CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 9
By Damon Veach
SAINT DOMINGUE BOOK: It has been a while since another book by Winston De Ville was released, but this happened last week with the publication of Saint Domingue, 1688 – 1720: Census Records and Military Lists. This is a rare finding-aid for some of the first permanent settlers in the New World, a keystone for research on families whose descendants were immigrants to Louisiana and such East Coast cities as Baltimore, Charleston, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. When it was first published, it became the standard work on this subject.
Genealogists have for years sought an adequate and readily available resource on early families from this part of the world, and this publication came forth with essential data on these families. Only a portion of the vast amount of information is shown here, but at least it acquaints researchers of what is available. As far as is known, these are the earliest extant lists of residents and military personnel for this French colony. It should stimulate interest to search for more information on this period of history and of the families involved.
All the French part of Hispaniola is not represented in this publication since much of the country was still unsettled when these census and other records were drawn. They do, however, refer to the earliest and densest settlements. It provides a portrait of the colony before it escalated economically and demographically through investments, expanding world markets for tropical exports, and steady migration.
There is much to be learned in this soft-cover publication. It is an important addition to any major genealogical library and is available from Claitor’s Publishing for only $26.
WORKSHOPS SCHEDULED: Four preservation workshops will be held around the state to teach staff from cultural heritage institutions how to survey their own collections. Information will also be provided on preservation grants that are available to individual institutions to enhance their preservation practices. The dates and locations of the four workshops are:
May 23 - New Orleans, Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St.
May 24 - Baton Rouge, Diocese of Baton Rouge, 1800 S. Acadian Thruway
May 25 - Alexandria, Bayou Robert Room, Student Center, LSU-Alexandria
May 26 - Shreveport, Magale Memorial Library, Centenary College
Registration forms can be downloaded from Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane’s website at http://www.lecomite.org/announcements.html. The workshops are free.
These workshops are a follow up to the Louisiana Connecting to Collections Statewide Preservation Planning Survey. The Connecting to Collections survey was conducted by the Louisiana Libraries, Archives, and Museums Preservation Project (LA LAMPP), a collaboration of four groups. The four partners are the Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association (LAMA), Louisiana Association of Museums (LAM), LYRASIS (regional library services organization), and Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane. For the final results of the group’s survey, see http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/research/c2c_report2011.pdf. For the original survey questions, see http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/research/c2c_surveyquestions.pdf.
This project was funded with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information, contact Laura McLemore (email@example.com), phone 318-797-5378.
DUPLANTIER COLLECTION: For more than 200 years a collection of ancient Duplantier family letters had resided in an attic in France. According to Paul Newfield III and through the generosity of French Duplantier cousins (the long-time guardians of the letters), these pieces of history have been returned to Louisiana and have been deposited with Libraries' Special Collections at LSU. They will eventually be available on the internet. Newfield wonders how many other attics in France contain similar Louisiana treasures.
The Duplantier family papers comprise 94 letters written to relatives in France by Armand Duplantier and his son, Armand, his granddaughter, Amelie Augustine, and his uncle, Claude Trenonay, between 1777 and 1844. They have been passed down through the family in France.
“These papers are significant not only for what they tell about the history of Baton Rouge and nearby Pointe Coupee Parish, but also in what they reveal about the state’s French colonial period, Francophone Louisiana in the territorial and antebellum era, and the enduring legacy of the state’s French antecedents,” says Tara Z. Laver, curator of manuscripts for LSU Libraries’ Special Collections. “They will become part of the Libraries’ Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, the largest accumulation of materials about Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley in existence.”
Word is that the papers will be translated and made available digitally in the near future for researchers and students through the LOUISiana Digital Library. In addition to placing images of the letters and manuscripts online, LSU Libraries will employ a qualified graduate student to prepare translations of the letters to be added to the digital library as well.
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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