The first Acadian arrivals in Louisiana primarily settled in two locations: Attakapas (now St. Martinville) and along the Mississippi River. Attakapas was the name of an Indian tribe (called the 'man-eaters') who had previously inhabited the area. Settlers who went westward to Attakapas also soon spread out to Opelousas as well. By 1766, two single men named Hebert were in the Attakapas.
There were at least fifteen Hebert families who settled in the Attakapas area during the late eighteenth century. Two of the largest Hebert families in that area were descendants of Belony and of Jean Baptiste dit Emmanuel. Belony and his wife, Jeanne Savoie, had taken their family to New Brunswick to escape deportation. Two of their sons later went to Louisiana. It is believed that Joseph-Pepin (m. 1771 Madeleine Trahan) arrived first, sometime before 1766. His brother, Jean-Charles (m. 1773 Madeleine Robichaux), came at a later date. Both of them settled along Bayou Vermilion and raised their families there. Joseph-Pepin had 3 sons and 10 grandsons to carry on the Hebert name; while Jean-Charles had 3 sons and 9 grandsons. Most of their Hebert descendants stayed around the Bayou Vermilion / Lafayette area. It is known that Francois-Pepin (Joseph-Pepin's son) (m. 1802 Marianne Mouton) moved south and was one of the first settlers in the Abbeville area.
Jean Baptiste dit Emmanuel's widow, Claim Robichaux, had settled in St. James Parish by 1766. Three of their sons moved to the Attakapas region. The first to make the trip was Jean Baptiste, Jr. (m. 1768 Theotiste Hebert), who was living near St. Martinville by 1766. Joseph (m. 1762 Francoise Hebert) and Mathurin (m. 1787 Catherine Dort) arrived sometime before 1789. They all settled in around present-day New Iberia, in the Fausse Pointe area along the Teche. Mathurin's three sons moved downriver into St. Mary Parish. One of the sons, Philibert, became a sugar planter near Charenton. Placide Hebert (Jean Baptiste, Jr.'s grandson)(m. 1825 Adtline Theriot, 1834 Adeline Richard) and Alexandre Hebert (Joseph's grandson)(m. 1820 Clarisse Broussard) left the Teche area in the 1820s and headed west to work at cattle ranching. They later settled on the Mermentau River near present Lake Arthur. By 1850 ten Hebert families lived in Calcasieu Parish, most of them along the Mermentau River. By 1880 there were fifteen Hebert households in Calcasieu Parish, ten in Cameron.
Marriage Contracts at the Attakapas Post: 1760-1803
HEBERTs in the 1774 Census of Attakapas
HEBERTs in the 1781 Attakapas Census
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