Saturday, October 25, 2014


As I was talking my art students, grades k-6, this week about the Mexican tradition of sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, I realized that the community we live in and the culture here on the Gulf Coast has a lot in common with what I am about to teach my students.

I began to alter my lesson from a discussion on Mexican culture and art, to one about the heritage and traditions right here in our own community.

The school that I teach at is rural and most of the families are related to one another. The cemetery is not too far away from the school and I have seen on more than one All Saints Day celebration several of my students there.
I could see their eyes lighting up, their hands began to  raise and soon they were wriggling in their seats anxious to tell me their cemetery story. I told how the Mexican culture celebrated the day after Halloween by putting out candles, flowers and even brought their loved ones favorite foods to the cemetery.
They were like, "But that's what my family does too!" Soon we began to discuss not just the art lesson, but, family and generations of tradition. A tradition that I once thought may end with my generation.

This morning my husband and I spent the morning out at the cemetery cleaning and putting out new flowers. Getting things ready for next Saturday, All Saints Day. Catching up with cousins and friends that you haven't seen since last year at the cemetery is one of my favorite parts. The cemetery was filled with many people out cleaning, but the people there were mainly of the older generation. Suddenly, I hear the voices of young girls laughter and I look up to see three of my young students heading towards me. I couldn't help but to smile and I called to them, "Did you come just to see me?" We all laughed and they began to look around at the old graves near me, one asked, "Who is this? Do you know?" I told her yes, that was my husband's great great grandfather, Sherrie Moran and the road I live on is named after him. I told her to look at the dates, see how old it is? He was born in the 1800's. They were impressed. They began to ask me questions on how do you manage to clean the graves without stepping on where the person was buried, among other things. Their mother walked over curious to see just whom their daughter's were conversing with at the cemetery, and she told me how they came home talking about the sugar skull lesson and also about how similar our cultures were. I was happy to know that not only did the girls get something out of the art lesson but that they also just might be the next generation to carry on the tradition after all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Charles Norville Roth

Mathematical Marvel
A Gentleman of the Old School
Large Landholder of Iberville Parish
One of Plaquemine's Main Builders

These are the words used in the heading of Charles Norville Roth's obituary. I had not thought much of him before other than trying to add his children and theirs to my family tree. He was the first cousin of my great grandfather and I knew the family were large landholders, but finding his obituary gave me a little more insight as to who they were. This obituary was a wonderful testament to a man that was well thought of in the community. A man who had strong character and beliefs. A well educated man who used his skills to help further his community and whose ideals were held in esteem by his peers. 

He was born and raised in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, where he was a successful merchant and  planter. The Roth family (pronounced Row) was an old and distinguished French one. As a business associate of Jacob McWilliams, he ran the mercantile of Roth & McWilliams. Charles held with McWilliams the interest in several large plantations such as, Medora, Upper Irma and Myrtle Grove. He was also the administrator of the Gay estate.

His parents were Charles Norville Roth Sr. and his mother Marie Angelique Marioneaux. Charles married twice, his first wife being Zulma Beck. He married again in 1901 to Elizabeth Walsh and the two of them resided in New Orleans at 479 Broadway until his death. He and Elizabeth had two sons.

During the Civil War his brother Eugene N. Roth joined the service and fought in the war. Charles decided he was needed at home to continue with family business and render aid the best he could from there. He worked during the war as factor for Iberville Parish.

 Charles built the Roth building and the People's Bank and had many investments in local real estate. His biggest claim to fame of the time though seems to stem from his amazing mathematical abilities. His obit states many times how he marveled people at his being able to take large sums and figure them correctly in his head.

He was called a gentleman of the old school, one who despised the modern ways and modern speech. A relic of the antebellum era, one can wonder what he would think of his city today?

What a fascinating man he was!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Review

I just have to tell you about this book I have been reading! If you are interested in Hancock County Mississippi, its rich history and folk lore then this is the perfect book for you. Written by Russell B. Guerin a Gulf Coast native, historian and fellow blogger, the book is entitled; 

Early Hancock County A Few of Her People and Some of  Their Stories

The book covers the whole Pirate House mystery, which I especially enjoyed  because this was one of the tales my Grandfather would often tell me as a child. He would tell of  Lafitte and his band of Pirates and how his grandfather had told him these same stories that his father had told him. He told of buried family valuables and the pirates coming ashore. My grandfather as a child made a game out of hunting for treasure on the very shores the pirates once walked.

The book covers the Civil War in Hancock County, Slavery, the Choctaws and much more. I highly recommend this book for your personal library. But, you better order today because they are going fast!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Surname Saturday- Arluc, Arlu, Arlut

Jean Arluc was born in Cannes, France around 1673. He married Marguerite Sauvestre on  May 5, 1693 in Rochefort, France. They had at least three children, Marie Marguerite, Jean, and Marianne.
Marguerite  Sauvestre died in La Rochelle, France on June 18, 1717.

After the death of his wife Jean Arluc quickly remarried to Catherine Bazil on November 5, 1717 and just a year later signed on to the Company of the West to go to the Louisiana Colony.

The family arrived to the Louisiana Colony aboard the Marechal de Villiers. Jean Arluc died six years after his arrival to Louisiana. His son Jean left Louisiana to return to La Rochelle, France where he there married Magdeleine Gautreau. He possibly left behind an illegitimate son in Louisiana.

Marie Marguerite Arluc (aka Arlu, and Arlut) married Andre Carriere in Mobile, Al on July 24, 1719. They had Andre, Marie Josephe, and Anne Marie Carriere. Andre Carriere died around 1723. Marie Marguerite remarried Francois Louis Tisserand (aka Tixerand) in 1724. They had a son, Adrien Tixerand who married Marie Ann Laloire. Their daughter Pelagie Tixerand married Jean Baptiste Saucier, son of Henri Saucier and Barbe LaCroix.

Marianne Arluc (aka Arlu, and Arlut) married Jean Baptiste Favre around 1720 in Mobile, Al. They had three sons, Jean Baptiste, Jean Claude, and Jean Simon Favre. She married a second time to Francois Parent and had the following children, Francois, Claude, Catherine and Charles Parent.

I have the privilege of having Marie Marguerite Arlu Tixerand as being my 7th great grandmother from my Saucier line, as well as her sister Marianne Arlu Favre being my 7th great grandmother through my Favre line.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Surname Saturday- Girardy


Joseph Girardy was a native of France and lived on Bayou St. John in Louisiana. He first married a  woman named Francoise Julienne. Many claim she was an Indian woman. They had a daughter Angelique Girardy. Joseph was then married to Marie Jeanne Henry who was the daughter of Nicholas Henry and Elizabeth Houmard. They had four daughters together, Marie Jeanne, Marie Louise, Marie Rose, and Marie Francoise Girardy.

Map of Original Settlement of Bayou St. John
Joseph Girardy was given a land claim of 5 arpents by 40 arpents deep on May 27, 1719 on Bayou St. John. 

Angelique Girardy married first, Alain Dugue who died in 1729. She then married J.B. Rejas Laprade in 1730 and in 1739 married again to Laurent Lerable. They had a son also named Laurent Lerable.

Marie Jeanne Girardy married Paul Barre on 07 Oct 1726 they had a large family, Marie Jeanne, Cecile, Charlotte, Charles, Louise, Eugene , Marie Francoise, and Marie Josephe Barre.

Marie Louise Girardy married Louis Langlois on 06 Feb 1739, and later married Charles Loreins Tarascon in 1752. 

Marie Rose Girardy married Jean Baptiste Saucier on 06 Apr 1740, they had Julien, Jean Baptiste, Laurent, and Marie Rose Saucier. Marie Rose Girardy married secondly to Louis Duvernay on November 18, 1747 they had Louis, Marie Louise, Nicholas, Antoine, Marie Pelagie, Elizabeth, Jeanne Marie, Felicite, Franocis Girard, Brigette, and Francois Duvernay.

Marie Francoise Girardy married Joseph Milon on 20 Jun 1734 and they had Jacques Milon. She married a second time to Joseph Trottier des Ruisseaux in 1744 and they had Marie Elizabeth Trottier.