BY GENNY MALLET BROWN

 

A HISTORY OF THE MALLET FAMILY

In the search for ancestors the oldest found ancestor is usually found by back tracking from the known ancestors. As a result the further back we go the less information is readily noticeable. I write "readily noticeable" because much of the information is listed in some publication or legal document however the researcher cannot yet connect it to the more recent information found. Such is the case with Guiluame Mallet. The information providing his name and the name of his wife was given along with information for one of his grandsons.  It cannot be said that there is no other information on Guiluame, however, this research has not uncovered it yet.

                        

The history of the Mallet family begins with the dawn of human existence on earth.  Wow! That is impressive. Well, the truth is we can only document back to about the year 1513.  That is still impressive.  That is the time that Guiluame Mallet was born in St, Malo, France.

St. Malo is a walled coastal city that dates back to the 9th century.  It sits strategically on the English Channel where it heads into the Bay of Biscay. It is still one of France’s richest cities because it is a wonderful spot for rich tourist.  Back in the late 1500s it was a pirate haven. The pirates could head off the ships for ransom in  St. Malo’s waterways.  There was very little law there during this time.

The city, at low tide, has a wonderful beach. You can see why the city has a wall when high tide comes in.   The beach disappears.  The city was originally built around Mont St. Michel, a monastery.  Guiluame Mallet was born in the early 1500s in St Malo as is documented in the Canadian archives.

  

Telling the family history of the Mallet family must start with the story of Louisa Mallet.  She is the anchor that connects our African heritage and the slave history of our family to the French ancestry and the  beginning of freedom for her descendants.

It is ironic that there is limited information about Louisa herself other than the documents that verify her slave status and the men who owned her and the census documentation.  Much of what we know of  Louisa will come from documentation from the lives of her children and family tradition. 

A slave sale document was found in Pointe Coupee parish listing the purchase of Louisa in June of 1836 by Hippolyte Mallet from Jean Baptiste Letourneaux.  Letourneaux had previously purchased her from William Moore. It is not known where Louisa came from however, it may be of great importance to future researchers to mention that William Moore had previously purchased another slave from B. H. Linty of Virginia.  There may not be any connection to Louisa, however, a researcher might find this a lead or not. Louisa’s first link to the Mallet family, is of course, her purchase by Hippolyte Mallet.  It was common practice for slaves to use the name of their masters whenever an identifying name was needed, but  Louisa’s link to the Mallet name was extended when her son Alfred was married in the Arnaudville Catholic church.  Louisa was named as his mother on his marriage information in that document. That information is found in the church’s Marriage volume #2 on page 24.  Alfred married Marie Brigette Janvier on September 04,1870

The legal documentation of that marriage in the St Landry court house was another of the links to the Mallet family.  It was the practice to have a close friend or family member post a security bond in the sum of three hundred dollars for your marriage license.  In Alfred’s case that person was one Andre Mallet.  Andre was Hippolyte’s oldest son.  The question must be asked if Andre posted security for a half brother or was this  just the goodwill of a slave owner’s son.

To further the possibility that Alfred was family he and Marie Bridgette had a daughter whose name was also Louisa.  That daughter died on July 1,1917.  Her death certificate listed as her father as H. Mallet.  Was that indication that Alfred, who was deceased by then, was indeed the son of Hypolite?

Marie Josephine was a child born January 13,1849 and her birth was listed in the Grand Coteau church in volume 1, page 92.  Her parents were listed as Hypolyte Mallet and Eugenie Rivette Mallet (Hypolyte’s white wife), however when Marie Josephine married Jean Louis Albert on August 24,1871 in the Arnaudville church. Her parents were listed as Hypolite Mallet and Louisa Mallet.

A further surprise on the legal documents from the courthouse list Abram Mallet as the person to post the security bond for their marriage. Abram is also the son of Louisa and we know that by family tradition.  That simply means that family members told other family members through each generation who Abram was until now.

A bit of reasoning can help us understand what all of this information means.  If Josephine is the daughter of Hypolite and Abram is the son of Louisa, they could be brother and sister.  If they are not brother and sister, why would the son of an ex-slave be posting security for a white girl only six years after slavery is abolished? We have surmised that the connections for Louisa and Hypolite is more probable than not.

Hypolite’s history can be traced back to Guillaume Mallet who was born in St Malo, France in the year 1513  and lived until about 1579 in St Malo, France. He married Euchine Bourdel.  Some research show her name  also as Eustachine.  They were married in St. Malo about 1554. There may have been more children however,  a son named Olivier was born April 14,1568.

That son was married to Michelle Nicole Jourdan in January 08,1588/89.  Both years show up because this   was during the time that the Gregorian calendar was implemented and some calendars show a year advanced. Michelle and Olivier had a son named Jean who was born on September 26, 1590.  That son  married Guillemette Ruellan November 08,1618.

Jean and Guillemette had a son named Pierre who was born on July 01,1629. Pierre was the first of the   family to travel from St. Malo, France to Montreal, Canada to live and there he met and married Marie Ann Hardy on October 23,1662.  Pierre and Marie Ann had two sons. T hose sons were Pierre and Jean. Pierre    was born April 17,1670 and Jean was born February 24, 1667/68.

Pierre married Madeleine Thunes dit Dufresne.  Two of their children were Catherine and Antoine.  Antoine moved to Vincenne, Indiana and started the family’s existence in America as pioneers and history makers in that area.

Rene married Marie Lecuyer and continued to make their home Montreal, Canada.  They had 11 children.  The youngest of those children was Jean Baptiste Marie Mallet and he was born December 16, 1716 in Montreal.  He is not to be confused with his oldest brother Jean Baptiste Mallet. Jean Baptiste Marie Mallet married Marie Josephe Picard on April 27,1848 in Montreal.  It was their child Joseph, born on November 18,1736, who moved from Canada to Pointe Coupee parish, Louisiana and met and married Marie Ann Lejeune of Pointe Coupee, Louisiana on June 12,1769.  Joseph and Marie Ann Lejeune had three children, Joseph Mallet Jr, Juan Baptiste Mallet, and Hypolyte Mallet I.  It was Hypolite I who continued our heritage.    He married Theotista Marcelle(Dauphini) and became the parents of our Hypolyte II on April 03,1797.

Hypolyte II married Marie Eugenie Landry Rivette.  That marriage resulted in five or six children.  That would be six children if we count Marie Josephine as their child or five if Louisa is her mother.

Hypolyte’s alliance with Louisa resulted in three children of whom we can be fairly sure are hers and they are Alfred, Abram and Marie Josephine However there are seven other people who are connected to Louisa and may be her children.  They are Alex, Louise, Cilly, Margaret, Richard, Francois, and Kate.

Abram married Sedonia Auzenne on November 24,1866 and became the parents of Mederic, Thimothee, Cecilia, Hermongar (Armand), Rosa and Hator.  It is not clear if Edmond Mallet was a child of Abram and  Sidonia or if he was the same Edmond that was raised by Alfred.  We do know that he had close family ties.

Mederic, Cecilia, Armand, and Rosa lived to adulthood and their families and descendants of those families are the families that gather for the reunions each year.