago that they were Chitimacha. Some other claimed Cherokee! It seems the older people just used names of tribes they heard of in the movies. They were raised knowing or in some cases believing they wer Native Americans, but didn’t know what tribe.

      • Esther says:

        Hello Michael, My name is Esther Billiot. My Father is Anthony Billiot. His Father was Ellis Billiot married to my Grandmother a Verdin. My Mother was Delta Dardar and her Father was wilcliff Dardar . As you said tracing ancestry can and will consume you. Both my parents and Grandparents were born and raised in Golden Meadow. I wanted to ask how far back have you been able to get as far as the name of the tribe ?

    • Krystal Naquin says:

      What is the name of your grandfather?

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        My paternal grandfather was Delmas Gabriel Dardar (born in Golden Meadow but lived his adult life in Bears Island and Berwick), the son of Paulin Dardar II and Victoria Verdun. And my maternal grandfather was Alexander Crappel/Crepel (born in Terrebonne Parish but raised and lived in Morgan City), but his real family name was Billiot, the son of Alexander Joseph Billiot (Crepel in St. Mary Parish) and Eva Verret.

    • Michel Dardare says:

      Hello Roberta, in your entry you present a view of “Houmas indians of Terrebonne”.
      But who are they and where this view has been caught?
      My proposition : The man (on the right with a bird) could be Alexandre Gabriel Verdun, with four of his young brothers, Homère Ulysse (wife Carmélite Dardar), Théodore Félicien (wife Valentine Guidry), Simon (wife Victorine Billiot with baby Julie) and Etienne, and their families. Three sisters married to Dardars are not there, Mélicère, Geneviève and Victoire; nor the elder brothers Victor Romain Jr and Charles Delmas.
      They stand before the old case of their deceded parents, Victor Romain VERDUN Sr and Geneviève Céline JEAN de Campêche, on the Isle à Jean-Jacques, viewed by Stanton on 1907.
      They have a quarter of amerindian blood through their paternal grand-mother Marie Grégoire.

  2. my name is Shane Billiot I an 35 years old and one proud native American . All these people listed is my Ancestors because of them my family still exist today ,and was never forced to live out our lives on a reservation .I am very proud of them for never giving up ,because of there bravery we was always able to be free !! I love the Great Spirit for he lives within our people and it is a blessing to be able to still hunt and fish where my ancestors did ..

  3. Adam Joseph Verdin, 298 Hideaway Dr, Zwolle, LA 71486 318-461-3756 says:

    My grandmother was Julia Marie Billiot, lived in Lockport, LA (Banana Grove) She married Benard Verdin.She was my Dad’s mother. My dad was Camille Bertrand Verdin. I am Adam Joseph Verdin.
    I have two sons, Adam Wade and Brian Keith Verdin. My wife and I have seven grandchildren.
    I grew up just outside of Lockport, LA.


      • Elaine Perry Verdin says:

        Hi Sue, I am Adam’s wife, Elaine…Adam is afraid of the computer, LOL I keep telling him, “It won’t bite” How are you doing? It’s been a while since we have seen your dad and D…at that family reunion at the Cantrell’s place. I do remember seeing you, I think it was you. Tell me How is your mom doing?
        Hey, I checked in here because Adam would not do it. How-a-bout you? I think it is very interesting!! We were there about 2 1/2 days for our 57TH class reunion!! WHOooooo, Adam is getting old 🙂
        BTW my email is verdin.elaine@yahoo.com , 318-508-0977. I do remember the two pretty little girls..you and your sister.. 😉 Your dad was like a brother to me. He is much like my brothers….was it you or your sister with the dog kennel?
        we are leaving here on Sat A.M. to go to a small town near Houston to get on a ship for 7 days.
        We will be back on the 5TH of Dec.
        I am so sorry I did not see your message on the Indian site 😦 Wade, oldeat son saw it and sent the link to me today. We were in Shreveport when he sent it and just got home a few minutes ago…
        I am on FB…7 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Wade is a grandpa now.. 🙂 I didn’t know your last, Married name, until today..Thanks Sue.
        Please let us know how you, your sister, your mom and dad, OH and your baby are doing!!!
        Wade has 4 daughters and Brian has 3 sons…Ryan finished his 4 years as a Ranger, Medic, and paratrooper in the Army. Patrick is 5 years younger, he is in his second year in college and is taking “Computer Science”and Sean is also in college, Medical school. Wants to be a Surgeon. Ryan is 26 years old now and will go back to college for the next semester. The boys aren’t married yet. Wade’s second daughter, Ellen married recently on Sept 9th this year…Grace is only 17 and Sadie
        is only 14, but a pretty big girl…I have to look up to her and Grace…
        Will give you a break….Have a very good day and look forward to hearing from you

    • wendy keller says:

      I am trying to get information on my mother in law. Anna Mae Verdin (born 1934)

    • Huey says:

      My grandparents are mayfield an Georgina verdin we are probably related . I’m Huey Hunter I grew up in Lockport

  4. Johnny Fountano says:

    I am from San Antonio, Texas and my name is Johnny Fountano. I am mixed black, probably of creole descent on my fathers side. My cousin last name Fountano did a DNA test and the y chromosome came back Native American (fathers side). So I went on ancestry.com to try to find my fathers line of people and I did a DNA test myself and it also came back Y-DNA Native American Haplogroup. (my fathers side.) So I tried to look up my fathers line and came up with a great great grandfather name Joe Fountano from Iberia Parish Louisiana 1820. I believe his last name was originally Fonteneau or Founteneau and it was changed. Either he or his father, maybe grandfather is Native American, And it seem like it was close to the Houmas, Chitamachas, The Attakapas, and Appelousa is not too far either. Does anybody know anything about this?
    Thank You.

    • Monica says:

      You would have to give more information. If i could have names and which parish they came from.

    • Michael Leon Dardar I says:

      There are volumes and volumes on vital records of Southwest Louisiana, sometimes referred to as the Father Hebert books for Rev. Donald J. Hebert who compiled all of the civil and church records of Southwest and South Louisiana. They’re in most libraries in La. But as Monica mentioned, you’ll need more information to start your research or for genealogists to help you. For a start, find out the names of your great or great great grandparents from a relative. The Baton Rouge Diocese and the St. Louis Cathedral Records are other great sources. Don’t be surprised to find an ancestor in New Orleans and later way in Natchitoches depending on his business. Good luck. Genealogy is a great journey but it can obsess you.

      • Brandy says:

        I am definitely obsessed but so excited. I have been doing my family tree and focusing on my mom’s side because we know little to nothing about our relatives, ancestors etc. Just bits and pieces of stories. Very poor historians for the most part. My mom’s maiden name is Crepel, great granddaughter of Louise Crepel and Ernestine. I’m cross referencing ancestry.com and family search but it’s confusing and has a lot of incorrect information and/or information that does not match. I found this article and it has given me so much more information yay!! Just need to tie up lose ends per se. Any help is appreciated. Thanks. Can email me at brandymkelley78@gmail.com

  5. Bobby Beard says:

    Pierre Nicolas Michel Dardar is my 4th Great Grandfather. Adelaide Billiot and Michel’s son Marcelin Dardar is my 3rd Great and his daughter, Marguerite Adelaide Dardar, is my Great Great Grandmother. She married a man we believed named Maximin Billiot or possibly Maximilian Billiot. There son was Joseph Edward Billeau. Not sure why the change in the last name spelling. Maximin’s last name may also have been spelled Billeau, though.

    • Michael Leon Dardar I says:

      I’m Michael Leon Dardar, son of Delmas Dardar & Lucille Crappel. I trace my ancestry back to 2 of Michel and Adelaide’s sons, Marcellin and Leopold (also known as Paulin I). I was the one who actually sent away for the Michel’s baptism document that contained his full name his father and mother’s names. I then sent back (in an attempt to “trick” the Chalon sur Marne archive into researching for me) the marriages of his parents, which showed their parents.
      About Billiot vs Billeau. In French they sound the same. You will even find it spelled Bio, Billau, almost any possible way it could be written and still pronounced bee-yo.
      Much of the research done by the BIA field researchers confimed a cousin and my findings about various family lines, in some cases they verified findings I had made that I hadn’t been 100% sure of.

      • Thanks for the comment and the information. Tracking down the Billeau side of my family has been a job. My Grandmother passed two years ago, and her brothers don’t remember much about their Grandparents. They remember moving from Louisiana to Matagorda, Tx, but not much about their extended family. One of my Gr. Aunts gathered most of the information that I have.

  6. Jadi says:

    I am a Verdin from South Louisiana, from the Houma area. The farthest my family tree had gone back was Alexandre Verdin and Marie Gregoire and I was looking for information on them on the Internet. I was well aware of the Indian heritage, grew up knowing I was over half, but I still wanted to find a little more about them. This was a great find. Thank you!

  7. betty jean mstthews says:

    Hi I was reading about the Houma Indians and I would like to know what tribes did the name Fitch is.my mother and her mother and daddy name is Fitch.I would like to know it I was also an Indian

  8. Denese says:

    I am trying to trace my Solet line. My 2x great grandfather was Auguste Solet. I am descended from his daughter Matilda.

    • Claire Champagne says:

      Denese, your ancestor, Matilda lived on Bayou Dularge, south of Houma. I remember her mother and where they lived. I will look up the present address so you can google it. Their original home is gone, but I remember it. A typical Cajun house made of Cypress. Land records can be found in the Terrebonne Parish Court House.

  9. Jamie Dardar says:

    I Am Jamie Dardar of Point – aux – chene a registered tribsl member of united houma nation a native of the isle of jean charles and resident on island since 1973 at birth . I’m proud to have grown up on our Ancestors land free from government reservation forced on so many Natives our history may not be completely traced but our people are proud Natives decedent’s of many tribes who banded together to survive the invasion of the white settlers on Native land.this has been told by our Grand parents for generations my Grandfather spoke of this how we came to exist and survive so have many of the oldest Natives of the island. We Are Native indigenous people of this land i do Consider myself Houma Native American. A decedent of the CHIEF JEAN CHARLES NAQUIN who was Chief on the Island of jean charles a houma tribal member before his grandson Albert Naquin sold out his name and claimed to be a different tribesmen of 3 nations of Native American and disbanded to form another tribe on the island.Blood test should be conducted by our people to prove who’s Native and what percentage of Native American they have to control Registry of non native in our tribes.

    • Brandon Ledet says:

      Funny you speak of Chief Naquin. I’ve went back all the way to his father which was my 7th great grandfather. Chief Naquin was my 7th great Uncle. However I’ve spoken with present Chief and the Chief of Homuas tribe. One tells me I can’t be a member because I’m not directly from the island and the other says I’d need a number and there’s no telling when that would happen. My research shows that we all stem from the Chitimaka. None the less I love learning of my ancestors. I know I have Native blood. My grandmother is Dora Lee Naquin and my grandfather is Neil L edet. I would love to be a member and pass my heritage on to my daughter.

      • Michael Leon Dardar I says:

        The Native American blood in the Naquin family comes from Jean Marie Naquin’s wife Pauline, the daughter of Alexandre Verdun, a white man and Marie Gregoire, “sang melee sauvagesse” (half or mixed blood Indian woman), who been proven to be Chitimacha. I am a descendant of Pauline and her sister Eulalie on my mother’s side, and their brother Victor on my fathers side, but a generation closers.

        There were many mistakes made during the enrollment period of the Houmas “tribe.” People of certain family names were automatically accepted without confirming they were descendants of the Native line of those families. Hence, lots of Naquins, Billiots, Dardars, Soles/Soulet/Saulets, Verrets, Verdins/Verduns, etc were enrolled. The idea of the group being of the Houma tribe, seems to have originated from an assumption made by anthropologist and ethnologist John R. Swanton in his research of the Indian tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley in 1907. It’s been proven by later researchers that Swanton had a tendency to fill in the unknown with his own ideas as though they were facts. He assumed that the census takers of the early 1800s, after reporting that there was a small remnant of the ancient Houma tribe living farther north, had missed the large group living in Lafourche. An example of his unintelligible (cock and bull) reporting is:

        “The family history of the writer’s oldest informant, Felicite Billiout, will serve to illustrate this tribal complexity. Her grandmother, whose Indian name was Xuyu’n, but who was baptized ‘Marion’ after her removal to Louisiana, was born in or near Mobile; her grandfather, Shulu-shumon, or, in French, Joseph Abbe, and more often called ‘Couteaux,’ was a Biloxi medal chief; and her mother ‘an Atakapa from Texas.’”

        So how does this prove they are Houma Indians? Are was it meant to prove they were Indians that lived in Houma? The fact that Felicite was a Billiout/Billiot disproves all of this. The earliest record of Billiot/Billeau/Billau/etc that the people of Lafourche trace back to can be found in the Swiss Troops during the 1700s. Interesting to note is they were stationed in close proximaty to free Negros of the Iris family and also soldiers. All Billiots with lineage in the Lafourche-Terrebonne region trade back to Jean Billiot and Marie Iris/Eris/etc. The few baptism records of their children are in the Archdiocese of New Orleans/St. Louis Cathedral records.

        That name Xuyu’n reminds me of a Chinese name Xu Yun! And speaking of Chinese. When listening to oral histories, remember the Chinese gossip game, how a story can change dramatically just in a few minutes passed around by a few people. I interviewed one man that told me with a straight face that Oklahoma was name for a Joseph Houma and Annie Oakley! Another said that Manette Renaud, an Acadian, who had been the common-law wife of many of the sons of Jean Billiot and Marie Iris, was a princess who came to Louisiana pregnant on a barge filled with gold from France, and her husband August Crepel had died on a battlefield in France. Facts: Manette’s father was Antoine Renaud who was in Canada before going to Louisiana. Manette had a half-sister whose father was a Magneau, and of course August Crepel had children (3 sons) with Michel Dardar’s widow Adelaide Billiot, and in later years is seen on census records living with Manette and her Billiot children. There are some who in an attempt to hide the Billiot bloodline, claim that their ancestor was actually the son of August Crepel and Manette Renaud–therefore white–and that when going to be baptized along with his half siblings, the boy around 9 years old asked his mother what name he was going to be baptized as. Her reply was, “The same as your brothers and sister, you little S.O.B.!” But that story is shot down by baptism records because he was baptized much younger and under his father’s name, who was Charles Billiot and not the illegitimate son of August Crepel. They were all baptized uder each ones father’s name, but they weren’t all baptized together. At the time Manette was with August, those children she had with the Billiot brothers were much older.

      • Verret Tina says:

        I am also related to Naquin’s from the island. We have a Naquin Family fb group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1583737408573507/

        It has pictures and lots of info provided by family members. Check it out!

  10. Claudia says:

    How would I check the Mississippi tribes rolls

  11. JoAnn Scott Businelle says:

    Hi I’m a Scott my dad is Louis (L.J) Scott.My grand parents were Oris (mustache)Scott and Evelyn Liner Scott from Dularge.I am a registered member of united houma nation tribe.I would like more info on my family background as my sister in law did it and I know nothing..

  12. Pierce says:

    Looking for the Relatives of (Reado) from the Houma/Lafourche area. Great grandmother Elizabeth Reado.. born in 1866.

  13. thomas says:

    Does anyone know how I would get legal documentation to prove that I do have the Houma Indian blood line?

    • Michael Leon Dardar I says:

      The United Houma Nation is one group made up of people who are decendants of various families that were early inhabitants of South Louisiana. They have been petitioning for the US government to recognize/accept them as a tribe for many decades, but due to lack of documentations to prove actual decendancy from a Houma Indian, they continue to petition. The known Native American progenitors of this group are Rosalie Courteau, whose father was of the Biloxi Nation, “a Biloxi medal chief,” Marie Gregoire, “femme sauvagesse” (Indian woman), “sang melee savauge” (half blood Indian” and Jeanet, “an Indian.” The BIA field researchers verified that Marie Gregoire’s father was Gregoire, “grif libre” (grif/griffe = child of Indian and Negro) mother listed “mother is a sauvagesse, son of Andre, the Negro servant of Frenchman Andre Masse. Gregoire had a brother named Paul. He sometimes used Masse as his surname, but his children took Paul for their surname. The surname Paul is rather common in the Chitimacha tribe of St. Mary Parish. There have been Pauls that were chiefs in the 20th Century. Jeanet’s tribe has never been identified.
      Rosalie Couteau married Jacques Billiot of German/Swiss and Negro ancesty. Marie Gregoire was the “wife” of Alexandre Verdun who was French, German and Swiss. His brothers had children with Negro slaves who they later freed and gave land. Jeanet’s “husband” Joseph Billiot was the brother of Jacques Billiot. Their sister Adelaide married Michel Dardar, and later August Crepel. Their sister Francoise married the mulatto son of Frenchman Valentine Sole and Babe, negro slave. Some side notes: 1. Valentine was married to a white wome in New Orleans but had legal business dealings in Lafourche Interior. 2. Although mixed-race marriage was illegal in Louisiana, there are many examples of it being legal for recent European immigrants, such as Michel Dardar and others in various regions of the state.

      • Hope Caulfield says:

        Rosaline Couteau is of my family descendant on my father’s side of the family. I find your documentary’s all very interesting. I just recently had my DNA done through ancestry. I am 4% Native American, 12% African, 6% Asia, 72% Europe, 2% Pacific Islander, and 4% West Asia.

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        Very interesting! Most of my relatives wouldn’t even accept the Native American ancestry at first. On my mother’s side, they were raised believing they were “pure white,” despite the fact that my maternal grandmother’s mother was a Billiot, a family name that was whispered about having black ancestry. My mother’s oldest sister gave the information on my grandmother’s death certificate, but in that space is written unknown. Little did she know, that my grandmother had told my mother her mother’s name when my mother was filling out ancestry info in my baby book.

        On the grandfather’s side, there was a story concocted to cover that his grandfather was also a Billiot. They took the name of the last husband of my greatgreat grandfather’s mother, August Crepel/Crappel, since, like Michel Dardar, he was from France. My grandfather’s sister along with her daughter did early ancestry research in the 60s, and did all they could to cover any non-white ancestry Growing up, the family would talk about how the research drove my great aunt and cousin crazy, believing it was their quest to find out about the imagined family fortune, but my research uncovered the real reason for their mental collapse–finding the truth about their ancestry. The rest of the family had no problem accepting my findings, and quickly related stories that now made sense. But older distant relatives like top members in the United Houma Nation, refused to accept any of it, preferring to hang on to word of mouth fairytales that had been handed down to cover the black ancestry.

        Were your DNA findings surprising to you? Are there known Asians in your recent ancestry (grandparents or greatgps)? I used to be in contact with people at the Amistad Center at Tulane that told me there were some black families that had married Pacific Islanders that had immigrated to New Orleans. I never looked into it further, but I know that there were Chinese that had shrimp drying companies down in lower Jefferson Parish, who had brought in Philippine people to work.

      • Lisa Nixon says:

        Hello, My name is Lisa Nixon and my grandmother was Angelic Billiot Greco. From my research her parents were Thomas Billiot and Annette Billiot, Thomas Billiot’s mother was Adelaide Billiot was married to Alexander Billiot. Alexander Billiot’s mother was Rosalie Courteaux who was married to Jacques Billiot. This is what I put together so far, am I on the right track?

      • Michel DARDARE says:

        A l’attention de Lisa Nixon :
        Ambroisie Angélique Billiot, épouse de John GRECO, était fille d’Alexandre Thomas BILLIOT et Annette Joséphine VERDIN.
        Alexandre né en Décembre 1875 à Montegut était fils de Thomas Lartigue BILLIOT et Adélaïde Lutétia BILLIOT.
        Annette née en 1881 était fille de Charles Delmas VERDUN et Julie Lorinne NAQUIN.

      • Dear Michael Dardar
        Very interesting and revealing website and blog. Started my journey to find Houma Indian Blood 15 years ago, maybe right before Katrina hit. My mother was Shirley Mae Bienvenue Williams. Her mother’s maiden name was Olive Martha Lapeyrouse from the Bayou Blue, Bayou Black area of Houma, La. born in 1896. My mama told me that “Lapeyrouse” meant “Red Skin”. These things that mama told me were during the 1980’s, when I was a teenager and young adult. Really didn’t think much into it-I considered my self “white”. No interest in Native American culture or heritage. But did keep my hair long and still is today. Also liked Native American prints (Aztec), and also the color “rust”. Had a beautiful rust colored suede coat. These are the only things that have a connection to Native American.
        Twenty years ago (1998), I started to do volunteer work in the hope that it would help later to become a Park Ranger. I did some work at the Native American/ Wildlife Museum in Kenner, La. My supervisor was Grayhawk Perkins of the United Houma Indian Nation. Maybe a few years later (2000-2003?), I saw him at the Jazz Festival and I told him about my Grandma Lapeyrouse from Houma. He gave me a big hug. Looking back it was a hug of love, acceptance and warmth. He told me to trace my mother’s maternal line. What a Great History, Culture and Heritage my mother had!!
        Now I wish I could talk more, but the set-up to post on a blog and get a web page started took a lot of time. Later today, I will be in Larose, La. to watch the LSU vs Oklahoma game and also do some “footwork” (talking to elders) about my Family Tree. Grandma Lapeyrouse’s sister was married to Archie Orgeron. There are a few pictures of the sisters in New Orleans in the 1940’s and 1950’s. My mother Shirley died in 2011 at the age of 83. I have her scrapbook on the Bienvenue/Lapeyrouse families. It includes a marriage certificate, death notices and mama’s personal thoughts, feelings and recollections of growing up in New Orleans in the 1930’s-1990’s.
        Still a little “old school” in the computer/machine world. Don’t have a smartphone, but have a flipphone with 4 g. If anybody wants to reach out besides email, I can be reached at (504) 405-0505. Go Tigers!!!!
        Peace, Love, and Happiness,
        Lisa Ann Williams
        Metairie, La.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        For Lisa Ann : The origins of Lapeyrouse surname are well documented. I shall only speak of Lapérouse, (alias Jean François de Galaup comte de La Pérouse 1741-1788), a french marine officer who fought against the English forces (battle of Hudson Bay on 1782) for Independence of America. I laughed to your GM joke comparing “Lapeyrouse” and “La peau rouge”, in English “The red skin” !!!

  14. thomas says:

    Also I contacted someone from the Houma Nation website to get information on becoming a member. They said the books were closed. Does anyone know what that means exactly? Are they not accepting new members?

  15. Travis verdin says:

    I am a verdin from dulac and I wanted to know more about the verdin Ancestors

  16. Kyrie says:

    Hello , I am trying to find out who to talk to about seeing if i was registered and getting my certificate ?

  17. Andrew Joseph Verdin says:

    My name is Andrew Joseph Verdin. I am 28. I live in Bayou Gauche as of right now. My father’s side is where my native blood comes from. I know my great grandfather new very little English and spoke mostly French. From reading my family’s scroll with our crest on it I found that when the French settlers landed near the gulf they came up through what is now a day bayou dularge, dulac, and near pointe aux chenes. The French taught many Natives to speak french as that was the only way for them to speak with one another. The Native women sometimes were given to French men an were able to marry an some were raped an had children which is a lot of the reason the Native descendants have French blood. I could not track very much back into my Native heritage because the records are lost in the memories of my family members who have past. I did however find where my last name originated and who my French family members where. Very interesting and short lives they lived. You will find if your name is Verdin… its because a woman in france who came from Royalty died to keep our name going. You can find me on Facebook by searching Drew Verdin if you have any questions.

    • Michael Leon Dardar I says:

      You can find a lot of documents on the Verdun (that’s the original spelling) brothers in the St. Mary Parish Courthouse. The Old Mint in New Orleans also had an interesting document of Alexander petitioning to be allowed to go to live with his brothers who were living in the area at that time know as the Attakapas Region, now St. Mary and some other western parishes. I seem to remember he was under the care of his uncle, his mother’s brother. In the St. Mary Parish Cthse. you’ll find slave sales and emancipations made by the Verdun brothers. In fact, Verdunville is named for them, and many of the descendants of their former slaves, many of whom were actually also their descendants live there. What is strange is his brothers who had children with Negro slaves were able to emancipate the mother and children and give them land, which was the law. But Alexander tried to make a disguised donation to each child he had with Marie Gregoire using his will, but it was contested by his relatives on his mother’s side and they won..

  18. Joseph Solet says:

    Research on the city of Houma shows where the name Houma comes from, before some people tried to change it, the city was founded in the early 1800s, the language we speak is not just french, french Spanish and Choctaw combined, land trades and sales show sales from houmas. and books when I went to school in the 60s showed chitimacha in this area, a code noir made every dark person black Spanish people and Native people and any dark person was considered black, and there were native slaves many. Not to good at this writing but keep my nose in the books to find new stuff..

  19. Leo says:

    Maybe some can help me, My grand father Name is Ovide St.Ann his father was Lee Paul St.Ann and was said to be from a Louisiana tribe. Does Anyone recognize this last name? I can not find information anywhere.

  20. Krystal Naquin says:

    Hi!! My name is Krystal Naquin, 22. I am the granddaughter of Paul Joseph and Mary-Jean Naquin. I am so ecstatic to have come across this. The fact that we can all be related somehow is absolutely amazing! I would love to know more about all of this. How do i go about finding out about having Native American in my blood?

  21. Rod Yelton says:

    My wife was adopted in New Orleans in 1962, original birth certificate list name as Gwendolyn Billiot, native American(Indian back then).Choctaw was the tribe listed also. Anyone who may have info to her genealogy contact rodyelton@filtrona.com. Thanks

  22. Michael Leon Dardar I says:

    Everyone looking for information about registering with the “Houma Indian Tribe” needs to read the BIA’s Bureau Of Acknowledgement & Recognition’s summary of findings from 1993. The very thorough findings still stand and the reasons are very clear, some of which I mentioned in my previous comments this year.

    From the original at the Bureau of Indian Affairs

  23. Dennis Springer says:

    I am Dennis Springer, my Mother’s maiden Name was Virginia Molinere, from her mothers Second husband Xavier Molinere. She was born in Montague, terrebone Parish..She often talked about the Houmas whom she said she was descendant from through her mother who”s last name was Billiot or Billeaux..My Grandfather never spoke any English but I remember my interaction with him. He was a very kind Man, and I remember him as being dark complected.I used to ride on his boat down terrebone bayou and out into the Gulf where he would shrimp and fish.wanting to know more about where the black heritage came into our bloodline..I am open to conversation any time..Peace

    • Elaine Verdin says:

      My husband is from 2 of the three names that make up the Houmas tribe. I’m sure it is Verdin, Billiot and Dardar. His Grandmother was a Billiot and married a Verdin…My husband, Adam J. Verdin’s father was Camlille Bertrand Verdin married to Agnes Matherne. We have 2 sons, Adam W. Verdin and Brian Verdin. Thank you.  Elaine Perry Verdin

      WordPress.com Dennis Springer commented: “I am Dennis Springer, my Mother’s maiden Name was Virginia Molinere, from her mothers Second husband Xavier Molinere. She was born in Montague, terrebone Parish..She often talked about the Houmas whom she said she was descendant from through her mother wh” | | Respond to this comment by replying above this line |

    • Michael L. Dardar says:

      Hi Dennis.
      Getting right to your query on the black heritage, Marie Iris (Mariane Eris, Marie Neris, etc) was the mother of all of the children of Jean Billiot (Jean Billau, etc). In the 1809 succession of Jean Billau (Lafourche Parish Cthse), Marie is referred to as a “free negress,” free negro woman. An important fact is that the administrator of the succession was close friend of the family, Judge Henry S. Thibodeaux, who was the godfather of the first child of Michel Dardar and Adelaide Billiot. Louisiana’s Code Noir of 1810 required that all non-white people, including those of mixed-races be designated gens de couleur libre in French or free person of color, (f.p.o.c.), or free man/woman of color (f.m.o.c./f.w.o.c.). And when the race was known, often it was written (Negro, Indian, Chinese, etc). Though a census taker might write down his opinion of a person’s race, this was not the case in civil and church documents. Stories claiming that the Code Noir “made Spanish, Native people and any dark person black” are not true. Remember, Louisiana was under Spanish rule twice before being sold to America. People knew the differences (besides skin color, hair, lips and noses, etc) between Spanish, Indians and Negroes, period.

      The French and Spanish seemed to be obsessed with being precise in their labeling, and even had terms for each degree of black blood. As you know, a mulatto and mulatress was a child of a white parent and a black parent, but grif and griffe were used for Indian and Negro, while the Spanish used prado and prada. (In Canada the terms metis/metisse are used for a child of a white and an Indian parent.) A child of a white person and a mulatto/mulattress was a quadroon, then the child of a white and a quadroon was a quarteroon! But those terms gradually were replaced by f.p.o.c.

      In later years, researchers from the Menonite religion volunteering at the United Houma Tribal Center began interpreting all instances in the tribe’s ancestry of “free person of color” to mean “Indian,” without looking farther to find records of the actual race. They found Jean Billau’s succession, but never brought it to the attention to the tribal council members. The information about Marie Iris being a Negro was merely written on her card and put secretly, it seems, in the center’s card file, where I first stumbled on it. This is what I believe caused so much confusion in the group. There were members who had no lineage to Indians that were running the center! One was even appointed as director of the Governor’s Office on Indian Affairs!

      Other proof of Marie Iris being a Negro is found in earlier documentation of Jean Billeau in the Swiss Troops stationed in the area of present-day Plaquemine Parish that was near the free Negro family of the name Iris. A very early issue of Louisiana Historical Quarterly sited a unique court case between a free Negro surnamed Iris vs Albert Bonne. A Jacque Billieau, who had also been listed with the Swiss Troops was a witness for Iris. Iris had been sent to lead free Negro troops to Pensacola. While he was gone, Albert Bonne took back the land he had sold to Iris.

      Now, there was a woman in the 90s, Audrey Westerman, who did “research” for one faction of the United Houma Nation after the BIA gave their findings. Her mission was to prove Marie Iris was an Indian. When we spoke, I told her of Marie Gregoire’s father being a grif. As I recall, at that time she had never come across the terms grif/griffe. But later she seems to have made up findings of Marie Iris being listed as a griffe in a land record. But, I and the field researchers from the BIA saw the land record she references (posted on 2 websites), and it did not have “griffe” on it! Some researchers are not out to find facts but out to prove their ideas/theories, even if they have to create records. She also refers to a court testimony where the person said he thought Marie Iris was Spanish or Portugese from Santo Domingo. This man also said his father was August Crepel, something he claimed because he knew the Billiot name was known as family with black ancestry. So he took the Crepel name in order to join the Confederacy. What Ms. Westerman doesn’t mention from the trial is that the attorney replied to the man asking didn’t he know it was a fact that the wife of Jean Billiot was a negress? By the way, the man Joseph Severin Billiot/Crepel married Rosalie Molinere after he returned from the Civil War. And the son he had with a woman before the war went as Crepel in St. Mary Parish and Billiot in Terrebonne.
      I encourage you to also see the BIA’s report:
      From the original at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Summary of the Evidence
      You might be able to find a copy of the full report.

      Other black bloodlines come from the Verret/Lamotte union through the children of Jacques Verret, a white man and Celeste Lamotte, quateroon woman. Their son Solomon married Eulalie Verdun, daughter of white man Alexander Verdun and Marie Gregoire, a mixed-blood Indian. The Saulet/Solet/Soulet line is another source that adds more black heritage into some family lines. Valentine Saulet, although married in New Orleans, had children with a Negro slave woman named Babe. His emancipation of his son Baptiste Prerial is in the Lafourche Courthouse Conveyance Records. Prairial Saulet married Agnes Francoise Billiot, the eldest daughter of Jean Billiot and Marie Iris. She is also listed as the godmother of the first child of Michel Dardar and Adelaide Billiot.

      See some of my previous posts about Verdun black lines that came from Alexander’s brothers’ unions with their Negro slave women in St. Mary Parish. One such son, Cadet Verdun’s children later married into the “Houma tribe.”

      Well, I hope this helps–maybe it’s a lot more than you needed. But don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. See some of my other posts for more research sources in the libraries.

    • Kevin Billiot says:

      My name is Kevin Billiot, son of Lawrence Ourlie “Pete” Billiot of Saint Bernard Parish. My grandmother (dad’s mother) was Elvira Molinere, born about 1908 in Point Barre’, LA. She was raised in the Montague area and married my grandfather Ourlie Auguste Billiot, who was from Pointe-Aux-Chenes, LA. She had several brothers and a couple of sisters that I can remember. I will have to look up the geneology info (it is home, I’m at work), but would gladly share whatever info i have with you. I do recall her father’s name was OMAR MOLINERE. She told my dad late in her life that she believed they had Sicilian blood on her father’s side (?). I can be reached 504-nine one 2, 5-oh-fifty-two.

      • Thank you all so much . It brings tears to my eyes learning of my heritage finally ! I’m so excited , it makes such a difference when you know who you are you being to understand so much about yourself !

        I’m so pleased to meet all of you !

        On Thu, Sep 19, 2019, 2:31 PM Native Heritage Project Kevin Billiot commented: “My name is Kevin Billiot, son of Lawrence Ourlie > “Pete” Billiot of Saint Bernard Parish. My grandmother (dad’s mother) was > Elvira Molinere, born about 1908 in Point Barre’, LA. She was raised in the > Montague area and married my grandfather Ourlie August” >

  24. Darryl says:

    Looking for info on ancestors that are Houma Indians. Last names of Crapell and Lovell. My Great Grandmother was Evelyn Lovell. She married Janson Bergeron. These are my Grandmother’s parents.

    • Michael L. Dardar says:

      Hi Darryl. I’m from Morgan City. My maternal grandparents were Alex Clifford Crappell/Crepel and Medora Lovell. My mother, aunts and uncles often spoke of Uncle Janson. I think they called your ggrandmother “Aunt Leen, short for Evelyn that I guess the old people pronounced e-va-leen.

      James and Lloyd visited my parents for a while farely often after I was married. James would sing and play the guitar.

      I didn’t do any research on the Bergerons, but a cousin did, and he and I did research on the Lovell/Billiot side. I’m presently out of the country so I don’t have my research with me. But I can tell you what I remember and refer you to research books that are in most libraries, the South Louisiana (red books) and Southwest Louisiana (blue books) Church and Civil Records by Rev. Donald Hebert, known as the Hebert or Father Hebert books.

      Lawrence LOVELL & Rosa BILLIOT were my grandmother’s mother. Lawrence was the son of Perry LOVELL and Juliet RADCLIFF. Perry and Juliet are buried together in Theriot.

      Rosa (Marie Rosa) was the daughter of Etienne “King” BILLIOT, Jr. (son of Etienne BILLIOT and Rosalie ROBINET) and Celesie Verret (daughter of Solomon VERRET/LAMOTTE and Eulalie VERDUN/GREGOIRE*). Some earlier researchers erroneously list Charles as King’s father. I did more on Rosalie ROBINET, but I can’t recall it now, and other researchers couldn’t find who her parents were because they failed to search in the Southwest Louisiana Records for St. Mary Parish.

      As for the CRAPPELL/CRAPELL/CREPEL (the original spelling) side, there was a name change, so there are true CREPELS and some, like my grandfather who are really BILLIOTS. His grandfather Joseph Severin son of Charles BILLIOT and Manette RENAUD used CREPEL when he enlisted in the Confederacy. At the time, the census showed Manette with August CREPEL. Severin had one son before the war, my ggrandfather Joseph Alexandre BILLIOT, who went as CREPEL/CRAPELL/etc in St. Mary Parish but mainly BILLIOT in Terrebonne. Joseph Alexandre was married to Eva Marie VERRET, daughter of Joseph VERRET and Philonise NAQUIN. Joseph was the brother of Celesie (see above) and Philonese was the daughter of Jean Marie NAQUIN and Pauline VERDUN/GREGOIRE. Pauline was Eulalie’s sister. Both are daughters of Alexander VERDUN and Marie GREGOIRE, femme sauvagess (Indian woman), also listed as “sangmele femme sauvage” (mixed Indian) and free woman of color, which all non-white people and children of a white parent and a non-white parent were called.

      The Native American blood comes through the GREGOIRE line, and that is likely Chitimacha based on the family’s earliest location. NO ONE in the so-called Houma Tribe in any of its factions trace back to documented Houma Indians, period. To use the new expression, there was a lot of alternative facts published in the past that is still in print.

      The parents of Etienne and Charles BILLIOT were Jean Baptiste BILLIOT and Marie/Mariane IRIS. You can see more about them in the BIA’s
      From the original at the Bureau of Indian Affairs
      SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~laterreb/houmaindians.htm

      I hope this helps.

  25. kasturisite says:

    I would like to know more about the Houmas tribes. I was born and rise in Houma terrebonne parish.

    • Michael L. Dardar (aka Michael Leon Dardar I) says:

      You’ve found the best place to start. Just look through all the comments to see most of the information that is known, much of it representing years of research and tedius fact finding to weed through false oral history, along with links to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ findings. Sources of the records are also given, which can help you continue your research and confirm the findings for yourself. Happy discovering.

  26. Taylor says:

    where can I find the meaning and history of billiots? I was just wondering because I always wanted to know the history of billiot’s. Some of my family members are in the Houma Tribe and some day I want to be apart of it! Thanks Taylor Billiot

  27. kelli says:

    majority of my family is from Bayou Dularge, with the last names: Lirette, Dehart, Liner, and probably many others. More last names that i’m not quite sure where they come from are: Fitch and Marcel. Its been a debate or not that i’m indian, but i feel as though i am, in fact, an indian. can you tell me the family line and who and where i descend from? (i have quite fair skin, but most of ,y fa,ily is fairly darker.)

  28. I am Yvonne Cadiere Rodrigue my Mother was Ophia Marie Gregorie Cadiere we all have our American Native call and I am proud to be one

  29. Michel DARDARE, from FRANCE says:

    You can find the family and ancestors of Pierre Nicolas Michel DARDAR in the genealogy “Dardard Trees” on Ancestry or Geneanet. La branche DARDAR de Louisiane y est décrite. Bravo à la lucide mise au point de mon lointain cousin Michel Léon.

  30. Claire Champagne says:

    Michel Dardare, have you researched the history of the Native American families who settled on Bayou Dularge in it’s early days? Thank you for your response.

    • Michel DARDARE, from FRANCE says:

      Chère Claire Champagne, je m’intéresse aux familles d’origine française alliées aux Dardar.

      • Claire Champagne says:

        Michel Dardare: are you in France to study? The early families that I know could be the Billiots, Verretts, Solets & Verdins. Have you heard of “King” Billiot? To my knowledge there were no Dardars on Bayou Dularge in the early families.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        The isle à Jean Charles is a narrow ridge of land between bayou Terrebonne and bayou Pointe- aux-Chênes in Terrebonne Parish. This isle is sinking. The 1880 Terrebonne Parish Census listed the first land buyers as residents and included just four families, there of Jean Baptiste Narcisse Naquin, Antoine Livodet Dardar, Marcelin Duchils Naquin, and Walker Lovell, all related by marriages.

        Antoine Livodet Dardar is a grand child of Pierre Nicolas Michel Dardar who married Adélaïde Lutétia Billiot in 1809 (Lafourche).

        Pierre Nicolas Michel was born in Châlons-en-Champagne (France) on Jan 18 1782.

        Etienne jr (king) Billiot married Céleste Verret in 1848.

        You can look at their genealogies in my Dardard Trees on Geneanet.

        I am living in France , where I have four children and ten grand-children.

        Michel Dardare 9 A promenade des Anges, 78210 St Cyr l’école tél 01 77 04 13 02

        2017-11-09 23:07 GMT+01:00 Native Heritage Project :

        > Claire Champagne commented: “Michel Dardare: are you in France to study? > The early families that I know could be the Billiots, Verretts, Solets & > Verdins. Have you heard of “King” Billiot? To my knowledge there were no > Dardars on Bayou Dularge in the early families.” >

  31. MY name is Stephen Verret. My father is Richard Verret, his father was Davis Verret, his father was Henry Verret, his father was Joseph Verret, hIs father was Solomon Verret. I am in the early stages of researching my lineage. Any info can help. Thanks

    • Michel DARDARE says:

      Hi Stephen, if you have time for researching your lignage, the Verrets are well documented,
      and you can for example go down from Michel Verret 1645-1724 who was born in France,
      see https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/michel-verret_21028863.
      Bien amicalement, Michel Dardare, depuis la France où je vis, et d’où je me suis intéressé à la branche Dardar. All Dardars of Louisiana come from Pierre Nicolas Michel Dardar married to Adélaïde Lutétia Billiot in 1809, Lafourche.

    • Michael L. Dardar says:

      Dear Stephen. Not to confuse you, my name is Michael Leon Dardar from Morgan City, my parents were Delmas L. Dardar and Lucilee R. Crappell. I go back to Joseph Verret on my mother’s side, through his daughter Eva, my g grandmother, who married Joseph Alexand(er) Billiot who went as Creppel/Crappel in St. Mary Parish.
      If you scroll up this page, to my previous posts, you’ll find more info, then you can continue with the various sources at most libraries. I’m not a professional certified genealogist, but I and a cousin did extensive research on the families connected to the so-called Houma Indians, and some families they associated with. We made many unique discoveries, many that contradicted oral historical accounts, some later verified by the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ field researchers. If you approach this research with an open mind, you should enjoy it, Not knowing what you know about the ancestries, you might be in for some surprises, or merely confirmation.

      If I was in the States, I’d be happy to share copies of what I have, and copy those parts of my genealogy chart, but it’s all in storage. However, I do remember many of the names. Possibly someone I shared my research with, will see your post. Friends shared photos that they had of Joseph. I seem to remember at least 2, one sitting on steps, and another one with family members we were told were one of the daughters and her husband, I think Phillip Liner and children. If you have other pictures of him, I’d love to see them.

      With the info you already have, you can easily continue with various books of vital records. Joseph Verret’s children, and his father and mother’s line can be found in The South Louisiana Church and Court Record (red books) and the Southwest Louisiana Church Records (blue books) aka the Father Herbert books, by Rev. Donald J. Herbert, Jr. are volumes of church as well as courthouse records from starting from the 1790s, the red books covering Terrebonne, Lafourche and other southeast parishes, and the blue ones covering St. Mary, St. Martin, and the other southwest parishes. Verduns (the original spelling) were in the western parishes, Terrebonne-Lafourche, as well as New Orleans. The books covering Assumption and Ascension Parishes are the Baton Rouge Diocese Records, also red. And for New Orleans there are the St. Louis Cathedral Records. There are also volumes of the Histoire Acadiens, that are vital records that were brought by the Acadians from Nova Scotia. And other volumes of records from other regions of Canada. The Verret line goes back to Canada, then France, as our cousin from France mentioned. But there’s been extensive research on those generations.


  32. Stephen Verret says:

    Thanks Michael L. Dardar. I would love to see what you have. Thanks.

    • Michael L. Dardar says:

      You’re welcome, Stephen. If I was in the States, I’d be more than happy to share what I have. I’ve been hoping to get back for good. Fingers crossed it’ll happen by summer. I wish I could get you in touch with my relatives I have my research with, but they wouldn’t know what containers to look in. In the meantime, if you have some free time, check out your local and parish libraries for those books I mentioned. Plus a lot is available on the internet, but be careful. There are people who print oral history as though it’s confirmed, and there are researchers who want to hide the facts in order to promote their theories and agendas. Not true historians.
      P.S. Some years ago–in the late ’90s–some of my research, which included copies of various documents plus my notes, was stolen by Bernice Ricard. Her brother Rick was a friend of mine who worked at the Amistad Center at Tulane University. We met through a query I had placed in the ancestry section of the Times-Picayune on the Verret/Lamotte connection to Duhamel line. He had been tracing a Duhamel who connected with the Ricards. He started copying my research for the archives at Amistad, but he caught some kind of bug on a vacation to Puerto Rico, and died. When I contacted his sister to return my research, she kept dodging me and putting me off. A mutual friend of Rick and I told me that Bernice’s boyfriend was a history professor at Tulane, who was writing a book on race relations in Louisiana, so he thought she was keeping my research for him to use. I even turned the theft into the police, and they went with me to her home, but she never answered. I checked back with the police a couple more times, but no luck. So I gave up. It could all be replaced.

      • Stephen Verret says:

        Wow, that’s unfortunate. My older sister and cousin have done quite a bit of research before me. I have most of the documents my sister was able to acquire. My eldest aunt still has a good memory but she likely was not raised to know who her ancestors were.

  33. Michael L. Dardar says:

    Not sure if your sister and cousin came across the same photos of Joseph Verret I have, but they’re from 2 ladies that lived in the New Orleans area at the time I was deep into the research and involved with the so-called United Houma Nation–early 1990s. I believe they lived in either Gretna or Bridge City.

  34. I’m currently researching family history, especially since I just had a new son. My great great grandparents were Victor Tregue and Victoria Robinet. I know that someone in the family, my mother perhaps has deeper records yet it is encouraging to search for myself!

    • Michael L. Dardar (aka Michael Leon Dardar I) says:

      First of all congratulations on the new addition to your family! I don’t remember coming across any Tregues in my research, at least that connected to me. But I go back to Nicolas Robinet through a Rosalie. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I out of the country, so I don’t have access to my research, but I believe Rosalie Robinet was the wife of Etienne Billiot.
      Other than her father being Nicolas Robinet and her mother also being Rosalie with no surname, there wasn’t much documentation about her, Then somehow my cousin and I found a Rosalie, who was a slave of one of the Verdins/Verduns sold to Nicolas in the St. Mary Parish records, late 1700s or early 1800s. I seem to remember prior to being sold to Robinet, the slave Rosalie had been sold between the Verdun brothers, Pierre, Jean Baptiste and Alexandre. Alexandre is my ancestor and the youngest. He had children with Marie Gregoire, who was usually labelled “free woman of colour”, “f.w.o.c.” or in French, “femme de colour” as required by a Louisiana Code Noir innacted in 1810. But in the marriage certificate of one of her daughters, she’s labelled “femme sauvage sang mele”, meaning mixed blood Indian woman).
      I’m sorry I can’t remember more, or more accurately, but I’ve been away from the reesearch a long time. Answering queries though, sure makes me miss it. You’re in for a fun and interesting journey. Enjoy and please post your progress.

  35. Michel DARDARE says:

    Pour Darryl Paul Aysenne :
    Jacques St Pierre qui s’intéresse particulièrement aux familles québécoises et au ‘grand dérangement’ a bien documenté la descendance d’Alexandre Bergeron. Consulter :
    Une Rosalie Bergeron née en 1777 en la paroisse Pointe-Coupée épousa en 1794 Jean Pierre Guidroz, dont Hypolite père de Pauline qui épousa à Terrebonne en 1870 Augustin Dardar, petit-fils de Pierre Nicolas Michel Dardar, des ‘Houmas’, au sens parlant français.

    • Michael L. Dardar (aka Michael Leon Dardar I) says:

      As you know from your own research in France, Pierre Nicolas Michel Dardar was born in Chalon sur Marne, France, certainly not a Houmas Indian. And his wife Adelaide Billiot’s mother was Marie/Marianne Iris, referred to as a free negress by a close friend of P.N. Michel Dardar, Judge Henry Thibodeaux, who handled the succession of the father of her children, Jean Billiot/Billau, who was German and Swiss. As for the rest of what you quoted, I used Google to translate, and it makes no sense–who married who etc.

      • Amy says:

        Ah! I was so confused by the two Michael/Michels on this thread. So Michael L Dardar would be Dave’s cousin once removed? Not sure if you have an family stories about Victor and Ophelia

    • Amy says:

      Hello Michel,
      I believe my husband is possibly your cousin . His paternal grandmother was Ophelia Dardar Verdin, daughter of Delmas Dardar and Pauline Chiasson. Ophelia’s son, John Victor Verdin was my father-in-law. John passed away in 2002. My husband (David) never met his grandparents or any other paternal family and Ophelia passed away before he was born. I have been able to trace Ophelia’s lineage easily, since you have done all the work. I have almost nothing on her husband though. His name was Victor John Verdin (or some variant of John). I can’t seem to connect him to the Alexander Verdun. All my husband knows is that Victor lived in southern Louisiana and had a subsistance living fishing. There is rumor there is Syrian ancestry on that side of the family. I have been curious as to why Ophelia is never linked to Victor on any of the online family trees I’ve come across
      https://www.newspapers.com/clip/33072662/the_daily_review/ (Her obituary)

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        Hi Amy,
        I hadn’t checked the email that I signed up to this site with for nearly week, so I just saw 3 emails a few minutes ago.
        I am Michael Leon Dardar, Sr. from Morgan City, LA. I’m the one who first got the baptism record of Pierre Nicolas Michel Dardar/Dardare, then the marriage certificate of his parents from France, after mailing various archives near Chalon sur Marne.

        My father was Delmas Leon DARDAR, son of Delmas Gabriel DARDAR (Paulin DARDAR & Victoria Monet VERDIN, the Native American line*) & Pauline DARDAR (Michel DARDAR & Marguerite CHIASSON). I have a brother named David Charles Dardar. Uncle Victor Verdin’s father was Ravenelle (not sure if I’m remembering the spelliing correctly) VERDUN, half-brother to my grandfather Delmas Gabriel DARDAR. Dalton VERDIN was married to Delia DARDAR, my father’s oldest sister. Aunt Ophelia was the next eldest. Uncle Dalton & Aunt Delia told me about the family when I was just beginning to look up the history & ancestry. Uncle Dalton told me that theri grandmother, Victoria got pregnant with Ravenlle before she was married, so he was baptized Ravenelle VERDIN but was raised as DARDAR. And later she married Paulin DARDAR. He said his father never knew who his father was. He said Ravenelle had “what they call gypsy blood, and like to move around”, so he took a sail boat along the coast from Golden Meadow–still a small bayou town, that is along Bayou Lafourche–to the Berwick area in St. Mary Parish, and they moved to Bear’s Island. He talked my grandfather & grandmother into moving with them. My father was born there. Later they moved to Berwick, to work at a dairy farm at Pharr Plantation.

        First cousin marriage was still allowed in Mississippi I think until the 50s, so people would go there, but the Louisiana government got wise to that, & would not recognize those marriages. But Uncle Dalton & Uncle Victor went back to their father’s/grandmother’s name to get around that.

        Uncle Victor & Aunt Ophelia moved to New Orleans when I was very young. I think Johnny, our father-in-law moved to Chicago sometime during the time before they moved back to Berwick. Shirley stayed in NO, & married, but never had any kids. After Aunt Ophelia died, Uncle Victor used to visit us, & talk about old times & his day with my maternal grandmother, who live with us. When I smell pipe tobacco, it always reminds me of him. His comical comments come to mind often, his voice & the way he spoke. He was a very strong man, with hands like a steel vice.
        I was married in the 70s, Cathy & her husband would visit at my parents. When I visited the hometown area year before last, someone mentioned that she had either moved back in the area or had just visited. I was disappointed I didn’t get to see here. She’s a year or 2 older than me.
        I know there was a big falling out between Roy & Johnny, not sure if the others were involved, & when I got older, I never thought of asking about it. Roy lives on the same street as my brother in Morgan City. I never heard from Shirley after 1974, when I first got married, & asked her for some information on the family tree, the Indian ancestry.

        *Victoria Monet VERDIN was the daughter of Victor VERDUN (Alexander & Marie GREGOIRE, “femme sauvage”/Indian woman). In the marriage record of at least one of the daughters, she is designated “sang melee sauvagesse”, meaning mixed-blood Native American. From my research on that line, she seems to have been from the Chitimacha Tribe. But Attakapas were also in that area of St. Mary Parish & westward to St. Martinville Parish, where I traced her father & uncle, who became the progenitors of the GREGOIRE & PAUL family lines. There have been chiefs with the PAUL surname in the Chitimacha Tribe. When the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent field workers from their Department of Acknowledgement & Recognition to attempt to verify information in the petition for tribal recognition of the so-called United Houma Nation, they included & agreed with my VERDUN/GREGOIRE findings.

        Well, I guess that’s enough for you to digest for now. It could make a good mini-series on Lifetime, LOL. I’m surprised I still remember the names, since I don’t have my research with me. But please do not hesitate to ask more anytime. I’d like to know about Johnny’s life in Chicago. He and my father stayed in touch for a while, & I remember him calling my sometimes I’m sure he must’ve sent pictures of your husband, & your mother-in-law, but they lost touch when I was so young. I don’t even remember how many kids he had,

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        I just want to correct at least one of my typing errors. I meant “your father-in-law”, not “our”. And clarify that Ravenelle was either a baby or toddler when his mother married Paulin DARDAR. If I remember right, Uncle Victor is buried in the Morgan City cemetery, not in Berwick where Aunt Ophelia is. Victoria VERDIN”s grave is in a cemetery along Bayou Lafourche facing the bayou, because the only access in those days was by water. And Paulin is in a different cemetery. I was told, she said she wanted a fence around her grave to keep that “mean old man (Paulin) out”, LOL. Also that the couples were half 1st cousins to their spouses. And to be reminded that I have a first cousin once removed, to someday meet,

      • amy says:

        Thank you so much! I’m still trying to map it all out. How are Dalton and Victor related? And who is Victor’s mother? I see a 1940 census record for Vernion Verdon, Felicia (wife), Dalton age 26, and niece Lula Mae 14. Is this Ravenelle’s household? They are all listed as “negro”

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        I just saw the email from this site after I sent you an email with other info & some photos. I’m not familiar with this Vernion Verdon & Felicia. But Dalton & Victor were brothers. I can’t remember their mother’s name. I do remember her living with Uncle Dalton & Aunt Delia. I only remember that she was very ill, & they said Uncle Dalton took care of her like a nurse until she passed. My grandma & Uncle Paul, Grandma’s brother also lived with them, & their only child Mary, who was older than Johnny’s sister Cathy, & younger than Roy. I remember them talking about Lula Mae, & I must’ve seen her when I was little, maybe even when I was older, but don’t know if I ever knew her parents. I also remember a Lolita, which my mother would laugh about because of the movie. I wondering if she was Lula Mae’s mother. If you had access to those “Father Herbert books”, the South Louisiana Church & Civil Records, you could put the pieces together quickly.

        The problem with censuses is the census takers. They didn’t ask people what they were. They wrote what they thought they were or the race they thought the householder looked. An example is Manette Renaud, whose parents were white, but all of her children, except Genvieve Celina JEANNE, were by BILLIOTs, who we know were mulattoes, sons of Jean & Marie IRIS. In one census Manette is listed as “free woman of color”. Where was the census taken? They lived in Golden Meadow first, which is Jefferson Parish, then moved to St. Mary Parish, Bear’s Island then Berwick. But they had relatives in Houma, which is in Terrebonne Parish, formerly Lafourche Interior, next to Lafourche Parish, where the city of Thibodaux is, & where Michel DARDAR & Adelaide BILLIOT’s marriage record is.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        In the 1940 census Iberia Petite Anse, we find Félicie Broussard wife of Homer, with four girls. Félicie had the same age as our Félicia, so I suppose Homer was the first husband of Félicie and Lula Mae her last girl from Homer.

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        Thank you for that bit of info, Michel. I forgot about Uncle Homer. But he was a DARDAR, not a VERDIN. I do remember the family mentioning an Aunt Felicie, but Homer’s wife was Valentine. I can’t remember her family name, but Serigneir (?) comes to mind. In the early 90s I was in touch with a Leroy Curole of Golden Meadow in Jefferson Parish, who had answered a query I had put in the Times Picayune (New Orleans) . His wife was a granddaughter of Uncle Homer & Aunt Valentine. Aunt Valentine was still living when Leroy & I began corresponding. But 2 or 3 months later, when I finally visited, she had died. All of the family lived nearby, so Leroy’s wife called a lady–I think she was married to one of Homer’s sons–who lived next door & had her bring one of those hand-colored portraits. I took a photo of it and some other pictures they had. She even offered to let me take the picture with me! Homer, Jr. & 2 of his brothers showed up later, excited to meet Tee (little) Del’s son. But I also remember the family mentioning an Aunt Felicie. I sure some my older first cousins remember who Felicie was. Amy jarred my memory, so I now remember meeting Lula Mae. And I met a Ulyses in the 90s who I seem to remember was Lula Mae’s son. He lived in one of the small villages in Terrebonne Parish. Also, Lula Mae visited my parents with her older daughter Lil Lita. At that time, the 90s, my mother told me that when I was born, Lula Mae & Lil Lita (maybe their pronunciation of Lolita), visited & brought gifts.
        Again, this confusion might be due to the census takers errors from assumptions.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        It’s a bit more complicated, Michael; Valentine Serigny, the wife of Homère Moïse Dardar Sr, had a half-brother Milton whose daughter Ramona spoused Leroy Curole. And sister Mae Mae Antoinette Dardar, a daughter of Homère and Valentine, had 5 brothers, (Homère Jr, Raymond Adolphe Sr, Antoine Paul, James Joseph Summergill and Miguel Sr), and two sisters (Guirley Ann and Hortense Gertrude).So easier to see all that on my trees. My pseudo on Geneanet is “fanrib”.
        In the Bisland cemetery of Bourg we find :
        Dardar, Etienne “Bro Yan” Joseph Victor Rev. 23 Mar 1931, 4 Jun 1997
        h/o Antoinette “Sis Mae Mae” Dardar, s/o Simon Thomas Dardar & Marie Eve Naquin

      • amy says:

        Any chance “Aunt Felicie” was Victor/Dalton’s mother? Just a guess, but trying to make sense of this census record of Dalton Verdon and Lula Mae Broussard in the Vernion Verdon household. Aunt Shirley Verdin married a Broussard, correct?

        Felicia Verdon in the 1940 Census
        Or find other results in the 1940 census for Felicia Verdon
        Age 56, born abt 1884
        Birthplace Louisiana
        Gender Female
        Race Negro
        Home in 1940
        Fairview Road
        St Mary, Louisiana
        Household Members Age
        Head Vernion Verdon 61
        Wife Felicia Verdon 56
        Son Dalton Verdon 26
        Niece Lula Mae Broussard 14

      • Michel Dardare says:

        For their mother Victoria Verdun, Vernion Verdun, alias Ravenel, was a half-brother for Delmas Gabriel Dardar (the GF if Mikael Léon) and for Homère Moïse Dardar, spouse of Valentine Sérigny and father of. Mae Mae. Vernion married Félicie Broussard then their son Dalton.

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        Wow, so much to reply to you & Michel about, & a huge thanks to Michel. I’ll go to his Geneanet page later. I read the comments from both of you twice to get the info clear. So I start with the simple one about Shirley, Johnny’s sister. Yes, she was married to Lenny (I think that’s how he spelled it) Broussard. Everyone liked Lenny. I was a kid when they got married, & I also liked him immediately. We used to say he looked like Jack Weston in the earlier years.

        Michel, now that you mention it, I remember Rev. Etienne, Lula Mae/Antoinette/Mae Mae’s husband, & met him at one of the so-called United Houma Nation tribal meetings, either in Golden Meadow, Houma or Morgan City, late 80s/prior to ’92. According to info in Bisland cemetery, he would’ve been a year younger than my mother.

        I have no doubt that Darenelle was Ravenelle. Whoever copied that censur obviously mistook the “v” for an “r”, & I guess the census taker wrote his capital “R” in a odd way, or something happened to the page. But none of the names of the kids in his house are familiar to me, nor their neighbor Jordan DARDAR. Now the people at Poullin/Paulin & Victoria’s home are of course my grandparents Delmas Gabriel & Pauline, apparently married at that time. I remember the family talking about a Uncle Polite, an Aunt Rosalie, Uncle John (no doubt Jean Baptiste), & of course Homer. I really don’t remember an Aunt Mary, but Aunt Delia & Uncle Dalton named their daughter Mary, & as you can see, the people liked naming their kids after one of the older relatives. My grandmother had a brother Paul, who lived with my grandparents, & later with Uncle Dalton & Aunt Delia until he passed–the first death in the family to hit me very hard as a child. But my father told me he had another Uncle Paul on his father’s side. It’s a shame you all have to go through all of this piecing together of info from census records, when my cousin & I found all of this & have it in books of charts. As I said before, Or at least, if you had access to South & Southwest Louisiana Church & Civil Records by Rev. Donald J. Hebert, Jr., you could put most of the names together in a week,

        The dairy farm Uncle Dalton & Aunt Delia lived on when I was growing up, until Mary & her husband were severely injured in a car accident, was called Fairview Plantation, owned by the Pharr family. They lived their rent-free because Uncle Dalton worked for them taking care of the cattle. Prior to living to that house on Pharr Road or Street, they lived in a much larger house not far down the road from there, in a turn in the road. That was the family home I guess until my grandfather died. It’s the house my father grew up in. I believe they all worked on the farm, until WWII. There are pictures of my father on a horse. He was actually a cowboy, who’s job was to round-up the cattle.
        Directly across the street from Uncle Dalton’s house was the Pharr’s home, down a long shell driveway. Also on the other side–the left side when leaving Uncle Dalton’s–were a couple houses with black families, then Uncle Victor & Aunt Ophelia’s & maybe 3 more black residents, all owned by the Pharrs. I think Uncle Victor had worked on the farm, but not sure how long before they moved to New Orleans. My father said one of the old black men taught him how to play the guitar. The photo I mentioned of all the family & Johnny in it was taken at the old family house when my grandfather was living.

        It’s highly probable that a census taker would’ve labelled all of the dark complected people the same race if they were among so many black households, even if they didn’t have negro features.
        I know when Uncle Dalton spoke of the black DARDAR’s–descendants of Charles DARDAR (Michel & Adelaide BILLIOT, who had no Indian ancestry–he referred to them as the black DARDARs.

        I went to school with some, in the early ’80s was contacted by a sister of one of them. Her older brother ran into my brother at a drugstore, & learned from him that I was looking up the family history. I was living in New Orleans East at that time, but arranged to meet them to share what I had on the DARDARs when we visited my parents. I met their father, Johnnie, who was a preacher, & their Uncle Clarence who had been a school bus driver. It was his sons I had gone to school with. They told me that their father was known as an Indian & had straight hair. His first wife was light, but their mother was black. They had done some research & had names from their father. Since they went back to VERDUNs, they thought they had Indian through that line too. But they ancestor, Cadet VERDUN was the son of one of Alexander VERDUN’s older brothers & a slave woman. The emancipation of Cadet, his mother & his siblings is in the St. Mary Courthouse Records in Franklin.

        Side notes: In those records also were the various sales of a slave woman named Rosalie between at least 2 of the VERDUN brothers, and finally to their sister Marie’s husband Nicolas ROBINET. I believe she is the Rosalie ROBINET that married Etienne BILLIOT (Jean & Marie IRIS). Nicolas & Marie’s daughter contested Alexander VERDUN’s will, which was a disguised donation of his property to his & Marie GREGOIRE’s children, & she won as the only “legal” heir! So the slaves of Alexander’s brothers were given land as part of their emancipation, & that stayed in their families, but his “Indian” children weren’t entitled to anything. Possibly if he would’v acknowledged that they were his children, they would’ve, but in his will, he refers to them as the children of Marie GREGOIRE.

        OK, I think that covers everything & more, till the next round. Glad to have the Vernion/Ravenelle, Felicie & Lula Mae mysteries & more solved.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Thanks, Michael Leon, for these informations.
        Concern Rosalie Robinet, the wife of Charles Etienne Billiot, she was not a slave negro,
        see the family Robinet :

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        Thanks, Michel. But I remember that my cousin & I found a discrepancy with the age. Nicolas ROBINET had a daughter Rosalie, but also the slave woman from his wife’s nephew(s). Something we found, convinced us. I seem to remember that her mother was not Marie VERDUN, Nicolas ROBINET’s wife, but another Rosalie, which led us to the conclusion that she was the daughter of Nicolas & the slave woman. I have all of this in my notes in the US.

        Also, while I visited your pages, I saw you had done what so many other researchers of Jean BILLIOT & Marie IRIS’s children have done in earlier research, specically on Etienne. They confused Etienne, Sr. with Etienne, Jr., who was nicknamed King. King was my maternal grandmother’s grandfather (see some of my earlier comments). Etienne Sr. had no half-siblings. Neither Jean his father BILLIOT nor his mother Marie IRIS had children with anyone else. This has been confirmed not only by my cousin & I and other local researchers, but also the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Bureau of Acknowledgement & Recognition’s field research in 1993 by various documents. There were 2 daughters, Adelaide & Francoise Agnes aka Agnes. As we agree Adelaide married Michel DARDAR, & after Michel died, Auguste CREPEL, then had 3 sons with him. On the other hand, Agnes aka Francoise married Prairial SOLET (see my comments from Feb. 12, 2016 & Feb. 5, 2017). Jean & Marie’s sons were Michel, Jean, Jr., Etienne, Charles, Jacques, Pierre & Joseph. Doing this research solely online is certainly difficult, especially when there has been so much incorrect information by the earlier researchers. So the confusion is understandable. And I appreciate your help clearing up our confusion on other areas.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Hi Michael Leon, the discrepancy you found about Rosalie Robinet has to be explained.
        I agree that your maternal grandmother’s grandfather was the Etienne Billiot married to Céleste Verret, the son of Charles Etienne Billiot and Rosalie Robinet (a priori not the slave of his nephew). But this Etienne was not nicknamed “king”; that was the nickname of Etienne Billiot born in Bayou Terrebonne on 12 Jan 1813 to Pierre Louis Billiot and Marguerite Iacalobe; who married Rosalie Ramagos with a daughter Lise Pétronille.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Hi Michael Leon, you wrote that the wife of your grand father Delmas Leon Dardar had a brother Paul Dardar; so it seems that your grand mother was Pauline Ernestine Dardar, daughter of Michel Gervais Dardar and Marguerite Chiasson, and that her brother was Paul Justilien Dardar.

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        Oops! I just remembered the man I think is Lula Mae’s son, is Titus, not Ulyses. Amazing how those Greek names were still in use in bayou country. And I remember that his family name is also DARDAR. BTW, we always pronounced Uncle Victor & Uncle Homer’s names in French, or at least Louisiana French, Vic-TAR’ & O’-mair, & they pronounced Delmas, Del-MAS’, but the relatives in Golden Meadow called my father Tee Del.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Hi Michael, Lola and Titus Dardar are children of rév Etienne Joseph Victor Dardar and sister Mae Mae Antoinette Dardar, see my trees on Geneanet or :
        Your Lula Mae was probably the wife of Etienne Dardar and her parents were Homère (Omer) Dardar and Valentine Serigny.

    • Amy says:

      Michel, Thank you so much for updating your tree! It’s very meaningful to me. I don’t know much about genealogy, but I have just started mine on geneanet. Both sides of my family have everything written down on paper. Someday I will get it all typed in https://gw.geneanet.org/averdin?n=juliot&oc=&p=amy

      • amy says:

        Michel, I have not viewed this 1910 census record, but it was noted on your tree. Was the name “Darenelle” difficult to decipher? Perhaps it is Ravenelle?

        1910 census Police Jury Ward 10:
        DARDAR Poullin 60 dont 32M, Victoria 55 dont 32M 12/9 alive, dont:
        Rosalie 28, Jean Batiste 26, Mary 24, Delma (son) 25, Pauline 21, Paul 18, Polite 16, Homer 14, Renelet 10 ?

        Voisins avant:
        DARDAR Jordan 56, daughter alucian 20, Tonie brother 71

        Voisins après:
        DARDAR Daranelle? 30 dont 8, wife Felicia 28 dont 8, 5/5 alive, dont:
        Polin 7, Valorine 5, Alidore (son) 3, Allida 2, Clorinda 6/12

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Yes, Amy, possible we can identify DARDAR Daranelle, or Ravenelle, to Vernion Verdin. Mikael Leon told us that Ravenelle was baptized as a Verdun for his mother was Victoria Verdun, but was raised as a Dardar by Léopold Apollinaire Paulin Dardar, the husband of Victoria.

      • Michael L. Dardar says:

        Hi Michel. I said that I met Lula Mae/Antoinette/Mae Mae Broussard & her daughter Lil’ Lita/Lolita–probably the Lola you found, after I was involved with the UHN “tribe”, late 80s/early 90s–probably many more times growing up, though. And that my mother said Lula Mae & Lil’ Lita had visited when I was born. But it must’ve been Lula Mae & her mother or a sister that visited then because Lola was born 5 years later, according to her burial information you provided. Do you have any info on Lula Mae’s mother? Did Lula Mae have a sister? I think if I see the name, I’ll remember who my mother said was with her when she visited.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Hi Michael Leon, most of your questions are answered by the obit of Antoinette Dardar :
        “Antoinette “Sis Mae Mae” Dardar, 71, a native of Golden Meadow, La., and a resident of Houma, La., died at 4:46 p.m. Thursday, July 24, 2008.
        She is survived by three sons, Stephen Dardar, Titus Dardar and Jonah Dardar;
        five daughters, Lucy Smith and husband Ralph; Loretta Gilbert and husband Francis, Lola Dardar, Vickie Dardar and Stephanie Naquin and husband Autry;
        four brothers, Summergill, Miquel Sr., Raymond Sr. and Omar Dardar Jr.; one sister, Arthensia Dardar;
        grandchildren, Justin, Eric and Emily Smith, Aliasha and Lucas Gilbert, Courtnie and Jennica Naquin, Kassie Dardar, Angel, Jonathan, Johannah and Autumn Dardar, and Lance and Miles Wesley; and one great-grandchild, Hunter Wesley.
        She was preceded in death by her first husband, Alton Wesley Sr.; her second husband, Rev. Etienne “Bro Yan” Dardar;
        her parents, Omar Dardar Sr. and Valentine Serigny Dardar;
        two sons, Howard John Wesley and Alton Wesley Jr.; one brother Antoine Dardar; and one sister, Guriley Dardar.”
        For the family of her mother Valentine Serigny, , see my trees on geneanet.

  36. Pamela Bellot says:

    My name is Pamela Bellot and Rosalie Courteaux is my 4th great grandmother, however, I only have 1% of native blood. I am just researching our family tree. Our family was from the Youngsville (Roiville) area.

    • Michel Dardare says:

      Pamela, if Rosalie Courteaux is your 4th great grandmother, you should have 3% (1/32) of indian blood, or only 1,5% if the mother of Rosalie, Marie Anne Pierre, the wife of Houma Courteau, was no indian. Then It seems that the part of indian origin for the Billiots are in fact very small, and that the tribal effect is mainly sociologic.

  37. Michel Dardare says:

    Hi Michael Leon, you wrote on 27 Déc that Michel Dardar & Adelaide BILLIOT had no Indian ancestry ? But Adelaïde was the daughter and Michel was the son-in-law of Marianne Erice, a recognized indian woman, so all the Dardars of Louisiana have a touch of indian blood.

    • Michael Leon Dardar says:

      That’s incorrect information. This is why so much of your research is incorrect, having to do it all online long distance. The succession of Jean Billau/Billiot etc. proves Marie Iris was a “free negress”, to which Michel Dardare was witnessed & Judge Henry Thibodaux, who was a friend of the family wrote & filed. Rather than re-write this, The information has also been proven by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Acknowledgement & Research field agents (see their report).
      I suggest you check my previous comments starting from the first in 2016. I attempted to point out mistakes you’ve made about the children of Jean Billiot & Marie Iris, but my last comment was not posted for some reason. But in much of your research you have confused generations, i.e. Etienne Billiot, Jr. with Etienne “King” Billiot, Jr., as well as Jean Billiot, Sr. & Jean, Jr.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Incorrect information? Be cool, Michael Leon, not risk a cardiac attack; the case of the mother of Adélaïde Lutétia Billiot Dardar merit still further investigations. Her mother Marianne Heris (Iris, Erice) born on 1754 in Plaquemines Parish was, for Kelly Creppel researches publied on Ancestry, the daughter of Joseph Jean Baptiste Hérissé and Françoise “Fanchon” St Thérèse.
        Joseph was born to Jacques Hérissé, a Québecois, and a woman of Chitimaya tribe.
        Françoise was born to Jacques St Thérèse and a slave.
        The st Thérèse family comes from Piot de Langloiserie seigneur de l’Ile sainte Thérèse dans l’estuaire du Saint Laurent.
        Also see on Ancestry Willam Stringfields entry about Anna, a sister of Marianne :
        Reviewing my information more recently, Carlos came from Santo Domingo, but his wife was a native woman, Marie Therese BAPTISTE, the daughter of Etienne (Arlu) BAPTISTE and Anna IRIS (parents Joseph IRIS and Francoise ST. THERESE). Her sister Genevieve married Francois ANCAR, and when you compare the remaining ANCAR marriages of the next generation, I would almost guarantee another sister married the other ANCAR brother. Etienne BAPTISTE and Anna IRIS had at least four daughters. My best guess for the fourth family is Martin DuPLESSIS as her husband, but unclear at present.
        Joseph IRIS and Francoise ST. THERESE (Fanchon in 1770 Census) were the parents of at least five children, two sons, neither had children, and at least three daughters:
        -Anna married Etienne ARLU (BAPTISTE); Marie (1748-1864)
        -Genevieve married Jean Baptiste ARLU (BAPTISTE);
        -and Marianne married J. BILLIOT, and moved to lower Lafourche/Terrebonne.
        Reviewing the 1770 Census finds this family as “black/mulatto” but they were living on their own land, and Fanchon had never been subjected to slavery, since she was born in the colony, before New Orleans was founded (1710 or so). These families were always listed as Free Persons of Color in most records, and could vote and own slaves if they needed them to maintain their lands. The late French period reclassified all the former “sauvage” category to simply “noir” if there was no European blood in the ancestry. DNA is proving this today.
        Fanchon’s children were sent to the nuns to learn French and the Catholic religion. They were discouraged to continue the old traditions that had “nothing to do with making a living (rituals).” Her grandchildren all raised crops and livestock as their neighbors, and followed the European burial practice, the cemetery in Diamond called the BARTHELEMY cemetery from the grandson BARTHELEMY BAPTISTE (his sons were BARTHELEMY) was established “before 1795” when it was first listed in Catholic records. Odd, when I tried to decipher the Native American origins in our area, I found the people were here all along, and their ancestry is all from the same original family.

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Was really Marianne Heris a negress, as you thought, Michael Leon? Read the BIA notes : “The deed recorded as Conveyance Book (COB) T:485 transfers land from Marianne Iris to Jean Baptiste Verdin. It is not clear from the document whether the Jean Baptiste Verdin named in this deed is the son of Marie Gregoire and Alexander Verdin or the brother of Alexander.(25); Marianne Iris is identified as a free woman of color (Terrebonne Parish 1813). The only information in the document which could be interpreted as evidence of “partial Indian parentage” is a reference to Marianne Iris as a “FWOC” (free woman of color). If this were the only information describing Marianne’s heritage, one could speculate that she might have some Indian heritage because the definition of people of color at that time legally included Indians (Louisiana District Court 1810, Adele v. Beauregard, 1 Mart.; Dominguez 1968, 34). However, it is not the only evidence.”
        It is now clear that Marianne Heris had only partial indian heritage by her two grand-mothers who were Chitimacha. (See my trees on Geneanet).

      • Shayne Creppel says:

        Michael L. Dardar, I would love to learn more about your research. Auguste CREPEL is my 4th great grandfather, Marianne IRIS is my 5th great grandmother, and Marie GREGOIRE is my 4th great grandmother. It is interesting to see the debate between you and Michel regarding Marianne IRIS. I was trying to figure out where she would have gotten Native blood as it looked to me that she was descended from an African slave and a Frenchman and had a Quebecois father.

      • Michel Jean Dardare says:

        For Michael Leon, I thanks him for that, much of my research is incorrect, because made from France;
        but you can look to the research of Kelly Creppel, perhaps you know her :
        Marianne daughter of Joseph (Jean) Baptiste Heris and Francoise “Fanchon” St. Therese
        – Joseph noted as son of Jacques Herisse and Slave (or a free woman of color), Chitimacha Tribe, and husband of Francoise “Fanchon” St. Therese, father of Marie Genevieve St. Therese Heris (Iris); Marie-Anne Iris Billiot; Marie Ana Iris and Barthelemy Iris.
        – Françoise noted as daughter of Jacques de Langloiserie St. Therese; slave (sic) of Jacques St. Therese and madam St. Therese Langloiserie.

      • Shayne Creppel says:

        I would just like to see the documentation on Canadians having Chitimacha mothers.

    • Michael Leon Dardar says:

      CORRECTION: I meant to write “Etienne Billiot, Sr. with Etienne “King” Billiot, Jr….”

      • Michel Dardare says:

        Michael Leon, Charles Etienne Billiot, a brother of Adélaïde Dardar, had the same origin mentioned yesterday for her: his wife was Rosalie Robinet, from a french family; their son Etienne married Céleste Verret whose maternal grand-parents were Alexandre Verdun and Marie Grégoire identified in the will of Alexandre as an indian woman.

    • jessbee209 says:

      Hello, I know it’s been a while since you posted this comment. I am in the process of doing research on the Houma tribe for my master’s thesis. So, I hope my question reaches you. Where did you find Kelly Creppel’s published work on and Joseph Jean Baptiste Hérissé and Françoise “Fanchon” St Thérèse? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

      • Michel dardare says:

        Hi Jessbee209, you can send me messages via Geneanet, my pseudo is “fanrib”.
        In my Dardar trees I explain my sources.
        Michel Dardare

  38. Michael Leon Dardar says:

    Dear site manager,
    I would like to know why my comment of December 28, 2019 is still “awaiting moderation”. The comment was an important reply to help correct mistakes made by the intended recipient.
    Sincerely concerned,
    Michael Leon Dardar

  39. baley says:

    My name is Baley Champagne and I was born and raised in Grand Caillou (Houma), La. My maternal great-grandfather Pierre Felix Gregoire Sr. was born and raised in Mauvais Bois. A ridge of land on the western side of Theriot, La in Terrebonne Parish. His family (mom and siblings) moved in the early 1920’s to the west side of the Navigational Canal in between Dulac and Dularge. My great-grandfather’s dad was Adrian Gregoire from Morgan City, La in St. Mary Parish and my great-grandfather’s mom was from Montegut, La in Terrebonne Parish. It is passed down that my great-great grandma received her Native blood from her maternal side. My 3x’s great-grandma was Helouise Fitch who’s first marriage was to a Billiot and her second marriage was to a Defelice. Defelice would be the family I belong to. The Fitch’s are known to be from Kentucky, but we have never had the resources to find out if he was Chickasaw. The Fitch are known to migrate to South Louisiana in the mid 1800’s.
    The Gregoire side has affiliated with being of white race. Although, there is uncertainties if they belong to Gregoire Masse from generations of the past or had their family tree become mixed up with different information?

    • Michel Dardare says:

      Hi Baley, It seems that the Grégoire surname comes from the french immigrant Jean-Baptiste Grégoire, born around 1794. We can find him in the 1870 census, New-Orleans ward 7, age 68, with Pierre Blie 70. Among his children we find Caroline, Arsène, Jackson Gazeon, Faustin…
      Do not mix with Marie Gregoire, the indian wife of Alexandre Verdun.
      In the Prevost cemetery is the tombstone of Lawrence Joseph Billiot Sr, 1916-1998, son of Joseph Magloire Billiot and Josephine Rodrigue, husband of Helen Defelice.

      • Baley says:

        Thank you Michel! This is the information I have. My grandmother’s first cousins have done their Ancestry DNA and they have a significant amount of French blood. I have 2%.

    • Stephen Verret says:

      Hi Baley, my name is Stephen Verret. My grandfather, Davis Adam Verret was also raised on the Mauvais Bios ridge. I do not know if he was born there. I visited the ridge a few weeks ago and took several pics. I am trying to discover what life was like there. I would like to know what the homes where like and if there are any burial sites on or near the ridge.

  40. Shi Smith says:

    Hello Michel Dardare, I’ve discovered your blog on 6/20/2020, and remained up all night reading it. However, I am needing some assistance. My grandfather, who raised me was from the Houma, Louisiana, and a descendant of the United Houma Nation. His name was Nolan Jones, Sr., and his mother was Ada Verret-Jones. Her father was Joseph Verret. He married Artemise Merant Josephine Naquin. My grandfather, Nolan Jones, Sr. was born on February 27, 1913, in LaFource-Terrebonne Parrish. He later discontinued attending the Indian School to work full-time on a seafood ship, at the age of 9, as he promised his ailing father,who later died that he would take care of his mother and sisters. Nolan, was a man of immense integrity and uprightness in character, as he fulfilled his deathbed promise to his father, no matter the price. He was thrust into the cruel world of adulthood as a mere child. He never talked much about his childhood, as it was extremely painful and heartbreaking for him to do so. However, I’m fascinated with my genealogy at this time in my life, and carry many Native American traditions, such as being led by the spirit, and being able to discern the evil spirits in people. I am writing to learn about the Verret side of the family, tracing their lineage all the way to Canada and France. Also, I wanted to learn about the children Joseph Verret and Artemise Merant Josephine Naquin had? Do you have pictures of their family? And, do you have records on Ada Verret-Jones and Peter Jones (a Black man) marriage, and the children they had together? Your help provided would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so very much. My name is Shi Smith and my email address is: Shi.smith422@gmail.com

    • Michel Dardare says:

      Hi Shi Smith, if you connect to Geneanet and explore the Dardar trees (my pseudo is “fanrib”), you will discover the pedigree of Joseph Verret and his first wife Mérante Artémise Joséphine Naquin, whose I know only two children, Joséphine Louise and Adam Joseph; from his second wife Philonise Naquin, I know a daughter Eva Marie.
      Michael Leon Dardar wrote in this blog about his ggrand father Joseph Alexandre :
      Joseph Alexandre Billiot was married to Eva Marie VERRET, daughter of Joseph VERRET and Philonise NAQUIN. Probably Michael Leon has some information for you?

  41. Celeste Schindler says:

    My third great grandmother was Adolphine Tollier Leroux Derousse. Family lore says that she was a member of the Houma Tribe. Anyone have information of this?

  42. Rae Brown says:

    my eighth generation grandmother is Rosalie Courteau.

  43. Allen Alsop says:

    Too many persons named “Michael Dardar”. I am looking for the one who took an Ancestry DNA test and reported himself as living in Chalmette. He is a strong match to me and to many members of my maternal family. I would like to find out what the relationship is.

    • Michel Dardare says:

      Hi Allen, I think that your Michael was Roland Michael Dardar, deceased on Oct 7 2021.
      You can nevertheless contact one of his sisters, Deanne Weaver, Destrie Gonzales, or Robin Pampos, or his son Ethan Dardar. Truly.

  44. Allen Alsop says:

    Hi Michel,
    Thanks for the comment. I have already sent a letter to this MIchael’s mother with no reply. I then discovered (on this blog) a Michael Dardar the grandson of Delmas Leon Dardar, and after that (on Google) a Michael Dardar aged about 32 working at Boasso Global in Chalmette. I was hoping that someone in this community would know the person who had joined Ancestry in 2014. But I’ll try Destrie Gonzales – no addresses for the others. Thanks again.

  45. Kathleen Adams says:

    My grandfather was Albert Joseph Billiot born in Montegut, LA. His father was Duncan Billiot and his Mother was Mary Louise Bridgit Thibodeaux Billiot.
    His grandfather was Joseph Severin Billiot and his grandmother was Clemenceau Molinair.
    I would like to become a member of the tribe, please advise. My Mother was Carrie Marie Billiot
    Thank you

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