Juan Francois Di Gradenigo

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Juan Francois Di Gradenigo

Also Known As: "/Jean/"
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Death: Died in Opelousas, LA
Place of Burial: Died at age 80 yrs
Immediate Family:

Son of Antonie Donato Di Gradenigo and Marie Bettio
Husband of Marguerite Krebs
Father of Augustin Di Gradenigo; Joseph Bonaparte Gradenigo; Agatha Aime Di Gradenigo; Antoine Donato Di Gradenigo; Bridget Di Gradenigo and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Juan Francois Di Gradenigo



   Out on Prairie Ronde, northwest of Opelousas, stood a thick grove of trees once known as Gradenigo's Island, later called "Gradney's Island." Don Juan de Gradenigo came from a noble family in Venice. On a voyage to America, he met and married Marguerite Krebs, daughter of a wealthy merchant in Mobile. They moved to Opelousas and bought a piece of land three miles wide from east to west and 1 ½ miles from north to south at the place called Gradenigo's Island.
   One of the Gradenigo sons, Antonio, was sent to Europe for his education, but ran away in 1798 to join Napoleon's army in Egypt. He was never heard from again.
   Father Michel Barriere, who was the priest at Opelousas for many years, noted in 1796 in the St. Landry Church records: "All the persons mentioned in this book under the name of Gradenigo belong to the same family, namely the family of the same name in the Senate of Venice. This Don Juan de Gradenigo is the brother of Ambassadors, Senators, and others, in particular of the V. Rev .... Gradenigo, Canon of St. Mark, Venice, who died seven or eight years ago. This is a fact absolutely beyond doubt, as my brother, who kept up a correspondence with Venice, used to serve as intermediary, sending me the letters which I handed to Don Juan de Gradenigo. In 1356 one Juan Gradenigo was Doge of Venice.
   "The worthy gentleman who traveled through all Europe and the two Americas," Barriere's note continues, "and, having come finally to Mobile, as he became enamoured with the virtues and charms of Miss Kraps (sic), of a German family, married her at Mobile and remained in this country. The Rev. Martin Duralde and myself were his intimate friends; still we never attempted to pry into the mystery of his emigration to Louisiana. He died here and was buried the first of March, 1809."
   The first actual bank in St. Landry Parish was located at the home of Lastie Dupre in Prairie Ronde. This was a private brick vault where the wealthy planter accommodated his many friends by allowing them to place their bags of money for safekeeping. The little brick building is still standing in the yard of a private home.


   Jean Gradenigo, son of Antoine Gradenigo and Marie Bettio, married Marguerite Krebs in the Mobile, Alabama--Pascagoula, Miss. area. They moved to Opelousas, Louisiana area and had children. The oldest son had a family with a mulatto woman. They had Honore Gradenigo, freed from slavery around 1833.
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Juan Francois Di Gradenigo's Timeline

Venice, Italy
Age 37
Pensacola, Fla
Age 38
Pensacola, Florida
Age 39
Pensacola, Florida
Age 40
Pensacola, Florida
May 1777
Age 47
Opelousas, LA
Age 48
Opelousas, LA
January 1780
Age 50
Opelousas, LA
January 1782
Age 52
Opelousas, LA