Jean Baptiste Filhiol (pronounced Fee ol with a long o) b. 8/1/1740, also known as Don Juan Filhiol, came to Louisiana c. 1782 after having left Santo Domingo where he spent perhaps some 15 years. He was originally from the village of Eymet, in the region of Perigord (or old name Perigeaux), France and is reputed to have had Calvinist connections although when he was in Louisiana, as Commandant of the Poste d' Ouachita (now Monroe) for the Spanish, he performed rites for the Catholic Church as was his duty when there were no priests in the area.
His parents were Francois Filhiol and Anne Marie Teysonniere in 1737. Francois' parents were Elie Filhiol b. 1680 and Marie Raynaud, and they married on 8/16/1705. All were from the same region, Perigord.
He established trading posts for the Spanish at what are now Camden Arkansas and Monroe Louisiana, and also had a Spanish land grant to the Hot Springs vicinity but lost it after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The "Don" in "Don Juan Filhiol" is a Spanish title.
This historical information comes from a book by E. Russ Williams, Jr. entitled: Spanish Poste d' Ouachita: The Ouachita Valley in Colonial Louisiana 1783-1804 and Early American Statehood 1804-1820 (Williams Genealogical Publications, c. 1995). Parts of the Filhiol family tree are posted on rootsweb.com.
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