The In-Laws: Pierre Hervai (Harvey) & Celina Moran

The In-Laws: Pierre Hervai (Harvey) & Celina Moran
osarep Tue, 03/23/2010 - 16:28

Pierre Harvey (1810-1893) was born in France about 1810.  He is the patriarch of the Harvey family of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  It is not known precisely when Pierre Harvey came to the United States or from which French city or department that he immigrated.  It is very likely that he arrived in the Back Bay (North Biloxi) community in the 1830s.  Here, the young French seaman met and married Celina Morin (1811-1883) on February 20, 1840.  The name Morin is now spelled Moran.  The marriage of Pierre Harvey and Celina Moran was recorded in the Book of Marriages, Volume 8 (1840-1842), Folio 103 of the Archives of the St. Louis Cathedral at New Orleans.


Pierre Harvey's first tracks in the Harrison County Court House were made in 1842, when he purchased 46 acres of land in irregular Section 17, T7S-R9W from Joseph Morin II (Moran). 


On March 2, 1846, Monsieur Harvey made the following statement in the Circuit Court of Harrison County:  This day being a day of the term of said court the second day of March A.D. 1846 personally came and appeared in open court, Pier (sic ), who being duly sworn, and solemnly acclaim that it was his bonafied intention to become a citizen of the United States of America and to renounce forever all allegiance to any foreign state, prince, or sovereignty whatsoever and particularly to Louis Phillip King of the French he has heretofore been a subject.(Minutes of the HARCO, Ms. Circuit Court-Book 1, p. 116)


Pierre Harvey became a citizen of the United States of America on March 6, 1848.  This act took place at the Harrison County Circuit Court at Mississippi City and was recorded in the Minutes of the HARCO, Ms. Circuit Court-Book 1, page 183.


Pierre and Celina Harvey and Celina lived on the Back Bay of Biloxi near her father, Joseph Moran II.  Here he made his livelihood as a seaman and fisherman.  Harvey probably toiled in the coastal schooner trade.  Naval stores, salt, lumber and charcoal were produced locally and shipped to New Orleans and Mobile.  The traders returned with food staples, tools, and cloth. 

Moran Family

Moran Family
osarep Tue, 03/23/2010 - 17:24

The Morin (Moran) Family of the Mississippi Coast originated at St. Pierre-du-Sud, Quebec, Canada.  Here Joseph Morin, was born of Denis Morin and Madeleine Boulet.  He settle at Cat Island and married Louise Ladner, the daughter of Nicolas Ladner and Marie Anne Pacquet, in 1778.  All of their children were born and reared at Cat Island.


Joseph Morin II and his family lived at Old Chimneys (Long Beach) until about 1820, when they moved to North Biloxi near what would become the 1850s Kendall Brickyard on Back Bay.  It is here that the Moran children were reared.  They were: Joseph Moran III (1809), Celina (1811-1883), Claire Marguerite, Francois (1815-1887), Victoire (1817), Marie (1818), Virginia (1820-1891), and Sarah Ann?.


Pierre Harvey and Celina had settled on the 46 acres in Section 17, T7S-R9W he had bought from his father-in-law, Joseph Moran II in 1842.  He sold 37 acres to J.L. Lastinger reserving 9 acres which was probably the Harvey homestead.   As one can see from the topographic map of the area, it was well named as it was called "Harvey Hill". 


The union of Pierre and Celina Harvey produced five Franco-American children: Marie Harvey (1840-1894), Pierre Harvey Jr. (1841-1878), Casimir Harvey (1845-1904), Margaret Harvey (1847-1886), and Phillip Harvey (1851-1918).


Marie Harvey (1840-1894) married a French immigrant seaman, Antoine V. Bellande (1829-1918), at Biloxi on July 9, 1866.


Pierre Harvey died on September 30, 1893.  Celina Moran Harvey preceded him in death.  She expired on September 21, 1883.  Their remains were probably interred in the Moran Cemetery at D’Iberville, Mississippi.

While living at Back Bay, Antoine Bellande had become acquainted with Pierre Harvey.  Probably their French language and culture as well as their common bond as seamen brought them together.  Regardless, Antoine married Marie Harvey, the eldest daughter of Pierre and Zeline in July, 1866.  The ceremony took place at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Biloxi.  The Reverend Henri Georget recorded the following concerning their nuptials in Book 2, page 109, Act 838:  


On July 9, 1866, with no impediments I interrogated Antoine Bellande, sailor, son of Joseph Bellande and Celina Vesianne, his lawful wife, born in France (Dept. des Bouches du Rhone) residing at Back Bay, and Marie Hervy daughter of Pierre Hervy and Celina Morin, his lawful wife, born and living at Back Bay.  Their consent being expressed, I oined them in Matrimony by words in presence of known witnesses:  Silvestre Fayard and Rosa Husley.


During the pre-Civil War period while living "across the Bay" on his 37.36 acres in Section 17, T7S-R9W purchased from J.L. Lastinger et ux in October 1870, I can only speculate that Antoine Bellande provided for his young family by running his schooner on the Mississippi Sound.  He may have taken contracts to unload larger vessels and carry coastwise freight.  Participation in the hunt for buried treasure left on these shores by Jean LaFitte and other sea rovers is a possibility. 


In 1879, four oldest children Joseph (age 11), Anthony (age 10), Peter (age 8), and Ida (age 5) were attending the Big Ridge School.  Leon Dieschbourg was the teacher.  The Bellande children had an excellent attendance record.