|Augustine Melanie Laperle Degruy Fortier|
Laperle Degruy Fortier is my 3x-great-grandmother. She was the mother of eleven children, the grandmother of twenty-three, with dozens of great-grandchildren, like myself, that were descended from her. This is her story.
Augustine Melanie Laperle Degruy was born on January 17, 1822, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her parents were Jean Baptiste Valentin DuFouchard Degruy (1751-1838) and Melanie Gaudin (1786-1853), both natives of New Orleans. Laperle, as she was called, was the third of six (or seven) children. She was baptized at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans at the age of 2; her older sister Felicite (1818-1832), just six years old, was her sister's godmother.
On Saturday, May 9, 1840, Laperle, age 18, married 27-year-old Jacques Omer Fortier (1813-1867) in New Orleans. Omer's father Jacques Omer Fortier (1792-1823), called Jacques, had died when Omer was just 10 years old, leaving his widow and three young children. Omer's mother Charlotte Adele Chauvin deLery (1796-1834) died just over 10 years later.
Omer's grandfather had once owned a sugar plantation in Jefferson Parish, along the Mississippi River, just outside New Orleans, as had his great-grandfather. When this grandfather, Jacques Omer Fortier (1759-1820), died his widow Aimee Marie Victoire Felicite Durel (1768-1843) became the owner of Pasture Plantation. The plantation was eventually sold to Minor Kenner and burned to the ground in 1870.
Omer was a clerk in New Orleans and the family lived at 256 Bourbon Street (now 1120 Bourbon Street). Laperle and Omer's first child was born just thirteen months after their wedding - the first of eleven:
- Adele Augustine Philomene Fortier - born June 1841; she died August 17, 1841, at the age of two months.
- Ida Fortier - born September 13, 1842; she died January 29, 1848, at the age of 5 years old.
- Alice Fortier - born April 6, 1844; she died just before her big sister Ida, on January 26, 1848, at just 3 years old.
- Odalie Fortier - born August 31, 1846; she died at the age of 2 years on January 2, 1849.
- Adele Augustine Philomene Fortier - born January 2, 1849; she died at age 37 on February 16, 1886, leaving a husband and two young daughters.
- Omer Auguste Fortier - born June 30, 1855; he died at age 41 on April 13, 1897, leaving a widow and four children.
- Felicite Odalie Fortier - born August 31, 1857; she died November 14, 1920, at the age of 63. Odalie is my great-great-grandmother. She had been widowed, and was survived by four adult children.
- Gaston James Fortier - born September 1860; he died on June 3, 1917, at the age of 56. He was survived by his widow and four adult children.
- Lucian M. Fortier - born September 1861; he died at the age of 23 on October 21, 1884.
- Luciana Fortier - born September 1861, Lucian's twin; she died on July 19, 1942, at the age of 81, leaving three adult children.
- Jeanette Fortier - born May 1868; she died July 7, 1941, at the age of seventy-three, survived by one adult son.
When her husband died on December 19, 1867, after 27 years of marriage, Laperle was four months pregnant. She had at home six children, soon to be seven, ages 6 to 17. How she managed to raise seven children at a time when women generally didn't work outside the home, and if they did their pay would be very low. There was no day care, no government assistance. Both of her in-laws were dead, as were both of her own parents. How she managed is unknown.
|Omer Fortier Family Tomb|
St. Louis Cemetery #1
New Orleans, Louisiana
[Translation of Obituary - "Died, yesterday morning, at 2 o'clock, at the age of 51 years, Mrs. Widow OMER FORTIER, born Laperle Degruy. Her friends and those of her brother, A. O. Degruy, and Fortier families, are respectfully requested to attend without further invitation, her funeral which will begin this morning at 10 am sharp. Her body is (? perhaps available for viewing) at Amour and Union Streets." From page 1, column 6]
|Notice of Death - Laperle Dugruy Fortier|
New Orleans Bee, November 2, 1872