The Campti - McKnight - Cloutier Connection

Campti is a small town in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, about 10 miles north of the City of Natchitoches, located on the Eastern Bank of the Red River. Natchitoches was settled by the French who came directly from France, unlike the Canadian French (Cajun) who settled South Louisiana after they were expelled from Canada by the English.

Some of the names of the early French settlers were: Barberousse, Chategnier, Cloutier, Desadier, Fonteneau, Grappe, Laurent, Lambres, LeBrun, Lestage, Levassieur, Maricelli, Metoyer, Meziere, Perot, Prudhomme, Roubieu and Trichel.

My great-great-grandfather Hasbit Miles Nesbit McKnight (1823-1872), an Episcopal Minister, came to the Campti area about the 1830's from North Carolina, and married Zeline Fredieu in 1844. It seems like he may have owned and/or had connections with the Red Plains Farm and The Pre Aux Cleres Farm. Zeline died in 1900. They had 11 children.

Hasbit McKnight and family
Standing: Joseph Ralph, Jessie Ernestine, Caroline Azalie and Rena Phelimine
Seated: Curiaque, Marie Julie Periot, Mary Julie and William Laffitte

Red Plains Farm Journal
1847 entries written and signed by Hasbit McKnight
Courtesy of Stephanie Peltier, Baton Rouge, LA

My great-grandfather James Hart McKnight was born in 1852 at Red Plains Farm and died at Oak Hill Farm in 1895. He married Mary Phelimine Julie Perot (1853-1909). They had seven children.

James Hart McKnight (1852-1895)
Mary Phelimine Julie Perot (1853-1909)

William McKnight 1872-1921
My grandfather William Lafitte McKnight was born at Oak Hill Farm near Campti in 1872 and died at Shreveport Hospital in 1921 of a ruptured apendix, but was living in Campti. He was married in 1904 in Campti to Louise Lillian Cloutier (born in 1876, died at Residence Farm in Houma in 1960. They had three children.

Lillian McKnight 1876-1960
My maternal great-grandfather was Charles Alexis Cloutier (1833-1905). He married my Great Grandmother Marie Louise Aimee Metoyer (1838-1887) in 1859. The town of Cloutierville is named after him.

The McKnight and Cloutier families, Dec 2, 1900
First on the left are my grandparents William McKnight and Lillian Cloutier McKnight

The Cloutier and McKnight families and friends
Dec 4, 1900

The Cloutier Girls and family friends
On the top row middle is my grandmother Lillian Cloutier

Wilson J Gaidry II, his wife Lillie Lea McKnight
and son Wilson J Gaidry III

My mother Lillie Lea Cloutier McKnight (1908-2011), the daughter of Lillian Cloutier and William Lafette McKnight, was born in Campti where she attended high school. She went to North Western Louisiana Collage in Natichotiches and received a teaching degree in 1926. She came to Houma to teach in 1927 where she meet my father Wilson J Gaidry Jr. (1901-1973). After a brief courtship they married in 1930. They both lived and died on Residence Farm in Houma.