Historic Cemetery Tour Features Creole Migration To Liberty

LIBERTY, October 17, 2014 - In the 1840’s, there was a grand migration from Louisiana to Texas by a group called “Creoles.”  The Creoles had been exiled from France on orders of Robespierre during the French Revolution and fled to Louisiana, settling around New Orleans until shortly after the War of 1812 when they moved north to the Alexandria area where they established plantations.  With the promise of new adventure and plenty fertile land over the horizon in the new Republic of Texas, these Creoles moved and settled in and around Liberty.  They were devout Catholic in faith, well educated, refined and cultured people.  Their influence as early business, civic and professional leaders had a dramatic impact on Liberty and on the area’s social and religious customs.  Dr. Edward Joseph Gillard was one of the Creoles that moved to this area with his brother, Jean Baptiste, along with the DeBlanc and LaCour families.  His father, Joseph Gillard had been the founder of the American Gillards in Louisiana.  Dr. Gillard was a prominent physician, merchant and planter.  His brother, Jean Baptiste had survived the War of 1812 serving under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.  Dr. Gillard and his wife also brought with them, their orphaned niece and nephew Celima and Simeon DeBlanc.

Simeon DeBlanc later served during the Civil War and his sister, Celima DeBlanc married prosperous cattleman, William B. Duncan who also served during the Civil War.   

The Liberty County Historical Commission invites you to meet many of these early Creoles settlers and listen to tales about their hasty trip to Louisiana from France; their migration to the new Republic of Texas; their love affairs, tragedies, war service and history in this community.  On Saturday and Sunday, October 25th and 26th, the commission will sponsor their 2nd annual historic cemetery tour, “Whispers From the Past…..Tales and Tours in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery” featuring these Creole settlers, early business leaders and war veterans from bygone days of Liberty County history.  There will be two tours each day at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  Tickets are reserved in advance for a donation of $10 to LCHC for their projects in historic preservation.  Do not miss this event…..tickets are limited and selling fast!  For more information and reservations, please call Sandra Sterling at 936-336-3716 or email: sandrasterling35@gmail.com .  

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