Mee Maw and Her Cousins

Germain Erie Patureau in the center. Behind her is her sister Zita. On the left is her first cousin Joseph Earnest Cropper. On the right is Clifford Clements and I don’t know if he is a cousin. The boy sitting on the ground is a half cousin Henry Louis Landry. Photo taken in 1921.

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for about a month or so.  I was going to write it on Sept. 2, but then I changed my mind.  But this time I’m not going to let that happen.  Besides I’ve found some other information that will make the whole topic more interesting.  At least I think so.  This photo is a photo of my grandmother with some of her cousins.  Not the cousins I plan to talk about in this post, but they do represent her cousins.  I’ve used this photo before, but it’s one worth reusing.  I thought it fit with the theme.

The topic is about step-families.  Or I guess in this case it’s about about a step-grandfather, half cousins, and step cousins.  I notice that in my writings I tend to discount step-family members.  And I also have a tendency to overlook half siblings.  I’ve tried to remedy that because sometimes you can find lots of family information from everyone connected to your ancestors.  I think I do this because I grew up in a nuclear family that didn’t have a nuclear explosion.  We stayed together and I never had any step family or half siblings.

But in my paternal grandmother Mee Maw’s case, a step grandfather was the only grandfather she ever knew.  Mee Maw was born in 1895 with the name Germaine Erie Patureau given to her by her parents Vincent Maximilian Patureau and Marie Therese Landry.  Max Patureau’s father Ferdinand died in 1877 as a result of a sawmill accident.  I wrote about that in a previous post.  I recently wrote about Max’s mother dying in 1892.  Marie Therese’s father Trasimond Landry died in 1879 as a result of yellow fever.

So when Erie was born, her maternal grandmother Marie Amelie “Belite” Bujol Landry Babin was her only living grandparent.  And she had been remarried since April of 1880 to Pierre Magloire “Mack” Babin.  That’s why she was always known as Mrs. P. M. Babin.  So for all practical purposes, Mack Babin was Erie’s grandfather.  They were all very close.  In the early 1900s Max and Mack went in together as owners of a general store in Plaquemine, Louisiana.  I’ve written about that previously as well.  How did I write all of these stories and never realize the connections before?  I probably should have titled this post “Mack Babin Was Mee Maw’s Grandfather.”

June 11, 1923, The Daily Advertiser newspaper from Lafayette, Louisiana. This talks about some visitors to the V. M. Patureau household.

But the reason I didn’t call it that has to do with some things I just discovered this past weekend.  I had saved several clippings from newspapers a couple of years ago.  I was looking through some of them and came across this one.  I noticed that the first four little blurbs on the page are about the V. M. Patureau family – Grampa Max and his children.  Zita (she is in the first photo I posted) and Therese are mentioned, as well as Lidwin, Sylvia, and Emma (Mrs. A. J. Mouton).

But they also mention cousins of the family – S. J. Babin and Edward Bourg.  There are Babin and Bourg cousins all over the place in my family tree, but when I searched for those names I didn’t find anything.  With my growing awareness of the family of Mack Babin being the family of my grandmother, I decided to find out more about the branches of this particular Babin family.

It didn’t take me long to find a Schley Joseph Babin and a Louis Edward Bourg who were the same ages as Therese and Erie Patureau, respectively.  They were grandchildren of Mack Babin’s siblings.  So technically they were step second cousins, but to Mee Maw and her sisters they were just cousins that they motored to Baton Rouge with.  Although technically they didn’t all go to Baton Rouge.  It was only Zita and Therese that went to Baton Rouge with their cousins.  Emma, Lidwin, and Sylvia went to Lake Charles, presumably to visit their sister Erie.

I found those cousins names with the help of a family tree on Ancestry.  It wasn’t just anyone’s tree, though.  It was the tree of my step fourth cousin.  That’s right, she was the granddaughter of Edward Bourg.  When I was looking at her tree, I decided to click on the name of the owner of the tree.  When you do that on Ancestry and you have taken a DNA test, it will show you if you are a DNA match to that person.  I know that most step fourth cousins don’t have any common DNA.  Step siblings don’t usually share DNA.  But I noticed lots of Cajun surnames in her tree that are in our tree, so I had to check.  And sure enough, we share common DNA.  She also shares common DNA with my cousin (and godmother) and my dad’s cousin Sis who is the daughter of Therese Patureau.

So Mee Maw wasn’t just step cousins to Edward and S. J., they were really cousins with matching DNA.  But more importantly, they were family.   And everybody that knew my Mee Maw knew that family was important to her.  Mee Maw loved her family and we loved her back.

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