Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Scott, LA

Entrance to Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Scott, Lafayette Parish, La., Feb. 2009.  Digital photo by Liz Hall Morgan.

In a small town where Cajun French is still spoken, the local Catholic cemetery gate retains a bit of French heritage.  No doubt more people who rest eternally here spoke French than English, including my great-great grandmother Melasie Hollier McBride.  Now how did Mr. McBride become so fluent in French, assuming he was?  Were his mother Julienne Bogard's roots French?  These are the kinds of questions that come to mind when I look at my family tree...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Surname Saturday: LEGERE from Acadia to La.

Today we have my LEGERE line - my main Cajun line, from my paternal grandmother, Elia Légère Hall, pictured below. Corrections, additions, and questions welcomed; this is a work in progress. Numbers refer to ahnentafel (pedigree chart) numbering. Sources available; e-mail me at hallroots **at** sbcglobal **dot** net.

Elia Légère, c. 1905, photographer unknown, probably photographed in Lafayette, La. Scanned photo owned by the Hall family, La., slightly edited by Liz Hall Morgan.

1. Liz HALL MORGAN - me.


4. Robert Bunyan HALL. Born on 18 Mar (1877?) near Richmond, VA? Or possibly in Newton, Baker Co., GA? Robert died in Sulphur, Calcasieu, LA, on 20 Nov 1952. Buried c. 22 Nov 1952 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, LA (Roselawn Cemetery). (He married a Corrie or Connie or Carrie WILLIAMS and a Jessie [last name unknown] bef. Oct. 1918.)
On 26 Oct 1918 in Carencro?, Lafayette Parish, LA, he married:
5. Elia LÉGÈRE. Born on 18 Sep 1889 in Ossun, Lafayette, LA. Elia died in Sulphur, Calcasieu, LA, on 18 Sep 1956. Buried in Sep 1956 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, LA (Roselawn Cemetery).

10. Constant LÉGÈRE. Born on 26 Oct 1837 in Opelousas, St. Landry, LA. Constant died in Rayne, Acadia, LA, on 19 May 1923. Buried in Carencro, Lafayette, LA (St. Peter Catholic Church Cemetery).
Constant married: 1. Estelle BABINEAUX; 2. Eudalie/Udalie or Idalie LANDRY; and 3. Marie Irma GUIDRY, all of whom died.
On 23 Feb 1889, in Carencro, Lafayette, LA, he married (his fourth wife):
11. Marie Octavie “Tavie” McBRIDE. Born on 31 Jan 1859 in Opelousas?, St. Landry, LA (to William McBRIDE and Melasie HOLLIER). “Tavie” died in Lafayette, Lafayette, LA, on 29 Mar 1946. Buried in Carencro, Lafayette, LA (St. Peter Catholic Church Cemetery; buried as "Mrs. Constant Legere." Her first husband, who died, was Cyprien STEMMANN.)

20. Hypolite Paul LÉGÈRE. Born on 10 Jan 1803 in St. Martinville, St. Martin, LA. Hypolite Paul died in Grand Coteau?, St. Landry, LA, on 29 Nov 1861. Buried in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, LA (St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery?)
On 20 Nov 1821 in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, LA, he married:
21. Marcellite LEBERT. Born on 15 Feb 1805 in of St. Martinville, St. Martin, LA (to Pierre Jean Joseph Joachin LEBERT and Marie Rose HEBERT). Marcellite died 29 Aug 1844? in Grand Coteau?, St. Landry, LA. (St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery?)

40. Paul LÉGÈRE. Born abt 1758 in CT? (family sent there in 1755 from Acadia) Also said to be "of NY." Paul died on 11 Mar 1818 in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, LA. Buried on 12 Mar 1818 in Opelousas, St. Landry, LA (St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery?). On 28 Jul 1789 in St. Martinville, St. Martin, LA, he married:
41. Marie Constance POTIER. Born abt 1769, "of" Havre de Grace, Seine-Maritime, Normandie, FRANCE (to Pierre POITIER and Anne Marie BERNARD). Marie Constance died on 10 Jan 1844 in Grand Coteau?, St. Landry, LA. Buried in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, LA (St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery?).

80. François LÉGER. Born on 14 Oct 1714 in Port Royal, ACADIA.
On 25 May 1739 in Port Royal, ACADIA, he married:
81. Madeleine COMEAU. Born on 4 Sep 1720 in Port Royal, ACADIA (to Abraham COMEAU and Marguerite PITRE).

160. Jacques LÉGER dit [called] “La Rosette.” Born c. 1663. Jacques died on 27 Mar 1751 in Port Royal, ACADIA. Buried on 28 Mar 1751 in Port Royal, ACADIA.
Before the 1693 Acadian census, in Port Royal, ACADIA, he married:
161. Madeleine TRAHAN. Born in c. 1678 in Port Royal, ACADIA (to Guillaume TRAHAN and Madeleine BRUN). Madeleine died on 8 Dec 1742 in Port Royal, ACADIA. Buried on 9 Dec 1742 in Port Royal, ACADIA.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: The Cajun tradition of "pacques" (updated 2013)

"Egg tapping," photo by Marc Chipouras, used under Creative Commons license.

Although I'm part-Cajun and grew up in Southwest Louisiana, there are some Cajun traditions I seem to have missed out on in my youth. One of these is the Easter tradition of pâques-pâques (pronounced pock-pock), or egg tapping (Pâques is "Easter" in French).  It's battle with eggs; two people each take an Easter egg in hand, tap the ends against each other, and whomever comes out with an uncracked egg wins.  I don't remember hearing about this game while growing up in Sulphur, not far from the Texas border, but my cousins in the Lafayette area, in the middle of "Cajun Country," are quite familiar with the tradition, which they call pacques (pronounced pock-kay).

Last Easter, a couple of young men on a 50-state motorcycle trip visited my cousins, posting video on the website chronicling their journey.  My second cousin Annette demonstrates silk egg dyeing, a craft at which her late sister Mattie excelled, and then a round of pacques is played.  I thought readers might enjoy seeing a bit of Cajun tradition.  It's the top video link on this web page.

In the towns of Marksville and Cottonport, egg battles get serious.  There are organized competitions!  The Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program has a great article about it on their website.

Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention another tradition I found out about: Good Friday is "Pie Day" in Scott, La.  It's like pot-luck with pies, a Begnaud family and Scott tradition, where everyone goes and visits and eats free homemade pie!  One lady last year reminisced to my cousin about her grandmother's friend who made the best pies--and the friend was my great-aunt Philomène Stemmans Weber, who died in 1968!  She must have been some cook for her pies to be remembered more than 40 years later!  Wonder if I can find a cousin with her recipe?  I'm guessing she did it from her head, like most Cajun women then. 

UPDATE: This post always gets a lot of hits around Easter, so I wanted to point everyone to this great article I just found by Kathryn Begnaud about Scott's Good Friday traditions.  She captures the spirit of the town just beautifully, plus she points out a possible Medieval French connection I, having grown up Protestant, had never considered.

I hope all of you reading had a wonderful Easter, Passover or Spring holiday with family and friends.  Does your heritage have an interesting spring holiday tradition?  Leave a comment!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

N.K.B. Pate family Bible transcription

Cotter/Pate/Young family home, 1960.  Photo by M. Hall, scanned/edited by Liz Hall Morgan.  The house was located about 3 miles south of Ringgold, La. on Hwy 7 (now US 371), but no longer exists. It belonged to William Hadden Cotter, then Etta Cotter Pate, then Zella Pate Young and their families. Many Pate reunions were held here.

Pate Family Bible Transcription with Annotations
by Liz Hall Morgan

(See my previous post for photos of the Bible and the transcribed pages.)

Bible of Newton King Brady or Bradie Pate (a.k.a. N.K.B. or "Newt") & Etta Orisca Cotter Pate of Heflin and Ringgold, Louisiana, now owned by M. Hall, their granddaughter.
1881 printing, so some events were recorded after the fact.
[Original spelling/punctuation, with corrections in brackets where necessary]


Ora adell Pate was Borned October the 28, 1898

Luccy Elizabeath Pate was borned June the 20, 1887 [Lucy Elizabeth]

Minnie Lee Pate was borned Febuary the 11, 1889

Emily Lena Pate was Borned January the 12, 1891 [a.k.a. Lena]

James Weaver Pate was Borned June the 27, 1892 [a.k.a. Weaver]

Zella Estella Pate was Borned March the 6 1894

Edna maud Pate Borned March the 17 1896

Jasper Bradie Pate was Borned August the 26 1902 [a.k.a. Brady or J.B.]

Liller Pate was borned Aug the 9 (1875) [Lilla]

Andrew nelson Pate was borned May the 21 (1878)

Lofa may Pate was borned october the 16 (1879) [a.k.a. Lofie]

Carrie Arminty Pate was borned July the 21 (1881)

Mary Margeaner Pate was borned November the 18 (1883) [probably Margeana--see "Liller" for Lilla-- a.k.a. Margie]

Anthony William Pate was borned August the 1 1885 [a.k.a. Willie or Will]


N K B Pate was Borned Dec the 30 1852 [birth recorded on marriage page] [Newton King Brady/Bradie, a.k.a. Newt]

Etta Orisca Cotter was Borned March the 19 1859 [birth recorded on marriage page]

Lucy married Lee Corley Sept 6_ 1908

Minnie Married Sawyer Wimberly Aug 30_ 1908

Lena Married Doyle Scott Mar 2_ 1926

Weaver married Della Bryan Dec. 15_ 1912

Zella married John Young Dec. 17_1938 [John C., a.k.a. "Blackie"]

Edna married Alvin Stevenson Dec 16 1926

Ora married Joel Woodard Jan 29_ 1934

Bradie married Mattie Bell Green Oct 29 1922 [Brady]

Zella married Talmage Giddens April 14 - 1963


Lena Pate Scott
August 7, 1926
with Typhoid Fever

Minnie Lee Pate Wimberly
Dec 30, 1935

Jasper Bradie Pate [Brady]
Feb. 8_ 1945

Ora Pate Woodard
September 5 _ 1958

Willie Anthony Pate
Died 1940 ["William Anthony" OR "Anthony William" on various documents. Went by "Willie" or "Will." LA Death Index has 5 Feb 1940]

Andrew Nelson Pate
Died Feb. 4_ 1963

Ollie Corley Pate
Died Sept. 14_ 1963 [Andrew's wife]

Stella [sic] Zella Young Giddens August 7, 1972 [Should be Zella Estella. Note: Edna Pate Stevenson added "Zella Pate Young Giddens died August 8, 1972 to a copy of the "Births" page. I'm not sure which date is correct.]

Lucy P. Corley Feb. 1 or 2, 1977 [Note: tombstone has Feb. 2]

Lofa May Pate Aug 1908

Liller Pate Colingsworth [Lilla Pate Collinsworth]
May 1 1907

Mary Margeaner Pate Bryan
Died Sept. 5 _ 1906
[probably should be Margeana, as "Liller" is written in same hand for "Lilla." She went by "Margie"]

N. K. B. Pate March 15 _ 1932

Etta Orisca Pate June_ 27_ 1937

Treasure Chest Thursday: Pate family Bible, La.

Pate family Bible, originally owned by N.K.B. and Etta (Cotter) Pate, now owned by their granddaughter M. Hall, La.  Digital photos by Liz Hall Morgan, Nov. 2007.

Newton King Brady or Bradie Pate and Etta Orisca Cotter were my great-grandparents and my mom's maternal grandparents.  They lived near Heflin, Webster Parish, Louisiana, and then near Ringgold, Bienville, La.

The handwriting is Newt's or possibly Etta's, with some later entries on the marriage and death pages by my grandmother Edna Maud Pate Stevenson and my mom.  

The Bible's publication date is 1881, so some entries were made some time after the recorded events.

Transcription to follow in my next post.