I knew a fair bit about him. I knew his wife’s name (Marie Aurore Villars) and ancestry, and the names of their 11 children. I knew that he worked in the cotton industry and that he was a clerk or accountant. I knew that he was pictured in Edgar Degas’ painting A Cotton Office in New Orleans. I knew that he served in the Confederate Army, possibly unwillingly, and that he was taken prisoner during the war at least twice. I knew he died in August 1891. And I had my guesses about which branch of the Livaudais family he belonged to, based on the naming trends of that branch. But because the members of the Livaudais clan each had about 6 names and went by different versions at different times in their lives, I was never sure.
Thanks to the record keeping of the Catholic church, I now have the info I needed to definitively plug him into the Livaudais tree. Here is a certified account of his baptism in 1835, which includes his parents’ and grandparents’ names, along with other valuable info:
I also have a certificate of burial saying that John is buried in the St Louis #2 Cemetery in New Orleans (“Tomb #14 in central aisle”), but a picture of the tomb will have to wait til next January when we return to the area for a marathon.
This is a pretty satisfying find.