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Terrebonne Genealogical Society

TGS Newsletter
Vol. 21 No. 4 June 2002

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Newsletter Editor Ed Hicks, 5306 Hwy.. 1, Raceland, LA 70394-2033

E-mail:                 Phone: (504) 532-3586

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

NEXT MEETING Saturday, June 29, 2002
North Branch Library, Gray, LA 1:00 p.m.
Just in case you haven’t heard, our surprise guest speaker for the May meeting was Thomas Whitney of Cheramie/Whitney Architects. This firm, together with Associate Design Consultants Phillips Swager Associates (of Dallas, Texas) formed the team that designed the beautiful new Terrebonne Parish Library’s Main Branch now under construction. The new library is not only beautiful, but has all the latest design innovations included in the design of the best libraries in the country, such as drive-up borrowing as well as returning books. For instance, you can order materials (not just books, doncha know) either over the phone or on the Internet, and they will be ready to be picked up at the drive-up window in a reasonable amount of time. Mr. Whitney brought his wife, Diane Boudreaux, who assisted him in showing the floor plans and perspectives. The Genealogy section, which of course drew a lot of attention, will be on the second floor overlooking scenic Bayou Black, and will be a part of the library but separate, with its own restroom area, office and workroom. We will also have our own rooftop patio, where we can go to renew our zeal for research. The proposed date of opening seems to be in late January, 2003. Depending on a lot of things, naturally.
If you have been doing genealogical research for any length of time, you have undoubtedly met more than one document that told you a few facts, but seemed to have other possibilities but you couldn’t find them. We need your help in getting a new program started. After the meeting on June 29, 2002, there will be a “Discussion Group” meeting informally to discuss a typical original document. Everyone is welcome. The reason it will be held after the meeting is to enable those who have a commitment, or have to attend church services, to have a chance to leave. The regular meeting will be adjourned, but Nancy Wright and Audrey Westerman will stay to lead the discussion and help answer questions.
   Well, not exactly a birth, but an announcement of adoption. Our third son, John Gregory Hicks and his wife, Carol Reed Bingham, arrived from China on 6 June 2002 with Esther Shunai Hicks, whose actual birthday is probably close to 16 June 2001. So by the time you read this she will be a year old. She joins older sister Yvette Anjian Hicks, also adopted from China. Anjian will be four years old in November of this year. Proud paternal grandparents are Gloria Eugenia Gravois and Edgar Lawrence Hicks. Maternal grandparents are the late Cleo Esther Reed and Ira Wilcox Bingham of Baton Rouge, LA.
   Our Library Liaison person, Diana M. Coupel, recently lost her maternal aunt, Emelda Sanchez Simoneaux. A homemaker, member of the Ladies Altar Society and resident of Napoleonville, she was 90 years old at her death on Wednesday, 22 May 2002. She is survived by three daughters, Hilda Templet, Nellie Aucoin and Rita Daigle, as well as son-in-law Leo Aucoin, 20 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gilmore Simoneaux; parents Alexis and Carmelite Sanchez; daughter Ida McCorkle; and a granddaughter, Debra Garabot.
It is with sadness that I announce the death of Florian Max Hardberger Sr., formerly an active member of this society. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, and retired professor of Nicholls State University, he died on 16 June 2002. Max was the father of  F. Max Jr., Dorris “Dotty” and Karl W. Hardberger; stepfather of Pearl Ladelle, Norma Rae DeFreese and Rita Naquin Rivault. He is also survived by a sister, three grandchildren, 13 step-grandchildren and 23 step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorris Windham Hardberger; second wife, Bennie Bailey Naquin Hardberger; parents Willis Otis and Tamar Wilson Hardberger; and one brother. He was a member of the First Methodist Church.
Audrey Westerman asked that we inform our members that the Westerman gentleman listed in the newspaper obituaries on June 17 and 18 is a distant cousin of her late husband, Henry Westerman.
     Honestly, can someone tell me what we would do without the wonderful people who put our quarterlies together time after time without expecting any pay or thanks? I know, we would have folded long ago without the continued support of our members. No society can exist for long with its members just attending meetings and taking without giving back something. Howsabout taking a minute to check your own record, OK?
     The following persons gave up part of their afternoon last 25 May 2002: Beverly Alford, James Avet, Jess Bergeron, Brice and Rita Bernard, Phil, Jane and Kelly Chauvin, Cecil Eschete, Brenda Folse, Ed Henry, Lou Ostheimer, Cecilia Richard, Dot Smith, Noella Walker and Nancy Wright. Thanks, folks, all of us who enjoy reading the quarterly are in your debt.

     At the May meeting our President Phil Chauvin Jr. read a letter he had received from Mary Cosper LeBoeuf, Director of the Terrebonne Parish Library System.  Here is a quote: “On behalf of the Terrebonne Parish Library Board of Control and staff, we want to thank the members of the Terrebonne Genealogical Society for their generosity to the Terrebonne Parish Library System. Your generosity in genealogical material and equipment over the years has allowed the Terrebonne Parish Library System’s genealogy department to be one of the best in the state, if not the southern region.”
     It’s nice to be appreciated, isn’t it? Coincidentally, our treasurer, Nancy Wright, presented a report to the T.G.S. executive board at our last meeting on 15 July which summed up our contributions to date. Well, as of February 2002 we have donated a grand total of $51,997.32 over the past 20 years. That includes over $25 thousand in research materials purchased (books, microfilm, etc.) and almost $10 thousand in equipment like microfilm reader/printer and computer/printer as well as material donated by our members.
     In case you have missed some of the usual smiling faces, we need to inform you that some of our board have been ill, as well as other members. Essie Cavalier had something that put him in the hospital for a day or two, and Daniel “Chuck” Guidry had an attack of something, maybe migraine, but the doctors are not sure. Aimee Hotard Grillet was scheduled for surgery on Monday, 17 June 2002. So we would all appreciate your prayers. Priez pour nous.
     While going through a civil suit record in the court house, we found copies of two whole newspapers, The Thibodaux Sentinel, from November 4, 1865 and November 11, 1865 (Volume 1, numbers 14 and 15) in perfect condition. This date was right after the Civil war, during which all newspaper publishing had been denied by the Union Army. The newspapers contained notices, “classified ads” and other bits of information, with lots of names. They should be fun to peruse, and Nancy Wright has taken on the job of preparing them for publication in the quarterly. She does a wonderful job using a word processor to approximate the look and feel of the original document. We’re all looking forward to seeing these, Nancy.
     Sales on the quarterly index on CD are going well, but I was asked to stress that, although the index costs $15 if you come and pick it up,  you need to send us $18.00 if you expect us to mail it to you. Shipping costs are going up, honey.
    The Lafourche Heritage Society is putting on a real winner of a seminar! In two morning and two afternoon sessions, there will be presentations by 1. Elton J. Oubre (on “The Colonial Settlement of The Bayou Country”), 2. Emory Webre (two sessions — a. “No Disunionists, The Life of Miles Taylor,” and b. “Louisiana Students at Schools in the 19th Century”), and 3. Various, noteworthy directors of Confederation of Associations of Families Acadian (CAFA) (on “Family Organizations,” events planned for Congrès Mondial 2004 in Nova Scotia, and on CAFA’s French Immersion Program). Looks like six presentations, to me. You’re getting a lot for the money, folks. Be sure to register early, because only participants who have pre-registered will be included in the count for a buffet lunch. The program is set to begin at 9:15 a.m. and to conclude before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday 17 August 2002. Start making plans today. To pre-register please send in your name(s) to be received by 6 August 2002 with your check(s) payable to Lafourche Heritage Society in the amount of $28.00 for each participant. The address is P. O. Box 913, Thibodaux, LA 70302. Book vendors will be welcome, but make sure you reserve a table in advance (no additional pre-registration costs). If you have any further questions, contact Doris Mae Ledet, 985-447-7595, or Elton Oubre, 985-446-8662. The seminar will be held at the Howard Johnson Hotel, 308 North Canal Blvd., Thibodaux, Louisiana.
     Also in August, but this one is on Saturday, 10 August 2002, at Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA (no zip code provided), so you could make both events if you were so inclined. Claire Mire Bettag, CGRS, CGL, a certified genealogical researcher based in Washington, D.C. (and a Houma native), will be giving a presentation entitled “Genealogical Treasures — Land Records at The Historic New Orleans Collection and Federal Land Records at the National Archives.” Land records rank among the most valuable but least used genealogical resources, providing a vast wealth of data not available elsewhere. Mrs. Bettag will explore the nature, content and genealogical value of Louisiana land records, focusing on the extensive materials at the Historic New Orleans Collection and on federal land records for Louisiana at the National Archives. Registration fee is $20.00, including a family papers preservation kit and a light lunch. Call 504-598-7171 for reservations. Because of this special presentation, the research center will be open for researchers at 1:00 p.m. Another goodie: Bienville House Hotel, 320 Decatur Street, will be offering a special rate of $69 (plus tax) to workshop attendees. Call 1-800-535-7836 and request the Historic New Orleans Collection genealogy workshop special rate. Talk about a good deal!

     The Genealogy Department of the Terrebonne Parish Library, now housed at the North Branch Library in Gray, LA, has received a copy of the booklet The Peniston & Pennison Story and you can find it in the Vertical File there. Information contained in the booklet has been gathered from a wide variety of sources. It seems that Colonel William Corbusier researched the history of the Peniston family, spending several years in England, Bermuda and America. Approximately 100 years ago he left his work with the Peniston Water Services in Bermuda, from which Roy Pennison received photocopies of the lengthy documents produced by the Colonel (born in 1844). The booklet is a result of those efforts. According to Mr. Pennison, information from one source has been checked against others whenever possible.
     Are you having trouble getting the primary records you need? Here are some handy sources you may need to contact.
For Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux (Catholic Church Records listed in South Louisiana Records: Lafourche - Terrebonne); $5 each copy: Historical Research Center, 205 Audubon Ave., Thibodaux, LA 70301
For Terrebonne Parish Court House Civil Records (cite source and ask for price quotation for copies): Terrebonne Parish Clerk of Court, 301 Goode St., Houma, LA 70360-4513
For Lafourche Parish Court House Civil Records (cite source and ask for price quotations for copies): Lafourche Parish Clerk of Court, 309 West 7th St., Thibodaux, LA 70301
For Assumption Parish Court House Civil Records (cite source and ask for price quotation for copies): Assumption Parish Clerk of Court, 105 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Napoleonville, LA 70390
For Catholic Church Records from the Diocese of Baton Rouge (those published in Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records): Diocese of Baton Rouge Department of Archives, P. O. Box 2028, Baton Rouge, LA 70821
For Catholic Church Records from the Archdiocese of New Orleans (those published in Archdiocese of New Orleans Sacramental Records): The Chancellor Dept. of Historical Archives, Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1100 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70116-2596
For birth and death records kept by the State of Louisiana go to, and follow the instructions: <>
     Every now and then we get inquiries about the Superior Council Records of the Government in Louisiana 1717-1763, so you may or may not be interested in the following:
For an index of what has been transcribed, go to: <>
The Superior Council Records are listed with filenames like this: supcta.txt with the “a” in the name replaced by a “b” or “c” or “d” or “e.” These letters refer to the surnames listed in the index.
The last time I reported on this site, only the a’s and b’s had been done. The date of the last modification was 3/2002 the last time I checked, so it is a work in progress. I know it must be agony if your searched-for name begins with “S” or something, but please be patient. Or offer to help Gretchen Kraft-Costanza and Darnell Brunner-Beck, both of whom seem to be doing all the work.


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