Thursday, August 28, 2014

52 Ancestors – #33 Eglantine Lautin (1821-1889)

I have talked about my 5th great grandmother, Eglantine Lautin, before in previous posts. Many actually when I think about it, since it's only been a little close to two years since I found out about her. In one post titled "Tracing Eglantine Lautin" I discuss the possibility of discovering her ethnic origin through the mtDNA of female descendant. But I wanted to dedicate a post to Eglantine in the 52 Ancestors Challenge since she is a very interesting ancestress.

According to documents, Eglantine would have been born around 1821, which could be either correct or incorrect. Most of the French documents I have seen have been spot on for year estimations of births but seeing as how Eglantine was a slave, I don't know how reliable this given year is. Especially when you consider that she could have been (and probably was) taken from her family and traded amongst people who didn't speak her language. There is also the other option that she could have been very aware of her age and able to communicate it to someone along the way to or in Martinique. So many possibilities and so much to contemplate!

There is a very interesting website called "Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade" and I highly recommend it to anyone with slave ancestors or is interesting in the stats and information on the slave trade. There is a voyage database in which you can search by year and other variables such as: ship, voyage outcome, voyage dates, and slaves (numbers) to name a few. I decided to check for ships coming to Martinique between the years 1820-1844, I marked the last year as 1844 because my 4th great grandmother Julienne Malvina Lautin was born that year in Martinique meaning Eglantine had already been brought over. I image that Eglantine would have come probably in the 1830s as a young girl aged about 10, which according to one of the books I read states the children around that age were commonly brought over during the slave trade.

I then marked the principal landing place as "Martinique", there is always the possibility that Eglantine could have been sold from another island into Martinique but let's theorize that she was brought straight from Africa to Martinique. I then categorized the results by year to see which could be potential ships. The first trips between 1820-1826 I figure that Eglantine would have been too young and too small to be brought over. Slavery, however, knows no age and so who really knows if she could have been aboard one of those ships. But there were two ships in 1830 and 1831 that I feel could be more probable.

Voyages to Martinique [SlaveVoyages]

Both of the last voyages to Martinique appear to be completed by François Julien Santuary/Sentuary. The first voyage in 1830 was on a vessel named Auguste (a) Deux Frères while the second was on the vessel Bonne Aline. Again, not sure if Eglantine would have been on board one of these ships, but it's definitely interesting to think about and contemplate the possibility. Both of the ships picked up slaves in the area known as Bonny or the Bight of Biafra and the gulf of Guinea islands. This however doesn't indicate ethnic origin since there were slaves that were brought from inland countries and marched out to the western coast onto the ships.

The life Eglantine had on Martinique we know from records. We know that she had her first daughter Julienne in 1844 and later four more children: Pauline (1846), Jean (1851), and Marie (1855), and Rose (1858). Out of all the children, only one was recognized by their biological father and that was Marie Lautin, later known as Marie Boudré, her father being Adrien Boudré - another African slave. Eglantine was a slave to the Lapierre and Laroche family and later freed in 1848 with her two daughters Julienne and Pauline when they received the surname "Lautin" (I also imagine that Eglantine was not her origin name). Thanks to Julienne's birth record we know that Eglantine had previously been registered in a book of slaves under the number 192 in Register "C". Unfortunately, it seems that these books no longer exist or are nowhere to be found. If only these registers were available!! I imagine it would contain some sort of information in regards to Eglantine's origin, sale, and any other previous owners and/or characteristics to identify her. Hopefully one day these records can be recuperated if they are still around somewhere… one can only hope!

There is also the possibility to find out more information on Eglantine in a family will from the Lapierre family. When Jean Jacques Catherine Lapierre died on 17 September 1845 in Rivière Salée, Martinique he possibly left Eglantine and her Julienne to either his wife Anne Alexandrine Forget or his daughter Rose Hélène Lapierre. In 1844, Madame Lapierre née Forget registers Julienne Malvina's birth but in October 1846 (a little over a year after Jean Jacques' death, Dame Laroche née Lapierre registers Pauline's birth. Possibly Jean Jacques left in his will the slaves who two years later would become the "Lautin" family to Rose Hélène and her husband Jean Françoise Garnier-Laroche. I'm not sure however who the family would have gone to notary wise. Jean Jacques Catherine Lapierre was born in Le Marin, married in Saint Esprit and passed away in Rivière Salée – all different towns in Martinique. Did he previously have a notary in Le Marin that handled his family's estate and slave transactions or did he find someone new in Rivière Salée before he passed away?  There are records in the south of France available for notaries in Martinique but I have no idea where to begin searching there.

Eglantine would pass away in Petit Paradis, a section of Saint Esprit on the 2nd of September 1889, after her daughter Julienne headed for and started her life in Puerto Rico. It doesn't mention what she died of but according to what we have she would have been around 68; she would have seen her native Africa, life pre- and post- slavery in Martinique, and her daughter head out to a new land. Hopefully one day I'll get to meet descendants of the other Lautin children who stayed and lived in Martinique. Maybe some of them immigrated as well to other countries like Julienne. It would be interesting to see if we are truly genetically related, potentially what Eglantine's maternal haplogroup was, and share stories about our ancestors. 

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