François Marie, Chevalier de Reggio
Francesco Maria de Reggio, known in French as François Marie, Chevalier de Reggio (Alba, Italy, 1698 – New Orleans, 1787) was an Italian nobleman who was a member of the House of Este. He was a distinguished commander in the War of the Austrian Succession, and an influential government official in Louisiana.
François Marie was born in Alba, Piedmont, in 1698. He was nephew to the reigning Duke of Modena and Reggio, Francesco III d'Este. His mother was Felicite De Canapan, and his father was Rinaldo de Reggio, Chevalier de Reggio, who was the brother of Duke Francesco, and son of Duke Rinaldo d'Este. When his father died, Francois himself became the Chevalier de Reggio. He ruled his lands strongly for many years, but fell victim to boredom. Looking for excitement, Francois moved to France, joined the French army, and fought in the War of the Austrian Succession with his close friend, the Duke of Richelieu. He proved to be an excellent soldier, and went on to distinguish himself greatly at the Siege of Bergen op Zoom. King Louis XV of France was so impressed by the Chevalier's valour during the siege, that he gave him a captaincy in the French army, and promoted him to the rank of Captain general. Soon after his promotion in 1747, the king sent Marie to Louisiana, which was a French colony at the time.
François held the title of Captain-General of Louisiana until 1763, when the Spanish Empire took over the French colony. The Chevalier was well liked by the new Spanish officials, and was given a new title in the government of Spanish Louisiana: First Justiciary of the Estates and Property of the Crown. While holding this position, he met a young woman, by the name of Fleuriau. They married, and had many children. In his old age, Francois retired, and died in New Orleans, in 1787.
Francois Marie, Chevalier de Reggio was the great-grandfather of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, one of the most famous generals in the American Civil War. Among his descendants is also director Godfrey Reggio.
- D. Maselli Italians in New Orleans
- Louisiana History 1986 Page 47 "The most prominent of these military people was Francesco Maria De Reggio, a native of Alba, Piedmont. ... prominent New Orleans family, and Francesco was the great-grandfather of the famous Civil War general Pierre Beauregard."
- Old Families of Louisiana Stanley Clisby Arthur - 1999 p230 "signed and sworn to by the Sieurs Nicolas Forstall, Francois Marie de Reggio and the Chevalier Charles Frederick d’Arensbourg"
- Old Families of Louisiana - Page 412 Stanley Clisby Arthur - 1999 "She married first Daniel Fagot de la Garcinière (q. v.), and at his death in 1776, married a second time Charles Antoine de Reggio, son of François Marie de Reggio and Helene Fleuriau"
- Reggio Ancestor Report Page: kjunkutie.tripod.com/reggio.htm
- The military operations of General Beauregard in the war between the states by Alfred Roman