CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 21
By Damon Veach
VERMILION PARISH: It has been quite some time since I mentioned the Vermilion Historical Society. If you haven’t checked out all the programs that have been presented by this group, then you have missed out on a wonderful guide into the early history of this part of the state. The society was formed in 1975 as a result of interest in the upcoming national bicentennial. In recent years, Gary Theall has created a web site that just possibly may be one of the most informative and interesting in the entire country.
The society has several books available now, the first being History of Vermilion Parish, La, a 485-page book completed in 1983 and containing historical topics, many family stories, and lots of pictures of early Abbeville and surrounding area. The second volume was even bigger (620 pages) and published in 2003 to coincide with the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. Following this was the publication of historian Kenneth Dupuy’s Journeys Into the Past – Abbeville, Louisiana: The Early Years. The society also maintains a museum at the Alliance Center in Abbeville, where you can find historical artifacts, documents, and photographs on display. Of particular interest here is the Morgan Effigy, a deer antler carved by Native Americans about a thousand years ago.
Theall’s contributions to the web site are definitely outstanding, but some of the programs he has presented are absolutely the best you will find anywhere. Every parish in Louisiana needs a Gary Theall. His latest contribution to the history of this area can be found in the presentation on Abbeville native Frank A. Godchaux Sr., son of Gustave Godchaux, who became involved in his father’s milling business at an early age.
Godchaux started organizing rice mills in southwest Louisiana, and this led to the organization of the Louisiana State Rice Milling Company, Inc., in 1911. This huge corporation was based in New Orleans but later moved back to Abbeville. The presentation of 116 slides is one that can be enjoyed by anyone, and you can find this at their web site as well as other quality entries.
You can check it all out at http://www.vermilionhistorical.com/. All the information you could possibly need is at this site, but if you do not have a computer and would like to join this society or purchase their books, just send inquiries to Vermilion Historical Society, 120 Peace Street, P.O. Box 877, Abbeville, LA 70511-0877.
MEETING SCHEDULED: The Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana will meet on August 14, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library at 9200 Bluebonnet Avenue in Baton Rouge. The program topic is “First Families of Louisiana Certificate Program” established by the Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society to recognize the heritage of colonial families of Louisiana.
Many of the Canary Islanders who immigrated to Louisiana in the 18th century meet the qualifications for the “First Families of Louisiana Certificate Program.” Information about the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana can be found on the web at www.canaryislanders.org. You may contact the president of the society by email: email@example.com.
BOOK SIGNING: A new book club has formed in Shreveport, Louisiana. Author Stephen Estopinal was a club guest for the July meeting where he discussed Louisiana history and conducted a book signing of his new release El Tigre de Nueva Orleans. Estopinal is a member of the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana.
Pictured are (left to right) Gay Gaskins, Dot Estopinal, Virginia Breaux, Paula Craig, Stephen Estopinal and Rita Rodgers.
NEW PUBLICATION: The Terrebonne Genealogical Society has announced the publication of a new booklet called “Aid for Translating French Records” by Ken Toups. This $7.00 booklet is not a French-English dictionary. It contains words used in the documents genealogists and researchers use. It includes separate listings of phrases found in legal documents. It covers the years 1740 to 1850 and has a table of relationship terms.
Also included is an alphabetical listing of words used in documents, first in English to French, then French to English, Some of the terms are colloquial, and others are archaic. This 49-page booklet is intended for use in translating the meaning of documents of South Louisiana that are a hundred or more years old. With postage costs included, this publication can be obtained for $10 by ordering directly from the society at P.O. Box 20295, Houma, LA 70360.
Don’t forget the society’s annual seminar at Envie Restaurant in Thibodaux on Saturday, August 14th. It is open to the public, and there will be a power point presentation on family charts and old pictures. For more information, contact Wanda Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIFE LINES: The latest issue of “Terrebonne Life Lines” has just arrived, and it contains a lot of information of interest to researchers. A quick perusal finds more listings for Terrebonne Parish conveyances, Gloria Gravois Hicks interesting article on the Gravois family, pictures of Confederate veterans, Assumption Parish births in 1941, stories from Celina Marie Marchand Barden, and many more items of interest.
Their web site is at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~laterreb/tgs/, and their postal address is P.O. Box 20295, Houma, LA 70360. The quarterly “Terrebonne Life Lines” is included with all memberships which are $25 per year. 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 Drive. The November/December meeting is on the second Saturday in December.
Each issue of this publication is indexed, and this is really helpful to those seeking out names needed in connecting lineages to this area of the state. And there are so many more items of interest found here than listed above. It is just an outstanding example of what this group is doing to preserve the historical and genealogical data for this area of the state. They are to be congratulated for this excellent work and for their contributions to the preservation of this material.
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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