AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Know anything about Side-Alter Marriages?
I found the info below on a web site on a random search. Can anyone please tell me about Delille (I know she's in the process of being beatified)and these "Side-alter marriages," or "Side Books?" Any thing--sources, etc. Thanks.
The found Quote (of unknown veracity):
"Several professional genealogists and historians in Louisiana contend that marriages between whites (usually male) and free peole of color (usually female) took place with frequency even through the law banned such marriages. According to these researcher, these marriage were arranged by Mother Henriette De Lille, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, a colored order of nuns.
"The reports state that the couple entered the church by a side door and were married at a side altar. The records were kept in separate books, called "Side Books". Since a marriage license was needed, some judges had to cooperate.
"It has been stated that two Oblate Sisters, doing research in the archives in New Orleans, saw these books in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Notre Dame University requested all parishes in Louisiana to submit these books for a research study. Only Orleans Parish cooperated and the study as never done.
"No one knows if the books were ever returned.