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


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.