CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 25
By Damon Veach
IN THE BEGINNING: When you begin genealogical research, the most common question to be answered is “How many of your great-grandparents can you name?” One of the best guides you can use in obtaining the answer can be found in a book by Emily Croom, now recently released in its 4th expanded, updated and revised edition.
In her acclaimed guide to family history research, Croom provides all the tools you need to begin your family research. From a step-by-step discussion of the records used in genealogical research to the investigation of family legends, this book shines a light on all facets of family history research. There are many guides published by other firms, but this one seems to be growing in popularity and is constantly being updated.
Throughout the book you’ll find:
Besides gathering names and dates, family history researchers want to learn how their ancestors lived and how they fit into the world around them. Therefore, focusing on the family as a primary source of information, the book provides suggestions for interviewing relatives and explains how to interpret and understand oral records, keepsakes, and family papers. It also introduces you to research methods and to the entire mass of public records used in identifying your ancestors.
Unpuzzling Your Past is great for
both individual and classroom use. It is intended for beginning genealogists
with little or no prior research or family history experience and thus
addresses the needs and potential questions of those beginners. For this
updated and revised 4th edition, Croom has expanded the information on
public records, added useful Internet addresses, and included a
chapter-length case study of a search to identify female ancestors, which is
sometimes difficult to do.
This book is available from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. It is priced at $40.45, postage and handling included.
ACADIAN HISTORY: The True Story of the Acadians by Dudley J. LeBlanc was originally published in 1937 and is now available again in a soft-cover format from Claitor’s Publishing Division in Baton Rouge. It remains a highly regarded history of the settlement and dispersal of the Acadians from what later became Canada to distant lands. It is filled with pictures, maps, and documents relating to the period. In LeBlanc’s preface, he gives a brief story of how this book came about, and he shows some excellent documentation for putting this manuscript together.
Cajun is the name commonly applied to the French people of South Louisiana. At the time of the early European settlement, the territory in Canada now known as Nova Scotia was variously named Larcadia, Arcadia, Acadia, or Cadie. Thus comes the name Acadian or Cadien, with Cajun being the corruption of the original name.
This area of Canada was inhabited by the Micmac Indians, and it is believed that the name Cadie, meaning “fertile in” was given to the region because of the Micmac frequent usage with reference to Acadian soil. More research shows that Verranzzano, an Italian explorer sent by Francois I, king of France, called the area Arcadia on account of the beauty of the trees. The first known map shows it as L’Arcadia showing the use of French instead of the Italian original. Over the years, there were numerous references, but Acadia became the standard and thus the people were to become Acadians.
LeBlanc describes the early settlement of Acadia, the growth of the region, and takes a look at the Acadian people. When Acadia was ceded to England, the Acadians refused to take an oath to the new owners, and war was the result. He also does a masterful job at explaining all phases of the exile, the unbelievable cruelty to the Acadians, the religion, and the persecution, imprisonment, and deportation of the Acadians.
His discussion of the early history of the Acadians in Louisiana is a must-read part of the book, but there is so much more in this tragic story. LeBlanc seems to have covered it from all angles. If the previous edition is not a part of your collections, this book is definitely one that needs to be added. It is 260 pages of history that should be in every school, community, and major genealogical library collections.
It is priced at $35.00.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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