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Vermilion Historical Society
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Documents and Maps

Adams Onis boundary 

Map showing the Adams-Onis boundary.
Pere Megret deed page 1 

Deed 25 July 1843 from Joseph LeBlanc to A. D. Mégret, p. 1. Joseph LeBlanc sells to A. D. Mégret a piece of land measuring 4 arpents (768 feet) on Bayou Vermilion by a depth of 40 arpents (7680 feet).
Pere Megret deed page 2 

Deed from Joseph LeBlanc to A. D. Mégret, p. 2. The price was $900, payable $400 in twelve months and $500 in eighteen months.
Pere Megret deed page 3 

Deed from Joseph LeBlanc to A. D. Mégret, p. 3. Mégret signs his name, but Joseph LeBlanc signs with an "X". The notary is William Kibbe.
Donation to church page 1 

Donation 25 August 1853 of property from Mégret to Catholic Church, p. 1. This document is written in French. See the translation in Note 1 below.
Donation to church page 2 

Donation 25 August 1853 of property from Mégret to Catholic Church, p. 2. The donation is made on the condition that there shall always be a church on the property for the use of the Roman Catholics of Vermilion Parish.
Pere Megret testament 

Testament 29 September 1845 of A. D. Mégret. This document is written in French. See the translation in Note 2 below.
Megret 1846 map 

Mégret's 1846 map of "Abbville." This map was provided courtesy of Kenneth A. Dupuy. See Note 3 below for his comments on this map.
Francois Feray 1868 map 

1868 map of Abbeville by François Feray. Many of the lots have the names of the owners written in. This copy of the Feray map courtesy of Kenneth A. Dupuy.
Perils of Pauline poster 

Abbeville Meridional advertisement for the silent movie, "Perils of Pauline."
Sanborn map 1895 

Sanborn fire insurance map of downtown Abbeville in August, 1895.  See our collection of Sanborn maps.
Fenwick Sanitarium nursing diploma 1907 

Nursing diploma awarded to Lucy James Carter at the grand opening of the Fenwick Sanitarium on January 28, 1907.


Note 1:  [Translation by Gary E. Theall]

State of Louisiana
Parish of Lafayette

Today, the twenty-fifth day of the month of August A.D. one thousand eight hundred fifty-three, before me, undersigned Notary, in and for the parish and State above written, duly commissioned and qualified and in the presence of the witnesses also undersigned:

Came the Reverend Antoine D. Mégret, parish priest, residing in Lafayette Parish, who has declared by these presents to give, cede, relinquish and deliver to Monseigneur Antoine Blanc, archbishop of New Orleans and to his successors in office, under title of irrevocable donation inter vivos, the following properties, to-wit:  Twelve parcels situated in the town of Abbeville, in the Parish of Vermilion, numbered on the plan of the said town with the following numbers, to-wit:  fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, and twenty-five, with all the improvements that are found on them.  Which properties the said Rev. Antoine D. Mégret promises and binds himself to defend against all legal actions whatsoever.

To the said Seigneur Antoine Blanc and his successors in office, to enjoy, to do with and dispose of according to their good pleasure on the condition that on the said property there shall always be a church for the use of the Roman Catholics of Vermilion Parish.

Moreover the said Rev. Ant. D. Mégret subrogates the said Seigneur Antoine Blanc and his successors, to all the rights and warranties that he has or may have against his own vendor and his vendor, authorizing by these presents the pursuit of all reclamations against them that he could have made himself.

Which present act of irrevocable donation inter vivos has been and is by these presents, accepted by the said Seigneur Antoine Blanc.

The parties having dispensed the notary from producing a certificate of mortgages required by the Civil Code of Louisiana; the notary has not produced it.

Which act done and passed, in the parish of Lafayette at the rectory, the day, month and year hereabove in the presence of Claude Coulouvrat and Emile Veazey, competent witnesses who have signed these presents with us, Notary Public, and the parties, after having read the whole.

s/ Ant. Blanc, Archv. of N. Orleans

s/ A. D. Mégret

C. Coulouvrat

Pierre Emile Veazey

M. E. Girard

Notary Public in and for Lafayette Parish


Entered on file 26th August 1853 and recorded same day in Book of Donations and Testaments, Folios 41 and 42.

Wm. Brandt


Note 2:  Testament of Antoine D. Mégret [translation by Gary E. Theall].

In the name of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one God in three persons, I, Antoine D. Mégret, Curate of the parishes of Lafayette and Vermilion, sound in body and in mind, establish this day the twenty-ninth of September, one thousand eight hundred forty five, done in my rectory[1], in the presence of God alone, my last will in order that it may be executed punctually at my death.

I give and bequeath all that I possess in movables and immovables to Msgr. Antoine Blanc[2], Bishop of Louisiana, to-wit:  (1) A house situated with five lots and all their outbuildings at Vermilionville[3], acquired from C. Mouton.  (2)  My land of one hundred sixty arpents called Abbville[4], presently the seat of justice of the said Vermilion, with its church[5], its house and its outbuildings, acquired from J. LeBlanc.  (3)  Thirty arpents of woods, a right[6] over a lot of the state of ten out of forty arpents, a house, its fences with all its outbuildings, all situated in the expanse between Vermilion and the Queue Tortue, acquired from Balthazar Plaisance.  (4) Another house and its outbuildings, a right[7] of land all situated at the Côte Gelée acquired from S. Signouret.  (5)  A Negro named Pierre aged 28 years acquired from C. Thibaut.  (6) A Negress aged 38 years named  Suzanne  acquired  from  the  succession of A. Guilbeau.   (7) A mark[8] figured Adm   and all the animals which appertain to it.  (8) My personal property such as it is known and comprised and generally all that which will be recognized as belonging to me on the day of my death.

I establish as executor of my last will Mr. Étienne Rousselon, Curate of St. Augustine, city of New Orleans, and I declare to be steadfast in these intentions.

Done at Vermilionville, this aforesaid date twenty-ninth of September, year eighteen hundred forty-five.

Two words retouched acquis and mobilier.

(Signed)  A. D. Mégret.



[1] Although Père Mégret founded Abbeville, he never lived there.  He lived at the rectory [presbytère] on the grounds of St. John's Cathedral in Vermilionville.

[2] Bishop Antoine Blanc became Archbishop of the New Orleans Archdiocese in 1850.

[3] In 1884, the name of Vermilionville was changed to Lafayette.

[4] During his lifetime, Père Mégret consistently spelled the name of his town "Abbville"

rather than "Abbeville." 

[5] After Père Mégret bought the property from Joseph LeBlanc on July 25, 1843, he used the home on the property as the first church.  Shortly thereafter, he built a church separate from the house.  The reference in his will to a church and a house on the property suggests that by the date of the will, September 29, 1845, he had already completed the first church.

[6] "Un droit sur terrain de l'état."  The inventory of the Vermilion Parish property in the succession of Père Mégret, made by John B. Theall, recorder of Vermilion Parish, describes this asset as "The right of preemption to a certain tract of land known as the tract of land formerly occupied by Balthazar Plaisance, claim being in this parish …"  Apparently Plaisance was in the process of establishing a homestead claim on this property when he sold his rights to Mégret.

[7] Of preemption?

[8] Branding iron.

Note 3 (by Ken Dupuy):    Notice that the lot number "28" is missing; that Place de la Magdeline is shown, but without boundaries; that in the lower left hand corner, Father Megret specifies lot 20 [now lot 21] as the location of the church and the presbytery; that under that designation is the location of the courthouse: lots 56, 57, 48, 49; and that the map is oriented with east being on top and north being on the left side. Today his lot 25 is now lot 26, and his lots 26 and 27 are now two lots 27, and two lots 28.

The distance from the bayou to the land of the Sisters of Charity is 1978 "American feet," while the other length is 848 "American feet." The street at the western side of that land of the sisters was not East Street, but had a name with "Francois" in it. As you know, the sisters did not come to Abbeville. However, in that same year, Father Megret convinced the Sisters of Mount Carmel to establish a convent in Vermilionville.

Whereas Megret's map shows lots 1 through 4, today's map and Feray's map has those lots numbered 1 through 5.

St. Victor and Lafayette Streets are not named on his map.

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