Louis Jacques Barbin

I'd like to nominate Louis Jacques (James) Barbin as Avoyellean of the Year for 1826. He served as Parish Judge from 1826 to 1831, and was the progenitor of the Barbin family of Avoyelles Parish.

Louis Jacques Barbin was born about 1784 at New Orleans. Although his baptismal record has not been found, it is assumed that he was baptized at St. Louis Cathedral. His parents were Prosper Casimir Barbin (1756-1816) and Helene Modeste Guinault (1755-1828), and Louis was the grandson of Nicolas Godefroy Barbin (1700-1758) of Montereau-Fault-Yonne, France, who came to Louisiana with the French Navy and held a commission from the King to serve as gardemagazin at The Balize, the fort at the mouth of the Mississippi.

Prosper Casimir Barbin, who served for twenty-seven years in the Spanish military, was given a land grant downriver from New Orleans, and he appended the name of that plantation, Bellevue, to the end of his own patronymic as a seigneurial title, and became Prosper Casimir Barbin de Bellevue. Louis Jacques Barbin, Prosper's oldest son, dropped this assumed title, while the younger son, Francois Godefroy Barbin de Bellevue, made the title his surname.

At some point in his adult life, Louis J. Barbin also decided to use the name James in place of his middle name, Jacques. It can be assumed that this change, like dropping the seigneurial title of de Bellevue, was a politically expedient change, which conformed to the attitudes of English-speaking Americans who were moving into Louisiana in increasing numbers during the early 19th century.

In 1806, at the age of 22, Louis Jacques Barbin was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment Louisiana Militia at New Orleans. By 1812, he was serving as a captain in the Legion of Francs, U.S. Volunteers (General Humbert's Voluntary Corps), and later served as recruiting officer for the City of New Orleans at the time of the Battle of New Orleans in 1814-15.

On 20 April 1812, Louis Jacques Barbin married Francoise Irene Broutin (1793-1861), daughter of the Royal Notary at New Orleans, Narcisse Broutin (1759-1818), and Francoise Rochon of the prominent Rochon family of Mobile. Francoise Irene Broutin's grandfather, Francois Ignace Broutin (1728-1804), was the Cassier des Tresor Royal at New Orleans during the French Regime.

Trained as an attorney, Louis Jacques Barbin was elected the official interpreter of the Louisiana Senate in 1824. In 1826, he was appointed Parish Judge at Avoyelles Parish, and moved his family there. He served in that office until his death on 4 April 1831. He is buried at St. Paul's Catholic Cemetery at Mansura.

Louis Jacques Barbin and his wife, Francoise Irene Broutin, were the progenitors of the Barbin family of Avoyelles Parish. We know of ten children of their marriage: Elmire Barbin (1813-1901), James Harper Barbin (1816-1868), Francois de Bellevue Barbin (1818-1880), Marie Angele Barbin (1819-1861), Broutin Barbin (1820- ), Pierre Aristides Barbin (1823-1902), Ursule Hermantine Barbin 1825-1892), Marcellin Ludger Barbin (1826-1807), Octavie Eugenie Barbin (1828-1901), and Anatole Louis Barbin (1830-1917).

Respectfully submitted,
Pierre Goudeau "Pete" Normand, Jr.

Louis Barbin position as judge of Avoyelles was filled by his brother Francois Barbin DeBellevue, hero of the Battle of New Orleans. DeBellevue led the marines under Andrew Jackson.