Jean Baptiste Choisser

of Kaskaskia and Gallatin County (1784-1860)

by Aubrey Starke

Preface - An Introduction by Bill Choisser

Aubrey Starke was a professor of history at Northwestern University, and the long time companion of John Parish, a great grandson of John Choisser. John Parish was the son of John Joshua Parish, who in turn was the son of Mary Ann Choisser Parish, a daughter of John Choisser's. John Choisser is, of course, the individual about whom the story told in these papers is centered - "Jean" is the French equivalent of "John". The time of Aubrey's research was about 1940.

The Aubrey Starke papers run about forty typewritten pages, and typewritten they were. Aubrey did his work at a time there were no photocopy machines or word processors - each revision as he refined it was meticulously typed again. The lack of photocopiers required that he copy historical documents word for word by hand, and the copies of his work that survive contain no images. They are only text.

Aubrey distributed at least three different versions to various members of the family at different times. It appears carbons were made, so multiple copies could be distributed. We have found two of these versions almost complete, and small parts of a third, in the possession of different branches of the family. By Aubrey's widespread distribution of his papers, we know he very much wanted the family to have them, so it is very fitting that they are at last now available to all Choissers here.

We have been fortunate to be able, by piecing parts of all three versions together, to assemble his complete work. What you see here will not be any particular version, but rather a combination of all versions we have, to provide the most complete information. For example, the French language has diacritical marks such as accent marks on its alphabet. Aubrey's earliest version included hand-drawn diacritical marks, while his later versions were typed without them. We have taken those marks from the earliest version to apply them to the later texts.

The Internet allows images to be inserted easily, and in some instances we today have an actual photo of documents referred to by Aubrey. In those cases the image is made available. In all other instances (i.e., in the text), where we have added to Aubrey's own words we have done so with [italicized text in brackets]. This way the reader will have the most up to date information while also being able to appreciate what constitutes Aubrey's original work.

Aubrey divided his papers into an unnamed introduction and five unnamed parts designated with Roman numerals. We have added descriptions to these parts in our table of contents to assist readers in locating specific information they may be seeking.

Table of Contents

Preface - An introduction by Bill Choisser
Introduction - Aubrey Starke's introduction to his work
Part I - A brief look backward
Part II - The ancestors in Montreal
Part III - The brothers Jean and Jean Baptiste Choisser
Part IV - Marianne La Buxiere and her ancestors
Part V - John Choisser and his family

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