Remembering Bob & Betty…and a Ring

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the death of my parents.  It was five years for my mom yesterday – January 19 – and my dad’s anniversary is on the 24th.  I thought I would write something about them today, so that’s what I’m doing.  But I thought I’d write about a previous anniversary.  My parents were married on November 1, 1952, in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Their 25th anniversary was in 1977, but this photo was from two months later.

Betty Lou Bucklin Landry and Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr. at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana, on Jan. 4, 1978.

And even though I took these photos myself with my new Canon TX camera that I got the Christmas of 1977,  I don’t think they are all that great.  But my memories of the event are what convinced me to post these photos.  The photos were taken on January 4, 1978, in the den at our home in Jennings.  I was a junior in high school, so I was still living at home.

The photos show many details that were commonplace in the Landry household in the 70s.  In the foreground are two chairs that were “purchased” at the S&H Green Stamp store.  They were foldable and stackable.  They used to be our dining room chairs until we upgraded to wooden chairs with a matching table.  We probably did that around 1973 with money that my dad inherited at the death of his mother.  It also helped to pay for the paneling and carpet in the living room.   You gotta love the 70s!  You can see the wooden table and chairs in the second photo if you know what you’re looking for.  A hint:  there is a box of Cheerios on the table!

The other thing to note is the yellow National Geographic magazine sitting on the speaker between mom and dad.  We always had a subscription to this magazine.  On the other side of this room, there were some shelves in the corner.  On a few of these shelves were the National Geographic magazines that were collected all the way back to 1958 or so.  I just knew that if they were from before I was born, they were old.  I think the speakers were relatively new as well.  My dad and Uncle Johnny built a cabinet for a stereo system in the living room.  But we were really fancy and ran some wires under the house so we could have sound in the den as well.  If only we had a remote control for the TV!

My mom showing off her sparkly new diamond ring to my sisters Jamie and Karen.

Now let me tell you what is going on in these photos.  When my parents’ 25th anniversary was coming around, my mom made some subtle hints that she would like a diamond ring.  When my parents got married, they exchanged wedding rings and they were both gold bands.  Later on, my mom bought a ring that had two tiny diamonds on it for herself.  But she decided that she wanted a ring that had a diamond in it that she could see without her reading glasses. 

Well, their anniversary came and went on Nov. 1, 1977, and there was no ring.  I guess her hint was too subtle for Bob Landry.  I’m sure he got her something for their anniversary, but it wasn’t a ring with a diamond on it that she could see without her readers.  That was a very specific desire of hers.  She let him know that she was disappointed that it hadn’t happened.  And since we were making the big bucks from our singing engagement at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Lake Charles, she knew that he could afford it.

My dad eventually got the hint.  He went out and bought my mom a ring from Gem Jewelers in town.  On January 4 (not any type of anniversary or birthday) he surprised her with the ring.  He must have let me know about it beforehand, otherwise I wouldn’t have the picture of him surprising her.  You can see that there is a glass sitting next to her, as well as a Harlequin romance novel.  My mom liked to read those books.  (As you can see from the second photo, my sister Karen did, too.)  So my mom was sitting on the couch in the den reading her book and drinking a refreshing beverage when my dad sprung his surprise on her.   She was smiling really big and looking down at the ring with her reading glasses in that first photo.  I was across the room so I could sneak the photo.  That’s my excuse for why the photo isn’t so great.  But I still love it.  It’s so candid – my favorite kind of photo.

You can see that she removed her glasses in the second photo.  She was checking to make sure she could still see the diamond without the glasses.  It was a great success.  She approved.  Jamie and Karen had to check it out as well.  I’m not sure what size it was, but that’s not really so important.  My mom wasn’t a demanding or extravagant person, but for some reason this was something that she really wanted.  My dad was glad that she liked his choice.   So we’ll call it a delayed – yet satisfactory – 25th anniversary gift from my dad to my mom.

The Patureau Sisters of Plaquemine Revisited

Zita, Erie, Sylvie, and Lydwin were four of the Patureau sisters from Plaquemine.

I wrote a post about the my paternal grandmother and her sisters over five years ago.  That other post featured a photo of my Mee Maw (Germaine Erie Patureau Landry) with five of her sisters.  This photo only has three of her sisters and it was taken a few years before that other photo. 

This photo was taken around 1958 or so.  I have no idea where it was taken.  I don’t recognize any background feature that would  give me a clue.  Maybe someone else knows.  I do know who the four Patureau sisters are.  From left to right we have Zita, Erie, Sylvie, and Lydwin.  Two of these sisters gave birth to eight children each – with four boys and four girls for each.  The other two sisters did not birth any children.  That was your choice back then.  Either you had eight children or you had none.

That’s not true.  It just happens to be the situation for those sisters in this photo.  Lydwin or Aunt Win was the oldest one in this photo.  She was never married and had no children.  On the other side of the couch is Aunt Zita who never gave birth to any children.  However, when their sister Marie Therese died as a young mother of two daughters, Zita married her widower (Clarence Schafer) and helped raise the two daughters.  While we love our Sis and Syl, I mainly wanted to talk about the two large families of the other two Patureau sisters.

Erie (later to be known as Mee Maw) married Rob Landry in 1921.  Their first child was born in 1923 and they had the rest of their eight children over then next 13 years in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Sylvie married Son Marionneaux in 1929.  Their first child was born in 1930 and they had their eighth 12 years later.  These girls didn’t waste much time!  There were a few of them that were born close to the same time.  I remember how exciting it was when my sisters were pregnant at the same time.  Things change so quickly during those times. 

In 1932 both Erie and Sylvie gave birth to little girls.  Erie gave birth to Wana on June 30th and just four months later Sylvie gave birth to Winona on Halloween. (my birthday!)  Aunt Wana passed away in 2014 and we just lost Winona this week.  She was my inspiration for this week’s post.  It made me think of those two large families that were so similar.  I really don’t remember Winona from when I was young.  Shortly after I moved to Baton Rouge, I befriended her daughter.  We didn’t realize we were second cousins for two years.  Then one day she started talking about a strange cousin she had that would show up uninvited and start telling people what to do.  The more she talked, the more familiar the cousin sounded.  When I asked her if her cousin’s name was Tez, she was astounded.  It didn’t take long to figure out our relation.  The Uninvited Guest strikes again!

In 1936 Erie and Sylvie thought they could do a little better, and they did.  This time their children were only a month and a half apart. Sylvie had Maxine in June, while Erie gave birth to Johnny in August.  These cousins are still with us.  That completed Erie’s eight kids, while Sylvie had three more to go.  In those first few years (until 1935) Erie and Sylvie’s dad Max Patureau was still alive and he loved to go stay where all of the kids were.  So he would take turns going to Plaquemine and Lake Charles to visit his grandkids.

My dad used to talk about how he liked to go visit his cousins in Plaquemine.  The thing that was talked about the most was sleeping on the porch of the house.  There was something about jumping out of the window to claim the bed that was on the porch.  Whenever his cousins would show up at family reunions or get togethers, you could see that he had a fondness for them.  It seems like that was a mutual feeling between all of those cousins.  I feel the same way toward my cousins.

So this weekend we’ll be saying goodbye to one of Grampa Max’s grandchildren.  There are still a few of them left.  I’m hoping to see some of them and the next generation so we can maintain those family connections.

Phenice Family Circa 1917

H.C., Warren, Orville, Henry, and Daisy Phenice circa 1917.

This is a picture that was shared with me a few years ago at the Keys Family Reunion.  It was an easy enough way to share it – they brought the photo to the reunion and I took a photo of it.  I should keep track of who shares photos with me, that way I can thank them properly.  I do appreciated whoever it was that brought the photo.  It makes me wonder how many other photos are out there that I would find interesting enough to share on my blog.

The reason it was shared at the Keys Family Reunion is because of the woman in the photo.  She would be my great grandmother Daisy Keys Phenice.  She was born in England in 1876 and moved to America with her mother and siblings when she was 11.  The family settled in the Hathaway, Louisiana, area.  She grew up, and at the age of 24 she got married to Harry Clifton Phenice.  A year later they had their first child Sylvan.  In 1903 Grace was born.  My grandmother Myrtle was born in 1906.  She was followed by Henry in 1909, Orville in 1911, and Warren in 1916.  That brings us to the year the photo was taken.

So actually this is H.C. and Daisy with half of their children in 1917.  I wish that my grandmother was in the photo, too.  Maybe she was taking the photo.  She was about 11 years old when this photo was taken and would have been in elementary school with her friend Emily Brown.  In old letters they talked about going to school together and riding the buggy.  Sometimes Orville and Henry would go along or rode horseback.  For some reason I always pictured older brothers riding along for protection, but this is the age that they would have been!  At least they had company!

Patureau Family Photo Circa 1864

The Ferdinand and Emma Landry Patureau family circa 1864. I think the photo was taken in New Orleans, Louisiana.

I wasn’t planning on posting this photo any time soon.  It was my most favorite one that I found in the Patureau Family Cache at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas, when I visited last month.  I try to space them out a bit so I don’t run out of the good photos too quickly.  I was actually running out of Patureau photos before I went to the collection in Beaumont.  In October I even repeated a photo of my grandmother from 1921 in a post.  I’m glad that I have a good supply of photos for that line of my family.

But I decided to post it now because a distant cousin also discovered that treasure trove and posted a copy of the photo on two online genealogy sites.  So it’s already out there for anyone to see.  So I decided to edit it a bit to clean it up and make it look its best.  It didn’t take very long to get a version that I was happy with.  And this time I made sure to save it.  I had worked on a different photo for a while and then walked away.  When I came back, the computer suggested installing an update.  I said ‘yes’ and by the time I realized what I had done, it was too late.  Back to the beginning for that photo.  But besides cleaning the photo up, there are some historical details that I need to resolve.

1826 birth record for (Ferdinand) Pierre Patureau in Riberac, France.

I have already written a post about all of the members of this family, so this time I will just identify those present in the photo.  The man in the back is the patriarch of the Patureau families in the United States.  He had a sister that has several descendants, but none of them have the last name Patureau.  If you run across a Patureau in America, it’s likely that they descend from this man – Ferdinand Pierre Patureau.  He was born in France on October 26, 1826.  I have a copy of his birth record and the name given on that document is only Pierre Patureau.  According to a document I found in the Tyrrell Historical Library’s collection, he and his father were both named Pierre Ferdinand Patureau.  Instead of referring to them as Sr. and Jr., they just switched the names for the son.  So Ferdinand Pierre Patureau was the son of Pierre Ferdinand Patureau.

Ferdinand  was married to Marie Emma Landry, who is seen standing next to him in the middle of the photo.  She was born in 1829, so she would be about 34 years old at the time of the photo.  The year before, she had given birth to Rose Elisa.  She would be the little girl standing on the chair.  Obviously she could not stand still enough for the photo.  So she’s more of a blur.  No amount of editing could fix that!  In the middle of the photo is their oldest son Louis Leobon.  He would start to have brothers in the next year or so.  If you notice, one of his eyes is crossed.  I would have fixed that if I thought it was just an error in the photo.  But I remember seeing a newspaper article that Leobon was vouching for an eye doctor who corrected such a thing.  I looked for the article, but can’t find it right now.  I know I’ve seen it.  I’m positive!

On the left we have a grouping of three daughters.  The oldest is Aline, born in 1849.  The one of the end is Marie Zelica, born in 1857.  The last three children listed all married Hebert siblings.  Leobon married Amelia, Aline married Joseph Omer, and Zelica married Louis.  There were a lot of double cousins from that threesome – 23 to be exact.  The young girl on the bottom to the left is Anna Emma.  She was born in 1860.  I found another photo of her in the collection, but it looks like it was taken at the same time as this photo.

On the right we have Zulma and Palmyre.  Zulma was the oldest (born in 1848) and “everyone’s favorite.”  I’m fond of her because she collected a lot of these old photos along with a later sister Victorine.  Many times she wrote the names of people in the photos.  Very nice.  Palmyre or Palmire was born in 1855.  It’s odd that Palmyre and Anna Emma were born five years apart and they both died almost five years apart – they were both 14.  What a terrible case of deja vu that was.

So there you have it – all of the members of the Patureau family in 1864.  I really do cherish this photo.  It’s amazing.

The Jennings OLHC Manger Scene Circa 1965

Last Christmas I noticed that I had neglected talking about the history of Christmas traditions in my family when I was growing up.  So I decided to remedy that.  I wrote two posts last year at Christmas time and this is the second one I’m doing this year.  I planned this one last year after seeing a photo of the manger scene from the Catholic church that our family attended.  I got the photo from one of our neighbors back then.  (Thanks, Lionel K. for the photo.  I’m not sure where the photo came from because I saw it again this year and Mike C. was credited.  Again, thanks.)

OLHC Christmas manger scene circa 1965 in Jennings, Louisiana.

Here is what the original photo looks like.   This was the manger scene that was set up every year at the side altar of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings, Louisiana.  This is a large stone church that was built in 1916.  It has beautiful stained-glass windows in it that capture your attention.

But during the season of Advent leading up the Christmas, the thing that got people’s attention (at least it always got mine) was the manger scene that was set up to the side of the main altar.  I’ve heard (via Facebook) that the person responsible for the figures and background was a Mrs. Annette Hebert, with the possible assistance of the Ladies Altar Society.  I don’t remember her, but I am a fan of her work.

But this photo doesn’t look like the way I remember it.  Sure, it has the manger with Mary and Joseph in it.  At midnight mass, part of the processional was bringing the figure of the baby Jesus to the manger.  Later on the three wise men would make their way to visit the baby Jesus.  There are people standing around on the mountainside looking out to see what was going on.  (It probably wasn’t meant to be a hill or mountain, it was to show things in the distance.  It was always a mountain to me!) 

My version of the photo from 1965.

But when I was a kid, I remember being in awe of it when we went to midnight mass.  So I edited the photo to better represent the way I remember seeing it.  I tried to get it to convey the feelings I had back then when my family and I would stand around it and point out things we could make out.  So I brought myself back to that time and place as I worked on the photo.

“Look,” I said, “there’s a kid up on the mountainside!”  Karen commented on how much she loved Mary’s blue dress.  My mom was so glad she never had to give birth in such a crude environment. 

Jodie said, “Look, that guy is playing the flute.”  My dad would just nod in agreement.  There were so many details to see among the twinkling lights and people standing about.  As I came out of my reverie, I found that I had tears in my eyes.  I had to say goodbye again to my parents and two sisters.  I figured that I got the feeling of the photo right if it did that to me!

The image isn’t much to look at on a glance.  For best effect, it helps to look at it in as large of a format that you can in a darkened room.  Then you can start to make out some of the details – the darkened church walls, the dim light coming through the window, the glowing lights scattered about, the figures standing around telling their story.

But you don’t really have to.  This is about me and my family’s memories.  I’m sure you all have your own.  And we can always make more.  So love the people around you and show them kindness.  But most of all, have yourself a merry little Christmas.

The Ruined Christmas Photo

Rob, Karen, Jamie, Jodie, Van, and Al Landry on Christmas morning in 1966 in Jennings, Louisiana.

I’ve been planning on posting this photo for a while now.  I realized last year that I hadn’t posted any Christmas photos from my own childhood.  I posted a few photos last year and decided to wait until this year for this photo.  I was actually going to use it next week, but I was pressed for time this week and this photo has already been edited to my liking.

Let’s go back to 1966 when little Van Landry was all excited about Christmas.  I was only six years old, so I probably didn’t stay up for Midnight Mass like some of the older siblings did.  After spending Christmas Eve in Lake Charles with all of my Landry cousins, we made our way back to Jennings for the night.  We may have driven around a few places in Lake Charles to look at some of the lights and decorations for the season.  I remember doing that a time or two.  We would usually get back to Jennings pretty late and it would be time for bedtime.

But how could we go to bed?  Santa was coming tonight!  It was too exciting!  I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep, but before you know it I was sleeping.  I always missed my chance to sneak into the other room and catch him in action.  The next thing I knew, I was waking up to the sound of Perry Como’s “Little Drummer Boy” or Fred Waring’s version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Those songs and many more were regular Christmas morning fare in the Landry household at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana.  For some reason I also associate the music from “Peter and the Wolf” with Christmas as well.  I didn’t listen for very long, because when I became fully aware, I had to go see what treasures I had!

We usually had a few gifts and a stocking full of goodies.  Our stockings were actually one of our dad’s socks!  In the sock would be an apple, an orange, some nuts and some candy, and for me there would be a matchbox car.  Of course we’d want to open our gifts immediately, but our dad wanted to take a photo of us with our gifts beforehand.  Why this delay in our immediate gratification?  But we went along.  My dad got out his fancy Polaroid camera, got us organized for the photo, told us to say “cheese,” and snapped a photo of us smiling.

Christmas morning – Take 2

At least he thought we were all smiling.  When he took the photo, I decided to make a funny face to show the excitement I had for the day.  As he saw the developed photo after waiting a while, a look of dissatisfaction came over his face.  He fussed at me for ruining the family photo and decided to take another photo of us.  I tried to behave myself the second time, but you can see that I’m still laughing about the fun photo I took the first time.  I distinctly remember him fussing at me and it seems like it would have sobered me a little.  I don’t see any sign of it in the second photo.

I still like the first photo the best.

A Bucklin and a Peck

Earlier this year I wrote a post titled “James Bucklin and His Forebears.”  In that post I wrote about the ancestors of my great great grandfather (and my own, of course) James Bucklin (1821-1890).  One of those couples was a Bucklin and a Peck.  That would have been James Bucklin’s great grandparents (my 5x great grandparents) James Bucklin (1709-1780) and Mary Peck (1721-1770).   In that other post I followed the Bucklin line back a few generations.  This time I’ll look back along the Peck line, mainly because I found an old newspaper article about her great great grandfather Joseph Peck.

Newspaper article about Joseph Peck who originated in Beccles, England, in 1587.

We’ll start with Mary’s parents Jathniel Peck, Jr. and Damaris Bowen.  Those are some unique names – at least compared to the Bucklin line that had Marys, Josephs, James, and Sarahs.  Of course you know that the Jathniel name is repeated – he’s a junior!  Jathniel Sr. was married to Sarah Smith.  Uh, oh!  I spoke too soon.  There’s another Sarah and with the most common of names – Smith.  At least her mother had an interesting name – Esther Chickering.  Going back to the Pecks, we have Jathniel Sr.’s parents Joseph Peck, Jr. and Hannah Playford.

All of these generations lived in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.  The first generation that lived there was Joseph Jr. and Hannah.  Hannah actually died in Seekonk, Rhode Island.  If you read the article, you’ll see that Seekonk was part of the original Rehoboth.  Now Joseph Jr. is not the Joseph Peck I talked about at first.  If you were paying attention, you would know that Joseph Peck, Jr. was the great grandfather of Mary Peck.  Joseph Peck Jr. was the son of – drumroll, please – Joseph Peck Sr.  I suppose you saw that coming. 

Joseph Sr. was baptized on April 30, 1587, in the Beccles Church shown in the newspaper article.  Joseph grew up in Beccles, which is in Norfolk, England.  He married Rebecca Clark in 1617 in Hingham, England, and they had five children by the year 1635. Joseph and his family were Puritans, and his brother Robert was the pastor of their church in Hingham.  The Puritans were being persecuted in England at the time, so they decided to escape to America.   It looks like Rebecca died in 1637 before they left for the New World.  Their group arrived in North America on the Diligent in 1638.   The settlement that they founded was called Hingham, Massachusetts.

Joseph Sr. came to America with three sons and a daughter, as well as two men servants and three maid servants.  It looks like he was pretty well off, and the article talks about him being one of the most influential men of  Old Rehoboth.  It’s interesting to find information about ancestors from the early history of our country.  Since he was involved with such an historic time and was so prominent, there is a good bit of information about him.  So if you ever want to find out more about him, there is information to be found.

Maman Emma Was a Beauty

I know I have been posting a lot of things about the Patureau family recently, but sometimes information comes to me from one family group more than from others.  And it seems lately that most of it has been Patureau related.  The main thing was the nice collection of Patureau information that was started by Victorine Patureau Cropper in the late 1800s and was continued by her daughter Kitty Cropper Rush until her death in 1997.  Kitty’s daughter inherited the information and decided to ensure that it was preserved by donating it to the Tyrrell Historical Library.  I called this Patureau cousin last week to thank her for making sure the information was taken care of and available for viewing by all of us cousins.

Marie Emma Landry Patureau circa 1864. I believe this photo was taken in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the photographic studio of A. Constant. The original photo is the Tyrrell Historical Library Pierre Ferdinand Patureau Collection (AC-824) in Beaumont, Texas. The photo edit is by Van Landry.

The photo that I’m sharing this week comes from that collection.  It is a crop of Emma Landry Patureau from a larger Patureau family portrait from around 1864.  The original photo was the photo that I was most excited to see when I went through the THLPFP Collection.  The only copy I had before was a Xerox copy from 20 or 30 years ago.  I didn’t even know if the original photo still existed.  So when I saw the original in the collection, I was elated.  There are actually two copies of the same sitting, though one of them was bigger and better than the other.  That’s what I used for this edit.

My father was Bob Landry.  His mother was Germaine Erie Patureau.  Her parents were Vincent Maximilian Patureau (Grampa Max) and Marie Therese Landry.  Grampa Max was the son of Ferdinand Pierre Patureau and Marie Emma Landry.  So Ferdinand and Emma were my great great grandparents.  I am only one of several hundred people who can make that claim.  There are a lot of Patureau family members out there!

But I’m going to talk about the Landry side of the family since the photo is of Emma.  The photo actually had a Landry reference written on the back of it.  Besides having the information of the photographic studio, it also had the words “Pour Mme. Sosthene” written on it.  They were French after all.  Ferdinand and his parents immigrated from La Roche Chalais, France, which was in the Dordogne department.  Emma was mostly from Acadian ancestors.  They also spoke French, but more likely a Cajun French from the south Louisiana area.  So you end up with “For Mrs. Sosthene” when you translate the writing on the reverse of the photo.

Reverse side of 1864 photo.

That may not tell you that it was a Landry reference, but it was a clue for me.  Emma was the daughter of Elie Onezime Landry and Jeanne Zerbine Dupuy.  They had a son before her, but when she was born in November of 1829, he had recently died or would soon die.  All I know is that little Leon Landry was born in 1826 and he died around 1829.  Onezime and Zerbine had another daughter in 1831 and she was named Henriette Zulma Landry.  She was named after her French grandmother Henriette Serrette Dupuy.  I’ve written about Henriette and her husband Magloire before.

It looks like all of my Landry families moved from St. Gabriel, Louisiana, to Brusly sometime around the 1820s or 30s.  Emma was born in St. Gabriel and her sister Zulma was born in Brusly.  Their Uncle Narcisse (Landry) and Aunt Marie Carmelite were in Brusly in 1820 and that’s where their youngest sons (my ancestors) Trasimond and Alcide were born.  Uncle Manuel (Landry) and Aunt Celeste were also in Brusly in 1820 and their youngest daughters (my ancestors) Anna Adele and Marguerite Basalite were born there.  So Emma, Zulma, and their younger siblings would have grown up around their Landry cousins in Brusly.

Emma got married to Ferdinand on February 10, 1847.  By the time that Zulma got married in 1853, Emma had already given birth to Elizabeth Zulma, Marie Aline, and Louis Leobon.  I’m not exactly sure where those first children were born.  Everything that I’ve read says that they were born in Brusly.  No mention of any other place the family lived until they moved to Plaquemine in the 1850s.  But the US Census shows the Patureau family living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1850.  It looks like other researchers missed this little bit of information.  It is understandable.  They are listed as a F. Paturo who was from France, along with the wife Emma who was born in Louisiana.  Their first two daughters are listed as Elizabeth and Ellen.  I’m sure it is them.

Letter from Zulma to her sister Emma

I haven’t found Zulma Landry in the 1850 Census.  I need to find that to clarify some confusion about the family.  It doesn’t help that Elie Onezime Landry had an older brother named Elie. I know that Emma’s sister goes by the name Zulma because that’s how she signs a letter that she wrote to Emma in 1851.  She mentions Zulma (Patureau), Aline, and Leobon by name and encourages them to be reasonable or well-behaved and not to give their maman and papa any trouble. She signs off in French with “your sister, Zulma.”   

In a later letter, she signs it with a “Zulma A.” That’s because she was married and her husband’s last name was Aillet.  When Emma had a photo made of herself with Ferdinand and the kids in 1864, of course she wanted to send a copy of it to her sister.   For some reason she didn’t write “Pour ma soeur” or “Pour Zulma A.” or even “Pour Mme. Aillet.”  No, she decided to go with Zulma’s husband’s first name Sosthene.  So there it is!  Her sister Zulma was Mme Sosthene.

Earlier version of the 1864 photo. This is the best edit I could do with that one.

A Boy Scout, A Ukulele, and a Rattan Couch

Jamie, Jodie, Al, Karen, Van, and Rob Landry circa November 1966 in Jennings, Louisiana.

I went looking for a photo that related to Thanksgiving, and this is what I came  up with.  I don’t think it is from a Thanksgiving, but the estimated date for it is November 1966. So it’s kinda close to the time of Thanksgiving from 55 years ago.  And since I’m always thankful for the large family that I grew up in, I thought it was appropriate.  Plus it’s just a good photo of us kids back in the day. 

So this is me and my siblings at our family home at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana.  From left to right is Jamie, Jodie, Al, Karen, Me (Van), and Rob Landry.  Our parents were Bob and Betty Landry.  We’re sitting in the den of the house.  I know that because it has paneling on the wall and I think it was the only room in the house with paneling until a few years later.  Plus it has the rattan couch that we are sitting on.  That couch was in the den against the east wall until we got the pool table at a later date. 

The other thing that brings back memories is the Boy Scout uniform that my brother Rob is wearing.  I remember that he went to a place called Camp Edgewood with the Scouts.  It is somewhere between DeQuincy and Ragley, Louisiana.  I remember the whole family riding in the famous Country Squire station wagon to go pick him up.  My dad was driving, of course, but the memorable part of it was that it was misty and chilly outside and the windshield was fogging up.  He and someone else – my mom, I think, who doesn’t like fooling with buttons and such – were trying to get it to clear up.  Nothing worked and my dad eventually ended up rolling down the side window and sticking his head out to see where we were going.  It seemed a bit concerning at the time, but seems funny now.

The uniform also reminds me of going to pick out Christmas trees after Thanksgiving.  I think the scoutmaster was Arthur Sneed.  At least he is the person that I think about when I think about getting Christmas trees back in the 60s in Jennings.  The Boy Scouts were somehow connected to providing Christmas trees.  He and my dad would always chat and have a good laugh.  I would sometimes wonder why he didn’t laugh that way around us.  I recently went to a funeral for a classmate who was from the Sneed family.  One of the first things I noticed were all of the people that had on Scout uniforms.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – for the Sneed family and the Landry family.  There is something reassuring about that.

Landry family get together in Galveston, Texas, November 2021.

For the Landry family I am referring to the ukulele seen in this photo.  My youngest sister Jamie is playing the uke in this photo.  We all learned how to play the ukulele and/or the guitar and a band instrument when we were growing up.  What do you expect?  Our dad was a band director!  The family recently got together in Texas for the marriage of her youngest daughter.  And of course, we had our ukuleles and guitars to play.  Al had gifted me a ukulele for my birthday a few weeks ago (thanks again!) and encouraged me to bring it.  So there was some singing and playing going on at our get together. 

We also played some card games.  It was more enjoyable to me than usual.  Not just because I won – that helped.  It was also because there wasn’t much arguing over rules.  Someone listening from the outside might not have noticed much difference.  We can get rather loud when we are playing games!  Our family has a habit of talking over each other at times, and when we play games it is even more pronounced.   I love it!  And I’m thankful for it.

I hope you are able to find things to be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving 2021!

Patureau Family History Cache

THLPFP Collection Box 3 includes a photo album of old Patureau family. This is the cover of the album.

A couple of months ago I found out about a collection of Patureau family memorabilia that had been donated to a library in Beaumont, Texas.  (Thanks, Dana P. for the heads up.)  What?  I thought.  Why would someone donate family history information to a library when there are so many Patureau family members out there with an interest in family history?  The online information about the Pierre Ferdinand Patureau Papers at the Tyrrell Historical Library showed that it included old photos, French documents, death notices, correspondence, and much more.  Old photos?  I want old photos!  And there were a few old Patureau family photos that I have been on the lookout for.

So I decided to add a stop in Beaumont to view this collection after a visit with family in Galveston last weekend.  After two delays from Covid, my niece was having family get together for renewal of her vows.  We had a great time getting together after being apart for so long.  I even got to meet three of my newest family members – Max, Kate, and Jacob.  The family keeps growing!  So, once the weekend was over, I stopped in Beaumont on the way home to see what this Patureau collection was all about.

THLPFP Collection Box 3 includes a cigar box.

Now, my line of the family has been collecting Patureau information for a few generations.  It started with my grandmother Erie Patureau Landry.  Like I said a few weeks ago, I once thought she was one of the main persons that were exploring the Patureau line.  I found out that were several people who have shown interest in the Patureau family through the years.  And now I think that it is impossible for anyone to have more Patureau information than what is in the collection at the Tyrrell Historical Library for Pierre Ferdinand Patureau (ID number AC-824).  Let’s call it the THLPFP Collection.  It will be the source of many a Patureau posts in the future.

It is overwhelming.  There are six boxes of items.  I went directly to Box 3 because it had a photo album in it.  Of course that would be the first one I would go to!  I was not disappointed.  I found the original photo of my great great grandfather Ferdinand Pierre Patureau (son of Pierre Ferdinand) that I had a copy of.  I also found a photo of his wife Marie Emma Landry Patureau that I had never seen before.  I’m not sharing those photos now, because I need to clean them up a bit and see if any modern day magic can improve them.  I am posting a picture of the cover of the album.  The other thing in Box 3 was a cigar box.  I’m not sure what the significance of the cigar box is.   I’ve heard stories of very small babies born into the family and the baby was kept in a cigar box.  None of those stories were associated with the Patureau family.

THLPFP Collection Box 5 also had a photo album. This is the cover.

The next box I looked into was Box 5.  It included prayer books and another photo album.  This album had several really old family photos.  Many of them were tintypes.  It is a shame that many of them were not identified.  But some of them were.  I found an unidentified photo that I thought was my great grandfather Vincent Maximilian Patureau (Grampa Max) wearing some type of military or band uniform.  I had never seen the photo before and wasn’t sure it was him.  There were several prayer books in this box.  I think most of them belonged to Victorine Patureau Cropper.  She was Grampa Max’s youngest sister.  She is the one that started this amazing collection.

But the most exciting thing I found was the original photo of Ferdinand Pierre Patureau and Marie Emma Landry Patureau with their family from around 1864.  I shared a pitiful copy of the photo back in 2018 when cousin Melwyn died.  It was the only copy I had back then, but it’s the oldest photo of the Patureau family that I know of.  I can’t wait to share this photo once I have cleaned it up.

Signature of Pierre Patureau from his 1856 passport.

The next box of goodies that I looked into was Box 6.  It is an oversized box that included a few large photos in it.  They were all of the old portrait of Ferdinand Patureau.  He died in 1877 at the age of 51, so the photo was at some point before then.  The box also had the original passports of Pierre Patureau from 1840 and 1856.  There is also a document from 1863 for Ferdinand Patureau that came from Cuba.  I’m not sure what it is.  There are a few pieces of sheet music, some newspaper clippings, a Cropper family tree, and a few letters in there as well.

THLPFP Collection Box 4 included some letters from Ferdinand to Emma.

I looked at Box 4 next.  It had a ledger from 1866 that Ferdinand Patureau used to keep track of his sawmill business.  It’s interesting to see some of the history of their business, but what was even better were some of the letters that were pressed between the pages.  The letters are undated, but many of them are from Ferdinand to Emma.  Most of them end with him telling her, “I  embrace you with all my heart.”  So sweet!  I’m posting one of the short notes he wrote.  I’m not sure what it says, so I could be taking a risk.  I hope it isn’t too scandalous!  Beside the ledger, it has an order book from 1905 and a trial balance book from 1930.  You can see that they were later used to hold newspaper clippings and to write down some family history information.  The letters were the best.

Death notice from my great great grandfather Narcisse Landry from 1876 in Brusly, Louisiana.

Box 2 has lots of family documents in it: Cropper family photos, Crixell family photos, copies of the Emma Landry Patureau photo, a new photo of Ferdinand that I’ve never seen before, a Mexican passport for Ferdinand in 1865, and various other papers.  I had been looking through this information for over 2 hours or so when I got to these last two folders.  I was rushing furiously through them taking photos.  I really didn’t have time to see much of the details on all of the things I photographed.  I saved that for later.  I finally made it to the last box, which just happened to be Box 1.

Box 1 had an assortment of family history information that had been collected by Patureau family members through the years.  I already had some of it.  I even saw my name in a list of some descendants!  Then there were more letters written in French in folder after folder.  I didn’t have time to photograph them.  And really, when am I ever going to have time to read those??  I’d have to get them translated before I could even do that.  I already have copies of letters that I’ve never gotten translated.  So I skipped over several folders and looked through the death notices.  The collection had one for Pierre Patureau, which I had never seen before.  It also had one for Narcisse Landry, which I have seen before – twice.  It’s amazing that I’ve seen three copies of that same document from 1876. 

Graduation card for my great grandfather V. M. Patureau. I wonder what this was for? Circa 1885 in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

In Box 1 there was a folder of postcards that I almost passed over.  I decided to skim through them and boy am I glad I did.  In among these generic postcards was a card that looked like a graduation card or some such thing.   The name on the card was V. M. Patureau.  It was for Grampa Max!  But not only that, it had a small photo that matched the one I saw earlier that I had suspected was him.  I was correct.  Now I want to know what this card was for.  Any suggestions.

Before I saw this collection, I was a little miffed that someone gave all of this wonderful stuff to a library when they could have left it with someone who was really interested in the Patureau family – like me!  But now that I’ve seen how extensive the collection is, I’ve changed my mind.  I think it is probably in the best place for it.  Sure, I would like for it to be a little closer to Plaquemine, Louisiana, where the Patureau family first settled.  But there are a lot of Patureau family members who live in Texas as well.  And I really wouldn’t want to take care of all of those important documents.  I think there are plans for the library to digitize the collection at some point, so that would be even better.  If that happens, we can all see the whole collection from our homes at a leisurely pace.

That’s a good thing.  I think my back is still a little sore from standing over those items for three hours taking photos at just the right angle with just the right amount of light.  It was worth the trouble.  I still may have to revisit it at some point.

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