Sunday, June 29, 2014

LaBrune Update

I had a few LaBrunes floating around in my data that I've attached to our family.

Jean-Baptiste LaBrune was the youngest of, I believe, five children born to Philip and Ann LaBrune.  About their journey from their native France I know only that one of the children was born in the mid to late 1830s in France and Jean-Baptiste was born in Ohio after the 1840 census and that by 1850 the family, minus two of the kids, was in Dubuque, Iowa, a common destination for French immigrants. (Prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, most of the land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains was French territory, though for a short time under Spanish control.  This land was largely undeveloped and unexplored, so the Mississippi River was the edge of wilderness, from the point of view of the United States.  There were many French trappers that settled in places like Dubuque along the Mississippi where they traded their pelts with the East.)  So the LaBrunes left France in the late 1830s, may have gone first to Quebec, and were making their way west to the French towns across the Mississippi.  Some of the kids with them may not have been their own (no names are given in the 1840 census) or may have married or settled somewhere along the way or may have perished.  My sense is that families that migrated west tended to settle in the east, then move on after a few years, so maybe they spent a few years farming in Ohio before deciding to move on to Dubuque.  The oldest son, George, married in Dubuque in 1846.  Perhaps he had gone ahead and persuaded his parents to bring the family.  There is very little information about their travel.  In any case, by 1850 they were in the Dubuque area where they remained for many years. Ann died in 1868 and is buried in St. Joseph's Catholic cemetery.  See my earlier post about Philip, but he disappeared.  It's possible he moved to Ohio and remarried after Ann's death.

Their oldest known child, George, married Domathilde Breault in Dubuque in 1846.  She was born in Montréal in 1826 and I assume she had a heavy French accent since most records name her Mathilda or Martha or Mary. They raised nine children in the Rickardsville area: Mary (m. Peter Limoges), Celina (m. Casper Luchsinger), Josephine (m. John Liebold), Caroline (m. Amab Cousley), George Nicolas (m. Adeline Crevier), John B (did not marry), Joseph (m. Josephine Limoges, younger sister to Peter), Edmire (aka Adeline m. Martin Cunningham), and Mathilda (m. John Schwind). Some of the kids moved west to the Sioux City area and to the nearby Dakota Territory (Mary Limoges, Celina Luchsinger, George N. LaBrune, and Joseph LaBrune). Early in their marriage, George and Martha operated a tavern on the stagecoach road through Rickardsville, but every census record lists George as a farmer. He passed away in 1873. When their daughter, Mathilda, married in 1886, Martha went to live with her in Dubuque, Martha passed away there in 1914 and was buried next to George at St. Joseph's Catholic cemetery in Rickardsville.

Three of the five children in Philip and Ann's family in Ohio disappeared: a son born in the late 1820s in France, Nicholas born in about 1831 in France, and a daughter born in the late 1830s in France.  I'm still looking for traces of them.

Jean-Baptiste, the youngest of the family and the only one born in the United States, married Catherine Dooley, an Irish-born neighbor in Jefferson township. Jean-Baptiste did well as a farmer there. They raised six children: John P (m. Elizabeth Rooney), Anastasia (m. James Hogan), Mary (died at the age of 19), Daniel, and Lydia (m. Frank Schirmer).  Three other children died as infants: William (1 month), Thomas (2 years), and Josephine (3 years).  We think that Lydia was born Lydia Maxwell, was a neighbor of the LaBrunes, and was adopted by them  after her parents passed away.  Anastasia married James Hogan in St. Louis, where they raised their family.  Catherine Dooley LaBrune's (Anastasia's mother) brother, William, was a successful grocer in St. Louis and was related to the Hogans.  Anastasia and James undoubtedly met at uncle William's house. John, Daniel and Lydia stayed in the Dubuque area.

1 comment:

  1. I've recently come to believe that the connection between Lydia LaBrune and the Maxwell's is false. The 1925 Iowa census says her name was Catherine Dewilt. I have been unable to find a Dewilt family in the area ca. 1890 and wonder if this was an erroneous spelling of Catherine Dooley. When time allows, I will correct my LaBrune genealogy page to reflect this information.