Ages ago, we wrote here about passports and mentioned that one of the places to find them is in the police files of the Departmental Archives. Those police files, in Series M, also can contain little documentary oddments that may -- in the way that police records tend to do -- have all sorts of information that is useless but personal and therefore entertaining to the gossipy genealogist (and who among us is not such at times?)
In hunting the origins of French emigrants to other lands, we include in our Research To Do List a search of the police files from possible ports of departure. Passenger lists are held by the ports and are sometimes incomplete, as well as often difficult to access and search. They are a vulnerable class of records and many have been damaged, lost or destroyed. Occasionally, they turn up in the police files. When both the departure and arrival lists for a voyage are available, they make for not only confirmation of the people on the voyage but entertaining reading.
On Ancestry.com, in the collection entitled "Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945", there is a copy of the manifest of the Lovely Matilda, which arrived in Philadelphia on the ninth of March, 1810, from La Rochelle, a port town in the department of Charente-Maritime. In the police records of the Departmental Archives of Charente-Maritime is a report dated the fifth of January, 1810, listing the passengers on the American ship, the Lovely Matilda, which sailed from La Rochelle, bound for Philadelphia.
A comparison of the details about each passenger is enlightening as to cultural differences: the French seem to be more interested in the identification and documentation of each person, while the Philadelphians appear to care more about their property. Taking the two sets of details together can provide a delightful picture of a brief moment of each passenger's life, and some mysteries.
- Joseph Gaillard was aged thirty-six, a merchant originally from Bordeaux. His passport had been issued by a French Consul General in the United States on the 17th of August, 1809. On arrival, he had three trunks of clothes and a mattress and bedding.
- Noé Dufour was aged twenty-one, a merchant from Agen in the department of Lot-et-Garonne, where the préfet had given him his passport on the twentieth of October. He carried with him two trunks of clothing, a mattress and bedding.
- Pierre Servan was aged thirty-three, a merchant, native of Jonzac in the department of Charente-Maritime. His passport had been issued on the thirteenth of October by the préfet of Nantes. Pierre, either a clothing merchant or a dandy, had five trunks plus a bag of clothes, a bed, two mattresses, bedding and a hat.
- Joseph Foineret or Forneret was a watchmaker, aged twenty-three, born in Louisiana. His passport was dated the ninth of October and was issued by the commercial agent of the United States in Bordeaux. A man with different priorities, Joseph arrived with one trunk of clothes, one mattress, and two cases of wine.
- Jean-Baptiste Isabelle was a maker of braces, forty years old and from Paris. His passport was issued the sixth of November. He changed his mind, got off the Lovely Matilda, and returned to Paris.
- Laurent-Nicolas Coupry also changed his mind, but not before he had given his details: he was thirty-two years old, a merchant, from St. André de Chauffour in the department of Orne and had a passport from the préfet of Orne dated the twenty-fourth of October.
- Pierre-François Oudin, yet another merchant, thirty-two years old, was born in Sedan in northern France. His passport was issued on the seventeenth of November. He arrived with two trunks of clothes and boots, a mattress, and twelve bottles of wine.
- Augustin Auriol was a Philadelphia man, thirty-two years old, his passport had been issued on the twenty-first of October by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris. He arrived with three trunks of clothing, nine boxes of sundries, a mattress and bedding.
- Jean-Louis Sauvaire was a twenty-two year old baker, registered to serve in the army in 1807 but exempted. His passport was issued in Marseilles. He arrived with one trunk of clothes, a mattress and a keg of wine. He was travelling with his brother:
- Hippolyte Sauvère or Sauvaire, also a baker, aged twenty-six. He registered to serve in the army in Year twelve of the Republican calendar (abt. 1804) but was not called up. He also had a passport issued in Marseilles. On arrival in Philadelphia, he was listed as his brother's son, with no belongings of his own.
- Jean-François Lelarge, a cannoneer of forty-one years, from Reims, with a passport issued on the sixth of November, was travelling with his unnamed, nine-year-old daughter. They do not appear on the arrival manifest.
- Jean-Baptiste Porée, an American, was fifty-four years old and an ex-chancellor. His passport was issued by the Ministry for External Relations in Paris on the twenty-first of October. He arrived with three trunks of clothing, two boxes of sundries, two boxes of sea stores, one portmanteau, a bed and bedding.
- Louise Lamielle or Lanielle was a lady's maid of twenty-two from Rebay near Paris. Her passport was dated the twenty-fifth of October. She arrived with one trunk of clothes and a bed and bedding.
- Louis Dangaud was a landowner in the colonies. He was a native of Bordeaux and lived in Pointe-à-Pitre on Guadaloupe, where his passport had been issued in 1809. He was thirty-four years old. He arrived with one trunk of clothes, also one box of clothes, one mattress, a bed and bedding.
- Esmond Guillard, aged forty-two, also lived in the colonies, but was from Fontaine, in the department of Rhône, with a passport issued in Bordeaux on the eleventh of November. He arrived in Philadelphia with a wife and son, along with five trunks of clothes, one box of china, ninety-five bottles of wine and a basket of empty bottles, two mattresses, bed and bedding. Esmond would appear to have drunk his way across the Atlantic or perhaps he was a thrifty man who hoarded the bottles of others who drank? Or perhaps an early ecologist who refused to throw his empties into the sea?
- Reine Travers is listed in France in her own right as Mr. Guillard's twenty-eight-year-old wife. A native of Lyon, with funds of her own, her passport was issued in Bordeaux on the same day as her husband's. There is no mention of their child.
- François Penot was a cordwainer, aged forty-four, from Angoulême, with a Bordeaux passport dated the ninth of November. He was travelling with his nine-year-old son.
- Louise Congé, married to a Mr. Desplat, aged twenty-two. She, too, was from Angoulême. She was self-supporting and had a passport from the préfet of Gironde, issued on the fourteenth of November. On arrival, Louise, named as "Mrs. Delpla", François Penot and his son were all grouped together, with the following belongings: one trunk of clothes, two mattresses and bedding, a flask and a barrel of wine, one box with fifty more bottles of wine, six bottles of sweet wine and eighteen more in their baggage. Quite a new life was planned!
- Henriette Curtius, just twenty years old had a passport from her native Bordeaux, issued on the twenty-sixth of November. She does not appear on the arrival manifest, though she may be the unnamed "lady" travelling with Jean-Charles Bori, below.
- Jean-Charles Borie or Bori was a man who made liqueurs, a liqueuriste, thirty years old, from Oldenburg in Germany. His passport was issued in Bordeaux on the twenty-first of November. He and young Henriette, if it were she, arrived with a trunk of clothes, beds and bedding, a box of provisions and a box with fifty bottles of wine in it.
- The Widow Maupillier was born in La Rochelle and lived in Bordeaux, where her passport was issued on the ninth of December. She was a woman of thirty-eight years. She arrived with one trunk, one mattress, a bed and bedding.
- François Baulos, a merchant from Bordeaux, was thirty-seven and had a passport from Gironde issued on the 28th of April. He arrived with the usual single trunk and bedding and two boxes of wine.
- William Kiddy was a fifteen-year-old sailor from New York, on his way home with a passport issued on the thirteenth of November by the U.S. commercial agent in Bordeaux. He carried one trunk of clothes, a mattress and bedding.
- James Roche Ycard or Icard and his brother, Dracy (Darcy?), the one aged twenty-six and the other just sixteen, were Americans. James's passport was issued by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris on the twenty-seventh of July; Dracy's was from the Secretary of State of the United States. Together, they arrived with three trunks of clothes, two beds and bedding.
- Isaac Butaud, an engraver from La Rochelle, aged thirty-one, had a passport issued at Saintes. He arrived with two trunks of clothes, two mattresses and bedding.
- François Movoisin or Mauvoisin, supercargo, aged twenty-five, from St. Pierre on Martinique, carried a passport from the Town Hall of Le Havre issued on the fourth of March. He arrived with two trunks of clothes, his bed and bedding.
- Louis François Delorme was a fifteen-year-old American whose passport, dated the tenth of November, had been issued by the commercial agent of the United States in Bordeaux. He arrived with three trunks of clothes, a bed and bedding. Do you suppose he made friends with the other young American men, William Kiddy, the sailor, and Dracy Icard?
- Ilher or Hiler St. Hilaire, a Creole, aged twenty-two, also from St. Pierre on Martinique, had a passport dated the twenty-sixth of November. He arrived with one trunk of clothes, his bed and bedding. He may have been travelling with François Mauvoisin.
- Catherine Gizard, who was divorced from a Dufourg, aged thirty-six and from Bordeaux, had a passport dated the twenty-first of November. She arrived as Mrs. Dufourg, with two trunks of clothes, her bed and bedding.
- Jean Saineric, aged sixteen, was from Lesparre in Gironde and had got his passport in Bordeaux on the eighth of November. He arrived with one trunk, one mattress and his bedding.
- Menié Barot was eighteen, a student at the Lycée Impériale. He was from Guadeloupe and had got his passport in Paris. He arrived with two trunks of clothes, his bed and bedding.
- John Joseph Boyreau was twelve years old and from Bordeaux, where his passport was issued on the twenty-fifth of October. He arrived with one trunk of clothes and two mattresses. He would appear to have been travelling with a relative:
- Marie-Madeleine Boyreau, aged seventeen, also from Bordeaux and having got her passport in the same place on the same day as the above. She arrived with one trunk of clothes and a mattress.
- Elizabeth Soullier, aged twenty-six, was from Auch in Gers. Her passport was issued on the twentieth of October. She arrived with a trunk and a box of wearing apparel, her bed and her bedding.
- François-Etienne Magagnose or Magagnos was a native of Portsmouth in the United States. He was a student at the Ecole de Sorèze, where his passport was given on the thirtieth of December. He arrived with just a portmanteau and a mattress.
- Louis O'Sullivan was from New York, aged twenty-six, and had a passport from Paris dated the eleventh of November. He does not appear on the arrival list.
There are three people who are on the French departure list but who are not on the Philadelphia arrival manifest: Louis O'Sullivan, Jean-François Lelarge and his daughter, aged nine. There are three people on the arrival manifest who do not appear on the departure list: a Mr. D'ublin, a son of the Guillard couple, and a James Matafort, with what seems to be a bundle of sewing thread and mittens as his baggage. If we knew the questions, these might be the answers.
©2014 Anne Morddel