The John Garrigus Project

I am a U.S. historian of Haiti, writing for some advice about the computerization of elements of the Etat-Civil. I did my doctoral dissertation (Johns Hopkins, 1988) by reading over 10,000 notarial documents from the quartiers of Les Cayes, Saint-Louis [du Sud], and Nippes. I did this all on paper, but transferred the basic economic information into SPSS for analysis. I'm now considering transferring the data (and adding names from my paper notes) to a database program -- one that would eventually go up on the web for geneaologists and other researchers to use.  I'm also considering beginning a project using the Mormon microfilms for these same parishes. Specifically I want to engage a student to begin computerizing the Etat Civil from key parishes in the southern peninsula -- with the idea of linking the names to my notarial database.

By the way, my scholarly interest is in the free families of color in the southern peninsula -- I'm using these notarial documents to analyze the growing wealth of this class on the eve of the Haitian Revolution. You can see some of my publications on my web site.

Analysis of 1780s Notarial registers

Reconstructed from R. Richard, "Les minutes des notaires de Saint-Domingue aux archives du ministère de la France d'outre-mer," Revue d'histoire des colonies (1951). Chart by A.-Y. Bolloc'h and M.-A. Ménier, pp. 340-358.

I analyzed 849 notarial deeds from Cayes in the period 1780-1789. These were from two notaries, whose registers were not known to be missing. 684 of deeds were from the Notary Scovaud, his entire production from this decade, stretching from 1780 to 1785, registers 1587 to 1594 inclusive. I also analyzed the 1780s registers of the Cayes notary Carré, from 1780 to 1789, the 165 deeds which make up registers 334 to 339.

Note that the number of years do not always indicate the number of deeds. A notary with a register from 1780-89 might have only 50 odd deeds.

Cayes notaries from the 1780s that I did not use are:

Domergue, active from 1779 to 1792. His registers are missing for the years 1780-81, 1784-85 and 1788.
Ducasse, 1784-86
Duplanté, 1784-1793
Fontfrède, 1777-1780
Gensack, 1777-1790, whose registers are missing for 1782-83 and 1786-1789
Guillon, 1772-1786
Guy de Monfroy, 1782-1784
Jacquesson, 1785
Labarrière, 1780-1784
Legout, 1756, 1766-85; missing 1782
Martigniat, 1773-1783
Meunier, 1774-1790, missing 1787-1789
Moreau, 1774-1789, missing 1782-1784 and 1786

I also did not use notariial registers from Torbec, Cab Tiburon, and Cotteaux in the 1780s; these areas were part of the Cayes district and their residents often used Cayes notaries, though in the 1770s and 1780s, more notaries emerged in these parishes. Notaries from the 1780s in these parishes I did not use were:

Guillon, 1787-1788 [Torbec]
Bellanger, 1781-1788 [Cap Tiburon]
Guy de Monfroy, 1780-1782 [Cap Tiburon]
Guy Houdayer, 1776-1780 [Cap Tiburon]
Descures de l'Esparré, 1758-1786 [Cotteaux]
Mathelat de Moncour, 1778-1790, mising 1789 [Cotteaux]
Meunier, 177-1790, missing 1787-1789 [Cotteaux]

From Nippes I analyzed 475 deeds from the notary Gaudin, from 1782 to 1789, the contents of his registers 739 to 746.

From the Nippes district [Petit Trou and Anse à Veau] I did not use:
Demauroy, 1789-1791
D'Hoée d'Allerie, 1784-Year V
Dupuis de Lavau, 1763-83
Leroy de Kermelers, 1783-1790
Senenbier, 1760-1791

From the St Louis district I focused on Aquin. I analyzed 1,330 deeds from the 1780s which were the contents of the following registers
Barnabé de Veyrier, 1787-1789, registers 54-55, 62 deeds
Belin du Resssort, 1767-1790, register 108, 35 deeds
Bierre, 1780-1786, register 132-133, 136 deeds
Cartier, 1786-93, register 341-342, 41 deeds
Monneront, 1779-1793, registers 1403-1416, 883 deeds
Paillou, 1778-1785, registers 1451-1452, 173 deeds

I did not use notaries from the St Louis parish, Cavaillon or Fonds des Negres. This meant I did not use, from Saint-Louis

Cheret de Mongrain, 1777-1785
Constans, 1776-1780
Constans fils, 1784-1790
Duplanté, 1781-1783
Legendre, 1778-1793, missing 1789
Pineau, 1784-l'An X

From Cavillon:

Rambaut, 1781-1789

From Fonds des Nègres:

Colombel, 1777-1791

Percent of the free population of color mentioned in notarial contracts for the 1780s

Cayes Nippes St Louis Total
Family Names identified as "free colored" in 1780s notarial data 281 163 66 510
Free colored adults in 1788 census 489 289 266 1044
Percentages 57% 56% 25% 49%

John D. Garrigus
Professor of History
Jacksonville University
Jacksonville, FL
32211-3394 USA
Office: (904) 745-7211
Fax:  (904) 745-7154

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