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Terrebonne Genealogical Society

TGS Newsletter
Vol. 25 No. 4 June 2006

Visit our home page at

Membership, book orders and/or 
     address changes, contact: 
      Corresponding Secretary: Jess Bergeron 
      Email:  jessndot at
      Phone (985) 876–2348 
      TGS, Station 2 Box 295, Houma, LA 70360-0295 
News items or events, contact: 
     Newsletter Editor  Ed Hicks
      5306 Hwy 1, Raceland, LA 70394-2033 
      E-mail: edhicks at
      Phone: (985) 532–3586 
Next meeting:   Saturday, June 24, 2006, Main Branch Library, Houma, LA 1:00 p.m.

It was scary, I tell you. But I guess we have to face the music, bite the bullet, and pay the piper for living in “God’s country.” I’m talking about the hurricane preparedness (and lack of same) that was the topic of discussion at last month’s meeting. It was the last weekend in May, and the subject was on local television, radio and newspapers. You would hope that some would get the message. Sheila RODRIGUE gave a talk about her experiences before, during and after hurricane Katrina, and Patty WHITNEY told us how to fill out the “Family Emergency Plan” forms that she handed out to the members in attendance. Personally, I was stuck on the first step: “Have a family meeting to devise a plan.” Have you any idea of the intricacies involved in that suggestion when you have seven grown children, many with children of their own? We’ve even given up trying to get everybody together for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. But I digress. The form is produced by BISCO (Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organization) and has many good ideas. As far as I know, nothing like it is available anywhere, not even online. To get a copy, Patty said you may contact her by phone (985-447-7318) or email (pattywhitney at Key information on the form concerns family contact when evacuation is necessary. Maybe you already have figured out that a bunch of genealogists would be interested in keeping families in touch. Well, a Cajun who knows her/his history has got to figure that keeping in touch with family is big. Think Evangeline here. So, have a plan and let your family know what that plan is and where you plan to land when you fly out of here. Keep and distribute essential contact information. Have a couple of ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers and program them into your cell phone for emergency personnel who may have to use your phone to contact your family (in case the unthinkable happens, which it did for many victims of hurricane Katrina). These ICE numbers should be contacts from outside the area. Carry contact information on your person and in your baggage. The last suggestion on Patty’s BISCO form: “Prepare an emergency evacuation kit ahead of time.” is elaborated on when you visit Jefferson Parish’s website: a printout of which was brought in by Sheila and included in her presentation.
HOSPITAL RESEARCH: John B. MOREHISER of the Jefferson Genealogical Society attended a couple of our meetings and brought with him some good information for researching former patients of East Louisiana State Hospital in Jackson, East Feliciana Parish, LA. There is an index card file of patients at the Louisiana State Archives on Essen Lane in Baton Rouge, LA, but in order to get a record of a patient you have to have a notarized statement of relationship giving a little vital information about the patient (for identification purposes) and stating your relationship to the patient and that you are the “next living kin.” Send your letter requesting information along with the notarized affidavit (statement, above) to: Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System, Health Information Department, P. O. Box 498, Jackson, LA 70748-0498. They will look for the record you request and bill you. After you send payment, they will send you all the records they have on a patient. It is possible to visit the location at Jackson, which would cut down on the back-and-forth correspondence, but call to make an appointment, first. Office hours are M-F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the number is 225-634-0100 and ask for medical records [you may want to ask how they prefer payment and come prepared — not everybody accepts VISA, you know — Ed]. John says to contact him if you have any questions about the information, above. You may write him at 543 Stratford Drive, Harahan, LA 70123-3846, or phone 504-737-4826, or email jmorehiser at Good hunting!
THANKS FOR THE HELP! We received the first quarterly of our 25th year at the May meeting, thanks to the following generous members who gave up their time to come and help put it together. Present and working were Dot and Jess BERGERON, Sandra BOUDREAUX, Blanche BROWN, Geri CAVALIER, Marcie CAVALIER, Jane and Phil CHAUVIN, Gloria and Ed HICKS, Cecilia RICHARD, and Nancy WRIGHT. Thanks a bunch, kids.
GOT BLACK SHEEP? This website is unique. It’s called Black Sheep Ancestors. Here you will find genealogical prison records and insane asylum records for the US as well as genealogical prison records for the UK. You will also find numerous links to historical court records, execution records and biographies of famous outlaws & famous criminals across the US, UK and Canada. Choose from the following categories to find your black sheep ancestor: Prison Records, Outlaw & Criminal Biographies, Historical Court Records, Executions, Insane Asylum Records, for the US, Canada and the UK; worldwide Pirate & Buccaneer Biographies — [Beware, the site is full of sneaky links to the commercial site but you don’t have to subscribe to this service. I’ve heard it is a good genealogical site, but sneaky in their marketing techniques, and pricey — Ed]
PC COMPUTER TALK: [MacIntosh© users can go to recess. I don’t know how much of this refers to them — Ed.] Question: Have you ever received as an attachment some kind of file that your computer cannot open? 99% of the time you can be sure that the file is one that was created by a program that you don’t have on your computer. The key is found in the extension, that little three- or four-letter group following the period or dot in the filename. For example, suppose you get an attachment which consists of a file named blank.mdb and you can’t open it. Why not? Just by looking at the extension “mdb” I can tell it was probably created with Microsoft© Access. If you don’t own this program, you will not be able to open it. What to do? You could (1.) run out and buy yourself a copy of Microsoft© Access, which is a part of Microsoft© Office, Professional Edition, which costs over $500, or you could (2.) try to find a viewer for it, or (3.) just delete the file and contact your friend and let him/her know that you need the file in another format. Let your friend know what programs you have that might do the job and he/she might be able to save the file in that format. About Option 2, above: to find which programs have viewers available you can do a Google search for “viewer, PowerPoint” (for example, if you know the file was created by Microsoft© PowerPoint) (include the quotes for better results) or go to http:// for a wide selection of converters and viewers. One program that I have had on my computer for a number of years is IrfanView® [sic] which will open most graphic files (“jpg, fpx, gif, mp3, tif”) as well as most audio and video formats. It is available at but first check the specifications to see if the program and your computer are compatible.

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