Terrebonne Genealogical Society

TGS Newsletter
Vol. 20 No. 2 April 2001

Visit our home page at http://www.rootsweb.com/~laterreb/tgs.htm

E-mail: edhicks@mobiletel.com                 Phone: (504) 532-3586

Membership and/or address changes:
Please send by mail to TGS, Station 2 Box 295, Houma, LA 70360-0295

     If you can possibly make it, we would like to have as many members as possible to help collate the Spring quarterly for 2001. We will meet for that purpose at the North Terrebonne Branch Library in Gray, LA, at 12:00 noon on Friday, 27 April 2001. You will receive your copy right after we finish!!!


NEXT MEETING Saturday, April 28, 2001
North Branch Library, Gray, LA

     Listen to this: you are going to kick yourself for missing the March meeting if you could have attended, but forgot about it, or had some other lame excuse. If you did attend, you know that we enjoyed some good stories from Patty Whitney Gravois, Marcie Landry Cavalier and Essie Cavalier, Audrey Westerman, Beverly Alford, and Sheila Rodrigue. Then Nancy Lowrie Wright, Jess Bergeron and Essie Cavalier gave a report on the new temperature-controlled and access-controlled storage facility that we recently rented to hold our inventory of books which is now worth over $12,000. And, saving the best for last, we had a taste of Dorothy Bergeron’s Grand Champion prize-winning “Lemon Pie Cake.” You want to taste something good? Man, what can I say? I agree with the judges. It just leaves you with a beautiful memory and a wonderful taste in your mouth.
     Can you guess who discovered they were related? Not two Cajuns. That would be news like “Dog bites man.” Audrey Barnes Westerman and Sheila Rodrigue are ninth cousins, once removed. Can you beat that?

     Early on in the meeting, Phil Chauvin Jr. read a letter from Bonnie Stafford of Hebert Publications, asking for our patience with the publishing company, saying that some of her records were lost after Father Hebert’s sudden death, and that the CD 101 which many people ordered has been delayed because of problems with the compatibility of the data on the CD with different computers.
     Later, Patty W. Gravois relayed some information about the area. Remember the Underground Railroad suspicion that she expressed last month? She said that on a recent research trip to the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse with Maxie Price Champagne and Nancy L. Wright, they discovered the reported existence of a “secret room” in one of the local homes. Surely a secret room had a purpose intended for it when the house was built. Someone suggested bootlegging, but we would have to check dates of construction and such, right? Patty also referred to the book “Hidden in Plain View” which gives some methods of passing information to enslaved persons who normally were never taught to read. This information took the form of symbols used in the African heritage and also in Masonic ritual. Some of the quilters would include these symbols in a quilt and hang it on a line outside, visible to passers-by. The symbols would be meaningless to Roman Catholics and others, but would convey information about distances and geographic features to enslaved persons seeking their freedom. Aren’t we supposing that all Masons were sympathetic to abolitionists? That’s a big chance to take. Sounds like the beginning of an exciting movie, doesn’t it?
     Audrey B. Westerman gave us a hint about searching for a married woman’s death on the SSDI (Social Security Death Index - available online and on CD). If you are not sure about her married name, leave off the surname and use her exact date of birth or death along with her state of residence.

     We would like to take this opportunity to express our sympathy to longtime member Enola Ann Theriot who lost her mother, Sarah Duthu Theriot Chiasson on 22 March 2001. She is survived by two grandchildren, Michael D. and Sandra A. Toups, two step-grandchildren, Mrs. Connie A. Chiasson and Cindy A. Doyle; and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Percy Louis Theriot; her second husband, Arthur Pierre Chiasson; her parents, Jules and Lutecia Babin Duthu; one brother, Edward Duthu; and two sisters, Mrs Julia King and Mrs. Josephine “Hilda” Senac. She was a homemaker.

     Congratulations go out to longtime member Theresa Toups Elliott on the birth of her first great granddaughter, Katheryn Clair Simon. She was born on 2 April 2001 in Picayune, MS, and is the daughter of David Simon and his wife, Jennifer Clair Bertucci. Jennifer is the daughter of John A. And Adrienne Carrouche Bertucci of Slidell, LA. David is the son of Richard and Rebecca Elliott Simon of Picayune. “Katie” is blessed in having another great grandmother -- Elizabeth Bertucci of Slidell.

     At the April Board Meeting, Nancy L. Wright proposed a new policy for the society. I quote it in its entirety: “We cannot accept used books or materials to sell for an individual. We will accept donations of books and materials to the Terrebonne Genealogical Society. The Society will decide how to dispose of those donations. If a member has used books or materials to sell, we can make a brief announcement of this in our newsletter. The person selling the material must provide his/her phone number and/or address. This does not change our policy of enclosing a flyer (for the cost of half of the postage) in our newsletter for a book produced for sale by a member.” The policy was adopted by the board.

     Right on the heels of the above announcement, we have an offer to sell a set of Terrebonne Life Lines Volumes 1 through 12 (1982 to 1993) by member Carolyn Babin. For more information you may call Carolyn at 504-868-6335 (or 985-868-6335).
     Because of some who have expressed interest in it, we will reprint the book by Audrey B. Westerman, First Land Owners and 1810 Annotated Census of Lafourche Interior Parish, LA (Lafourche & Terrebonne) published by the society in 1995. If you have recently become interested in your ancestors who were some of the pioneers in this area, you will want your own copy of this excellent reference book. It has numerous maps showing the holdings of these early settlers, and the census is fully annotated and cross-referenced. Because of the labor and expense of production, we will have to limit it to those for which we have firm orders. So please do not delay. The cost is $40 plus $3.00 for shipping and handling. It will be in soft cover, only. If you would like to see before you buy, visit the Genealogy Department of your library. They should have a copy. If they don’t, tell them about this offer.

Notice! The book of obituaries from the 2000 Houma Courier (Houma Courier Deaths) is being offered for sale. Also the Lafourche Daily Comet Births, Engagements and Deaths for the year 2000 is being printed for those who order it. Please note: the Courier book is only deaths. The price is $26 for the Lafourche book and $28 for the Houma book. Plus the usual $3.00 for S & H. Orders must be received by Saturday, 26 May 2001. We do not print extra books for sale -- only those for which we have orders, so if you miss the deadline, you will have to do without. LIBRARIES PLEASE NOTE.

     Remember CMA - 1999 - Louisiana? And before that - Retrouvaille - in 1994 - New Brunswick? There is going to be another get-together in 2004, and you won’t want to miss it! It is going to be held in Nova Scotia. You can start finding out by visiting their web site at <http://www.cma2004.com> Talk about some beautiful pages! Of course, it is a beautiful place, with a lot of natural attractions. I’ve heard people say that you had better make your accommodation plans early. There are not a whole bunch of Holiday Inns on Highway 1.
      The New Orleans Public Library is putting its Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index online! What a massive project! They have over 650,000 index cards in fourteen metal file cabinets with important details such as the person’s date of death, age and an exact reference to the original obituary or article in a New Orleans newspaper. Soon anyone will be able to search the index at the library’s web site at <http://www.nutrias.org> In June, two staff members from the Historic New Orleans Collection, Jessica Burke and Heather Yost, began the painstaking process of putting the data into the computer. The project is expected to take several years to complete, but “when they’ve advanced through a couple of letters of the alphabet, the information will be uploaded to the library’s Web site,” stated Gerald Patout, head librarian at the Historic New Orleans Collection. The collection and the public library are collaborating on the project.
     If you visit the library’s web site, you can use their index of obituaries from the Daily Picayune from 1837 to 1857. This smaller index (only 6,500) names, was put online a few years ago by volunteers in the NOPL’s Louisiana Division, led by Donald Daigle. The new online index will be larger and more sophisticated, according to Colin Hamer, head of the Louisiana Division. To help in searching for married women, the new database will permit using maiden names in a search. Individuals can purchase photocopies of obituaries referenced in the index by writing to the library’s Louisiana Division and sending the $2 fee. If you don’t know the exact reference to an obituary, you can request a search. That fee is $3, and it includes the photocopy. Write to New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112-2044, or call 504-596-2610 for information.

     Are you a beginning computer user with an interest in using the internet for genealogy research? You may be interested in a 2-hour introduction that will be sponsored by the North Terrebonne Parish Library Branch in Gray. It will be held on Thursday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., 3 May 2001. You will be able to use the computers in the library for hands-on experience. The workshop is called “Tracing Your Roots on the Web,” and you can sign up at the North Branch Circulation Desk. Admission is free. Phone 985-868-3050 for more information. If you attended the workshop in the fall of last year, you will have a repeat of the internet part of that workshop.
     The 25th annual seminar on history and genealogy sponsored by the Lafourche Heritage Society will be held at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Thibodaux, LA, on Saturday, 4 August 2001. There will be presentations by our own Audrey Barnes Westerman, researcher and publisher; Christopher G. Peña, author and NSU professor; Albert J. Robichaux, Jr., noted genealogist and author; and Claire Mire Bettag, Certified Genealogical Records Specialist, and recent contributor to our Terrebonne Life Lines. Make plans to be there, and pre-register by mailing your name, address and phone number by 24 July 2001. Include a check payable to Lafourche Heritage Society in the amount of $28.00 (for each participant) and mail to P. O. Box 913, Thibodaux, LA 70302. For more information, contact Doris Mae Ledet, 985-447-7595, or Elton Oubre, 985-446-8662

     We received a query in the email which may interest you. It seems there is this beautiful marriage certificate of Louis J. Boudreaux of Houma who married Rose Yost of New Orleans on 21 Dec. 1913 in St. Henry’s Church in New Orleans. Witnesses: Mrs. Noll Melancon, Jules Melancon, Mrs. Sidney Fabregas. The “rescuer” of this document would like to place this document with the family of Louis Boudreaux and Rose Yost if they can be found. She is looking for help finding them. Her email address is <familia@sprintmail.com>

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