This genealogy began with my grandfather Marion Joseph (1884-1953) and moved backward and forward broadening to include related families. Contributions have come family members and are always welcome. This information and more is available from other sourses on the Internet but not in a single place for this family branch.
The initial sourse of much of the material comes from a genealogy prepared by the Genealogical Department of the Library of New York for Martin Rabalais. Another is from Harold Leneau, Director of Continuing Education of the University of Arkansas. His mother was a Rabalais from Cottonport, La. An oral one was taken in the 1950's from my grandmother Laura which included details as far back as the eigtheenth century!
A visiting French magazine editor and amateur genealogist was a source for more information in France and the Internet here and in France added or confirmed some of what we had known.
Accuracy has been a goal so that any corrections are more than welcome.
No genealogical style has been employed. This genealogy goes down the direct male line.
Yo may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Louis Rabalais, 1230 Mt. Holly Rd., El Dorado, AR 71730
(THE FOLLOWING IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND CLEAN UP)
Beginnings in France
Poitou is the region where most of the Rabelais family may be traced from the 13th century in France. Antoine Rabelais was a noted lawyer in Chinon whose son François (1494-1553) became the most celebrated French writer of the period. François had two brothers, Jamet and Antoine and a sister, Françoise. The celebrated François also had children even though ordained to Holy Orders. This indiscretion was pardoned by the Pope. How anyone of this family is related in uncertain, but definitely there must be some. Poitou and the town of Rochefocauld is found on most of Jean Baptiste’s records.
Our earliest Louisianan is definitely John Baptiste (II), born in Poitou in 1692 , son of Jean Baptiste (Sr.) and Marie Magdeline Rabalais according to French records of the 1700’s.
The origin of Jean’s lifetime nickname Mathelot (sailor) was explained by a phone call from a Texas Rabalais whose branch had maintained the story from Jean II’s generation. Apparently the sailor only made one voyage. He sold everything that he owned in France, pocked the money, and signed up as a sailor on a ship going to New Orleans, “jumping ship” as soon as he arrived. Jean was of course, a French Subject in 1730 and couldn’t leave the country without permission, especially with the “king’s” money! His status must have been more like an outlaw or runaway slave at this point! But this was his vehicle to get out of France and to Louisiana. I owe him!
Rabalais in Louisiana
1. Jean Baptiste Rabalais (or Rabelais) (dit. Mathelot) (1692/-03/1759) married Margurite Bellanger (1696–06/30/1761) on 1/12/1733. My wife and I went to the Archdiocese of New Orleans to see the records. They were married in St. Louis Church in New Orleans. Both of them are buried in Pointe Coupeé. Margurite came to New Orleans on the ship “Baleine” in 1721. She was the widow of Joseph Ducro killed by the Natchez Indians. Jean could have been living in Pointe Coupeé going between the post and New Orleans, but after the marriage they moved there, farming and Jean tutoring students. Pointe Coupeé was in the “Grand Bois”. Land was fertile but the area was prone to flooding. Two well-documented children were:
2. Joseph Rabalais (1736-1789) married Anne Barbe Boftz (1/31/1740- bet. 1778-79) from Cote des allemandes, St Charles parish) on (7/16/1754) in Pointe Coupeé Parish. Her father was Daniel Boftz (1712-3/15/1758). Her mother was Anne Marie Werich (6/20/1750).
Click here to access my files on the Boftz family. Just follow the prompts on Box Net:
There were five children of this marriage:
Henriette Joseph (1756)
Joseph (Jr.) (1759)
Jean Baptiste (1770)* ( * Direct Line)
Click here to access my files on these children. Just follow the prompts on Box Net:
3. Jean Baptiste Rabalais, III Joseph and Anne’s fourth child (1/15/1759) married Marie Louise Bouchard (1759-1809-12) on 9/22/1777 at St. Francis of Assisi Church at Pointe Coupeé. Both Jean Baptiste and Mary Louise were born in Pointe Coupeé ; Mary Louise (9/22/1759) and Jean are both Buried in Avoyelles Parish. Mary Louise’s family was from Québec. Joseph Jr. was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War. There were 12 children of this marriage:
Jean IV (1783)
Joseph II (1785)
Paulin (1787) * (* Direct Line)
Mary Lou (1788)
On 1/24/1803 Jean Married Marie Juneau in Avoyelles parish, and on 2/21/1809 Marie Manette Gremillion in Avoyelles Post. Marie’s father was François Louis Gremillion. Marie’s mother was Perrine Berza.
Jean and Marie Juneau’s children:
Jean Baptiste V (1804)
Jean and Marie Gremillion’s children:
Click here for information on all of Jean III’s wives and children:
4. René Paulin Rabalais (1787-1834) the fifth son of Jean Baptiste Rabalais and Marie Bouchard married Céleste Bordelon (1790-1831) at Pointe Coupeé on 8/05/1819. Céleste’s father was Pierre Bordelon (b. 9/22/1761) and her mother was Adelaide Lacour. Paulin and Celeste had 5 children who were:
On April, 30 1829 Rene Paulin married Marie Decuir(1789-1827).
Click here for files for René, Marie and children:
5. Everest Paul Rabalais (1807-1834), Paulin’s first child married Marie Decuir (1815-1902). Marie’s parents were Mercellin Decuir (1789-1827) and her mother was Céline Bordelon (1794-1828). Here were 13 children of this marriage.
Alcide (1841- ?)
Felix Alexandre (1843- ?)
Marie Estelle (1846-1922)
Aristide François (1847-1882)* (* Direct Line)
Marie Victoria (1851-?)
Gustave Eugene (1853-?)
Jules Marius (1855-1909)
Marceline Verginie (1856-?)
Click here for files on Everest, Marie and children:
6. Aristide François Rabalais (1847-1882) married Sarah (dit Biggie) James Pavey (originally Pavet)(1847-1917) on 11/22/1886 in Moreauvlille, Louisiana. Sara’s Father was John Benjamin Pavey and her mother was Maria Gibbs. Aristide and Sarah dad six children:
Phenius Paul (1868-1898)
Rose Thérèsa (1872-1960)
Ida Agusta (1886-1960)
Francis Marion (1874-1953)* (* Direct Line)
Albert Barron (1877- ? )
Ernest (Big Bud) (1880-1966)
Click here for files on Aristide, Sarah and children:
7. Francis Marion Rabalais (1874-1953), their fourth child married Laura Jeansonne (1882-1980) on 9/05/1901 in Cottonport, Louisiana. 1896 Francis married Florida Couvillion who died in1898. There were no children of this marriage. Francis and Laura had eight children:
Francis Marion (Brother)(1902-1979)
Brian Benard (Lou) (1903-1968)
Ogden Joseph (1906-1997)
Louis Lament( Babe ) (1908-1973) * (* Direct Line)
Aristide Antony (Shine) (1908-19? ) (Twin w/Louis)
Laura Ames (1913-1989)
Gibbs Moise (1920-1987)
Click here for files on Francis, Laura and children:
8. Louis Lament Rabalais, Francis and Laura’s fourth child married Sarah Abagail Offutt (Gala) of El Dorado, Arkansas on 5/23/ 1932. Sara’s father was John Craven Offutt and her mother was Marie St. St. John . Their two children were:
Louis Jr. (1939)* (* Direct Line)
Gala Louise (1945)
More information on Louis Sr. and Sarah is here:
8. Louis Lament Rabalais Jr. (1939) married Kathleen Marie Smith on 8/31/1962 in St. Mary's Parish, El Dorado Arkansas. Kathleen is the daughter of Richard Tole Smith and Marie Madeline Swilley. Their children are:
Andrea Marie (1964)
Louis III (1969)* (* Direct Line)
More on Louis, Kathleen and children click here:
8. Louis Lament Rabalais, III married Joy Berthelot in 2000 in Shreveport, Louisiana. They have one child:
Christian Alexander (2010)