The Leveque Family in WBR

Marie Celeste Leveque Landry in 1905, probably in Lake Charles, Louisiana

You might read the title of this post and ask, “What Leveque family in West Baton Rouge Parish?  There aren’t any Leveque families in WBR!”  And you might be right.  I don’t know of any, and all of the Leveque family that I’m familiar with are not there.  The last Leveque post that I wrote (over a year ago!) talked about the family being in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The Leveque name is from my dad’s side of the family.  And it comes from both sides of his family.  My dad was Bob Landry, the famous band director of Jennings, Louisiana.  He was born Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  His father, of course, was Robert Joseph Landry, Sr.  My grandfather is known as Pee Paw by us grandkids.  He was born in Westlake, Louisiana, and he died many years ago.  He was the son of Simon Alcide Landry and Marie Celeste Leveque.  Alcide and Celeste were born in West Baton Rouge Parish.  They were the ones that brought our family to southwestern Louisiana.  But they weren’t the only ones that left WBR for Calcasieu Parish.

Joseph Auguste Leveque’s grave marker at the Old Catholic Cemetery in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

To get a better picture of what was going on, we have to go back another generation.  Celeste was the daughter of Joseph Auguste Leveque and Marguerite “Basilite” Landry Leveque.  Joseph Auguste was born in Donaldsonville, but the Leveque family was also connected to New Orleans.  It seems like they spent time in both places.  His first wife was Basalite’s older sister Clarissa Doralise Landry.  The Landry family had been in West Baton Rouge Parish since at least 1820.  After Joseph Auguste Leveque married Clarissa Doralise Landry at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in 1831, they made their home in Brusly (in WBR).  They had at least six children together before Clarissa died in 1840.  

Mrs. J. A. Leveque’s grave marker at the Old Catholic Cemetery in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This Mrs. J. A. Leveque was the second one – Marguerite Basalite Landry Leveque. She was born in 1821 and died in 1902.

Joseph Auguste Leveque then married Marguerite Basalite in 1843.  They had eight children together, which included Marie Celeste who was born in 1847.  Joseph Auguste and Basalite continued to live in WBR with their family until at least 1880.  But not all of the Leveque family stayed in WBR until that date.  Two of J. A.’s sons – Louis and Justinian – made it to Lake Charles by 1867.  A decade later more siblings followed suit.  Lise and Samuel were in Lake Charles by 1880, followed by Aloysia shortly after.  Celeste and Alcide also moved west at that time, but a little further to Westlake.  

Marie Francoise Leveque’s headstone in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Brusly, Louisiana.

J. A.’s other children who lived to adulthood also left West Baton Rouge.  J. A., Jr. was a doctor in north Louisiana.  The other four – Evalina, Louise, Benjamin, and Mai – moved to New Orleans.  With these four being in New Orleans, and Joseph Auguste being originally associated with that city, I thought we’d be related to all of the Leveques in New Orleans.  But I had a coworker who was a Leveque from New Orleans and I could find no connection to her Leveque line.

Augustin Leveque’s headstone in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Brusly.

But there are still some Leveque connections to Brusly and West Baton Rouge Parish.  Joseph Auguste wasn’t the only Leveque to move there.  He had an older sister named Marie Francoise Leveque.  I descend from her through my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau Landry.  Francoise was married to Amedee Bujol and they had eleven children, the first ten being girls.  Some of these families stayed in WBR, but they don’t have the Leveque last name. 

In addition to these two Leveque siblings, they had a first cousin who ended up in Brusly as well.  Her name was Marie Augustin Leveque and she was married to Edmond White.  She was the daughter of our Joseph Auguste Leveque’s twin brother Jean Baptiste Leveque.  I don’t know if they were identical twins or not.   It’s a good thing these headstones have better information than Basalite’s has.  Hers just says “Mrs. J. A. Leveque.”  It has nothing about her name or maiden name.  If these other two women’s headstones were done in the same way, they would say “Mrs. Sylvestre Bujol” and “Mrs. Edmond White.”  I like seeing the Leveque name in stone commemorating their presence in WBR.

Ok, that’s my story for the day.  If you come across the Leveque name anywhere, let me know.  I’ll look into it and see if there’s a connection.  There are connections everywhere.

Addie and Two Grandsons

Addie Hine Bucklin in 1937 with grandsons in Hathaway, Louisiana.

Here’s a pleasant photo of my great grandmother Addie from 87 years ago.  She looks like such a doting, loving grandmother.  I wish I had known her.  She seems like such a warm, likable person.  She was alive when I was born, but she died just a month later.

Her name at birth was Addie May Hine.  She was born on September 23, 1876, in Noblesville, Indiana.  She was the firstborn of George Henry Hine and Susan G. Stanbrough.  She had five younger brothers.  The family moved south to Louisiana in 1894 and settled in Jefferson Davis Parish.  Addie lived the rest of her life in Louisiana, except for a short stint in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, around 1911.  She was married to Louis Charles Bucklin at that point.  She gave birth to their son Robert in Arkansas, but all the rest of the twelve children were born in Louisiana.  That would include my grandfather Fred Bucklin.  He would later become the father of my mom, Betty Lou Bucklin Landry.

I wish that I had a photo of my mom with Addie like this one.  I’ve never seen one, so I doubt there is one.  I would be happy to be proven wrong.  But we do have this one, and the back of the photo says that the photo was made in September of 1937.  I’m assuming that the photo was taken shortly before then.  If that is correct, I would think this photo is of Addie and her Bruchhaus grandsons.  Her youngest daughter was Ruth, who married William Charles “Budda” Bruchhaus.  They had two sons – Harley in 1933 and Laurence in 1936.  So that would be Harley standing to the right of Addie, and Laurence would be sitting in her lap. 

My mom was just a few months older than Harley.  Why aren’t there any photos of her or her sisters and brother with Grandma Addie?  To make matters worse, the cat made it into the photo.  And it’s not the only photo of this cat with Addie!  I’ve posted a different photo before that is just the two of them.  Why couldn’t there be any of mom and Addie together?  It’s probably the same reason that there were far more photos of my oldest sister Jodie when she was a child than there were of me and my younger sister Jamie.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  Who’s going to be able to keep track of every event in a child’s life when there are six of them running around.  For Addie, there were 12 children and even more grandchildren.  It’s just a result of being in a big family.  My mom only had positive things to say about Addie.

Another thing this photo makes me think about is Addie’s hair.  It looks like she had it very long, but always seemed to keep it in a bun.  But not only that, her hair is very dark in this photo and she was 61 years old.  I remember my mom talking about that when I was a kid.  She hoped that her hair would get darker as she aged, just like her grandmother.  Addie lived to the age of 84.  In the photo taken on her last birthday, her hair was still pretty dark.  My mom did have a good bit of gray hair, but she had enough brown left to keep her hair from looking white as some people’s did.  Of course, by the time she was in her eighties she wasn’t too concerned about the color of her hair.

There are a few other things that things that this photo makes me think about.   Like – with all those Bucklin sons, that Bucklin surname didn’t multiply very well.  It seems like there are more Bruchhaus and Landry descendants than Bucklins.  Maybe it’ll make you think of something else.  If it does, let me know about it.  I like talking about old photos.  Have you noticed?

My First Easter

The Landry boys – Al, Rob, and little Van – on Easter 1961 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

I thought I’d share a few photos from my first Easter tonight.  I don’t remember anything from that far back, but I do have some photos.  Easter fell on April the 2nd in 1961, so that’s the date I’m going with.  I was only five months old at the time, so I probably wasn’t aware of what was going on.

Rob and Al were aware of what was going on.  Al was a few months shy of his second birthday and he’s got his Easter basket all decked out with greenery.   Rob was almost six, so he knew to show off his prized egg as well as his basket.  Maybe he found all of the hidden eggs before Al had a chance to find any.  I know I wasn’t in the running at all.  I was just sitting there watching all of these strange new behaviors that were going on.  Easter?  What’s that?!

I do remember a few things from back then.  I remember those red shoes for sure.  Not that I remember wearing them.  I think my mom must have saved them for a long time and told me about them being mine.  I do like the bright red color.  Very festive!  I remember playing with my dad and brothers in that back yard over the next year or so that we lived in Lake Charles.  Mainly it was playing with a toy gun that shot little propellers that would fly.  It made an impact on my developing brain.  The toy looked similar to the photo that you see.  At least from what I can remember from all those years ago.

The Landry girls – Karen and Jodie – on Easter in 1961 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

This next photo is of my older sisters.  I was the fifth child.  I had two older brothers and two older sisters.  Sometimes I think of myself as the tiebreaker.  That didn’t last long.  My younger sister Jamie came along a year later and tied it up again.  But on April 2, 1961, there were just the two brothers, the two sisters, and my mom and dad.  My parents weren’t in any of the Easter photos that I have for that year.  I might have shared a different photo if they had been. 

I like this photo of Karen and Jodie.  They have their new Easter dresses on, and they’ve got their Easter baskets ready for collecting.  Jodie must have had high expectations.  That’s a big basket that she has!  I think it’s bigger than all of the other three combined!  I don’t know where she thought she’d find enough eggs to fill it up. 

I have no idea where we went that year.  In the years after this, when we lived in Jennings, we would go to my mom’s family in Hathaway for Easters.  There was always an Easter egg hunt.  I once called it the Great Bucklin Egg Hunt.  I would think that it had started by 1961.  Grandma and Grandpa Bucklin (Myrtle Phenice and Fred Bucklin) had thirteen grandchildren who would be eager to go traipsing around their property to find colored eggs and other goodies.

But since we were still living in Lake Charles, maybe we stayed in town for the Landry family gathering.  We had even more cousins there.  Mee Maw (Germaine Erie Patureau Landry) was a widow (for some reason that’s a term I never associate with her!) whose husband Robert Joseph Landry, Sr. – our Pee Paw – had died a few years earlier.  She had over twenty grandchildren at the time.  I’m sure they were just as eager to go a-hunting. 

So there you have it.  The Landry children dressed up for Easter, with their eggs and baskets ready for something.  A Great Bucklin Egg Hunt?  A Landry Pocking Contest?  Showing off their cute little new brother with his bright red booties?  Whatever happened, it must have been something good.  Otherwise, I would have heard stories about it when we looked back at these old photos.  But all I remember hearing about was how much they liked that dress, how much they liked that hair cut, and how much fun I was when I was that age. 

Ok, maybe that last thing wasn’t said.  But I’m sure it was thought.  Right?!  Just look at those booties.  What’s not to like?

Have a happy Easter.

Mee Maw and the Fig Tree

Germaine Erie Patureau circa 1950 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Here is a photo of my paternal grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau.  I’ve always known her as Mee Maw.  I saw the first version of the photo in 2019.  It was in the Tin Can Collection that originally belonged to my Aunt Wana.  It has since been taken over by her children Tricia and perhaps Tim.  Both of them have shared photos from the Collection, but it’s usually Tricia.  She’s the one who showed me the image in 2019 when a few of the cousins got together.  Wow.  It’s almost five years now.  I took a photo of the photo because I liked it.

It wasn’t until tonight that I realized that I had two versions of this photo.  I discovered this improved version in 2021, when I looked closer at some of the things that I took from my parents’ home when we moved them to Assisted Living.  As I looked through the old photos and such, I found an old packet of negatives.  Some of them were really old.  Those were from the 1930s when my dad was a kid.  Then there were others like this one that look like they came from the 1950s.

So I scanned those old negatives, and this was one of them.  I didn’t recognize it from two years earlier, but I did like it.  I like discovering new photos of my grandmother who hasn’t been around for over fifty years.  I had to guess the approximate year the photo was taken.  I compared it to known photos of her through the years and decided it looked like some time in the early 1950s.  Does that sound about right?  She was born in 1895, so that would put her in her mid to late fifties.  Hmmm.  Maybe it was taken earlier.

And I’m not even sure where the photo was taken.  I had thought about calling it “Mee Maw In the Back Yard,” but I wasn’t sure I was correct about that assessment.  I don’t remember the house that she lived in back then.  I recognize the back of the house because there are several photos of the family taken there.  But this area does look like a back yard with fig trees and other plantings.  I can tell that it was probably winter, based on the bare branches of the fig tree.  The bare arms of my grandmother say that it wasn’t a particularly cold winter day.  If I knew the color of her dress, I would have used that in the title of this post.  But I’m not familiar with the dress and don’t remember seeing it.

I don’t know much about the photo, it would seem.  Yet I am still drawn to it.  I like her determined pose and the way she’s standing firm.  Most of the photos of her from this time period are group photos.  She’s either with her husband and her eight children, or she’s with a gaggle of grandkids.  There were new ones appearing every year.  So to have a nice, sharp photo of her all by herself is a gift. 

I share it with you.

More Irish in the Foster Line

Cathrine Jane “Kate” Foster Phenice was from Mercer, Pennsylvania – or was she?

I wonder if my great great grandmother Kate Foster was ever aware of her Irish ancestry.  She was born Cathrine Jane Foster on September 16, 1848, in Cherrytree, Pennsylvania.  Her parents were Morris Foster and Anne Magdaleen Milliron.  Her father Morris died in 1852 at the age of 35.  I’m sure it was a tough time for the family.  Anne Magdaleen was left with four children under the age of 8 years old.  She took herself and her children back to Mercer, Pennsylvania, which is where she was born and where most of her family lived.  

Anne married George Richael in 1853 and quickly started increasing the size of the family.  With all of these younger siblings about, it’s very likely that Kate never heard much about her father’s family.  In fact, it was always reported that she was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania, but that isn’t true.  The family lived in Cherrytree when she was born.  The confusion around that was probably one of the reasons her descendants had difficulty tracking her ancestry.

But Morris Foster did in fact have Irish ancestry.  I’m not sure of his mother’s ancestry.  Her name was Catherine Moore and I don’t have much information on her.  His father’s name was James Foster and there are more details about his ancestry.  Last year I wrote a post about his father Hugh Foster who was born in Derry, which is in Northern Ireland.  I don’t know when he immigrated to the United States, but he ended up in Liberty, Pennsylvania.  Liberty and Mercer are both in Mercer County.

1778 will of James McCullough

Hugh Foster wasn’t the only one with Irish heritage.  He was married to Mary Elizabeth McCullough.  Like I said last year, that sounds like an Irish name for sure!  I said that I would look into her history, but I didn’t actually do that until this evening when I was looking for something to write about.  I read last year’s post and realized I had been remiss.  Lax, lax, lax!  So I started looking into her family, and it didn’t take long to find some interesting things.  I like it when that happens.

Mary Elizabeth McCullough was the daughter of James McCullough & Martha Hance.  One of the first things I found was James’ will, which was written in 1778.  He lived from 1720 to 1781.  He wills to his beloved wife Martha her bed and bed furniture, her choice of bay mares and her saddle, and her choice of two cows and six sheep.  She also has the use of the back bedroom of their house during her natural life.  She is also allowed to use the pasture to keep the animals that he left her.  The “plantation” was left to his sons John and Hance. 

From book about several counties in Pennsylvania that was compile in 1846

He instructs his sons to pay his two daughters – Jean McClellan and Mary Foster (my ancestor) – the sums of eighty pounds each.  It’s interesting to see the things that are listed in an ancestor’s will.  He mentions a wagon, a windmill, and a Bible.  He mentions other books, which shows that he was literate.  I’m not sure if the will is written in his own hand or not.  The spelling of the last name varies in the document.  They may have been ancestors of my grandmother Myrtle Phenice Bucklin, but they didn’t have the spelling superpower that she passed down to me.  He also leaves some items to other people.  I’m not sure if they are family or not.  I’ll have to explore his extended family.  Maybe I’ll do that next year!

I already know a little bit about his extended family from this blurb in an old book about Pennsylvania.  It reports that James came from Ireland with his two brothers and an unmarried sister (Anna).  It says that he is the founder of the American McCulloughs.  But more importantly, it tells us when he came to America!  Finally, I know the date of immigration for one of my Irish lines.  James first settled in Delaware in 1743.  A decade later he moved the family to Franklin County, Pennsylvania.  At that time the family consisted of himself, his wife Martha, and their son John.  If you read the clip, you can see that it was a difficult time in American history.

So this year I’ll be thinking of James McCullough for St. Patrick’s Day.  He and Martha and their daughter Mary.  Erin go bragh!


A View From 1974

Karen, Al, and Van Landry in March 1974. We took this ‘before’ picture with glasses to commemorate the time that we got our first pair of contact lenses. I promised them back then that I’d post the photo on my blog for the 50th anniversary. This photo is such bad quality, but it is the only one from this important life event.

I have planned on writing about this 50-year anniversary for a few years now.  I’ve been waiting anxiously to be able to write about this topic.  You would think that I would have thought about some really interesting things to say about it, perhaps in relation to family history.  That is the main topic of my blogs, if you haven’t noticed.  But I’m sticking with this story that I’ve planned on.  My main problem is usually that I haven’t thought of or planned on a topic for the week.  So I have to follow through with my years-long planning.

Here is the important announcement: Today completes 50 years of wearing contact lenses.  My first pair of contact lenses were first worn on March 8, 1974, and I have been wearing them ever since.  Not the same pair, of course.  I’ve had about seven or eight pairs.  I’ve gone without them for a few days here and there, but I’m a consistent contacts-wearer. 

Of course I was 13 years old at the time, so I didn’t just go drive and pick them up myself.  It was a family event.  See, it is family related!  In early 1974 there were three Landry family members who wore glasses – Karen, Al, and me.  Karen and Al had been wearing them longer than I had.  I had only worn glasses for two years.

Van and Karen on the left, and Al on the far right. This photo was taken at Astroworld on July 24, 1974, which was Al’s 15th birthday.  Note that the glasses are no longer in use.  The best ‘after’ picture I could find.

My parents didn’t have a lot of extra money back at that point.  This was before we made the big bucks (not!) at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor as the Landry Family Band.  But there was a Texas State Optical store in Orange, Texas, and that business had a good deal on contact lenses.  My parents decided that all three of us would get contact lenses.  Early one Saturday morning, the family got in the car and headed west to Orange.  This is terrible, but I can’t remember exactly who went with the three of us.  Was it Mama or Daddy?  Did Jamie come along with us?  I just can’t remember.  Sorry, Jamie, if you were there and I forgot.

What I remember is the sun coming into the car and coming over our shoulders as we heard the song “Sunshine on My Shoulders” by John Denver.  We made a big deal of that.  Then we stopped at some gas station store and bought popcorn that was “Popped Fresh!”  We joked about it being “popped fresh” five days ago.  We thought we were so clever.  When we were at TSO, we joked about how the doctor there told us how to rinse the contacts.  He pronounced the word rinse like the word wrench.  We’ve laughed about that for years.

I remember reminiscing about that day through the years, but it was usually with Karen.  But Karen is not with us any longer to reminisce with.  This made me think of her a bit more this week.  She passed away on April 8, 2020, from Multiple Systems Atrophy at the age of 63 years, 4 months, and 6 days.  (Not 5 months as I erroneously wrote last year!)  When I was planning on writing this post, I realized that the 50th Anniversary of the Contacts (no I did not make a cake or have a party!) was falling at the same time as when I reach the age that Karen was when she died.  So now I have outlived both of my ‘older’ sisters.  I’ve actually lived longer than all three of my sisters.  But with Jamie, it’s just that I was born before her.  I hope she outlives me.  

The other thing I remember about that long ago day in March was that I could see so much more clearly.  The pink azaleas were in bloom at the time, and they were so pretty in front of all the houses along North Cutting in my hometown of Jennings, Louisiana.  They are not quite in full bloom yet this year.  But it won’t be long.  You’ll see.  I will, too… with the help of my contacts!

Keys Family Reunion 2024

2024 Keys Family Reunion

Calling all Keys!  Calling all Keys cousins.  It is time for a reunion!  Definitely time.  The reunion this year will be on June 15, 2024, starting at 10:00.  It will be held in Hathaway (Raymond), Louisiana, at the St. Lawrence Catholic Church.  That’s right.  This year it is at the Catholic church.  The last few times it was at the Methodist Church right across the street.  So if you know how to get to the previous reunion, all you’ll have to do is show up at the place across the street to the south.  The physical address is 5505 Pine Island Highway.  It’s at the crossroads of Pine Island Highway and Raymond Highway.

As you can see by the flyer, the festivities begin at 10:00.  As usual we are encouraged to bring food to share for the covered dish feast.  That will commence around noontime.  The forenoon will be for socializing and sharing old family photos.  Wait!  It doesn’t say that.  But I am.  I want to see any interesting old family photo, especially ones that I don’t have yet.  How can I continue writing posts about old family photos if I run out of them?  We’ve got to keep it going!  You can also bring a door prize.  If enough people bring one, it’ll be like a Christmas gift exchange.

Painting of Martha Cook Keys circa 1865 in England

One thing I wanted to point out is that this is an anniversary year.  It was 130 years ago that Martha Ann Cook Keys had a party at her house for friends and family.  The local Jennings paper reported that the party was a hit and “enjoyed by all present.”  It was just seven years after she had immigrated with her five children to Louisiana.  They came from the London area of England and moved to get away from the increasing crime at the time. Her husband Henry Keys had talked about the family coming to America and was planning on doing just that.  But sadly, he died at just 63 years old.  That’s the same age that I am!  

So it was quite an accomplishment for Martha to follow through with the plan and bring the family to a new place to live.  She was very motivated to come here and it is said that she never regretted her decision.  She loved her new home in America.  I’m not talking about the house she built.  I’m talking about the country that she felt welcomed by.  Perhaps that was the reason for the party in 1894.  She and her five children had made a home in America.  

At that time, none of her children had married yet.  The oldest was only 24 years old.  Martha didn’t live long enough to see any of them marry or have children.  She died in 1896 at the age of 59.  It wasn’t until 1900 that the first one was married.  That was my great grandmother Daisy Keys who married Harry Clifton Phenice.  Her younger sister Ruth followed suit less than a year later.  Eventually, all of the children were married and started having children.  Altogether, the five children had over thirty children between them.

I’m excited about this photo that I put together.  It was just last week that I did the same with my Landry grandfather’s family.  This time it is a grouping of the photos of all five of Henry and Martha’s children – Henry “The Judge” (1870-1950), Leonard (1873-1959), Daisy (1876-1952), Ruth (1879-1967), and Mabel (1881-1962).  I’ve posted a photo of the three sisters together previously.  Those three images come from the same photo.  I got a photo of Leonard from Carolyn, the daughter of Edith Keys Segraves.  Edith was the one who wrote the amazing book about the Cook and Keys family.  

So tonight I was wanting to have all five of the families represented, because I want to encourage descendants of all of them to show up for the reunion.  I didn’t have a good photo of the oldest son “The Judge.”  I was looking through the old book by Edith Segraves and found one of him.  It was a grainy old photo, but I had hopes of improving it with the great software that is available nowadays.  I worked on it a while and I am satisfied with it.  It goes well with the rest of them.  And now I have a group photo of all five of the Keys immigrant children.  The ancestors of all of us Keys relatives who will be attending this reunion.


Henry Alfred “The Judge”, Leonard James, Daisy Henrietta Martha, Rosetta “Ruth”, and Mabel Olve Keys circa 1894-1899.


Pee Paw’s Landry Family

I’ve talked about my Landry grandfather many times.  Of course, I have.  I’ve written over 450 posts over the past eight years.  Once a week, every week, through sickness and health.  I should go ahead and skip a week just to get it over with.  There is a bit of pressure I put on myself to keep it going uninterrupted.  Can you feel the stress and concern in my writing?  I hope not.  I was mostly kidding about that.  It’s more enjoyment than work.

Elie, Sebastian, Louis, Joe, and Rob Landry from Westlake, Louisiana, in the early 1900s.

Here is a photo of my grandfather and his brothers.  I’ve shared a similar grouping before, but it was missing the oldest brother Elie.  He is the one on the far left.  I got it from a photo of him with his wife Gussie Parker and their son Joseph Sylvester Landry.  It’s a very blurry photo and I spent a bit of time working on it from time to time.  It’s not as good as the other photos, but those other photos were better quality.  I’m thinking that it was taken in 1903 when their son Joseph was a toddler.

Part of my motivation was a cousin Katherine who I discovered through a DNA matching website.  I didn’t know what the connection was when I first saw her name on my list.  But she was a strong match.  I had as much common DNA with her as what I shared with first cousins of my parents.  Who was she?  I sent her messages at first, but she didn’t respond.  (Contrary to popular belief, not all Landrys are nice people.  Her experiences with her Landry people were not pleasant.  We’ll fix that!)  Her tree showed Joseph Stalin Landry, but I didn’t know anyone with that name.  

Marie Marguerite Carmelite “Lily” Landry circa 1888.

Then I watched the video that my dad made with cousin Sis.  Her given name was Naomi Landry and she was the oldest daughter of Pee Paw’s brother Louis.  In the video Sis talked about all of the siblings of that family.  First, she started with their parents Alcide Landry and Celest Leveque, then went on to talk about all of their children and their families.  The oldest in the family was Lily Landry who was born in 1870 in Brusly, Louisiana.  That’s where the oldest children were born.  Sometime in the 1880’s the family moved to Westlake to work with the railroad.  Lily did not have a family, because she died when she was still a teenager.

The next child was Elie, who had little Joseph with his wife Gussie.  When Sis talked about this family in that amazing video, she talked about a daughter named “Cheryl K.”  That matched the tree that cousin Katherine had.  Her “Joseph Stalin” was our Joseph Sylvester!  No wonder she is such a strong DNA match – she’s a second cousin.  Her family group lost touch with our Landry family group because Elie died at a young age in 1913 in a railroad yard accident.  He was crushed between two rail cars.  One of the brothers was with him when he died.  After that death, there was less and less contact with the Landry family through the years.  A visit here, a postcard there, then it all stopped.  Now we have started to reconnect.

That is a very different story than the next son in line had.  Sebastien married his first cousin Marie Manette Landry in 1902.  In 1904 Marie Manette gave birth to a little daughter who was also called Marie Manette.  But the older Marie Manette died from complications.  After that happened Sebastien and his daughter went back to live with Alcide and Celeste.  So little Marie Manette was almost like a younger sister to Sebastien’s younger brothers.  Those families have remained close.

After Sebastien was Louis.  He was the father of Sis and five other children.  Like the family I grew up in, there were three boys and three girls.  His wife was Clemence Babin, who was the half-sister of Marie Manette Landry.  Clem was also his second cousin through the Landry family.  At least he wasn’t like the next brother, who married somebody with the same last name!  Joe married Azema Landry.  They were only 3rd cousins through the Hebert name.  They also shared common Landry ancestors.  Uncle Joe and Aunt Zim did not have any children.

Marie Therese Landry circa 1900

There were three other sons born to Alcide and Celeste, but they didn’t live very long.  I’m not sure of their ages when they died.  None of them lived to the age of 10.  Their names were Sam (1879 – twin of Louis), Sam (1882), and Alcide (1885).  The next child born was Marie Therese.  She lived only to the age of 20 and she did not have any children.  And then, finally, at the age of 43 Marie Celeste Leveque Landry gave birth to her tenth and final child.  That would be my Pee Paw!  Robert Joseph Landry, who went by Bob, Rob or Pappy, was born on January 9, 1893, in Westlake, Louisiana. 

He would go on to marry my grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau.  Erie’s mother was a Landry and Rob’s first cousin!  So three of the brothers married Landry cousins at the first or second cousin level.  Another one married another Landry who was a little more distantly related.  I don’t know about the wife of Elie, Gussie Parker.  I haven’t been able to find anything about her ancestry.  But it wouldn’t surprise me if she was related to the family. 

Then again, he may have been an early adopter of the practice of marrying outside the family.  There are still more family mysteries to discover.


More Early American Immigrants – Smith & Chickering

At Thanksgiving I wrote a post about some of my Bucklin family’s early American Immigrants.  They are part of a group of immigrants that came to America in the early to mid 1600s for religious freedom.  Some people have called it the Puritan Great Migration and it includes people who immigrated from 1621-1640.  I talked about the family names of Bucklin, Bosworth, Yeales, Whipple, Allen, and Frye.  As I was writing it, I realized that there were more immigrants in those lines than I had thought.  I wrote the post, but figured I’d end up doing a follow-up to that.

I ended up doing a spreadsheet to list all of the different family lines and keep track of them.  I’m not a spreadsheet fanatic, but I do use them from time to time.  With all of the names that I come across in my research, it might be more helpful to use them more often.  But that would be too much like work.  I rely on my tree-building software to keep track of most of it.  Those are indispensable.  I can just add as many details as I want.  

So while looking into the immigrants in my family, I came across an interesting group.  That group is the group of ancestors of Sarah Smith, my 7x great grandmother who lived her life in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.  She was born there in 1670.  She married Jathniel Peck there in 1688.  She had all of her twelve children there from 1689 to 1712.  She died there in 1717.  Kinda sad that she died at only 46 years of age when her youngest child was only five years old.  I’ve mentioned Sarah in a previous post – not because she had a dozen children, but because of her connection to the Bucklin family.

Sarah was not an immigrant, but her family was.  Her father was Daniel Smith and he was born in 1634 in Hingham, England.  His parents were Henry Smith (1593-1647) and Judith Ray (1596-1650).  In 1638 Henry and Judith decided to bring their five children, three men servants, and two maid servants to the New World.  They arrived on the Diligent and originally settled in Hingham, Massachusetts.  In 1643 they moved to Rehoboth and spent the rest of their lives there.

Daniel grew up and married Esther Chickering.  Esther’s family immigrated earlier than Daniel’s and she was born in 1643, so she wasn’t an immigrant.  She was born in Dedham, Massachusetts.  Her parents were Francis Chickering (1606-1658) and Anne Fiske (1610-1649).  They were from Suffolk, England.  They were married around 1630 and had one child by the year 1637, which is the year that they immigrated.  Both Francis and Anne had widowed mothers.  Francis’s mother was Mary Austin Chickering.  Anne’s mother was Anne Lawter Fiske.  (Her husband John Fiske had been her second cousin.)  So when Francis and Anne decided to head off to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with their young daughter, both of their mothers decided to join them on their journey.

This was a great undertaking back then.  These were new settlements with none of the luxuries that we have become accustomed to.  You know, luxuries like running water, sewerage management, electricity, and air conditioning.  So the decision to go was not taken lightly.  I’m sure they had high hopes, though.  They had a strong belief that things would be better in this new place they were relocating to.  It would have been exciting to reach the shores of America after their long journey.  But a sad occurrence happened along the way.  The oldest member of the group – Anne Lawter Fiske – died during the voyage.  She was only 52 years old at the time.  She was likely buried at sea.

The rest of the family settled in Dedham, Massachusetts, which is where Esther Chickering was born.  Even though her family lived in Dedham, she somehow met Daniel Smith.  They were married in Rehoboth in 1659.  As I said earlier, their daughter was Sarah Smith, who married Jathniel Peck.  They had a son named Jathniel, Jr.  He was the father of Mary Peck, who married to James Bucklin (1709-1780).  Oh, no!  We’re still back in the 1700s and I want to bring this to the present.  Let me get going with a bunch of begetting.  James (1709) begat John Bucklin (1747-1795).  John (1747) begat John Bucklin (1792-1850).  John (1792) begat James Bucklin (1821-1890).  James begat Louis Charles Bucklin (1873-1927).  Louis begat Fred Bucklin (1907-1984).  Fred begat Betty Lou Bucklin, who was my mom.

Whew!  There, it’s done.  That’s my connection to the Smith and Chickering immigrants.

Family tree of my 7x great grandmother Sarah Smith



Ferdinand Pierre Patureau Circa 1860

Ferdinand Patureau circa 1860

Here is a new photo of Ferdinand Patureau.  I guess I can’t really call it new when it was taken around 1860 or so.  I first saw it in the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau Collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas, on November 15, 2021.  I’ve never seen it anywhere else, either.  It’s nice to discover an old photo like that.  It was a bonus treat when I went searching for photos at that collection.  The collection was not disappointing, since it had great versions of photos that I had been aware of previously. 

So in case you don’t know, Ferdinand Patureau was my great great grandfather.  He emigrated from France in 1840 with his parents and siblings.  My father was Bob Landry, the famed band director of Jennings, Louisiana.  HIs mother was Erie Patureau Landry, my link to the Patureau family.  Erie was the daughter of Vincent Maximilian Patureau, one of the sons of Ferdinand Patureau.

Ferdinand was born on October 27, 1826, in LaRoche, Chalais, France.  His birth certificate called him Pierre Patureau, the son of Pierre Patureau, boulanger. aged 26 and Anne Machet.  Even though the father and the son were named Pierre in older documents, they are consistently known as Pierre Ferdinand Patureau and Ferdinand Pierre Patureau.  Instead of calling one a Sr. and the other a Jr., it was decided that the father would be Pierre Ferdinand and the son would be Ferdinand Pierre.  It worked for them.  It works for me.

Ferdinand spent his childhood in France.  Then, in 1840, the family decided to immigrate to the United States.  Ferdinand was only 14 years old when the family arrived in Louisiana and settled in Opelousas.  Ferdinand must not have been too happy with this move, because he took off on his own to go back to France.  For six to eight months the rest of the family didn’t know where he was.  According to the collection in Beaumont, Ferdinand spent some of that time working at a sugar plantation in Cuba to make money.  One report said that there was a document to support that claim, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Ferdinand didn’t stay in France for too long.  He came back to Louisiana after a year and a half or so.  I’m not sure of the motivation.  Perhaps he missed his family.  Sadly his mother Anne Machet and his younger sister Elisa both died in 1842 in Opelousas during a cholera epidemic.  Maybe that was motivation to move back, or he was already back before they died.  The details are not that clear.

A few years after returning to Louisiana he met Louisiana native Marie Emma Landry.  Three sets of her great grandparents were Exiles from Acadie (with names like Landry, Dupuy, Braud, Hebert, and LeBlanc), while the other set were French immigrants (Serrette and Sigur).  They were all French speakers.  When Ferdinand married Emma in 1847, he was 20 years old and she was only 17.

It didn’t take long for the family to start growing.  The first two years brought two daughters – Zulma and Aline.  I think they were born in Brusly, Louisiana.  In 1850 the family was living in Baton Rouge.  A few more years brought Louis Leobon and Marie Valentine.  After that the family was in Plaquemine with Pierre Patureau living with the family there.

So when this picture was taken, Ferdinand was a young father of several children.  I’m not exactly sure when the photo was taken, so it’s hard to know the exact number.  With births and deaths through those years, the number was changing often.  It was also in 1860 that Pierre died, leaving 33-year-old Ferdinand as the Patureau patriarch in Louisiana.  So it’s nice to have this “new” photo of Ferdinand from this particular part of his life.

Enjoy it.

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