Friday, October 25, 2013

Joseph Albert Boudoin

Joseph Albert Boudoin

Joseph Albert Boudoin was born on September 25, 1875 to Alice Celestine Tastet and Sylvestre Baudoin. He was one of several children. His full-blooded siblings were: Elicia, Celcilia, and Charles Boudoin. His father remarried, fathering several more children. He grew up on a rice plantation in Lafourche parish.

What is most interesting about Joseph is that as a child he was listed as white. However, after he married a mulatto woman, he changed his race and chose to identify as a mulatto himself. Perhaps this was more acceptable than admitting to being in an interracial marriage. Maybe his family disowned him after marrying a woman of color. We can only speculate. But, DNA evidence confirms a direct connection to this side of the Boudoin family.

Joseph and Olympia “Olympe” Borne married in St. John the Baptist Church on January 25, 1894. They built a life together in Lucy, close to Olympe’s family. Joseph worked as a sugar farm laborer, while Olympe became a domestic servant for a private family, just like her mother. Joseph and Olympia may have been an unlikely pair. Not only were they of different races they also spoke different native tongues. Joseph was a fluent French-speaker, Olympe an English-speaker.

Olympe was the daughter of Felicity Pierre and Honoré Borne. Both were Louisiana natives and both were described as mulattoes on the US Censuses. Olympia was one of ten children. She became the mother of her own tribe of children.

 In their later years, Joseph and Olympe lived in New Orleans on Columbus Street. Joseph and Olympe Boudoin shared a long life together. Joseph’s exact death date is unknown. However, Olympe passed away at the age of eighty-six in Edgard, Louisiana in 1967. 

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