A Sieur Mesplet (with various spellings of the name) is mentioned in the history books of Louisiana at two different times. Each was in reference to battles with the Natchez Indians. The first is in 1723 and the second is in 1730 when he was killed.
A Sieur Mesples is mentioned in the 1726 Census of the French Colony of Louisiana. We have not been able to find a direct link between Pierre Mesplay and this Mesples.
The evidence that they were related in some way is as follows:
- Mesplet was apparently running a trading post of some kind and Mesplay was apparently in the fur trade (a voyageur).
- The similarity in the names is a good clue since forms of
the name Mesplet, Mesplay, Mesplais, etc. are rare. See Gayarre's History of
Louisiana where he uses both Mesplet and Mesplais interchangeably.
- Mesplet is documented as being from Pau, Béarn and
there are many other references to Pau, Béarn, and Lourdes
throughout the Mesplay name research.
An avenue that has yet to be explored is the records of the Company of the Indies, the trading company that ran Louisiana for a time in the early years. I believe these records are in the French Archives.