Sunday, January 17, 2010

In which I am honored with the very first "Rose Blogger Award" ...

I was very honored this week to be one of two bloggers presented with the very first "Rose Blogger Award" by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino of Lucie's Legacy.  (My co-honoree is Evelyn Thériault of A Canadian Family.)  The Rose Blogger is "awarded to bloggers who [keep] the memory of their ancestors alive as well as for excellence in content and visuals," and is named in honor of Lucie's mother, Rosanna "Rose" Levesque LeBlanc.

There are several awards being passed around the genealogy blogger community these days, and while it's always wonderful to be reminded that someone really is out there reading, this particular honor from someone I so admire really means the world to me.  Thank you, Lucie!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Laura Plantation, Vacherie, LA

Oaks with Spanish moss, Oct. 2009, Laura Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana. Digital photo by Liz Hall Morgan, copyright 2010.  
[Note: I have no affiliation with the plantation; I simply visited on my honeymoon and enjoyed the tour and the scenery.]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: My paternal grandparents

Note: "Tombstone Tuesday" is a theme used by many genealogy bloggers; you can see other tombstone posts at GeneaBloggers.

Robert Bunyan Hall and Elia Légère Hall are my paternal grandparents. They are buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Sulphur, Louisiana, which is in Calcasieu Parish (county).

Elia was the daughter of Constant Legere (Légère, in some records as Leger) and his fourth wife, Marie Octavie "Tavie" McBride. She was born in Ossun, a small community near Scott, Louisiana, in Lafayette Parish. Grandma Elia's family is the source for the rich Cajun, Acadian and French-Canadian heritage I so enjoy exploring.

Robert was born, he always said, near Richmond, Virginia. His parents were George and Georgia Hall, and Georgia's maiden name was Burnaman or a similar variant [it's hard to read], according to Robert & Elia's Lafayette Parish, LA, marriage license application of 1918. Grandpa Robert is the "mystery man" of my family tree, and I'll definitely be posting about him more in the future, as I'm still trying to find and prove his parentage. [UPDATE: See my posts about my "mystery grandpa" here.]

Robert was a brick mason and contractor, and he and Elia raised seven children in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, some of whom are still living. They moved to Sulphur, Louisiana, in the early 1930s and lived there until their deaths.

Elia & Robert Hall, Oct. 1946, Sulphur, LA. Cropped from larger photo taken by a family member & digitally edited a bit for clarity by me. [If you're wondering, Grandpa apparently has a cigar in his mouth.]

You can read more about my Irish Protestant grandfather and Cajun Catholic grandmother and their relationship in a previous blog post here.

Top two photos and text copyright 2010 by Liz Hall Morgan; bottom photo courtesy of the Hall family.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Cotter & Fariss/Farris/Faress portraits

Note: "Treasure Chest Thursday" is a theme used by some genealogy bloggers. It's sort of a fun weekly "Show & Tell" for grownups.

Here are my oldest treasures: portraits done between 1856 & 1870 of my great-great grandparents William Hadden COTTER and Queen Ann Elizabeth "Lizzie" FARISS (a.k.a. Elizabeth Ann FARISS, FARESS, or FARRIS) of Ringgold, Louisiana, in Bienville Parish, the northern part of the state. (Cousins: this is my mom's side of the tree.)

Portrait of William Hadden Cotter, unknown medium on stiff paper board of unknown type, c. 1856-1870, Ringgold, LA, privately held by the blog author.

Digitally edited photo of the portrait above, by the blog author.

Portrait of Queen Ann Elizabeth Fariss Cotter [a.k.a. Elizabeth Ann Faress, Farris or Fariss], unknown medium on stiff paper board of unknown type, c. 1856-1870, Ringgold, LA, privately held by the blog author.

Digitally edited photo of the portrait above, by the blog author.

My dear departed cousin and an early genealogy cheerleader of mine, Zola Scott Hardy, a respected genealogist herself, gave the portraits to me before she died. I am truly honored that she entrusted the portraits to me. (She would love all this newfangled blog stuff and how easy it is to find cousins now on the Internet!) I recently took them out from storage and digitally photographed them and they have been holding up fairly well for 150+ years. I had been pondering how archivally to frame them without breaking the bank, but now I think perhaps I should just frame the digital photos and keep the original portraits in flat archival boxes. Advice?

William Hadden COTTER was born 26 Aug. 1825 in Jefferson County, GA to David COTTER & Mary HADDEN. He married Elizabeth Ann FARISS 19 June 1856 in Bienville Parish, LA, and died 23 June 1901 near Ringgold, Bienville, LA.

Elizabeth Ann FARISS (FARESS, FARRIS, etc.), or Queen Ann Elizabeth (on her probate record), or "Lizzie," as she was variously called, was from Catahoula Parish, LA, born 5 Mar 1837 (perhaps in that parish, but it's unclear), to David FARRIS and Lucy DAVIS, and died 22 Feb 1870, near Ringgold, Bienville, LA.

Both are buried in Providence Cemetery, in Ringgold, Bienville, LA.

Sources & copies of the photos for noncommercial use are available, but as this week's TCT is rapidly turning into TCF[riday], though, I'll stop for now. Contact me for more info. --Liz

Text/images copyright 2010 by the blog author.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: New Orleans edition

Tomb with surnames Dunbar, Hacker and Conseil at St. Louis Cemetery #3, New Orleans, Louisiana. The family is not related to me; I just thought the tomb and the marker in French were interesting. Digital photos taken by the author in Oct. 2009. (Transcription and translation at the bottom of the post.)

né à North Bridgewater, Mass.
le 26 Mai 1816.
décédé à la N[ouv]elle Orleans
le 5 Juin 1878.

George W. Dunbar
born at North Bridgewater, Massachusetts
26 May 1816.
died at New Orleans
5 June 1878.

décédée le 7 Mars 1910
à l'âge de 88 ans.

Madame [Mrs.] G. W. Dunbar
born Charlotte Zulmée Hacker
died 7 March 1910
at the age of 88 years.

[Note: A history of North Bridgewater, Mass., found at:
gives George's name as "George Washington Dunbar" and marriage date as 17 June 1843.
A quick Internet search lists sources that state he worked in manufacturing and his family lived on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, and that Charlotte summered with Mr. & Mrs. Conseil at their house in Biloxi, Mississippi, c. 1906. Relatives?]

décédée [sic] le 16 Janvier 1913.

William Conseil
died 16 January 1913. ["sic" note due to feminine form for "died" -- could it be Mrs. Conseil buried here? Just a thought.]

Text/images copyright 2010 by the blog author.

Monday, January 4, 2010

SNGF: My Best Genealogy Moments of 2009

Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings posts genealogy blog "assignments" every Saturday called "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun," or SNGF. They do look like fun, so I'm going to start doing them, though they may very well appear here on Sundays or Mondays.

This week's assignment asked readers to post our "top genealogy moment" of 2009. While nothing tops marrying my 7th cousin once removed, that wasn't done for genealogical purposes, so I would say my top genealogy moment would be meeting my recently-discovered Sonnier cousins in Scott, Louisiana. The four sisters and brother I met, children of John B. & Aline (Legere) Sonnier (and my half-2nd cousins), were delightful and welcoming, as were their relatives. I felt like I'd known them for years, and we're still in touch.

(Aline (Legere) and Jean Baptiste ("John B.") Sonnier. Digital photo of portrait owned by the Sonnier family.)

And so, cousins who descend from my great-grandfather Constant Legere's first marriage (to Estelle Babineau or Babineaux, the Sonniers' great-grandmother) and his fourth and final marriage (to Marie Octavie "Tavie" McBride, my great-grandmother) are now reunited.

But I'm all about the lagniappe*, so here are two other moments:

• My 2nd cousin Janice, who shares great-grandfather Newton King Brady Pate of Ringgold, Louisiana, with me, voluntarily took photos of my McCoy ancestors' Delaware landmarks and obtained burial records for me while on a trip there. And she isn't even related to this family branch! Thank you so much, Janice--one of these days, we really have to meet in person!

* (Detail of our wedding favor bag, which contained pralines made by my Californian (via Texas) mother-in-law with pecans from my Louisianian parents' trees. Digital scan.)

• My husband and I honeymooned in New Orleans, the first time I've returned since discovering my colonial NOLA ancestry. Walking on the French Quarter land where I now know my ancestors once lived gave me a whole new perspective on the Crescent City.

(left: Muriel's Restaurant at Chartres & St. Ann in New Orleans, which occupies land first owned by my 8th-great grandfather Claude Trepagnier in the early 1720s. Digital photo.)

Wishing you & yours a New Year full of wonderful genealogical and non-genealogical moments!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

In which I am awarded the "Kreativ Blogger" badge ...

No, it's not an award for "Kreativ" spelling--as a sometime editor, I must point out that the badge was "kreated" by a Norwegian, thus the non-English spelling.

It is, however, a designation from a fellow Louisiana genealogy blogger, Jennifer Trahan of Jennifer's Genealogy Blog, because she likes my blog and has recommended it to her readers. Thanks for the encouragement, Jennifer. I do appreciate it.

The Kreativ Blogger badge comes with (often-modified) "rules," including:
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

So--things about me you may (or may not!) find interesting:

1. I am a Southwest Louisiana native who has been a Cajun "expatriate" in Southern California for 20 years now. I regularly crave boudin, gumbo and my mom's peach cobbler.

2. I am a 10th-generation Louisianian, if you count my ancestors who colonized Mobile, New Orleans, and the Illinois Country, all part of French Louisiana before America even existed.

3. My bachelor's degree is in music (flute performance); I've also studied journalism and fiction writing.

4. My parents are from two very different lands: North Louisiana and South Louisiana. :)

5. Only about 1/4 of my ancestry is French; I have more British Isles ancestry, but because I grew up in Southwest Louisiana, I feel more Cajun than anything else.

6. I tend to name pets after food or musicians: Roux, Miles, Ella.

7. Despite identifying most with my Cajun ancestry, I don't cook very much or speak Cajun French (I do speak & read a little "standard" French), nor am I Catholic (which is sort of like being a Cajun "expatriate" even within Louisiana). I definitely have a Cajun stomach though--the Tony Chachere's is on the dinner table right next to the salt & pepper.

7a. Yes, I do feel slightly like an imposter because I don't cook much Cajun (yet). :) Hope that doesn't diminish my blogger cred. (See #2.)

I'm having a hard time finding blogs that haven't received KBs recently & that may be of interest to my readers. Therefore, I will pass along the Kreativ Blogger badge to a couple of less active (but interesting) Louisiana bloggers in the hopes that they will post again in the near future, and to a newer blogger with a very Southern voice that reminds me of home:

Louisiana Lineage Legacies - Karen's blog has not been active lately, but perhaps I can persuade her to post again. She's an African-American researcher with North La. roots.

New Orleans Ancestry - Jennifer is a busy graduate student, but I'm hoping she can fit a post in here & there--selfishly, because my New Orleans ancestors are a current passion of mine.

Last2cu - Newish blogger Ruth is in Arkansas and writes about cemeteries and related topics. It's not Louisiana, but she's a neighbor and definitely Southern! Check out her wonderfully-titled post "Tell Me About the Dash."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Follow Friday: Acadian and French-Canadian Ancestral Home

Note: "Follow Friday" is a daily blogging theme used by many bloggers to spotlight other blogs or resources of interest to their readers.

In honor of "Follow Friday," I'd like to occasionally recommend resources of particular interest to those researching Louisiana ancestors. If you have Cajun roots, you will no doubt find the Acadian and French-Canadian Ancestral Home website of great interest. From Acadian census records, to the fate of your ancestors during the "Grand Dérangement," to their journeys to Louisiana, you can spend hours absorbed in the wealth of material on Lucie LeBlanc Consentino's meticulously researched site. The Ancestral Home also serves as the main site for Acadian GenWeb.

Lucie is a very well-respected educator, speaker and researcher specializing in Acadian genealogy. She writes a companion blog for the site and a personal family history blog, "Lucie's Legacy." She also serves as the helpful and congenial administrator of the Rootsweb "Acadian-French Canadian" mailing list, a great group.

Now I must caution that beginners in Cajun genealogy may find all this info a bit overwhelming. If you're still working in Rev. Hebert's "Southwest Louisiana Records" volumes, you can wait before diving headfirst into Lucie's site. But if you need a little motivation for your research, don't hesitate to take a peek. It will make you want to get going on your Cajun ancestors so you can find out how you're related to those fascinating Acadian pioneers.

If you're ready to explore where your ancestors were before they got to Louisiana, this is a must-use resource. There's a reason it's my first "Follow Friday" recommendation, after all!