CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 4, Number 23
TOMBSTONE INSCRIPTIONS: It had been a long and continuous job of cataloging my collection for five or six years now. I have lost track of time in doing this, but the books continue to turn up in boxes I have stored away not realizing that they are filled with excellent research materials.
The latest box I opened was filled with Louisiana books and quarterlies. I'm sure they will be welcomed additions to the huge library collection I have set up at the Mansfield Female College Museum in Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. I decided several years ago to donate all of my massive collection to the DeSoto Parish Historical Society. When I opened this particular box, the memories came back of when they were received, but I have no idea of what I wrote in my reviews. Now, they are new again.
The first one pulled from the box was Sous Cette Pierre Repose by Susan Burleigh Douget. It is a collection of tombstone inscriptions of the old St. Landry Church Cemetery in Opelousas, and the translation of the title from the French is "Under This Stone Lies."
This volume contains cemetery tombstone inscriptions from the St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery, including the mausoleums. Also included are markings and inscriptions found on the tombs located inside St. Landry Catholic Church as well as the few remaining Church Landing Cemetery inscriptions in present-day Wasington, Louisiana. Several historical topics are discussed in the compiler's introduction, namely Courtableau and LeKintrek, the Opelousas District, the Old Church Records, Church Landing (present-day Washington), and the Church Landing Cemeery as well as the Opelousas Cemetery (St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery).
A complete index is provided to facilitate the use of this volume. With approximately four thousand inscriptions and plot locations, this volume was definitely an important addition to the ever-growing field of genealogy books on Southwest Louisiana families. There is a glossary of French words and phrases which enables the researcher to understand the inscriptions better. This book was among those published originally by Hebert Publications and released back in 1993. It really pleased me to find the original letter I received with this review copy from the late Rev. Donald J. Hebert, one of Louisiana's foremost genealogical preservationists.
I have to give a lot of praise to Susan Burleigh Douget for putting together this magnificent volume of tombstone inscriptions. These records are of great importance to the genealogist and historian of this particular part of Louisiana. The inscriptions often furnish information which is not readily available from the documents and church registers, namely the actual birthdates and birthplaces of those born outside of Louisiana. Then too, not all funeral records were recorded in the church registers. These important records of many of the early settlers of Opelousas and the entire surrounding area are made available through the painstaking work done by this researcher.
PICTORIAL HISTORY: The second book I pulled from the box was one that tells the story of early Thibododaux, Louisiana, called Historical Scenes of Thibodaux. This one represented the work of the Lafourche Heritage Society, a Sesquicentennial volume.
Thibodaux was founded when Henry Schuyler Thibodaux had the site divided into lots. It had evolved into a typical small town of that early period of Louisiana history, and it still maintains a town with a personality, charm, and ambiance unlike any other in the state. Only Indians resided here in those early days, but as the bayou country began to grow, settlers gradually moved into the area from Donaldsonville and beyond. Descendants of these early residents, including Spanish Canary Islanders, made their way on down into Lafourche Parish followed by Acadians.
This book is a nice tribute to these early settlers and current residents, and the society dedicated the book to the memory of Lloyd and Myrtle Taylor Meyer.
It is a hard cover publication and released in 1988. Dorothy Naquin conceived the idea for this book, and subjects covered range from to churches, plantations, activities, people, musicians, streets, parades, and so many other timely topics.
AFRICAN AMERICANS: The third book that I want to mention here is African Americans in Louisiana: A Selected Bibliography Along With Some Genealogical References. This book came to me from the Chicory Society of Afro-Louisiana History and Culture in New Orleans, and it is simply a very good look at available materials on this subject. It was compiled by Ulysses S. Ricard Jr. and dates to 1989. This is a soft-cover publication and seems to be one of the most thorough listings of research materials I have seen on African Americans in Louisiana.
There are only 29 pages to this publication, but it is a marvelous listing covering African American and ethnic references, general references, Louisiana genealogical sources, and listings of research works by parishes. This one will make an excellent addition to the Veach - Foshee Memorial Library Collection in Mansfield.
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 can be any length, and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. All genealogical/historical/preservation books are reviewed in this column format, but a review copy is necessary for this service. Another service is offered here too. 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. It is a way to get out-of-print books back into the system and definitely is a great assistance to genealogists who may need this information.
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