Gassie History in America and the Story of Pierre Gassie  

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Gassie Ancestry’

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Photocopy of Typewritten Material

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Likely photocopied from another source in the 1970’s

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Most likely put together by Mary Olga Gassie Landry

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by Jerry Gassie, September 30, 2005

Gassie Ancestry

Items of interest in the historical life of Julie Bruneteau, William Marson, and Pierre Gassie, who married into the family:

During the revolt of the black slaves against their French white masters in Haiti in the late 1700’s, Julie Bruneteau (sometimes spelled in court records ‘Brunteau’) as a child when her parents were murdered by revolting slaves, was safely carried away by a devoted, faithful black slave under cover of darkness, crawling along the ground under shrubs and trees, to an English vessel in port at the time.  He requested the captain to bring the child to Louisiana but to please not let anyone know who had put the child on board, as if known, he would be killed.  Somehow the child arrived in Louisiana safely and we hope the slave was not murdered.

In the early 1800’s, Pierre Gassie of Barsac, France, was sent to Louisiana by his parents to find a market for the Gassies’ wines which the family produced at that time near Bordeaux in southern France.  And for information, these wines are still produced in the same place.  When their wines were the best, the name Gassies was put on the label as the manufacturer, but if they did not turn out of the best quality (seasons and other conditions each year could affect the flavor of the grapes), the wines were put on the market under the name of the broker.  The descendants of the original Gassies are carrying on the production of the wines to this day, although I don’t know if there is one left in the business by the name of Gassie.

On August 28, 1804, Julie Bruneteau and William Marson of Holland and then of Baltimore, Maryland, were married in the St. Gabriel Catholic Church of Iberville Parish on the east side of the Mississippi River, as there was no other Catholic church in the vicinity.

They had two daughters, Pauline and Elmire.  After the death of her husband, she married Francois White, and she bore him four sons, William, Albert, Alfred, and Frank White.  After the death of Francois white, she married Louis Pierre Bechade by whom there were no children.

Pauline Marson married Rosamond Hebert and became the mother of:


Edward, b. 1869, d. 1953, married Lucia Heck

Pauline, b. 1872, d.  , married Wm. Gassie, Sr.

Rosa, married Justin Landry

Azema, never married

Elmire Marson married Pierre Gassie and had the following children:

Adele, married Victorin Blanchard, 1851

Celestine, married Hermogene Babin, 1857

Auguste, married Marceline Bossier, then Marceline Lefebvre, 1870

William, married Pauline Hebert, 1864, then Eda Shexnayder, 1892

Olive, married Emile Lefebvre, 1869

Annette, married Hypolite Sarradet, 1870, then Ephraim Babin, 1879

Pierre, never married, died just as he finished LSU, 1869

Julia, married Isadore Daigle, 1869

Jean, never married, died 1864

Pierre II, never married, died 1844

Victorin Blanchard and Adele Gassie married and had the following children:

Lize married Alfred White (Mirian’s parents)

Victorine married Manda White (2 brothers & sisters)

May married Wm. Walker, then J. C. Cazes

Stella married Emile Prejean (son of Theophie Prejean and Hermanse Levert)

Justin married Nathie Campbell

Mrs. Bechade’s tomb still stands in good condition in the Catholic Brusly Cemetery and shows she died in 1866.

Rosamond Hebert and his family settled and lived on the property that is now the corner of Addis Lane and the River Road.  The property at that time was owned by the Rosamond Herbert family, and through marriages it went down into the Gassie family descendants until 1936, when reverses forced the sale of the home valued at $10,000.00 for a sacrificial amount of $2,500.00 during the Depression, because few people could afford a large house like it or wanted it.  The only consolation to Wm. Gassie, Jr., the owner at the time, was the fact that Paul Prejean , the purchaser, was the father of 10 children and never could have afforded a large enough home for his large family otherwise, but it was heartbreaking to see it go out of the family, who owned it for over a hundred years.

The original property ran from the Mississippi River some 100 and a few acres west.  Somewhere along the line of Pierre Gassie had settled on the property north of and adjoining Marson property, as per Dickinson Map of 1883.  The slaves owned by Madame Bechade either stayed on with her or returned after the Civil War was over.  George William, by which name he was known, in later years was a slave of hers.  He left and joined the Federal forces, so records of the government indicate.  He was aboard a gunboat when the Federals stormed Baton Rouge, he jumped overboard, deserted, and joined the Confederacy, then deserted them and joined a guerilla band working for the South.  When the war was over, he returned to West Baton Rouge, to the corner of Addis Lane and River Road, where he was originally owned.  He was handed down in the family to different ones and evidently was a good worker when young, as court records show him listed as a slave of Madame Julie Bruneteau Bechade’s and valued at $2,050.00 at age 38.  After the war he was first with Wm. Gassie, Sr. for a time, then with Emile Lefebvre family, then back to Wm. Gassie, Sr., and ending up with Wm. Gassie, Jr.  He died in 1935 and the family calculated that he must have been about 104 to 106 years old.

As to the property, Wm. Gassie, Jr. had to give up planting because of so many losses.  The Texas & Pacific Railroad set up its shops at Addis and he divided his property into a subdivision which he named Harris Subdivision, with Harris Avenue down the center, named after one of the railroad officials with whom he was so friendly.