CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 8
By Damon Veach
ABOUT WINSTON DE VILLE: I’ve known Winston De Ville for many years. We have both written columns, published genealogical books, and promoted archival preservation, and this continues to this day. However, we all slow down as we age, and this is what is happening now. For this reason, I wanted to introduce you not only to Winston’s work but to have you be aware that all his works are now going to be available through Claitor’s Publishing.
When I met Winston, I had just moved back to Louisiana from Pennsylvania, and I managed a New Orleans firm with an office in Metairie. I acquired a home in Harahan so it would be more convenient to commute to work and back. I had known of his work with the Louisiana State Archives prior to this time, and we both were involved with groups assisting with preservation efforts. I’m not sure if it was work we were doing with Wade O. Martin or with Paul Hardy or Jim Brown. At any rate, the mutual affection for preserving information continued, and the first sit-down meeting I recall with Winston was at his office in the Maison Blanche building, back when it was such a beautiful asset to Canal Street. Our connections through our work and interests never stopped although we both didn’t continue any kind of close contact. We were just interested preservationists, and our work carried us in parallel situations, so to speak.
First, let me just tell you a little about Winston De Ville. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, and he has served as director of three publishing firms – Genealogical Publishing Company, Polyanthos, and Provincial Press. He also worked as an editorial consultant in New York and Europe. As a former trustee of the Association of Professional Genealogists, he was a member of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He is one of the few qualified expert witnesses court case consultants involving genealogical evidence. In one case, he assisted the U.S. Department of Justice with its deportation charges against a World War II war criminal.
I also recall the many columns he wrote called “En Passant.” I saved many of them, and I hope that he has all those on file. They would make a great book even though any addresses of individuals used would probably be outdated. The data included would still be valuable. A scrapbook reproduction of these columns would be a welcome addition to any genealogical library.
Winston is retired now and living over in the Acadiana area of Louisiana. He recently announced what was first thought to be a cessation of publishing activity but has been merely a suspension of this. Actually, it was a new beginning made possible by Claitor’s Publishing in Baton Rouge, now in its 88th year of providing excellent service in publishing find research materials. Only new and a selection of the most popular Provincial Press titles will be available for immediate sale, but gradually, the others will be included. It is just nice to know that Winston’s work is truly appreciated and will continue to be available to researchers.
NEW CATALOG LISTINGS: Mississippi Valley Melange, Volume Six is the first book to be released by Claitor’s Publishing. This is an important series of books filled with originally unpublished material.
There are a number of important items in this volume that will be of interest to researchers. Included in this one are the following: Duplessis’ report on conditions in Louisiana in 1758; Louisiana officers in 1759; Denis Braud: Louisiana’s first publisher; Louisiana’s half-pay officers in 1769; De Meziere’s misery with evidence that he did not die from a fall off a horse; general inventory of the property belonging to the king at Natchitoches; a rare ship listing from Philadelphia to New Orleans in 1788, with many well-known American family members named with their ages; a 1792 letter from General James Wilkinson to Governor Gayosa de Lemos; the 1792 origin of Juschereau de St. Deny’s “painted leg”; a long letter of 1796 from ladies in Illinois complaining of new immigrants; Babe’, free Negress vs. widow Lebleu: a struggle for freedom in colonial Louisiana; Independence and Bastille Days in Territorial Louisiana; and Jean Laffite’s crew in 1813.
This is a soft-cover publication and is priced at $28.50. ORDER NOW
Another book from Winston De Ville is called Acadian Families in 1714. This is an ecclesiastical census of Port Royal, Les Mines, Riviere des Gaspards, Riviere de Pigiguit, Riviere des Habitants, Reviere des Canards, Riviere de la Vielle habitation, Beaulieu, Cobegit, and Beaubassin.
The 1714 census presented in this book has been published previously but not to the satisfaction of serious genealogists. To accomplish what is believed to be the best result possible, both a copy of the original and an early twentieth-century French National Archives copy are used here.
Included in the original census are names of the head-of-household, indication of marital status, and numbers of all males and numbers of all females in the family group. About 350 family names are included here such as Arceneaux, Aucoin Babin Blanchard Bourgeois, Commeau, Cormier, Dugas, Guillebeau, Hebert, Lambert, Landry Melancon Richard, Robicheaux, Trahan, and so many others.
Winston translated, edited, and wrote a preface for this book. The introduction was written by another important genealogical preservationist, Robert de Berardinis, and an essay on place names by Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc, Parcs, Canada, is also included. The introduction offers readers the proper historical perspectives of Acadia/Nova Scotia during one of its mot chaotic periods – the time of the Treaty of Utrecht. The useful essay on place-names provides the reader with geographical orientation usually absent in similar studies. The editor’s preface, the introduction, and the essay on place-names are provided in both English and French. The price on this one is $27.50 ORDER NOW
Volume 1, Number 14 of this series of “Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters” columns contained a review of the third book being published by Claitor’s Publishing. It was compiled by Laverne Thomas III. Here is what was reviewed in this column with additional editing.
Although settlement at Pointe Coupee began decades earlier, the first civil records extant in Point Coupee Parish begin in 1771. La Verne “Pike” Thomas III has created genealogical abstracts for all records in the subject period. One or more future volumes will complete the series up to the time of 1803 when the entire Province of Louisiana became a territory of the United States. In a work that Winston De Ville’s preface calls extraordinary, the Reverend Thomas has included all names of all races in all documents. The index includes over 600 names – French, Spanish, Anglo-American, German, African-American, Native-American, and others.
Pointe Coupee Families in Colonial Louisiana: Abstracts of Civil Records, 1771-1782 contains 110 pages of outstanding material plus a name and places index. Researchers needing data from this part of Louisiana will welcome this reprint. The price is $35.00. ORDER NOW
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. 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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