Mobile County part of the ALGenWeb

The Pelican Girls (aka the Cassette Girls)

Information kindly submitted by James Alfred Locke Miller, Jr. with other information added by me where known

From the book "Old Mobile Fort Louis de la Lousiane 1702-1711" by Jay Higginbotham, (University of Alabama Press): Describes their shipboard experiences and the travel to Mobile. It also tells whom they actually married, and there are some children named when it was known or documented. Jay Higginbotham is the archivist in Mobile, Alabama. There are notes which reference the resource where the information was found, dates etc..

Some of the young ladies died of illness after arrival or fell ill aboard ship.

Recruitment in Paris excerpt: "Screening the prospects in the summer of 1703, the bishop approved twenty girls reared in virtue and piety.. who are accustomed (also) to labor and diligence.." Some of the girls had been locally connected with parisian religious communities, such as the "filles du Reverend Pere Barre'" (a charitable and education order closely associated with the Seminaire des Missions Etrangeres), the Communaute de l'Annonciation on the rue du Bac and the Couvent de Notre-Dame la victorie de Lepante a Picpus.

"Responsibilities of supplies and niceties for the girls was fell to the wife of the man who was to captain the ship carrying them to Louisiana, Madame Guymont DUCOUDRAY.

Some of the Girls were:

Louise - Marguerite HOUSSEAU had come from a town outside of Paris- Tours. Married Guilliame BOUTIN.

Renee GILBERT had come from a town outside of Paris- Chantilly. Married Jean ROY. 

Marie-Catherine PHILIPPE was sixteen yeras of age, daughter of Charles PHILIPPE, a respected resident of Meaux-en-Brie....

Gabrielle SAVARAY, daughter of Pierre SAVARY and Jeanne FAUTISSE, had been born the 285h of January 1684 in parish of Saint-Denis where her godfather, Plomier DESELUSE had been an important merchant. Married Jean Baptiste SAUCIER. For more about this couple visit Early Families of the French Colony Mobile

Marie-Marguerite DUFRESNE, aged fourteen was a daughter of Charles DUFRESNE, Seiur Dumotel, a squire of the parish of Saint-Germain. Married Jean Baptiste ALEXANDER. For more about this couple visit Early Families of the French Colony Mobile

Marie Therese BROCHON, "...not as well born, perhaps, but of no less piety.". Married Pierre BROSSARD.

Angelique DROUIN "...not as well born, perhaps, but of no less piety." Married Jean B. La CROIX dit GRIMAULD

Jeanne- Louise BURELLE, aged twenty

Genevieve BURELLE, aged seventeen. Married Claude TREPANIER.

Marguerite BURELLE, aged fifteen. Married Gilbert DARDENNE.

The three BURELLE girls ."..needed no endorsement by Saint-Vallier, for they were to be accompanied by their parents, Etienne BURELLE and Marguerite ROUSSEAU, as well as by their yhounger brother Louis.The elder BURELLE, by profession a pastry cook, was no stranger to the New World. Born in Paris (Saint-Severin, Ile-de-France) in 1656, he had emigrated to Cap Saint-Ignace in Canada at an early age where he married Marguuerite, widow of Mathurin DUCHERON, dit DESLAURIERS, on Nov 10, 1682. Siring four children, BURELLE migrated to Quebec from Capt Saint-Ignace, where a son Vital, was born, after which he returned to Paris with his family about the turn of the century. Eager to return to the New World, the pastry cook seized the opportunity for free passage after learning of Saint-VALLIER's search for Colonists."

Jeanne-Elisabeth Le PINTEAUX *

Jeanne-Catherine de BERENHARDT *

Marie-Francoise de BOISENRAUD (la fille superieure) *

* "...acted with some authority over the slightly younger girls, in concert with Sister Marie Malbecq (chosen by Saint Vallier himself) and Monsieur Le ROUX."

Louise-Francoise LeFEVRE died of yellow fever after arrival at Fort Louis, buried that same afternoon.

For a complete list of names of the Girls and their Spouses and some of the offspring, visit Marriages of the Pelican Girls
Names and genealogies of the Cassette Girls--"Pelican Girls" who came to
as brides for the French Marines in 1704.