Jean Baptiste Choisserof Kaskaskia and Gallatin County (1784-1860)
by Aubrey Starke
In Wolf Creek Cemetery, now the city cemetery of Eldorado, Illinois, is the grave of Jean Baptiste Choisser, the ancestor of a numerous progeny in Eldorado and other towns of Southern Illinois. The inscription on his tombstone reads:
In Memory of
Born in Kaskaskia
June 20, 1784
Died Jan. 15, 1860
Aged 76 ys.
6 mo. 25 days
The brief notes on John Choisser, his ancestors and his descendants, which constitute this article were made in the course of an investigation undertaken to substantiate certain family traditions. That the investigation would lead so far, or touch so much of the history of early Illinois, was not at all anticipated. The still existing ecclesiastical records of the French villages of Illinois have not been examined by scholars as thoroughly as their importance would warrant 1; and probably few suspect how much of historical fact as well as genealogical data and human interest they reveal. These notes, taken chiefly from the ecclesiastical records for the satisfaction of a single family, are published because the story of settlement and life in Illinois that they tell is interesting, and because they offer a suggestion of the wealth of material yet to be gleaned from an almost wholly unexplored body of original material.
1. The most interesting examination yet made is that of Edward G. Mason, read before the Chicago Historical Society, "Kaskaskia and its Parish Records." See Illinois in the 18th Century, by Edward G. Mason, Chicago, 1881.
Table of Contents
Preface - An introduction by Bill Choisser
Introduction - Aubrey Starke's introduction to his work
Part I - A brief look backward
Part II - The ancestors in Montreal
Part III - The brothers Jean and Jean Baptiste Choisser
Part IV - Marianne La Buxiere and her ancestors
Part V - John Choisser and his family
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