CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 1, Number 14
By Damon Veach
LOUISIANA DIVISION: There is no better research facility in the state of Louisiana than that located at the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library. The Louisiana Division provides excellent reference sources relating to the study of Louisiana and its citizens and especially to the city of New Orleans. Of course, there are other concentrations of research materials, namely connected to the Mississippi River area, the Gulf of Mexico, and the entire South.
Included in the Louisiana Division’s collection are books by or about Louisianians and about the city, region, and state. Documents, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, periodicals, microfilm, photographs, slides, motion pictures, sound recordings, video tapes, postcards, and ephemera of all kinds. Housed here are the City Archives, which is the official repository for the records of New Orleans municipal government from 1769 to the present time. It also includes the pre-1927 records of the civil courts and the pre-1932 records of the criminal courts of Orleans Parish.
The Special Collections, also maintained by the Louisiana Division, includes the rare vertical file, the carnival collection, the Louisiana photograph collection, the map collection, the menu collection, the postcard collection, the manuscript collection, and the rare book collection. Included in all of this is an extensive genealogy collection consisting of books, periodicals, and microfilm with emphasis on New Orleans, Louisiana, the Southeast United States, Nova Scotia, France, and Spain.
Irene Wainwright is the archivist (firstname.lastname@example.org) and one of the most knowledgeable library personnel members in the state. A direct link to this reference source is http://nutrias.org/~nopl/spec/speclist.htm. Check out their genealogy files, and you will see how important this collection is.
The New Orleans Public Library is located at 219 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, 70112, phone 504-596-2560. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. This location is on the edge of the New Orleans’ downtown Civic Center, opened in December, 1958. The building, encompassing three main floors and two sub-basements, is NOPL’s flagship location, providing the system’s largest collection of popular and research sources. The building also houses NOPL’s administrative offices, technical services, a technology center, and the YMCA’s adult literacy program.
Never overlook a good source of genealogical research material. Never overlook the importance of this great collection of material concerning New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, and the people of the city and state.
IMPORTANT SOCIETY: The Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans was established in 1960 to foster an interest in family research and to encourage preservation of genealogical records in New Orleans, in Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast. Since January of 1962, the society has published a quarterly called the New Orleans Genesis, which is available to its members. The society welcomes new members and encourages their participation at its lecture meetings held in the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November. They accept materials of interest for consideration and use in their publication.
This publication appears four times a year and always contains outstanding research material for family historians with ties to this part of the country. Queries and announcements also appear in this publication. These announcements should be of general interest to genealogists and family researchers - notices of meetings, seminars, or other information - which, in the opinion of the editors, should be included.
One of this society’s outstanding members, the late Hewitt Forsyth, interested me in membership in this group while I was still living in Fort Worth, Texas. For further information regarding the society and New Orleans Genesis, contact The Editors, New Orleans Genesis, P.O. Box 51791, New Orleans, LA 70151-1791. It is one of the best publications you will find in any state, and the quality has been consistently the same since I first became acquainted with this group.
COLONIAL LOUISIANA: Although settlement at Pointe Coupee began decades earlier, the first civil records extant in Point Coupee Parish begin in 1771. La Verne “Pike” Thomas III has created genealogical abstracts for all records in the subject period. One or more future volumes will complete the series up to the time of 1803 when the entire Province of Louisiana became a territory of the United States. In a work that Winston De Ville’s preface calls extraordinary, the Reverend Thomas has included all names of all races in all documents. The index includes over 600 names – French, Spanish, Anglo-American, German, African-American, Native-American, and others.
“Pointe Coupee Families in Colonial Louisiana: Abstracts of Civil Records, 1771-1782” is a first edition volume. It contains 118 pages of outstanding material, and researchers in this part of Louisiana should be pleased with all that it contains. It can be obtained directly from Provincial Press, 1238 Red Fox Road, Ville Platte, LA 70586. The price is $35.00, but Louisiana residents need to add four percent sales tax with Evangeline Parish adding five percent sales tax. Also add $2.50 for economy shipping or $5.50 for priority mail. Purchase orders from libraries and other tax-exempt institutions are honored, and this publisher accepts credit cards only through their web-site catalog. Allow two to three weeks for delivery with economy mail. Their e-mail address is email@example.com. Their web site is www.provincialpress.us.
LIVING LEGEND: The Acadian Museum, supported by the Acadian Heritage & Cultural Foundation, Inc. (Fondation Culturelle du Patrimoine Acadien), 203 South Broadway, Erath, LA 70533 has announced Clifford Joseph Touchet as a Living Legend inductee. This ceremony took place on May 23, 2009 at the Acadian Museum of Erath. Touchet is a well-known Cajun preservationist, musician, and promoter, and his induction into the Order of Living Legends is a tribute to his promotion of Cajun culture.
(L to R): Warren A. Perrin, chairman of the Acadian Museum, Clifford Touchet, inductee and Elwood LeBlanc.
The “Living Legends” series is a way of honoring those who have helped shape and define the Cajun culture. Hosted by the Acadian Museum of Erath, a non-profit organization, its corporate sponsors for the programs are the law firm of Perrin, Landry, deLaunay, Dartez & Ouellet and Envirochem of Erath.
For more information on the museum, go to www.acadianmuseum.com. Here you will find a complete list of all prior inductees. Retired Judge Kaliste Saloom Jr. will be inducted on July 11, 2009. The program, founded in 1996, had been suspended since Hurricane Ike flooded the town of Erath, but Elwood LeBlanc, Acadian Museum volunteer, announced the program’s continued schedule with the Touchet acknowledgement.
COLUMN INFORMATION: Submittals for consideration and inclusion in this column format should be sent to Damon Veach, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Books review copies, queries, and society notices are used in this format as space permits.
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