L’histoire et la généalogie de la famille Gravois
This book, which spans three-hundred years and fourteen generations, skillfully combines family history and genealogy to give the reader an insight into the lives of the various generations as the Gravois family multiplied and prospered since the first ones arrived in Louisiana in 1766.
Pierre Gravois and his family suffered much under the rule of the English before and after the deportation of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755. The family escaped the deportation only to be captured in 1761 and held in prison until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763. By terms of the treaty, France offered Pierre and other Acadian families, who had been in prison, transportation and land in Saint Domingue, which they accepted. After arriving in Saint Domingue, the Acadians found that the promised land was very small and not good for farming. France had been at war and couldn’t help the Acadians, and many hundreds of the Acadians died of starvation. While all this was going on, Spain had taken over ownership of Louisiana and was offering land grants and transportation to Louisiana. Pierre had died by 1766, but his family accepted Spain’s offer and it was the start of the best life the family had seen. Beside the land grant, which was very rich farm land, they received provisions, farm equipment and seed cane. This started the first Gravois sugar plantation which lasted almost 300 years, because you can find Gravois families still farming sugar cane today.
Pierre’s son, Jean Gravois, must have been pleased when he was able to participate in battles against the English in Louisiana during the American Revolution. He was also in the trenches at the Battle of New Orleans at the age of 59 years. The name, Gravois, can be found in muster roll records for every war fought by America since it won its independence. Some even gave their all, like Noland Joseph Gravois, who was killed at Iwo Jima during WWII.