Dr. Jean Baptiste “Venuste” Girardin was born in Switzerland on the 3rd of August, 1828. Dr. Girardin’s parents were Joseph Girardin and the former Marie Josephine Belliat. He was known to have a brother named Theodule Parent.
Dr. Girardin graduated from medical school in Lyon, France around 1846. He studied under Professor Several and Doctor Baran.
Dr. Girardin married Elizabeth Caroline (Ray) Parent on the 25th of September, 1860 in Sandwich (Essex County). Mrs. Girardin was born in Sandwiche (Essex County), Ontario on the 18th of August, 1822. Her parents were John Ray and the former Monique Parent. Mrs. Girardin was previously married to Joseph Benjamin Parent and they had 6 children prior to Mr. Parent’s death. Those children were; Fabien Thomas Parent, Joseph Frederic Parent, James Albert Parent, Mary Rose Domitalla Parent, George Alexander Parent (who died as an infant) and Matilda Elizabeth Parent. Mr. Parent died in Sandwich in 1853 at the age of 37.
According to the 1861 census, Dr. and Mrs. Girardin were living in Sandwich with her surviving 5 children; Thomas, Joseph, James, Rose and Matilda. Dr. and Mrs. Girardin had a daughter born to them on the 10th of October, 1862 in Sandwich, Essex County. Her name was Marie Eugenie “Lena” Girardin.
According to the 1864 -1865 Kent County Business Directory, Dr. Girardin was practicing medicine in Chatham. His office was located on King Street.
By 1866 Dr. Girardin was practicing medicine in Saginaw, Michigan. In 1868, Dr. Girardin had a medical office in the Bernhard Block in Saginaw, Michigan. When the 1870 census was taken in the United States, Mrs. Girardin and her daughter Lena were listed as living with her son, James Parent and her daughter Matilda Parent in Detroit Michigan. Between 1873 through 1875, Dr. Girardin was practicing medicine in Bay City, Michigan. In 1876, Mrs. Girardin was listed in the Detroit Michigan Business Directory as residing at 510-6th Ave. and she was recorded as the widow of Dr. V. Girardin (although Dr. Girardin was alive). In 1879 Dr. Girardin was living and working in New Orleans, Louisianna. His medical office was located on Lavergne Street between Delarone Street and Villere Street in the 5th District.
Mrs. Girardin died on the 9th of August, 1879. She was buried at L’Assomption de Sandwich Cemetery in Essex County.
Around 1883, Dr. Girardin moved to Biloxi, Mississippi.
Dr. Girardin died on the 23rd of August, 1891 in Biloxi, Mississippi. He was buried at the Biloxi City Cemetery. His last will and testament was written 2 days before his death on the 21st of August, 1891. He bequeathed his real estate property in Biloxi, Mississippi to his daughter Lena who lived in Detroit at the time of Dr. Girardin’s death. To the Town of Biloxi he left his collection of stuffed birds and animals and his collection of minerals to be used as a museum for the public school.
*Dr. Girardin’s daughter Lena (Girardin) Nebe died on the 14th of October, 1950 and she was buried at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.
**The webmaster is grateful to the Nebe family of New Orleans for the photo of Dr. Girardin and for certain facts and details.