Jacques Selam: first a soldier, then a colonist?


Had Jacques Selam lived long enough, he would have been Etienne Henry Plauché's father-in-law. Indeed Etienne married Jacques' daughter in 1765, in the presence of his widow, Marie Magdeleine. Jacques Selam is the earliest known immigrant ancestor of all Plauché lineages.

How and when?

In December 1999, the webmaster and his wife finally paid a visit to the campus of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now called University of Louisiana at Lafayette), and in particular to the Center for Louisiana Studies. (Given the time of year, there were no alligators to be seen in Cypress Lake).

Back in 1997, after an e-mail contact with its director, Dr. Glenn Conrad, they had already visited its most interesting web site. This time, they were fortunate enough to be greeted by its Assistant Director, Carl Brasseaux, in person, et en français. Monsieur Brasseaux, needless to say, is a great connoisseur of their fascinating archives. It did not take him long to direct his naïve visitors to the proper pages of Glenn Conrad's "First families of Louisiana", first published by Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, 1970.

From the (French) Archives des Colonies, Dr. Conrad extracted lists of passengers. On page 94 of this book, we find the list of passengers embarked on the "Elephant" bound for Louisiana, dated August 10, 1720. Among the troops, some with picturesque noms de guerre (such as Sans Souci, Sans Chagrin, Pied Ferme, Va de bon Coeur, Parisien, Tranche Montagne, Brisefer, La Déroute, Sans Quartier, L'Eveillé), we see a Jacques Selamme. There is little doubt that this is the Jacques Selam that we were looking for.

Now what?

We still do not know how it came about that Jacques stayed in Louisiana, and how he got to meet and marry his wife Marie Magdeleine Goleur (or Goteur).