July 13, 2002, MEETING OF THE IMPERIAL ST. LANDRY GENEALOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY

held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons), in Opelousas.

 

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Society president, Estelle Perrault, called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM.  She introduced Mrs. Mary Vandergriff, who welcomed the genealogical society on behalf of the congregation.

 Miss Perrault briefly explained the research recourses available through the Mormon Church.  Internet users can go to the Mormon web site index to find list of books available. They can then request the desired book through the local church.

 International Genealogical Index (IGI) provides photocopied documents from around the world.  Mormon church volunteers devote a year to fulltime research of records in foreign countries.  Those documents are available on microfiche or microfilm at the local church.

 Ancestral Files are not documented by the Mormon Church.  They are files sent in by people from around the world, and are only as accurate as the research of those individuals.  Miss Perrault stressed that these files can be valuable “starting points”, but that there is always the possibility of human error.

Civil Records, such as marriage licenses, can be found in Clerk of Court Records. Church Marriage Records sometimes show a marriage date, which differs from the civil record.  The marriage license is often obtained several days before the Church Marriage takes place.

Most books, maps, etc. can be copied and sent to the local Mormon Church from the Mormon Records in Utah.  Those microfilm records can be available at a cost of $3.25 for 60 days.  To request that the record be kept permanently in the local facility, the charge is $9.25.

 CD’s for research on the computer are updated every two years.  Of local interest, the local church offers a CD on Acadian Ancestry, and one on Freedmen’s Bureau Records (lists some freed blacks after the War Between the States.)

 Society members then viewed the records in the research area, and were encouraged to make use of this excellent facility.

 Charles Guilbeau, president of the St. Pierre Genealogical Society of Carencro, then talked about the Cajun History project, which is a co-operative effort of the St. Pierre and St. Landry Genealogical Societies.  He stated that the project is nearing completion, and that it will be presented to the public in the near future.

The committee members who are working with Mr. Guilbeau will meet at Ray’s Diner in Opelousas, following the regular genealogy meeting at Opelousas General Hospital, on Saturday, August 10th.  Following a brief progress report by Mr. Guilbeau, the committee will be joined by several dignitaries, who are prominent in the preservation and promotion of Cajun culture and history.  The media will be invited to attend.

 Marshall and Melanie Stagg and Catherine Goulas, of Bunkie, were introduced.

Mr. and Mrs. Stagg are the caretakers of the White’s Chapel (Methodist Church), which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.  The well preserved church and cemetery are located in rural North St. Landry Parish, near the community of Whiteville.  It was suggested that the genealogical society members should consider a field trip to the historical cemetery.

 The next meeting of the genealogical society will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, August 10, 2002, in the third floor auditorium of the Opelousas General Hospital

Meeting adjourned at 12:00 Noon.

 Submitted by:

 Sylvia David Morel

Recording Secretary