Saturday, October 9, 2010

Remembering Those Who Served in the American Revolutionary War at the Battle of Savannah

Be Sure To Double Click Highlighted Areas in RED for additional Information
Memorial dedicated to those
 who fought and died at the
Battle of Savannah, Ga.
October 9,1779

         The Coastal Heritage Society held its annual Battlefield March to commemorate the 1779 Battle of Savannah this weekend.

Michael Nolden Henderson
LCDR, USN Retired
Member of the
Button Gwinnett Chapter,
Sons of the American Revolution
         On October 9, 2010, many turned out to honor those who fought and died at the Battle of Savannah. I, as a descendant of American Revolutionary War Patriot, Mathieu Devaux dit Platilla, and also a retired U.S. Naval Officer, was honored when the Button Gwinnett Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution asked me to render honors by placing the wreath at a memorial, which honored those who fought and died at the Battle of Savannah, Ga October 9, 1779, 231 years ago. 

Many in period uniforms
gathered to re-enact
the march to the battlefield

       Participants gathered at 7:15 a.m. in the parking lot of the Savanna Visitor's Center, and marched behind re-enactors to Battlefield Memorial Park. The route followed that of American and French soldiers who attacked British fortifications in the battle.
 Hunter Army Airfield Garrison Commander
Lt. Col. Jose Aguilar

         A brief ceremony took place on the battlefield, and included remarks from Hunter Army Airfield Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Jose Aguilar, a 21-gun cannon salute from the 3rd Infantry Division salute battery, and the placing of wreaths at the foot of the memorial.

      Other dignitaries who also presented wreaths were:

Consulat General de France
Etienne Abobi
Deputy Consul
A delegation of 30 Mayors from Haiti
gathered for the ceremony

Various chapters of both the DAR and SAR
present wreaths

    Later that morning several members of various groups participated in another ceremony in Franklin Square to commemorate the Haitian Memorial Monument. Special guests included the former mayor of Savannah Floyd Adams, Jr., Alderman District 5 Clifton Jones, Jr., 30 mayors from Haiti, and President and CEO, Physician Access Urgent Care Group Dr. Rudolph Moise, just to name a few.

The Haitian Memorial Monument
Franklin Square
Savannah, Ga
       This monument represents the Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue, a regiment of soldiers who formed one-tenth of the allied army before Savannah in the fall of 1779. This unit was comprised of over 500 free men of color from the Island of Haiti and was the largest unit of men of African descent to fight in the American Revolution.

Resolution   by Brisé
Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue: Honors Haitian soldiers of Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue unit for their bravery & sacrifices in support of United States of America in its War of Independence.
Effective Date: Not Specified
Last Event: Adopted by Publication on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 11:49 PM

SAR Compatriot Bruce Maney
laying wreath at foot of
Haitian Memorial Monument

Rendering Honors
Compatriot Bruce Maney
Past President Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR
Compatriot Michael Nolden Henderson, LCDR USN Ret.

Mr. Baunars Charles
Mayor of Saint-Marc and several other Mayors
From Haiti gathered to honor those who served
 the Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue

Members of Button Gwinnett SAR
and their lovely ladies

As We remember, We also honor

Michael visits Colonial Park

     While in Savannah I visited the old colonial park cemetery and located the gravesite of my SAR chapter's namesake, Button Gwinnett, who was the second signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Resting place of Button Gwinnett
one of the signers of the
Declaration of Independence

Michael Nolden Henderson LCDR USN Retired
A descendant of a patriot of the
American Revolution
Mathieu DEVAUX dit Platillo
    To learn more about my American Revolutionary War Patriot Ancestor   Mathieu DEVAUX dit Platillo, Click on his name.
See More here Two years later .

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Descendants of American Revolutionary War Patriots On Display at Louisville International Airport

National Society Sons of the
American Revolution
Exhibit at the
Louisville International Airport


           A couple weeks ago I got a phone call from an Archivist at the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, headquartered in Louisville Kentucky asking me if I would be interested in participating in an exhibit which will be on display in the Louisville, International Airport, October 1 thru December 31, 2010. 
        Honored by such a request, I did decide to participate.  I later found out, it was the first time that my local Button Gwinnett SAR chapter here in Georgia had such an honor bestored on one of its members. According to the Archivist, "This will be a chance to show thousands of travelers how rewarding genealogy can be, as well as promote the National Society Sons of the American Revolution."
     As you can see in the above, my picture was placed in the upper left hand corner of the display with a brief caption about my research and connection to my patriot ancestor. 

Michael Nolden Henderson
Lieutenant Commander, USN Retired

       I realize the caption under the picture is a bit hard to read so here is what it says:

Lieutenant Commander Michael  Nolden Henderson,  Metro Atlanta, Ga.
On June 29th, Henderson, a retired U.S. Naval Officer, was inducted into the Button Gwinnett Chapter, Georgia Society of the SAR -- the first African American in Georgia to do so. Research led to his Louisiana Creole ancestry and to Mathieu Devaux dit Platilla, a French national from Marseilles, France. Devaux served as a militiaman under Spanish Governor General Bernardo Galvez. Henderson compiled birth, marriage, and death records for seven generations, as well as documents such as the December 16, 1779 manumission (freedom papers) of his fourth generation great-grandmother, and the 1810 will of his Revolutionary War patriot ancestor. The story of Henderson’s fourth generation great-grandparents and their connection to General Galvez and the American Revolution is the subject of a segment on PBS the series “History Detectives” titled “Galvez Papers,” which can be viewed online  (double click here) at

Saturday, October 2, 2010

First Creole Governor Of Louisiana Found In My Family Tree

"I collect dead relatives and sometimes a live cousins"

In my last blog post,  I mentioned several individuals who were involved in the Louisiana Rebellion of 1768, of which one,  Joseph Antoine Villere accused of Treason and put to death.  Well, as it turns out,  Villere and his wife Marguerite de La Chaise  had a son named Jacques Phillipe Villere
Jacques Phillipe Villere
(1761 - 1830)
First Creole Governor 
of Louisiana
(1816 - 1820)

He was born on the Jefferson Parish plantation of his maternal grandfather Jacques de La Chaise, April 28, 1761; son of Joseph Antoine Villeré,  captain of militia of the German Coast, and Louise Marguerite de La Chaise. Married Jeanne Henriette de Fazende, August 18, 1784, at St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans. Children: René Gabriel, Adèle, Jules, Delphin, Céleste, Félix, Anatole, and Léocadie. Trained as a page in the court of Louis XVI and at age 18 commissioned an artillery officer in Saint-Domingue. The death of his mother impelled his return to Louisiana in the 1780s, where he married and settled as a landowner. It was on his plantation below New Orleans that the British established themselves in 1814 to begin the campaign of the Battle of New Orleans, in which Villeré served with distinction as a major general of the state militia. Political career: named to staff of Pierre Clément Laussat during the transition in 1803 from French to American control; delegate to 1812 state constitutional convention; governor of Louisiana, 1816-1820; administration noted for effort to provide bankruptcy for debtors, the designation of death by dueling a capital offense; and reduction of state debt; bid for reelection as governor failed in 1824. Died, March 7, 1830; interred St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans. 

Here is an interesting family connect as a result of linking Gilbert D'arensbourg, my 3rd generation great grandfather into the D'arensbourg family tree:

Marguerite de La Chaise,  Jacques Phillipe Villere's  mother is the Granddaughter of Karl Frederick D'arensbourg,  my 6th generation great grandfather.  Marguerite de la Chaise's mother was Marguerite Marie D'ARENSBOURG is the sister of Pierre Frederick D'arensbourg Sr. father of Pierre Frederick D'Arensbourg, Jr.  father of Gilbert D'Arensbourg,my 3rd generation great grandfather.  So here is how Jacques Phillipe Villere  is related to me too.
Karl Frederick D'arensbourg
1694 - 1777

Karl Fredrick D’ARENSBOURG            

  b. 1694
  d. 18 Nov 1777

& Catherine Marguerite  METZERINE                         
  d. 13 Dec 1776
| Pierre Fredrick DARENSBOURG
|   b. 1731, German Coast, La
|   d. 3 Aug 1788, St Charles Parish  La.
| & Elizabeth DUCLOS DE SELLE
|   b. Illinois
|   d. 22 Feb 1803, St Charles Parish  La.
|   m. 22 Feb 1762,  in Fort Chartres, Illinois.
| |   b. 1766
| |   d. 15 Nov 1799, St Charles Parish  La.
| | & Felicite
| |   b. 1764
| |   Unmarried
| | | Gilbert D’ARENSBOURG*  (Michael 3rd Generation Great Grandfather)
| | |   b. 15 Oct 1799, St Charles Parish  La.
| | |   d. 2 Jan 1874, St Charles Parish, La
| | | & Celestine BUTLER
| | |   b. 1810
| | |   d. 1873, St. Charles Parish. La
| | |   m. 16 Sep 1834, St Charles Parish  La.
| | | Gilbert D’ARENSBOURG*
| | |   b. 15 Oct 1799, St Charles Parish  La.
| | |   d. 2 Jan 1874, St Charles Parish, La
| | | & Marie JOSEPH
| | | Manette DARENSBOURG
| | |   b. 1790, St Charles Parish  La.
| | | & CANNON
| | Marguerite DARENSBOURG
| | & Joseph DELHOMMER
| | Elizabeth DARENSBOURG
| | & Etienne De VAUGINE
| | & Charles PERRET
| | Contance DARENSBOURG
| Charles Fredrick DARENSBOURG
|   b. 1726, St Charles Parish, Louisiana.
|   d. abt 1819, St Charles Parish, Louisiana.
| & Francsoise De La VERGNE
|   m. 18 Jun 1766,  St. Charles Parish, Louisiana
| | Charles Frederick DARENSBOURG III
| | Louis Zenon DARENSBOURG
| | & Celeste PERRET
| |  Jean-Baptiste Gustave DARENSBOURG*
| |  Jean-Baptiste Gustave DARENSBOURG*
| | &  Mathilde PERET
| |   m. 7 Jan 1805,  St. James Parish, Louisiana
| | & Pouponne PERRET
| Marguerite Marie D'ARENSBOURG
| & Jacque De la CHAISE
| | Auguste De la CHAISE
| | Marie De la CHAISE
| | & Francois CHAUVIN DE LERY
| | Louise Mignone De la CHAISE
| | &  Joseph Roy VILLERE
| | | Jacque Phillipe VILLERE
| | |   b. 28 Apr 1761
| | |   d. 7 Mar 1830
| | Pelagie Honorine De la CHAISE
| | & Michel Edmond FORSTALL
| | Marguerite De la CHAISE
| | Charles De la CHAISE
| | Philippe De la CHAISE
| | & Catherine de MOULION
| | Charlotte De la CHAISE
| | Mlle De la CHAISE
| | & Marest De la TOUR
| & Pierre Marest De la TOUR
| & Eugene de MACARTY

Now that I know where Jacques Phillips Villere (First Creole Governor of  Louisiana) is positioned on a branch of my Family's tree,  I am wondering what level of cousin he is to me.   Another interesting family mystery with  a new twist or should I say ancestral connection.