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.

Mee Maw Enjoying Her Grandchildren

I was planning on posting a different photo today.  I had thought that I would follow up on a topic that I started a while back.  I was thinking I would post a photo of Mee Maw giving one of her grandchildren a haircut.  I posted a photo of my other grandmother cutting someone’s hair a while back and thought I’d show off Mee Maw’s skills as well.  But when I was going through the photos to find that other photo, I found this one.  I tried to be disciplined, so I found the photo of the hair-styling session.  But it didn’t speak to me. 

My paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry was known by her grandchildren as Mee Maw. Her she is with some of her grandchildren around 1956.

But this one did.  So that’s what I’m going with.  It’s a photo from the Secret Collection.  I estimate it to be from around 1956 based on the apparent ages of the cousins that I can recognize.   One of the main reasons I posted this photo is because of the nice smile on Mee Maw’s face.  She looks so happy to be surrounded by all of her young grandchildren and their friends.  It looks to be somebody’s birthday party.

I can’t even tell whose birthday party it might be.  My cousin Douglas Winn is in the center at the front of the table.  Since the photo came from his family, it’s highly likely that it was his birthday.  Yet the cake (I think that is a cake!) is front of another cousin Mark Reeves on the left with the blonde hair.  He is also under the festive balloons.   Whatever the occasion, it looks like they are having a wonderful time.

Cousin Hubey Landry is on the left in the doorway.  He’s got a big smile.  Of course reigning over all of the cousins is the First.  She had to stand on a chair to make sure her prominence was unmistakable!  That would be my cousin and godmother Shirley Landry (now Shaw) with her hands firmly planted on her hips.  That other girl looks like she’s trying to garner some of the attention with a sassy and flamboyant stance.  This might be cousin Daphne Winn (now Morton), though I don’t associate that attitude with her.  It looks like a Paula Raley attitude, but this was way before her time and it doesn’t look like her.

The other cousin that I can identify is Dennis Landry who is sitting in the welcoming lap of our dear Mee Maw.  Wasn’t he the fortunate one!  I know that some of the other children in the photo are definitely friends, though there may be another cousin or two in there.  Is that Patricia Duffy (now Rauser) next to Mark?  I’m sure I’ll get some more information from the First or another of my cousins.  They help us young ones in our quest for older family history.

Sept. 24, 2021 – Follow-up

Two more cousins have been identified with the help of the cousins.  The two children on the left edge of the photo are Daphne Winn and Kenny Landry.  It also was agreed that the event is most likely Douglas Winn’s birthday party.

Our Patureau Matriarch Was a Landry: Emma’s Death Notice

For some reason I was thinking about these death notices that are keepsakes in my dad’s family.  I’m pretty sure they come from my Mee Maw – my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry.  I was thinking it was time to share another one.  Plus it was time to write a post about the Patureau line of the family.  And again, a Patureau post ends up being a Landry post as well.  That’s what you get when  you have three generations in a row of a Landry marrying a Patureau.

Death notice for Marie Emma Landry Patureau from 1892 in Plaquemine, Louisiana.  (Shared with me by my cousin Daphne AKA the Keeper of the Secret Collection)

I didn’t exactly remember which ancestors I had copies of death notices for.  So when I saw this one, I knew it was the topic for discussion today.  It fit all of the criteria for what I was looking for.  Then I had to decide on a name for the post.  Sometimes I just sit there for several minutes waiting for an interesting name to come to me.  I can’t start writing until I settle on a name for the post.  Mainly because I think the program won’t let me.  And actually I could be wrong about that.  Oh, well.  It is what it is.

My last name is Landry, but one of my posts is titled “I Am a Patureau.”  Now I’d like to remind all of my Patureau kin out there – and there are lots of you – you can also say “I Am a Landry” because our matriarch was a Landry.  Marie Emma Landry was born on November 10, 1829, in St. Gabriel, Louisiana.  She was the daughter of Elie Onezime Landry (1800-1880) and Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy (1807-1886).  Both of those are Cajun/Acadian surnames, but  Emma’s maternal grandmother was from a French line. 

So when Emma married French immigrant Ferdinand Pierre Patureau on February 10, 1847, she wasn’t the first one in her family to marry “outside the family.”  Isn’t that a weird term?  I found myself saying that about cousins in the Landry and Patureau family lines who didn’t marry their cousins.  It seems like that trend has mostly fallen by the wayside.

Anyway, Emma and Ferdinand were married and had a large family.  I spoke about that once before, so I won’t go through all of the names again.  She gave birth to over a dozen children, as did her son Max’s (my great grandfather) Landry wife Marie Therese.  It definitely was a trend in the Patureau family groups.  I know I’ve got over a thousand cousins that I’ve identified from that group.  That is a lot.

The Jan. 8, 1881, Iberville South has an article that mentions Widow F. Patureau.

Ferdinand died in 1877 after an accident that occurred in his sawmill.  According to a newspaper article in 1881, Emma was declared owner of half of the Iberville Saw Mill.  I suppose that was the name of the sawmill that Ferdinand owned.  I find the article confusing because it mentions Widow F. Patureau who I’m pretty sure is Emma Landry Patureau.  But it also mentions L. Patureau and I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be Emma or someone else – most likely a son – Leobon? 

Another article from 1884 thanks Mrs. Patureau for her tasty honey in a comb that came from her apiary in town.  I’m thinking it probably is Emma, though it could be her son Leobon’s wife.  In an earlier article they talk about Emma Patureau by name and talk about her recommending the use of the Howe sewing machine. 

Jan. 12, 1889 article from The Iberville South in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

It wasn’t all sweetness and light for Emma, though.  In the Jan. 12, 1889, article in The Iberville South, there was a report that there was an attempted burglary of her home.  Nothing was taken, so it was supposed that the person or persons were frightened off.  Evidently she was not harmed either, or that would have been noted.  I’m sure it was probably a bit of a scare for her.  Who would do that to our poor old widowed grandmother?  Wait!  She was actually younger than me when that happened to her!  When you’re young, and sometimes still, 60 years old sounds old.  When you make it to that age – if you make it to that age – it doesn’t seem that old.  In this situation, an attempted burglary can be off-putting to anyone at any age.

We all know from the beginning of this article that she didn’t live much longer.  She was only 62 years old when she died.  That seems really young now.  In the newspaper reporting on her death, it said that she was 63 years old and 1 month.  From my calculations, she was 62 years and 2 months.  But more importantly it talks about her being a well respected and loved citizen who will be missed. 

She died at her home at 3:30 in the morning on Sunday January 24, 1892.  To me that implies that someone was with her and knew she was dying.  How else would they know the time of her death?  I’d like to think that it meant she was surrounded by loving family members and/or friends when she died.  The death notice was posted later that day to inform those interested of the time of her funeral.  From the funeral, the procession was to move to St. John’s Church.

St. John’s Church is the Catholic Church in Plaquemine.  The Catholic cemetery is nearby.  I’m sure she was buried in that graveyard, yet there is no evidence of it now.  There is a large Patureau tomb (at least, there usually is – don’t ask) and her name is not on any of the plaques.  Her husband and many of her children have their names engraved on them.  For some reason her name is not.  That may be remedied soon.  She deserves some respect.

Death of a Noble Woman

Today I thought I would write about the death of my great grandmother Marie Therese Landry Patureau.  It’s time to write about my dad’s side of the family and it is Father’s Day this weekend, so I’ll write about his mother’s mother.  I was going to say, “But it’s mostly about my dad,” but that isn’t true.  It’s about his mother and grandmother.  My father’s name was Robert Joseph Landry, Jr.  Most people knew him as Bob or Pluto, or Daddy or Pappy, or Mr. Landry.  He answered to all of them.  I ran across the obituary of my great grandmother this week and was glad to find it.  I had looked for it a while back and couldn’t find it.  I also thought it would be good to combine that with some death notices that I got back in 2019 when I got together with some cousins.

Obituary for Marie Therese Landry Patureau from the Daily Champion on Oct. 6, 1909

I have always liked the title of this newspaper clipping from 1909.  Of course, as you can see, it is not the actual clipping that I have.  It is a transcription of the newspaper article.  I don’t know who did the transcribing and I’m not even sure of how I got this information.  I’m a bad genealogist.  I don’t keep good records of where I obtain things.  I find it hard enough to keep track of the things that I have, much less where they came from!  I’m a better family historian.  I can bring the information together, make a few digital edits, and share it in these writings that I do. 

Timeline for the last decade of Marie Therese Landry Patureau’s life by her granddaughter and namesake Marie Therese “Sis” Schafer Vicknair.

The obituary is titled “Death of a Noble Woman” and continues with the story, “In the little village of Crescent, on Monday the fourth day of October, 1909, Marie Therese Landry, wife of Dr. V. Vincent Maximilian Patureau, died at the age of 41 years and 21 days.”  What I really like about this is that they actually give her full maiden name.  She’s not just Mrs. V. M. Patureau.  I don’t think her age is correct in what they say.  On the plaque on the Patureau tomb in Plaquemine, her birth is given as Sept. 25, 1868.  Cousin Sis seems to think it was in October and that she died at almost 41 years of age.  I’m going with what was carved in stone! 

“It is said that the death of her brother Thomas B. Landry, which occurred on the 26th of last month caused her much grief, and two days later having given birth to a child, her gentle soul took its flight back to its Creator.”   I don’t know about all that.  I’m sure she did grieve the death of her brother, but I wouldn’t think that it had much effect on her death.  She was only 41 (or so) and she had dealt with grief before.  The daughter that she gave birth to in 1909 was named Hedwidge and she was the 15th child that Marie Therese gave birth to.  Marie Therese had dealt with the death of five of those offspring.  Some had died at birth, and during the last two years of her life, Marie Therese had endured the death of a 22-month-old daughter and a 10 1/2-month-old son.  I’m sure she was grieving the death of her children, yet she had nine living children to take care of.  So I’m thinking that it is much more likely that she died due to complications due to childbirth.  I suppose it would have been too indelicate to mention that in a newspaper article of those times.

Marie Therese’s obituary in The Weekly Iberville South. They seem to think that only two of her children mourned her passing. I think they were wrong!

“She was educated at St. Joseph Academy of Baton Rouge.  She was a member of the Brusley choir until her marriage, and until her death, was a member of the Altar Society of Plaquemine.”  I find it really interesting that she went to school in Baton Rouge, especially since that is where I live.  I know people who went to St. Joseph Academy and it is still in operation.  I wish I knew a few more details of her time there.  Did she live there when she attended?  It is now just a high school, but previously it was from first grade to graduation.  I wonder how many years she was there?  She was born in Brusly and lived there during her childhood.  As stated, she was in the Brusly church choir before she was married at the age of 20.  I suppose she wasn’t in the choir as a married adult, but she was a member of the Ladies Altar Society.

Death announcement for Marie Therese Landry. This is from the collection of her daughter Erie Patureau Landry, better known by me as Mee Maw.

“Mrs. Patureau was a devout Catholic, a model wife and a charitable woman, who will be sadly missed, not only by her husband and children, but by the many good people of the hamlet.  She leaves to mourn her loss the following:  Her husband Dr. V. M. Patureau, seven daughters, Emma, Lydwin, Lorena, Erie, Therese, Zita and Sylvie and two sons, Rommual and Vincent; a mother, Mrs. P. M. Babin of Lafayette; two sisters, Mrs. Louis Joseph Landry of Lafayette, and Mrs. Thomas M. Blanchard of Brusley, one brother Mose Landry of Cinclare.  The Daily Champion extends its deepest sympathy to the bereaved ones.”

She sounds like a wonderful – dare I say noble – woman.  I’m sure that in a small community like Crescent was at the time, her death was a loss for a lot of people.  But my concern is for her young, impressionable daughter Erie.  She had just turned 14 and she was one of the middle children in her large family.  So if her mother was as wonderful as portrayed, it would have been a terrible loss for young Erie.  Yet I don’t know how it affected her.  I was just a silly young boy myself when I knew her.  It’s not something we discussed.  I just wanted to spend time with her and learn the card games she would teach me.  I wish I knew more.  How did her mother’s death affect her?  What were her memories of her mother?  And more.

I’m glad I have the death announcement of my great grandmother.  It came from the Secret Collection.  (hushed whispers in the background “Secret?”  “What secret?”)  I’ve already told you enough about the Secret Collection.  If I told you any more, it wouldn’t maintain its Secret name!  Only the Keeper knows what further treasures lie within the Secret Collection, so be satisfied that we have this piece to enjoy.  Like the obituary, it gives the full name of my great grandmother.  Too bad the obituary couldn’t have followed the same trend when referring to to Marie Therese’s mother.  (Again with the Mrs. P. M. Babin)  It also gives her age as 41 years and 21 days, but I think it was 41 years and 9 days.  Sept. 25, 1868, to October 4, 1909 – you do the math.

Death notice of Marie Therese’s brother Thomas B. Landry from September 1909.

I thought I’d share another death notice from the Secret Collection. (hushed gasps from the peanut gallery “Another treasure?” asked in awe. “That Secret Collection sure is leaky!” someone responds suspiciously)  This is the death notice for Marie Therese’s brother Thomas Belisaire Landry.  As mentioned in her obituary, he died just a few days before she did.  His age looks close enough.  I won’t ask you to do any more math!  But you can tell that he was her younger brother.  Marie Therese was the first child of Trasimond Landry and Belite Bujol.  She was followed by Mary Catherine “Kate” Landry (Mrs. Thomas M. Blanchard of Brusly from the obituary),  Thomas, Mose (or Moses), and Manette.  Manette had passed away in 1904 – another death that Marie Therese had to grieve.

Marie Therese also had three half-sisters by her mother’s second  husband Mack Babin.  The first one had died shortly after her birth in 1880.  Then came Clemence (Mrs. Louis Joseph Landry of Lafayette in obituary) and Albine.  Albine had passed away in 1903 – yet another death .  I didn’t mean for this to turn into a sad story, but how could it not?  It’s about death.  But really, everyone that she knew has died since then.  It’s the way of the world.  The same thing could be said about each of us in years to come.

Uh, oh, I feel like I crossed a line with that statement.  Forget I said it.  I’ll turn this back around with something I heard on the news tonight:  Never give up!  Just keep moving forward doing the best that you can do.

Go Go Patureau! – To the Grand Canyon

Patureau sisters riding the mules at the Grand Canyon circa late 1950s.

I don’t remember when I first saw this photo or where I got it from.  But I was excited to see it because I remember when it happened.  This is a photo of my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry and she is riding a mule in what looks like it could be the Grand Canyon.  I know that she went to the Grand Canyon when I was a kid and I’m pretty sure she rode a mule down to the bottom.   I was tempted to call this post “Mee Maw on the Mule,” but I decided against it.  Go Go Patureau posts are about going to a place.  And the place that she went was the Grand Canyon.

Now I may be combining two events here.  This photo looks like it might have been earlier than the event that I remember.  Now that I think about it some more, it is definitely earlier.  I remember her going to the Grand Canyon when I was 8 or 9.  That was in 1969 or so.  This photo was definitely before that, because of who else is in the photo.  My grandmother is the woman on the right on the darker mule.  The woman on the left was her younger sister Sylvia Patureau Marionneaux and she died in 1962.  So this photo could have been taken before I was born.

Selfie taken in 1978 with banners shown on wall.

That’s what happens when you’re a Go Go Patureau, you go to so many places that nobody can keep it all straight.  At least I can’t.  What helped me to remember the visit she made to the Grand Canyon when I was a kid were the gifts she gave to me and my brother Al.  Al had a few banners on the wall from places that we had been, so Mee Maw got him a banner from the Grand Canyon.  I went looking for a photo of that old banner from back then and came across an old selfie that I took on Dec. 27, 1978, in my bedroom in Jennings.  That’s me playing the guitar, and behind me you can see some of the banners.  The one to the far right says “Gran— Nation–  —-.”  As you can see it was not completely captured.  It wasn’t on my mind when I was taking the photo.  But it had “Grand Canyon National Park” written on it.

Gift from my Mee Maw when she went to visit the Grand Canyon. A keepsake that I still enjoy.

So as you see, she got him something that he liked.  She paid attention to her grandchildren and tried to get them something that they liked.  She was the best.  I think I was her favorite.  For me, she bought me this monkey bank.  Either she thought that I was good at saving money, or she thought that I had a fondness for monkeys.  I guess she was accurate on both counts.

Al Landry on the right letting the mule train pass on the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon in June 1982.

Her visits to the Grand Canyon must have inspired us.  With that banner showing us some of the features that we might see at the National Park and the monkey bank encouraging us to save our money so we could go, it wasn’t long before we followed in our grandmother’s footsteps (or the mule’s that she was riding on!).  Al and I made it to northern Arizona in early June of 1982.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long ago.  The picture I took of Al standing next to the mule train in the Grand Canyon is one of my favorites.  I still have an enlargement hanging on my wall.

Now it’s on my blog post.  Go go Patureau!

Grandma Belite and Family

Almost two years ago I wrote the post “Christmas 1923 With Grandma Amelie” and it included a photo from Grandma Belite’s last Christmas with some of the women in her family.  It was the first  photo from that family gathering that I had seen.  I assumed that it must have been a gathering of women, since that’s the only people in the photo.  But then I found more photos from the same event and they showed that it was a much larger gathering than I initially thought.  I’m posting two more photos from that long ago Christmas day.  They were shared with me by the Tin Can Collection keeper, my cousin Tricia.  I also got versions from my dad’s first cousin Sis and she had some of them labeled.  She has everyone in the photo labeled, which is really nice.  It looks like the photos have the same people in it.  We’ll discover that as we go along.  Right now, I don’t know.  But I should know by the time I finish this post.

Grandma Belite (on far left) with her family at Christmas in 1923. This was probably taken in Lafayette, Louisiana.

When I got this photo from Sis, she had all the names of the people in the photo on the back of it.  So let me tell you who everyone is and say a little bit about them.

First off we have Grandma Belite (Grandma Babin to some family members) on the left side.  She was my great great grandmother.  My dad was Bob Landry.  His mother was Erie Patureau Landry (my Mee Maw).  Erie was the daughter of Marie Therese Landry Patureau, who was the daughter of Belite.  She was born Marie Amelie Bujol in 1843 in Brusly, Louisiana, during the time of slavery.

She was known as one of the beautiful daughters of the Veuve Bujol during Civil War times.  But that was long ago even when this photo was taken and Belite was an elderly woman of 80 years old.  I wish I had a photo of her when she was a young woman.  I may have to try out some of those age-regression photo apps to see what comes out.  But unless a photo of young Belite shows up, we’ll never know just how beautiful she might have been.  This was her last Christmas.  She passed away just over a month later.

Next to Grandma Belite in the front is her granddaughter Hazel Landry.  She was the 7-year-old daughter of Belite’s daughter Clemence Babin Landry.  She was the youngest of six children.  When she grew up, she changed her name to Roberta.  That’s because she became a nun and took on the saint’s name of Robert.  So she was known as Sister Roberta.  I think I went to her Golden Jubilee or something like that many years ago.  She died in 1988.

The next two people in the photo are Emma Patureau Mouton and her daughter Therese Wynhoven.  We knew them as Aunt Emma and Tez.  Emma was my Mee Maw’s sister.  They lived in Duson, Louisiana, where Emma was the organist at the Catholic Church for many years.  She also wrote poetry.  Tez was my dad’s first cousin.  If we got confused as children and called her “Aunt Tez,” he was quick to correct us.  And I don’t think it was just for the sake of genealogical correctness.  She was a link that brought many family members together.  As the saying goes, “Misery loves company.”  And a visit from Tez could sometimes bring misery.  Though she’s been gone almost twenty years, the stories of her visits are legendary.

The last two people in the front are two of Hazel’s older siblings.  The boy next to Tez is Henry Louis Landry.  I saw his grave a few months ago when I visited Belite’s grave in Lafayette.  Just recently I had a DNA match show up on Ancestry who is a great granddaughter of Henry.  I sent her a note to let her know about photos like this that I have of her family.  Maybe she’ll be interested.  Next to Henry is his sister Wana Clemence Landry.  She never got married.  She used to have family gatherings at her home.  She is buried along with her parents and grandparents in Lafayette.

On the back row we begin with Belite’s granddaughter Marie Therese Patureau.  She was another of my Mee Maw’s sisters.  She was known as Aunt Bee, like the character on The Andy Griffith Show.  She was a young woman in this photo and almost ten years later she would married Clarence Schafer.  She was the mother of Sis and Syl.  For the sake of clarity for this picture, I’ll call her Patureau Sis.  She is the one who provided the names for all these people.

Next to Bee is Belite’s daughter Clemence.  She was the mother of Henry, Hazel, and Wana C.  She was the half-sister of my great grandmother Marie Therese Landry Patureau.  Her father was Magloire Babin, the second husband of Belite.  She had an older full sister named Amelie who died as a child.  She also had a younger sister named Albine who died in 1903 at the age of 18.  So Clemence was the only one of Belite and Magloire’s daughters to have children of her own.  And since Clemence married Pee Paw’s brother Louis Joseph Peter Landry, they are double kin to us.

After Clemence comes three family members in my line of the family.  Vincent Maximilian Patureau was married to Belite’s daughter Marie Therese, who I have identified as my great grandmother.  So he was my great grandfather, but I always refer to him as Grampa Max.  He is standing next to his daughter Lydwin Patureau who is holding his granddaughter Mona Mel Mouton.  Lydwin or Aunt Win also never married and did not have any offspring.  She is holding her sister Emma’s youngest daughter (at the time) Mona Mel who was born earlier that year.  Mona Mel did get married, but she did not have any children of her own.

The next group are the three older children of Clemence and Louis.  Ethelbert was the third child and he went by Bert.  I don’t know much about him.  Call it the middle child syndrome.  Next to Bert is Naomi Landry and for the sake of this post I’ll call her the Landry Sis.  So my dad had two first cousins that were called Sis and both of them were interested in family history and have been helpful to me.  My dad made a video where he talked with Landry Sis about all of the cousins and their families.  She also identified some family photos.  Patureau Sis is much younger and is still around to help out with family history information and photos. 

Back to the photo.  After Landry Sis is Thornwell Fay Landry.  He was the oldest child of the family of six children.  I just realized that they had three boys and three girls, just like the family I grew up in.  They had about the same spacing in ages that we had, too.  I wonder if they enjoyed it as much as I did?  After Thornwell is Mee Maw’s younger sister Sylvia.  A few years later she would marry Son Marionneaux.  Like Mee Maw she would have a large family of four sons and four daughters.

The tall man in the back on the right in this photo is Anthony Joseph Mouton.  He was married to Mee Maw’s sister Emma and was known as Uncle Toby.  He lived in Duson, Louisiana, and died in 1969.  I don’t have any memories of him, but my brother Rob and my older cousins do.  He must have been a pleasant fellow, because everyone seems to speak of him fondly.  The last person on the right in this photo is Mee Maw’s brother Vincent.  He lived in Baton Rouge like I do.  One of my favorite family heirlooms is a banjo that belonged to him.

Landry family in 1923 at Christmas

Now to look at this other photo from the same day.  I decided to post it with the other one because I actually prefer it to the other one.  But the other one had the names provided, so I went with that one first.  It wasn’t until I got to Uncle Toby in my descriptions that I realized that the tall guy in the back right of this photo isn’t Uncle Toby.  He’s in the same location in the photo and he’s even posing the same way, but Uncle Toby is in the front holding Tez in this one.

The new person in this photo to the far right is Louis Joseph Peter Landry.  He was an older brother of my Pee Paw and he’s the father of six of Belite’s grandchildren in the photos.  He was the son-in-law of Belite.  But beside that, Louis’s mother Marie Celeste Leveque was Belite’s first cousin.  That puts a whole new spin on the relationships I talked about in these photos.

But all you really need to know is that they were family getting together to make sure that their cherished Grandma Babin (or Grandma Belite) had a wonderful final Christmas.

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 11 – The Ones That Didn’t Make it

It’s time to finish up my Acadian to Cajun series that I wrote throughout the year 2020.  I’ve covered all of the lines of my family that came to Louisiana from Acadie.  I’ve learned a lot while writing this series.  Before I started doing the research, I only knew that my family lines had been deported to Maryland and France.  I discovered that other family lines were deported to Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts.  Some other family members had made their way to Ile St. Jean which was under French rule until 1758.  From those places, they made their way to England, France, and St. Domingue (Haiti) before arriving in Louisiana –  if they survived long enough. 

It’s time to talk about the ones that didn’t make it.  Obviously the ones that I descend from that didn’t make it were adults who had children already.  I didn’t talk about all of the family members who were affected by the Grand Derangement in the original installments.  Either I didn’t know about them or I didn’t want to overly complicate the stories at the time.  But they deserve a mention.

Installment 1 was about the extended families of Augustin Landry and Marie Madeleine Babin.

From Installment 1 of my Acadian to Cajun series, I’ve already talked about Pierre Landry.  He was the father of Augustin Landry who brought his family to Louisiana by way of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  I talked about him in my post about Landry Grandfathers.  Augustin’s wife was Marie Magdelena Babin and her mother was Marguerite Bourg.  I talked about Marguerite in Installment 10.  But I didn’t talk about  Marguerite’s father Alexandre Bourg who was still alive at the time of the Grand Derangement. 

Can you imagine your whole life turning upside down  at the age of 84?  That’s what happened to Alexandre.  He moved to Ile St. Jean sometime in the early 1750s.  He was living with his daughter Anne and her husband Joseph LeBlanc in 1752 in Port Toulouse.  He somehow escaped being Exiled after the fall of Louisbourg in 1758.  He had been a royal notary for many years, so he may have still had some political connections on both the French and English sides of the conflict.  He was 87 years old at the time.  He was 89 years old when he died in 1760 in Richiboucton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Installment 2 covered the family of Antoine Breau and Marguerite Landry. Antoine’s mother Claire Trahan is listed below him. I could find no information about the ancestors of Marguerite Landry.

In Installment 2, I talked about the Charles Breaux family who was Exiled to Port Tobacco, Maryland, in 1755.  Charles died in Port Tobacco sometime around between 1763 and 1765.  His wife Claire Trahan made it to Louisiana where she lived a short while.  Claire’s mother was Marie Helene Pellerin and she was alive in 1755, but she was living in Ile St. Jean which was still under French rule.  She died August 27, 1756, at the age of 87.  She was my 7x great grandmother.

In Installment 3, I talked about the Pierre Breaux family.  Pierre was the brother of Charles Breaux.  Some of his family were also Exiled to Port Tobacco and Pierre died before 1763.  In the meantime his son Honore had been deported to Virginia and was sent on to England and France.  He eventually married Elizabeth LeBlanc.  She was the daughter of Victor LeBlanc and Marie Aucoin.  I talked about the tragic deaths of Marie, her parents, and two of her young children by her second husband Gregoire Maillet.

Installment 3 was about Honore Braud, Elisabeth Le Blanc, and their extended families

But I didn’t tell you anything about Victor LeBlanc’s family.  I doubt that anybody noticed because I was talking about so many people.  The other reason I didn’t write about it was that I wasn’t sure about his family.  When I looked around for information about him, I found different parents than what I had .  My dad had obtained that information from Acadian researcher Bona Arnsenault.  But recently more information was discovered that showed he was from a different family.  I needed time to “Let go of” his previous parents and make the changes. 

His parents were Pierre ‘dit Pinou’ LeBlanc (1685-1769) and Francoise Landry (1693-1767).  I descend from siblings of both of them, so there were no new lines to add to the tree.  Francoise was the sister of Pierre Landry who I mentioned earlier.  Pierre LeBlanc and Francoise Landry were Exiled to Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. They both showed up on a 1757 Census of Acadian Exiles, as well as another one conducted in 1763.  After the Seven Year War was over, many of the Acadian Exiles in Massachusetts decided to return to Canada.   Around May 17, 1767, Pierre and Francoise, along with the family of their daughter Angelique (married to Germaine Dupuis, the first cousin of my ancestor Joseph Dupuis from Installment 9), boarded the schooner Abigail bound for Quebec.  They arrived in Quebec on June 18.  Sadly, Francoise died a few months later on October 3, 1767, in Lavaltrie, Quebec, at the age of 74.  Pierre died on October 22, 1769, in Montreal at the age of 84.

Pierre Paul Hebert’s and Marguerite LeBlanc’s families were discussed in Installment 4.

In Installment 4, we talked about the Hebert family.  They were Exiled to Georgetown, Maryland.  If you’re keeping track, my ancestors were deported to four locations in Maryland:  Upper Marlboro, Port Tobacco, Oxford, and Georgetown.  They seemed comparatively the safest places to be Exiled.  I could be biased since my ancestors survived being deported there.  We descend from survivors of catastrophes through the ages.  Just because a person is a Holocaust survivor doesn’t mean that they had an easy time of it.  And it’s not like they had a choice.

I mentioned in that installment that Marguerite LeBlanc (the wife of Pierre Paul Hebert) was the daughter of Antoine LeBlanc and Marie Babin.  I am a bit more sure of her parentage than back then and have found out more information about them.  To make things perfectly clear, I found out that Antoine LeBlanc and Victor LeBlanc were double first cousins.  That means that his father Antoine was the brother of Pierre ‘dit Pinou’ LeBlanc and his mother Anne Landry was the sister of Francoise Landry.  Antoine LeBlanc (the grandfather of Marguerite) died before the Grand Derangement in 1739 in Grand Pre, Acadie.  His wife Anne Landry (my ancestor) was Exiled to Massachusetts like her sister.  She also died in Quebec in 1767 like her sister.  Anne was 79 years old when she died.  The younger Antoine LeBlanc (father of Marguerite) died in 1744 at less than 40 years of age.  It is believed that his wife Marie Babin (my ancestor) was deported to Virginia, which is very unfortunate.  They were sent on to England where they were treated poorly.  Many of them suffered from smallpox and died.  It looks like Marie was one of those that died in 1756 in that group.

Installment 5 discussed the families of Joseph Bourg and Marie Magdelene Granger.

In Installment 5, I told you about the very tragic story of Magdelene Granger, my 6x great grandmother.  Her first marriage was to Alain Bujol.  They had two children together in Ile St. Jean, but were later deported in 1758 at the fall of Louisbourg.  She was the only survivor of her little family due to the circumstances of being Exiled.  I found out that her father Joseph Granger was alive at the time of the initial deportations in 1755.  I descend from his first wife Anne Richard who died in 1751.  Joseph remarried shortly after that (he was 54 years old) to a Marguerite Gautrot.  They had two sons before the deportations began.  Joseph’s family was deported  to Virginia. (cue the somber music) They were on a ship that arrived in England in June of 1756.  There was no sweet reunion for Joseph and Magdelene.  When she was married in 1760, Joseph is listed as deceased.  She is my inspiration for perseverance! 

Installments 6 and 7 were about the families of the brothers Etienne and Joseph Bugeaud. I descend from both of them.

In Installment 6, Joseph Bujol and Anne LeBlanc were sent into Exile with their family to Oxford, Maryland.  I bet you were relieved to hear that they weren’t sent to Virginia!  This history is so full of tragedies.  Thankfully this little family fared well during their time in Exile.  The family stayed intact and actually grew during their time in Maryland.  This wasn’t true for their extended families.  Anne’s mother Jeanne Bourgeois was Exiled to Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She arrived in December 1755 and it was the last that was heard of her.  Three of her children died in Liverpool, England, in 1756 and another one died in France in 1759.  Jeanne was probably not aware of their deaths since those events happened across the ocean.  We know that she had died before the 1763 Census at the age of about 70.

The story in Installment 7 was about Joseph Bujol’s brother Etienne and his wife Anne Forest.  Anne was another of those with a tragic story.  She lost her first husband during the Exile.  What I didn’t mention in that installment was the fate of her parents Pierre Forest and Madelaine Babin.  They were alive when the Grand Derangement began and they were deported to Weymouth, Massachusetts.  He died within the first year of Exile at the age of 62.  Madelaine shows up on the November 10, 1756, Census in Weymouth as a widow.  There are no records of her after that time.  So she probably died shortly after that before the age of 60.

Joseph and Etienne’s extended family was not Exiled during the initial deportations of 1756.  They had several younger brothers and sisters who moved to Ile St. Jean with their parents Joseph Bujol and Josette Landry.  They were there by the time of the Census of 1752.  So while Joseph the younger and Etienne were Exiled with their families in 1755, other family members were able to stay at Ile St. Jean until 1758.  It was at this point that Joseph the elder died.  Either he died prior to the deportation or as a result of it.  He was 59 years old.  Josette and some of her children fled north with the help of a son-in-law who was part of the Acadian militia.  They surrendered to the British and were held in Nova Scotia until the end of the Seven Year War.  They made their way to Quebec and settled there.  Josette eventually died on June 8, 1778, in Bonaventure, Quebec, at the age of 77.  She did not see her sons Joseph and Etienne during the last 22 years of her life.

So that’s it.  I previously covered the extended families of the ancestors I discussed in Installments 8, 9, and 10.  I don’t think I’ll ever think of the Grand Derangement or even Acadie in the same way ever again.  Hopefully I’ll always be aware of the difficulties my ancestors had to endure in order for me to be able to call myself a Cajun.  Even though those I mentioned in this post didn’t survive the Exile to make it to Louisiana, I will still consider them honorary Cajuns!  I think of it as a title of respect and they definitely deserve it.

For other installments of the “From Acadian to Cajun” series, click on the following links:

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 1 – Landry/Babin

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 2 – Breau/Trahan

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 3 – Braud/LeBlanc/Gauterot/Aucoin

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 4 – Hebert/Melanson

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 5 – Bourg/Granger

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 6 – Bujol/LeBlanc

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 7 – Foret/Bujol

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 8 – Hernandez/Babin

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 9 – Dupuis/Dugas

From Acadian to Cajun: Part 10 – Bourg/Babin/Landry

Christmas Eve at Mee Maw’s

Landry Christmas 1966

Christmas Eve at Mee Maw’s in 1966.  That would be Germaine Erie Patureau Landry’s home in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Last week I talked about one of the traditions of our family during the 1960s.  That one involved the music at the junior high school where my dad taught in Jennings, Louisiana.  This week I’m looking at the other family traditions from that same time period.  I realized a few weeks ago that I really hadn’t written much about Christmas traditions in the Landry household, even at the Christmas time of year.  I also realized I had lots of Christmas photos that need to be shared.

So that’s what I’m doing – sharing some Christmas cheer by way of old family photos.  It’s what you do on a family history blog, right?  And the big event for the Landry family aunts, uncles, and cousins was the Christmas Eve get together at Mee Maw’s house.  As you can see from the photos, there were lots of family members!  My dad was Robert Joseph Landry – better known as Bobbie by the family – and he was from a family of eight children.  His mom was Erie Patureau Landry and she was the matriarch of this large group.  And she loved family.

The Christmas Eve get together in 1967.

She had to if she was willing to have this large group of people in her house!  It started out with her, her children, and her daughters- in-law and sons-in-law.  That’s seventeen people, and by the time I was born, there at least fifteen grandchildren.  It continued to grow for a while longer, so in 1966 there were lots of excited little children around.  What’s even more amazing is that she had a gift for every one of her grandchildren at this event.  And since we were Catholic, we all had godparents.  So we got gifts from our godparents as well.  At some point we drew names and bought gifts for the person we picked.  That’s a lot of gifts in one place!  I remember how the people handing out gifts had to be careful not to step on anyone or anybody’s newly opened present!

From an old family recipe. Pate’ de fois gras made by Greg Raley (#73 in photos). He and my brother Rob are two from my generation that are keeping the tradition alive.

The other part of this get together was the food.  Everyone brought food to share with the family.  There was always plenty to eat and it was all tasty.  One thing that we used to have at some of these events seems to be unique to my family.  My grandmother had an old family recipe for pate de fois gras.  It was a spread made with goose or pork livers.  I never have liked liver, but I did like the pate.  My dad would make it and we would make sandwiches with it and eat it for breakfast.  We would eat our liver pie sandwiches after dipping them in coffee milk.  Sometimes my dad and his siblings would bring a sampling of their latest batch and compare it with each other.  I’m trying to find out the origin of this recipe, so if any extended family are familiar with the history, let me know.  I’ve been wondering if it comes from our Leveque line.

When it was getting later at these Christmas Eve gatherings, I remember going outside with the cousins and looking up in the sky to see what could be seen.  Some of the older ones would say, “Is that Santa there?”  I would look to see if there was a telling red light trailing across the sky.  Those were such days of wonder and longing.  Waiting for Christmas day seemed like forever.  The family gatherings were such a highlight.

I think of those events from time to time when I’m doing my family research.  With my dad’s ancestry being French and Acadian, the old records are written in French.  I’m able to make out most of what is written on a birth or baptism record.  The first word I was familiar with was the word for godfather – parrain.  That’s because I remember getting a gift from Uncle Johnny (my godfather) one Christmas and it said it was from “Your Parrain.”  I started learning about my family history at a young age!  But I wouldn’t enjoy my family history as much without having such great family memories of my own to recall.

Merry Christmas everyone!

IDs –  I can’t leave without letting you know the names of everyone in the photos.  I got most of them, but some I couldn’t tell.  That’s bad when I can tell who is who in photos of my great grandparents’ siblings, but can’t tell who my own first cousins are from 50 years ago.  Like I said, there are so many of them.  And not all of them are looking at the camera.  I can’t see some faces clearly, so I appreciate any help with identifications.  I went ahead and made a list of names and used the numbering system of the list for both photos.

List of my Mee Maw and her children and grandchildren

Is Erie Engaged in the Chair?

Today we will be discussing my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau.  I’ll use her maiden name, since I think she was single at the time.  It would be later that she would acquire the last name Landry and then be known as Mama.  A while later on she would be known by us grandkids as Mee Maw.

Poor quality photo of Erie in the chair.

But at the time of this photo she was usually known as Erie.  So that’s what we’ll call her. I had this old, poor quality copy of a photo of Erie sitting in a chair.  I’m not sure where it came from, but I didn’t really care for it.  Other cousins seemed to like it.  Maybe that’s because at least one of them had a much better copy of it!  As you can see I kept it, but I always hoped to get a better copy of it.

In August 2019 some of us cousins got together to share photos and documents.  I’ve told you that before.  But what I didn’t tell you is that we hugged, stood next to each other, and breathed near each other.  Even Shirley!  Those were the good old days.  Now we’re all keeping a distance and hoping the Covid vaccine comes out sooner than later.  But last year we got together and I was able to get this new improved version of the photo.

Erie Patureau circa 1921 probably in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Isn’t this one much better?  It’s so much clearer and it’s not washed out.  You can also see so much more detail on her dress.  Not to mention that you can see her feet.  Of course she was being very proper, because even though the dress ends a bit above her shoes, you still don’t see her ankles.  That would have been scandalous!  I’m surprised she got away with those see-through sleeves she’s wearing.  That seems a little risque!

The other detail I noticed was the Apple watch that she’s wearing.  I wonder if it was keeping track of her daily activities for her?  No, that can’t be an Apple watch.  That was way before any idea of such a thing was in existence.  But I do see a ring on her finger that I wasn’t able to make out in the old fuzzy photo.  And it is on the ring finger of her left hand.  I’m thinking that this must be an engagement photo.  It is a rather formal photographic sitting.

Erie Patureau in July of 1921.

When I compare it to the photos taken in July 1921, it looks like she’s the same age.  Here is a crop of the photo to compare.  I also notice that she was wearing a ring in that photo as well.  Those were the more casual photos that she took when she was engaged.

So I’m saying, “Yes, Erie was engaged,” when these photos were taken.  I guess they are the closest thing that I have to a wedding photo of her.  Why have I never seen a wedding photo of my grandparents?  I’ve shared a photo from her sister’s wedding in 1933.  It looked like a big formal affair that their father (Grampa Max) provided.  There were lots of flowers and lots of photos of a rather large group of family.

Maybe it was a tough time for Grampa Max.  He went into hiding in 1920.  Not really, I just can’t find him on the 1920 Census.  Wait!  There’s another clue I just remembered.  There was a reception after Mee Maw & Pee Paw’s wedding that was attended by family and friends.  I don’t have a photo of the event, but I do have this newspaper article from the Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, Louisiana, from November 12, 1921, the day of their wedding.

Newspaper article from the Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Nov. 12, 1921. Germaine Erie Patureau (they spelled her name incorrectly) married Robert Joseph Landry.

Who Is Mrs. P. M. Babin?

Van Landry, a great great grandson of Mrs. P. M. Babin, taking a selfie at the St. John Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana, on October 24, 2020.

As you can tell from the photo, it must be a family member.  Otherwise I wouldn’t be taking a photo of myself with her grave.  Right?  I don’t take a selfie with just any old grave!

Maybe you can be like Sis and ask, “Who is Grandma Babin?”  That is a question that she asked my dad many years ago.  Daddy laughed and eventually explained it to her.  I have made references to that question a few times in these blog posts.  I really shouldn’t make fun of Sis, she’s been so good about sharing photos and information with me.  In fact, I’m sharing one of the photos in this post.

St. John Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Here are some clues.  This is a photo of the area showing other related graves.  In the foreground is the grave of Wana C. Landry.  Some of you may be familiar with her.  This is not my Aunt Wana.  Everyone knows that she was Wana Lidwin.  Wana C. was a granddaughter of Mrs. P. M. Babin.  She was never married.

Next to Mrs. P. M. Babin is P. M. Babin.  This is her husband.  If you don’t know who Mrs. P. M. Babin, this other grave doesn’t give you any more information.  The next two graves are for for Louis  J. Landry and Mrs. L. J. Landry.  Directly above them in this photo is a whitish grave with a black top.  That grave is for Henry Louis Landry.  He is the brother of Clemence and they are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Louis J. Landry.

What’s that you say?  Yes, you are right!   Mrs. P. M. Babin is Grandma Belite.  You are so very clever.  For those of you still not sure, Grandma Belite’s full name is Marie Amelie “Belite” Bujol Landry Babin.  Her name is so long because I include the nickname she went by, the last name of her first husband Trasimond Landry, and the last name of her second husband Pierre Magloire Babin.  Mrs. P. M. Babin is such a lacking name for her headstone.  No given name, no nickname, and no maiden name is given.

I didn’t know where her grave was for a while, but then I asked a third cousin Chip.  He was able to provide a photo for me and told me where it was.  So I decided to go find it the other day when we were in Lafayette.  I realized the graveyard was between a friend’s house and the I-10.  I wandered around the cemetery looking for it and eventually found the group of graves.  Grandma Belite’s daughter Clemence is the one named Mrs. Louis J. Landry.  She was my Mee Maw’s (Germaine Erie Patureau) half aunt.  Clemence’s husband Louis was the brother of my Pee Paw (Robert J. Landry Sr.).

Therese Wynhoven Mouton, Emma Patureau Mouton, Grandma Belite, and Grampa Max in 1921.  This was probably taken in Duson, Louisiana.  (Thanks to Sis for providing the photo.)

Here is a photo of Grandma Belite in 1921.  She is in the middle of the photo and her son-in-law Max Patureau is on the right.  He was married to Belite and Trasimond’s daughter Marie Therese Landry.  She died in 1909.  She and Max Patureau are buried in the Patureau tomb in Plaquemine.  But Max isn’t just Belite’s son-in-law, he’s her half second cousin by their Landry mothers.  Also in the photo are Max’s daughter Emma Patureau Mouton and her firstborn daughter Therese Wynhoven Mouton.  We knew her as Tez.

So there you have it.  Mrs. P. M. Babin with her family, where even her in-laws are related to her.  She was known by those buried by her as Grandma Babin.  But to those who descend from her Landry children, she was known as Grandma Belite.

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