Friday, December 27, 2013

Louisiana Languages Survey

If you are of Louisiana descent please take thirty seconds to answer this brief survey of ten questions.

Thanks so much for your time! 
Please share with others!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to Y'all

Last night on Christmas Eve I spent the evening with my family. The usual feast after Christmas Eve Mass was had, but the stories that are told about things from Christmas past is what I most love.
My Uncle is the best one for telling stories of what it was like to grow up in the early 40's. While I had them all together I asked my mother, aunts, uncles and my father to come up with some old sayings for things that we do not use any longer. This should be great fun and a future blog post.

 I also love talking to my family about the toys of their past Christmases. My mother and aunt had gotten their last dolls for Christmas 59 years ago at the ages of 12 and 11. Every Christmas Eve my mother and my aunt put the dolls together again to spend their birthday Christmas together just as they were 59 years ago under the Christmas tree.
Last night I decided to photograph the dolls together where my mother had placed them. There in the middle of them was my mother's beloved Mr. Bingle. 
Mr. Bingle's presence led my uncle into tales of old New Orleans and of the days Mr. Bingle brought such joy to him and his siblings.

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving with "Ersta" Dressing and Mirlitons

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This morning as I was making my roux for my gravy I started thinking about Thanksgiving past. This led to oyster dressing. Not something I eat, nor cook, but it was definitely something I grew up with.
My grandmother was from New Orleans and that was the only dressing she had ever had growing up, and this is what she made for her children. The pronunciation for oyster in her house and in  many Louisiana homes is erster or ersta.
I can still see the big meat grinder sitting on the table and my grandmother putting in those oysters to grind up for her dressing. I would always say, "Ewww! How do you eat that!" But they lived for Thanksgiving and their oyster dressing. They talk sadly of how after they are gone there will be no one left to eat it for Thanksgiving as none of the grandchildren nor great grands will eat it.

What would ersta dressing be without stuffed mirlitons on the side? Which made me think of my mother and the mirliton search. My mother and aunt had to have their stuffed mirlitons. However here on the Mississippi Coast it wasn't as easy as finding them in Louisiana. Usually Delchamps had them, but if they didn't my mother would run all over asking for them. We always got the same reaction from the staff in the stores. What the heck is a mirliton??!! Which led my mother to try to explain what it looked like. One time an older fellow said "You mean vegetable pear. We have a few over here." Mother was quite puzzled over it being called thus, but she was like well now I know what to ask them for. 

My mother and her siblings are in their mid to late 70's now and still they make a little pan of oyster dressing and a few stuffed mirlitons just for themselves. Maybe I will eventually make a pan of oyster dressing for my grandchildren, who knows they may actually eat it and the tradition will continue. 

Here is a link to some Ersta Dressing
and some stuffed Mirlitons

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- Doing the Laundry

My Aunt Vera who was the Women's World Champion Welder during WWII. Photo was by a newspaper to show that not only could she build ships but she could do her laundry too.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sentimental Sunday- Halloween in the 70's

As a child growing up in the 70's there were not many choices for Halloween costumes like there are today. Most of the costumes were handmade or thrown together creations. My worst ever costume was a sheet with holes in it, or so I thought. That was a miserable night. The sheet kept slipping and I would step on it. I was quite ready to get back home and take it off.
The year after the sheet costume I was determined that I was going to get a store bought costume. I wanted a Broom Hilda costume that I had seen at the TG&Y. To my seven year old self the plastic mask was so awesome and the little caped yellow plastic dress just had to be better than the sheet.
I begged and begged, finally my mother gave in. She thought it was ugly and just plain ridiculous to spend good money on a store bought costume, but she bought it.
Then came the big night and it happened to be one of those Halloween's here in the south where it was still warm and humid. I quickly found out that I had made a huge mistake in  choosing this costume. The elastic strap continually got caught in my hair, or it would break and I had to tie it together making the mask tighter on my head and face. It was hard to breath through and I could feel my face sweating behind the mask. Not to mention the plastic dress. Oh my! It was hotter than an oven. I was roasting inside this piece of plastic.
But under mother's watchful eye, who was just waiting for me to whine or complain so she could say, "See I was right you should listen to your Mother!" I had to pretend all was well and lovely. I was dragged all over in misery. I could hardly care about what candy was given out. I didn't even open the boxes of candy cigarette's which was a favorite of my brother and mine. I just wanted to go home and get out of this costume.
After the night was over, my costume went back into the box and up onto the top shelf of the hall closet. Last time I looked it was still there all these 38 years later. I never wore it again and I never asked for another store bought costume. I often thought my mother saved that costume as a lesson to me. I am sure she knew as mother's do that I was miserable and had totally regretted my decision. But she never said a word about it then. All these years later, I will bring it up and we will laugh about it, that ugly cheap plastic costume.
I saw it recently for sale in a vintage store online. The tag said sold and I had to laugh and wonder who else my age once thought Broom Hilda was the coolest and just had to have the costume for a Halloween memory.
Now, I think I will go watch some old Broom Hilda cartoon's on YouTube.  :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Surname Saturday- Petz

Charles Petz was married to my grandfather's grandaunt Aglae Victorine Roth. Charles was born in Bavaria, Germany around 1830 and died in May of 1903 in New Orleans. He arrived in Louisiana in 1846.
Obit as appeared in the New Orleans Item, May 5, 1903

He and Aglae had five children:
George Petz
Charles Joseph Petz
Marie Victorine Petz
Alice Marie Josephine Petz
Henry Joseph Petz

Charles fought in the Civil War he enlisted on December 21t, 1861. He was a 2nd Lt. Co. C. in the 20th Louisiana Infantry.
The tax lists of 1863 and 1864 have him listed as a Retail Dealer in liquor. His taxes due were $16.67.
His occupation listed in the 1870 census was, House Painter. Which was the same as several of his brother in laws at the time.
He was naturalized on October 22, 1874 in New Olreans. 

 The 1860 census shows him married to a woman named Emilie who was born in Russia. The death records show Emilie Schwartz Petz died on January 22, 1865 in New Orleans, La at the age of 32.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Surname Saturday- Dugas

Abraham Dugas was born around 1616 in France. He came to Acadia in 1640 and was married in 1647 to Marguerite  Doucet. Marguerite was the daughter of Germain Doucet dit LaVerdure and Marie Bourgeis. Abraham and Marguerite had a large family of eight children whom were raised at Port-Royal. Abraham was a gunsmith by trade and he carried special privileges as a representative of the King in the colony. Abraham died around 1700.

His son Claude Dugas married Francoise Bourgeois, daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan. They had twelve children. Claude married a second time to Marguerite Bourg and they had ten children together. Claude died in 1732 at Port-Royal.

Claude and Francoise son Joseph Francois Dugas married Claire Marie Bourg, daughter of Bernard Bourg and Francoise Brun.  Joseph Francois Dugas left Port-Royal during the expulsion and later settled in St. Martinville, La where he died on 26 Jul 1765.

The daughter of Joseph Francois and Claire Dugas, Marguerite married Joseph Orillion dit Champagne. (More about their family can be found here Orillion)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Update and a Rant

Wow! I hit a nerve yesterday! After posting my story about Feedspot this is the email I received today.

Hi Michelle,

Your blog has not been hijacked. I just read your post

Could you please remove this post?

Users follow your blog using your blogs RSS feed which is available to all. Additionally, we also promote blogs in our 'Who to Follow' section to Feedspot users.

Feedspot is just a platform for reading rss feeds. All articles link back to your original blog. So you get extra traffic from Feedspot. There are many other rss reader where your blog is being read by other users using its rss.

If you block your rss feed or make your blog private, users won't be able to read your content from feedspot.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Seriously! I was added without my knowledge nor my permission to this RSS feed. I write a blog post to complain about it and now I am being asked to take my post down! I understand what an RSS reader is and how it works. I doubt that Feedly or Digg Reader had to run out and randomly added my blog, nor any other RSS readers. I don't understand why Feedspot would think it is okay to just randomly add people without permission and then get upset when we get upset about it! 
So yes, I call it hijacking when I was not informed until after the fact that my blog was being added to your reader. Perhaps this company would fare better by sending out emails promoting themselves and asking if you would like to be added. All you have to do is Google Feedspot to see the many irate bloggers complaining just as I am.

Remove me from Feedspot or whatever if you don't like what I post. I didn't ask to be there.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Modern day Piracy! Hijacked by Feedspot!

Well, It was my turn today to get the standard email from Feedspot;
My name is Anuj. I'm Founder of Feedspot - A Google Reader replacement with built-in Search and Sharing features.

We recently launched Feedspot and got reviewed by TechCrunch.

I'm writing this to let you know that your blog has started getting new followers on Feedspot. You can view your blog and its followers on Feedspot from here. If you need detailed monthly/yearly analytics on how your blog is performing on Feedspot, please let me know.

As your blog is adding value to Feedspot, I'd like to give you one year Feedspot Premium subscription for free.


I have seen many frustrated bloggers with the same issue. They complain to Feedspot and get a generic email back explaining that it is just an RSS feeder and if you block it then you will lose viewers.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Living to be One Hundred

My grandfather's greatest wish was that he could live to be 100 years old. His father died when he was only 41, and his grandfather had died when he was just 48. This was a shadow that used to hang over my grandfather, them dying so young. He thought he would not make it to see 50 and he kept going until he was 91 years of age.
What drove him to want to hang around until he was 100 years old? His family. He loved us all so much he couldn't stand the thought he may miss something. He was watching his great grandchildren grow up and he wanted to make it until they graduated.
He left behind a legacy of love and family connections. He would be proud to know that his grandchildren and his great grandchildren remember him daily and often talk of him and share his stories.

Today is his 107th birthday. Happy Birthday Paw Paw!! You are still with us everyday!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday's Obituary- Vera Anderson McDonald

Mrs. Vera Anderson McDonald

NATCHEZ-Funeral services for Vera Anderson McDonald, 90, of Ridgeland and formerly of Natchez, who died Thursday, August 29, 2013 in Ridgeland .
Mrs. McDonald was born June 15, 1923 in Sumrall, the daughter of James Eugene Anderson and Nancy Graham Anderson. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Anselem Harrison “Mac” McDonald, with whom she made a home in Natchez for many years. Also preceding her in death were three sisters, Earlene Roberts, Eather Bowman, and Nettie Lee Saucier May.

 My great aunt Vera Anderson McDonald was once the Women's World Champion Welder

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- Five Generations

                                    Ola Ladner, Viola Ladner, Everett Ladner, Gloria and son

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Surname Saturday- Pernard

This week I made a great family discovery thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger from France. Using the little bits of each others languages that we were familiar with and an online translator we were able to communicate very well.

My Delherbe family has always been very difficult for me to research, not having much to go on but little bits and pieces. However, that all changed for me when Dominque left me a comment on a previous blog post. This led to many emails and much insight into my family in France.

My Delherbe relations in America had listed their mother as Claudinette Bernard on various records and I would have never thought to look for a name variation. Then I was directed by my new found friend to several French genealogy web pages in the area of Doubs that my family came from. These records were a gold mine. In them I found not only the records for my Delherbe family but also for Claudinette, whose last name was actually Pernard not Bernard. I was able to view the birth records for each one of her children including my great great grandmother Marie, as well.

By searching the many records of birth, marriage and death in the surrounding villages of Doubs, I was able to find my Pernard family all the way back into the early 18th century.

I was also able to find new branches and other surnames that I was previously ignorant of. I can not thank Dominique enough for her help with my genealogy and directing me to the appropriate websites in France to help me make these wonderful new discoveries possible.

My Pernard family

Claudinette Pernard born 28 Aug 1791 in Blussans, Doubs, France
her parents:
Nicolas Pernard and Marguerite Jacquin
Nicolas' parents:
Pierre Pernard and Claudine Balandier

Red area shows where Doubs is located in France

Merci mon ami Dominique!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Surname Saturday- Hartmann

My 3rd great grandmother Catharina Hartmann came to New Orleans from Germany in 1850. Her port of departure was Antwerp, Belgium and the ship she journeyed on was the Charles Hill. Catharina traveled with her mother Maria and siblings, Barbara, George, and Elizabeth Hartmann.

Catharine married a fellow German immigrant Philip Buhr and they had four daughters, Magdalena, Margaret Catharina, Katharina Henrietta, and Katherine Buhr. Katharina Henrietta Buhr died at the age of two years with her father following her in death two years later.

After the death of her first husband Catherina married again to John Hoffman another German immigrant. They also had four children, Jacob, Josephine, John, and Louise Hoffman. Louise died at age one.

Catherine Hartmann Buhr Hoffman died in New Orleans on January 2, 1896.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday- Alphonse Cuevas

Alphonse Cuevas
Son of Lucien and Irma Elmira Cuevas
Standard Sandhill Cemetery

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday- Walter and Dora Cuevas

Standard Sandhill Cemetery
Walter Cuevas and Dora Ladner Martin Cuevas
Walter was the son of Lucien and Elmira Cuevas
Dora was the daughter of Laurence and Josephine Ladner

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July to everyone.

As a young girl I would have never thought that it was possible for me to have any ancestors who had fought in the Revolutionary War. This was because my family are all French, German and Spanish, who had come to the Louisiana territory in 1699 and after. They came from Canada, France, Spain, and Germany. I did not stop to think that my own paternal grandmother was an Anderson, and her mother a Graham. Nor that my paternal grandfather's mother was a Conerly. Being born and raised here on the Coast, which is basically the same as being born in Louisiana, we have the same heritage and culture. However, those that were from the central and northern parts of Mississippi, as my grandmother's family and my Conerly family were, had a different heritage altogether. They were the pioneer families. The ones who came after the Revolutionary War from the Carolina's, Virginia and Georgia. As I branched out in my search for these families, I uncovered many who fought in the War for Independence.

A few of my ancestors who helped make today possible.

Benjamin Bearden
born 1748 Granville, North Carolina
Took the oath of Allegiance in 1778

David McGraw
born 1728 Scotland
South Carolina Patriot 1781

 Peter Quin
born 11 Apr 1750, Ireland
North Carolina Patriot 1783

Cullen Conerly
born 1745, North Carolina
North Carolina Patriot

William Herrington
born 1755 North Carolina
North Carolina Patriot

John Edmondson
1762 North Carolina
1783 1st NC Regiment

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- A Golden Anniversary

Henry Dubuisson and Josephine Ladner Dubuisson
50 years of marriage
From the Daily Herald  April 1961

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Remember being called a copy cat as a child....Well it may still apply

I have noticed a problem lately regarding copy issues when it comes to genealogy. Some issues are in regards to photographs being copied by others and (to me the main issue) the copying of the written word of others without the author's permission. 

There are two sides to this story. There are people out there that love to share their photos and stories and do not care who copies and pastes them. Then there are those who feel that they have worked hard and have dedicated much of their lives to collect these photos and stories and do not wish them to be copied willy nilly.

Everyday I see posts on Ancestry's Facebook page that have arguments a mile long for and against copy and paste.


I for one was upset when I saw my grandmother's wedding photo attached on another person's tree. The person who copied it is not even a relation to my grandmother. Then as I continued to look, I found  my great great grandfather's photo as well and several of my grandfather's photos. To top it all off other people have copied it from the first person to do so and before I knew it my personal family photos were all over the internet. Not only have my photos been taken from my website but from my Find a Grave memorials as well.

While the person who copied did add that it came from my website, they did not ask for my permission. Permission is the key word in this whole affair. I think most people out there feel that they should have been asked before their photos were copied.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "What's the big deal? After all you added them to the internet in the first place. The internet is free. Once you put something out there anyone can just copy it." After all it is 2013, and people  copy music and movies from the internet  all the time, so why not photos and stories too?

This is a misconception. Everything on the internet is not free.

At this point I would like to refer you to an excellent blog article on the topic of old photos from the blog  The Legal Genealogist.

Personal Opinion

I felt I had every right to add my family photos to my personal website and blog. I did so because I wanted to leave something for future generations of my family. Not so just anyone could come and copy and distribute my photos. I never once considered that anyone would care to copy a photo or a story of a person not related to them at all. My answer to this was to remove all cherished photos and add only photos that I did not mind being copied. But, of course for some photos the damage was done. I also now add watermarks to my photos so I can be sourced if someone does copy them.

That being said, I do not ever mind giving permission to a family member to copy any information I have on the internet. However, I would like to know who is copying it, what is being done with it and who will have access to it.

From what I have seen in reading the discussions about this issue, is that most people upset about their photos being copied are upset over the fact that they weren't asked first. They often state that they would like to know who you are, why you want the photo, and how you are related to them. They would like to be approached for any possible family connections. So, before being a copy cat; contact that person, ask politely for a copy of the photo and give reasons as to how you are related, or why you would like the copy. A little courtesy goes a long way.

Find A Grave and  Copyright

A person who holds the copyright of a photo according to Find a Grave is:

Ownership of a copy of a photograph is not the same as owning the copyright of the work of the photograph. The owner of the work is usually the photographer (or their employer), not the subject of the photo nor the person who has a copy of the photograph.  

So in other words, If I went out and took the photo of my great grandfather's headstone, you have no business copying it.

The Written Word

Now on to personal family stories. Which is what I feel is the real issue at hand. These are written by a specific author and are subject to copyright. You can not just go and copy what you choose. Would you take a favorite book and copy it  and put it on the internet? No. A person would understand that they were violating copyright laws. The same applies to blogs, and websites. Copyright is automatic when a person adds original work to the internet.  My text is under copyright.

Once again I refer you to The Legal Genealogist blog where it is discussed in better detail.

This is what Find a Grave says in regards to obituaries:

You should not copy obituary notices from newspapers to an individual's memorial record unless you have permission from the newspaper to do so or you are the author of the obituary. Some obituaries that were published in 1922 or earlier are now in the public domain. In general, obituaries in newspapers are submitted by the family with assistance from the funeral home. If the obituary is added to the memorial record, it should list the newspaper and date the obit was printed for example "Published in the Hattiesburg American, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Internet Edition, April 11, 2007". Please do not include the names of living or surviving relatives in the biography, unless you have their permission. If you do not have permission to copy an obituary to a memorial, you may put a note stating the name of the newspaper and the date the obituary was published.
Please do NOT add photographs from obituary notices (unless you, personally took the photo), as they are protected by copyright law. Find A Grave reserves the right to remove obituary notices and photographs from memorial records. Similarly, you may NOT scan an obituary and add it as a photograph to a memorial record.
I personally have an issue with the whole adding obituaries to Find a Grave. Most argue that this is what the site is intended for. I always thought it was for those who may not be able to visit their loved ones grave site.

The bottom line is; become more informed on the policies of the websites you are using. Most people do not think to read the fine print on genealogy sites.  Here is the link to Ancestry and Find a Grave's policies. Be more sensitive to the owner of the website and the information you are wanting to borrow. Ask permission before copying that photo and cite your sources.

What the National Genealogical Society has to say about sharing with others:
Standards For Sharing Information With Others
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society
Conscious of the fact that sharing information or data with others (whether through speech, documents, or electronic media) is essential to family history research and that it needs continuing support and encouragement, responsible family historians consistently—
  • Respect the restrictions on sharing information that arise from the rights of another as an author, originator or compiler; as a living private person; or as a party to a mutual agreement
  • Observe meticulously the legal rights of copyright owners, copying or distributing any part of their works only with their permission, or to the limited extent specifically allowed under the law's "fair use" exceptions
  • Identify the sources for all ideas, information and data from others, and the form in which they were received, recognizing that the unattributed use of another's intellectual work is plagiarism
  • Respect the authorship rights of senders of letters, electronic mail and data files, forwarding or disseminating them further only with the sender's permission
  • Inform people who provide information about their families as to the ways it may be used, observing any conditions they impose and respecting any reservations they may express regarding the use of particular items
  • Require some evidence of consent before assuming that living people are agreeable to further sharing of information about themselves
  • Convey personal identifying information about living people—like age, home address, occupation or activities—only in ways that those concerned have expressly agreed to
  • Recognize that legal rights of privacy may limit the extent to which information from publicly available sources may be further used, disseminated or published
  • Communicate no information to others that is known to be false, or without making reasonable efforts to determine its truth, particularly information that may be derogatory
  • Are sensitive to the hurt that revelations of criminal, immoral, bizarre or irresponsible behavior may bring to family members
© 2000 by National Genealogical Society.
Permission is granted to copy or publish this material, provided
it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday- Victoria Stravapodi Hurst

Victoria Stravapodi Hurst
Daughter of Joseph F. Stravapodi and Josephine Strahan
Mother of Francis W.J. Ladner and Franklin Hurst
Standard Sand Hill Cemetery

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ancestors on Vacation

I just came back from a much needed vacation. Which led me to think about my ancestors and the types of vacations that they took.

Looking through the local news archives has led me to find various family members taking a vacation from their homes in New Orleans to what was then considered the Riviera of the South. The beaches of the Mississippi Coast.

The Mississippi Coast was a get away from city life. Here families could fish, boat, swim, relax and take advantage of the healing waters of the many natural hot springs.

My great uncle and aunt took one of those Mississippi Gulf Coast vacations in 1910 and their simple vacation getaway ended up being captured by the local paper. Thanks to the capture of a different kind.... 

Another popular place for my ancestors seemed to be Lake St. Catherine in Louisiana where they had a fishing camp. One of my great uncles sent a post card photograph home of himself holding his fish. On the back he wrote, "Fishing in Lake St. Catherine. Lovely weather, having a good time. Your Son, Henry"

My grandfather loved to spend his free time fishing. He and many of the residents of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts enjoy fishing in the Rigolets. Which is an area on the Louisiana coastline. They spent a lot of time in the marsh hunting fowl as well. As is evidenced by the many photographs of family members holding their prized ducks.

My grandfather and relatives fishing in the Rigolets in the 1930's

They also liked to explore the historic areas while out fishing in the Rigolets. They took several photos of a local fort in the 1930's. Fort Pike was built in 1818 and was used by the Confederacy in 1861 and then claimed by the Union in 1862. It is presently decaying due to the many storms and time.

Fort Pike 1930's
Fort Pike 1930's

This past week I too visited  an old historic fort, Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Florida. While there I relaxed, swam, explored, and saw many people fishing. So, I guess when it comes to getting away from the stress of life for a few days not much has changed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday- Finding Family Heirlooms

The feeling you get after spending many years searching for a rare family book. When suddenly out of the blue a family member discovers the very thing you have been searching for. Packed away in their mother's old treasures and they actually scan it and send you a copy without your asking!!!

First Edition 18 pages, printed in New Orleans in 1875

Thank you so very much dearest cousin!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday- Sedonia Favre Mazarakis

Sedonia Favre Mazarakis
Daughter of John Baptiste Favre and Felicite Nicaise
Spouse of John Mazarakis
Waveland Cemetery
Hancock County, Ms