“Like many of the French families, they vanished. All that remains, which carries on their name, is the House.” *
I had never heard the name Huberdeau even once in the four years that I had lived in Ste. Genevieve. I thought I was at least aware of the majority of old Colonial French families that resided here, until one day, as I took my morning walk around downtown, I finally stopped to read a sign on an historic stone house, Huberdeau House.
Over the past year, I have made it my mission to find out about this mysterious Huberdeau family that no one seems to know anything about. In a few local histories, Simon and son Jean Baptiste are mentioned, but my big break came while researching Canadian genealogies, specifically in Montreal, going back to the era of “Novelle” France. Gradually, I have been able to piece together a fairly large collection of information about the family, tracing them back to France. The more I collected, the more discrepancies I noticed, which is not uncommon. My solution to this problem has always been to start a timeline, entering dates and short notes of information in an attempt to verify each person’s history. Here I have the beginnings of a timeline on Simon Huberdeau, whom I am thus far convinced built the old stone house. Dates and information are subject to change, many to be verified. Updates will be added as I discover more.
Joseph Marie Simon Huberdeau was an enterprising, wealthy, and somewhat eccentric merchant in Ste. Genevieve, Upper Louisiana (now Missouri) during the second half of the 18th century. He was the 17th child of Jean Baptiste and Charlotte Huberdeau dit LaFrance of Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Novelle France).
|Citadelle de Montreal|
His father, Jean Baptiste, arrived in Canada and is first mentioned in 1716 when he was 19 years old. He was residing in Montreal at “ L’Hotel Dieu de Quebec” where it was noted that he came from Paris, France. It is believed Jean Baptiste came to New France as a soldier. In 1722 at the time of his marriage, he was in Monsieur Francois de Gann’s Company in Montreal. At that time, he was listed as a barber and master wigmaker. There he met and married Charlotte Gertrude Roulleau dit LaFleur at Notre-Dame de Montreal on 27 July 1722.
|Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada|
While Jean Baptiste and Charlotte remained in the area, at least four of their sons left. The oldest, Jean Baptiste Huberdeau, was the first to be employed as a voyageur for Paul and Pierre Leduc in 1743. He was sent to the Illinois country, where he eventually made Kaskaskia his home base. Other brothers followed: Pierre Amable first settled in Kaskaskia, later in Ste. Genevieve, where he lived beside his brother Simon. Charles Toussaint set down roots at Fort St. Jean Baptiste (Natchitoches). He may have initially been in the military there. Joseph Marie Simon is mentioned in Kaskaskia, Ste. Genevieve, the area of Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee Parish, and New Orleans Parish. Eventually, he made Ste. Genevieve his home, while continuing the same trade routes. Both Simon and his brother Jean Baptiste became noted merchants up and down the Mississippi River and enjoyed long stays in New Orleans.
TIMELINE OF JOSEPH MARIE SIMON HUBERDEAU
1744 Joseph Marie Simon Huberdeau dit LaFrance, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, son of Jean Baptiste Huberdeau and Charlotte Roulleau, and great grandson of Louis and Therese Dauphin Huberdeau of Paris, France.
|Kaskaskia Long Lots|
1759 16-year-old Simon in Kaskaskia, Illinois Country, along with brothers Jean Baptiste and Pierre Amable. They were listed in Montreal as voyageurs.
1760s Simon began establishing himself as a merchant in Upper and Lower Louisiana, with frequent trips to the Natchitoches area, where his brother Toussaint had settled.
1761 Brother Pierre Amable Huberdeau dit LaFrance married Marie Jeanne Barbier at Fort St. Jean Baptiste (Natchitoches) on 6th of April. Marie Jeanne’s parents were Etienne Barbier dit Marechal and Louise Marguerite D’Herbanne of the same place.
1762 Simon married Marie Louise Pelagie Gautier dit Lafleur at Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. The Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church records the marriage of Simon Huberdeau and Pelagie Gautier on 24 August 1762. Pelagie was the daughter of Rene Gautier dit Lafleur of Normandy, France, who came to Louisiana as a soldier and an interpreter for Fort St. Jean Baptiste (Natchitoches). He arrived in 1719 on the “La Marie.” Pelagie’s mother was Jeanne Marie Laurent, born in New Orleans, the daughter of Pierre Francois Laurent and Marie Elisabeth Walenne. After Rene died, Pelagie’s widowed mother Jeanne had married Charles Toussaint Huberdeau dit LaFrance, Simon’s brother.
Simon took his new bride back to Ste. Genevieve in Upper Louisiana.
1764 First child born in Ste. Genevieve, Jeanne Pelagie Huberdeau, on 1 June. Baptised 9 June 1764 at the Parish of St. Joachim. Her godparents were Toussaint Huberdeau, brother of Simon, and Jeanne Laurent, mother of Palegie and wife of Toussaint, who were noted as living at Fort Chartres (Illinois) at the time.
1765 Simon bought and sold real estate in Pointe Coupee, Louisiana. 3 arpents of land bought from Bertrand Guicanduc and sold 3 1/2 arpents to LeDoux.
1766 Birth of daughter Marie Huberdeau, 5 July, Ste. Genevieve.
1766 Joined the Ste. Genevieve militia under Captain Francois Valle and Commandant Philippe de Rochebave.
1768 Brother Pierre Amable Huberdeau dit LaFrance “died in the woods” on 4th of May, close to Ste. Genevieve.
1769 Birth of daughter Pelagie Huberdeau 1 January in Ste. Genevieve. Baptised 4 January 1769. She died 7 September 1769, also in Ste. Genevieve.
1769 Simon made a contract with Gerard Langlois for the construction of a dwelling on the Grand Champ, which specified, among other things, glazed windows.
1770 Simon and Jean Baptiste Huberdeau petitioned Captain Valle of the militia on May 13 for an inventory to be taken of Pierre Amable Huberdeau’s estate and the items be sold. Pierre’s wife was diposing of the property for herself and taking her daughter’s inheritance. She also had made plans to move back to Natchitoches with her holdings. The request was granted. Simon became the surrogate trustee of Pierre’s daughter. The inventory amounted to 5585 livres, and an auction was held. The estate was closed in June of that year.
1770 Birth of son Simon Huberdeau on 24 July in Ste. Genevieve.
1771 Much litigation by Simon in this year. Examples: Simon Huberdeau vs. Beauview, vs. LaChance, vs. Lafont, vs. Gerard Langlois, vs. John Marie Pepin.
1772 Contract of 1769 for the construction of a dwelling on the Grand Champ was cancelled by mutual consent.
1772 Sale of a house and land to Pierre Baron.
1772 Bill of Sale for land.
1778 Land Deed to Andre Deguire.
1778 Land Deed to Henri Peyroux.
1773 Wife Pelagie died on 18th February in Ste. Genevieve and was buried there.
1773 British Commander at Fort Gage (Kaskaskia) complained of Huberdeau, a merchant from Ste. Genevieve, intruding on British trade on the east side of the Mississippi River and cutting prices in trade with the Indians. Pedro Piernas, Lt. Governor of Upper Louisiana, exonerated Simon.
1775 Simon married Genevieve Panquerne on 30th April in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was born in the same city 13 September 1756. Genevieve was the daughter of Abraham (Baumgartner) Panquerne (1710-1764) and Marie Angelique “Ann” Barbier (1725 Natchez, MS-1803). Marie Angelique Barbier was the daughter of Jean Pierre (1691 Auvergne, France) and Anne Marie Duering Barbier (1699 France-1754). Jean Pierre arrived in Louisiana in 1720. I have found research that indicates Jean Pierre Barbier to be one of the founders of New Orleans. More research needed. Jean Pierre may have been killed in the Massacre of Fort Rosalie in 1729.
Abraham was a soldier in the Karrar Regiment of the Swiss Guards. The first of several groups arrived in Louisiana in 1727. They stood guard within the forts, performed other military duties, and contributed to the construction force. Some helped build New Orleans. It is unknown exactly when Abraham arrived, but he married Ann 4 May 1745 at Saint Charles Borromeo Church, Louisiana Territory. Ann was born in Natchez, Mississippi. Abraham and Ann lived in New Orleans, where Abraham was stationed, at the time their children were born.
(Note: The name Paquerne was given Abraham by the French. When researching Abraham’s lineage, though, Baumgartner should be used. For Ann’s lineage, Panquerne is mostly used. Some documents for Genevieve list her as Poncheron.)
1777 Daughter Genevieve born October 26 in Ste. Genevieve. She died 10 November 1777.
1779 Roster of “du Poste de Ste. Genevieve” dated 29 November 1779, has the name of corporal Simon Huberdeau, a native of Canada and a merchant.
1779 Simon sold his house and land in Ste. Genevieve to Nicholas Thibault.
1780 Records document volumes of shipments of various food stuffs from Ste. Genevieve to St. Louis during the early 1780s. Francois Valle, Louis Bolduc, Jean Datchurut, Simon Hubardeau, Louis Lalumandiere, and Rene Rapicault were the merchants, habitants, and voyageurs most heavily engaged in this trade. (Ekburg) Simon’s primary business was as a grain commission merchant.
1780 Daughter Euphrosine born in Ste. Genevieve 3 July.
1781 Brother Jean Baptiste Huberdeau dit LaFrance died on 24th of June in Vincennes but was living in and buried in Ste. Genevieve.
1782 Son Jean Baptiste Huberdeau born in Ste. Genevieve on 7 November.
1785 Daughter Jeanne Pelagie married Jean Trope Ricard on 13th of August in Ste. Genevieve. Ricard was a native of St. Tropez, France. They owned property between Main and Second Street.
1786 Simon jailed a few days for making an obscene gesture during the passing of the Host at Mass, ordered by Commandant Antonio de Oro, a devout Spanish Catholic.
1787 Simon’s brother Francois Louis travelled from Canada to Ste. Genevieve to obtain his share of their brother’s (Jean Baptiste Huberdeau) estate. He petitioned Henri Peyroux on the matter 4 December 1787. He was in Ste. Genevieve and godfather to his grandniece Eugenie Ricard on 30 March 1800. Simon had retained the money for Francoise earlier but Francois had given authority to Augustin Dubuc to receive the payment which Dubuc had done but failed to send the money to Francois. At one point Francois sued Simon for the money but Simon was not held accountable. In May 1789, Francois traveled to Cahokia and filed a suit against the estate of Augustin Dubuc. Francois spent time in Ste. Genevieve until he died there in 1804.
1789 Possibly the year Simon had the stone house built on the corner of present day 4th and Jefferson Streets in Ste. Genevieve. Block 20 (old map).
1789 Filed a lawsuit against Jean Baptiste Bequet over a violent argument on the “Grand Chemin.”
1790 Block 20, early plat of Ste. Genevieve, confirmed Simon Huberdeau as owner. Early 1800s plat lists son Jean Baptiste Huberdeau as the owner of the same 2 x 2 arpens of land.
1794 Simon, along with Bolduc and Pratte, was given the trade with the Mahas, an Indian Tribe, considered worth 20 thousand livres of a total of 175 thousand livres.
1795 Daughter Marie married Guillaume Antoine Francois Girouard in Ste. Genevieve. Girouard was originally from Normandy, France. He owned an inn and a tavern in Ste. Genevieve, which was the first public inn in the town. In 1800, Girouard petitioned and received permission to establish a billiard parlour. He was considered a shrewd businessman and became quite wealthy. He died in 1805.
1799 Will of Joseph Marie Simon Huberdeau drawn up and witnessed on the 5th of December, signed Simon Huberdeaux. Cover of document date is 1798. At least one historian states that this probably was an update from his will of 1789. In the 1799 will, Simon leaves his home and all buildings and property to his wife, Genevieve, for her lifetime. Upon her death, their son Jean Baptiste inherited the house and property.
1800 Reaffirmation of Simon’s 1799 Will.
1803 Simon died 17 March in Ste. Genevieve and buried the same day. Cause unknown. He was 60 years old, as recorded in the St. Joachim Catholic Church (Ste. Genevieve) records.
1804 Brother Francois Louis Huberdeau died prior to 31 May 1804 in Ste. Genevieve. His son Louis married Marie Benard dit Michon on that day in Ste. Genevieve, according to church records that also stated Francois was no longer living.
1811 On February 11, Simon’s widow Genevieve married Jean Baptiste St. Gemme-Beauvais, formerly of Kaskaskia. He was the son of “the richest man in the Illinois Country,” Jean Baptiste St. Gemme-Beauvais and Marie Louise Lacroix.
Burial Records, Catholic Church in Kaskaskia
Colonial Ste. Genevieve by Carl J. Ekberg, PHD
Contract between Simon Huberdeau and Gerard Langlois for Building House, 29 November 1769; Cancellation of Contract 4 June 1772.
Diocese fo Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records 1770-1803
The District of Ste. Genevieve 1725-1980 by Lucille Basler
Estate #124, Meziere (Pierre Amable) Huberdeau, 13 March 1770, Ste. Genevieve Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Mo.
*Fairplay, Ste. Genevieve News, 21 March 1969
First Families of Louisiana by Glenn R. Conrad
The Huberdeau Saga by John Huberdeau, 1989 Canada
Simon Huberdeau from FamilySearch.org, Conrad Pelikan
The Spanish Regime in Missouri: A Collection of Papers and Documents Relative to Upper Louisiana
Ste. Genevieve, The Story of Missouri’s Oldest Settlement by Francis J. Yealy, The Bicentinneal History Committee, Ste. Genevieve, Mo 1935
St. Joachim Church Records, Ste. Genevieve 1759-1993
Marriage Contract, Simon Huberdeau and Pelagie Gautier, 20 August 1762, Louisiana Historical Quarterly, January 1941
Quebec Genealogy Dictionary of Canadian Families, 1608-1890, The Tangay Collection
Will of Simon Huberdeau, 5 December 1799, 1800
St. Joachim Church Records, Ste. Genevieve 1759-1993
WATCH FOR UPDATES!