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Artigues Family History and Open Questions

This page provides a wide variety of information on the Artigues family — growing more each year — as well as new questions to spur further research. There are many Artigues individuals from the Pyrénées area of extreme southwest France, near the France-Spain border. The name "Artigues" is said to mean "clearer of the forest" in French. According to, the name Artigues is a topographic name that comes from Catalan to mean someone who lived on a patch of land newly broken up, Cat. artiga (of uncertain, possibly Celtic origin). There are places in the provinces of Biscay (extreme northwest Spain) and Barcelona (in Catalonia, in extreme northeast Spain) named with the plural form of this word, and both may have contributed to the surname.

Our Artigues ancestors and relatives came from the Bordes quarter of the town Salies-du-Salat in the Haute-Garonne department (département 31) in southwest France, located between St. Gaudens and Toulouse. We have extensive birth and death records of our ancestors showing where they were born, lived, and died. We can trace them back to Jeff Vitter's 7th great grandparents Bernard Artigues and Bernarde (née Perissé) Artigues, who were born in Salies-du-Salat and the adjacent town of Mane, respectively, around 1660. And we have some evidence that the line can be extended further to Jammès Artigues dit de Guilaumette and Françoise (née de Nostens) Artigues from the early 1600s and Jammès's parents Jean Artigues dit de Guilaumette and Mariamonde (née de Rouihl) Artigues from the late 1500s and early 1600s.

Salies-du-Salat terrain Environs de Salies-du-Salat, Haute-Garonne, France. View from the west. (Click photo for Google Maps.)
Salies-du-Salat View of Salies-du-Salat from the east across the Salat River. (Click photo for Google Maps.)

The Vitter family and the Artigues family are related through two links:

A. L. Vitter Jr. and New Orleans jazz musician Albert Artigues Jr. (1907–1980) were 3rd cousins by both relationships — making them double 3rd cousins! Today by coincidence, A. L.'s son Jeff Vitter happens to live in New Orleans two houses away from Albert Jr.'s grandson Sydney Artigues Jr. You can read more here about Albert Artigues Jr. and his world of jazz.

Market in Salies-du-Salat The market at Place Compans in Salies-du-Salat (click on photo for Google Maps).

The genealogy notes from Jean Jacques "John J." Artigues (1871–1944) and his daughter Blanche (née Artigues) Johnson (1905–1985), written originally around 1936 and provided to Jeff Vitter in the early 2000s by John J. Artigues' grandnephew and New Orleans lawyer Bert Artigues, list the lineage of the New Orleans Artigues. Several Artigues family members emigrated from Salies-du-Salat to New Orleans during the last half of the 1800s.

The first Artigues to immigrate to New Orleans from Salies-du-Salat was (Jean) Joseph Artigues (1824–1888), who arrived in New Orleans in 1851 and shortly thereafter married Bordeaux emigrant Françoise Marteau and started his family. Next to immigrate were Joseph's brother (Jean) Louis Artigues (1821–1878), wife Marie (née Pugibet) Artigues (1821–1904), and their two sons Jean Ferréol "John F." Artigues and Joseph Artigues. John was mentioned earlier as marrying into the Vitter family; he died of yellow fever in 1890. The father Louis actually died back in France; he had returned possibly to recruit others to emigrate to New Orleans to join his food business.

Offsprings of another brother, (Jacques) Michel Artigues (1817–1899), immigrated in the very early 1870s. Michel was married to (Marie) Elisabeth (née Pujol) Artigues (1824–1863), who as Charlemagne's 35th great granddaughter provided the direct link to Charlemagne, as discussed in the Charlemagne history on the main page of this website. Michel and Elisabeth were Jeff Vitter's 2nd great grandparents. They remained in Salies-du-Salat, but their son Ferréol Artigues, Jeff Vitter's great grandfather who was mentioned near the beginning of this history, immigrated to New Orleans in 1870 at 18 years old and became a butcher and bar owner. He and his future wife Marie Eugénie (née Dureau) Artigues were the ones who first bought the cast iron dogs Rex & Queenie (see their rich history) and installed them in front of their Baronne Street home, where Jeff Vitter's father A. L. Vitter Jr. was born. Ferréol's sister Marie Marceline Artigues also immigrated to New Orleans around the same time, possibly together with Ferréol.

Ferréol and Marie Marceline's older brother (Jean-François) Baptiste Artigues remained in France, but four of Baptiste's children immigrated to New Orleans near the end of the 19th century:

According to U.S. Census records in 1920 and 1930, Bertrand arrived in New Orleans in 1898 and tended bar for his uncle (Jeff Vitter's great grandfather) Ferréol Artigues, and he later became a butcher. In 1922, he and his two brothers John and Louis launched the Artigues Meat Products Company in New Orleans — with Louis J. Artigues as president, John J. Artigues as vice-president, and Bertrand Artigues as secretary-treasurer.

Louis J. Artigues died in 1925 from an infection brought on by a gunshot wound (supposedly from a jealous husband) while Louis' wife Marie Lalanne (née Candegave) Artigues was confined to a mental institution. These were the days before penicillin was discovered. Their children Maurice Artigues Sr. (1913–1968) and Louise Artigues (1908–1984) were subsequently brought up by Louis's brother Bertrand and his wife Josephine (née Delord) Artigues (1878–1952). In the 1930 census, Bertrand and Josephine had a large family and as well had living with them Louis' two children and Josephine's sister Anna Delord. Artigues descendants recall discussions by Maurice Artigues Sr. and his wife Eran (née LeBlanc) Artigues (1915–1992) that the family came from around Lourdes, France. The precise home was in fact Salies-du-Salat, which is about 42 miles east of Lourdes. In the early 2000s, Bertrand's son Bert Artigues sent Jeff Vitter a copy of the document settling the Salies-du-Salat estate of Marie Joséphine Louise Alexandrine Audoubert (1914–1990), Bert's 1st cousin 1x removed.

Salies-du-Salat street Salies-du-Salat city hall on Boulevarde Jean Jaurès, with the ruins of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church (La Chapelle Castrale) above on the hillside (click photo for Google Maps).
La Chapelle Castrale Closeup of La Chapelle Castrale (click photo for Google Maps).

When she was nearing death, Eran LeBlanc Artigues (then a widow of Maurice Artigues Sr.) left a note with her daughter Jo Mary (née Artigues) Caso that included information about her ancestors and Maurice Artigues Sr.'s ancestors. In the note, she wrote that Maurice Sr.'s parents were Louis Jean Artigues (1884–1925) and Marie (née Lalanne Candegave) Artigues (1881–1944), and that his grandparents were John F. Artigues (1851–1890) and Marie Louise (née Cathalongne) Artigues (1854–1921). However, it appears from the detailed notes of John J. Artigues and Blanche (née Artigues) Johnson — and corroborated by birth and marraige records in the family tree recorded by Jeff Vitter — that Maurice Sr.'s natural grandparents were instead (Jean-François) Baptiste Artigues (1847–1913) and Marie Josephe (née Soubiran) Artigues (1842–1913), who remained in Salies-du-Salat, France when several of their offspring emigrated to New Orleans. Thus, it is natural to suppose that when Louis J. Artigues emigrated to the U.S. in 1900, he was taken in by Marie Louise (née Cathalongne) Artigues (the widow of John F. Artigues), who was a 1st cousin of (Jean François) Baptiste Artigues, and for that reason Louis's children Maurice and Louise and their descendants thought of John F. Artigues and Marie Louise (née Cathalongne) Artigues as being the grandparents of Maurice.

There was some uncertainty as to the father(s) of John F. Artigues (born in 1851, husband of Marie Louise (née Cathalongne) Artigues) and Joseph Artigues (born around 1853). In the 1880 census, Marie Artigues, age 58 (not very legible), is listed as living with John F. Artigues and his family. This is likely Marie (née Pugibet) Artigues, wife of Louis Artigues. John and Joseph are listed as brothers on the 1880 census, living at John's house at 495 St. Ann Street. Joseph's wedding certificate lists Louis Artigues and Marie Pugibet as his parents, which would make them the parents of John as well. Marie is listed as John's aunt in the 1880 census, but it is probably a mistake. Marie is actually Marie Pugibet and (by the above hypothesis) John's mother. These conclusions agree with the detailed notes left by John J. Artigues and Blanche Artigues Johnson and are confirmed by the birth records in the family tree recorded by Jeff Vitter.

There are two Vitter-Artigues-Dutrey connections in the family tree:

So Jules Dutrey had an Artigues/Vitter brother-in-law on both his side and his wife's side, and the two brothers-in-law were brothers! This Vitter-Artigues-Dutrey connection is also mentioned in the history about former French prime minister and foreign minister Jean Louis Barthou.

Another curiosity is that in the late 1930s, according to the 1940 census, Louis J. Dutrey's future wife Alice Claire Lacassin (1923–1989) and her parents hosted a "cousin-in-law" named Claire Ferran, the same family name as Jeff Vitter's maternal grandmother Marthe Marie Henriette (née Ferran) St. Raymond. Claire was 2nd cousin to Alice's mother Alice Léonie (née Dubié) Lacassin; their maternal grandfathers were brothers, both named Jean Carrère, born in Villembits, Hautes-Pyrénées, Midi-Pyrénées, France in 1841 and 1843. Claire's mother Alice Jeanne (née Carrère) Ferran married John A. Ferran, but we do not yet know if there is any relation to Jeff's maternal grandmother's Ferran line.

There is an active Facebook page called "Artigues Reunion" that includes regular participation by several descendants of the Artigues just mentioned, many now living in Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

There is also a large line of Artigues family members in the Salies-du-Salat/Lannemezan/Montsaunès area of Haute-Garonne who are likely somehow related to the Vitter-Artigues line, but no link is yet known. Nor can we document their connection to Charlemagne ;-) These Artigues were descended from Bonsom Artigues dit Gat (early 1600s) and Guilhaumette (née Junca) Artigues (died 1631) from the Bordasses (formerly Bourdasses) quarter of Salies-du-Salat, a stone's throw from the Bordes quarter mentioned earlier. Roseline "Rosy" (née Lagarde) Leclerc, whose daughter Leslie visited Jeff & Sharon in Oxford, Mississippi in June 2018, has an aunt in Le Fréchet named (Berthe) Pierrette (née Artigues) Sengès who remembers that when she was a child her father Pierre Julien Philippe Artigues would visit a distant cousin (Louis) Vincent Artigues (1876–1965) on his nearby farm in the Bordes quarter. Vincent was Jeff Vitter's 1st cousin 2x removed and the son of (Jean-François) Baptiste Artigues and Marie Josephe (née Soubiran) Artigues mentioned earlier.

Rosy and Pierrette were very helpful in sending Jeff Vitter information from the Salies-du-Salat archives, and Jeff followed up by going through the older online archives from the 1600s. We still do not know for sure if and how Rosy, Leslie, and Pierrette and their line are related to Vincent Artigues and the Vitter family. DNA testing has not indicated a connection, but the connection may be too many generations back to tell. The connection may possibly be through the Soubiran family rather than through the Artigues line! Pierrette's mother and Vincent's mother each had the maiden name Soubiran. Research is underway; if the common link exists, it is likely in the 17th century.

On 3 October 2022, two days after their Uzan visit recounted in the history Exploring Mimi's Ancestors near the Pyrénées of Southwest France, Jeff & Sharon Vitter, Jeff's sister Donna, Sharon's brother Don, and Don's wife Felicia had the opportunity to visit Salies-du-Salat, 92 miles to the east of Uzan. Rosy was their enthusiastic host and tourguide, along with her husband Thierry, cousins Roselyne (also known as Rosy) Castaing and Maurice Castaing, and aunts Pierrette (née Artigues) Sengès and Marie-Louise (née Artigues) Rieu. They visited several places in town, including a tour of the local cemetery and the Bordes neighborhood of Salies, a fun lunch near the casino, and a trip to the top of the hill and the ruins of La Chapelle Castrale overlooking the town.

Salies-du-Salat lunch Lively lunch 3 October 2022 at Le Park Avenue restaurant in Salies-du-Salat. Clockwise from front left: Marie-Louise (née Artigues) Rieu, Thierry Leclerc, Donna Vitter, Rosy (née Lagarde) Leclerc, Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter, Felicia (née Mickan) Weaver, Jeff Vitter, Pierrette (née Artigues) Sengès, Rosy Castaing, and Maurice Castaing. Don Weaver was photographer. (Click photo for Google Maps.) La Chapelle Castrale Overlooking Salies At La Chapelle Castrale overlooking Salies-du-Salat: Rosy, Jeff, Thierry, Sharon, Donna, and Pierrette. (Click photo for Google Maps.)
La Chapelle Castrale View up the hill from Boulevard Jean Jaurès in Salies-du-Salat: Sharon, Jeff, and Donna Vitter are in the foreground. The steeple of the church Notre Dame de la Pitié can be seen on the left, and at the very top of the hill overlooking the town of Salies-du-Salat is the ruins of La Chapelle Castrale (click photo for Google Maps).

It was an opportune visit, since the tombs of some of Jeff's relatives were in imminent danger of being reclaimed by the city in order to make room for more graves. In the photos below, you can see the notices on the tomb of Jeff's 2nd great grandparents (Jacques) Michel Artigues (1817–1899) and (Marie) Elisabeth (née Pujol) Artigues (1824–1863). Similar notices appear on the second tomb, which contains Michel and Elisabeth's son (Jean-François) Baptiste Artigues (1847–1913), his wife Marie Josèphe (née Soubiran) Artigues (1842–1913), and their son (Louis) Vincent Artigues (1876–1965) mentioned earlier. Baptiste and Marie-Josèphe remained in France, while Baptiste's brothers and sister emigrated to New Orleans.

Part of the reason for the Salies-du-Salat visit was to prevent the reclamation of the two tombs. After their trip to France, Jeff Vitter and his sister Donna Vitter, with the help of Rosy Leclerc, put together a successful dossier justifying why the tombs should remain. In record time, they were kindly granted an official stoppage of the plans to reclaim the tombs, and plans are underway to improve the condition and upkeep of the tombs!

Tomb of Michel Artigues and Elisabeth Pujol During their 3 October 2022 visit, Sharon Vitter, Rosy Leclerc, Jeff Vitter, and Donna Vitter stand in front of the formerly endangered tomb of Jeff Vitter's 2nd great grandparents Michel Artigues and Elisabeth (née Pujol) Artigues (click photo for Google Maps). NoticeofReclamation Enlargement of the notice that appears on each of the tombs, asking for information about the family hosts. These tombs were slated for reclamation if there was no family sponsorship to sustain them (click photo for Google Maps).
Tomb of Baptiste Artigues and Marie Josèphe Soubiran Formerly endangered tomb of Baptiste Artigues and Marie Josèphe (née Soubiran) Artigues (click photo for Google Maps).

Yet other lines of Artigues from the Bordasses quarter of Salies-du-Salat exist, such as the one headed by Bertrand Artigues dit Doumeng (1736–1811), and we don't know if they are connected to our line or the line mentioned in the previous paragraph. It is likely all these lines are related, but we are yet to determine how. A complicating factor is lack of information about the parents in the older marriage and burial records in the Salies-du-Salat, Haute-Garonne area of France. A further complication that makes linking generations hard to do is that so many of the males born in the 1600s were named Jean, Bernard, or Bertrand, and the females tended to be named either Jeanne or Marie. So there were many people living nearby one another with the same name.

The Artigues family tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 on Esplanade Avenue near City Park in New Orleans contains the following individuals listed in their records for Square 1, Fol. No. 94, Lot 29, contact Mrs. Lucille Martin:

  • Joseph (or Josephine) Ferran (1871–1897). Note: It is unknown if there is a relation, but curiously Jeff Vitter's maternal grandmother Marthe Marie Henriette (née Ferran) St. Raymond. was a Ferran, and Jeff's paternal grandmother was an Artigues. In addition, Ferréol and Eugenie (née Dureau) Artigues had a servant living with them according to the 1900 census named Mary Ferran, born in August 1874; she may have been Joseph's sister. She is listed as being born in Louisiana to parents who came from France. And in the 1910 census, Marie Louise (née Cathalogne) Artigues had a cousin named Marie Ferran, aged 31, living with her and her family, also born in Louisiana with parents who came from France; she could possibly be the same person.
  • Child of Mrs. A. Artigues (stillborn 7 February 1900),
  • Widow of Louis Artigues (Marie Pugibet) (1821–4 December 1904),
  • Child of Mrs. Artigues (stillborn 18 January 1914),
  • Ferréol Artigues (1852–15 July 1914). Note: Ferréol's body must have been moved around the time his wife Marie Eugénie (née Dureau) Artigues died in 1915, as they are buried together in the Artigues-Vitter tomb in Metairie Cemetery, now part of Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries.
  • Child of Mrs. John Artigues (stillborn 26 October 1916),
  • Mrs. Emma Langhetee (1878–11 January 1921) (transferred later to another tomb),
  • Widow of John Artigues (Marie Louise Cathalogne) (1854–1921),
  • Louis M. Artigues (1874–16 January 1924),
  • Child of Mrs. Albert Artigues (stillborn on 5 February 1930),
  • John L. Artigues (1892–3 May 1934),
  • Albert Artigues (1875–26 March 1935),
  • Widow Adel Artigues (wife of Albert Artigues) (1883–30 June 1937),
  • Camille M. Artigues (1886–27 August 1947),
  • Josephine Artigues (1877–11 May 1964). Note: "Aunt Phine," as she was known to A. L. Vitter Jr. growing up and then to his children, was the second cousin to both of A. L. Vitter Jr.'s parents, a double connection. Jeff Vitter remembers going with his father A. L. Jr. to visit Aunt Phine after playing golf on Saturday mornings.
  • Albert J. Artigues (1907–23 July 1980),
  • Dorothy M. Artigues (1921–4 April 1989)

The dates are probably burial dates, since they differ from some known deaths by a couple days, and the birthdates are approximate, based on the indicated age at death. All these people, with the exception of Joseph/Josephine Ferran are listed in the family tree.

Another Artigues family tomb lists the following individuals:

  • Josephine Delord (8 April 1904),
  • Pierre Delord (27 January 1909),
  • Jean M. Armaguac (17 January 1910),
  • Eugenie Delord (4 April 1919),
  • Louise J. Artigues (3 October 1925),
  • Louise Delord (2 December 1926),
  • Anna Armaguac (24 December 1930),
  • Child of Mrs. R. Artigues (13 November 1932)
  • Jean M. Delord (3 May 1935)
  • Anna Delord (4 October 1942)
  • Bertrand Artigues (14 October 1951),
  • Josephine D. Artigues (23 August 1952),
  • Fernand J. Artigues (29 April 1953),
  • Alcee B. Artigues (9 June 1975),
  • George Louis Artigues (7 February 1979),
  • Colma Marguette Linden Artigues (14 May 1979)
  • Bertha M. Artigues (16 August 1983),
  • George Artigues, Jr. (24 June 1985),
  • Myrtle R. Artigues (13 January 1988).

In early 2021 we created a Cemeteries page on this Vitter-Weaver Genealogy website. It lists all the various cemeteries and burial places in the database in alphabetical order. For example, if you go to the entries for "St. Louis Cemetery No. 3", you'll be able to see the tombs and other photos for some of the Artigues family members listed above as well as several St. Raymond and Ferran relatives. Similarly, you can find the headstones and photos of several of the Artigues family members from France by going to the entries for "Salies-du-Salat" or "Cimetière (Cemetery) de Salies-du-Salat."

There were several other Artigues in New Orleans who are not listed in the family tree but may be related. Some examples from the New Orleans index of births and marriages:

  • Jean Marie Artigues and Agnès Ayloth had children Josephine on 15 April 1858, Henry Edouard on 9 June 1861, and Blanche Anna on 4 May 1863.
  • Jean Marie Artigues (26 years old) and Jeanne Bordes (26 years old) were married on 15 April 1873 and had children Marceline on 1 September 1870, Jean Marcelin on 13 March 1878, Marie Julie on 15 March 1880, Euphrasie Françoise on 8 July 1884, and Jean Marie on 26 October 1890. (The age of the second Jean Marie indicates that the two cannot be the same.)
  • Pierre Artigues and Madeline Diekmann had son Alfred on 11 March 1895. Marie B. Artigues (18) married Charles Bordes (21) on 8 April 1891.

There have been Artigues living in the San Francisco area for over 144 years. There was a large Basque population in San Francisco, and perhaps that branch of the Artigues family is from the Basque region, which is very close to Salies-du-Salat and Lourdes, France. Ray and Irene Artigues are living there today or were very recently. The names of those living there in 1880 include Louis, Marie (wife), Frances, Louise, Evangeline, Jennie, John, Marius, Achille, Adèle (wife), and Emile. Paul Artigues and his wife Dorothy lived in San Francisco in the 1930s. According to the 1880 census, all but the children were born in France (or Belgium in the case of Adèle). It's interesting to note that Louis Artigues, born in 1830 in France, was working as a butcher in 1880 in San Francisco, the same time that Ferréol (Jeff Vitter's great grandfather) and nephews were working as butchers in New Orleans.

There was a Catalan Jesuit priest named Fr. Ramón Artigues Sirvent (1902–1936) who was martyred 20 July 1936 in Lérida, Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He is being considered for beatification (a preliminary step toward sainthood). All the Artigues mentioned earlier were from the Pyrénées region just north of the France-Spain border. Catalonia is the northeast part of Spain touching the French border; it includes the major city of Barcelona. Lérida (Lleida in Catalan) is a city in Catalonia about 100 miles went of Barcelona.

As much as we have learned about our Artigues relatives, there are even more open questions and thus further research. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

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