Baby Bobbie Landry

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of my mom as a child.  In that post I said that I couldn’t believe that I had never posted a photo of her as a child before.  The same could be said about my dad.  I’ve posted a few photos of an unidentified  Landry infant where it might have been him.  I usually say that I think it might be him, but the photos do represent the Landry children of that generation.  But I do have a photo – actually there are two of them – that is definitely of my dad.

Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. in 1929 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

This is Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. in 1929.  He was born on January 31, 1929, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and I don’t think he is older than a year in this photo.  Before you say anything, just know that this photo has been edited to make it look as good as I am capable at this time.  The photo is not in very good shape.

Actually I don’t even think that what I had to copy it from was a photo print.  I think it may have been photographic paper that had been exposed to light to capture the image, but it was somehow never processed to set the image for a print.  All I know is that there were these two ‘photos’ of my dad as a child in an envelop in the top dresser drawer in my parents’ room when we were growing up.  I remember looking at them from time to time, but my mom always warned me about exposing them to bright light or they would fade more.

As you can see the image has been damaged by the exposure to light.  Somehow it looks like there is a double image on it.  Thankfully that line does not go across my dad’s face in the photo.  His face is actually the clearest part of the photo, so you can see little Bobbie’s face with his pale eyes showing.  My dad had light blue eyes.  He was known as Bobbie when he was a kid.  As he got older, he acquired more names to identify himself – Bob, Pluto, Mr. Landry, Daddy, or Pappy.

But of course I went with Baby Bobbie for the name of the post.  It is a photo of my dad as a child, after all, and there is a ring to the title.  There is also a sense of mystery to the photo.  I wonder what he was peering at so intently all of those years ago?  For many mysteries I come across, I go searching for an answer.  This is not one of those mysteries.

Our Myrtle the Student: Year One

I thought I’d follow up last week’s post about my paternal grandmother in school with the same kind of post about my maternal grandmother.  After I found those photos of my paternal grandmother Erie Patureau at SLI (Southwestern Louisiana Institute in Lafayette), I decided to look for something similar for my maternal grandmother Myrtle Phenice. That’s because I knew that they had both gone to the same school and became teachers after they graduated.  They were not there at the same time, because Erie Patureau was eleven years older than Myrtle Phenice.

First year class of SLI in 1926 includes my grandmother Myrtle Phenice.

So I looked and I found.  There was a scanned copy of the 1926 yearbook from SLI, or L’Acadien as it was called.  On page 54 of the book was a photo of the first year class.  I’ve looked through the photo and have not been able to pick her out of the group of students.  The class membership certainly increased since the time that Erie was a student!  I know she is in the class, because she is listed in the class a few pages later.

When I was looking through these yearbooks, I found it interesting to see other names that I recognize.   In the first year class Myrtle Phenice is listed on page 58.  In the same class, but on the previous page, is listed Thornwell Fay Landry.  You probably don’t recognize the name, but I do.  I’ve shared a photo of him before, because he is my father’s first cousin.  Their fathers were brothers (Robert Joseph Landry AKA Pee Paw & Louis Joseph Landry AKA Uncle Louie).  He was also Erie’s half first cousin because their mothers were half sisters (Marie Therese Landry & Clemence Babin AKA Aunt Clem).

Naomi “Sis” Landry on bottom right.

Too bad they didn’t do individual photos for the freshman class.  I would have been excited to see a photo of my Grandma that I haven’t seen before.  They did have individual photos of the upperclassmen.  And who was in the class above them?  None other that our Landry cousin Sis.  I have mentioned her before.  She made a video about Landry family history with my dad in about 1990.  She identifies a lot of family members in some of those old family photos she had.  But her name in the book is shown as her real name Naomi Landry.  She looks pretty stylish in the photo of her.  Not the much older lady I know from the video.  She was the sister of Thornwell Fay.   So even though they were more than twenty years older than my dad, they were still first cousins.  That’s because Pee Paw was the youngest of all of his siblings.

The other person of interest that I found in the yearbook wasn’t a family member.  That’s not entirely accurate.  The person I’m talking about is Paul Edwin Marionneaux.  He was also in the sophomore class, but more importantly he is my 7th cousin.  While that seems like a pretty distant relative, his daughter is a friend of mine and we have common DNA according to 23andMe.  And even though her father is about the same age as my grandmother, she is younger than I am.

When I was growing up, I never imagined all of the connections that the older generations might have had.  Just this yearbook shows that my grandmother’s path crossed some of my dad’s cousins’ paths.  And one of those distant cousins had a daughter that I am friends with now.  Things like this make you say, “It’s a small world.”  I’m sure I’ll find more connections like this as I continue to explore my family’s history.

Our Erie the Student: Year Three

Page 54 of the SLI yearbook from 1913 shows the third year class. My grandmother Germaine Erie Patureau is on the front row, furthest to the right. This was taken in front of the SLI main building in Lafayette, Louisiana.

It’s always exciting to me when I discover another photo of my grandmother that I have never seen before.  This one was taken over 100 years ago, so that makes it even more special.  The grandmother I’m talking about is my dad’s mother.  She was born in Crescent (near Plaquemine), Louisiana, on August 6, 1895.  Her parents were Vincent Maximilian Patureau and Marie Therese Landry.    I knew her as Mee Maw.

I wasn’t planning on writing another post with the title “Our Erie the Student,” because I didn’t know there were any other photos of Mee Maw as a student during her years at SLI in Lafayette.  The first one I posted was just called “Our Erie the Student.”  I thought it was from 1915 because it said that it was a fourth year class photo and that’s the year I thought she graduated.  But the yearbook for her fourth year photo is from 1914.  So, I went back and changed that post to reflect the correct year.  The yearbook also had a better version of the photo for that year.  I’ll have to replace the photo as well.

Page 55 from the 1913 SLI yearbook shows the names of the members of the third year class.

The second post about Mee Maw’s school years was called “Our Erie the Student Revisited.”  Both of those previous posts were written in 2019.  In the revisitation version, the photo was of the graduating class of 1915.  That one is an even better photo, because it came from an original photo that my cousin Tricia has in her Tin Can Collection. 

The photo I’m using this week is definitely the worst quality photo of the three.  But it’s a photo of our dearly beloved Mee Maw from over 100 years ago.  I can’t really complain about that!  And who knows, maybe there is a better copy of it out there that I can discover.  I’m kinda confused at how 1913 could be the photo of her third year class.  But that’s what the information on the next page says and our Erie is on the list of the members.  Other information shows that she finished high school in 1912, so how could she be in the third year already after just one year?

That’s probably because she was so smart.  She was probably one of the smartest people you’d ever likely meet.  She was just Mee Maw to me!

Baby Betty Lou

Betty Lou Bucklin lived in Hathaway, Louisiana, in 1933.

I can’t believe  I’ve never posted a photo of my mom as an young child before.  There aren’t that many of them, but it seems like I would have posted one before.  I know I have mentioned photos of my mom as a baby before.   In 2017 I posted a photo of my grandmother Myrtle Phenice – my mom’s mom.  I mentioned a baby photo of my mom that was from a contest she won.  Then in 2019 I mentioned in a post about her mom that they had both been cute babies and that Mama had won a Gerber’s Cutest Baby Contest. 

My mom used to say that she won a cutest baby contest, and this is the photo that she would show.  But on the back of this photo it says that this is the photo that she won honorable mention in a national Sears contest.  What?  Did she or did she not win the Gerber’s Cutest Baby award?   That would have been in 1933, and the first contest was just two years earlier.  I looked up that information just now and realized that the first winner of that contest died this week.  What a coincidence!

But I don’t think my mom was the winner in 1933.  Maybe she got honorable mention in that.  Or maybe she just got honorable mention in the Sears contest.  Either way, she did pretty well for a national contest for cute babies.  But really, just look at that cute little face of hers.  She was adorable.

I Say This Is Pierre Patureau

Pierre Ferdinand Patureau circa 1855.  This is an edited and enhanced image that I produced with the use of two other images.

That’s right!  You heard me!  I say this is Pierre Ferdinand Patureau, who was born in France just over 222 years ago.  When he was 40 years old, he and his wife Anne Rose Machet brought their family to America.  The place they chose to settle in was Louisiana.  Maybe that was due to the presence of other French families in the area.  Tragedy struck in 1842 when both Anne Rose and their youngest daughter Elisa died from yellow fever during an epidemic.  Then I’m thinking that around 1855-1858 he decided that he needed to have a portrait of himself made.  But he didn’t want to go with the old traditional painted portrait.  No, sir.  He wanted the newly introduced photographic portrait that was the rage at the time.  So I’m saying that that’s what he did.

But when I first saw a copy of this photo, the person in the photo was identified as Abel Patureau.  Abel was one of the two sons of Pierre Patureau.  I descend from the older brother Ferdinand, as do most of my Patureau cousins.  All of my cousins with the Patureau last name descend from Ferdinand, because Abel was never married and had no children.  There was a sister named Victorine.  Her descendants have the Laulom and Crixell last names.  Of course with all of the daughters born through the years, there are a variety of last names for cousins on both sides.  But since I did not descend from Abel, I was not really that interested in the photo at first.  I think cousin Sis has a copy of the photo and I didn’t even bother to scan it.

Postcard photo from the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau collection in the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas.

Then I went to the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas, last November.  As I was furiously taking photos of as many of the documents that I could, I came across the photo again.  It was on card stock and on the back of it is written “This is uncle Able.  Great uncle to us.  Able Patureau from France.”  So again it was identified as Abel Patureau.  There was also some writing on the front of it, but I was rushing through and didn’t really have time to make out what it said.

But after I got home I looked at the writing on many of the photos.  As you can see, along the right edge is written “Miss E. Zulma Patureau.”  That would be Elizabeth Zulma Patureau, who was the oldest child of Ferdinand Pierre Patureau and Marie Emma Landry Patureau.  She wrote her name on many of those old photos.  She would not have been the one who wrote the words on the back of the photo, because Abel Patureau was her uncle.  He was not her grand uncle or great uncle, which ever generation that wrote the identifying info on the back of the photo.

More importantly, along the bottom of this photo is written something like “My grand Pedro” or “My grand Patur…” in the same writing as Zulma’s.  And who was Zulma’s grandfather?  Pierre was.  She was living in Mexico as a 16-year-old girl, so she could have used the Spanish version of the name Pierre on the card – Pedro.  Her grandfather Pierre died in 1860 when Zulma was 12, so she would have known him and knew what he looked like.  He was the only grandfather she knew.  Her other grandfather Elie Onezime Landry died twelve years before she was born.  Photography wasn’t as available in 1837 as it became in the 1850s. 

Cased photo from cousin Jo Ann

While the person in the photo looks to be in his late 50s, I wasn’t really sure about the postcard type of photo for this image.  I would have thought that those earlier photos would be in those fancy frames or cases.  So you can imagine my excitement when a Patureau cousin sent me a photo of her version of the photo.  I have to thank Jo Ann for sending me that digital copy of the photo and another photo of Ferdinand I had never seen.  Not only that, she gave me an original photo from 1894 of some Patureau family musicians.  She has given me something else really amazing, but I’m not ready to share that yet.  But the original photo she has is a cased photo with velvet and pearl with gold framing.  The face on the photo is really clear.  The cased photo and the clothing in the photo point to a date of the photo around 1857.

I know that Pierre had money to buy such a thing, because at that time he took a trip back to France.  Who knows?  He might have even had the photo taken in France while he was there.  It’s a great old photo that has made its way down to this time in various forms.  That also makes me think that it was Pierre.  Wouldn’t a photo of your ancestor more likely survive throughout a family rather than a photo of an uncle?  I’m glad that I had both photos to work with.  I used the face and the colors from the cased photo, while I used the hairline and the coat features from the card photo.  I am really pleased with the combined photo.

Isn’t this a great image of Pierre Ferdinand Patureau?

Sue & Jennie’s 20th Birthday Bash

Birthday Celebration for Susan Stanbrough Hine and Edessa Jane Havenar on Oct. 3, 1926 in Raymond, Louisiana.

I have written a few posts that mention the 20th Annual Birthday Celebration of Mrs. Susan G. Hine and Mrs. W. E. Havenar.  My cousin Joseph shared some old photos from that event, so I shied away from writing about it before.  But I need to write about it.  There are some things I want to say.  First of all, the Sue mentioned in the title would be my great great grandmother Susan G. Stanbrough Hine.  I usually like to refer to her as Grandma Sue.   She was the mother of six children, and the oldest was her only daughter Addie May Hine Bucklin.  Addie was the mother of my grandfather Fred Bucklin.  He was the father of Betty Lou Bucklin, who was my mother.  The Jennie mentioned in the title was Edessa Jane “Jennie” Welton Havenar.  The two of them were friends who happened to share the same birthday:  October 3.

Newspaper article from 1926.

The newspaper article about the two women celebrating their birthday talk about how it was the 20th annual celebration.  Does that mean it was the 20th time they had the party?  I don’t really need to be that picky, but I also have an article from 1906 that describes that first celebration.  If they had it every year after that, the celebration in 1926 would be the 21st time they had it.  But it would also be the 20th anniversary of their first big bash.  Either way, Sue was celebrating her 75th birthday and Jennie was celebrating her 60th.  Grandma Sue is the older woman on the right side of the photo in the black dress.

Many of their family members and friends were also celebrating these two girls’ birthday.  And many of their family members and friends were relatives of mine.  There were family members from all of my mom’s side of the family.  There were many Keys, Hine, and Phenice family members mentioned in the newspaper article.  Both of my mom’s parents are in the photo, but it was before they were married.  My grandparents Fred Bucklin and Myrtle Phenice were married in 1930. 

I was going to say that even though they weren’t married yet, their families were already connected through the marriage of Fred’s sister Mary and Myrtle’s brother Sylvan earlier in 1926.  But the newspaper doesn’t list them together.  They list them separately as Mary Bucklin and Sylvan Phenice.  And newspapers were very particular about how they listed married people back then.  You see that Jennie is listed as Mrs. W. E. Havenar.  That’s because she was married to William Edward Havenar AND he was still alive.  Sue, on the other hand, was a widow.  So they use her given name of Susan and call her Mrs. Susan G. Hine.  If her husband had still been alive, they would have referred to her as Mrs. G. H. Hine – my great great grandfather was George Henry Hine.  I like my posts to be more personal, so I refer to them as Sue and Jennie.

But the newspaper article lists Mary and Sylvan separately, so it makes me question the information I have about their marriage date.  But I didn’t want to focus on them so much, I wanted to point out all of the family members that are in the photo.  Fred is the guy on the second row with the bow tie.  It might be his identical twin brother Clarence, but I think it is Fred.  You can find Myrtle by following the large branch that comes in from the right of the large tree trunk.  When it runs into the hat, the person in front of the hat is my grandmother. You can only see her head because she is directly behind two other women.  If you look to the left of Myrtle, there is a man in a straw hat.  That’s Myrtle’s brother Sylvan.  Between Myrtle and Sylvan is Mary Bucklin.  She is standing next to Daisy Keys Phenice, the mother of Myrtle.  Myrtle’s father Harry C. Phenice is standing next to Daisy and is wearing a white shirt.

I’m not going to list everyone.  I don’t even know them all.  I just wanted to show you the ones I descend from.  Even though Addie was at the event and is in several photos, I do not see her in this one.  Her husband Louis Bucklin was also alive at the time, but he avoided having his photo taken.  Part of that could be due to the fact that he lost an eye earlier on.  He had a glass eye that I believe is in a cousin’s possession.  I have never seen it – with either of my eyes.  Louis died the following year.  If you are interested in seeing more identified people, you can check out the post that Joseph wrote a few years ago.  There is a photo with the people numbered so they can be identified.  It is an ongoing project to identify as many of the people as possible. 

Or you can just enjoy looking at all of the faces of the people who helped Sue and Jennie celebrate their birthdays all those years ago.  It’s a great old photo.

Grampa Max’s Brother Uncle Oscar

My great grandfather Max Patureau with some of my grand uncles circa 1920 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

I’ve decided to go ahead and make this a post on its own, even though I’ve shared this photo before.  It’s a Throwback to a Throwback from 2017:  Hats in Hand and a Fob to Boot.  Since I originally posted that photo, I have enhanced it and colorized it.  I think it is nicely improved.  Usually I don’t like colorized photos, but this one still maintains its old timey charm about it even with the color.

But the main reason that I’m doing a whole new post on it is that I misidentified someone in the photo.  How embarrassing is that?  I’ll also post some new photos of family members that led me to the realization that he was incorrectly identified.

So let me identify the men in this photo.  On the left is my great grandfather Max Patureau.  He was born in Mexico in 1865 and was named Vincent Maximilian Patureau.  His daughter was Germaine Erie Patureau, better know by my generation as Mee Maw.  She was married to Robert Joseph Landry, Sr. – Pee Paw to us grandchildren.  They were the parents of my dad Robert Joseph Landry, Jr.  Of those just listed, only Grampa Max is in the photo.  Next to him is his son Romuald Patureau.  He was known as Uncle Rome.  Though his name is spelled like the place in Italy, it rhymes with the word ‘foamy.’  I am always tempted to spell it Romy, but that’s just not the way they did it.

Grampa Max’s older sister Aline Patureau (1849-1926) was married to Omer Hebert (1849-1918).

The next person was known as Uncle Louie.  He was one of Pee Paw’s older brothers and his name was Louis Joseph Peter Landry.  He was married to Clemence Babin.  Aunt Clem was the half-sister of my great grandmother Marie Therese Landry (AKA Mrs. V. M. Patureau).  So that means that Pee Paw’s brother married Mee Maw’s aunt.  (Technically she was Mee Maw’s half aunt, though I doubt my grandmother thought of her that way.)

The person on the right is the one that needs to be identified correctly.  I had him identified as Omer Hebert, but from the photo of Omer Hebert with his wife Aline Patureau, you can see that the two men do not look alike.  The photos of Aline Patureau and her husband Omer Hebert come from the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas. (Collection AC-824)  So the man in the group photo was not the son-in-law of Grampa Max.  He was actually Pierre Oscar Patureau, the younger brother of Max.  He must have been called Uncle Oscar. 

Mary Domatille Dupuy married Joseph Oscar Patureau on Sept. 11, 1888, in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

I started questioning his identity when I got several photos from that collection in Beaumont.  Fortunately many of the photos were identified by Max’s older sister Zulma.  I think she may have been the one that pulled a lot of those old Patureau family photos together.  There were a few photos of their brother Pierre Oscar in the collection.  The best one was his wedding photo from 1888.  On September 11 of that year, he married Mary Domatille Dupuy.  They were third cousins through their common Dupuy line.

After working with the photos of Omer Hebert and Oscar Patureau, I began thinking that the man in the group photo was identified incorrectly.  I finally got around to checking into it further this week.  I found the old slide that I had scanned.  On one side I saw it was labeled “Uncle O**r.”  I couldn’t really make out the name, but I was more familiar with the name Omer from the photos I had seen of him.  So I must have gone with Omer.  But when I turned the slide over, there was written clear as day “Uncle Oscar.”  How did I miss that? 

Oh, well, now we know that it was Uncle Oscar Patureau on the right in that group photo.  I’ll change the original post to say the same thing.  I don’t want to perpetuate any false information.  I’m okay with a little embellished information, but false information just will not do.

Keys Reunion 2022

I was asked/encouraged by a cousin to make sure that I reminded all of our Keys cousins about the Keys Family Reunion this year.  Since I was planning on doing that already, I had no problem at all with agreeing to the request.  I do enjoy getting ideas from cousins, but sometimes it doesn’t necessarily become a post for this blog.  I’m never exactly sure what I’m going to end up writing about from week to week.

But I did want to write about the Keys Family Reunion and invite all of the Keys relatives to attend.  It will be on Saturday, June 18th at the Raymond Methodist Church.  It will begin at 10:00.  And according to my reputable source, it is requested that you “bring a covered dish, cold drinks, and if possible, something to put in the door prize giveaway.”  In addition, per my personal request, bring any old family photo to share. 

June 10, 1973, in Iowa, Louisiana. This was the first Keys Family Reunion that I attended.

This is a photo that one of our Keys cousins shared with me.  One of the famed family historian Edith Keys Segraves’ daughters shared it with me a while back.  It is a photo from the first Keys family reunion that I ever went to.  It took place on June 10, 1973, in Iowa, Louisiana.  I was only twelve years old at the time.  That was long before I developed an interest in family history.  I’ve shared a few other photos from that day, but this one is a little different.  There were a lot of people taking pictures on that day.

The reunion was a gathering of all of the descendants of Martha Cook Keys, who brought her five children to America in 1887.  Her children were Henry Alfred “The Judge,” Leonard, Daisy, Ruth, and Mabel.  This group photo is of the descendants of Daisy Keys Phenice, which includes me and my siblings, my parents, my maternal grandmother, and many cousins.

My grandmother Myrtle Phenice Bucklin is sitting on a chair in a light green dress.  She is surrounded by a few people wearing pinkish/magenta clothing.  Sitting to the left of her is her sister Grace Phenice Sowder.  In front of her is her grandson John Bucklin.  Behind her are my older sisters Karen and Jodie in their dark blue tops.  Jodie is wearing the pinkish pants.  To the left of Karen is our 2nd cousin Patricia Sowder.  Next to her is our first cousin Keith Woolley.  To the left of him is my sister and I am standing on the other side of her in my striped brown shirt.

Keys Family Reunion from 1997 in Jennings, Louisiana.

Here is a more recent photo from a Keys Family Reunion.  I’m in this one, too.  And, no, that young boy is not me.  That’s my nephew James Fontenot.  This was taken in 1997 in Jennings, Louisiana.  I am sitting at the table eating on the far left of this photo.  My back is toward the camera, but that’s me.  I’m sitting at the table with my dad – Bob Landry, uncle Ernie Waldorf, George, and my mom’s sister Alma Bucklin Waldorf.  My sister Karen (mother of James) is all in pink and she is talking to our sister-in-law Tammy Tarsi Landry.  My brother Al is standing next to them, though you can’t see his face either.  I’m sure they were all discussing little Alex Landry who is not in the stroller.  I don’t see her, but she was just a year old at this time and we all gushed over her cute curls.

I hope these photos encourage you to attend.  I’m sure we’ll be taking photos and making new memories with all of our cousins.  So come join us on the 18th of June in Raymond.  We’ll treat you like family!


Betty Lou the Artist

“Cabin in the Mountains” by Betty Lou Bucklin in 1950. This was her first “real” painting.

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for about a year now.  In a few of the photos I’ve posted, there have been some paintings by my mom in the background.  I always took them for granted because they were always there.  But some people were surprised to hear that my mom painted.  When I heard that, I knew I had to write a post that featured some paintings by my mom.  The easiest way to do that is to share some photos of her paintings that I own.

Betty Lou Bucklin circa 1950 in Hathaway, Louisiana.

This first painting was the first painting that my mom painted.  At least that’s what is written on the back of the painting.  It was painted around 1950 when she was a junior or senior in high school.  I’m sure she must have dabbled with paints and colors when she was growing up.  Otherwise she wouldn’t have had the talent or skills to produce a painting like this that she considers her first real painting.

It’s hard for me to imagine that my mom was painting something so nice when I see some of the photos of her from that time.  She just seems like a young country girl having fun playing basketball, singing at church, and performing with the band.  She had a lot of interests and seemed to be pretty good at most of them.  I could say that she was the worst skier, but to be fair that wasn’t really an interest of hers.  My dad taught water skiing, so when his new girlfriend said she couldn’t ski, he got it in his head to teach her.  After she got tired of drinking lake water, he agreed to concede – water skiing was not a skill of Betty Lou’s.  She was his only failure.  A fact that never seemed to bother Mama in the least!

“Path to the Lake” was a painting my mom did around 1977.

And even though that painting was the first one that my mom painted, it wasn’t the first one that I obtained.  I got my first one around 1977 or 1978.  I call it “The Path to the Lake” and it was painted around 1977.  There’s a story about why it is mine.  After she painted it, she was always changing the little shrub in the foreground on the right of the painting.  For some reason it always bothered her.  She called it a “trash shrub” and nothing she did to fix it was acceptable.  So one day I saw her getting her gesso out while sitting in front of that painting.  Gesso is a thick white paint that artists use to make a canvas smoother for painting, or to give yourself a clean surface to start a new painting.

I asked her what she was doing, and she said that she was going to paint over that trash shrub and start something new.  I told her that this was one of my favorite paintings of hers, so she gave it to me then and there.  I have always liked this painting, even that sweet little shrub on the right in the foreground.  It reminds me of a place near where we lived in North Carolina. 

1992 painting by Betty Lou Bucklin Landry “Still Life with Flowers”

One of the last paintings I got of my mom’s was this “Still Life with Flowers.”   In January of 2016 – a few months after we had moved our parents into Brookdale Assisted Living in Lake Charles – we cleaned out their home in Jennings because someone wanted to buy the “happy little house on Lucy Street.”  One of the things we divvied up were the many paintings that my mom had done over the years.  I picked out a few of my favorites, then Chuck picked this one.  I had never really noticed it before.  I usually look at the landscapes.  But this one has grown on me.

I was talking to my dad a few months later and mentioned the painting.  I tried to describe it to him, but couldn’t.  So I sent him a photo of it.  He showed it to Mama, and she claimed that it wasn’t one of hers.  They were in Assisted Living because of her memory issues.  She definitely painted it.  Her standard signature is on the bottom right, just like on the other two photos I’ve posted.  For some reason, paintings were particularly confusing for her.  She thought some paintings by other people were hers.  She would say that they were stealing her paintings and claiming them as their own.  Then she didn’t know her own paintings when they were shown to her.  That’s what Alzheimer’s will do to a person.

But my mom outsmarted it in her way by writing messages on the back of many of her paintings.  That’s one of the reasons I know about her first painting.  But I knew that already because I had heard her talking about it through the years.  I never thought I would own it, but my mom gave it to me one day when I went to visit her.  I also know that the “Still Life with Flowers’ was painted in 1992.  I would never have known that if she hadn’t written it on the back.  That’s just one of the many things that I appreciate about my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

Claude Roche Was a Frenchman

Last week I told you a story about my great great great grandmother Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy Landry.  I was thinking that I would move on to a post about my mom’s side of the family, but I’ve decided to go further up the line of Zerbine Dupuy.  Mainly because I ended up researching that family line  when I discovered some new sources when looking at last week’s information.

My dad was Robert Joseph Landry, Jr., though most people knew him as Bob, Bobbie, Pluto, Pappy, or Daddy.  His mother was Germaine Erie Patureau Landry.  She was known as Erie, Mama, or Mee Maw.  They spent many years researching their family lines and I have the results of all those years of research.  Mee Maw was the daughter of Vincent Maximilian “Max” Patureau.  My dad knew his Grampa Max, but only until he was about six years old.  Mee Maw didn’t know her grandmother Emma Landry Patureau because she died in 1892, which was a few years before Mee Maw was born.  But just because she didn’t know her grandmother didn’t mean she didn’t know about her.

But it didn’t stop there. She knew a few more generations back.  My dad had the records that Mee Maw kept with her sister Lorena.  So when he put together his book about family history, he marked the profiles of family members with PFR – for Patureau Family Records.  Mee Maw knew about Zerbine, too.  Though I don’t know if she knew the story about Zerbine that I shared with you last week.  That came down another family line.  Mee Maw also knew about Zerbine’s parents Magloire Dupuy and Henriette Serrette, though she had Henriette’s last name as Lerrette.  That’s pretty good.  She knew the names of her great great grandparents.  Most people don’t know that.  And she did that long before computers and the internet help so much in finding information.  She did not have an oracle in her purse like the one I have in my pocket.  So Magloire and Henriette were as far back as she went.

My dad took over the research when my grandmother died in 1973.  He found out that the parents of Henriette were Jean Serrette and Anne Sigur.  They were both from France, but they immigrated to Louisiana and died here.  He also learned that Anne Sigur was the daughter of Pierre Laurent or Lorenzo Sigur and Anne Roche. I recently found an interesting thing about Laurent Sigur.  He once sold some property that is now where the Marigny neighborhood is in New Orleans.  I’ve been there many times and didn’t realize there was any family connection.  But today we are more interested in the Roche line, right?  I did mention that name in the title!

Marriage record from June 16, 1759, in France for Laurent Sigur and Anne Roche. Note all the Roche signatures. This is from Lay St. Christophe, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.

Daddy didn’t know the names of Anne Roche’s parents, but now we do.  Someone posted a marriage record on WikiTree for Laurent and Anne, and it gave the names of all of their parents.  As you can see in this French record from 1759, Anne’s parents were Claude Roche and Jeanne Guedon.  Claude is described as ‘defunnt,’ which  means deceased.  I was intrigued with the many Roche signatures on the document.  Many documents from this period will have an X for people to mark their approval.  It looks like the Roche family was literate enough to at least write their names.  I’m really interested in the flourishes at the end of J. C. Roche and DRoche’s signatures.  I wonder if there is any significance to that design?

So the person who added this record – I think it was the same person that assisted me in getting Further French Facts for the Patureau family – also provided a link to the original French records from the 1700s.  And it’s free.  How could they do that to me?  Don’t they know that is like dangling a carrot in front of a ravenous rabbit?!  I couldn’t resist.  I wanted to know more about this Claude Roche.  I also wanted to know about Jeanne Guedon, but those flourishes on the Roche name drew me in.  So I started looking…and looking…and looking.  How could they do that to me?

I started at first in 1759 since the link took me to the marriage record.  I found a few Roche family records and I figured they were relatives.  But I wanted to find out when Claude died and I already knew that it was before 1759.  I also had conflicting dates for Anne Roche’s birth.  It was somewhere between 1726 and 1740.  So I decided to start on earlier pages.  The group of records had 771 pages, so I went back to the beginning, which was around 1700 in this case.  Maybe I could find his birth.  So I looked and looked.  Looking through old French records is tiresome.  It made my eyes hurt.  Oh, no.  That was the stye that I had this week.  It also made me sleepy.  Staying up past midnight will do that.

Record of Claude Roche and Jeanne Guedon’s wedding on Nov. 21, 1719, at Lay St. Christophe, France.

But then it’s so exciting when you find something.  I found the marriage record for Claude and Jeanne from November 21, 1719.  This record had the parents of the couples named as well.  Claude was the son of Gaspard Roche and Magdelaine Faure.  Jeanne was the daughter of Jean Guedon and Francoise Thiery.  Once I found their marriage, I figured that children would soon follow.  I found a few births of Roche children, but their father was Dominique.  I thought he might be family and then it was confirmed in a record.  One of the children of Dominique listed Claude as the godfather and he was identified as the uncle.  So Dominique was the older brother of Claude.  Both of them used a dit name of Roxe.  I’m not sure what it means.

I was happy to finally see a daughter of Claude and Jeanne in 1722.  She was given the name Magdelaine.  Sadly, she died just a few months later.  Such a tragedy.  They had a son named Dominique two years later.  Uncle Dominique was the godfather, of course.  In 1726, I found the birth record for Anne Roche, but not our Anne.  This Anne was the daughter of Dominique.  The brothers both had children with the names Claude, Dominique, Jean Claude, Anne, and Francoise.  The families seemed close.  Most of the documents of any family member would usually have the signature of Claude on it.  He must have been respected.

I finally found the birth record of my Anne and it was in 1740.  She was the youngest child of Claude and Jeanne.  At least I didn’t see any more children recorded for Claude and Jeanne.  And like I said, I looked…and looked.  I found weddings and children of other Roche family members – children of Claude and Dominque.  I kept looking because I wanted to find the death record of Claude.  Later in the year of 1740 I found a death record for Francoise Thiery.  It could be our Francoise, and she lived to be about 100 years old.  As I approached the end of the group of 771 pages of records, I started to doubt that his death record would be there.  In a 1751 baptismal record, they name Jeanne Guedon and identify her as the wife of Claude Roche.  I knew he was still alive, because he was not identified as defunct!

Death record for Claude Roche in 1755.

And then, with only two pages remaining, I found it!  There in black and white was the death record for Claude Roche – my ancestor – the Frenchman.  He died on October 15, 1755, in France.  This was about the same time that many of our Acadian ancestors were being rounded up to be Exiled from their homeland.  It is a nice write-up for an official record.  Some other records only showed ‘mort’ or death on the side of the page.  This one says who he was, when he died, and who his wife was.  The most important thing are the last two lines, which read “enterre’ dans l’eglise pres de la chaire”. This translates to “buried in the church near the pulpit.” Wow! That’s a very significant honor.

In the body of the information they give details about when and where he died and how he received the Eucharist and Extreme Unctions.  This is to show that he was a Catholic in good standings and he received the last sacraments.  But even more unusual is that they say that he was ‘honorable et bon et charitable.’  That’s pretty easy to interpret.  They claim that he was an honorable, good, and charitable man.  That’s nice to hear. 

And now that I’ve seen a bit of his history through the records, I know who some of the signatures at the bottom belong to.  J.C. Roche and DRoche must have been his sons Jean Claude and Dominque.  Claude Roche LeJeune was the name his son Claude used to show that he was a junior.  They were paying their respects to their father – an honorable and good and charitable man.  I still want to know what those flourishes were about!

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