AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive
Genealogical records retrieved from trash bin.
Society learns history found anywhere
Finding historic information when you least expect it was Saturday's lesson to members of the Imperial St. Landry Genealogical and Historical Society.
Mavis Fruge of Arnaudville showed members the church records she retrieved last month from piles of paper thrown out as trash by St. Francis Regis Catholic Church office workers.
"The church ladies were told to clean out the attic," Fruge said. "I got four boxes of documents. I even found the original church charter."
Fruge said she found in the church trash pile records of catechism classes, beautifully written in script, legers and old letters. She held up a copy of the dioceses' book, "One thousand years of the Upper Teche," and in her other hand the master copy to the book, written by Roger Baudier, official chronicler for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Estelle Perrault, president of the genealogy society, said Fruge's happenstance is one that does not often occur. Too many times, records have been thrown out, she said.
Many records, considered old and full of non-useful information are the things that contain the intimate details of people's lives, Perrault said.
History is all about people, and it is the goal of the genealogy society to get people involved in doing genealogical research so those lives are not forgotten, she said.
Part of Saturday's meeting focused on ways to encourage genealogical interests.
Members discussed the future publication of histories beginning with "the Imperial families" or founding families.
Alma Reed suggested the society begin collecting histories on those first families and then as information is accumulated expand into collections noting the various periods of time of arrival in Louisiana.
Perrault said she would be willing to teach a class on genealogical research to every school principal, or a representative of every school, so students can be challenged to trace their own family histories. "We could ask them to traced their own family histories back just to the time of the Louisiana Purchase," she said.
There is no reason why any student with ancestors from this area could not find out some information, Perrault said. The information is there if you take the time to look, she said.
Attending the Saturday meeting for a second time was LeRoy community resident Raphael Duhon.
"The last time I was here there was a lady in town who got a succession from the Bouttee family on Canal Street in New Orleans," he said. "I'm here because this is the original county seat and I'm trying to dig up information."
Duhon said he began research his own area after hearing legends about pirates and since then has collected enough oral histories from just LeRoy, to write a book.
"It's interesting," he said. "I enjoy hearing the stories."