HOW IT ALL BEGINS

Jean Louis ìColinî Fontenot (1686-1755) was born in France and came to America as a Sargent in the French Colonial Marines, assigned to Fort Toulouse, near Montgomery, Alabama. There, he met and married Marie Louise Henry (1700-1767) in 1726. They had a large family at Fort Toulouse and apparently all their sons became soldiers and all their daughters married soldiers.

One daughter, Marie Therese Fontenot, born 1746, met a soldier, Jean Baptiste Laubel, (born 1740 in Alabama) and were married at Fort Toulouse in 1760. Her father had died earlier in 1755. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French & Indian war. The land called West Florida, which included southern Alabama, was ceded by France to England.

The French soldiers abandoned their forts before the British arrived, and most went to New Orleans. The French government was promising land to French citizens that relocated. In 1764, they were also handling the Acadian exiles who were also arriving. The government saw the need for farming communities along the river to supply food for the growing population of New Orleans. Spain had actually received ownership of Louisiana from France in 1762, but did not take over control until 1766.

Jean Baptiste and his young wife at this time (probably) received a grant for a 6 arpent by 40 arpent plot in St. John the Baptist parish. Not much is known about this time. They did build a small house and did some farming (probably rice). They did have two sons, Jean-Baptiste in 1773 and Louis in 1774. Also, in 1774, there was tragedy as Jean-Baptiste died on July 4. Marie Therese maintained ownership until her death on Nov. 26, 1806.

The 6 arpent lot was divided in half into two 3 arpent lots, each for the two sons. Jean-Baptiste,(junior) had married Catherine Conrad in 1802. She was the daughter of Andre Conrad, their next door neighbor. Louis had married Leonide Vicknair in 1800.

In 1810 Louis sold his 3 arpent lot to Christome Borne. Jean-Baptiste, Jr. sold his lot, on the downriver side to Antoine Borne, Christome’s brother. These two lots were upriver from the property of Jean Borne, another brother, who had purchased his property about 20 years earlier.

The Laubels (now being spelled Lobell) then moved to St. James parish, then to Ascension parish. The last record of Louis is of him living in Livingston in 1840. Jean-Baptiste was living in French Settlement in 1820. His son Adam served as sheriff of Ascension parish in 1859-1865. Adam’s home is still standing.

Christome Borne was born in 1781 in Edgard. His parents were Jacques Antoine Borne and Anne Marie Haydel. In 1805 he had married Marie Cambre from Lions. Then in 1810, he purchased Louis Lobell’s property. They had five children at that time. Christome enlisted in the military in LaBranche’s 5th Regiment during the War of 1812 (1812-1815). However, from 1811 to 1818, they added another six children. He apparently did not see much fighting.

In 1815 after only five years on the property, Borne sold it to Jean-Baptiste Fleming and Jeanette Teiner, both free persons of color. The Bornes then moved to Plaquemine, in Iberville parish according to the 1820 census. Christome died in 1823 at the age of 42. He was buried in Edgard. Marie died in 1853 and was also buried in Edgard.