CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 52
By Damon Veach
LASTING TRIBUTE: When I first saw an advance copy of My Memories of Cheniere au Tigre, I knew it was a winner and one that would appeal to so many researchers. Now this book has entered its third printing and is a lasting tribute to Zoe Sagrera Lynch and her love of this part of Louisiana.
Zoe Sagrera Lynch at the family camp
Mary Zoe Sagrera Lynch passed away on Thursday, September 2, 2010. A longtime resident of Lafayette, Mrs. Lynch owned and managed Orchid Gardens for over 55 years and continued her husband's life's work raising ducks and geese. She was an avid conservationist and was a supporter of the rehabilitation of wildlife and protecting Louisiana's Coastline as well as the re-establishment of the whooping cranes in Louisiana, something that came about just last week.
I haven’t visited this little island paradise, but I think about it when I am in the Lafayette or Abbeville area. It is isolated from the rest of Louisiana by marshes filled with alligators and mosquitoes. It’s actually a sandy live oak ridge surrounded by marsh along the Gulf of Mexico in Vermilion Parish. It is very narrow and about five miles long.
Legends abound in South Louisiana, and it applies to Cheniere au Tigre. As it is told, the name came into being when a young boy was left alone on a boat near Hell Hole Bayou by explorers sometime before 1806. He was later found clawed to death presumably by a large wildcat. There are also claims of panthers in the area.
As I stated in my earlier review of this book, it was definitely a labor of love told by someone who cared to preserve her part of the world so it could be shared with others. Pictures often tell stories that words cannot, and Zoe Sagrera Lynch made sure that everything connected to the island was well documented in words and pictures. This is rare in most genealogical and historical books. Perhaps this is why it is such a fascinating book and why I can really say that it is a great Louisiana collectible.
This book is published by Claitor’s Publishing and is available from them. The price is $40, and it is just one of those books that you will want to keep and share. All major libraries, especially in the state of Louisiana should have this one available for readers and researchers. You can order directly through this column format. CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW!
EXCELLENT QUARTERLY: Le Raconteur begins its 31st volume with a fine lineup of articles. Extracts from the Iberville Gazette, Iberville Parish’s earliest newspaper, are presented for the years 1831 to 1840. Copies of these issues were acquired from a number of sources, most notably the Iberville Parish Clerk of Court’s office in Plaquemine. Editor Judy Riffel is working with the Clerk and the LSU Libraries to have these rare issues microfilmed.
Marking the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War are five Civil War era articles by regular contributor E.A. (Tony) Dardeau, Jr. These include three letters and two newspaper articles from northern newspapers.
Other articles include Winn Parish business licenses for 1911-12, a translation of a 1767 document in which the Acadian settlers at Attakapas appoint their representatives to settle a matter with the Spanish Governor, the 1775 inventory of Nicolas Ory’s estate, and a continuing listing of burials in St. Bernard Catholic Cemetery #2 in Breaux Bridge.
Regular features include a Computer Corner article discussing four online colonial record sources, a listing of new books at the Louisiana State Archives Research Library, and numerous announcements. Of particular note is the reduction of hours of the Archives’ Research Library. Weekday hours remain the same (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), but the weekend hours have been reduced to the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is no longer open on Sundays.
The annual subscription to Le Raconteur is $20. Mail applications (available at www.lecomite.org) to Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, P.O. Box 1547, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Membership also includes a subscription to the society’s quarterly electronic newsletter, E-Communiqué, if an e-mail address is provided.
MEETING HELD: The Canary Islanders Heritage Society met at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 5, 2010 at the State Archives Building on Essen Lane in Baton Rouge. After canceling the February meeting because of bad weather, the scheduled speaker, Bill Hyland, graciously agreed to speak at this meeting.
Hyland is no stranger to this group having assisted in the formation and continuing to assist in many ways. An honorary member of the group, he is also the historian of St. Bernard Parish and the director of the Isleno Museum Complex in St. Bernard, Louisiana. He updated members on the on-going plans for the Isleno Fiesta to be held on Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 20 from noon until 6:00 p.m. each day.
Plans to again set up a genealogy booth at the event are under way, and descendants and others are encouraged to attend. It is well worth the trip to enjoy the traditional foods prepared and served by local members wearing their period clothing. Those wearing identical dress are the new docents who will gladly take you through the newly furnished museum and direct you toward the other parts of the complex. An added feature will be the choral group from Teror, Gran Canaria, who will charm you with their music. Also discussed was the future of all Canary Islands descendants in Louisiana, especially the challenges to the current members.
Volunteers for the March event are needed, and if you are interested in helping, contact Layne Lindsly at email@example.com. The April meeting will be held on April 2, 2010, same time and place. The group treasurer, Steve Estopinal, reports that some have not yet paid 2011 dues of $15.00. Since the society operates on the income from dues, it is important to renew now and also urge others to join. Make checks payable to Canary Islanders Heritage Society, 6166 Breeze Pt. Drive, Gonzales, LA 70737.
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. They have a wide selection of reference books and are constantly adding to their listing.
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