Meeting on August 10, 2002


AUGUST 10, 2002, MEETING OF THE IMPERIAL ST. LANDRY GENEALOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY, held in the third floor auditorium of the Opelousas General Hospital.

Society president, Estelle Perrault, called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM. She asked for assistance in identifying the people in an old group picture, which Mrs. Lily Mae Briggs found with some old family pictures, and which she thinks may be set in Carencro, Louisiana.  Etha Amling will ask residents of C’est La Vie for help, and then, Secretary Sylvia Morel will send the picture to Mrs. Janice Martin of the St. Pierre Genealogical Society, if it appears that the picture is, in fact, set in Carencro.  Otherwise, it is to be placed in the society files.

 Among other requests for genealogical assistance and offers to share information recently received by the society were:

 Harriett Condon, P. O. Box 7, Middleburg, VA 20118 (phone: 540-687-5613), has offered to share information from letters and scrapbooks (ca. 1850).  The following family names are included:

        Millard                              ca. 1830 – present

        Charles Smith                   ca. 1790 – present

        Benjamin Smith                     1790 – present

        Raphael Smith                        1790 – present


 The above families were from Maryland – St. Mary’s County, Charles County, Frederick County.  Ms. Condon asked that descendants of these families please contact her.

Some information was submitted by a member, which came from a third party, giving information on Jacob Miller, an early ancestor of many members of our genealogical society, via a copy of a letter written by Mr. Roderick L. Miller of Lafayette, Louisiana, to Ms. Lupita N. Barrera, Mission Manager of the Goliad State Historical Park, Goliad, Texas.  The letter mentions that the (Louisiana) Miller family visited the Texas Park in June, 2002, and that their ancestor, Jacob Miller and his family, were shipwrecked in the Bay and were detained at the Presidio there in 1779. Mr. Miller also states that the information was taken from “Spain in the Mississippi Valley, 1765-1794, Volume II”, and appeared in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association, for the year 1945.  Further references are:  Volume l, No. l, “Gulf Coast Historical Review”, pages 24 through 37; “Les Voyageurs, Vol. II,  No. 4, December, 1982, article by Glen R. Conrad, pages 85 through 88. 

Etha Amling then offered a newspaper article from the Monday, May 13, 2002, issue of the Baton Rouge “Advocate”.  Houma resident, Jane Breaux Hebert, is seeking her mother’s biological family.  Lottie Dumesnil Breaux was one of the “Orphan Train” children who came to Louisiana in 1909.  When only 1˝ years old, she left the New York Foundling Hospital, aboard one of the “orphan trains”.  Her birth certificate stated that her father was a bartender named Morris, and her mother was Charlotte McGowan.  Lottie’s adoptive parents, Benjamin and Mary Dumesnil, gave the child their own surname.  Lottie’s daughter, Jane Breaux Hebert, and her husband, Albert “Curly” Hebert,  operate “A-Bear’s Restaurant”, in Houma, Louisiana.  The newspaper article has been added to the Imperial St. Landry Genealogical and Historical Society’s scrapbook. 

JoAnne Savoie, Society Treasurer, has made copies of the 220 research CD’s which the Society now owns.  The “master” CD’s will not be circulated, but will be kept in our library so another duplicate can be made in the event of loss or damage to those which are on loan.  At this time, only Society members will be allowed to borrow the CD’s, and they are asked to sign a check-out card, identifying the CD’s checked out.  A discussion followed, concerning how many CD’s each member would be allowed to check out at a time.  Lucien Lipari moved, and JoAnne Savoie seconded the motion for a limit of five CD’s.  Motion unanimously approved by the membership.

Miss Perrault briefly reviewed some of the CD titles, a few of which are:

  World Family Tree, Volume 1 – 87

Pedigree Resource Files, Volume 1 – 10, plus Master Index (also available at The Mormon Center)

Anamap (shows map locations at different periods of history)

British Isles – Marriages, Births, Christenings

Family History Resource Files (includes 6 CD’s)

Vital Records of North America

Southwest Louisiana Records (1750- 1900) by Father Donald J. Hebert (which contains material from Volumes 1 – 31)

Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes and the supplement to this seven volume set by Msgr. Tanguay.

Many other CD titles, which are of particular interest to South Louisiana families.

Society members were reminded that annual dues are $15.00 for individual, or $17.00 for family membership.  Please send check to JoAnne Savoie, Treasurer, 407 Hwy. 761, Church Point, LA  70525.

Miss Perrault reported, that after much discussion, the society’s Acadian CD Project committee has recommended that the society  withdraw from the project.  A letter from the committee was forwarded to Mr. Guilbeau and the St. Pierre Genealogical Society, advising that the committee did not feel that it could adequately comply with the recently set time limits required by Mr. Guilbeau and the producers.

Juergen Amling, Society Webmaster, then showed some of the computer software programs available for genealogical research.  He stated that it is up to the individual to select the program which provides the preferred report formats, as well as the ease of entering the data, and the variety of information that is allowed.  The Society has purchased the updated Family Tree Maker Version 10, and it will be installed in the computer in the upstairs meeting room of the Opelousas Public Library in time for next month’s meeting there.

 Lucien Lipari and Juergen Amling will research the possibility of the society acquiring a printer, which would be capable of producing large family charts.  They suggested a plotter, using auto-CAD (computer assisted drawing) software, similar to that which is used in printing large maps and architectural drawings.

JoAnne Savoie spoke about a web site that she has discovered and has been using: which is sponsored by Heritage Books, a genealogical publisher.  For an annual membership fee of $30.00, it offers many research books, available to read online.  With high speed download capability, the researcher can also print the books for future reference.  The publisher continues to add books to the site, and the available list continues to grow. Sylvia Morel moved  that the Society pay a membership fee, and Juergen Amling seconded the motion.  Society members unanimously approved, and the treasurer, JoAnne Savoie, was requested to enroll the society.

Edaise Hawkins, Society Corresponding Secretary, was requested by Society President, Estelle Perrault, to write a letter to the Board of Directors of Opelousas General Hospital, as well as to the various cooperating departments,  thanking them for their gracious hospitality.  Our Society has been allowed to use the auditorium facilities of the hospital, at no cost to the Society. The hospital has provided refreshments at all meetings held there,  as well.  Hospital employees in charge of arrangements have been very helpful and cooperative, and the Society is grateful.

Members were reminded to give or update their E-mail addresses with Juergen so that they would continue to receive the meeting reminders.  Virgie Traylor won the drawing for the door prize, which was a large cloth bag, convenient for carrying her heavy genealogical books.

The September 14th meeting of the Imperial St. Landry Genealogical and Historical Society will be held at 10:00 AM at the Opelousas Public Library. 

Meeting adjourned at 12:00 NOON.

Submitted by Sylvia David Morel

Recording Secretary