Isleños is the Spanish word meaning "Islander."
The term "Isleños", refers to people of Canary Island descent that settled in South Louisiana.
In preparing for this presentation , I purchased a copy of a newly released book, ‘The Isleños of Pierre Part’, by Chad Leblanc.
Executive Summary of History of Los Isleños ( Canary Islanders)
La Victoria - 292 passengers - departed October 22, 1778
San Juan Nepomuceno - 202 passengers - departed December 9, 1778
Coalescence of Acadians and Isleños:
By the mid 1800's the St. Bernard Village as the single Spanish Canary Island settlement in Louisiana that retained the Spanish language and in which the Spanish Canary Island culture dominated.
With so many more Acadians in the area, the Canary Islanders were quickly integrated and their culture was overwhelmed by the ‘Les Cadiens'. The French language became the dominant language of the intermingled marriages.
That is why , today many family sur names associated with Cajuns are not of French origin but have incorporated through intermarriage. For example in the case of Bayou Pigeon, surnames, like Solar, Perera, and Rivero were Spanish Canary Islanders. There are many other examples as well.
How did the Cajuns end up in the Pierre Part – Lake Verrett area.
wrote… With the growth of Assumption Parish, the "les petit habitants withdrew into the further reaches of the swamps
My spouse, Diane Solar, her Patriarchal History;
The excerpt above list Adrian Solar and his spouse Marie Daigle begetting a son, Casmir Solar, who was my spouses Grandfather, That she never knew, he died before she was born..
The 1860 census of Assumption Parish listed the Solar and Perera families, in the area of Brule St. Vincent, Ward 9, p. 87
The 1910 US census list both Adrian Solar and his son, Casmire living at Lake Verrett.
They are considered natives of Assumption Parish , born and lived on the shore of Lake Verrett, just south of Pierre Part bay. Casmire married Luce Landry of Pierre Part, LA.
Casmire moved his family from Lake Verrett to heart of the Atchafalaya Basin, in 1929 or 1930. The great depression had increased competition for fertile fishing grounds close to Pierre Part. Casmire went to the center of the basin, Catfish Bayou at Grand Lake chasing better Fishing grounds. He stayed there for 3 years, living in a shanty on the bayou bank. They left after the death of one of Casmire's 3 sons. They packed up and moved to the hamlet ‘Indigo Bayou’ at Bayou Pigeon, LA. His occupation at Bayou Pigeon was fisherman / moss picker. He lived the rest of his life on Indigo Bayou. His family still lives at Bayou Pigeon.
Melvina Solar Daigle, Marie Solar Berthelot, Annie Solar Daigle Wilton Leonard, Norris Berthelot , Beatrice Berthelot, Pasty Landry, Diane Solar
Second son of Casmir, Laury Solar married Beulah Guadet, daughter of Wallace Guadet & Celestine Hebert, their first home was a houseboat located in Houseboat Alley at Bayou Pigeon, next to the Gaudet Bar room, Dancehall, Grocery store c 1949
Huey Perera, lived the first part of his life with one foot on a boat and one foot in the water. His early life was on a camp boat in the Little Bayou Pigeon/Keel Boat pass area of Grand Lake with his father, Aldoras Perera and brothers & sisters. His mother died when he was 5 years old in 1943.
Ms. Pauline Rivere Hebert ;
Ms. Pauline was a Traituese who treated for several different ailments at Bayou Pigeon. A common one was earaches in children. She Hails from Pierre Part and married Alden Hebert of Bayou Pigeon.
Mr. Brownell Alleman
He was Veteran, and sometimes a Deputy Sheriff in a pinch, ( ie., he was a big strong guy) Deputy Sheriff Adoph Berthelot deputized him as needed to help contain / deal with bar room fights…aka Indigo Inn Era…
In ClosingI hope this posting encourages readers to check out Isleños of Pierre Part by Chad Leblanc, ISBN 9781981257058.
I know my wife's family really had no idea of the extent of their Spanish Heritage. I had always wondered, Solar is not a French Sounding name and why they were the only Solar's at Bayou Pigeon? Now we know the rest of the story!
Bayou Pigeon it turns out is more diverse than we thought. Acadians , Isleños, Americans and blended into Cajuns !
When you understand your heritage, you value it, when you value it, you care for it, when you care for it you appreciate it... thus it is noble / honorable thing to value your ancestry... Know your Heritage ... enjoy...