||This is his 1847 obituary (translated from the French):|
"Died last night at ten o'clock, after a few hours of sad illness, Mr. Joseph Pitard was a printer by profession and worked in his craft to support his large family, whom his death left in misery. Good father, good husband, good friend, Mr. Pitard's estimate is held by all his brethren in typography. The funeral will take place tonight, half past four, from his last residence, Marais Street, between Bayou and Ursulines."
- The first sure record for him is the marriage record for Joseph and Amelie in Feb. 1833. This lists their names and their parents' names.
After this appears the birth record for Gustave, Joseph's son, from 21 Jan 1838, which lists parents and grandparents' names on both sides.
In the 1840 Census Octave, Joseph, and Auguste Pitard all appear. Joseph's family has 2 boys under 10 and himself, aged between 30 and 40; and two girls under 10, and a woman between 30 and 40. This matches Joseph Pitard's family, if Cecile was born before the census date.
Joseph and Auguste were living in the Faubourg Treme in "Faubourg Parish" (was this neighborhood of New Orleans then, or was it its own Parish?). It is well known now as one of the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the US. In 1809 it was a plantation purchased from the city from Claude Treme which lay between the Carondelet Canal and St. Bernard Avenue. Before about 1850, it was very mixed, with lots of immigrants; living there would be consistent with their identity as Creole.
The 1842 New Orleans City Directory has the same three men, and it confirms the statement of Joseph's profession on his son's birth certificate:
Pitard, Auguste . . . coffee house . . . Basin b. St. Peter & Toulouse Sts.
Pitard, Octave . . . sugar broker . . . 15 St. Peter St. 1st Municipality
Pitard, Joseph . . . printer . . . St. Ann n. Claiborne St.
In 1842 he is one of those listed as proposing the "Louisiana Association"; an Act (106) to incorporate it was passed by the State Legislature on 15 March 1842. According to the act, "the object of said Louisianan Association shall be first to establish a national library in the city of New Orleans, which shall be governed by such rules regulations and by-laws as may hereafter be adopted by said association; secondly, to contribute by all honorable means to the political progress and improvement of the Louisianians." A good guess would be that he became involved with this group because he was a printer.
In 1844 his mother's obituary appears:
"Yesterday at 4 o'clock, P.M., aged 69 years, Madame Widow Pitard, a native of Bordeaux, and formerly a resident of St. Domingo. The friends of the family are requested to assist at the funeral, which will take place this afternoon, at five o'clock, from the residence of her son, J. Pitard, St. Anne Street, between Claiborne and Robertson Streets."
On 19 May 1845 Joseph Pitard, age 37 years 3 months, profession “Laborer,” appears on a passenger list arriving on the Mississippi, a ship arriving in New York from Liverpool, England. This may very well not be him, however, since he is listed as belonging to Great Britain.
Joseph enlisted to serve in the War with Mexico in 1846. The motion by the Louisiana Legion, including "J. Pitard" as "Sergeant Major," is reprinted here in Niles National Register; see from the top of the middle column. The resolution is dated May 10, 1846. "D[onatien]. Augustin" is the brigadier general commanding the legion. "J. Pitard" is a Sergeant Major in the "Orleans Fusiliers," which seem to be one of the companies in the Legion. An article, "The Louisiana Legion Volunteered," in The Daily Picayune (May 12, 1846) says the following:
"We learned with infinite satisfaction on Sunday evening that the Louisiana Legion had that day volunteered its services almost in a body for service in the war on the Rio Grande. Gen. Taylor will now have under his command as finely disciplined a brigade of citizen soldiery as any in the world. Honor to the Legion for its gallantry and devotion."
According to a later history, however, "on the eve of embarking on the transports, counter orders were received by the War Department, and the brigade disbanded." [3, 4]