CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 4, Number 3
Dancers and musicians of Los Cabuqueros de Arucas from Gran Canaria, Spain present mementos to the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana during the Isleños Fiesta in St. Bernard Parish. Pictured, left to right, are dancers Pinona Suarez and Miguel Medina Santana, Los Isleños president Lloyd “Wimpy” Serigne, Canary Islanders Heritage Society President R. Layne Lindsly and dancer Pedro Medina.
CUREAU DATA NEEDED: Rae LaBarre Sonnier, 20610 Ernest Road, Vancleave, MS 39565 is interested in learning more about Albert Anthony Cureau, born March 14, 1882 in Reserve, Louisiana and died March 8, 1930 in New Orleans. According to family folklore, he was a member of the Chitimacha Tribe of Reserve. He was married to Marie Hortense Faure or Ford on August 24, 1908 in New Orleans. Any information on Cureau’s life prior to August 24, 1908 would be appreciated. Sonnier can be reached also at email@example.com.
PARISH CONNECTION: Older books sometimes hold genealogical clues that many researchers would not think of checking out. Anne Baker Leland Bridges and Roy Williams III compiled such a book called St. James Santee Plantation Parish, History and Records, 1685-1925.
Isolated St. James Santee Parish has been eclipsed in many cases by both Charleston and Georgetown. However, it is a vital historical link between the two towns, and this oversight makes their history incomplete. Much of the wealth that built many of Charleston’s buildings and institutions had its origins in the indigo, cotton, and rice cultures of St. James Santee. This book describes the role of St. James Santee Parish in the early history of South Carolina and the nation and also provides important reference material for researchers.
In 1706, St. James Santee Parish was incorporated into the Church of England and was the first parish organized outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The area was settled as early as 1685, primarily by French Huguenots. The region lent itself to an agrarian economy which reached its zenith after Jonathan Lucas built the first water-powered rice mill about 1787 at Peach Tree Plantation. The mill did for the rice culture what the cotton gin did for cotton.
When rice was in its heyday, the fields adjacent to the Santee (with it water flow second only to the St. Lawrence on the East Coast and the two miles of cultivated delta lands between its north and south branches) probably produced a sight unequaled in the plantation South. After the War Between the States, St. James Santee’s plantation world collapsed and the struggle of its inhabitants to survive was a very tragic and poignant story.
Among the residents of this parish were Thomas Lynch of the Stamp Act Congress and Continental Congress fame, his son, Thomas Lynch Jr. who signed the Declaration of Independence, and the legendary Rebecca Motte, who gained fame during the Revolution. Another notable resident was Eliza Lucas Pinckney who is identified with the development of indigo in colonial South Carolina and at whose funeral George Washington served as pallbearer at his own request. Her younger son, Thomas, author of the Pinckney Treaty, ran for vice-president in 1796, and her older son, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of the XYZ Affair, ran for president in 1804 and 1808, as well as for vice-president in 1800.
The book was published by the Reprint Company of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Check with any large book store or go online to learn the current price and availability of the volume. It is an excellent look at this period of time and is a well documented look at this part of the Old South. There is lots of Huguenot information here.
There is an extensive index of early residents, and also included are lots of pictures and illustrations. It is an impressive presentation of genealogical information.
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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