- He was baptized as Jacques, but was also later “James” in the U.S.
The earliest record I have know of about a DeGrange in New Orleans is in Civil Suit Record no. 356 for the Territory of New Orleans, County Court, Zuleme Carriere v. Jerome DeGrange, in 1806. This well-documented suit is about a divorce; it contains an affadavit that Jerome DeGrange and Zuleme Carriere were married on Dec., 1794 in the Cathedral of St. Louis in New Orleans. See http://louisdl.louislibraries.org for the document. I do not know of a relation between this DeGrange and my family--in fact there may not be, considering the immigration records below.
The following record is also from before the LA Purchase, and I do not know who might be; I assume it is also Jerome. This is from the "Alphabetical and Chronological Digest of the Acts and Deliberations of the Cabildo, 1769-1803" from the Nutrias.org website:
"Wards and Districts, Book 4, vol. I, page 170, date 1/1/1797: Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - Mr. De Grange - First Ward; Don Andres Fernandez - Second Ward; Don Jamie Jorda* - Third Ward; Don Pedro Jordan - Fourth Ward; Don Nicolas Gravier - San Luis Ward. (*Don Jamie Jorda and Don Pedro Jordan were excused from accepting service (page 187) and Don Juan Bautista Dezilet and Don Thomas Durnford were appointed to fill their respective places."
The family has kept records of the DeGrange family. One document is a copy of a birth certificate for Jacques DeGrange, part of which reads:
"Le trente mars mil huit cent huit es ne, et meme jour a ete baptise jacques fils de joseph Degrange et de la Marion Desusse maries; parrain a ete jacques degrange, et la marraine marion blanc."--"10 March 1808 is born, and on the same day is baptised Jacques, son of Joseph DeGrange and Marion Desusse, married; godfather is Joseph DeGrange, and Godmother is Marion Blanc." The register was "de l'eglise paroissiale de Lescheriane en Beauges sous lo vocable de St. Maurice, diocese de Chambery, province de Savoie propre."
He was born in eastern France. "Savoie" and "Haute Savoie" in France are in the Rhone Alps; they are next to each other. Haute Savoie is to the north, on the border with Switzerland; Savoie is south, on the border with Italy. His death record says that "Savoie, France" is his birthplace. His wife was born in Cuba, according to his son's entry on the 1880 census, and according to her death record.
There is family history which says that the name before immigration was "Delagrange," and that the name was shortened upon immigration. This is possible: there is an immigration record for a Jacques Delagrange who immigrated to NOLA in 1843. The dates are close, but the age doesn't match precisely; he would have been born abt. 1796.
Arrival: Mar. 9, 1843, Age 57
Departed from La Havre
Ship name: Rochester
Family no. 28849
National Archives Serial no. M259-22
Port of Arrival: New Orleans
One other possiblity is a Jacques Degrange who arrived in NYC in 1831 from Switzerland, though he would have been born in 1794:
Name: Jacques Degrange
Place: New York
Source Publication Code: 503.11
Primary Immigrant: Degrange, Jacques
Annotation: Date and port of arrival. Extracted from National Archives Microfilm #237, rolls 13-18. Name of ship, occupation, gender of the immigrant, country of origin, and place of intended destination are also provided. The remainder of the book will be indexed as source number 503.12 in PILI 2004 Part 1.
Source Bibliography: BENTLEY, ELIZABETH P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York, 1830-1832, From Customs Passenger Lists. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. pp. 1-727.
For the same person, there is also this immigration record:
Name: Jacques Degrange
Arrival Date: Mar 2, 1831
Port of Arrival: New York
Place of Origin: Switzerland
Destination: United States of America
Ship: Brig Comissary
Microfilm Serial Number: M237
Microfilm Roll Number: 14
List Number: 48
In the 1830 Census there is a "J. Desgrange" in Lexington, KY, who is living alone, and who is between 60 and 70. I doubt there is a relation.
In the 1840 census for New Orleans there is a "Jacques Desgranges" living in the 2nd Ward of New Orleans. In his household there is a boy less than 5 and himself, between ages 30 and 40; there is also a woman between 26 and 30. If this is him, he was, again, born before 1800, while the wife is the correct age for Isabella. This is also the right age for Joseph.
This is from the 1846 New Orleans City Directory:
81 St Louis . . . DEGRANGE, JACQUES . . . wine merchant
91 St Louis . . . DEGRANGE, JACQUES . . . wine merchant
In the indexes to notarial volumes for Jefferson Parish, there are these records, which have not been looked up:
Purchaser Index v. 1-7, 1826-1854, Book 2, Jacques Degrange, folio 66.97, real estate. ( .97 should mean a page number)
Purchaser Index v. 1-4, 1827-1860, I found, Vol 1, Desgranges, Jacques, 62
In the 1850 and 1860 census, a "James DeGrange" is living in the 2nd Ward of Orleans, Parish. He has a wife named Isabella. In 1850, the only child is "R. Degrange," age 10. All are listed as being born in LA. This would seem to be mistaken in several ways.
In 1860, however, there are three people living with James and Isabella: Joseph H., age 21, a clerk; Ellen, age 18 (son and daughter-in-law); and Esther Philips, age 38, born in England. Joseph had married in 1859, so Ellen seems to have been living with them at this point. Esther would, I guess, be a servant.