Almyra, Ark, 72003
5 July 1976
Mrs. Alice D. Forsyth
615 Pere Antoine Alley
New Orleans, La, 70116
Dear Mrs. Forsyt:
Such a busy time this Bicentennial period has been! I finally finished the work
on the Arkansas Catholic records which werie published by our local historical
society as a Bicentennial project. My son who lives in New Orleans was home last
month and I sent a copy by him to give to you as a token of appreciation for your
many past favors. I do hope that he has delivered it by this time. There are
some errors by the publisher in the spelling of various words but I did not have
the time to proof read for the publisher. Hopefully, the book will make information
available that will extend knowledge of people in the Mississippi Valley.
My interest in the identification of Arkansas residents continues. I again presume
to ask you for assistance...two areas. I have started a study of the People who
were in authority at Arkansas Post. It appears that there is a 'pattern' of
interrelationship of those who held this Post and certainly there seems to be a
lot of misinformation about concerning many who were here. On the attached I
have indicated some records in the Archives at New Orleans that I feel are
pertinent to my line of inquiry and/or investigation. I would sincerely
appreciate if you could share with me the information in these records.
The other favor is concerning "where" church records might be for a certain area.
I am researching a FRANCOIS MICHEL of Arkansas records. I know that he came here
immediately from New Madrid, Mo. in the early 1800s. I have found some baptismal
records of his children in Vincennes, Indiana. I located a record which seemed to
indicate that he was at one time in the Bayou LaFourche area. I ordered out
COLONIAL SETTLERS ALONG BAYOU LAFOURCHE - 1770-1798, by Albert Robichaux, Jr.,
which is beautifully dedicated to your husband. In it I find listed in the 1795
census of Valenzuela a FRANCISCO MICHEL, age 25, with a Catherine Bonan, age 20,
and Maria Magdalena, age 1, in household.
The pattern seems 'to fit' FRANCOIS MICHEL in Arkansas whose wife was CATHERINE
BONNEAU b. in 1776 who had a daughter Mary in Arkansas. In the forward Mr.
Robichaux indicates there was a church established in 1793 at Plattenville. I
know that Francois Michel was back up river by 1799 for he had a child baptized
at Vincennes that year. In order to establish if this is part of the story
of the man I am researching, I would like to check church records for this church
which Mr. Robichaux says was named "La Parroquia de la Assumption de Nuestra
Senora de La Fourche de los Chetimaches de Valenzuela".
Could you tell me where records for this church are located for the period 1793-
1800? And if there are any printed publications of these records?
I have thought I would get to New Orleans long before now but it has not worked
out. I have not visited there since the last time I stopped in to see you. I do
hope you are well and that you may find the Arkansas records of some interest.
Always sincerely appreciative,