Noisette Family History
Because of the miscegenation laws of South Carolina Philippe was forced to declare Celestine his slave. They had six children who also became his slaves. The 1830 Federal Census recorded him as a single white man owning eight slaves who are believed to be his wife and at least five of his six children. Among his slaves were two adult males between the ages of 55 and 100.
Shortly before his death, in 1835, Philippe petitioned the state of South Carolina for the emancipation of his faithful slave Celestine and their six children. Philippe died without knowing the results of his petition.Philippe’s family was in fact later emancipated and allowed to secure their inheritance and remain in the state of South Carolina. Philippe was buried at St. Mary’s Church, on Hasell Street in downtown Charleston. His head stone was said to have been destroyed by an act of nature and was never replaced. Philippe and Celestine’s children were; Alexander (born in 1808) who married Margaret (Peggy) Washington. They had seven children; Bartholamew Alexander, Louis Philippe, Pierre Louis, Anna Melanie, Josephine, Paul and Joseph. Paul and Joseph were buried in the Humane Friendly Society Cemetery in North Charleston where they share a headstone.
All of the descendants of Philippe and Celestine that remained in SC seem to be the descendants of their first son Alexander and Margaret (Peggy) Washington. Their children were: Philip Noisette born 1833 and married Louisa Dederik; Alexander Jr. born 1835 married Sarah Ann Graves; Louis (Lewis) born in 1841 who is recorded in the 1870 Federal Census as living in Idaho; Celestine Noisette born 1843 married Robert Sutton; Joseph Stanislaus Noisette born in 1848 married Ardeena (Ardeana) Hollan; John Noisette born 1850 married Charlotte Edwards. (Charlotte died and John moved to Savannah, remarried and had three children). James Noisette was Alexander and Margaret’s youngest child was born in 1854.
In February 2011, descendants of Philippe’s daughter Josephine, and descendants of Alexander, II, discovered they still have cousins in Charleston. A discovery that now links them to over 1,400 people on the Noisette family tree.
After the 2011 reunion in Charleston, SC, the French cousins invited the American cousins to visit France for a reunion to meet the many cousins in Paris, Caen, and Nantes. After two years of planning, 52 American cousins from all over the United States and one from Rome, attended the first international Noisette Reunion in Paris. With three receptions planned, Paris, Caen and Nantes, we met over 40 descendants of our ancestor brothers, Philippe (1773-1835) and Antoine Noisette (1778-1858).
Just before the reunion in France, an email was received from a Noisette descendant not yet discovered. His ancestor was the youngest brother of Philippe and Antoine, Louis Toussaint (1792-1858). With this discovery, the family was able to add eighty-five additional names to the Noisette family tree. What an exciting and memorable reunion for the Noisettes of France and America, in France, the birth place of our forefathers, beginning in 1710.
The Noisette Families
Philippe, Antoine and Louis Noisette: Came from a family of well-known horticulturists in France. Their grandfather, father, and uncles were ‘Jardiniers’ for such royals as Louis the XVI, and future King Louis XVIII. Louis was superintendent of the Botanical Garden at Val-de-Grâce. He later established his own botanical garden and became one of the leading gardening authorities in Europe.
Philippe Stanislas and Celestine Noisette: It is believed that Philippe went to Saint-Dominque at such a young age (15 years) because there were already Noisettes living there. There he met Celestine. They later married and fled with her to Charleston where they lived until his death in 1835. Celestine continued living in the Noisette house after Philippe’s death with their seven children. History tells us that, at the time they met, Haiti had many free people of color to whom France had awarded full citizenship.
Antoine and Marie-Jeanne Lecolier Noisette: Departed Paris for Nantes in 1822. In 1823 he was named director of Le Jardin des Plantes de Nantes. He and Marie-Jeanne had five children, Jean Dominique, Marie Josephine, Andre Charles, Antoine Frederick, and Emile Antoine. Robin Noisette and I traveled to France this spring and visited with descendants of Andre Charles who live in Caen and Paris. We also visited descendants of Antoine Frederick who live in Nantes.
Ellen Noisette ( a descendant of Philippe and Celestine): Was born in 1849, and died in 1891. She married Francis “Frank” Sparks Lee, the colored son of John Francis Lee of Barbados and Anna Borch. They had seven children of which five lived: Norman, William, Frank, Samuel, and James. This information was taken from the historical notes of Willie Lee dating back to 1844.
Jacob and Celeste Noisette: Harry Noisette, born in 1883, knew little about his grandparents Jacob and Celeste. Harry’s grandson, 85-year-old Harry Noisette, his children, nieces, and nephew, ironically now living on former Noisette farmland, continue to search for more information on their Noisette lineage and their connection to Philippe and Celestine.
Benjamin and Anna Noisette: Benjamin’s master was Judge Singleton, and Anna’s master was James Hopkins, both of Charleston. They had one son, Henry Benjamin Noisette, (b. in 1841). Benjamin and his second wife, Mary, had three children, Jasmine, Benjamin, and Louis (b. 1847). In 2009, after an extensive search, Lex Musta was able to connect half-brothers, Henry Benjamin, and Louis Noisette through Civil War deposition records discovered in their claims for military pensions for their families.
Rene and Medelice Merceron Noisette: From the National Archives of Port au Prince, Haiti: Noisettes have been found in Saint-Dominque as early as 1770. Rene and Medelice Noisette, circa 1848, came from France. Rene’s city of origin is unknown. The Merceron family came from Nantes. Haitian Mimi Jolicoeur (now living in Florida) whose mother is Nicole Noisette Fabien, traveled to Port au Prince last summer, continuing her search for the origin of their Noisette roots. Unfortunately, future searching in the National Archives will be delayed as a result of the damages from the earthquake.
Frank and Eva Noisette moved to Jacksonville in 1921. Frank born in 1900 was the son of Marion Noisette ( b. 1858) and Carrie Davis (b. 1862). They had more than ten children but only five children lived: Sarah 1882, Marie 1884, John 1894, Frank 1900, and Viola, 1906. Eva’s parents were Essa and Paul Jenkins. Marion and Carrie were married in 1882 in Charleston. On the 1900 census, Marion listed his occupation as a farm laborer. Viola Noisette was found on the 1920 census living in New York, at age 14, as a lodger of JT and Lucy Harrod. Eva also had two sisters, Anna and Luceile. Dorothy Noisette of Jacksonville recalls Anna coming to visit them in Jacksonville from Charleston. Anna would braid her hair, but much too tight. She did not look forward to Anna’s visits.