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Home: Surnames: DeVille Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Alexandre Defran De Ville, Jr. B. 1877
Posted by: Ronald Miller (ID *****8276) Date: November 29, 2005 at 05:15:35
In Reply to: Re: Alexandre Defran De Ville, Jr. B. 1877 by John De Ville of 225

Thanks for the offer of assistance. That's very kind. I'll be happy to share with you whatever I have as well. I have the family group sheets that Nolton Goodly developed, and I'd be happy to send a full set to you.

I can't verify the connection to Charlemagne - I've only traced the DeVille family back to Louis (also listed in one report as Francois) DeVille, born in Switzerland on or about 1720, possibly in the city of Neuchatel. Around 1734, a group of Swiss immigrants from Neuchatel arrived in Purrysburg, South Carolina, located in modern-day Beaufort County on the banks of the Savannah River. Purrysburg no longer exists, but there is a historical marker indicating its location. Anyway, Louis Deville must have taken a wife while in Purrysburg, because he had a son, Michel Deville, in 1738. At some point, Michel left South Carolina for Louisiana - I have no death information for Louis, so I don't know if he ever set foot in Louisiana. Michel married Marguerite Katzenberg, the daughter of German immigrants from the Heidelberg/Wieslock region, on 23 April 1768 at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. One of their sons, Louis Defont Deville, married Marie J. Jeansonne (also spelled Jansonne or Johnson in some documents) in either 1798 or 1802 - still attempting to verify. One of their sons was Alexandre "De Fran" Deville, and according to the family sheets I have, he was married or consorted with three women - Azelie Chapman is the one that is formally documented as his wife, and the records, as you indicated, have them marrying on 29 Jan 1833. They had eight children. His second wife is a bit of a mystery - I've seen her name as Rider or Ratel, and I found only one reference to her online. The family sheets I have show them having two boys, Edgard and Hortance. I don't know if there's a tie-in, but there is an Edgard Deville Cemetery near Deville, LA in Rapides Parish. It was after this mystery woman than Augustine shows up. One of the reasons I can't verify they were married is because the people in my family who actually knew her said she was Alexander's slave. Since they had their first child in 1860, this is entirely plausible, and I don't think a slave and her master would have married in that era. They could have married later, perhaps by the time of the 1870 census when she makes her only official appearance.

That's how the Devilles ended up in the USA and, eventually, Louisiana. Michel Deville, by the way, owned a 300 acre tobacco plantation on the Red River, the largest in Louisiana at the time. He and his wife were buried in Rapides Cemetery, but their graves cannot be found and may have washed away during one of the frequent floods they've had in the area. There is a record of their burial along with a brief history that mentions the plantation. Another note I found said that the state of Louisiana has a Deville historical marker at the site where this plantation was located, but I've not found any references to it online.

I will send you my mailing address and contact information via private e-mail so we can exchange non-electronic files. If I have information I can post here, I will do that as well so others who are searching for the Devilles can benefit.



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