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Terrebonne Genealogical Society

TGS Newsletter
Vol. 25 No. 6 August 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, August 26, 2006, Main Branch Library, Houma, LA 1:00 p.m.

Do you like surprises? How would you feel if you discovered that your grandparents or great-grandparents never bothered to get married? Would it make you feel better if you found out that it was difficult or impossible for them to marry? Would it bother you if you found out that your grandfather or great-grandfather had children out of wedlock? What if the children were of a different race? That is the question posed by a couple of our members at the last meeting. Most of those present agreed with Patty WHITNEY. She said that when she found out that she had WHITNEY cousins that were of African descent she was intensely interested in finding out more about their ancestry. We all know that it happened, but how do you go about proving the connection? When a slave holder had children by an enslaved person, the family tried to keep it secret. Did you see the article in The Times-Picayune on Sunday, July 30, 2006, in Section D (Living) page 5? The headline read “Black man digs into world of white grandfather,” and it told of a slightly different situation. W. Ralph EUBANKS is writing a memoir about his family and the mixed-race culture of southwest Alabama. His grandfather was prevented by law from marrying his true love, so the union was never celebrated, but they lived together and when his wife died, James RICHARDSON continued raising their children to adulthood. Jim gave his wife, Edna HOWELL, a 24-carat gold wedding band, and tried to shield the family from any ill feelings in the community. Times have changed, haven’t they? You often see mixed-race couples and their children walking in the mall, and many of our famous celebrities are proud of their heritage — actress Halle BERRY, golfer Tiger WOODS, singer Mariah CAREY and baseball player Derek JETER, to name a few. Want to read the article? Go to .ssf?/base/living- 6/115423728010030.xml&coll=1 or read the last paragraph of “Cliopatra: A Group Blog” (authored by Ralph E. LUKER) at this website for a family secret in Vernon JOHNS’ background. But whether the story is loving and tender, or violent and shameful, it is the truth. Isn’t that what we are after? Uncovering the truth? Could we have an open and respectful discussion of the topic at some future meeting? Let me know how you feel. You know how to contact me (US mail, phone or email information is listed on page 1.)

BIRTHS AND DEATHS: You may or may not be aware of this, but we have no electronic, telephone or other connection to the newspaper or the funeral home to let us know when a child, grandchild, parent or spouse of one of our members is born or passes away. We depend on our members, including our board of directors, to let us know. If you hear of some happy or sad occasion that we could publish, please let us know by contacting Jess BERGERON or Ed HICKS by mail, email or phone.
BOOK PRICE CORRECTION: In the flyer sent out with last month’s newsletter, there was one typographical error. “Just one?” you ask. Yes, just one. But an important one. In the regular price for the Assumption Parish Marriages 1877-1889 Volume 4 we stated that it would be $27.00 after September 30, 2006. Actually it will be the same as Volume I, II, and III, or $30.00. If you are a member, of course, you will receive a member’s 10% discount after 30 September, but why wait? If you know you want it, get it now for $22.00. That’s a very good deal.
CREOLE HERITAGE DAY: October 12, 2006 is the day. Natchitoches Event Center, St. Augustine Church, Natchitoches Tour of Homes, and Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University are all involved. We received a flyer from the Louisiana Products Vendor Fair, so my information is skimpy, but you may call Janet COLSON at 318-357-6685, or go online to either of two sites: /creole/orders/CHC2006Registration.htm for registration, or /documents/2006HDUpdate.pdf for more information about the celebration. I noticed one workshop on Native American Records which may interest you. It costs $15.00 by itself; $60 or $75 for “full” registration (two days) depending on membership in the society (Creole Heritage Center - CHC). Check it out. You may want to register for just one day if you live close by. 
GENEALOGICAL CONFERENCE: The Lafayette Genealogical Society has produced an attractive brochure about their one-day conference to be held at Grace Presbyterian Church in Lafayette on Saturday, October 21, 2006. Costs for registration are reasonable, but if you pre-register before October 7 you can get an even better deal. Try this website for further information: Convention.htm or contact Lona BOURQUE at 337-856-4240 or email her:  jbourque33 at Ask her for a brochure. It has a map as well as a list of the 10 topics to be covered.
DO YOU KNOW A LOUISIANA HERO? There is a new website to honor our men and women in uniform in the service of our country. If you know of a Louisiana Hero, please have someone in his or her family submit a photo and summary of their service experience to Whether they served during WWI or WWII or whenever. They don’t necessarily have to have served during war time or have seen action at the front. If they have served in the military honorably, they are Louisiana Heroes.
PRESERVATION: We continue to hear of cases where an elderly aunt or parent or grandparent dies and leaves “old papers” which seem like trash to those not interested in genealogy or family history. Perhaps even old photographs are included in the “burn pile” along with the charts, documents and other seemingly worthless papers. I know, it is hard for us to imagine such a scenario, but believe me, it happens. If it happens in your family, and you are not able to take the papers or are not interested, personally, please let the society know and we will help preserve part of everyone’s past. Once it is destroyed it is too late. It is gone. With scanners and digital cameras a lot can be done to keep it safe. Contact the society through Jess BERGERON or Ed HICKS at the locations given on page 1.
CANE RIVER COLONY: I stumbled across this site when I was researching the Creole Heritage Day article, above. It contains a wealth of links to articles and photos of Creoles who are proud of their heritage. Try it

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