Two centuries ago, wealthy white merchant and slave-owner Joseph Lacey married Rosalie Jean Louis, an “enslaved” black woman. Little did they know that their love union would result in giving the world Beyonce, one of the most iconic women of the 21st century. Daily Mail reports that Beyonce told Vogue that she did a little digging into her family tree. She talked about the discoveries she made including her mixed-race lineage, her slave roots, and her links to Louisiana.
“I researched my ancestry recently and learned I come from a slave owner who fell in love with and married a slave.”
What follows is an interesting exposition of Queen Bey’s history, from the slave trade through to its Creole influences. It also shows how the family has always paid tribute to the women of the past, and how Tina Knowles-Lawson has continued with this proud tradition of acknowledging the past.
Beyonce’s family history begins with the birth of Rosalie Jean Louis, who was born to Louis Mary Jean in 1800. Just for a second, stop to think that Louis Mary Jean’s owner did not even give her the common decency of a last name. Yet, she took her first name of Louis and blessed her daughter with the last name of Louis. It seems as if the seeds of independence and a fierce drive to succeed were already within this extraordinary line of women.
The history books then confirm that her great-great-great grandmother Rosalie Jean Louis married Joseph Lacey, a wealthy white merchant. Theirs was a love match that raised eyebrows and went against the norms of society, but their union resulted in a daughter they named Celestine Josephine Lacey.
Celestine, or Tine, herself has a life-long affair with a married man named Eloi Rene Rosemond Broussard. He was married to Rose Herbert, but it was Tine, the housekeeper, who bore him 13 children. Herbert and Broussard’s marital union only produced two children. Broussard acknowledged all his children with Tine and raised them in his house.
“Eloi and Tine’s story is not one of rape. It is one of an open and acknowledged relationship.
“Although Eloi had married Rose, he spent most of his adult years in open concubinage with Tine.”
One of their daughter’s, Odelia, is Beyonce’s great-grandmother. She had married a farmer called Eugene Derouen. Tina Knowles named House of Dereon, after their daughter Agnes, who also was her mother.
Agnes was their youngest daughter, and she married Albert Lumas Buyince. She went on to become a sought-after seamstress who created outfits for her private clientele. Later, she was able to send her children to private school through her growing business.
Celestine Ann Beyince, carries Tine’s name, and she herself is known as Tina Knowles-Lawson. She married Mathew Knowles and they had Beyonce and Solange. Interestingly, Beyonce’s name comes full circle as her mother, also took her last name and made it her daughter’s first.
It is this remarkable ancestry that lives in the veins of Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir Carter. A legacy that is as fascinating as their mother herself.