CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 1, Number 18
By Damon Veach
SIG MEETING: Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane’s African American Special Interest Group (SIG) will hold a meeting on July 25th, from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Delta Sigma Theta Life Development Center located at 688 Harding Blvd., next to Subway. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Ryan Seidemann, President of the Mid City Historical Cemetery Coalition in Baton Rouge, will speak on Sweet Olive Cemetery. Officially dating back to 1898, Sweet Olive was the first cemetery for blacks incorporated in the Baton Rouge city limits. Burials are, however, believed to have occurred prior to 1898.
Members of the group will give short presentations on a variety of African American genealogy topics. Cherryl Forbes Montgomery will discuss how to use Father Hebert’s Southwest Louisiana Records effectively. Barbara Shepherd Dunn will describe how she identified and documented the slave owners of her great grandmother. And, Judy Riffel will speak on the SIG’s efforts to create an East Baton Rouge Parish slave database. Time will be allowed at the end of the program for attendees to share their own genealogical problems and successes and to ask questions.
With nearly 600 members, Le Comité is one of the largest genealogical groups in the state today. Its African American Genealogy SIG was formed in 2006 to help people doing African American research in Louisiana have a place to communicate and help one another. The group currently consists of 24 Le Comité members who have begun holding meetings and seminars. They have also created a Yahoo Groups site for members to share information and help each other with their research. All current members of Le Comité are eligible to join the SIG at no additional cost. Any member wishing to join should send an e-mail to Third Vice President, Cherryl Forbes Montgomery (CherrylM@aol.com) and an invitation to join the Yahoo group will be extended.
IN THE BEGINNING: The latest issue of Terrebonne Life Lines is quite interesting. The first article is a discussion of the history of the Terrebonne Genealogical Society. The society treasurer, Nancy Lowrie Wright, tells how Mrs. Mercedes Pertuit helped to acquaint everyone in the 1960s and 1970s with the art of successful genealogical research.
Now this society has grown into one of the best in the state. Their publication is issued quarterly, and memberships are only $25.00 annually. Their regular meetings are held on the last Saturday of each month, except November and December at 1 p.m. at the Main Branch of the Terrebonne Parish Public Library, 151 Library Dr., in Houma, Louisiana. The November and December meetings are combined and held on the second Saturday of December at the Main Branch Library.
The Terrebonne Parish Conveyance – Book L listings are available for perusal in this review issue. Also listed are Lafourche Parish births of 1937. Ronald Berger gives a thorough description of the early newspaper of Lafourche Parish, and some oral history from the Sherwin Guidry, Amay Marie Chauvin Theriot, Eugenie Chauvin Lapeyrouse, and Raymond Viguerie tapes are given. Philip Toups Jr. tells about the group in the parish that visit and record the histories of old homes located throughout the parish, and pictures of these homes are also shown. Ruby Gabriel offers a lot of data on the family of Lucille Angelina Hebert, and pedigree charts are added.
With all of this excellent information in print, this publication is also indexed, a definite plus factor when doing a quick search for an individual lineage. For more information on how to join this group, contact them at Terrebonne Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 20295, Houma, LA 70360. They can also be found at the following website: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~laterreb/tgs/.
CANARY ISLANDERS: The Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana started with a small support group in 1996 with the help and support from Islenos leaders from St. Bernard Parish. The purpose of the original meeting was to form a group that would function to preserve the historical and cultural traditions of ancestors from the Canary Islands. There were four Spanish settlements in Louisiana, and these were established by Don Bernardo de Galvez. Three of these were named due to their location, namely La Villa de Galvez or Galveztown, Barataria at Barataria Bay, and St. Bernard (San Bernardo at Terre aux Boeufs). The fourth was Valenzuela, located west of the Mississippi River along the banks of Bayou Lafourche.
The Canary Islands are an archipelago of seven islands, covering, 2,808 square miles, and constituting an autonomous region and two provinces of Spain. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of northwest Africa, about a hundred miles west of Morocco.
The history of the Canary Islanders in Spanish Colonial Louisiana began in 1778 when 700 men were recruited to increase the size of the Louisiana Regiment. The Spanish Crown had held Louisiana since 1762, and they were afraid of an invasion by Great Britain. Spain turned to the islands for recruits, namely those between 17 to 36 years of age, healthy, and who would be willing to protect Spain’s interest in the new region. It wasn’t in writing, but it was understood that the placement would be permanent, and both married couples and single men were recruited.
By the summer of 1779, there were 352 families and 100 single men in the Louisiana Territory. Over two hundred years have passed since the arrival of the Canary Islanders, and many descendants now claim Louisiana and other states as their homes.
Meetings of this group are held at 11 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday of the month at the Louisiana State Archives Building on Essen Lane unless otherwise notified. Membership in the society is only $15.00 per year. More information can be obtained about this group by checking out www.canaryislanders.org or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLUMN INFORMATION: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. Books and society publications are reviewed if sample copies are submitted with each request, and queries are published free of charge. These queries can be any length but should have a Louisiana connection by heritage or residence of researchers working on lines in other states or countries. Dated notices should be submitted several weeks prior to the scheduled event. The e-mail address is email@example.com.
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