Saturday, September 3, 2011

La Pointe de Repos — Early Acadian Settlement Site along the Teche

For my own understanding as much as anything else, I post the following information regarding the location of La Pointe de Repos.  Situated along Bayou Teche, this place served as an early settlement site for Acadian exiles who arrived in the Spanish colony of Louisiana in 1765.

First, I display a ca. 1771 hand-drawn map by Attakapas District surveyor François Gonsoulin showing La Pointe de Repos (literally The Point of Rest) and the names of exiles who settled there.

La Pointe de Repos, from a ca. 1771 map by
surveyor François Gonsoulin. (Source: Library of Congress)
Note the map reads "Riviere Thex" (now called Bayou Teche) and "Quartier de La Pointe du Repos" (Area of La Pointe du Repos). Gonsoulin, however, did not place this stretch of the Teche in context — in other words, for all we know it could lie anywhere along the one-hundred-thirty-mile bayou.

The names of the settlers shown on Gonsoulin's map are (from left to right) Aman Thibodeau, Paul Thibodeau, François Guilbeau, Michel Bernard, Simon LeBlanc, Charles Guilbeau, Mary Guilbeau veuve (widow) Babineau, Sylvain Broussard, and the Widow Ducrest (née Wils [Wiltz]).

I now post a detail from Gertrude Taylor's 1979 reconstruction titled "Land Grants along the Teche" (issued by the Attakapas Historical Association in cooperation with the Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette).

Detail of Gertrude Taylor's "Land Grants along the Teche"
(Lafayette, La.: Attakapas Historical Association/
Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1979).

Importantly, Taylor did not use Gonsoulin’s map as a source when compiling her reconstructed map, but relied on other documents.

Note that Taylor's reconstruction shows the same setters (with one exception) that appear on Gonsoulin’s map and that she places them near a bend in Bayou Teche just above present-day Parks, Louisiana. The settlers are, from north to south, Aman Thibodeau, Paul Thibodeaux, François Guilbeau, Michael (Michel) Bernard, Simon Leblanc, Francois Guilbeau, Charles Babineau, and Armand Ducrest.  Only Sylvain Broussard is missing. 

Regardless, the evidence (that is, the corresponding names and matching contours on both maps) is sufficient to show that La Pointe de Repos sat on the Teche just above Parks.

In actuality, my research digs up nothing new. As Carl Brasseaux wrote in Founding of New Acadia (1987), "Ascending the Teche to the large westward bend above present-day Parks, these . . . [Acadian exiles] founded a settlement they christened La Pointe de Repos."

It's helpful for me, however, to see Brasseaux’s findings reflected in these two maps created about two-hundred years apart.


  1. Lake Martin, in 1930 map labeled as Lake LaPointe, just to the east of the Teche at Parks,

  2. My ancestor is listed on one of the land patent. Do you know where I could get a copy of the patent dated May 18, 1771. I also wanted to know if you had a higher res jpg from this blog. Thanks

  3. E-mail me per the contact link in the right margin. I might be able to help.


  4. See La Pointe de Bon Repos, La Pointe de Repos, Le Pointe au Repos, Quartier de La Pointe du Repos, l'ance du Bon repos, L'ance (anse) a (au) Michaud, La Prairie a Michaud and Prairie Michaud on my old-new page at

    for a genealogical report of the relationships among the settlers and an explanation for why Sylvain Brouusard wasn't listed.

  5. Thanks, Stanley -- I'll definitely check it out on your excellent page.

  6. Taylor's Map, LaPoint de Repos in Google Maps,,-91.846561&spn=0.073125,0.1054&sll=30.140748,-91.520319&sspn=0.036593,0.0527&t=h&z=13

    1. Thanks for putting this link: Taylor's map matches up nicely with the satellite photo of the region.

  7. Sorry, I'm late to your blog. See my comment on the Red Ford Galaxie at the Escondido Bowl. Anyway, thank you so much for posting this about La Pointe de Repos and Anonymous for the google map overlay. One of my ancestors (Joseph Hebert) is listed on the Taylor map. I knew he arrived with the Joseph Broussard party in 1765 and settled in the Attakapas region somewhere near Bayou Teche but I had no idea where. This is a real blessing to me and I hope to visit the site this summer. Looking much closer at the two maps I think you may actually have uncovered something of interest. The names on the two maps match very well when going left to right until you get to the middle of the big hump, then they no longer match. I wonder why. Is it possible that the settlement of the Acadians was made next to an existing settlement as the names in that area do not seem to be Acadian on the Gonsoulin map while the later Taylor map clearly shows Acadian settlers on the right side of the map. Perhaps the epidemic outbreak the settlers encountered wiped out some of the existing landowners opening the way for more settlement. As I do not have access to Taylor's book I am unable to verify the dates for the land grants. One more thing, the names of the Acadian settlers on the maps are clearly members of the Joseph Broussard party. I was able to correlate the names with the list at,%201765.htm#The%20BROUSSARD%20dit%20Beausoleil%20Party%20of%20the%20Atakapas,%201765

    I would also very much be interested in a higher resolution image of the Taylor map. My ancestry research is slowly turning into a historical novel but I am enjoying it very much.

    Looking forward to reading your posts about the trip down (up?) the Bayou Teche. I am thinking of making a trip in a power boat to retrace the path of the early settlers from New Orleans up the Mississippi River to Plaquemine then down the bayous to the Atchafalaya River and on into Bayou Teche. I believe this is the route they took. Do you happen to know for sure or have any references on this topic? It would be much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thanks for your note, James: I'll ask my friend Stanley LeBlanc to respond, as he's look into this matter (the route of the Acadian exiles to the Teche). Sincerely, Shane

  9. James, here is Stanley's reply:

    Joseph Hebert, aka Joseph Pepin, did arrive with Beausoleil. He was a son of Benoni Hebert and Jeanne Savoie. On the April 25, 1766 census, he was at Quartel de la Punta [Fausse Pointe] and listed just below Jean Baptiste Broussard. On the late 1769/early 1770 census, he is listed in the household of Jean Baptiste Broussard. On April 25, 1771, he married Magdeleine Trahan. The marriage is recorded in the Pointe Coupee records because there wasn’t a priest at Attakapas. Magdeleine Trahan was the daughter of Jean Trahan and Marguerite Broussard who was a sister of Jean Baptiste Broussard – both were children of Alexandre Broussard. I have seven children for Joseph and Magdeleine.

    Joseph apparently moved to the Point de Repos area when some of the Acadians moved upwards and most likely about the same time or shortly after some of the Acadians moved from the Mississippi River into the Attakapas area. Some settled above Le Point de Repos in current-day Cecilia [La Grande Pointe] and some near Arnaudville – some also moved westward to the Vermilion.

    Re the route. The 1765 Acadians most likely cut across the lakes and entered Attakapas from behind current-day Loreauville rather than going down the Atchafalaya and coming up the Teche. This is indicated by the correspondence describing the route that Lt. Andry would take and also by the 1769 route taken by Lt. Nugent and Kelly. Bouligny entered the Teche from below current-day Charenton when he took the Malaquenos Settlers in Feb. 1779 because the original New Iberia Settlement was near current-day Charenton. The spring floods caused Bouligny to move upward to current-day New Iberia.

    James may be interested in keeping up with the New Acadia Project -

  10. Hi Shane, thank you and Stanley for the information. Yes, those are my ancestors and match the information I have. I did not know about the Fausse Pointe piece, this fills in a nice gap. It turns out Joseph (Pepin) Hebert arrived with a sister, Louise. Louise married a son of Joseph Broussard. In fact both married other people from the voyage. I guess they became very close as such things will do to people. I wonder how many of them this happened to? Possibly a good story. Turns out Joseph and Louise also had a brother, Charles, sometimes called Jean Charles, who appears to have arrived a bit later, not sure why. He went to Cabanocé at least initially. They were all orphans by this time. Anyway, all three names are listed under Jean Baptiste Hebert (a relative) on the Acadian Memorial wall in St Martinville. I have the rest of the line traced to Etienne Hebert (brother of Antoine) in Port Royal. I hope to visit all the sites one day. This genealogy stuff has really got me interested in the history of the Acadians. It's a fantastic story without parallel in North American History. By the way, your history of the Teche will prove to be interesting to me personally as the maternal line on my Mother's side was named Ditch. I have them traced from Morgan CIty to Franklin to Charenton to points in between all the way to Pecan Island. So I know they also moved, lived, and worked along the Teche I believe in the Sugar Cane industry. I hope to visit Cajun country again this summer. I will check out the website and Stanley's information on the route of the Acadians from New Orleans to the Attakaps. Much appreciated. I have yet to find it described in any detail in any of the books I have read except somewhere I remember reading the journey took 5-6 days. The one thing we know for sure is at some point they would have entered the Teche for the final leg of their long journey to the New Acadia. Take Care.

  11. Shane, I know this blog is mostly about La Pointe de Repos, however, can you provide any information about the location of La Manque which (on Brausseaux's 1987 map) seems to be north of La Pointe?

    1. Lisa, researcher Donald Arceneaux has recently proposed that La Manque is actually farther south on the Teche, on the Fausse Pointe oxbow near the center of which sits the town of Loreauville. Donald has convinced me that this is the likely location. See his detailed paper that addresses this issue at: