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!

Zerbine Was a Feisty Woman

Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy Landry Comeaux in 1864 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She lived in Brusly at the time.

I know it was just a few weeks ago that I posted this main photo, but I discovered a truly remarkable story about my great great great grandmother as a result of it.  When I post photos and stories on my blog, I am always hopeful that it will stir some memory that someone will share.  I don’t know everything about any of my ancestors – not by a long shot.  So I always welcome comments and reminiscing about the posts that I share.  That’s why I was so excited when the photo and story about Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy Landry unearthed a great treasure.

The family of  one of Zerbine’s brothers passed down a story about her during the Civil War.  But let’s look a little further back.  When Zerbine was born in 1807, there was still a lot of Spanish influence in the area.  The Dupuis family came to Louisiana as a result of Spanish rule inviting the Acadians to this area while providing land to live on.  So when Jeanne Zerbine was named, her name was recorded as Juana Serbine.  Even though I didn’t mention this in the first post about Zerbine, a distant relative found that document and made the connection with a story he had known since childhood.

Zerbine had an older brother by the name of Magloire – he was named after their father.  The sibling born after her was a brother named Edouard.  Zerbine and Edouard both married a Landry with common Hebert ancestors.  Both couples had at least four children, but Zerbine was the only one that survived to the 1860s.  Since the story I discovered was set around 1865, I decided to look to the Censuses to verify that she was indeed alive at the time and living in the same area.

Like I said in the first post, after Elie Onezime died, Zerbine married Valsin Comeaux.  He also did not survive to the 1860s.  But he left his name for Zerbine.  In the 1850 Census she was listed as Z. Comeaux in the household of V. Comeaux in West Baton Rouge Parish.  Also listed are her children Zulma and Pamelia – daughters by Elie Onezime Landry.  There were no Comeaux children listed.  Even though the last name was originally transcribed as Comeana, I found them when I looked up Zulma’s future husband Sosthene Aillet.  They were listed directly under him. 

My great great great grandmother is the first person listed on this page of the 1860 Census.  Listed below her is the household of her niece.

It was equally difficult to find Zerbine in the 1860 Census.  I searched Zerbine Comeaux, Juana Comeaux, and Jeanne Comeaux with no luck.  I went through the West Baton Rouge pages one by one until I found what I was looking for.  After reading through what seemed like a thousand pages, I found the listing for Wdw. Val Comeau.  I know she was the widow of Valsin Comeaux, but couldn’t they put her name for once?  Or at least spell her last name the traditional way?

At least I was able to verify that Zerbine Dupuy AKA Wdw. Val Comeau was alive and well in Brusly, Louisiana, in the 1860s.  Everybody knows that the middle of the 1860s was defined by the Civil War.  I’ve talked about her husband Onezime Landry’s nephews Trasimond and Alcide who fought for the Confederacy during that time.  Brusly was in a state of unrest because the ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge were controlled by the Union.  During and after the war, Yankees were known to confiscate crops that had been harvested and animals for use as food or service.

Well one day a Yankee man showed up at the home of one Zerbine Comeaux.  That’s right!  Someone was visiting great great great grandma Juana, and it wasn’t a social call.  He intended to make off with a horse from her property.  Well Maman Juana was not going to put up with any more of these Yankee scoundrels running off with her hard-earned belongings.  A horse made a big difference to the lives of people back then!  So she put herself and her shotgun between that Yankee man and her horse.  And I’m sure she had some choice words to say to him.  Not that he would have understood what she was saying.  She was probably speaking French or English with a strong French accent.  But that didn’t keep him from understanding what she was trying to communicate to him.  I suppose her firearm helped out with that!  The Yankee left her property.  The horse didn’t!

So that was the story passed down in the family of Juana/Zerbine’s brother Edouard.  My fourth cousin once removed Edward says that when his sister would let her temper get the best of her, their mother would call her Juana.  If I would have heard that when I was growing up, I would think they were talking about Aunt Wana.  But that wouldn’t make sense because she did not have a temper.  Though the sound of the name is the same, the spelling is different.  Since Edward didn’t have an Aunt Wana, he wanted to know who this Juana was.  Legend has it that the woman that looks so frail and sweet in that old 1864 photo was far from it.  She was a rough lady who didn’t let anyone take advantage of her.  That doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all.  She got to keep her horse.  Unless she got into legal trouble because of it.  But we didn’t hear anything like that passed down.  Yet it was passed down as a type of warning.

Warning or not, I like the story.  Which is why I’m sharing it  today.  If anyone else has any old stories to share, just let me know.  I’m all ears.

Easter Memories in Hathaway

When I think about my childhood Easter memories, I always think of Hathaway, Louisiana.  That is where my maternal grandparents Fred and Myrtle Phenice Bucklin (Grandpa and Grandma) lived.  It’s also where my mom grew up.  Since Easter is coming up soon, I thought I’d do a post about those memories at Grandpa and Grandma’s house.  I wanted to find a picture that showed the fun of finding eggs at their house when they had the Great Bucklin Egg Hunt of Hathaway every year.  That was not the name of it – I just made it up.  But it fits the epicness of it in my head.

Van Landry hunting Easter eggs in Hathaway, Louisiana, in 1963.

I didn’t think I had a photo of us hunting Easter eggs, but then I noticed this photo and realized it was from Easter, it was in Hathaway, and I had some colored eggs in my hand!  How have I never noticed this before?  I worked on this photo several times, but never noticed it.  I was just thinking that it was a cute photo of me when I was about three years old.  But it is me during the Great Bucklin Egg Hunt of 1963.

I wasn’t even looking for this photo when I sat down to write this post.  I was looking for some other photos that showed the layout of the Bucklin house back then.  But I have a stupidly slow computer (maybe my thousands of photos bog it down!) that doesn’t show previews to all of my photos.  But this photo showed up and when I clicked on it, I realized the photo showed that I had eggs in my hand.  It was meant to be!

What I remember was that all of the kids (or just the little ones?) would be confined to the house while the adults would go outside to hide the eggs.  Of course they had someone inside with us to monitor that we didn’t look through the windows to see where the eggs were being hid.  There were lots of colored eggs hidden (like the ones in my hand), but there were also some plastic ones with prizes inside.  But the best one of all was a golden egg with all sorts of goodies inside.  I don’t know if I ever found that one, but I seem to recall one hidden in the electric box on the side of the house. 

Photos in Hathaway from 1967. 1) Brent Woolley & Karen Landry 2) Jodie, Rob, and Al Landry 3) Jamie Landry & Rhonda Seal

I’m posting these other photos to show some of the layout of the house on the property “out in the country.”  We always referred to it that way, because we lived in the big city of Jennings.  Ha!  I think the population was only around ten thousand back then.  I got these photos from Aunt Loris a few years ago, but they include all of my siblings. The side of the house facing the road didn’t really seem like the front of the house.  There was no door there.  I don’t even think there was a walkway to the door.  Could that be right?  When you walked to the right side of the house from the road, you would come to the first picture. 

Sitting on the steps to the “front” of the house are my cousin Brent Woolley and my sister Karen.  It looks like they were having a fun time eating watermelon on a warm summer day.  That was always enjoyable.  Those steps took you into the living area of the house.  I think there was a room closer to the road, but there was no access to outside.  Toward the back of the house, you would go to the dining room.  I’ve shared photos of that before.  Then at the back of the house was the kitchen.  The kitchen had a door to outside.  That’s the steps that are shown in the second photo.  At the top of the steps you see my sister Jodie, then my brothers Rob and Al. 

The third photo has my sister Jamie and cousin Rhonda.  All of these photos were taken the same day.  If you look at that first photo, you can see the other photo areas in the background.  Just above Karen’s head you can see Jodie, who is now sitting closer to Jamie and Rhonda.  Standing up back there is Aunt Alma (my mom Betty Lou Bucklin Landry’s younger sister and Rhonda’s mom).  She is standing near the back steps.  Comparing these to the photo of me, I was in the area behind Jamie and Rhonda. 

Landry family at their Bucklin grandparents’ home in Hathaway, Louisiana, in 1961.

But that was just the right side of the house.  There were two large bottlebrush bushes between the two sets of steps at the house.  Past that was a planting area that Grandpa used for his plant nursery.  That’s where we made mud pies when we were kids.  This photo shows the front of the house.  It was just a large circle of grass with trees and shrubs in different areas.  I wish I had more photos of the area so I could see exactly how it was laid out.

The other side of the house had some green space and then a driveway that went back to the old barn. That was another fun place to explore, though I’m sure they never hid any Easter eggs there.  It was mainly confined to the areas around the house.  So, as I was saying, us young kids were confined to the inside while the adults hid the eggs. 

Then it was time for the hunt!  We all rushed out down the front steps and ran around frantically finding those wonderful colored eggs, hoping to be the one that found the golden egg and be proclaimed the Ruler of the Great Bucklin Egg Hunt.  Yeah, yeah.  I made that up, too.  But the memories are real.  Can you feel it?

April 17, 2022 – Update

April 14, 1963

Found another photo from that long, long ago Easter of 1963. The date was April 14, 1963. The place was Hathaway, Louisiana, at the home of my grandparents Fred and Myrtle Phenice Bucklin. This is in the front of their house and it includes Rob Landry, cousin Rhonda (I think), Pilcher cousins Larry, Toni, and Paul, and myself – Van Landry. I’m not sure what I’m holding in this photo. It looks like most of us have taken a break from Easter egg hunting. Yet Rhonda looks like she is skedaddling past Rob to find some hidden treasure! I think there’s someone else behind him as well.


A Warm Summer Evening

The Landry family and cousins on July 5, 1967, at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana.

I’m not really sure why I picked this photo.  The mood of it resonated with me somehow.  It’s not the clearest photo by far.  It was taken on July 5, 1967, in Jennings, Louisiana, at my childhood home.  That was the yellow house on Lucy Street with the number 758.  It wasn’t 758 Lucy Street until our family moved there in 1964.  The numbers weren’t on the house and the house on the left had a number in the 700s, while the house on the left had a number in the 800s.  So we just picked something in between.  And that’s what it is today.

Another thing about the house is that when we moved  into it, there was no air conditioning.  Even at the time that this photo was taken, we still didn’t have air conditioning.  We didn’t get that until around 1972.  I remember sleeping in the bed at night with the attic fan on.  It brought the “cool” evening air into the house.  I would sleep with my head on the window sill.  The breeze from the fan felt good.

But really!  It wasn’t that cool.  Everybody knows how hot it gets in southern Louisiana in July.  It doesn’t cool off after the sun goes down.  It’s not as hot, but it’s still pretty warm.  That’s one of the things this photo reminds me of.  It looks like we were just finishing up with dinner.  And everyone knows what happened at the Landry household on July 5th after dinner time.  Right?  Of course!  It was time to put candles on Jamie’s birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday dear Jamie” to her.  She was five that year.  You can see her peeking from behind me in the photo.  If you know which one is me, that is.

I grew up in a family with six kids.  But if you happen to have counted how many are in this photo, you would know that there were a few extra.  Those two extras are our cousins Lynn and Toni.  They were the daughters of my mom Betty Lou Bucklin Landry’s older sister Sylvia Bucklin Pilcher.  That’s Aunt Sylvia to those of us in the family. She had five children of her own and they were all close to the same ages as us kids.  You can see Lynn in the very center of the photo.  She’s the one closest to the cameraman – most likely that was my dad (Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr.)  In the bottom left corner of the photo you can see her older sister Toni.  I suppose they were there visiting my sisters.  It happened from time to time.

Above Toni’s head, you can see Al looking across the sea of people.  Pay attention! Al!  We’re trying to take a picture here!  Oh, well.  He will forever be not listening.  Next in the circle is Rob.  He is paying attention and smiling for the photo.  Good job, Rob!  Next is my mom.  She is looking a little tired or distracted. She was a busy woman taking care of six young, growing kids.  I don’t know how she did that and managed to not look tired in most photos.  Maybe she was just wondering if we were ever going to get air conditioning!

Standing up in the back is my older sister Jodie.  She was the oldest and the leader of the pack.  By that I mean the six of us kids.  When I’ve met kids through the years, I notice how there is a connection they have with their siblings. One of them is clearly the leader.  And there is a closeness among them that is noticeable.  I’m sure we were like that.  I wasn’t really that aware of it when I was growing up.  We lost our leader when Jodie died in 1989.    In front of Jodie – and kinda behind me – is the birthday girl.  Jamie was kind of shy back then.  But not usually with family.  She looks like she did when there were strangers around.  She’d be lurking around behind one of us older siblings and not saying much.  That has changed. 

Like I said, I am in front of Jamie.  My name is Van.  I wasn’t much braver than Jamie was myself.  We were the two youngest.  I’m the blurriest one in the photo.  I look like I’m moving or something.  Maybe someone left a bit of food on their plate?  I shouldn’t give Al and my mom so much grief when I was definitely not paying attention to the cameraman.

And lastly we have Karen.  She was supposed to be my main focus for the blog today.  The second anniversary of her death is tomorrow and I wanted to commemorate it with a story.  I think she would have liked this story, though.  It’s about our family and good times we had together.  She doesn’t look particularly happy in this photo, but if she was upset about something I think we would have known about it.  If Karen didn’t like something or didn’t want to do something, it would take a lot of effort to get her to do it.  She didn’t like shots – who does – but she would fight with my mom to try to keep from getting one.  My mom was just trying to make sure she was okay, but Karen acted like she was trying to kill her!  She was like that for any sort of medical thing, though she outgrew that.

So there you have it.  A warm summer evening in Smalltown, USA.  Sure it’s warm, but five little candles won’t make much of a difference.  Cake, anyone?

Calling All Keys – Unite!

It’s time again.  That’s right.  We are overdue for a Keys Reunion.  The last one was in 2019. With the pandemic happening the past two years, we were unable to meet.  But now things have settled down and we can meet again, just like we have for many years.  It will be held on June 18th (a Saturday) at the Raymond Methodist Church at 10:00am until…bring your favorite dish and drink!  A fun time will be had by all.

Keys family reunion in June of 1973.

Can you believe it has been almost fifty years since that First Keys Reunion in 1973?  So much has changed since then.  The biggest change recently is that my Uncle Austin passed away earlier this month.  He died a week before his 80th birthday.  He will be missed.

I do love this old photo, though I do notice that a lot of people are no longer with us.  But that is the way with families.  The older generation passes on and the younger generation carries on.  Sometimes we lose touch with relatives.  So that’s what the reunion is for – we can get together and reconnect.  We do share a great family heritage from our Keys family.  I do hope that I’ve shared enough photos and stories of the family for you to see that.

But if you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll listen to my great grandmother Daisy Keys Phenice.  After all, she was born a Keys.  She and her four siblings – Leonard, Henry Alfred “The Judge,” Ruth, and Mabel – gave rise to all of the hundreds of family members in that Keys family spreading out from southern Louisiana.  Maybe she will entice you to attend the event.  Just touch or click on the photo below and it will come to life.

Daisy Keys circa 1894

Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy Landry Revealed

Photo taken from the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau Collection (AC-824) at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas.

I’ve had a hard time getting this post started.  I keep second guessing myself about declaring the identity of the woman in the photo I’m posting.  I’m pretty sure she is my great great great grandmother Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy Landry.  That’s pretty exciting to me, because I haven’t had any other photos of any of my 3X great grandparents.  This is a photo that I copied from the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau Collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas. (Collection AC-824)  It was in one of the family photo albums in the collection in a prominent place.  Zerbine (pronounced  Zir’bean) Landry was the mother-in-law of Ferdinand Patureau, the patriarch of the Patureau family in southern Louisiana.  But before that, she was Zerbine Dupuy.

Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy was born June 23, 1807, to Magloire Dupuy and Henriette Serrette.  Magloire was the first generation born in America with all Acadian ancestry, while Henriette was first generation born in America with all French ancestry.  By some definitions, they would be considered Creole.  The next generation was a mix of French and Acadian.  I’m not sure how they identified themselves, but they spoke French and were associated and married mostly with people I consider Cajun.

Zerbine was the fourth of eight children.  What’s really interesting is that her grandmother Anne Marie Hebert was alive until the time that Zerbine was almost 18 years old.  Anne Marie was born in Acadie.  She lived with her family there until 1755, when her family and all of the other Acadians were Exiled during the Grand Derangement.  Anne Marie was with her family during twelve years of Exile in Georgetown, Maryland.  The family made their way to Louisiana in 1767.  So when Zerbine was growing up in Brusly, she most likely visited her grandmother in St. Gabriel and heard a few interesting stories from her past.  If only those talking photos really told us things we didn’t already know!!

Zerbine’s grandmother almost lived long enough to make it to her wedding.  Zerbine got married to Elie Onezime Landry on Feb. 7, 1825, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Her grandmother Anne Marie died two days earlier.  Onezime is one of the three sons of Joseph Ignatius Landry that I descend from.  His brother Narcisse Landry was married to Marie Carmelite Hebert.  Marie Carmelite and Zerbine were related, because Carmelite’s grandfather Pierre Paul Hebert was the brother of Zerbine’s grandmother Anne Marie.  But even more interesting, Onezime’s brother Manuel was married to Celeste Bruneteau who was the half-sister of Zerbine’s father.  Celeste was a daughter of Anne Marie.  How did I not realize how closely related these wives were to each other?  These Landry and Hebert families were very enmeshed.

This death notice of Marie Pamelia Landry is part of the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau Collection (AC-824) at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas.

Zerbine and Onezime had six children together, including my great great grandmother Marie Emma Landry Patureau.  They only had a dozen years together, because Onezime died in April 1837.  Their sixth child Marie Pamelia actually was born three months after his death.  What a bittersweet occasion that must have been.  A year later Zerbine married Louis Valsin Comeaux.  I don’t know much about him, so I don’t know if there is a Landry or Hebert connection.  Zerbine and Valsin had three children together.  They only had seventeen years together.  In an odd coincidence, Valsin died in June of 1854 a few days after the death of Marie Pamelia.  So Marie Pamelia’s birth and death are close to the deaths of both of Zerbine’s husbands.

By this time Marie Emma had been married to Ferdinand Patureau for seven years and they had four children.  Their fourth child Marie Valentine was only a year old when she died on August 4, 1854.  It was a rough time for this family, but they carried on.  Marie and Ferdinand had a few more children and in 1864 the family went to New Orleans to have a photograph of the family made.  I know this because I have a copy of that photo and I’ve shared it with everyone.

But I also think that they brought Emma’s mother Zerbine with them and had a portrait made of her as well.  The main photo of this post was taken at the same photo studio around the same time as the 1864 photo.  The name of the studio and the print on the back of the two photos are identical.  A friend of mine who loves the study of Civil War era history and fashions assures me that the photo was taken in the Civil War era.  This is based on the hairstyle and the dress she is wearing.  And as I said earlier, the photo was in a Patureau family photo album in a prominent position.  Who else would it be?  Ferdinand’s mother died in 1842.  Zerbine lived until 1886.  Plus the woman in the photo looks like she could be Emma’s mother.  These were people who saved death notices of their beloved family members, and of course they would want to have a portrait made of their mother.

So yes, I do believe this is a photo of my great great great grandmother Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy Landry.  Try not to be too jealous.

Check out the follow up  to this story:

Zerbine Was a Feisty Woman


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