CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 14
By Damon Veach
Picture furnished by Stephen Estopinal
CERTIFICATE AWARDED: Joan Aleman, co-chair of the program committee of the Canary Islanders Heritage Society, presents Paul “Skip” Newfield a certificate of appreciation for his hard work in tracing the genealogy of the Canary Islanders’ descendants in Louisiana. Newfield reported his findings on the families from the island of La Gomera that had settled in the Donaldsonville and Gonzales areas in 1779. This all took place at the June 12th meeting. Their web site is www.canaryislanders.org.
BOOK SIGNING: Stephen Estopinal, Author of El Tigre de Nueva Orleans, a historical fiction centered on early 19th century Southeast Louisiana and the Battle of New Orleans, will have a book signing 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Friday June 25, 2010 at Borders Books Store, 3131 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Metairie Louisiana. Estopinal grew up in the swamps and bayous of Southeast Louisiana and now lives in Gonzales Louisiana. A land surveyor and civil engineer, he has written numerous professional articles as well as a textbook now in its third edition. El Tigre de Nueva Orleans is his first novel.
SPEAKERS SCHEDULED: The Baton Rouge Genealogical & Historical Society has an interesting line-up of speakers for the coming months. This Saturday (June 19), Judy Riffel will speak on "Unlikely, Uncommon, and Unexpected Genealogical Sources at the State Archives." She will explore some of the lesser known sources genealogists may have overlooked in their research.
July 17: In July, the society has scheduled a different kind of program. Tom Aswell, author and former journalist, will speak on the true genesis of rock & roll. His new book takes a look at six decades of musical history in Louisiana from rock and roll to rockabilly, swamp pop, Zydeco, and R&B. Books will be available for those wanting autographed copies.
August 21: August will find Gayle Breaux Smith speaking on the Breaux family and other Acadians. She will take participants on a photographic journey covering personal travels of the Breaux family across France and Acadia and follows le Grand Derangement of 1755.
September 18: Anna Sanders, President, Women Veterans of Louisiana, will be the guest speaker in September. She will give an inspiring account of local women from every branch of service who served in WWII with photos, personal stories, and vintage uniforms. Some of the veterans will also be in attendance.
October 16: Yvonne Lewis Day, BRGHS President, will speak in October. She will reveal the interesting story of Baton Rouge’s first “five-star” hotel and its remarkable owner, Madame Legendre, who for 30 years hosted famous visitors to the city – from Andrew Jackson to the Marquis de Lafayette.
November 20: The Rev. Nina Russell, Publicity Chair, BRGHS, will talk about the Mayflower Pilgrim descendants in Louisiana in November. She will focus on how the Mayflower Society assists individuals with genealogical research and presents info on an extensive Mayflower family in Louisiana.
December 11: December will bring forth the Christmas Social with refreshments, recognitions, and officer installation.
The society meets at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of the month, except in December, at the Bluebonnet Library.
EARLY SETTLERS: When Winston De Ville was researching the material for this book, he learned of the important connection between the small city of Maubeuge, France, its surrounding towns and villages, and the state of Louisiana. He shows the importance of this in one of his best books, The Sainte Catherine Colonists, 1719-1720, Early Settlers of Natchez and Pointe Coupee in the French Province of Louisiana.
This is thought to be the first time a document of this type has been published, and it is a gem of discovery which will long serve as a standard for research in this part of France. This discovery shows the agreement between the Company of Ste. Catherine and the employees it engaged to work the vast lands just to the northeast of present-day Natchez, Mississippi. Whether they stayed in the area or maybe even moved into Pointe Coupee, it is this area that is more closely associated with the old families.
This soft-cover, indexed publication is priced at $28.50 and available through Claitor’s Publishing. Also included in this book is a list of the victims of the 1729 massacre at Natchez. ORDER NOW
CIVIL RECORDS: Slaves and Masters of Pointe Coupee, Louisiana: A Calendar of Civil Records, 1762 – 1823 is another book by Winston De Ville, and it includes an introduction by Jack D.L. Holmes. It is another soft-cover edition and shows the expertise and determination to preserve documents that is common to all of De Ville’s books. This one was started when he was still a student at Louisiana State University.
The book is based on ancient court documents and relates to people of African descent both slave and free. It also provides a guide to all Europeans, Creoles, and others who had anything to do with slaves, freedmen, and their descendants. Pointe Coupee’s African-American history is colorful, and they enriched the culture that is so much a part of Louisiana especially since this is one of the oldest settlements along the Mississippi River.
Abstracts of over 1,000 documents can be found here, and each provides the names of all principle parties, the date, and the nature of the act – sales, leases, notices, marriage contracts, and successions. The African national origin is often named too. Many of the original documents no longer exist.
This new edition is priced at $26. ORDER NOW
ELUSIVE CLUES: In so many cases, researchers give up before they check all areas of documentation. Such is the case for chimney tax records. This is just something that few people would think about checking unless they know the history of the particular area in detail.
The 1795 Chimney Tax of New Orleans, A Guide to the Census of Proprietors & Residents of the Vieux Carre is one of the gems to be found for genealogical research.
This is a small publication, only 31 pages, and priced at $18.50. What stands out is the listing of occupations in the French Quarter. It just gives you a better understanding of how times were during this period of the late 1700s. The document is divided into three parts, representing the three quartiers (quarters or wards). This is another of Winston De Ville’s publications, and just reading the introductions to his books puts a complete emphasis on the importance of the publication itself. Librarians should consider adding this and other De Ville publications to their genealogical/historical research sections. ORDER NOW
FREE SERVICE: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. The e-mail address is email@example.com. Queries and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Claitor’s Publishing can serve as a distributor for self-published genealogy titles. Go to their homepage for details on how you can obtain this excellent service.
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