Landry Unions and Reunions

1888 - Marguerite Basalite Landry Leveque

Marguerite Basalite Landry Leveque 1821-1902

This week we are having a Landry reunion in Lake Charles, so I thought it would be appropriate to post a relevant relative.  The person receiving the honor this week is my great great grandmother Marguerite Basalite (aka Basilde) Landry Leveque.  She was born in 1821 in Iberville Parish in Louisiana.  She was the sixth and last child of Joseph Emanuel Landry and Clarice Celeste Bruneteau. Manuel and Clarice were 4th cousins through the Acadian Landry forefather Rene Landry.

I’ll try not to be too confusing, but that’s going to be difficult.  Because, you see , I also descend from Marguerite’s next older sister Anna Adele Landry.  I won’t explain how she fits in, because I want to get to the next older sister Clarissa Doralise Landry.  Clarissa married Joseph Auguste Leveque (I posted his photo last Christmas.) in 1831 at the age of 18.  She and Joseph Auguste had six children together.  Shortly after the last child was born in 1840, Clarissa died.

Now I don’t really know all the details about the dynamics going on in the family, but in 1843 Joseph Auguste got married again.  And I’m sure you’ve already guessed who it was that he married.  Yes, you are right, it was our very own Marguerite Basalite.  Was she sweet on him when he was married to her sister?  Did she want to make sure her nieces and nephews were cared for properly?  Was she longing to have servants of her own?  Did she want her headstone to read the same as her sister’s:  Mrs. J. A. Leveque?  Did he only want to marry a Landry?  a cousin?  Or did he think, “Hey, she’s over here all the time, maybe I should marry her?”  All I know is that they got married and had eight or nine children together (six lived to adulthood).  And I descend from a daughter of this second marriage, Marie Celeste Leveque.

Marie Celeste went on to marry a Landry cousin of her own.  That’s right.  She married Simon Alcide Joseph Landry, her half first cousin once removed.  And their son (my grandfather) married his first cousin once removed through the Landry line.  That’s a lot of Landry lines in this group of people.  Unions and reunions.  It reminds me of a poem I once read,

It must have been Cajun tradition
or kids with a lot of volition.
Whatever it was
It didn’t give pause.
It happened despite admonition.

Oh wait!  I wrote that poem.  Who else writes poems about their families marrying their cousins?  No one that I know.  Maybe my third cousin once removed.  Oh wait?  That’s me, too!  Like I said, I try not to get too confused.  But with a family tree like ours, that’s asking for a bit too much.


1888 -Marguerite Basilite LandryA note about the photo.  The first copy of this photo that I found was the one on the left.  It’s not a very big file, it’s very yellowed, and it has spots all over it.  But since it was all that I had, I worked on it and tried to make it look good.  It still looked a bit rough.

Then I came across a slightly better version and started working on that one.  Finally I got this better version from my dad and worked on it and retouched it.  I’ve been working on this photo for over six months!  I threw the first edited version away.  So you’d better enjoy it.  And if you have an even better copy of it, wait a while before you show it to me.  I’m not quite ready to throw away my new edited version.

One comment

  • Van

    I thought I’d post my whole poem here for the sake of those who had not seen it before. It explains (in a way) how I am my own third cousin once removed. I wrote this on June 24 & 25, 2005 when my obsession at the time was limerick writing.

    Me, Myself and I

    My third cousin once removed did
    Take over my life and then hid.
    He’s inside my head
    But if he were dead,
    It would kill both my ego and id.

    You see that third cousin is me.
    I’ve climbed around my family tree.
    I must be part monkey
    Or just info junkie,
    I swing through the branches with glee.

    Some interesting things I discover.
    The lines of descent I recover
    Appear more than twice.
    Well, isn’t that nice.
    At least I am not my own brother.

    It seems that my grandfather wed
    His first cousin’s daughter and bred.
    For they had eight kids
    And one of them did
    Wed mom and you know where that led.

    It must have been Cajun tradition
    Or kids with a lot of volition.
    Whatever the cause,
    It didn’t give pause.
    It happened despite admonition.

    I am my own fifth cousin too.
    And no I don’t live in a zoo.
    But all this inbreeding
    And some genes repeating,
    Should lead to a head number two.

    And then I’d have room for my cousins.
    I know there’s at least a half dozen.
    Though they are all me,
    I’d set a few free,
    Cause we are not kissin’ but fussin’.

    We fight over who gets to drive
    Who’s out first when we all arrive.
    Who gets the last piece,
    Who pays on the lease,
    It’s worse than most husbands and wives.

    I wonder how all this got started,
    Cause cousins who kiss now are parted.
    To stop a mutation
    Or my situation
    Where cousins blame me when they’ve farted.

    Of course they have done much worse things,
    Like knocking that boy from the swings.
    They kicked my dear sister
    And stole that transistor.
    What mischief these cousins can bring.

    But one is the absolute worst
    It’s him that I mentioned at first.
    I’m sure it was him
    That burned down the gym.
    When mom asked us why, he just cursed.

    I guess he’s the strongest, cause he
    Is closest relation to me.
    He’s really quite tiring
    And gets me perspiring.
    I wish he’d get lost in my tree.

    Hello, it’s ol’ third cousin here.
    I’m here to bring fun and good cheer.
    Ignore boring Van.
    He’s spineless and bland.
    With a “Boo” he just runs off in fear.

    He blames me for everything bad.
    But accidents happen. So sad.
    If I don’t come out
    And rampage about,
    In a very short time I’ll go mad.

    Who cares if I mock the deceased?
    Or my share of work is the least?
    At times I relent,
    But I won’t repent.
    I’ll laugh if you call me a beast.

    (Shut up. Now get back in your place.)
    Forgive me for that show of face.
    He looks just like me
    But as you can see,
    He’s lacking in wits, style, and grace.

    And now I must leave you alone.
    A state that I never have known.
    So check out your tree,
    Particularly
    To reveal who’s in your skin and bones.

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