Saturday, December 24, 2011

Surname Saturday: SONNIER

SONNIER is the surname of my great-great-grandmother, Marie Alice (Sonnier) BONEAUX. She was my paternal grandfather's maternal grandmother. She was featured last Sunday in my Census Sunday post. In her older years, she lived in a little one-room house behind my great-grandparents house on Nelson St. in Vinton, Louisiana. I always thought that house was really cool when I was a kid because I had never seen such a small house, and it had a bunch of old stuff in it.

Marie Alice SONNIER
b. 07 Sep 1891 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana
m. Maurice BONEAUX 10 Sep 1908 at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana
m. Hymel POTIER aft. 1934
d. 07 May 1970 in Vinton, Calcasieu, Louisiana

Joseph Numa "Babe" SONNIER
b. 03 Jun 1862
bap. at St. John's Cathedral in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana
m. Marie Edmonia DOMINGUE 22 Jan 1883 at St. John's Cathedral in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana
d. probably bef. 1906, probably in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana

He has been quite the mystery for my cousin Cheryl and I. The rumor in Cheryl's line of the family was that he had committed suicide (Cheryl's grandfather and Marie Alice SONNIER were siblings). We had both come across a reference to a 1906 courthouse marriage record for a woman named Mrs. Edmonia DOMINGUE and Laurent ARCENEAUX, but there was no way to tell for sure if it was our Edmonia. Several years later, as my grandmother was digging around in a desk inherited from Edmonia's granddaughter, she came across the actual marriage record buried in the desk, which confirmed for us that this was likely our Edmonia.

Simeon SONNIER
b. 18 Feb 1830
bap. 01 May 1830 at St. John's Cathedral in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana
m. Rosalie Basilisse Armigela DOMINGUE 05 Aug 1861 at St. John's Cathedral in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana
d. 15 Aug 1871
bur. St. John Cemetery in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana

Cyrille SONNIER
b. abt Sep 1794
bap. 10 May 1795 at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, St. Martin, Louisiana
m. Susanne PARR 13 May 1822 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana
d. 16 Apr 1859
bur. St. John Cemetery in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana

Joseph SONNIER/SAULNIER
b. 30 Apr 1755
bap. 16 Nov 1755 in Petitcoudiac, Acadia
m. Marie THIBODEAUX 10 Jan 1779 at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, St. Martin, Louisiana
d. 09 Oct 1820 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana
bur. 10 Oct 1820 at St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana
Arrived in Louisiana in 1765 with his older sister, Madeleine. Read more about their journey here.

Etienne SONNIER/SAULNIER
b. abt 1702, probably in Minas, Acadia
m. Jeanne COMEAU abt 1729, prob. at Minas, Acadia
m. Anne Marie DAROIS 04 Jun 1740 in Beaubassin, Acadia (my line)
d. Unknown

Louis SONNIER/SAULNIER
b. abt 1663 in France
m. Louise BASTINEAU c. 1684 in Grand Pre, Acadia
d. abt 1730, probably at Minas, Acadia

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Census Sunday: BONO/BONEAUX in 1920

This week I am featuring my great-great-grandparents, Maurice and Marie Alice (Sonnier) BONEAUX in the 1920 census for the Census Sunday post series. They were living in Police Jury Ward 1 of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, which I believe includes the present-day unincorporated area of Ossun. They were also living there in 1930. My family still owns this land. My great-grandmother, Beatrice, their only child, was age 9 at the time (though she is listed here as 10 years old). Their native tongue was French, and Marie could not read or write nor speak English. They had a 15-year-old servant named Joe Green living with them. Maurice was a farmer, so I am assuming Joe probably helped Maurice out on the farm. Joe's race is hard to determine. It looks like he was black, but someone tried to write either white or mulatto as well. I may have found Joe in the 1930 census living in Baton Rouge, and his race is listed as mulatto.

1920 U.S. census, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Police Jury Ward 1, enumeration district (ED) 27, sheet 9B, dwelling 123, family 126, Maurice Bono household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 December 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 615.

Maurice Bono Head M W 37 M LA LA LA Farmer
Marie Bono Wife F W 27 M LA LA LA 
Beadrise Bono Daughter F W 10 S LA LA LA
Joe Green Servant M B(?) 15 S LA LA LA Servant for private family

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Arnold Frederick and Alvina Florence (Pemberton) Beedon DISTELRATH

Photograph by Edward Goscicki (FindAGrave)

DISTELRATH
ALVINA F.
1919-1997
ARNOLD F.
1915-1983

My great-great-aunt and uncle
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Cemetery
Lewiston, Montmorency, Michigan

Alvina was the younger sister of my great-grandfather, John Vital PEMBERTON. She was the tenth child and youngest child who survived to adulthood of Lovell Hugh PEMBERTON and Alvina Mary LESPERANCE. She was born 19 Apr 1919 in Marine City, St. Clair, Michigan, and died 12 Nov 1997 in Fort Gratiot, St. Clair, Michigan. She married her first husband, Daniel Robert "Bob" BEEDON, 11 May 1938 in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan. They divorced in 1951. Interestingly, after divorcing Alvina, Bob married Alvina's widowed sister-in-law, Mabel (Crysler) PEMBERTON, who was my great-grandmother. From what I understand, this caused further tension between my great-grandmother and her Pemberton in-laws. There was already tension because my great-grandmother was not Catholic. Alvina then married Arnold Frederick DISTELRATH on 21 Jan 1956 in Angola, Steuben, Indiana. I presume they married in Indiana because there was no waiting requirement as there was in Michigan. Arnold was born 3 Dec 1915 in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan, to Frederick DISTELRATH and Anna VOSSEN. He died 4 May 1983 in Petoskey, Emmet, Michigan. In their later years, it appears that Arnold and Alvina retired to Northern Michigan.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Census Sunday: PREJEAN in 1920

Before I got married and moved across the country, I had started posting census records of my direct line ancestors each Sunday. I began with the 1930 census and posted about my great-great-great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, and great-grandparents. I promised to post about the 1920 census after the wedding, and I am finally getting around to it. I've decided to only post on one family in each post because it was getting to be a bit much to put together one post with several families.

I am starting with my great-great-grandparents, but I'm skipping my great-great-grandfather, Oscar TRAHAN, because I haven't yet found him in 1920. I've found his wife, my great-great-grandmother, Virginia PREJEAN, in 1920, living with her parents in Police Jury Ward 2 in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. At some point, Oscar and Virginia divorced, but I haven't set out to find their divorce record yet. Virginia was listed as married in this census. I don't see my great-grandfather, Bienvenue, living with Virginia in 1920. He would have been 11 years old. I wonder if he was with Oscar, his paternal grandparents (whom I can't seem to find either), or if the census enumerator simply forgot him.

1920 U.S. census, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Police Jury Ward 2, enumeration district (ED) 92, sheet 6A, dwelling 94, family 94, Luseus Prejean household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 
October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 630.

Luseus Prejean Head M W 55 M LA LA LA Farmer
Alicie Prejean Wife F W 57 M LA LA LA
Virgina Prejean Daughter F W 32 M LA LA LA
Ferdinon Prejean Son M W 17 S LA LA LA Farm Labor
Rene Prejean Son M W 15 S LA LA LA Farm Labor

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cleaning Up My Database: Lovell and Alvina (Lesperance) PEMBERTON

Since I am going family by family cleaning up source citations in my database, I figured I would share some of the sources that I have for the current family I am working. I am working on cleaning up the source citations for the family of my great-great-grandparents, Lovell and Alvina (Lesperance) Pemberton.

Lovell Hugh Pemberton was born 14 Jan 1878 in Almont, Lapeer, Michigan, to John C. Pemberton and Mary Ann Coombs. The funny thing about Lovell is that his birth certificate says he was born 14 Jan 1878, but his father's Civil War pension file and his own WWI draft registration card, death record, and obituary all give his birthday as either 17 Apr 1878 or 17 Apr 1879. I have yet to figure the mystery out. Lovell died 23 Mar 1952 in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan, and is buried in St. Denis Catholic Cemetery in Lexington.

Alvina Mary Lesperance was born 27 Nov 1881 in Anchorville, St. Clair, Michigan, to Charles Lesperance and Christine Goslin. She died 16 Jun 1961 in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan, and is buried with Lovell.

Lovell and Alvina married 10 Nov 1902 in Anchorville, St. Clair, Michigan, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. They had 13 children, only 6 of whom survived to adulthood.

When I clean up source citations on a family, I usually start with the children first. With Lovell and Alvina, I started with their seven children who died in childhood first, since they had the least amount of sources. Now I am working on the other children. Below are the sources I have for their children:

Gilbert Lowell PEMBERTON
b. 8 May 1903 in Ontario or Michigan
d. 21 Jun 1913 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
Sources: 
  • 1910 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 208 Gratiot Ave. in Mt. Clemens, Macomb, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1913 state death certificate from "Deaths, 1897-1920" at SeekingMichigan.org
  • 1913 death announcement in Mount Clemens Monitor obtained from a lookup volunteer at Mt. Clemens Public Library
Nellie Mary PEMBERTON
b. 25 Oct 1905 in Chesterfield, Macomb, Michigan
m. 9 Jun 1925 in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan to Darcy Merle VAN BUSKIRK
d. 18 Jan 1967 in Torrance, Los Angeles, California
Sources: 
  • 1910 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 208 Gratiot Ave. in Mt. Clemens, Macomb, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1920 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 700 N. Vine St. in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1925 marriage register entry transcribed at St. Clair County Courthouse in summer 2007
  • 1930 census with her husband and young daughter at Hathway Street in East China Township, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • Port Huron City Directory obtained from St. Clair County Public Library digital collection
    • 1930: 1016-14th St.
    • 1936-37, 1938-39: 1814-17th St.
  • 1950 mentioned in her brother John's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1952 mentioned in her father's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1961 mentioned in her mother's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan
  • 1961 mentioned in her sister Madeline's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1967 death certificate obtained by mail from Los Angeles County Recorder's office
  • 1967 obituary from Port Huron Times-Herald obtained from St. Clair County Public Library in summer 2007
  • Letter from Los Angeles Archdiocese giving exact burial location in All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach. Asked a volunteer from FindAGrave to take a pic, but there was no headstone.
John Vital PEMBERTON (my great-grandfather)
b. 19 Feb 1908 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
m. 7 Aug 1927 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan to Mabel Ellen CRYSLER
d. 22 Nov 1950 in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Michigan

Sources: 
  • 1908 birth certificate obtained by mail from Michigan Department of Community Health
  • 1908 birth register entry from Macomb County Clerk FHL microfilm #979569
  • 1910 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 208 Gratiot Ave. in Mt. Clemens, Macomb, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1920 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 700 N. Vine St. in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1925 witnessed marriage of sister Nellie and her husband, Darcy  
  • 1927 marriage certificate obtained by mail from Sanilac County Clerk (he married in St. Clair County but obtained the license in neighboring Sanilac County)
  • 1930 census with his wife and two young children at 1650 McPherson St. in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • Port Huron City Directory obtained from St. Clair County Public Library digital collection
    • 1930: 1650 McPherson St.
    • 1933-34: 622-11th St.
    • 1936-37, 1938-39: 729-12th St.
  • 1950 death certificate obtained by mail from Michigan Department of Community Health
  • 1950 obituary from Port Huron Times-Herald obtained from St. Clair County Public Library in summer 2007
  • Photograph of gravestone at Elk Township Cemetery in Peck, Sanilac, Michigan, taken summer 2007
Charlotte Agnus PEMBERTON
b. 2 May 1910 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
d. 25 Sep 1910 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
Sources:
  • 1910 birth register entry from Macomb County Clerk FHL microfilm #979569
  • 1910 state death certificate from "Deaths, 1897-1920" at SeekingMichigan.org
Madeline Marion PEMBERTON
b. 18 Oct 1911 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
m. 21 Oct 1933 in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan to Leo Clayton CARNAHAN
d. 18 Nov 1961 in Torrance, Los Angeles, California
Sources:
  • 1911 birth register entry from Macomb County Clerk FHL microfilm #979569
  • 1920 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 700 N. Vine St. in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1925 witnessed marriage of sister Nellie and her husband, Darcy Merle VAN BUSKIRK
  • 1930 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at Ditty Road in Kimball Township, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1930 Port Huron City Directory: 17 Rural St. (lived with her parents)
  • 1933 marriage register entry transcribed at St. Clair County Courthouse in summer 2007 (she married in Sanilac County but obtained a license in neighboring St. Clair County)
  • Port Huron City Directory obtained from St. Clair County Public Library digital collection
    • 1936-37: 1131 Pearl St.
    • 1938-39: 1103 Miller St.
  • 1950 mentioned in her brother John's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1952 mentioned in her father's obituary as residing in Lakeport, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1952 newspaper article about the family home catching fire and burning to the ground in Lakeport, St. Clair, Michigan (two children died)
  • 1961 mentioned in her mother's obituary as residing in Torrance, Los Angeles, California
  • 1961 death certificate obtained by mail from Los Angeles County Recorder's office
  • 1961 obituary from Port Huron Times-Herald obtained from St. Clair County Public Library in summer 2007
Myrtie Elva PEMBERTON
b. 23 May 1914 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
d. 15 Sep 1914 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
Sources:
  • 1914 birth register entry from Macomb County Clerk FHL microfilm #979569
  • 1914 state death certificate from "Deaths, 1897-1920" at SeekingMichigan.org
Lovell Henry PEMBERTON
b. 4 Jul 1915 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
m. 10 Nov 1934 in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan to Vera Delores BARNES
d. 22 Aug 1972 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
Sources:
  • 1915 birth register entry from Macomb County Clerk FHL microfilm #979569
  • 1920 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 700 N. Vine St. in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1930 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at Ditty Road in Kimball Township, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1934 marriage register entry transcribed at St. Clair County Courthouse in summer 2007 (he married in Sanilac County but obtained a license in neighboring St. Clair County)
  • 1936-37 Port Huron City Directory: 1814 1/2-17th St. (next door to sister Nellie)
  • 1950 mentioned in brother John's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1952 mentioned in father's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan 
  • 1961 mentioned in mother and sister Madeline's obituaries as living in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1972 death register entry transcribed at St. Clair County Courthouse in summer 2007
  • 1972 obituary from The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan) obtained from St. Clair County Public Library in summer 2007
  • Photograph of gravestone taken by a FindAGrave volunteer at St. Denis Catholic Cemetery in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan
Eva Edna PEMBERTON
b. 17 Jul 1916 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
m. 26 Oct 1938 in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan to Truman Elnathan ROWLEY
d. 24 Jun 2001 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
Sources:
  • 1916 birth register entry from Macomb County Clerk FHL microfilm #979569
  • 1920 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 700 N. Vine St. in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1930 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at Ditty Road in Kimball Township, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1933 witnessed marriage of sister Madeline and her husband, Leo Clayton CARNAHAN
  • 1934 witnessed marriage of brother Lovell and his wife, Vera Delores BARNES
  • 1938 witnessed marriage of sister Alvina and her husband, Daniel Robert BEEDON
  • 1938 marriage certificate obtained by mail from Sanilac County Clerk
  • 1950 mentioned in brother John's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1952 mentioned her father's obituary as residing in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan
  • 1961 mentioned in mother and sister Madeline's obituaries as residing in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan
  • 1967 mentioned in sister Nellie's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1972 mentioned in brother Lovell's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1997 mentioned in sister Alvina's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 2001 death certificate obtained by mail from St. Clair County Clerk
  • 2001 obituary from The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan) obtained from St. Clair County Public Library in summer 2007
  • Photograph of gravestone taken by FindAGrave volunteer at St. Denis Catholic Cemetery in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan
Orville Joseph PEMBERTON
b. 17 Apr 1918 in New Baltimore, Macomb, Michigan
d. 23 Mar 1919 in Marine City, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1918 birth register entry from Macomb County Clerk FHL microfilm #979569
  • 1919 death register entry transcribed at St. Clair County Courthouse in summer 2007
  • 1919 state death certificate from "Deaths, 1897-1920" at SeekingMichigan.org
Alvina Florence PEMBERTON
b. 19 Apr 1919 in Marine City, St. Clair, Michigan
m. 11 May 1938 in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan to Daniel Robert BEEDON
m. 21 Jan 1956 in Angola, Steuben, Indiana to Arnold Frederick DISTELRATH
d. 12 Nov 1997 in Fort Gratiot, St. Clair, Michigan
Sources:
  • 1920 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at 700 N. Vine St. in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1930 census in household of Lovell and Alvina at Ditty Road in Kimball Township, St. Clair, Michigan (Ancestry.com)
  • 1938 marriage certificate obtained by mail from Sanilac County Clerk 
  • 1950 mentioned in brother John's obituary as residing in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1952 mentioned her father's obituary as residing in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan
  • 1956 marriage certificate obtained by mail from Steuben County Clerk
  • 1961 mentioned in mother and sister Madeline's obituaries as residing in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1967 mentioned in sister Nellie's obituary as residing in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan
  • 1972 mentioned in brother Lovell's obituary as residing in Atlanta, Montmorency, Michigan
  • 1997 death certificate obtained by mail from St. Clair County Clerk
  • 1997 obituary from The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan) obtained from St. Clair County Public Library in summer 2007
  • Photograph of gravestone taken by FindAGrave volunteer at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Cemetery in Lewiston, Montmorency, Michigan
James PEMBERTON (twin)
b. 22 Mar 1921 in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan
d. 22 Mar 1921 in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan
Sources:
Joseph PEMBERTON (twin)
b. 22 Mar 1921 in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan
d. 14 Aug 1923 in Marysville, St. Clair, Michigan
Sources:
Adele Christine PEMBERTON
b. 22 Nov 1923 in St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan
d. 28 Dec 1928 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
Sources:
  • 1928 death register entry transcribed at St. Clair County Courthouse in summer 2007
  • 1928 obituary from The Port Huron Times-Herald obtained from St. Clair County Public Library in summer 2007


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yes, I Am Alive!

Just in case anyone is still reading my blog, I am alive. It seems like I write these posts more and more in the last year and a half. I guess life gets in the way of genealogy and blogging, especially since I started studying for the CPA exam in September 2010.

The good news is that I *think* I am done studying. I took the last part of the exam on 11/21. I should hear something tomorrow about my score (or at least within the next week). I think I did okay. I don't feel 100% confident, but I think I did well enough to pass. For those of you that don't know, there are four parts of the exam: Financial Accounting & Reporting, Business Environment & Concepts (economics, cost accounting, finance), Audit and Attestation, and Regulation (tax and business law). They can be taken in any order and as many times as you need, but they must all be passed within a rolling 18-month window. The Regulation test was the last one I took and the hardest for me because I do not deal with taxes or business law on a regular basis at my job. I primarily work in financial accounting and audit, so those two parts were my easiest.

I have now moved back to Louisiana. I am so excited to be back with my husband and the rest of my family and friends. I really did like North Carolina, but it's not about where you are. It's about who you're with. I am working for the same company but on a contract basis. Instead of working in the accounting department, I am working in the operations area of the company on a contract that monitors federal funds received by the state of Louisiana through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. I like the people I am working with, I work less than half the hours I used to work, and I make twice the pay, so life is grand.

In genealogy land, I am still cleaning up my RootsMagic database. I am primarily cleaning up the sources, but I am also fixing a few other things, such as how I enter events.

The sources were somewhat jumbled when I converted my Legacy 7.0 file to a RootsMagic 4.0 file two years ago (i.e. author's name in wrong position in source citation). They came over in free form, and I am transferring them to the RootsMagic source template forms based on Elizabeth Shown Mills' style.

Also, some of the dates that contained ranges in Legacy 7.0 (i.e. born bet 15 Apr 1886 and 15 Apr 1887) did not transfer properly. The second part of the date range was cut off, so those have to be fixed as well.

Overall, I feel that my research skills and experience have increased greatly over the last 3 to 4 years, so that adds to why I have a lot of clean up to do. I have a lot of events sourced with undocumented WorldConnect trees, and I want to remove those sources and put their information in the notes instead until I can verify the data.

As I do cleanup, I am also adding a few events and people on collateral lines that can be easily found online in Ancestry, FindAGrave, and FamilySearch databases. Sometimes I feel like I should be focusing more on the cleanup, but it does get a little boring doing the cleanup at times.

I started the cleanup with my own parents and then moved through the generations (primarily in order of Ahnentafel), including collateral lines in each generation. Currently, I am on my great-great-grandparents, Lovell Hugh PEMBERTON and Alvina Mary LESPERANCE. I am going through their children first, beginning with the children that died in childhood since they have the least amount of sources. Then I will go through their children that married and their collateral lines (and then their children's collateral lines). Sometimes as I am doing this, I realize I have way too much info on a collateral line. Then again, is it possible to have too much info on a collateral line? I typically struggle with how much info to research on a collateral line. Most of my collateral line research is stuff I've found online and stuff that was within easy reach at the courthouse while I was researching my direct lines.

I have not yet made it to the library or archives here in Baton Rouge since I've been back. I was busy studying the first month I was home, and then I've been busy with unpacking and holidays the last two weeks. I hope to get to the library before Christmas.

I start my first course in the National Institute for Genealogical Studies American Records Certificate program tomorrow. That was my gift to myself for passing the CPA exam (I know that some of you may be thinking I am crazy to reward myself with more studying...LOL...but this should be fun studying). It is the intro to genealogy course. It should be interesting since I've been doing genealogy for several years now, but I browsed through the first module (there are six total) today and noticed that they do have tailored suggestions on the assignments for people who have been doing it for years. For instance, one of the assignments was to start your pedigree chart using only resources in your home and your family members' homes until you get stuck. Well, I did that about 15 years ago. I believe the suggestion for experienced genealogists was to document where you got stuck after using resources in your family's home when you initially started doing genealogy years ago. Luckily, I still have my first pedigree chart (I can't seem to part with it), copies of both of my grandparents' and my parents' records that I found in their homes that are sourced in my database, and I've got a pretty good memory, so it shouldn't be too hard of an assignment.

Anyhow, my new goal is to blog at least once a week for the next 2 months. Then maybe I will be able to get back in the habit. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Clifford Robert DROUILLARD: Petition for Naturalization

Two weeks ago, I posted about a story I was piecing together on my second maternal grandfather, Clifford Robert DROUILLARD. I had found an entry in Ancestry.com's naturalization index, which showed that he filed a petition for citizenship with the Eastern District of Michigan U.S. district court in 1965. I had also found some references to his case in documents on the USCIS website defining good moral character. My suspicion was that he had trouble becoming naturalized because of a false identity he provided upon his entry in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1950s, a story that he told me about in December 2008, about nine months before he died. He did not say that was why he was never naturalized, but he did tell me that he was a only a legal resident and not a citizen of the U.S.

I followed Ancestry.com's directions about where to find the actual naturalization records to which the index card was referring. I ordered his file from the National Archives-Great Lakes Region in Chicago through their online ordering system for $7.50. I received it very quickly, but I was disappointed to find that it only contained his petition for naturalization. In any event, I was excited to at least have the petition because it did provide info that I did not have, such as his military service dates and his date of entry into the U.S. (though I believe it was his second date of entry after he was sent back to Canada for falsifying his military records).

I will not post the actual petition because it contains information on his second wife, who is still living (I should probably ask my aunts how to get in contact with her). I will, however, share the pertinent information contained in the document.
  • Filed under Section 329 at the district court of the U.S. in Detroit, Michigan
  • Full name is Clifford Robert Drouillard
  • Resided at 3191 Wadhams Rd. in North Street, St. Clair, Michigan
  • Worked as a mechanic
  • Born on 10 Jan 1932 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Medium complexion
  • Brown eyes
  • Brown hair
  • 5'8" tall
  • 170 pounds
  • Scar on center forehead
  • Citizen of Canda
  • Married to B. on 14 Nov 1964 in Port Huron, Michigan
  • B. was born in 1936 in Pembroke, Ontario
  • B. entered the United States with him in May 1961 at Port Huron, Michigan
  • B. had not been naturalized
  • Served in the U.S. Marine Corps under service no. 1348427 from 25 Oct 1952 to 2 Mar 1954
  • Entered military service at Detroit, Michigan
  • Honorably discharged on 2 Mar 1954 (I had my suspicions about that one)
  • Had resided continuously in the U.S. since 15 May 1961
  • Had 4 living children
  • Witnesses were Leo F. Drouillard, railroad switchman, of 3188 Wadhams Rd. in North Street and Eva G. Caughill, housewife, of 3596 Pollina Ave. in Port Huron. (his brother and sister)
  • Alien no. was A8 857 380.
  • Filed on 26 May 1965 at Detroit, Michigan
  • Denied by Judge Kaess on 11 Jul 1967 due to failure to establish proper documentation
The parts of the petition asking for his date of lawful entrance were crossed out and left blank. I have a feeling that he entered the U.S. illegally, since he told me that he had been deported to Canada after falsifying his military records. He also crossed out and left blank the parts about being physically present in the U.S. for the six month period preceding the date of filing the petition. I imagine he had gone back to Canada to visit relatives numerous times during that six-month period (three of his sisters remained in Canada). He did swear to residing in the U.S. for the six-month period, however.

I was disappointed that there was no documentation proving why they chose to deny his petition. I decided to check out the good moral character references on the USCIS website one more time to see what I could find. I had only skimmed them before. I sure am glad that I decided to look at them in more detail.

What I found was that Section 329 allows an alien who has served in the U.S. military to petition for naturalization in a more expedient manner than the normal course. This is the section under which my grandfather filed his petition. The document in which his case was referenced was an interpretation of Section 329.1 Naturalization based upon honorable service in the armed forces during wartime. He is mentioned in Footnote 33, which is attached to this part of the interpretation:
In determining whether the petitioner has met the burden of establishing good moral character, the inquiry into these matters shall extend to the petitioner's entire lifetime. Should the inquiry disclose relevant adverse conduct or activity which occurred during a reasonable period of time immediately preceding the date of the petition, and/or during the period between the date of the petition and final hearing, and the adverse information is of sufficient weight and probative value to warrant the finding, it shall be concluded that the petitioner has not sustained the burden of proof, and he shall be deemed ineligible for naturalization.
He is also mentioned in Footnote 35, which is attached to this part of the interpretation:
(7) "Separated under honorable conditions" requirement . (i) Undesirable discharge . A petitioner who was issued an undesirable discharge from the Marine Corps in 1954 because he falsified his name, age, place of birth, citizenship, arrest record, and previous military service was held not to have met this requirement, since under section 13254 of the Marine Corps Personnel Manual an undesirable discharge is defined as a separation under conditions other that honorable, issued for unfitness, misconduct, or for security reasons.
They are obviously talking about my grandfather because this matches up with the story he told me and the dates of military service he gave in his petition. Also, the alien number in the footnote matches the alien number on his petition, so I know for certain they are talking about him and not a person with the same name. Apparently, he received an undesirable discharge, which is somewhere between honorable and dishonorable. Because the interpretation is referencing all of this, I know there must be more info than just the petition.

After much research, I found on the Blood and Frogs blog that the USCIS usually has more information than what is on file at the National Archives for naturalization occurring after 1906. I've decided to go ahead and request his A-file (alien file) from the USCIS under the Freedom of Information Act. I have to submit proof of death, but that shouldn't be a problem because they will accept obituaries and SSDI printouts as proof. I also have a proof of death certificate from the funeral home. I thought I read that the agency had to respond within 20 days to an FOIA request, but I also saw on the ProGenealogists blog that it can take 18-20 months, so I may have to be patient. They have a genealogy record search program, but because his records are more recent than the files covered by that program, I cannot request them through that program.

In the meantime, I may also try requesting the records from the U.S. District Court in Detroit. They have what seems like a simple online ordering system, and they also have an online records search system, though I don't know if records from 1965-1967 are available online. I have my doubts about that. Registration for the online system is free, but you have to pay for search results. I'm just not exactly sure what to request from the U.S. District Court. I have the petition number, his alien number, and the dates, so maybe that will be enough for them to retrieve the rest of the file.

I also need to order the military records, especially since I now have the dates and service number. I did find an unusual social security card in my grandmother's photo albums that I inherited when she died in 2008. It was a social security card for a man that I didn't recognize. I don't know anyone in the family by this name, so I have no idea why we would have a social security card for him. I am beginning to wonder if this was my grandfather's friend that he was covering for in the military. I did a little searching, and found that there is someone around my grandfather's age with that name who appears to still be alive and living in Fort Gratiot, St. Clair, Michigan. However, it was a common name, so I'm not sure if this living person has any relevance or not.

So, stay tuned! It may be several months before I get any additional information, but I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Update: Moving Back to Louisiana and A Little Story About My Pippi

I just realized that I haven't posted anything in a whole month! A lot has happened since then. As the title of this post says, I am moving back to Louisiana in October! I have really enjoyed my stay in North Carolina, but I miss my husband and we've decided it is best for me to move back there rather than he move here, as originally planned. It is time for me to move on in my career and it will be really nice to be closer to family and friends again. Now that my sister and brother-in-law live in Arkansas rather than California, it will be nice to be closer to them too.

I am still studying for the CPA exam. I was supposed to take the audit part of the exam on 8/29, but Hurricane Irene had other plans for me. She shut down my testing center in eastern North Carolina and I had to reschedule for October since they they don't offer it in September and the other two days left in August were already booked up. Hopefully, I will be finished by the end of November.

In genealogy land, I have been working on the ever continuous cleanup of my sources in my RootsMagic database. I feel like I will never be done. I should probably start a goal sheet for the cleanup so that I can see the finish line, especially since I may be unemployed soon if I don't find a job in Baton Rouge right away. I have gotten the sources cleaned up for the families of my parents, sister and bro-in-law, both sets of grandparents, and all of my aunts, uncles, and first cousins. Right now I am looking at the sources for the parents and siblings of my second maternal grandfather (not my mom's biological father, but he is the only maternal grandfather I ever knew...he raised my mom and her siblings after their father died in 1970, and they all consider him their dad too...as mentioned in previous posts, I prefer not to call him step).

And speaking of my second maternal grandfather, Clifford Robert Drouillard (1932-2009), I have been piecing together an interesting story. My grandfather was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. At some point in his teen years (c. 1945), I believe he moved to Port Huron, Michigan, with his parents and siblings (not certain about the exact date). After my grandmother died in 2008, he told me a story about his time in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said that a friend of his from Bay City, Michigan, was supposed to go into the Marines, but due to personal reasons did not feel that he could make the commitment after he had already sworn in to go. My grandfather offered to "take his place" in the Marine Corps, so my grandfather pretended to be his friend from Bay City. I'm not quite sure how long the ruse lasted, but eventually, he and his friend were caught by military officials. I knew at the time he told me the story that he had divorced a lady named Ann in the 1950s in Florida (thanks to Ancestry.com), but I had no idea who she was or why he had been in Florida. According to him, he married Ann, who was in the real estate business, because someone told him that if he married her, he could stay in the U.S. Apparently, he was going to be sent back to Canada for his wrongdoing. He soon found out that wasn't the case and he was deported back to Canada anyway. He and Ann divorced in Hillsborough County, Florida, in 1956.

Fast forward to 1964, and my grandfather and his second wife, B (still living so I will keep her name private), married in Port Huron, Michigan, and both gave residences as Michigan and birthplaces as Ontario on the marriage record. They had just had their fourth child one month before their marriage. The first three children were born in Ontario, but the last one was born in Michigan.

In 1965, my grandfather petitioned the Eastern District federal court in Detroit for U.S. citizenship. I found the entry in Ancestry.com's naturalization index database. While I was searching, I decided to google his full name and the word "immigration" to see what I could find. I found that the USCIS seems to be citing my grandfather's case to further define "good moral character." Knowing the story about the military, I am now wondering if he had trouble getting his citizenship because of his past wrongdoings. Perhaps this is what the USCIS is alluding to in their footnotes.

I do know that he never received citizenship status. He was a permanent resident when he died in 2009. He was afraid to go back to Canada for a few years after September 11 when they started tightening the borders, and I'm wondering if it had something to do with his past. I am beginning to wonder if the only reason he received permanent residency was because he had a child who was only one year old in 1965 and who was an American citizen by birth. I did a little research on permanent residence status and learned that people with an American spouse and/or an American child under 21 years old are typically granted the status without too much fuss. 

In any event, I ordered the naturalization file from the National Archives branch in Chicago, and I will keep my readers posted. I hope that I am not disappointed and that it takes me one step closer to learning more about my grandfather. Sometimes, it's hard to remember that your parents and grandparents were people too before they were your parents and grandparents. I never thought to ask him questions about these things because he was just my "Pippi." He may not have been perfect, but a man who raised eight children that weren't his own as if they were his own has "good moral character" in my opinion.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Surname Saturday: SEPULVADO

Well, it has been about a month since the wedding, and I figured it's only proper for me to interrupt my usual Surname Saturday routine to do a post about my new married surname. I'll start with my husbands's (I love saying that word) paternal grandfather and work backwards.

Hosea SEPULVADO 
Born 26 Nov 1915 in Zwolle, Sabine, Louisiana.
Married Lorena LEONE 28 Oct 1935, probably in Sabine Parish
Died 22 May 1994 in Zwolle, Sabine, Louisiana.

Leo SEPULVADO
Born 30 Oct 1890 in Zwolle, Sabine, Louisiana
Married Marguerite BEBEE abt 1911, probably in Sabine Parish
Died 15 Jan 1982 in Many, Sabine, Louisiana

Jose SEPULVADO
Born 10 Jun 1852 in Zwolle, Sabine, Louisiana
Married Louisa LAROUX abt 1873 in Zwolle, Sabine, Louisiana
Died 23 Jul 1930 in Zwolle, Sabine, Louisiana

Jose Biniano SEPULVADO
Born abt 1832 in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches, Texas
Married Georgonia ESTRADA 17 Mar 1851 in Sabine Parish, Louisiana
Died 13 Oct 1903 in Sabine Parish, Louisiana

Jose Antonio SEPULVADO
Born abt 1781 in Mexico
Married Maria Guadelupe CHAVANA in 1817 in Natchitoches, Natchitoches, Louisiana
Died 16 Aug 1853 in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches, Texas

I'm not 100% certain about the exact birthplace of Jose Antonio within Mexico. Unsourced online trees say San Carlos. I need to examine his marriage record in Natchitoches Parish to see if it mentions a birthplace. Most civil records from that timeframe don't give much information other than names and residences of the bride and groom, but sometimes Catholic church marriage records will give the person's home parish. Since they were Spanish, I assume they probably married in a Catholic church in Natchitoches. Even if he was born in San Carlos, so far I have found three locations in Mexico with that name. The most likely possibility, because of it's close proximity to Texas, is a town outside Monterrey in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico. The other two possibilities are a town in the state of Aguascalientes in central Mexico and a seaside resort community in the northwestern state of Sonora.






Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Honeymoon Photos

Our cabin in Fancy Gap, Virginia

View of the NC Piedmont from the deck

Close-up view of the Piedmont with Blue Ridge Mountains in background
Needless to say, we didn't want to leave the cabin. We called the owners to see if we could stay an extra day, but it was already booked.

Ok, this is me in front of the Carroll County Courthouse in Hillsville, Virginia. I couldn't resist a photo op in front of a courthouse. No, I didn't torture the hubby and make him go in there (only because I don't have any known ancestors there). But I did convince him that we need to go on our first married vacation next summer to Southern California so that I can attend the 2012 SCGS Jamboree!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We Are Married!!!

Pics from Trahan/Sepulvado Wedding 
23 Jul 2011
Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Kravchuk
 
 Bride & Groom
Rehearsal Dinner
22 Jul 2011
The Pit, Raleigh, NC

Photo courtesy of Susanna Miller

 Me with my niece, Violet

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Kravchuk

Wedding Cake

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Kravchuk

Groom's Table

Photo courtesy of Susanna Miller

Bride & Groom walking into reception hall

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Census Sunday: My Great-Great-Great Grandparents in 1930

This week I will discuss my 3rd great-grandparents who were alive in 1930. Most of them had passed away by this time, but I did have six of them living in 1930. This is my last generation that had any members alive in 1930, so I will be moving on to the 1920 census next week. (Well, actually, it will probably be in two weeks since I am getting married next weekend)!

Anna (Wise) TRAHAN

1930 U.S. census, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Police Jury Ward 2, enumeration district (ED) 14, sheet 22B, dwelling 391, family 391, Pierre Richard household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 July 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 820.

Anna WISE was the mother of my great-great-grandfather, Oscar TRAHAN. She is one of the few Germans on my paternal grandfather's side of the family. She was born 04 Oct 1866 to Andrew WISE and Anna GREY and was baptized at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Church Point, Acadia, Louisiana. She married Theoville TRAHAN 05 Nov 1883 at St. John's Cathedral in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana. She was Theoville's second wife, and they had twelve children. Anna was 14 years younger than Theoville and outlived him by quite some years. She died 01 Mar 1952 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana, at the age of 85.

I'm not 100% certain the Anna in this census record is my Anna, though. She is living in the household of a young couple named Pierre and Amy RICHARD and is listed as a cousin. Her age is given as 70 years old, which assumes a birth date of 1859-1860. This is off of her known birth date from church records by 6-7 years. However, it was not unusual for an elderly person's age, particularly an illiterate elderly person's age, to be off by a few years in census records. Her relationship to Pierre is listed as cousin, and I haven't had time to research a link between my Anna and Pierre Richard. Both of this Anna's parents are listed as being born in Louisiana, but my Anna's parents were supposedly born in Germany and Ireland. Once again, though, it wasn't unusual for an elderly's person's parents' birthplaces to be incorrect in census records.

Paul Lucius PREJEAN & Marie Alicia BERNARD

1930 U.S. census, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Police Jury Ward 6, enumeration district (ED) 19, sheet 18A, dwelling 335, family 338, Lecuise Prejean household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 July 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 798.

Lucius and Alicia were the parents of my great-great-grandmother, Virginia (Prejean) Trahan SCHENKEL. Paul Lucius PREJEAN was born 11 Feb 1866 to Ursin Theomile PREJEAN and Adenysa LEGER and baptized at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana. He married Marie Alicia BERNARD 22 Jan 1885 at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana. He died 10 Mar 1938 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana. Marie Alicia BERNARD was born 30 Dec 1863 to Honore BERNARD and Virginie LEBERT and baptized at St. John's Cathedral in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana. She died 26 Mar 1949 in Lawtell, St. Landry, Louisiana. 

In 1930, Lucius and Alicia (aka Alice) were living in Police Jury Ward 6 of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Present-day Ward 6 is 3.5 miles south of I-10 along Ambassador Caffery Parkway in Lafayette and just east of the town of Scott. Lucius was a retired grocer. Neither Lucius nor Alicia were listed as literate or able to speak English.

Susan Rilla (Woods) BAKER
 1930 U.S. census, Las Animas County, Colorado, population schedule, Precinct 55, enumeration district (ED) 63, sheet 2B, dwelling 34, family 34, William C. Baker household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 July 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 245.

Rilla was the mother of my great-great-grandmother, Emmer Link (Baker) PROFFITT. She was born 06 Mar 1853 in Caldwell County, North Carolina, to John D. WOODS and Adaline Rilla JORDAN. She married James Gilbert BAKER 17 Dec 1874, possibly in North Carolina. She died 17 Nov 1938 in Wilmore, Comanche, Kansas. 

In 1930, she was living with her oldest son (and Emmer's younger brother), William Clay BAKER, and his wife, Mary (Shrader) BAKER, in Las Animas County, Colorado. Las Animas County is in southwest Colorado on the border of New Mexico. Her age is given as 73, which is off by about 3-4 years from the birth date given in her obituary (06 Mar 1853).

Mary Ellen (Molesworth) CRYSLER

1930 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, Fremont Township, enumeration district (ED) 17, sheets 5B-6A, dwelling 114, family 116, Mary Crysler household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1028.

Mary Ellen MOLESWORTH was the mother of my great-great-grandfather, Ernest CRYSLER. She was born 04 May 1858 in Dorchester, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, to William Edward MOLESWORTH and Priscilla DEMARAY. She married George Calvin CRYSLER 30 Jun 1875 in Arkona, Lambton, Ontario, Canada. Mary died 26 May 1935 in Melvin, Sanilac, Michigan.

In 1930, she was living as a widow in Fremont Township, Sanilac, Michigan, with her son, Ernest, and two grandsons, George and Harold.

Cora Millicent (King) WEDGE

1930 U.S. census, Oakland County, Michigan, population schedule, village of Oxford, enumeration district (ED) 41, sheet 17A, dwelling 450, family 463, Joshua Wedge household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 July 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1017.

Cora was the mother of my great-great-grandmother, Nellie May REYNOLDS. Cora was born 05 Nov 1874 in St. Clair County, Michigan, to Suel Alfred KING and Ardelia STRATTON. She gave birth to Nellie illegitimately 21 Oct 1890 in Elk, Sanilac, Michigan, at the age of 15. Nellie's father was listed as Douglas REYNOLDS on the birth certificate. The only Douglas REYNOLDS I have found in the area was a man who died just two months before Nellie was born on 16 Aug 1890 from consumption. It doesn't appear that he and Cora ever married. Cora eventually married Joshua WEDGE 06 Oct 1897 in Lynn, Sanilac, Michigan. Cora was the last of my great-great-great grandparents to die on 27 Feb 1964 in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan.

In 1930, Cora and Joshua were living at 27 Stanton Road in the village of Oxford in Oakland County, Michigan. Joshua was a railroad laborer. Their youngest daughter, Thelma, was age 20 and working as a saleslady for a variety store. They had two boarder, Earl Teal and George Bice, living with them. George was a laborer of some type (it's hard to read) and Earl was an inspector for an automobile factory. 

SNGF: 16 Great-Grands and Heritage Pie

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has come up with another great challenge for this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:
Your mission tonight, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents with their birth, death and marriage data (dates and places). [Hint - you might use an Ancestral Name List from your software for this.]
2) Determine the countries (or states) that these ancestors lived in at their birth and at their death.
3) For extra credit, go make a “Heritage Pie” chart for the country of origin (birth place) for these 16 ancestors. [Hint: you could use the chart generator from Kid Zone for this.] [Note: Thank you to Sheri Fenley for the "Heritage Pie" chart idea.]
4. Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a post on Facebook or google+.
 
16. Oscar TRAHAN: born 17 Oct 1889 in Rayne, Acadia, Louisiana; married 18 Jan 1908 in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana; died 5 Aug 1962 in Lake Charles, Calcasieu, Louisiana.
17. Virginia PREJEAN: born 12 Jul 1889 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana; died 3 Mar 1977 in Crowley, Acadia, Louisiana.
18. Maurice BONEAUX: born 13 Aug 1883 in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana; married 10 Sep 1908 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana; died 5 Sep 1934 in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana.
19. Marie Alice SONNIER: born 7 Sep 1891 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana; died 7 May 1970 in Vinton, Calcasieu, Louisiana.
20. John Henry MERTENA: born 11 Mar 1884 in , Franklin, Illinois; married 25 Dec 1907 in Mulhall, Logan, Oklahoma; died 28 Jan 1956 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, Louisiana.
21. Blanche WELDEN: born 31 Aug 1883 in Coffeysburg, Daviess, Missouri; died 5 Feb 1970 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, Louisiana.
22. William Harmon PROFFITT: born 12 Jul 1871 in , Jefferson, Tennessee; married 17 Dec 1896 in Chestnut Hill, Jefferson, Tennessee; died 3 Jul 1944 in Alva, Woods, Oklahoma.
23. Emmer Link BAKER: born 20 Sep 1875 in , , North Carolina; died 5 Jul 1949 in Waynoka, Woods, Oklahoma.
24. Lovell Hugh PEMBERTON: born 14 Jan 1878 in Almont, Lapeer, Michigan; married 10 Nov 1902 in Anchorville, St. Clair, Michigan; died 23 Mar 1952 in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan.
25. Alvina Mary LESPERANCE: born 27 Nov 1881 in Anchorville, St. Clair, Michigan; died 16 Jun 1961 in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan.
26. Ernest George CRYSLER: born 21 Oct 1877 in Forest, Lambton, Ontario, Canada; married 18 Nov 1904 in Sandusky, Sanilac, Michigan; died 8 May 1942 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan.
27. Nellie May REYNOLDS: born 21 Oct 1890 in Elk, Sanilac, Michigan; died 9 May 1917 in Yale, St. Clair, Michigan.
28. Alexander CURRIE: born Nov 1837 in , Middlesex, Ontario, Canada; died 1909 in Sanilac Co, Michigan.
29. Mary RAYMOND: born Sep 1852 in , , Ontario, Canada; died 1920 in Sanilac Co., Michigan.
30. Robert PLAINE: born 20 Feb 1870 in Caradoc, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada; married abt 1891 in Euphemia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada; died 1936 in Euphemia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada.
31. Florence Minnie HILLMAN: born 23 Jul 1867 in Alvinston, Lambton, Ontario, Canada; died 9 Mar 1933 in Euphemia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada.

Here is my heritage pie with my great-great-grandpaents' birthplaces:

The pink section that represents 1/4 of the chart is my paternal grandfather's family - mostly tried and true Cajuns from Louisiana with a little French (non-Cajun), German, and Spanish mixed in.

The four sections that each represent 6.25% of the chart is my paternal grandmother's family. These were German, English, and Scottish immigrants that originally settled in Pennsylvania and Virginia and made their way further south and west over the years, eventually ending up in Oklahoma.

The other half of the chart is my maternal side of the family, representing Canada and Michigan. I didn't realize that over half of my great-great-grands on that side were born in Canada. Some of these were Scottish and English immigrants to Canada in the early to mid-1800s, and others were German and Dutch Loyalists from New York who fled to Canada around the time of the American Revolution. My Michigan folks were part French-Canadian and part English Loyalists from New York who also fled to Canada.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aren't They Precious?

Several months ago, I blogged about the births of my niece, Violet, and my cousin, Denni, as well as the upcoming births of cousins Brynnlee and Connor. Poor Brynnlee and Connor were born during my busy season, so I never did post any updates on their births (getting complaints from the readers). So, here are updated pics on all babies (now, you complainers better not get mad because Denni and Violet get two posts).

Photo courtesy of Cousin Hope
Denni ViAnn
b. 30 Aug 2010

Violet Cecile
b. 30 Sep 2010

Photo courtesy of Cousin Paige
Brynnlee Addison
b. 26 Jan 2011

Photo courtesy of Cousin Amber
 Connor Andrew
b. 25 Feb 2011



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: My Grandma

I recently bought a subscription to NewspaperARCHIVE.com, which I highly recommend. I noticed that it had issues of the Lake Charles American Press from the 1950s to 1970s. This is the major newspaper in the area of southwest Louisiana where I grew up. I searched for my grandparents' names, and I found some really cool articles on my grandmother. She told me that she had been the editor of the newspaper at McNeese State University (then called McNeese State College), but it was really cool to see it on paper in the context of the time period. And I always knew she worked for the Louisiana Office of Tourism at the local tourist bureau in the town where I grew up, but it was cool to see her appointment to the position published in the newspaper. In fact, that article is where I found the address of the house where my dad grew up. The house has since been torn down, so I didn't have the exact address. These articles make me very proud of my grandmother, and I would like to share them with my readers. Enjoy!

"Sulphur Girl Is Editor of College Paper," Lake Charles (Louisiana) American-Press, 26 August 1954, p. 23, col. 3.

Miss Merlene Mertena, a Sulphur sophomore majoring in journalism at McNeese State college, is the editor-in-chief of the Contraband, the college's weekly newspaper, for the 1954-55 school year.
Elected by the paper's staff at the close of school, she assumed her new responsibility with the summer issue published August 3.
During her freshman year she served as reporter and feature editor, and in the absence of last year's editor-in-chief, Miss Carolyn Pulliam, who attended the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Convention in New York City, Miss Mertena headed the Contraband.
At Sulphur high school, Miss Mertena was editor of the school paper, the Cyclone. Prior to entering Sulphur High where she was an honor student, she attended high school in Ponca City, Okla. There she was on the staff of the school paper for two years, a member of Latin club, Biology club, the Dynamighters and worked on the annual, the Cat Tale.
Activities at McNeese include participation in the speech tournament, and membership in the [unreadable]


"Vinton Women Added to Staff," Lake Charles (Louisiana) American-Press, 5 April 1966, p. 1, col. 1.


VINTON---The appointment of two new members to the staff of the Vinton Tourist Bureau was announced this week by John Tarver, director of the Louisiana Tourist Development Commission.
Named as tourist information representatives at the Vinton station were Mrs. Benford Trahan and La Dell Jeffers, both of Vinton.
The new addition increased the staff of the Vinton bureau to three. Already employed at the station is Mrs. Jack Kimball, who has been the only representative there for the past several years.
Mrs. Trahan will be employed by the bureau as a full-time representative, while Miss Jeffers will serve as a part-time hostess and also do publicity and promotional work for the Tourist Development Commission in Southwest Louisiana.
They will assist Mrs. Kimball in greeting visitors entering Louisiana from out of state and in distributing pamphlets and other information describing points of interest to the tourists.
Before assuming their positions at the station the three women attended a two-day training seminar for Tourist Commission employees.
A native of Oklahoma, Mrs. Trahan is the former Merlene Mertena of Maplewood. She attended McNeese and was active in many campus organizations, serving at one time as editor of the school paper. The Trahans live with their four sons at 1306 Fancher St.
Miss Jeffers, a Northwestern Louisiana State College graduate with a degree in journalism and English and a former school teacher lives at 1305 East St.
I am going to have to find another copy of the newspaper on microfilm when I go back to Louisiana to see if it has a better copy of the first article. I couldn't read the rest of the sentence about the rest of the organizations my grandmother was involved with. Stay tuned next week for another great newspaper article about my grandmother and grandfather in 2006.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Golda Emmer (Proffitt) Curtis

Golda Emmer (Proffitt) Curtis
Sister of my great-grandmother, Hassie Cora (Proffitt) Mertena
1902-1977

Tombstone Tuesday: Truman Elnathan ROWLEY

Photograph by Don & Wendy McCallum
FindaGrave volunteers

TRUMAN E. ROWLEY
US ARMY
WORLD WAR II
FEB 4 1912
JAN 26 1993

Husband of my great-great-aunt, Eva Edna (Pemberton) ROWLEY
Allied Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Census Sunday: My Great-Great-Grandparents in 1930

Three weeks ago, I started a Census Sunday series, in which I featured the census records showing my great-grandparents in 1930. I skipped the next two weeks because my mom was visiting from Louisiana two weeks ago, and last week I was in Louisiana visiting. Now that I am back on track, this post will feature my great-great-grandparents in 1930.

Oscar TRAHAN and Bertha DUHON

1930 U.S. census, Harris County, Texas, population schedule, Justice Precinct 3, enumeration district (ED) 178, sheet 32A, dwelling 587, family 649, Oscar Trahan household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 2352.

This is my great-great-grandfather, Oscar, and his second wife, Bertha. He ran off to Texas to work for the oil refineries after he left his first wife. I cannot seem to find his first wife, Virginia PREJEAN, in 1930. They divorced around 1920. She had a child with a man named DOMINGUE in 1926, and then she married a SCHENKEL in 1932. I looked for Virginia and her son, Claude DOMINGUE, but I have not been able to find them in 1930. I also looked for her future husband, Louis SCHENKEL, but she was not with him either in 1930. I'm just going to have to order Claude's SS-5 application to see who his father was. Perhaps they were with his father in 1930. DOMINGUE is a very hard name to find in the census. It is pronounced like the word "domain," so you can imagine how it gets spelled. Oscar and Virginia's only chld, Bienvenue, was featured in my last Census Sunday post in the home of his father-in-law (see below).

Maurice BONEAUX and Marie Alice SONNIER

Maurice and Marie were the parents of my great-grandmother, Beatrice Marie BONEAUX. They were featured in the last Census Sunday post, since my great-grandparents, Beatrice and Bienvenue, were living with them.

John Henry MERTENA and Blanche WELDEN
John and Blanche were the parents of my great-grandfather, Merlen Paris MERTENA. They were featured in the last Census Sunday post, since my great-grandfather was still single and living at home with them.

William Harmon PROFFITT and Emmer Link BAKER

1930 U.S. census, Creek County, Oklahoma, population schedule, Mannford, enumeration district (ED) 24, sheet 3A, dwelling 49, family 51, William H. Proffitt household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1900.

William and Emmer were the parents of my great-grandmother, Hassie Cora PROFFITT. They were living in Mannford, Creek, Oklahoma, where William was a Methodist minister. Creek is just one county west of Tulsa County. They moved around Oklahoma a lot since William was a minister. I really need to dig into church history and find out where all his appointments were located. My great-grandmother, Hassie, was not living with them. Her younger sister, Bessie, was the only child living at home in 1930. Hassie was probably boarding with a family near where she was teaching, but I haven't been able to find her yet in the 1930 census. I'm not precisely sure where she was teaching. I know that at one time between 1925 and 1930, she was teaching in Pawnee County, just one county north of Creek County.

Lovell Hugh PEMBERTON and Alvina Mary LESPERANCE


1930 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, Kimball Township, enumeration district (ED) 20, sheets 17A-B, dwelling 391, family 394, Lovell H. Pemberton household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 December 2005); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1024

Lovell and Alvina were the parents of my great-grandfather, John Vital "Jack" Pemberton, who was already married and living with his wife and two children in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan, in 1930. Lovell and Alvina were living on Ditty Road in Kimball Township, not too far from Port Huron. Every census year, they seem to migrate further north. Their youngest four children were still living at home in 1930. Lovell was a blacksmith, and the oldest of the four children at home, Madeline, was a laborer in the salt plant. Morton Salt Company had large operations in Marysville, Michigan, just a few miles from Kimball Township, so I presume she worked for them.

Ernest George CRYSLER


1930 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, Fremont Township, enumeration district (ED) 17, sheets 5B-6A, dwelling 114, family 116, Mary Crysler household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1028.

Ernest was the father of my great-grandmother, Mabel CRYSLER. Mabel was already married in 1930 and living with her husband, John Vital "Jack" Pemberton, and two children in Port Huron. Ernest was a farmer living with his mother, Mary (Molesworth) CRYSLER, in Fremont Township, Sanilac, Michigan, in 1930. Ernest's first wife and Mabel's mother, Nellie REYNOLDS, died in 1917. He remarried Minnie SIBLEY in 1919. I'm a little confused because this lists Ernest as a widower, and Minnie is also listed as a widower, living with her mother, Pauline CAMPBELL, in Port Huron in 1930. It seems Ernest and Minnie must have had an unhappy union. Interestingly, Minnie was 10 years older than Ernest. Ernest's sons, George and Harold, were living with him in 1930. George was working as a farm laborer.

Alexander CURRIE and Mary RAYMOND
Alexander and Mary are not found in the 1930 census because they both died prior to 1930. They were the parents of my great-grandfather, Archie CURRIE. Alexander died in 1909, and Mary died in 1920.

Robert PLAINE and Florence Minnie HILLMAN
Robert and Flora are not found in the 1930 census because they were living in Ontario, Canada in 1930. They never immigrated to the U.S. They were the parents of my great-grandmother, Jennie Grace Christina PLAINE, who immigrated in the 1920s.