…to the Country
Last week I talked about how one family left England to head for the New World. Of course, in 1887 you really couldn’t call it new anymore. People had been immigrating from Europe to North America for over two hundred years. But in some ways it still was very new. Especially when comparing it to England, Ireland, and France, which is where most of my ancestors came from. I showed you the one photo I have of my ancestors’ home in Europe. Most of the other ancestors immigrated before the invention of the camera. My next most recent ancestors were the McGraths who came from Ireland around the middle of the 1840s. And just before them the Patureaus came to Louisiana in 1840.
This photo is a photo of where those Patureaus settled after returning to Louisiana after the Civil War. This is Patureau Lane in Plaquemine. As you can see, it was definitely a new town. And this was about 30 years after they moved to the area! Just a dirt road with a few chickens scratching around, a ditch with a few boards spanning them to cross over to your house, some fences, and a few houses are all you see.
But if you think this looks bad, think about the Keys family that I talked about last week. They left a brick home with venetian blinds, no less. When they got to southern Louisiana and decided to do a little homesteading, they didn’t have a house. But their friendly neighbors (the MacVeys) were more than accommodating. They had a roomy chicken house that they were willing to put them up in. It wasn’t any ordinary chicken house, so you couldn’t call it a coop. This chicken house had a window. Pretty snazzy, right? I seriously doubt that it had venetian blinds, though. How is that for civilized?
All I can say is that we take a lot for granted – running water, a sewerage system, electricity, roads with fancy automobiles to drive around in – to name a few. Those people had to have vision and fortitude to make such huge steps into the unknown. So here’s to our ancestors – those crazy, driven, brave, believing in themselves survivors.
June 11, 2017 Update
I’ve recently discovered information about the MacVey (not to be confused with the more Irish McVey surname) family that helped out my Keys family back in 1887. The family consisted of Thomas Lord MacVey his wife Rebecca Noble MacVey, and their two sons William Lee and Frank Lincoln. One important thing I discovered was that the family had just recently started homesteading in the area and their chicken house was brand new. That’s somewhat of a relief, isn’t it? For more information about their connection to my family, read the post The Bucklin/Keys/Ausman/MacVey Connections.