CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 6
By Damon Veach
ANNUAL SEMINAR: It is still not too late to sign up for the annual meeting and seminar presented by the Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Society. This will take place on Saturday, April 24th at the Embassy Suites, 4914 Constitution Avenue in Baton Rouge. Registration is $35 and does not include lunch, but there is food available in the Food Court at the hotel. Registration at the door is from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
The program includes several interesting topics. Gary D. Joiner’s topic is “Finding the Past: Reconstructing the Red River Campaign.” Susan Tucker will talk about “Letter Writers, Nurses, Vivandieres, Sutlers, Soldiers, and Spies: Women in the Civil War.” Johanna R. Pate’s topic is “The Path to Finding Your Civil War Ancestor.” There will also be book vendors on hand at this event.
It will be an ideal time to pick up the latest copy of an outstanding publication from Le Comite des Archives de la Louisiane called Natchitoches Baptisms, 1841-1849, Abstracts from Register 9 of St. Francis Catholic Church, Natchitoches, Louisiana. They will also have other publications available too. (See the review in Volume 2, Number 4 of this series.)
“LES VOYAGEURS”: The latest review issue of “Les Voyageurs” is another fine publication from the German-Acadian Coast Historical & Genealogical Society. It is the beginning of their 31st year of publishing material in this format. The society was organized in July of 1979 and was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the State of Louisiana on May 14, 1981. One of the main goals of the society is to preserve, compile, and publish records of genealogical or historical nature, with emphasis given to the records of St. James, St. Charles, and St. John the Baptist parishes.
Membership in the society begins in January of each year, and the annual fee is only $20.00, and this includes copies of the publication. Family memberships are $25, and library and historical society rates are $15.00 per year. “Les Voyageurs” is published in March, June, and September of each year. It was first published in March of 1980, and some back issues are still available. Inquires can be directed to the Circulation Chairman. The address for the society is P.O. Box 3086, LaPlace, LA 70069. Their web site is www.gachgs.com.
The latest issue contains some excellent material. Emory C. Webre presents a look at the Religious of the Sacred Heart and the Slaves at St. Michael’s Convent. His work is always well documented and contains a wealth of genealogical information for researchers. Shirley C. Terrio contributed an article on the public colored schools.
David J. Hubbell of Mobile, Alabama submitted a fine study on the Hubbell family of Vacherie and New Orleans along with pictures. His sources included a number of family members and other researchers. Other families of interest are shown in the descendants of Jean Chauvin, compiled by Eula F. and Robert J. Delhomme Sr. and the Boutary family of Louisiana compiled by Al Espenan. Other spellings of Boutary are Boutari and Bouterie. Susan W. Laurent continued her study of the Webre/Weber family, and Wildred H. Charbonnet tells about the descendants of Jeanne Marie Josephine Robin de Logny and Bernard Bernudy.
Also of interest in this publication is a listing of the St. James Parish 1890 Assessments (Ward 6), Gerard Montz’s listing of articles pertaining to events in the area, a look at Garyville in 1924, and a section on queries.
RE-DISCOVERING SOURCES: Genealogical information can be found in a number of different ways, and many of the older books are not forgotten but overshadowed by newer publications. In this sense, they are not discussed as frequently, and this is why you have to sometimes search out these old books and re-discover the wonderful secrets they hold. One that comes to mind was written by Harnett T. Kane many years ago called Plantation Parade. That started my reading of his fiction and collecting all his works, but it was his non-fiction books that stood out for their inclusion of so much family history. Of course, another one is important too. It’s Gone Are the Days.
Kane, in my opinion, never received enough credit for all he did in preserving the early history of Louisiana. I met him once at a meeting at Gallier Hall in New Orleans, and he was as interesting in person as he is in all his writings. Just as he tells of the grand style of living in early plantation days to the memories of things past, he was one of the great writers of his period of time, and he will always be remembered for his excellent books that take such an authentic look at life in early Louisiana. Bramhall House of New York published Gone Are The Days. It is a nice addition to any historical library.
Another one I recall as being quite good is Shreveport the Beginnings. I kept this one because I was born in Caddo Parish in a small community north of Shreveport called Zylks. I find it important when doing research to hold on to the books that pertain to areas where relatives and ancestors have lived. They hold data of importance that falls into place in later years. Sometimes they are still available from publishing firms. If they are out of print, they still can be located by checking out old bookstore collections and searching for them by way of the internet.
Shreveport the Beginnings was written by Holice H. Henrici, and he tells about a rich heritage in a part of the state that is often not covered as well as those in the southern part of the state. However, the northwestern part of Louisiana has many stories of interest, and Henrici brings out a lot of good material in this book.
This book tells the story of how the people – planters, slaves, entrepreneurs, steamboatmen, Indians, and government officials - came together to carve out a place of importance in overall history of life in the Red River area of northwestern Louisiana. It is an interesting tale of a city, and the documentation is excellent. It was published by the Center for Louisiana Studies of Lafayette (and now a part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). It is illustrated and indexed for easy perusal of names and places.
Never overlook these older publications when doing research. They can prove to be valuable tools when doing family research.
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