Taltavull Family


of The Mississippi Gulf Coast

The family name Taltavull has been spelled many ways in the Federal Census and the Roman Catholic Church records of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Among them are: Tantabouille, Tartavle, Tartavull, Tataole, Taltabull, Tartarie, Taltavel, Taltavaul, Taltaral, Taltevae, Sartain, Taltavout, Taltavully, Tartavole, Tartabou, and Taltuval.  Today, the name is generally spelled Taltavull in this region.

In the 1850 Federal Census of Harrison County, Mississippi, there were two Spanish immigrants, Nicholas Tataole and Bernard Tartarie, living at Back Bay, which is now called D'Iberville.  They were ship carpenters employed in the small shipbuilding industry located where Bill Holland's wooden boat yard is today on the east side of the old Back Bay bridge.  These men were probably brothers, Nicholas Taltavull and Bernard Taltavull, who immigrated here from the island of Menorca in the Balearic group off the southern coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea.  It is known with a high degree of certitude that the Catchot brothers, Jose Catchot (1823-1900), Antonio Catchot (1828-1885), and Arnaud Catchot (1836-1912), of Ocean Springs arrived on the Mississippi coast from Menorca about the same time.  

The genealogy of the Catchot family extracted from the Catholic Church records of the Archives of the Diocese of Menorca at Ciudadela, Menorca by archivist, Father Fernando Marti, for Ray L. Bellande in September 1991, indicate that Antonio Catchot Morla, the half-brother of Jose Catchot Neto, who was the father of the Catchot brothers of Ocean Springs, married Magdalena Taltavull Guivernau in 1819.  Her parents were Jose Taltavull and Apolonia Guivernau. 

The appearance of the names Taltavull and Catchot on the Mississippi coast at about the same time in the mid-19th Century also indicates that some familial relationship between these two families may exist.  An argument against this postulation is that at Roman Catholic marriages and baptisms, neither family is a witness or sponsor for the other, except when Elisa Catchot witnessed the 1868 marriage of Mary A. Taltavull and Antony Manent in Ocean Springs.  This fact may or may not indicate a familial relationship.(Lepre, Vol. I, 1991, p. 333)


Nicholas Taltavull was born in January 1830, probably at Menorca in the Spanish Balearic Islands.  He immigrated to the United States in 1848.  Nicholas Taltavull married Adelaide Carco (1829-1904) on December 20, 1849.  She was the daughter of Jean Baptiste Carco Jr. and Gertrude Fournier.  Their children were: Marie T. Balius (1850-1911), Margaret T. Seymour (1852-1880+), Francis Taltavull (1853-1920), Josephine T. Fayard (1856-1923+), Elizabeth Taltavull (1857-1926), Cecele Taltavull (1860-1874+), Rosa Taltavull (b. 1861), Peter Taltavull (1864-1884+), Clara Taltavull (1868-1874+), Nicholas Taltavull (1869-1931), and Pauline Taltavull (b. 1873).

In November 1867, Nicholas Taltavull bought a 5.2-acre tract in Biloxi from John and Mary Colley for $200.  The land had 120 feet on Back Bay and was bounded on the west by Reynoir Streetalong which it ran south for 1900 feet.  Most of this tract was sold off by the turn of the century.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Book 10, p. 333)

As early as April 1878, Nicholas Taltavull was associated with Rafael Sancho in the bakery business at Biloxi.  They advertised in May 1878, in The Pascagoula Democrat-Star as follows:

 Sancho & Taltavull

Biloxi, Miss.,

Confectionery & Bakery

There is now attached to this establishment

An elegant soda water and ice cream saloon

The Public is respectfully invited to give us a call.  All orders for Balls, Parties, Soirees, etc. attended to on short notice, and at moderate prices.

(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 31, 1878, p. 1)

In October 1902, C. Taltavull filed a law suit, Cause No. 1494, in the Harrison County Chancery Court against her husband because he had sold their homestead, which was described as a lot with 120 feet on Back Bay Avenue and 250 feet on Reynoir Street, to Bernard Marigny of MandevilleLouisianafor $800.  The suit alleges that Mrs. Taltavull did not sign the deed, Mr. Taltavull was not supporting her finacially, and that the property was valued between $3,000 and $5,000. 

The judge awarded Adelle C. Taltavull $250 in back alimony, $50 for attorney fees, and a monthly alimony of $20.  Mrs. Nicholas Taltavull died at Long BeachMississippi on September 14, 1914.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery.



Harrison County Chancery Court Cause No. 1494, "Adelle Taltavull v. Nicholas Taltavull", October 1902.

Nap L. Cassibry II, The Ladner Odyssey, (Miss. Coast Historical & Genealogical Society: Biloxi,

Mississippi-1987, p. 587.

The Daily Herald, "Former Biloxi Lady Died at Long Beach” (Adelaide Taltavull Obit), October 2, 1914, p. 2, c. 2.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Sancho & Taltavull”, May 31, 1878.

US CENSUS (1880)-Harrison CountyMississippi.



1.  MARIE TALTAVULL (1850-1911) married Ramon T. Balius (1845-1912) on August 16, 1869.  He was the son of Ramon Balius and Cecile Fayard.  Balius served with Company E, 3rd Mississippi Infantry from September 1863 until February 1865.  Their children were: Mrs. R. Pickett, Mrs. C.C. Holliman, Mrs. Seymour Desporte, Ernest Balius, Herman Balius, and John Balius.  The family resided on Thomas Street in Biloxi.


Nap L. Cassibry, The Ladner Odyssey, (Miss. Coast Historical & Genealogical Society:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1987), p. 672.

2.  MARGARET TALTAVULL (1852-1880+) married Edmond Seymour (1848-1925) on May 19, 1874.  They parented two children: Regina Seymour (1874-1880+) and Selina Seymour (1879-1880+).  Margaret worked as a seamstress in 1880.  They probably divorced as he married Virginia Young on May 18, 1875.  Edmond Seymour and Virginia Young had a large family at Back Bay.  Edmond Seymour was a butcher in 1910.


Nap Cassibry II, The Ladner Odyssey, (Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1987), p. 805.


3.  FRANCIS TALTAVULL (1853-1920) married on June 5, 1900, Anna Stiglets (1867-1941), the daughter of ship carpenter, Vincent Stiglets (1805-1893) and Felicite Ladner (1824-1896), of Stonewall,Harrison County, Missisippi.  Francis Taltavull died at LorraineHarrison County, on November 25, 1920.  He and Anna are interred in the St. James Cemetery at HandsboroMississippi.


The Daily Herald, "Frank Taltavull Was A Respected Citizen", November 29, 1920, p. 3, c. 2.

4.  ELIZABETH TALTAVULL (1857-1926) was born at Biloxi. She never married and was a resident of New Orleans where she died on December 4, 1926.  She was survived by a brother, Nick Taltavull, and sisters, Mrs. F. Fayard and Mrs. A. Menuier.


The Daily Herald, "Elizabeth Taltavull Obit", December 6, 1926, p. 2, c. 3.

Bradford O'Keefe Burial Book 15, "Elizabeth Taltavull", p. 27.


5. CECILE TALTAVULL (1860-1874+) was baptized on March 27, 1874, at the Nativity of the BVM at Biloxi.  No further information.



Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Vol. 1, (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 333.

6. ROSA TALTAVULL (b. 1861) was born January 7, 1861?  She was baptized at the Nativity of the BVM at Biloxi on May 25, 1861.  No further information.



Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 334.

7.  PETER TALTAVULL (1868-1884) was born on February 15, 1864.  He bought a lot on the east side of Reynoir Street on April 19, 1884, from Mary Bellande (1840-1894).  The tract was 220 feet long and 120 feet deep.  Nicholas Taltavull owned the lot to the north and P. Harvey was to the south.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Book 20, p. 101)

No further information.


Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Vol. 1, (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 333.

8.  JOSEPHINE TALTAVULL (1856-1923+) married Celestine Fayard Jr. (1859-1923), son of Celestine Fayard and Euphemie Ladner on September 18, 1883.  They resided at 850 Fayard Street inBiloxi.  They had six children: John Fayard (1881-1901+) married Angelina Hill on December 25, 1901; Therese Fayard; Frederick Fayard married Pinky Smith on October 6, 1907, then Clara Roland on April 12, 1925; Sydney Joseph Fayard married Mamie Reed on May 11, 1912, then Alice McGill on June 27, 1921; George Fayard (1892-1968); Jefferson Fayard married Louvine Gericevich on October 8, 1922.  Celestine Fayard Jr. expired on July 18, 1923.  Buried at Biloxi Cemetery.



Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of BiloxiMississippi, (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991, p. 333.

Nap Cassibry, The Ladner Odyssey, (Miss. Coast Historical & Genealogical Society:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1987), p. 365.

The Daily Herald, "Biloxi Resident Dead", July 18, 1923, p. 3.

Personal Communication:

Tracy B. McDonald-November 1996.

9.  CLARA TALTAVULL (1868-1889+) was born on May 1, 1868. She was baptized on February 21, 1882 at the Nativity of the BVM in Biloxi.  She married Phillip Wagner on March 15, 1889.  No further information.



Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, (Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 334.

10.  NICHOLAS TALTAVULL (1869-1931) was born at Biloxi on February 7, 1869.  He resided at947 Main Street and appears to have remained a bachelor.  Nick worked at factories and restaurants and was well known, especially in the Back Bay section of Biloxi.  He expired on March 6, 1931, and was survived by Mrs. C. Meunier (New Orleans), Mrs. Fayard (Long Beach), and a brother, Tom Taltavull (may be Peter?) (New Orleans).



Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 333.

The Daily Herald, "Nick Taltavull Dies", March 6, 1931, p. 3.

11.   PAULINE N. TALTAVULL was born February 15, 1873 and baptized on June 12, 1873 

at the Nativity of the BVM in Biloxi.  No further information.



Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 333.


Bernard Taltavull (1829-1870+) married Marie Louise Moran (1834-died before 1873), the daughter of Joseph Moran III and Virginia Fayard, on April 12, 1850.  Children: Mary T. Rousseau (b. 1853) and Francis Taltavull (1851-1930).  Family lore says that he brought the family to Cuba during the Civil War. He was a ship carpenter at Back Bay in 1850.



Nap L. Cassibry II, The Ladner Odyssey, (Mississippi Coast Historical and Genealogical Society:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1987), p. 142, and p. 667.

Personal Communication:

Jane T. Smith-November 1996.


1.  MARY LOUISE TALTAVULL was born on October 1, 1853.  She married Daniel Rousseau (b. 1842) on July 31, 1873.  He was the son of Joseph Rousseau and Arthemise Ladner.  Their children were:  Frederick Daniel Rousseau (b. 1875) who married Laura Ryan in December 1895, Joseph Bernard Rousseau (b. 1876), and Charles Francis Rousseau (b. 1878).


Nap L. Cassibry II, The Ladner Odyssey, (Mississippi Coast Historical and Genealogical Society:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1987), pp. 666-667, and p. 847.

Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume III, (Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1995), p. 349.

2.  FRANCIS A. TALTAVULL (1851-1930) married Mary Margaret Bertheaud (1860-1904) on March 19, 1879.  She was the daughter of Benjamin Bertheaud (d. pre 1866) and Anna Marie Abbley (1842-1917).  The Bertheauds were married by Justice of the Peace, Berry Wells (1812-1876), on October 23, 1858, in Harrison County.  Their other children were Rosalie Bertheaud (b.1862), and Mary Victorine Bertheaud (b. 1865).  After the death of Benjamin Bertheaud, Anna Marie married Joseph Santa Cruz (1809-1886) on July 10, 1866.  Anecdotal history relates that there were eight children born to this union, but only four sons survived: Fritz Santa Cruz (1870-1952), Rudolph Santa Cruz (1872-1932), Adolph Santa Cruz (1881-1972), and Randolph Santa Cruz (1882-1971).  Joseph Santa Cruz was born at Palma on the island of Majorca.

In 1880, Francis and Margaret Taltavull were residing at Back Bay (now D'Iberville) next to her mother, Mrs. Joseph Santa Cruz.  Both men are ship carpenters.  The children of Francis A. Taltavull and Marie Marguerite Bertheaud were: Mary “Maggie” T. Moran (1880-1948), wife of W.E. Moran; William Bernard Taltavull (1882-1948), Francis A. Taltavull (1883-1950), Alphonsine Taltavull (1885-1885?), and Margaret T. Venus (1888-1966), wife of Joseph Venus.

Frank Taltavull learned the Spanish language and the art of shipbuilding from his father, Bernard, on the shores of  North Biloxi.  His father took him to Cuba during the Civil War and he later worked for the Brooklyn Boat Works at New York City where he learned large shipbuilding methods. 

In March 1880, Frank Taltavull bought a tract of land in a State tax sale for $3.20.  It was formerly owned by William Sylvester.  The land was located on the north shore of Back Bay and had one arpent (192 feet) on the water and was one mile deep.  Pierre Quave was to the east and Joseph Moran to the west.  There is a high degree of certitude that Taltavull located a shipyard here.  This is corroborated by The Biloxi Herald of March 19, 1892.  The journal announced that the new schooner, Emma R. Clemens, owned by John Moran was launched from Frank Taltavull's shipyard.  Home belles who attended the ceremony were: Laura Quave, Coline Harvey, Virginia and Theresa Moran, Edna Studebaker, Lena and Josephine Newman, and Melissa and  Viola Seymour.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Book 17, p. 370)

         Frank Taltavull advertised his business in The Biloxi Herald of October 5, 1893 as follows:


F. Taltavull practical Ship Carpenter and Boat Builder

          Vessels built, hauled out and repaired on short notice and at reasonable prices.  The yard is supplied with all the modern appliances necessary to do first class work, and vessels also hauled out by steam.(p. 4, c. 3)

The October 1893 Hurricane washed away Taltavull's shipyard on Back Bay.  Probably as a result of losing his business and to locate closer to the seafood canneries on the south shore of Back Bay, Frank Taltavull moved to Biloxi in 1894, and resided on Reynoir Street.  By 1895, he was operating a shipyard on Back Bay.  Mr. Taltavull was known for constructing fast sailboats, schooners, steam launches, and tugs. 

In May 1894, the new, 18-foot catboat, Rosina, built by Mr. Taltavull was for sale by Wallace Montross of the Montross Hotel.  Asking price $65.(The Biloxi Herald, May 26, 1894, p. 8)

Two Frank Taltavull built vessels, the schooner, A. Gerdes and Brother, and the steam tug, Julius Elbert, became involved on May 29, 1901.  Captain Antoine V. Bellande (1829-1918) was in command of the schooner in the Mississippi Sound en route to Ocean Springs.  The seven-man crew was below preparing for bed with a green sailor at the helm.  The weather roughened and his inexperienced allowed the vessel to capsize.  Captain Bellande and his crew were found by the Julius Elbert clinging to their stricken ship.  They were rescued and having lost all their possession to the sea.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 29, 1901)

In 1905, the Taltavull & Rerecich Shipyard is in operation at 402 East Back Bay Avenue.  It was sold by Bernard Taltavull to George Melvin in August 1908.  Casimero Rerecish (1858-1918) was an 1896 Austrian (probably Croatian) immigrant.(HARCO, Ms. Chattel Bk. 10, p. 216.)

Frank Taltavull was beset with eye disease in his old age.  Described as “paralysis of the eye”, he visited an eye specialist at New Orleans in March 1928 with some relief.(The Daily Herald, March 26, 1928, p. 2)

 Mrs. Taltavull died on July 12, 1904.  Mr. Frank Taltavull passed on January 6, 1930.  Remains of both are interred at the Biloxi Cemetery.


Charles Dyer, Along The Gulf, "Biloxi", (reprinted by the Women of Trinity Episcopal Church:  Pass Christian, Mississippi-1971).

Brother Jerome Lepre, The Santa Cruz Family, (Lepre: New Orleans, Louisiana-1990), pp. 49-52 and p. 59.

The Biloxi City Directory, Volume 1-1905, (The Biloxi Daily Herald Printery:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1905), p. 49 and p. 138.

Biloxi Cemetery Records Book E, "Francis Taltavull Sr.", (microfilm:  Biloxi Public Library), p. 214.

The Biloxi Herald, "Launching of the new schooner, Emma R. Clemens", March 19, 1892, p. 4.

The Biloxi Herald, "Terrific Gale", October 5, 1893, p. 1.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, May 26, 1894.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 29, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Moran-Taltavull", January 26, 1905, p. 5.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Venus-Taltavull”, November 26, 1908, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Casimero Reresich Obit", February 8, 1918, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, “Returns From New Orleans”, March 26, 1928.


Personal Communication:

Rusty Barnes-November 1996.

Jane Taltavull Smith-November 1996.


2A.  MARY AGNES TALTAVULL (1880-1966) was born at North Biloxi on October 14, 1880.  She married William Ernest Moran (1880-1930) on January 25, 1905, at the residence of her parents.  His parents were Ernest Moran and Catherine Kornman.  The Moran-Taltavull nuptials were a small quite ceremony performed by Judge Z.T. Champlin (1847-1924).  Only relations and intimate friends were in attendance. 

Captain William Ernest Moran, called Naneece, and his family resided at 1002 Lameuse Street.  He made his livelihood as a carpenter and the captain of the pleasure boat, Iona Louise, which he had operated since 1905.  Captain Moran took tourist primarily for the Midwest to Ship Island and up theTchoutacabouffa River for $1.00 per day.  He was well known at the Biloxi Yacht Club.

The Moran children were: Voyle Moran (1905-1997), Margaret M. Bullard (1907-1995), Naomi M. Porter (b. ?-1992), Nita M. Saucier (1912-1996+), and Iona L. Moran (1918-1996+).  Iona L. Moran resides in the old family home on Lameuse Street today.  She was a telephone operator for Southern Bellfor many years.  Margaret lived at Pensacola where she is buried.

Captain Moran died on June 27, 1930.  Mrs. Moran expired on October 14, 1966.  Both are interred at the Biloxi City Cemetery.


Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Records Book 19, "Captain Wm.Ernest Moran", p. 56.

Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Records Book 50, "Mary Agnes Moran", p. 62.

Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 333.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 26, 1905, p. 5, c. 4.

The Daily Herald, "Captain Moran Dies After Short Illness", June 28, 1930, p. 1, c. 3.

The Daily Herald, "Mrs. Mary A. Moran", October 19, 1966, p. 2, c. 3.

The Daily Herald,  "Voyle Moran", September 28, 1997, p.

Personal Communication:

Iona L. Moran-November 1996

Tessie M. Tootle-November 1996


2B.  WILLIAM BERNARD TALTAVULL (1882-1948) was born February 6, 1882 at Lorraine,Harrison CountyMississippi.  He married Elsie Lyle Maxwell (1886-1962) on August 6, 1910.  She was the daughter of John Lyle Maxwell (1845-1889) and Mary Scott (1864-1938).  Mr. Maxwell was born at CantonIllinois.  He married Mary Scott, the daughter of Alexander C. Scott (1848-1878) and Jane Sheppard (1842-1905), on January 31, 1884 in Biloxi.

The Scotts were English.  Mrs. Scott was born Jane Sheppard in 1842, at South Shields,England.  South Shields is located in the county of Tyne and Wear on the North Sea at the mouth of theTyne River, ten miles east of Newcastle upon Tyne.  She married Alexander C. Scott in the Anglican Church at South Shields in 1862.  They immigrated to the United States in 1871, arriving at New Orleans.  The Scotts came to Biloxi circa 1872.  Mr. Scott died as a result of yellow fever during the epidemic of 1878.  Mrs. Scott expired on January 4, 1905 at Biloxi.  Her surviving children were: Mrs. Fred Dorhauer, Mrs. Mary Scott Maxwell, Alexander C. Scott Jr. and Edna F. Scott.  In addition, Jane Sheppard Scott left two sisters at South ShieldsEngland:  Mrs. Burns and Mrs. Forest.

From the union of William Bernard Taltavull and Elsie L. Maxwell, two daughters were born: Jane T. Smith (b. 1911) and Mary Edna T. Gillis (1919-1996).

Ship carpenter

William Bernard Taltavull was known as Bernard.  He was educated in the Biloxi school system.  Bernard learned the shipbuilding business from his father, Frank Taltavull.  In August 1901, young Taltavull while using the circular saw at his father’s shipyard severely cut his thumb and forefinger.  Dr. Bolton (1859-1923) was called to the Back Bay boatyard to attend to Bernard’s hand.  Bolton  opined that his lacerated hand would recover from the accident.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 7, 1901, p. 8)

During the September 1906 Hurricane, Bernard Taltavull’s shipyard on Back Bay suffered $400 damage.(The Daily Herald,, September 28, 1906, p. 2)


In 1912, Bernard Taltavull announced that he would open an oyster business on the beach at Biloxi.  By 1917, Bernard had become active in the seafood packing industry at Biloxi.  Taltavull operated the Bay View Packing Company (formerly Henry Diaz Fish and Oyster Packers) until May 1924, when he bought the Biloxi Canning Company, which was located at the head of Reynoir Street on Back Bayacross the street from his Bayview Packing Company.  The vendor was the Maritime Food Products Company, an Illinois corporation, and the price $10,000.  Dr. Charles Albert Babendreer (1867-1938) who resided at Ocean Springs was the president of Maritime Food Products.  Taltavull merged the two canning operations.( (The Daily Herald, October 15, 1912, p. 8 and Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Book 142, p. 129)

Biloxi Canning Company

In February 1925, the Biloxi Canning Company was chartered.  The incorporators were:  Elsie Taltavull, Bernard Taltavull, and W.J. Wadlington.  In 1934, the factory had forty boats of which two-thirds were utilized for oystering and the remainder to catch shrimp.  At the height of the packing season, the Biloxi Canning Company employed 200 boatmen and 300 factory workers.  Some employees were furnished free housing and water.  This custom was phased out in the late 1930s. (Harrison County, Ms. Charters of Corps. Book 36, p. 133)

In 1934, the Taltavull family resided at 525 East Howard Avenue.  Mr. Taltavull's hobby was racing the champion schooner of the Gulf Coast, the Mary Margaret.

In May 1943, Bernard Taltavull sold the Biloxi Canning Company to Roy Rosalis (1909-1984) and Virgilio dos Santos for $60,000.  Taltavull conveyed the factory, buildings, warehouses, machine shops, grinding mills, wharfs, and houses located on the property.  It also included all the machinery fixtures, and personal property used by the Biloxi Canning and Packing Company and the Bay View Crushing Company.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Book 255, pp. 112-115)

In addition, the act of sale included the following power boats and schooners: Bride, H.E. Gumbel, Geraldine F., Zenia, Winnie Davis, Galle-Kelly, Golden Hope, Kanuga, Anais, Ida T., Lucky Lindy, Coca Cola Girl, Hulda Velma, Gertrude B., Ferda, Dauntless, I. Heidenheim, Anna Eve, Oxalis, Silver Pearl, Knox, and Teddy F.

Bernard Taltavull Shrimp and Oyster Company

In September 1944, Mr. Taltavull commenced a modern packing operation on Back Bay known as the B. Taltavull Shrimp and Oyster Company.  It was located on the waterfront just east of Lameuse Street on property that he bought from Mrs. Lillie Cruso for $3500.  Clell Dildy was the manager.  Mr. Taltavull had seventeen boats and employed a maximum of 150 people, which included pickers, weighers, inspectors, and handlers.  Production capacity was thirty barrels per hour.  A conveyor belt carried the shrimp directly from the vessels to the plant.  Additional land was added to the Taltavull operation in December 1945, when a tract east of the factory was acquired from A.T. Cvitanovich for $1400.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Book 259, p. 270 and Book 281, p. 101)

After WW II, the health of Bernard Taltavull began to fail.  At this time, the management of the factory was assumed by his daughter, Jane T. Smith, and son-in-law, W.W. "Buddy" Gillis.  The September 1947 Hurricane brought five feet of water into the Taltavull factory.  Ironically, three of Taltavull boats, Bobby C., Jeanne, and Mary Ann Gillis were blown westward onto the roadway of the Biloxi Canning Company, formerly owned by Bernard Taltavull.

Mr. Taltavull expired on January 22, 1948.  His wife passed on March 20, 1962.  Both are buried at the Biloxi Cemetery.

The Bernard Taltavull factory was sold to Precision Drawn Steel of Camden County, New Jersey on August 21, 1968, by Jane T. Smith and Edna May T. Gillis for $116,000.(Harrison County, Ms. Deed of Trust Book 530, p. 331)

2B1.  Jane Margaret Taltavull (1911-2003) was born at Biloxi on August 16, 1911, and was named for her great grandmother, Jane Sheppard Scott.  She received her education in Biloxi and matriculated to Newcomb College at New Orleans where she graduated in 1932.  In 1934, Miss Taltavull was employed as the secretary for the Biloxi Canning Company.  Jane married Robert A. Smith, a native of Oakland,Tennessee, on April 12, 1942 at Biloxi.  They divorced with no children.  Upon the death of her father in January 1948, she assumed the management of the B. Taltavull Shrimp and Oyster Company on Back Bay.  Jane retired in 1968.  She traveled extensively and took an exclusive "around the world flight" stopping at twenty countries in the 1980s.  Mrs. Smith resided in the Seashore Personal Care, a Methodist retirement community, at 1450 West Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, until she relocated to a similar situation at Gulfport in 2000.  Jane died on August 20, 2003.

2B2. Mary Edna Taltavull (1919-1996) was born at Biloxi on March 31, 1919.  Circa 1940, she married William Warren "Buddy" Gillis (1920-2008).  He was born at Biloxi on September 19, 1919.  A young Buddy Gillis matriculated to the University of Mississippi where he studied chemical engineering.  With this education, he was employed by Monsanto and worked at the nuclear research facility at Oak Ridge,Tennessee during WW II.  It was here that "Fat Boy", the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare, was constructed.  When Bernard Taltavull became ill circa 1946, Buddy Gillis left Monsanto and joined Jane T. Smith at the B. Taltavull Shrimp and Oyster Company.  He remained here until the sale in of the factory in 1968.

The Gillis children were:  Mary Ann McDougall (c. 1942), Pam Gillis Snyder (b. May 21, 1947), and Jane P. Gillis (1947-1947).  Jane, named for her aunt, Jane T. Smith, expired a week after her birth on May 21, 1947.  Mary Edna T. Gillis died February 7, 1996.  Buried at the Biloxi Cemetery


Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Book 32C, "Bernard Taltavull", p. 492.

Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, "South Shields", (Merriam-Webster Inc.:  Springfield, Massachusetts-1988), p. 1143.

Golden Jubilee Number, The Daily Herald, (1884-1934)- Fiftieth Anniversary Souvenir, "Biloxi Canning Company", (The Daily Herald:  Gulfport, Mississippi-1934), p. 82.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, August 7, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Mrs. Jane Sheppard Scott", January 4, 1905, p. 5.

The Daily Herald,, "Aftermath of Great Storm", September 28, 1906, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, “Bernard Taltavul (sic) To Engage In Oyster Business”, October 15, 1912.

The Daily Herald, "Taltavull Plant Starts Operations", September 15, 1944, p. 7.

The Daily Herald, "One Life Lost, Heavy Damage Done at Biloxi", September 20, 1947, p. 1 and p. 2.

The Sun Herald, "William 'Buddy' Gillis", October 19, 2008.

Personal Communication: 

Jane T. Smith-November 1996

2C.  FRANCIS ALPHONSE TALTAVULL (1883-1950) was born on July 19, 1883 at North Biloxi.  He married Ida May Brander (1897-1953) on August 18, 1909, at the home of her parents inBiloxi.  She was born on April 9, 1897 at HoustonTexas, the daughter of John C. Brander (1840-1913) and Emma Sandow (1863-1925).  Mr. Brander was born at Nova Scotia while his wife, Emma, was a native of New York.  The Branders came to PascagoulaMississippi in 1885.  They relocated to Biloxiin 1906.  Mr. Brander was a master boat builder and constructed sailing vessels for canneries at both cities.  He was the proprietor of the Brander Shipyard on Back Bay.  His son, Francis A. Brander (1885-1965), the husband of Margaret Fayard (1895-1981), later was in business with his father as J.C. Brander & Son.  F.A. Brander born at GalvestonTexas.

It was appropriate that Francis A. Taltavull marry the daughter of a ship carpenter as that was the profession linked with the Taltavull family since Bernard Taltavull arrived at Back Bay (D'Iberville), probably from Menorca, in the 1840s.

In the 1920s, Frank was the proprietor of a grocery store at 101 East Bayview Avenue.  The family resided at 942 Main Street.  His father, Frank Sr., lived with them.  By 1940, Frank was building boats and he and Ida May had relocated to 510 Bohn Street.  Francis A. Talatvull passed on January 6, 1950.  Mrs. Taltavull died on February 15, 1953.  Both buried at the Biloxi Cemetery.


The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Pretty Home Wedding", August 19, 1909, p. 1, c. 4.

The Daily Herald, "Brander Funeral This Afternoon", June 16, 1913, p. 8, c. 4.

The Daily Herald, "Death Claims Mrs. Brander", March 18, 1925, p. 1, c. 8.


2D.  ALPHONSINE TALTAVULL (1885-1885?)-was born on February 16, 1885 at North Biloxi.  She appears to have died as a child.  No further information.


Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of BiloxiMississippi, Volume 1-(1843-1900), (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 332.

2E.  MARGARET PAMELA TALTAVULL (1887-1948) was born on August 20, 1887 at Biloxi.  She married Joseph Venus (1883-1948), the son of German immigrant, Charles Venus, and Elodie Landry of St. James Parish, Louisiana.  Joseph Venus was born at Convent, Louisiana on September 1, 1883.  The young couple were married on November 25, 1908, at the Church of the Nativity of the BVM.  Father Finley officiated with Willie Collins and Miss Victoria Venus standing for the couple.  They spent a short honeymoon at New Orleans Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Venus had two sons born at Biloxi.  They were: Joe Venus Jr. (1909-1965) born December 27, 1909 and Bernard Venus born on July 8, 1911.

Joe and Margaret Taltavull moved to New Orleans circa 1918 and resided at 2206 Second Street.  She expired there on January 19, 1948, and was interred in the Biloxi Cemetery.  He passed on November 5, 1948 also at New Orleans.  Corporal remains of both were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery.


Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Book 32C, "Margaret T. Venus", p. 498.

Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Book  32C, "Joseph Venus", p. 41.

Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of BiloxiMississippi, Volume 1-(1843-1900), (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 333.

The Daily Herald, "Venus-Taltavull", November 26, 1908, p. 1, c. 6.

The Daily Herald, "Joe Venus, Jr. Birth", December 27, 1909, p. 8. c. 3.

The Daily Herald, "Venus Male Birth", July 8, 1911, p. 8, c. 1.



James Taltavull (ca 1832-1881+) lived at Ocean Springs.  He was probably a brother or cousin of Nicholas and Bernard Taltavull.  He was married to Anna Vaguevizas.  Their children were: Mary T. Manent (b. circa 1850-1868+) and Antonia Taltavull (1862-?).

There are several land transactions at Ocean Springs in July 1881, concerning this family.

In July 1881, James Taltaral (sic) et al bought land from Antoine Ryan.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 209-210)

In July 1881, James and Anna Taltavull sold a tract of land in Section 37, T7S-R8W to Francisco Coyle (1813-1891), a Spanish immigrant.  Francisco Coyle was married to Magdalene Ougatte Pons (1813-1904).  She immigrated to the US in 1866.  In 1874, their daughter, Laura Coyle (1857-1931), married Charles Ernest Schmidt (1851-1886), the grandfather of Dr. Frank O. Schmidt, Charles Ernest “Uncle Ernie” Schmidt (1904-1988), and Harry J. Schmidt (1905-1997).  C. Ernest Schmidt was a mechanical engineer who invented the hydrolevel and other technical devices.  He also wrote the only comprehensive history of Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, which he published in 1972.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 207-209)

Mr. Coyle owned a restaurant at Ocean Springs in 1857.(The New Orleans Daily Crescent, June 2, 1857, p. 1)

A.  MARY A. TALTAVULL (c. 1850-1868+) married Anthony Manent, son of Vincent Manent and Mary Prats, at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church at Ocean Springs on May 2, 1868.  No further information.(Lepre, Vol. I, 1991, pp. 332-333)

B. ANTONIA TALTAVULL born October 6, 1862.  No further information.  Interestingly, there is an Antonia Tartabou, daughter of Antonio Tartabou and Pamela Cajechas, who married Albert Tournier at the Church of the Annunciation in Kiln, Mississippi on September 20, 1892.(Lepre, Vol. II, 1991, p. 248)

One Antonio Tartavole married to Pamela Calagias/Callagas has two children, Estelle Tartavole (b. 1877) and Michael Stephen Tartavole (b. 1884), baptized at Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.(Lepre, Vol. III, 1991, p. 349)



Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 332 and p. 333.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume II, (Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1995), p. 248.

Jerome Jerome, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume III, (Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1995), p. 349.

The New Orleans Daily Crescent, June 2, 1857.



Alvina LaFrance Tartavoulle

September 21, 1923--September 7, 2013

Alvina Claire LaFrance Tartavoulle (1923-2013), age 89 years, of Waveland, Mississippi passed away Saturday, September 7, 2013 in Kiln, Mississippi. Mrs. Tartavoulle was a lifetime resident of Hancock County and a member of St. Clare Catholic Church. She was a wonderful person who will be missed by all.She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Tartavoulle, parents, Jules and Fannie LaFrance Sr.; four brothers, Jules, Jr, Lester, Charles, and Edgar LaFrance and two sisters, Adelaide Herring and Leona Fayard.  Survived by her niece and caregiver, Debbie Smith and one sister, Lillian Lott both of Bay St. Louis, MS.  Visitation will be from 10:00 am until 12 noon Monday, September 9, 2013 with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at noon at St. Clare Catholic Church in Waveland, Mississippi with intombment at Bayou Caddy Cemetery in Ansley, Mississippi.[The Sun Herald, September 8, 2013]



Read more here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sunherald/obituary.aspx?n=alvina-tartavoulle&pid=166842049&fhid=21451#storylink=cpy