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Re: Surname Williams in Haiti
Posted by: Cheryl Williams Neal Date: May 03, 2001 at 10:59:52
In Reply to: Re: Surname Williams in Haiti by Savannah of 2225

Hi Savannah!
What is your father's name? A couple of days after I posted, I found my link to Haiti. I had always known that we had a bit of French in us, but I didn't know where along the Williams branch it was. Do you have the name Mavity, Raison, or de la Geneste anywhere in your Williams line? If not, its going to be some French name. Mavity is actually Irish, but that's where I found the beginning of my French roots. I also found that a lot of the French left Santo Domingo (part of which was Haiti) just before, during, and after the slave revolts of the late 1700's. Most went to Louisiana--mine to New Orleans--which was a French colony at the time--so, it all makes sense. I did find my Haitian/French connection to be the most disturbing and, at the same time, most exciting, thread to follow. My french ancestors were apparantly of French nobility (a marquis) and the owners of a sugar cane plantation; consequently, they were quite active in the slave trade. That was a bit disturbing to me--very disturbing, actually. Finding out they were French nobility was pretty cool, but I also found out that France was handing out titles to get people to settle and colonize the islands and raise sugar cane. Sort of the French version of "forty acres and mule." So, who knows if they were "real" nobility or not. I thought that if they were real 'nobility' then their genealogy ought to be easily traced in France--not so. So, I think they were given the 'marquis' title as an inducement to going to the islands to colonize them and raise sugar cane. At any rate, it's not unlikely that your family did arrive in Louisiana by way of Haiti. Just trace the French names back and see what happens...Good Luck, Cheryl


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