CMA Genealogical Sympmosium
When I get a chance, I'll try to add more details to this page.
The Lafourche Heritage Society
Congres Mondial Acadien
Aug. 4, at 7 pm, a reception was held in the Ellender Library at NSU (Thibodaux)
for the symposium. Stephen White, Father Hebert, and dozens of guests
gathered for a couple of hours. Mr. White brought his Dictionnaire
and gave everyone their first glimpse at the long-awaited works.
The following day, in Peltier Hall, the Symposium was held from 9 am to 4 pm. The ladies of the Lafourche Heritage Society, dressed in Acadian costume, greeted everyone at the registration table. There were 2 rooms of book sellers and a chart room in the rooms near the auditorium.
After introductions by Dr. John Doucet and a welcome by Dr. Alice Pecoraro, the speakers began at about 9:15. David Cheramie, of CODOFIL, acted as interpreter for Mr. Braud.
I paid $20 for my copy of that book. But I waited too long and the 10 copies he brought of his other book were sold out before his speech even began. The second book is mainly composed of lists of thousands of records of Acadians in Nantes. It is a combined French/English version.
He also mentioned other things they are working on at the Center. I was interested that they are working on transcribing the letters of the Lafourche commandant ... giving us a good look at life in that area. For example, one letter said that on a trip down Bayou Lafourche, the trees were full of color because they were full of Carolina parakeets!
Though he didn't speak, Dr. Brasseaux's son was also there. Though not as much of a history buff as his dad, he is working on the folklife aspect of the Cajuns.
He noted that the week before the book went to print, a major correction needed to be made ... and a minor correction came in a week after it went to print. He stated that updates would be put out on a regular basis to keep it up to date. Consisting of over 1700 pages, the first part is made up of 2 volumes of all of the people who married before 1714 and others who were in Acadian in that time. The second part of the work, to cover up to 1780, is already over 13,000 pages and counting. He gave no publication date on it. I sent him a question about the online database, that was supposed to be online for a fee. But he has gotten good about not committing to a date and didn't really answer when that would be available.
He mentioned that he would be speaking at St. Martinville on the 11th about the first Acadian in Louisiana ... a Joseph de Goutin de Ville who arrived here in the mid 1740s.
Gérard-Marc Braud is a native of Saint-Hilaire de Riez, Vendée,
and a resident of Nantes. He received his law diploma from the University
of Nantes. He is currently President of
As from 1756, a good number of Acadians were deported to England and then to France. Temporarily living in numerous port cities along the Channel coastline, these Acadian families eventually settled in Nantes at the end of 1775, as the result 0f their unsuccessful settlement in Poitou starting in 1773. Using parish notifications, notarial deeds, and other documents, this presentation will feature sociological research on this large group of more than 1600 Acadians who settled in France. They were located in Nantes and Poimboeuf cities until 1785, when they eventually departed for Louisiana.
|Dr. Carl Brasseaux
Dr. Carl A. Brasseaux, a native of St. Landry Parish, received his doctorate in North American Studies from the University of Paris. He has published more 80 scholarly articles and more than 30 book-length works on the history and culture of French North America, including The Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803 (LSU Press, 1987) and Acadian to Cajun: Transformation of a People, 1803-1877 (U. Miss. Press, 1992). He serves as managing editor of Louisiana History, journal of the Louisiana Historical Association.
The Center for Louisiana Studies was established in 1973 to plan, promote, and pursue programs of acquisition, research, and interpretation designed to provide scholars, students, and the public with a better understanding 0f Louisiana's history and culture. Located in Edith Garland Dupré Library on the campus of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, the Center houses the Louisiana Colonial Records collection, the Louisiana Folklore and Folklife Collection, and the Louisiana Historical Photograph Collection, in addition to multiple research and interpretive programs. Dr. Brasseaux will discuss the genealogical resources at the Center. These materials include primary sources from Canada, England, France, Louisiana, and Spain. He will also discuss genealogical materials published by the Center.
|Dr. John Doucet
Dr. John P. Doucet is a native of Golden Meadow, Louisiana, a descendant
of the original Lafourche Doucets who arrived in Louisiana in 1785 and
settled across the bayou from Nicholls
A scientist by day, Dr. Doucet is also an award-winning playwright, the author of ten plays based on Cajun history and culture. He is the recipient of the 1998 Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship Award in Playwriting. His first play, Tant que Durera la Terre, chronicling the survival of his ancestors during the Great October Storm of 1893 at Cheniere Caminada, was awarded the Louisiana Native Voices and Visions Playwriting Award in 1996. Tant que Durera la Terre is feature of the Congrès Mondial's Festival de Théâtre.
From the moment of their arrival in the New World, the Acadians were a people set apart. Initially a reaction against rival cultures and the harsh Canadian climate, Acadians have developed a social cohesiveness strengthened by centuries of cultural uniqueness. In Louisiana, like in Canada, Acadians lived in geographic isolation compounded by barriers of language, religion, and lifestyle. Over the centuries, the cultural identity Acadians have maintained is also manifest in their biological inheritance. Like other isolated populations around the world, the cohesiveness of Acadians results in an increased prevalence for certain rare traits and diseases inherited from their ancestors. Once such disease, Type 1C Usher Syndrome, is not found in any other population in the world and is thus called “Acadian” Usher Syndrome. In the effort of modem medicine to determine the entire structure of the human inherited material, it is the cohesiveness of the Acadian people, together with the familial records maintained by their Catholic Church and the various recorders of their embarkments and arrivals, that is making a major contibution to the remediation of disease for ail peoples.
Stephen A. White has thirty-three years experience in Acadian genealogical research. He has been the genealogist at the Center d'études Acadiennes since 1975. The first part of his Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes is just the beginning of a multi-volume, comprehensive compilation on ail the families of old Acadia.
Many people have wondered how it has come to take so long to publish the Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes. This presentation will show that by the breadth of the research that has gone into it, as well as by the care with which it has been documented, the Dictionnaire Généalogique strikes off in a new direction in Acadian genealogical study. The methodology of the Dictionnaire Généalogique will be explained. The various methods used to prove relationships will be outlined. The lasting contribution of the Dictionnaire Généalogique will be suggested.
|Father Donald Hebert
Father Donald J. Hébert is a native of Mire, Louisiana. After inaugural seminary studies in Lafayette, he studied philosophy and theology at the St. John's Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas, and at the Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1968, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Warren Boudreaux at St. John's Cathedral in Lafayette.
Father Hébert has been involved in genealogy of Louisiana Acadian descendants for the past thirty-years. He has researched much of the southwestern area of Louisiana, collecting and publishing vital statistics records to enable people to put together family genealogies and histories. One of his projects that is currently being prepared for publication, Louisiana Families in Southeast Texas, will be featured in his presentation. The project involved tracing the settlement of Acadians into southeast Texas and highlighting their contributions to that section of Texas.