Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Gardener in New Orleans

In researching my wife's 4th-great-grandfather, Francois Antoine Halter, I've found him in the early City Directories of New Orleans working as a gardener. I understand this profession was someone who grew produce on small plots for sale. Perhaps Francois sold his produce at the old French Market of New Orleans. The French Market was founded in 1791, and was the oldest public market in the country.
Source: NYPL Digital Collection. The French Market.
Source: NYPL Digital Collection. The French Market at Sunrise on Sunday.

Francois appears in the transcriptions of the 1849 and 1850 City Directories as "F. Halter, gardener", living on Bartholomew Street near the corner of Bartholomew and Craps Streets. In the 1850 US Census, the family appears in the 3rd Ward of New Orleans:

Francois Halter married Mary Weitmann (also referenced as Mary Magdalene Weitman and Marie Weichman), and they had at least 6 children born in New Orleans. We are lucky to have the birth records for their children, which also provides key information on where the family was from in France and the names of Francois' parents.

The document above was filed after the birth of Joseph Halter with the New Orleans Recorder of Births and Deaths. It states that "Francois Halter was a native of the Department of Bas-Rhin in France, aged thirty-one years, residing at the corner of Bartholomew and Craps Streets in the Third Municipality of this city, who by these presents declares that on the fifth day of July of the year of eighteen hundred and forty one, at nine o'clock, a m. was born at his aforesaid residence a male child named Joseph Halter, son of the legitimate marriage of deponent with Marie Weichmann, a native of the aforesaid Department, aged about twenty-one years. The paternal grandparents of said child M. Pierre Halter and Anna Maria Hamm."

Other children were:
- Aubert Halter, born on 16 July 1843
- John Halter, born on 5 May 1846
- Marie Therese Halter, born on 5 December 1847
- Louisa Halter, born 1849
- Antoine Francois Halter, born 5 November 1856

The birth certificate of Antoine Halter contains the signature of Francois, and also the name of the town in France where the family was from (Saverne in Bas-Rhin).

There is more on Francois (or Franz in later City Directories), which I'll have in the next post.

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