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The Brugman Family
Commentaries and Additional Information


Commentary by Ursula Acosta (8/2000)

I have not seen the original baptism records from New Orleans, but according to Arthur Brugman the grandparents were given as Matthias Brugman and Luisa Levi, pointing clearly to the Brugman family from Curaçao. I may add that the name Pedro Henrique does too as this is a name that appears in the Brugman family. I therefore think that Matías Brugman was a descendant of the Curaçao family, but may not have been the son of the privateer Pierre Brugman.

Also, if the parents Pierre and Isabel were not considered legally married, it may be that the church did not have the pertinent records. Pierre was apparently part Jewish and may not have been baptized at all. We have to remember that according to the Jewish faith, a child is Jewish if the mother is Jewish which would apply to Pierre Brugman. Besides the marriage was said to have taken place in Haiti.

Thus while "our" Pierre Brugman may not have been the corsair, he seems to have been the father of Matías Brugman of the 1868 Lares Revolution.

Commentary by Julia Sosa (2/2005)

At the present time, there is no solid evidence that the Pierre who married Isabel Duliebre and who fathered Matías Brugman, of the Lares revolution, is the same person as the privateer Pierre Brugman. However, there is a lot of evidence to allow for the speculation.

In the book Renato Beluche: Smuggler, Privateer and Patriot, 1780-1860, by Jane Lucas De Grummond, is the following paragraph on page 53: "Then the other passengers became her crew, and Pierre Brugman -- an alias that Beluche used many times--took command and sailed L'Intrépide to St. Martin." This event ocurred on February 10, 1810. Why Renato used Pierre Brugman as an alias is not indicated. On page 54 a description of Pierre is excerpted from the officer and crew list of L'Intrépide: "Brugman was thrity years old and five feet three inches tall. His poil was brown...Brugman's birthplace was given as Curaçao." The publication Abordajes: Biografia Esquematica de Ranto Beluche written by Isidro Antonio Beluche refers to Renato's baptismal record found at The Cathedral of St. Louis at New Orleans. The baptismal record states that Renato was born at New Orleans on December 7th, 1780. His father a native of Tours, France and his mother of New Orleans.

We know from Mathias' baptismal record that his father also claimed to be a native of Curaçao and that his mother, Ysavel, was a native of Port-au-Prince, Santo Domingo, but little else is known about him.

Lucas De Grummond wrote: "The exodus of Refugees from Cuba to Louisiana, the embargo, and nonintercourse all touched the life of Renato beluche, even though we have only two clues that tell us what Beluche may have been doing from March 5, 1808, when he returned in the Emile to New Orleans, until February 26, 1810, when he left New Orleans in the Camillus. It is apparent from the evidence that beluche was sailing ships and perhaps transporting refugees, because sometime during 1809 he married a native of Por-au-Prince." The paragraph ends stating that Beluche abandons his wife, Marie Magdeleine, of six months at New Orleans. Beluche, alias Brugman, disappeared during late March 1810 eluding charges for smuggling and did not resurface until February 1817.

The hand written baptismal records, at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, indicates that Matias and Clara Maria are each an "hijo natural" of Pierre Brugman and Ysavel Duliebre inidcating that they were not legally married. Was Ysavel also a refugee? Did Renato abandon Marie for Ysavel? If so, Renato/Pierre's children with Ysavel would have been considered illegitimate due to his marriage to Marie Magdeleine which took place at the same parish. Marie Magdeleine did not file for separation until February 21, 1822. However, in the 1814 baptismal record of Pedro Henrique, Pedro is listed as an "hijo legitimo." This child's baptismal record lists his father's name, Pierre, in Spanish, Pedro. So did Pierre/Pedro marry Ysavel under the name of Pedro in between 1813 & 1815? There are no records at the New Orleans parish of such a marriage. Did Pedro & Ysavel marry under civil law? We may never know because those records were lost in a fire. Or did he marry her outside of New Orleans?

Harold Lidin's History of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, Vol. I states that Mathias arrived at Puerto Rico at the age of five which would have been during 1816. This coincides with the time period that Renato was in hiding. Aside from being listed in his children's baptismal records, the only other reference to Pedro/Pierre that has been found so far is the 1846 census of Barrio de Naranjales, Las Marias, Puerto Rico where Ysavel is listed as a widow. Was Mathias' dad deceased at that time or if we assume that Pedro, Pierre and Renato were all the same person, did Pierre/Pedro abandoned this family also? A death record has not been located in Puerto Rico for Pedro.

Marie Magdeleine died in March of 1822 leaving Renato a widower and free to marry another native of New Orleans, Senora Maria Bondri [Beaudri] Espocita at Caracas. At the time of their marriage, they already had two daughters, the eldest being seven years old. Regardless, Renato continued to play the field and had a son out of wedlock in 1832. Renato was widowed again in 1842.

My notes end here, I can't remember why. I will someday review Lucas De Grummond's book again to see what I missed between 1842 and Renato's death in 1860. So did Renato live a double life? Were Renato & Pierre actually two different people? Is it a coincidence that they both started families at New Orleans? That they both possibly married refugees from Port-au-Prince? In conclusion, we're right back where we started...with lots of speculation.