Sunday, January 21, 2007

Laffiteau Family History


Tarn-et-Garonne is a French department in the southwest of France.
The department was created on November 4, 1808 during the First French Empire by a decision of Napoleon I. It was formed out of territories belonging to neighboring areas. More than half of the territory was taken from the Lot (including Montauban and Moissac), over one-third was taken from Haute-Garonne (including Castelsarrasin), and the rest from the department of Lot-et-Garonne, Gers, and Aveyron.
The department of Tarn-et-Garonne constitutes part of the Midi-Pyrénées region. It borders the department of Lot, Aveyron, Tarn, Haute-Garonne, Gers, and Lot-et-Garonne.


Gironde is a department in the Aquitaine region situated in southwest France named after the Gironde Estuary.
Gironde is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Guyenne and Gascogne.
From 1793 to 1795, the name was changed to Bec-d'Ambès to avoid the association with the revolutionary party, the Girondins.
Gironde is part of the current region of Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne, Charente and Charente-Maritime and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. With 10,000 km², Gironde is the largest department of metropolitan France.
The region is well known for the Bordeaux wine it produces
It is also well known for the Côte d'Argent beach which is Europe's longest, and attracts many surfers to Lacanau each year


Lot-et-Garonne is a department in the southwest of France named after the Lot and Garonne rivers.
Lot-et-Garonne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the provinces of Guyenne and Gascogne. Some of the original southeastern cantons were separated from it in 1808 to form the department of Tarn-et-Garonne.
Lot-et-Garonne is part of the current region of Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne, Gers, Landes, Gironde, and Dordogne.
Food-processing, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals are all major industries of the department.
The inhabitants of the department are called Lot-et-Garonnais.


Haute-Garonne is a department in the southwest of France named after the Garonne river.
Haute-Garonne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc.
Haute-Garonne is part of the current region of Midi-Pyrénées and is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Aude, and Ariège. It also borders Spain in the south (province of Lleida and province of Huesca).
The department is crossed by the Garonne River for nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles). The extreme south of the department lies in the Pyrenees mountain range and is very mountainous. The highest elevation is the Peak of Perdiguère, at 3,222 meters (10,571 ft) above sea level.

A Brief History of the Laffiteau Family Name

Laffiteau is a variant form of Laffite or Laffitte, originally of two places in Lot-et- Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne. Etienne de Lafitte, was born June 13th 1774 in south-east Gironde near the boundary stone marker for Lot-et-Garonne. Etienne and his brothers changed the spelling of their family name to Laffiteau to reflect their birthplace near the boundary marker for the new departments of Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne following the French Revolution, when the National Assembly created these departments as part of a new uniform justice.system in 1790. Etienne then became a volunteer soldier in the French army in 1791. He was promoted to sub-lieutenant in 1792 and his brother Pierre, subsequently moved to New York, in the United States of America in 1797.

Today, their descendants live in Bordeaux, the Mid-Pyrenees and near the village of Lalouret-Laffiteau in France, as well as in the southern United States. Etienne served as a squadron head under Napolean Bonaparte from 1811- 1814 and then after having his enoblement reconfirmed, under King Louis XVIII from 1814-1833. He was appointed a lieutenant colonel of dragoons and Chevalier of the Order of Saint-Louis by King Louis XVIII. Etienne subsequently named his son Stanislas, a name he took from the King’s given name of Louis Stanislas Xavier. Etienne Laffiteau died in the department of Marne on July 1st 1836.
The Royal and Military Order of Saint Louis ("ordre royal et militaire de Saint Louis") was a military Order of Chivalry founded on April 5, 1696 by Louis XIV and named after Saint Louis. It was intended as a reward for exceptional officers, and is notable as the first decoration that could be granted to non-nobles. It is roughly the ancestor of the Légion d'honneur, with which it shares the red ribbon.

Stanislas Laffiteau and his son, whom he named after his uncle Pierre, Peter Stanislas Laffiteau, emigrated to the United States in 1837, entering the US at Charleston, South Carolina.

Peter Stanislas Laffiteau moved to Jekyll Island Georgia and married the daughter of Charles DuBignon. They named their only son Charles Peter Laffiteau after her father. The family relocated to Tybee Island near Savannah Georgia after the Civil War and lived quietly with their small family.

Charles Peter Laffiteau later married a local Savannah woman who bore him one son they named Charles Augustus Laffiteau.

Charles Augustus Laffiteau Sr. married a woman from a prominent New Jersey family named Irene and had two children Charles Augustus Laffiteau Jr. and Helen Marie Laffiteau. Charles Sr. later died in 1932 of pnuemonia.

His son Charles Jr. later married a woman named Mary Eleanor Austin, a member of the prominent Manning family of Atlanta Georgia and they had 7 children, the oldest of which was named Charles Augustus Laffiteau III who resides in Dallas, Texas.

Laffiteau and DuBignon families and Jekyll Island

The ancestral family home of the Laffiteau and DuBignon families in the United States is the Dubignon Cottage on Jekyll Island Georgia.. John Eugene DuBignon, whose family had owned Jekyll Island from 1792 until 1886, had built a house there in 1884 to replace the original home made of tabby, a mixture of lime, water, sand and oyster shells. During the early days of the Jekyll Island Club, it housed the Club’s Superintendent and overflow guests. It was built in the stick style with Queen Anne details. It features a wrap around porch, a second floor porch, gabled roof, and is made of clapboard and batten. The cottage was moved from the Sans Souci site where J.P. Morgan built the first condominiums in the United States, to its current site in 1896. It is located on Old Plantation Road within the Jekyll Island Club Historic District at 171 Old Plantation Road Jekyll Island, GA 31527

The Jekyll Island Club

John Eugene DuBignon and his brother-in-law Newton Finney were the early developers of the Jekyll Island Club.
Between 1879 and 1885 the two men reacquired Jekyll with the idea of forming a hunting club for wealthy northerners. Finney lived in New York and had good connections to members of such institutions as the Union Club, and he developed the membership and early investors in the project. DuBignon handled the purchase of the island and in turn sold it to the newly incorporated Jekyll Island Club. Finney easily found fifty-three individuals willing to become members, among them Marshall Field, Henry Hyde, J. P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and William K. Vanderbilt.

In 1886 Finney, as a representative of the newly formed Jekyll Island Club, purchased the island from the DuBignons for $125,000. Ground was broken on the clubhouse building in mid-August 1886, and the club officially opened its doors in January 1888. Between 1888 and 1928 these wealthy northern industrialists built their winter homes, or "cottages" as they called them. These cottages, which exemplify Victorian architecture, have been restored and are open to the public.

Because of the concentration of internationally prominent business leaders, Jekyll Island has been the scene of some important historical events:
AT&T president Theodore Vail placed the first transcontinental telephone call from Jekyll Island on January 25, 1915. Meetings that lead to the development of the Federal Reserve System were held in secret on Jekyll in 1910 between members of what became known as the First Name Club.
The First Name Club comprised six major players in the Federal Reserve: Senator Nelson Aldrich, A. Piatt Andrew (assistant secretary of the treasury and advisor to the National Monetary Commission), Henry P. Davison (partner in the firm of J. P. Morgan), Benjamin Strong (vice president of Banker's Trust Company), Frank Vanderlip (president of National City Bank), and Paul Warburg (partner in the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb, and Company). Using assumed names, the men made their way to Jekyll posing as duck hunters, then spent approximately a week developing what became known as the Aldrich Plan, which was proposed to U.S. Congress in 1912. Congress did not pass the plan, but President Woodrow Wilson and others used the Aldrich Plan as the basis for another plan that became the Federal Reserve Act and established the Federal Reserve System, creating a central banking system for the United States.

The Jekyll Island Club flourished into the 1930s, but the Great Depression began to change many people's priorities. World War II (1941-45) was the final blow to the life of the Jekyll Island Club. It opened as usual for the 1942 season but closed early because of financial problems and the strain the war placed on the labor situation. The club's president hoped to reopen the club after the war, but in 1946 the state of Georgia entered the picture. The revenue commissioner, Melvin Thompson, wanted to purchase one of Georgia's barrier islands and open it to the public as a state park. Finally on October 7, 1947, the state purchased the entirety of Jekyll Island through a condemnation order for $675,000.

Jekyll Island State Park
Since 1950 Jekyll has operated under the auspices of the Jekyll Island Authority.
When Jekyll was purchased by the state of Georgia, it officially became the Jekyll Island State Park and was operated as part of the state parks system in 1948-49. Maintenance and operational costs were so great that the best way to operate the island was determined to be via a state-sponsored authority, so that the island could operate more like a business than as a department of state government. The state then chartered the Jekyll Island Authority for ninety-nine years (beginning in 1950) to manage the island on behalf of the state. The board of the Jekyll Island Authority is appointed by the governor.

The island has become renowned for the preservation of its natural and historic resources, and it provides public access to thousands of visitors annually. In 1972 the Jekyll Island Historic District including the DuBignon Cottage, The Jekyll Island Club and the Sans Souci condominiums was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1978 it was elevated to National Historic Landmark status. In 2002 archaeologists began to excavate the Horton House site, where the first Jekyll Island landowner, Major William Horton lived until his death in 1748, looking for evidence of other structures and artifacts. The original DuBignon-Laffiteau tabby house lies beneath the Sans Souci condominiums.