Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Place in History: Back Brusly Oak

Back Brusly Oak located in Brusly, West Baton Rouge Parish, LA
According to the Town of Brusly website, this old tree is one of the town's historic symbols.  As of 2002, the tree was more than 350 years old and had been enrolled in the Live Oak Society in 1969 through the efforts of Mrs. Ethel Claiborne "Puffy" Dameron.  

According to the Chronicles of West Baton Rouge (Kellough & Mayeux, 1979), "this old oak tree served as a congregating point for persons in the community for many years.  It was the ideal spot for exchanging gossip, business talk, and even meeting lovers.  The oak tree was a favorite spot for political discussions.  Many a campaigning politician would pass the word to meet under the oak tree, and he was assured of having a sizable gathering for his oration".  

In the early 1900's, a dance hall sat next door and several "Mom and Pop" stores were situated within walking distance from the tree.  People would come to town and purchase the things they needed then gather with others for conversation beneath the tree.

A memorial marker was dedicated to the historic place on October 1, 1976, during the 75th anniversary of the Town of Brusly.  Between July 4 and July 8, 2002, the marker was dug up and hauled off. Over $1200 in rewards were offered for its’ safe return. Thanks to the efforts of the news media and the Town officials, the marker was recovered from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Morley Marina. It was cleaned and re-erected to its’ original location beside the Back Brusly oak where it stands today (

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mary Louise Landry Rockforte, In Loving Memory

Mary Louise Landry Rockforte,
My first "genealogy" teacher

Mary Louise Landry Rockforte was married to my husband's "Uncle Peter" Rockforte.  She was also my husband's Godmother.  We simply called her "Aunt Mary".  

My husband and I always enjoyed our trips to see Aunt Mary.  When she found out we were coming, she would usually plan to cook one of her delicious cajun dishes, like Crawfish Stew, Gumbo or a Mirliton Casserole.  Oh my, now that woman could whip up some cajun dishes! We never left her house hungry- maybe "miserably overstuffed", but never hungry!  

We usually spent an entire day with her, sipping on her strong (and I do mean STRONG) coffee and catching up on all the latest "family gossip".  Aunt Mary seemed to know a little bit about everyone.  She probably knew so much because of all the years she was one of the top Avon representatives in the area.  She traveled 5 days each week, going door to door, taking Avon orders and making deliveries, and she did that for many, many years.  I can only imagine how much information she amassed on local families during that time.  

For several years, Aunt Mary spent her spare time doing crafts- she loved working with yarn and fabric and had tons of craft supplies in one of her spare bedrooms.  She would sell her handmade items to individuals and at local craft festivals.  I still have the beautiful personalized Christmas stockings she made for each of our children; they became part of our Christmas decor for many years. 

After she retired from the Avon business, Aunt Mary became heavily involved in researching the family history.  Walking into her kitchen had become like walking into the public library.  Bookcases lined her kitchen walls, from end to end, and the shelves were stacked with notebooks filled with information on the family surnames.  Aunt Mary is the one who ignited my desire to begin my own family research.  She was my very first teacher in genealogy.  She spent hours upon hours thumbing through the diocese records and through books at the library.  Aunt Mary was hopelessly hooked on our family history, much like I am now.

Aunt Mary was a strong, vivacious woman who was also outspoken and opinionated, much like my own mother.  Perhaps that is part of the reason I liked her so much :).  One never had to guess what Aunt Mary was thinking. 

I really miss her.  I miss spending the day with her, talking about our progress on the family research and exchanging information.  I miss her enthusiasm and her warm smile that always greeted us at the back door.  I miss her delicious cajun meals.  However, I can't honestly say that I miss her strong coffee, whew!  Coffee creamer and half-n-half would only disappear when poured in the muddy waters of my cup.  Just imagine, my Mississippi family thinks that I make strong coffee- they know nothing :))

Sometimes when I think of Aunt Mary, I imagine her being in heaven with her notebook and pen handy- scribbling down information on the surnames of the Saints.  I would be willing to bet that she knows all of the latest news up there :)

Christmas stockings hand crafted by Aunt Mary in 1988
hung over our fireplace mantel in 1997.  I still have them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Place in History: Madonna Chapel

Madonna Chapel- Smallest church in the world!
Annual Mass at one of the smallest churches in the world, the Madonna Chapel, is held on August 15th in celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother.  The church is located in Bayou Goula, Louisiana along River Road.  The original church was built with lumber donated by area residents in rural Bayou Goula.  The land was donated by Anthony Gullo in 1903.  The church was built as a tribute to the Blessed Mother, and is only 8 square feet.

Interior corner of Madonna Chapel
Tradition states that when the eldest son of Anthony Gullo, a poor local Italian sugar farmer, became seriously ill the father pledged a chapel to the Madonna if the boy recovered.  He did recover, and Anthony Gullo kept his promise.

The Madonna Chapel was cared for by Mr. Gullo until he moved away.  Since, the church has been cared for by local patrons.  Previous caretakers of the church were Ms. Ostino Cashio, Mrs. Rita Zito and Mr and Mrs. A.J. Roppolo.

Robert Ripley brought the church additional fame when he featured it in "Ripley's Believe It or Not".

Inside, the chapel has room for only the Priest and two alter boys.  Patrons gather outside the tiny church each year on August 15 for traditional mass.

Madonna Chapel is located just a few miles from Nottoway Plantation and the drive along River Road is beautiful.  It's been several years since I last visited the area but I enjoyed the scenery and tranquility of the area while there.  You don't want to miss this if you're ever in the area :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Joseph Henry Bourgoyne

Joseph Henry "J.H." Bourgoyne

Joseph Henry "J.H." Bourgoyne, the son of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier, married first Barbara Murry, the daughter of Edgar Murry and Victoria Bourgeois.  He married second Marilyn Shavers, on 11 May 1966 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, the daughter of Willard Shavers and Jessie Rouse.  To our knowledge, both J.H. and Marilyn are still residing in Louisiana.  

Their children:
i.   Joseph Henry "Joey" Bourgoyne Jr, born 03 October 1967 in Iberville Parish, Louisiana and died 07 November 1990 in Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
ii.   Richard Allen Bourgoyne
iii.  Rebecca Ann Bourgoyne, also called "Lil Becky", born 16 July 1976 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana and died 20 March 2002 in Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  
iv.  Jesse Bourgoyne
v.   Edward Bourgoyne
vi.  Brenda Bourgoyne
vii. Jody Bourgoyne

Joseph Henry Bourgoyne,
School Days

Margaret Ruth Bourgoyne

Margaret Ruth "Ruthie" Bourgoyne, the daughter of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier, married Abby Donald Morales on 14 August 1948 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  He was born 02 January 1929 in Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana and died 22 October 1998 in Lafayette, Louisiana.  He was the son of Andrew J. Morales and Delphine Alford. 

Their children:
i.    Toni Ann Morales
ii.    Karen Marie Morales
iii.   Mary Susan Morales
iv.   Abbie Lynn Morales
v.    Peggy Ann Morales
vi.   Julie Ruth Morales
vii.   Donald Joseph Morales
viii.  Lisa Marie Morales

The only photos that I have of Ruthie Bourgoyne are those taken when she was a child.  I would love to have some updated photos!  

Ruthie, the youngest in the photo, along with
her sister, Nora Mae and her father, Henry Joseph
Margaret Ruth "Ruthie" Bourgoyne

Nora Mae Bourgoyne

Nora Mae Bourgoyne
Nora Mae Bourgoyne, the daughter of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier, was born 13 April 1926 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. She is listed with her parents on the 1930 census of Iberville Parish, Louisiana. In 1940, Nora Mae, then age 13, resided with her sister, Verlee Marie who had married Richard Joseph LeMay. 

Nora Mae married Alfred Dennis "Buddy" Songy on 08 January 1944.  He was born 29 July 1926, the son of Dennis Songy and Marie Gascon.  

Nora Mae died 17 July 1994 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana and was buried in Grace Memorial Park, Plaquemine.  Her husband, Buddy, is also deceased but the date of his death is presently unknown.  

Their children:
i.    Glenda Ann Songy
ii.   Alfred Dennis Songy, Jr
iii.  Robert Joseph "Bobby Joe" Songy, born 30 July 1955 and died 08 July 2005 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  

Joseph Norris Bourgoyne

Joseph Norris Bourgoyne

Joseph Norris Bourgoyne was born 15 September 1922 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, the son of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier.  He is listed on the 1930 census of Iberville Parish, Louisiana with his parents.  

Norris and his brothers served our country during World War II.  He was a PFC, US Army.

Norris married Georgia Mae Sanchez, the daughter of George Sanchez and Cordelia Daigle, on 16 March 1949 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish.  The couple resided together in Plaquemine until Norris's death on 18 February 1990.  Georgia Mae still resides in Plaquemine.  

They had two children:
i.   Linda Bourgoyne
ii.  Joseph Norris Bourgoyne Jr, born and died 08 November 1960

Rosa Mae Bourgoyne

Rosa Mae Bourgoyne

Rosa Mae Bourgoyne was born 18 November 1920 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, the daughter of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Marguerite Tullier. She is listed with her parents on the 1930 census of Iberville Parish, Louisiana.

Rosa Mae married Leslie Mathias Comeaux on 22 July 1943.  He was born 10 April 1913 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana and died 12 January 1962.  Rosa Mae died 06 November 1969 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  

Their children:
i.   Virginia Faye Comeaux
ii.   David Comeaux
iii.  Susan Comeaux

Verlee Marie Bourgoyne

Verlee Marie Bourgoyne

Verlee Marie Bourgoyne was born 03 December 1917 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, the daughter of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier. She is listed with her parents on the 1920 census of West Baton Rouge Parish and the 1930 census of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.

On 02 October 1938, Verlee married Richard Joseph LeMay, the son of Joseph Hazael LeMay and Josephine Fenela Johnson.  He was born 03 October 1914 in New Roads, Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana. They are shown together on the 1940 census in the Cut Off district of West Baton Rouge Parish.  Richard was employed as a truck driver for a retail grocery store at that time.  They were the parents of a baby girl, Loretta Ann.  Also living in the household with them was Verlee's sister, Nora Mae Bourgoyne, age 13.  Nora Mae was only six years old when their mother passed away in 1932.  

Verlee and her husband eventually settled in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish.  Verlee died 08 October 1982 in Plaquemine.  Richard died 14 September 1988 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  

They had the following children:
i.   Loretta Ann LeMay
ii.  Brenda Lee Marie LeMay
iii. Richard Joseph "Dickie" LeMay, Jr., born 28 February 1947 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana and died 11 October 2001 in Burnside, Ascension Parish, Louisiana; married (1)  Kathy Wilbert  (2)  Debra Ortlieb on 01 May 1975  (3)  Maxine Taylor Miller on 03 October 2001.  

Verlee Marie Bourgoyne and her
husband, Richard Joseph LeMay Sr

John Sullivan Bourgoyne

John Sullivan Bourgoyne, the second child of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Genevieve Lillie Smith, was born  30 June 1915 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  He is listed with his parents on the 1920 census taken in West Baton Rouge Parish.  On the 1930 census, Sullivan Bourgoyne, age 15, is listed with his parents on the Iberville Parish, Louisiana census and he was employed as an operator for Western Union.  

In 1940, "John S Bourgoyne", age 24, was single and head of his own household in the Cut Off district of West Baton Rouge Parish.  He was employed as a laborer with a construction company and he lived next door to the Howard Tullier, Sr. family.  Mr. Howard Tullier and his wife, the former Blanche Doiron, had a daughter, Louella, who was then 17 years old.  Sullivan apparently captured the attention of the young, beautiful girl next door because two years later, he married her.  Sullivan and Louella Tullier were married on 14 June 1942 in Brusly, West Baton Rouge Parish.  Louella was born 01 March 1923 in West Baton Rouge Parish.  The couple eventually settled in Plaquemine and had six children.

John Sullivan, along with his brothers, served his country during World War II.  At this time I do not have information on his dates of entry and discharge.  

John Sullivan Bourgoyne died 14 July 1973 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  His wife, Louella, died 06 December 1996 in Plaquemine.

Their children:
i.  John Dennis Bourgoyne, born 02 January 1946 and died 02 May 2007 in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; married (1)  Linda Moak, married (2)  Diane Tullier
ii.  James Wray Bourgoyne, born 14 February 1947 and died 19 February 2009 in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina;  married Elizabeth Marie Stephens
iii. Chad Joseph Bourgoyne, born 06 August 1951 and died 29 April 2011 in Lafayette, Louisiana; married Maxine Courville
iv. Michael Wayne Bourgoyne, born 16 September 1953 and died 07 October 1986 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana; married Sandra Zito
v.  Pamela Sue Bourgoyne, Living
vi. Donna Marie Bourgoyne, Living

Photo Gallery:  John Sullivan & Louella Tullier Bourgoyne
Click on each photo or slide bar to observe full image

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Anatole Joseph Bourgoyne

Anatole Joseph Bourgoye and wife Edine Marie Bueche
Anatole Joseph Bourgoyne, the son of Henry Joseph Bourgoyne and Genevieve Lillie Smith, was born 19 March 1913 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  He is listed in the household with his parents on the 1920 census of West Baton Rouge Parish.  The 1930 census shows that Anatole, then about age 17, remained in the household with his parents, then residents of Iberville Parish, and Anatole was employed as a delivery boy for the post office.  

Anatole married Edine Marie Bueche on 24 February 1938 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  Edine was born 06 November 1909 in Iberville Parish, the daughter of Winfield Bueche and Toland Olano.  The 1940 census of West Baton Rouge Parish shows that Anatole and Edine resided in the Cut Off district.  Two of Anatole's siblings- Norris, age 17, and Ruth, age 11, resided with them.  Anatole was then employed as laborer on the W.P.A. Road Project.  

Edine Marie Bueche Bourgoyne

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana City Directory of 1943 shows that Anatole J. "Bourgoune" was a welder, employed with Delta Tank Manufacturing Company, and he and Edine lived on Route 1 in Plaquemine.  In 1952, the directory shows that Anatole J Bourgoyne was employed as a boiler maker with Kaiser Aluminum in Plaquemine.  

Anatole Joseph Bourgoyne died 22 December 1970 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  His wife, Edine, died 03 February 1978 in Plaquemine.

Dredging the Mighty Mississippi River

I noticed while searching the census records of the early 1900's that several men, including some of our Bourgoyne ancestors, worked on a "dredge boat".  So I became curious- just what is a dredge boat and what does it do?  Of course, the first thing I usually do when I'm curious about something is "google it" (sure beats the days when I had to drive to the library to look something up).  This was the results-

Rivers carry suspended sand and soil along with them as they flow toward the ocean. The higher the water velocity, the greater the speed of the water, the greater its energy and capacity to move soil, sand, and even rocks along with it. When the velocity of the water decreases, it loses energy and the non-floating materials drop to the bottom of the river channel.

As stream or river velocity slows, heavier materials, like sand and gravel, will settle out first. In rivers and streams that experience periods of high flow during the year, the formation of sand or gravel bars is common. Because they are so light, silt and clay particles do not settle out until the river has lost most of its energy and velocity. In still water, harbors, and backwater areas, like bayous and oxbows, silts and clay will settle out.

Material that falls to the bottom of a liquid is called sediment. If enough sediment deposits to build a shallow spot on the river or ocean bottom, it forms shoals. A shoal in a navigation channel that causes the bottom to become shallower than is shown on nautical charts is a safety hazard. If a vessel grounds, or strikes the shoal, the vessel and its contents may be damaged. In serious situations, the environment can be damaged if the ship's cargo is spilled into the waterway.

Underwater excavation is called dredging. After the initial excavation needed to establish a channel, the periodic dredging that must be done to keep it clear and safe for navigation is called maintenance dredging. Once sediments are dredged from the waterway, they are called dredged material.

A dredge is a machine that scoops or suctions sediment from the bottom of waterways or is used to mine materials underwater. People have been dredging channels in one way or another since primitive people began to irrigate crops. Until the early 1900s, dredges were crude and barely effective in keeping channels and harbors clean. Keeping the dredge in position in the channel, knowing how deep a channel was being dug, and even making accurate surveys of the completed channel, were a mixture of art and science. Experienced dredge captains and hydrographic surveyors (surveyors of the underwater topography) were able to produce remarkably good results, given the difficulty of their job.

Dredging is necessary to maintain our nation's system of waterways. Nearly 400 million cubic yards of material is dredged each year. Consequently, about 400 million cubic yards of material must be placed in approved disposal sites or else used for another environmentally acceptable purpose.

The above information was obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers educational web site.  And here are some photos of various dredge boats that have helped clean up the mighty Mississippi River:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Victor Joseph Bourgoyne, Sr

Victor Joseph Bourgoyne Sr
and wife, Cecile Marie Brady

Victor Joseph Bourgoyne, Sr was born 30 November 1897 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, the son of Joseph Anatole Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier.  On the 1900 census taken at Police Jury Ward 1 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Victor "Baurgon", age 2, is listed in the household with his parents and siblings Allen, Henry, Eddey and Lionale (Lionel).  In 1910, the family resided in the same location and Victor Bourgoyne is listed as age 12, living in the household with his parents, Anatoil and Margaret Bourgoyne and a sibling, Lionel, age 18.

According to information on the WWI draft registration card, dated 12 September 1918, Victor was employed as a government boat gasoline engineer.  Victor remained in the household with his father as of 1920, as shown on the census of West Baton Rouge Parish.  His mother, Margueritte, had passed away in 1919.  At that time, Victor was working on a dredge boat.  

On 06 July 1922, Victor married Cecile Marie Brady, the daughter of William Adrian Brady and Eleanor Marie Bethancourt.  Cecile was born 04 May 1901 in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.  Victor is listed on Lot #21, see Cut Off Settlement.

Victor and Cecile had the following children:
i.   Victor Joseph Bourgoyne, Jr, also called "V.J.", born about 1924 and died 25 April 2010 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, married Audrey Hebert.
ii.   Rhodes "R.J." Bourgoyne, married Emily L. Hernandez
iii.  Oscar Bourgoyne, married Yvonne Faunce
iv.  Joseph Henry "J.H." Bourgoyne

Victor Joseph Bourgoyne, Sr died 10 October 1962 in Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  His wife, Cecile, died 25 April 1985 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.

Cecile Marie Brady Bourgoyne

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lionel Arthur Bourgoyne

Lionel Arthur Bourgoyne

Lionel Arthur Bourgoyne was born 11 November 1891 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, the son of Joseph Anatole Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier.  He is shown in the household of his parents on the 1910 census of West Baton Rouge Parish.  He was then 19 years old, single and worked as a laborer on nearby farms.  

Lionel married Henrietta Allain on 12 April 1917.  By 1920, the couple resided in Police Jury Ward 8 of Iberville Parish, Louisiana and had two children- Charles and Agnes.  Lionel worked as a salesman in a grocery store according to the census record.  In 1921, Lionel and Henrietta welcomed a new addition to their family- their son, Andrew Joseph.  

A turn of events forced several changes in Lionel's life over the course of the next few years.  His wife, Henrietta, died unexpectedly.  After her death, Lionel and his children moved back to West Baton Rouge Parish near other family members.  About 1928, Lionel remarried.  His second wife was Jeannie Lucille Allemond.  On the 1930 census, Lionel "Burgoyne" and his wife Jeanne A. were residents in Police Jury Ward 1 of West Baton Rouge Parish.  Lionel's three children from his first marriage resided with them.  Lionel then earned a living as a delivery man on a bread route.

Lionel Bourgoyne is listed on Lot #3 on the Sardine Point settlement and Lot #20 on the Cut Off settlement.

I will update information after my search through the 1940 census.  Lionel Arthur Bourgoyne died October 1973.  There are still many blanks that need to be filled in on his family.  

This is the information I have thus far on the children. The children of Lionel Arthur Bourgoyne and Henrietta Allain:
i.   Charles Lionel Bourgoyne married (1) Lena Mary Bourg, the daughter of Joseph Bourg and Cecelia Gremillion  (2)  Ida Mae Higgins
ii.   Agnes Bourgoyne married Linzie Joseph Tullier Sr, the son of Duclede Tullier and Amy Tullier
iii.  Andrew Joseph Bourgoyne, Sr was born 19 March 1921 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana and died 15 August 1970 in Plaquemine; married Florence Bourg, daughter of Joseph Bourg and Cecelia Gremillion, on 14 November 1941 in Port Allen, West Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Children of Lionel Arthur Bourgoyne and Jeannie Lucille Allemond:
i.    Harold Gerard Bourgoyne, married Jackie Matherne
ii.  Betty Jane Bourgoyne, born 1933 and died 18 May 2009 in Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana; married Harry J. Barbay, Jr
iii.   Learline Bourgoyne, married (1) C. Paul Morales (2) William Hill
iv.  Carroll Bourgoyne, married Lucille Hernandez
v.   Margaret Bourgoyne

I love this photo!  The children of Lionel Arthur Bourgoyne,
left to right:  Charles, Andrew, Agnes and Harold
Photo dated early 1930's

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Edward Joseph Bourgoyne

Edward Joseph Bourgoyne, the son of Joseph Anatole Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier, was born about 1889 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana and died 05 January 1919 in Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana.  He married Clemonce Gascon, the daughter of Jules Louis Gascon and Ozelda Templet, on 29 March 1911 in Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish.  She was born 17 March 1892 and died 19 September 1949 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  

Their children:
i.  Pansy Bourgoyne, born 23 January 1912 and died 24 February 1956 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, married Guy J. Reine.
ii. Charles Curtis Bourgoyne, 13 July 1913 and died 29 April 1930 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.
iii. Joseph Edward Bourgoyne Sr, born about 1917 and died 11 March 1956 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, married Mary Gladys Toups.
iv. Clifford B. "Red" Bourgoyne, born 01 September 1918 and died 03 March 1988 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, married Geraldine Schuebel.
v.  Margaret Bourgoyne, married Joseph C. Bezet Sr

Allen Peter Bourgoyne

Allen Peter Bourgoyne and wife,
Marie Eugenie Tullier

Allen Peter Bourgoyne, the son of Joseph Anatole Bourgoyne and Margueritte Tullier, was born 11 July 1880 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana and died 07 December 1955.   The 1900 census of West Baton Rouge Parish shows that Allen "Baurgon", age 19, resided in the household with his father "Anatol Baurgon", mother Margrett and siblings Henry, Eddey, Lionale and Victor.  

Allen married Marie Eugenie Tullier on 28 January 1903, the daughter of Enos Tullier and Rosalie Hebert.  She was born 09 April 1884 in West Baton Rouge Parish and died 27 March 1958 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.   

On the 1920 census, "Alen Bourgoyne", a 38 year old dredge boat operator, resided in West Baton Rouge Parish with wife, Eugenia and their children- Elmire, Julia, Roselia, Allen Jr, Burton and Eugenia Marie.  They resided on Lot #18 on the Cut Off Settlement Residential Illustration- click here to view.  Ten years later, Allen and Eugenie resided in District 7 of Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  The 1930 census shows that Allen was employed as a machinist on a dredge boat while daughter, Rozelia and son, Burton were both sales clerks at a dry goods store.  Their youngest daughter Eugenie also remained in their household.  I have not yet searched the 1940 census.  

The children of Allen Peter Bourgoyne and Marie Eugenie Tullier:
i.   Marie Elmire Bourgoyne, born 09 November 1903 and died 23 August 1946, married Robert W. Sibley
ii.  Xavier Bourgoyne, born 15 December 1904 and died 12 April 1987, married (1) Aldridge Tullier (2) Joseph Dewey Besson  (3) Charles E. Tassin.  I'm uncertain of the order of marriages.
iii.  Rosalia Bourgoyne, born 04 March 1906 and died 23 January 1978
iv.  Allen Peter Bourgoyne Jr, born 05 August 1908, married Veronica Alexander
v.  Joseph Burton Bourgoyne, born 23 July 1910 and died 09 December 1971
vi.  Marie Eugenie Bourgoyne, born 06 March 1913, married Jules Fayette Durand, Jr

Eugenie and Allen (sitting) at their 50th Wedding Anniversary
Standing, left to right: "Ticka"(Eugenie), Xavier,
Allen Jr, Burton and Rosalia

Victorin Charles Comeaux and Marie Henriette Braud

Victorin Charles Comeaux and his family made so many contributions to the Sardine Point area and West Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana that I feel it necessary to include a biography about them.  This information was obtained from a family biography written by Stephen Coumeaux Greer:

"Victorin Charles Comeaux, born 01 August 1848 near Baton Rouge, was a great great grandson of Charles Comeaux of Canada who, after being exiled in Maryland with the Acadians, arrived in St. Gabriel, Louisiana in 1767. Although he was baptized Victorin Pierre at St. John the Baptist Church in Brusly, he always used the name Charles, even in his business transactions.  He was the son of Charles Daniel Comeaux of Iberville Parish, Louisiana and Sylvanie Florestine Tullier, daughter of a prominent West Baton Rouge planter.  Charles Daniel and Sylvanie had another son, Charles Daniel, who was born 20 February 1860 and died 28 August 1954.  Victorin's paternal grandparents were Charles Daniel Comeaux and Marie Carmelite Hebert, daughter of Benonie Hebert and Marie Madeleine Allain.  His maternal grandparents were Jean Baptiste Tullier and Pelagie Celeste Aucoin.  His paternal great grandparents were Jean Charles Comeaux, who came to Louisiana with his father in 1767, and his second wife Ann Catherine Bush.  

Shortly after the Civil War, Victorin and his father crossed the river in a skiff to the West Baton Rouge side of Manchac Point where they bought two arpents of land, a mule and a plow.  From this meager beginning, Victorin became a prominent successful planter, rice grower and political force in his area.  

He married Henriette Braud, daughter of Joseph Braud and Aureline Daigre.  She was born in 1850 and died in 1922.  Nine children were born of this union and they reared a half-orphaned girl, Cornelia Comeaux, who was the daughter of his brother, Charles Daniel.

As Victorin's family increased, he acquired more land on the West Baton Rouge side of Manchac Point.  When planters were required to name their properties, he named his place "Cleanwood".  In 1887, he purchased 180 acres on the Iberville side of Manchac Point; this place was known as "Clara Bell", having been named for its bell.  The bell was moved to Cleanwood Plantation.  We still remember its beautiful tone. A plantation bell controlled men's lives, it gave the time of day, it sent out distress calls for assistance and Grandpa rang in the New Year with our bell.  The only time it was used in an emergency was when Uncle Sidney died in a sugar mill accident.  

Victorin was able, self assured and independent.  He participated in the political affairs of the state and parish.  He served the West Baton Rouge Parish Police Jury for 30 years and was a justice of the peace.  He also served in several other parish offices.  One of the first to promote public education in West Baton Rouge, he served the school board as committee man from the first ward for many years.  A teaching certificate was granted to him by the governor and he taught school for several years.  In 1893, he donated the front corner of his original two arpents for Cleanwood School.  He said he gave the land so that none of us would leave home to attend school.  It was a priceless gift.  

The new Catholic chapel was built on Cleanwood in the late twenties.  The building now serves St. John the Baptist Church as a parish hall.  Manchac Point was expropriated in 1931 for use in the development of a flood control system designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the U.S. Lock of Plaquemine.  Victorin then removed his residence to Mark, Louisiana where he died on 01 January 1936.  He and Henriette have many descendants and we still own the rights to Cleanwood.  We all honor their memory."

The children of Victorin Charles Comeaux and Marie Henriette Braud were:
i.    Sidney Comeaux, 1870-1892, who died without issue
ii.   Florence Comeaux, born 1873, who died without issue
iii.  Nettie Comeaux, 1876-1951, who married James Hill
iv.  Alcee Comeaux, 1879-1960, married Marie Laura Dupuy
v.   Linda Comeaux, 1878-1955, married John Gardner Aucoin
vi.  Vivia Comeaux, 1881-1975, married Joseph Raoul Robeau, Sr
vii. Victorin Comeaux, 1883-1963, married first Myrthe Boudreaux, married second Elizabeth Jones
viii. Rudolph Pierre Comeaux, 1885-1978, married Sybil Agnes Rivet
ix.  Ernest Comeaux, 1886-1942, married Julie White
x.  Cornelia Comeaux, born 1895, married Ensign Rivet

An illustration of the land owned by Victorin C. Comeaux in Manchac, or Sardine Point as it is also called, can be seen viewed here on the Sardine Point Residential Illustration.  See Lots #13 and #17.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wash Day- Not What It Used To Be!

The invention of modern day appliances has made life so much easier for us women, but we often take these things for granted.  Take our modern washer/dryer combo, for example.  How often do we grumble about the laundry piling up and how much time it takes to stay caught up on our laundry?  We really have it made compared to pioneer women...

This photo made me reflect on the story my Mom used to tell me about wash day when she was a child.  She said that Saturdays was usually wash day on the homestead.  Although the family didn't own many clothes, it was a major chore to wash them.  First, Mom and her siblings had to gather water from the nearby river into large pails and carry the pails back to the house.  She said she often stumbled from the weight of the heavy pails, being as she was just a small girl.  Next, her mother and grandmother would fill a big wash pot with water and heat it over an open fire.  The wash pot was made from iron to sustain heat and it was very heavy.  I would imagine the scene was very similar to the one above.  When the water reached a boil, the clothing and pieces of lye soap was then added to the pot.  The women then stirred the pot, melting the soap and mixing it into the articles of clothing.  The clothing was then removed from the pot and placed into a large metal tub of cool water, where the women rubbed each article of clothing on an aluminum type of scrub board.  Once cooled, the clothing was then wrung out by hand and hung on a line to dry.  Just imagine what it would have been like if those families did own a lot of clothing?  They would never finish doing the laundry!  

I remember watching my own grandmother do the laundry as a child.  She was so proud to get a new washing machine!  It was similar to the one in the above photo.  When these machines first hit the market, many of them had a crank handle which had to be hand turned to wring the clothes out.  But grandma was fortunate enough to have an electric one which made her job a lot easier.  I remember that the washer was on their back porch and I watched her as she pulled the clothing from the large tub and run each piece through the electric wringer.  She would do this at least two times for each article of clothing.  The jeans and shirts were "flatter than a flitter" by the time she was done.  I remember how noisy the whole contraption was and I sometimes put my hands over my ears as I watched.  As the clothes were wrung out, grandma would toss them into a large metal tub.  When the washing process was complete, she carried the tub out to the back yard and hung the clothes on the line to dry.  I remember the smell of air-dried clothes, so fresh and clean!  

We've come a long way since then.  Most families own a washer/dryer combo these days.  Those that don't usually go to the local laundromat.   I had to do that for years- load up the kids along with 3 or 4 baskets of clothes and head to the laundromat where I listened to noisy kids and local gossip for two hours or so while the clothes were being washed and dried, then load everything up again and head home.  Still, I had it made, compared to my mom and grandma.  Nowadays, women have everything right at the touch of their fingertips- load the washer or dryer, turn a knob, press a button, then move on to something else while the clothes are washed and dried.   The part that takes most effort is folding or hanging them and putting them away.  That seems easy enough, but I'm amazed by how often the clothing stays stacked on top of the dryer for days before someone finally offers to put them away!  All in all, I feel really blessed by modern conveniences and wouldn't want it any other way ;)

Paul Alfred Ferbos

Paul Alfred Ferbos was born 28 October 1807 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  He was the son of Francois Ferbos and Marie Victorine "Reine" Trahan.  On 11 April 1836, Paul married Adeline Sidalise Landry (variation Adelaine Cidalise), the daughter of Joseph Xavier Landry and Marie Madeleine Foret.  She was born 19 November 1811 in Louisiana, probably West Baton Rouge Parish.  

The 1840 census record of West Baton Rouge Parish indicates that Paul "Ferborise" had the following members in his household:  one male, age 30-39 (Paul), one female, age 20-29 (Adelaine), one male under age 5 (son Francis Ulysses), and one female under age 5 (daughter Marie Antoinette).  The 1840 census also shows that Paul was a slaveholder, having a total of 5 slaves listed.

The document on left is a Certificate of Baptism showing that Marie Antoinette Ferbos, child of Paul Ferbos and Adeline Landry was born on 16 July 1837 and baptized on 02 April 1838 in St Joseph Church, Baton Rouge, La.  Sponsors were Valmon Ferbois (brother of Paul Alfred Ferbos) and Marie Reine Trahan (mother of Paul Alfred Ferbos).  Click on document for larger view of the image.

A land record search yielded a certificate (Sale-Cash entry, Certificate No. 2516, land office in New Orleans) dated 17 April 1845 whereas Valmont Ferbos and Paul Ferbos of the Parish of West Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were issued 158.9 acres in the SE quarter of Section 26 in Township 8, west of the Mississippi River, Range 11E.

Paul's wife Adeline died 09 May 1850 from "Dysentery" (U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule, 1850-1885).  Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine which, if left untreated, can cause severe dehydration and death.  It was responsible for multiple deaths in earlier decades before the advent of intravenous therapy and antibiotics.

On the 1850 census of West Baton Rouge Parish, Paul Ferbos, age 41, was head of his household with three children- Antoinette, age 13, Ulzlir (Ulysses), age 11, and Velleire (Valiere), age 4.  His brother, Valmont Ferbos, was living next door.  They were both listed as planters.  The slaves listed in Paul's household consisted of one male age 43, one male age 32, one female age 28 and 6 children age 10 and under.  The ages indicate that out of the 9 slaves in Paul's household, 8 of them were within a single family unit- the parents with six children.

Nearly two years after the death of his first wife, Paul married again.  Pamelia Marson, the daughter of Eugene Augustin Marson and Marie Euphrasie Hebert, became Paul's wife on 19 April 1852 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  Pamelia was twenty-three years younger than Paul, having been born on 15 January 1830.  From the union of Paul Ferbos and Pamelia Marson, two daughters were born- Marie Clara and Julia.

Family history reports that Paul Ferbos died 15 October 1855.  I presently have no proof of this nor knowledge of where he is buried.

On the 1860 census of West Baton Rouge Parish, "Wd Paul Ferbos", female, is shown as head of household with children Marie C., age 6 and Julie A., age 4.  Pamelia remarried on 26 November 1860 to Gerald "Gabriel" Loubiere.  By 1860, Marie Antoinette Ferbos, Paul's oldest daughter from his first marriage, was married to Charles Bertrand Rivault.  His son, Francis Ulysses Ferbos, then about age 21, resided in the household with Auguste Gassie.  Paul's youngest known son, Valiere Ferbos, was about 14 years old and he resided with his uncle Valmont Ferbos.

Francois Ferbos, French Immigrant

Barsac is a commune located on the left bank of the Garonne river in the Gironde Department of southwestern France, about 20 miles from Bordeaux, the department capital.  It is one of the oldest communities in France and is rich in both natural beauty and history.  For centuries, Barsac and its nearby communities have been renowned for the sweetest wines ever produced.  The town itself gives its name to a wine-making appellation, Barsac AOC, that produces sweet white wines.  The town and its vineyards  are separated from the area of Sauternes to the south by the Ciron river, whose cooling effect is of key importance in encouraging the annual action of the Botrytis fungus on the Semillon grapes.  
As I browsed images of the region, I was amazed by the beauty of it.  There are many ancient buildings remaining in the area, surrounded by rolling hills and rich fertile valleys, enclosed within tall stone gates.  It is a place I would love to someday visit.  On the other hand, it is a place that one Frenchman left behind.  Why would one desire to leave such a beautiful place?  What dreams did Francois Ferbos desire to pursue by leaving his home in France and coming to America?  In the late 1770's and early 1800's, France was in a state of war with Britain.  Social oppression and religious persecution were common. Some of the French natives willingly came to America in hopes of a more prosperous life and religious freedom while others were driven out of their country.  I can only surmise that Francois Ferbos sought something that he did not have in his home country.  I can only wonder if he found satisfaction with his life here in America.

Francois Ferbos was born 12 January 1777 in Barsac, in the department of Gironde, France.  Family legend states that he was the son of Francois Ferbos and Marie Jeanne Nercam, but that information is not documented to my knowledge.  Although I have not yet located a copy of the passenger ship list documenting the arrival of Francois Ferbos, there is knowledge that Francois was in America by the early 1800's because on 23 October 1804, he married Marie Victorine "Reine" Trahan in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  Reine was born 03 October 1787 in St. Gabriel, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, the daughter of Jean Baptiste Trahan and Anne Genevieve Daigre.  Did Francois travel alone to America, or was he with other family members?  How old was he when he arrived?  I wish I knew.  

A search through census records in Louisiana from 1810 through 1830 yielded no results.  I did find Francois Ferbos on the 1840 census in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  That record shows his household members as one male between age 60-69 (Francois), one female age 50-59 (Reine) and one male age 20-29 (probably his son, Valmont).  The census also shows that Francois was a slaveholder, with a total of 20 slaves.  I would like to know how much land he owned but a search through land records has thus far been unsuccessful.  

The 1850 census shows that Francois Ferbos, age 72, and his wife "Reme", age 63, remained in West Baton Rouge Parish.  He was listed as a planter.  By that time, his son Valmont had married and was no longer in the same household.  

Francois Ferbos died on 19 April 1856.  His body was laid to rest in Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church Cemetery, Brusly, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  The inscription (written in the French language) on his head stone reads:

born in Barsac, 
department of Gironde, F
12 Jan 1777
died in West Baton Rouge
19 April 1856

His memorial is listed on Find a Grave.  Click here for the link.  

His wife, Reine remained in West Baton Rouge Parish and is shown on the 1860 census.  Another female, Hinorine? Ferbos, age 30, lived in the household with her.  Reine died 02 September 1868.  I have not yet located her grave site.  

Known children of Francois Ferbos and Marie Victorine "Reine" Trahan:
i.   Paul Alfred Ferbos- born 28 October 1807, married first Adeline Sidalise Landry, married second Pamelia Marson
ii.   Valmont Ferbos- born about 1813, married Marie Arthimese Landry

I believe that Francois and Reine had more children, but as of now, it is uncertain.  There is a Francois Ferbois on the 1866 U.S. IRS Tax Assessment List in Louisiana- could that be another son of Francois and Reine?  It is also possible that taxes were being paid on the items from their estate.  

If anyone has further knowledge of Francois and his family, please contact me- I would love to hear from you!  Thanks.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Julia Ferbos

On family records acquired from other Bourgoyne researchers, Julia Ferbos, my husband's paternal great-grandmother, was listed as Julia Loubiere.  As I began researching her ancestry, I uncovered errors made in Julia's written history and found the truth behind the confusion surrounding her surname.  The mistaken identity of Julia's surname was created by the assumption that Julia's father was Gerald "Gabriel" Loubiere, who was married to Julia's biological mother, Pamelia Marson.  As my research progressed, I discovered that Gerald Loubiere was Pamelia's second husband.  Pamelia Marson married Gerald Loubiere on 26 November 1860.  Since this marriage occurred after Julia's birth, 24 January 1856, I questioned the surname Loubiere in reference to Julia.  Thus began my quest to find Julia's biological father through a search of census records and other available online resources. 

Further research into marriage records from St. John the Baptist Church in Brusly, Louisiana revealed that Julia's mother, Pamelia Marson, married Paul Alfred Ferbos on 19 April 1852.   A look into the 1860 census of Brusly Landing in West Baton Rouge Parish shows "Wd. Paul Ferbos", female, age 28, was head of household with two children- Marie C. Ferbos, age 6, and Julie A. Ferbos, age 4.  For me, this was the link that connected Julia to her biological father.  

The 1870 census in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana shows "Mrs. Gab Loubiere", age 41, as head of household with the following minor children- Clara Furbois, age 15, Julie Furbois, age 14, Davis Loubiere, age 7, Agloe? Loubiere, age 6, Abel Loubiere, age 4, and Felici Loubiere, age 2.   "Gabrael Loubiere", age 56, was listed in the Joseph Thomas household, next door.  I am a little curious about that situation- were Pamelia and Gab separated or divorced at that time?   

By 1880, Julia Ferbos, still single in her early 20's, was listed in the household of her cousins, J.E. and Annette Babin, of Brush Landing in West Baton Rouge Parish.  Her sister, Marie Clara Ferbos, had married in 1871 to Louis Octave Dupuy.  Julia's mother, Pamelia, was then listed as widowed and resided in the 1st Ward of West Baton Rouge Parish, along with her children "Abell", "Phyillis" and "Lelia".  Marie Clara and her family lived next door to Pamelia.  

Julia married Samuel M. Smith, the son of William Smith and Adelaide Covington, about 1883-1884.  I do not yet have documentation of their marriage date.  Samuel was born in September 1852 and his family was from Kentucky.  The 1900 census of Police Jury Ward 1, West Baton Rouge Parish shows Samuel M. Smith, age 47, as head of household and he and his wife, Julia, age 46, had been married 15 years.  They were parents of 9 children born, of whom 7 children were still living- daughter Annie, age 15, daughter Mable, age 13, son Alphonse, age 12, daughter Lillie, age 10, daughter Dora, age 9, son Farrice, age 6 and son Norton, age 4.  

Ten years later Julia was listed as widowed on the 1910 census.  She resided in the same location (see Sardine Point Residential Illustration, Mrs Julie Smith Estate, Lot #25B here) and headed her household with children Alphonse, Lillie, Ferris and Norton.  She and daughter Lillie worked in their home while the young men tended to the farm.  Julia's half brother, Abel Loubiere and his wife lived next door.  

In 1920, Julia still resided in the same location on Sardine Point in West Baton Rouge Parish.  By then, Julia was 64 years old and remained widowed.  Most of her children had moved on, except for the two  younger sons who remained with her- Ferris and Norton.  Ferris, who was then listed as 27 years old and still single, worked as a carpenter on one of the plantations while his brother Norton, a 24 year old single man, worked as a butcher.  Abel Loubiere and his wife still resided next door to Julia and her family.  

Julia Ferbos Smith died on Valentines Day, 14 February 1928 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  At the present time, I'm unaware of where she or her husband Samuel are buried.  I hope to someday locate their grave site so I can "visit".  

In summary, the children of Julia Ferbos and Samuel M. Smith were:
i.    Annie Bell Smith, born 31 August 1884, married Delma White
ii.   Mable Mary Smith, born 14 July 1887 and died 17 August 1954, married Gillie Joseph Breaux
iii.  Alphonse William Smith, born May 1888, married Arcelle Fryoux
iv. Geneieve Lillie Smith, born 09 February 1890 and died 04 January 1932, married Henry Joseph Bourgoyne
v.   Dora Smith, born April 1891 and died 23 February 1920, married Stephen Fryoux
vi.  Ferris Morris Smith, born 26 July 1893 and died 24 February 1942
vii. Norton William Smith, born 11 August 1895 and died 15 July 1968, married Bertha Thompson

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mark Bourgoyne

Mark Bourgoyne Family-
Elodie (Mark's wife), daughters Hazel and May Berta, Mark

Mark Bourgoyne, the son of Jules Adolphe Bourgoyne and Marie Victorine Fryoux, was born between 1868-1870 in Louisiana, probably West Baton Rouge Parish.  

On 08 September 1892, Mark married Elodie Tullier, the daughter of Joseph Adonalis Tullier and Caroline Broussard.  They are shown together on the 1910 census in Police Jury Ward 6, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.  By then, Mark and Elodie had been married about 17 years and had 5 children of which 3 were still living- daughter Media, age 12, son Matthew, age 6 and daughter Hazel, age 4.  

In 1920, Mark and Elodie were still residing in the same location.  Their children Media, Matthew and Hazel  remained in the same household and, in addition, Mark and Elodie had another daughter- May B., age 4.  According to the census record, Mark worked as a laborer in a bottling plant.  Daughter Media, then 21, was a telephone operator and son Matthew, who was 16, was a laborer in a machine shop.  

Mark died about 1928.  I have no further information on him or his wife.  On the 1870 census, the name "Maxemilian Bourgogne", age 2, appears in the household of Victorine Bourgogne.  I am assuming this person is the same as Mark, although that could be erroneous.  At this point I am uncertain of the facts.

From what information I have gathered, the children of Mark Bourgoyne and Elodie Tullier were:
i.    Media Bourgoyne- born about 1898 and died 1983; married Herman L. Litz
ii.   Matthew Mark Bourgoyne- born about 1904, married Anona Neff
iii.  Hazel Bourgoyne- born about 1906 and died 1976; married Eddie Leon Jackson
iv.  May Berta Bourgoyne- born about 1915 and died 1994

Elodie Tullier Bourgoyne (center) with children, left to right:
May Berta, Matthew, Media and Hazel
Elodie Tullier Bourgoyne with her grandchildren
Elodie Tullier Bourgoyne with her great-grandchildren