2016 African American Genealogy Seminar
July 19, 2016
Dr. Phebe Hayes, Program Chair, welcomes the group to the 2016 African American Genealogy Seminar held July 19th at The Whitney Plantation. Photo by Leonard Smith, III.
John Cummings and Dr. Ibrahama Seck of The Whitney Plantation participate in a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Caryn L. Winters at the 2016 African American Genealogy Seminar. Photo by Judy Riffel.
Leonard Smith, III, presents "Converting Your Family History into a Documentary" at the 2016 African American Genealogy Seminar. Photo by Antoinette Harrell.
Member in the Spotlight
Mary David Baker
Mary David Baker was raised in Alexandria, Louisiana, and is an occasional contributor to Le Raconteur and other quarterlies. Her early interests in genealogy were sparked by her maternal grandmother and mother. Mary David holds a PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Virginia and is retired from Shell Oil Company. She is pictured here with her newly published book, Manuel Garcia de Texada of Natchez. Much of the research for the book was conducted at the Louisiana State Archives and the Special Collections at the LSU Libraries and Tulane University Library. Mary David is grateful for the kind assistance of the archivists and staff in this endeavor. Additional details regarding the Texas book can be found online at the follwing address:
2015 Annual Meeting Photos
September 27, 2015
Speaker Gary Stewart discusses his birth certificate, a document that puzzled him as a child. Photo by Lawrence Earlo LaBauve, Jr.
Members listen attentively as speaker Gary Stewart talks about his investigation into the life of his birth father. Photo by Lawrence Earlo LaBauve, Jr.
Gary Stewart compares an artist's sketch of the Zodiac Killer to a mug shot of his father, Earl Van Best, Jr. Photo by Lawrence Earlo LaBauve, Jr.
Dr. Mark Rees begins his talk on the Search for the Lost Colony of New Acadia. Photo by Lawrence Earlo LaBauve, Jr.
Dr. Mark Rees explains a map showing the Early Acadian Settlement of the Attakapas Post. Photo by Lawrence Earlo LaBauve, Jr.
African American Special Interest Group Seminar
June 20, 2015
Kenya Key Rachal and Judy Riffel lead a presentation on DNA at the African American Special Interest Group Seminar, 20 June 2015 [Photo by Terry Smith]
Kenneth Washington shares photos of his family at the African American Special Interest Group Seminar, 20 June 2015 [Photo by Terry Smith]
Kathy Hambrick Jackson discusses free people of color in Ascension Parish at the African American Special Interest Group Seminar, 20 June 2015 [Photo by Terry Smith]
Member in the Spotlight
Renee Bergeron Richard
Television show host, archivist, artist, assistant exhibit curator, volunteer, and genealogist extraordinaire, Renee Bergeron Richard has many talents. Her television show on Catholic Life TV, Roots of Faith: Ancestry, explores Louisiana genealogy and ethnic groups. The TV series is part of her volunteer work for the archives department of the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. Renee also works part-time for the Office of Archives and Records of the Archdiocese of New Orleans assisting in the research, design, and production of exhibits at the Old Ursuline Convent Museum in the French Quarter. The latest exhibit is entitled: Praying for a Miracle, The Catholic Church and the Battle of New Orleans. Renee is pictured here with shards of prehistoric Native American pottery found along the shore and on the ground of her family's land in the swamps of Assumption Parish. She specializes in researching land records.
October 5, 2014
Richard Holloway speaking on the "Louisiana Troops at the Battle of New Orleans" at Le Comit�'s Annual Meeting held in Baton Rouge on October 5, 2014. Photo by Lawrence LaBauve.
Stella Carline Tanoos presenting "Experiences in Louisiana in the 1850s" about one man's journey from Texas to New Orleans. Photo by Lawrence LaBauve.
Ann Stirling Weller receiving her prize from Judy Riffel for the winning essay in the War of 1812 Essay Contest. Photo by Lawrence LaBauve.
September 6-7, 2014
Several members attended the New Orleans taping of the PBS television show Genealogy Roadshow. This series features non-celebrities who submit their genealogy questions for experts to answer. At the two-day event, the public was also invited to observe the filming and to visit tables manned by local experts and genealogical societies. Some of those discussions were also filmed and may appear on the show, which airs in January 2015. Pictured here on Day 1 is Le Comit�'s table manned by Stella Carline Tanoos, Judy Riffel, Renee Bergeron Richard, and Lawrence LaBauve.
Day 2's activities of Genealogy Roadshow were held at the Cabildo. Pictured here are Terry Smith, Le Comit� member and documentary filmmaker Leonard Smith, III, and Leslie Everage manning the table of LS3 Studios.
Member in the Spotlight
Mary K. Creamer
Mary K. Creamer has been one of the many contributors to the popular genealogy website, Find-A-Grave. In a little over five years, she has added 8,300 memorials and 11,500 photographs of tombstones in South Louisiana and Texas cemeteries. She is pictured here standing beside the tomb of Theophylus Littell Boagni, son of Dr. Vincent Boagni and Susan Littell, who died in 1868. As she says, "his tomb is one of the reasons I started photographing the St. Landry Catholic Church cemetery. When I saw this child's tomb in the state it is in, it saddened me." Her hope is that a cemetery clean-up day can happen in this Opelousas cemetery, which dates back to the late 1700s.
May 17, 2014
(5/17/14) Members of the Board of Directors met at the home of Audrey Nabors Jackson in Zachary. Mrs. Jackson's home is filled with an amazing assortment of family photographs. She's pictured here holding photographs of her great grandmother, Patience Carmena Young, born in 1856, and her father, Raymond Nabors, Sr.
October 26, 2013
(10/26/13) Members of the Board of Directors met at the home of Ann and Judy Riffel. From left to right are: Second Vice President Karen Ortolano; Board Member Ann DeVillier Riffel; Treasurer Judy Riffel; Board Member Stella Carline Tanoos; and Board Member Audrey Nabors Jackson. Not pictured, but in attendance, Secretary Doris Falkenheiner. Photo by President Damon Veach.
September 29, 2013
(9/29/13) R. Martin Guidry and Stella Carline Tanoos were the speakers at the annual meeting held September 29, 2013, at the Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge. Marty spoke on the Acadians in Maryland and Stella spoke on Louisiana Cattle Trails.
Member in the Spotlight
R. Martin Guidry
(8/14/13) Dressed as a typical Acadian farmer from the early to mid-1700s, R. Martin Guidry speaks to genealogical and historical societies and participates in Acadian festivals and special events. As he puts it, "I wear Acadian dress so that the folks can understand a little better how the Acadians lived." He's often asked about the wooden shoes, or sabots, that the Acadians wore back then. "They are quite comfortable and were used by the Acadians working in wet areas cultivating hay and other crops, buildings and repairing dykes, and herding livestock." In addition to his long-time membership in Le Comit�, Guidry is President of Les Gu�dry d'Asteur, Past-President and current Board Member of the Acadian Memorial Foundation in St. Martinville, and Treasurer of the Baton Rouge Genealogical and Historical Society.
Donation of Texada Family Papers
June 19, 2013
(6/25/13) Tara Zachary Laver (at left), Curator of Manuscripts at the LSU Libraries, accepts a donation of the Texada Family Papers from Carolyn and Ed Landers of Nashville, Tennessee, June 19, 2013, at LSU's Hill Memorial Library. The collection consists of about one linear foot of family papers and photographs of the Texada family of Rapides Parish. Of particular note are a number of Civil War era letters and reminiscences. Le Comit� member and Texada descendant Mary David Baker (at right) was also present at the donation..
May 18, 2013
(5/18/13) Members attended Board Meeting at home of Judy Riffel and Ann DeVillier Riffell. From left to right: Judy Riffel, Audry Nabors Jackson, Ann DeVillier Riffel and Damon Veach. (Photo by Doris Falkenheiner)
Member in the Spotlight
Rita Lynn Erwin Jackson
(3/21/13) Rita Lynn Erwin Jackson's love of history and genealogy is evident in her many accomplishments over the past four decades. Joining the Iberville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1982, she has served in numerous leadership roles at the local and state level. In 1984, she was honored with the National Lineage Award for assisting 21 new members to join the Iberville Chapter in one year. She received the National Heritage Literature Award in 2007 for her short story, "Daughters: A DAR Love Story and a Tribute to Courtland Frantom Landreaux," and in 2011, the National Society awarded her the first ever Historic Preservation Medal for her work at the Museum, including grant writing, and for her work as a volunteer genealogy instructor.
A long-time member of Le Comit�, she provided articles and photographs for the Iberville Parish History book and helped to compile the Iberville Parish Cemeteries book. Her most recent accomplishment is as Project Director of "The People of Iberville Series," a series of cultural exhibits highlighting the people groups who settled Iberville Parish and made it what it is today. Beginning in 2008 these exhibits at the Iberville Museum in Plaquemine have featured the Italian, Spanish, African American, Scots-Irish, Anglo, German, and French of her native Parish.
She is pictured here setting up the most recent exhibit on American Indians. The exhibit opens Saturday, April 6th, at 9:30 a.m., for a two-month run. She was also instrumental in bringing a two-day Plaquemine Pow Wow to town which will begin immediately following the exhibit opening.
Member Bernice Bennett
with 1886 Governor's Proclamation
Member Bernice Bennett shows off an 1886 Governor's proclamation regarding her great great granduncle, Thomas Youngblood, of Livingston Parish. Bennett is the host of the popular genealogy program Research at the National Archives & Beyond on BlogTalk Radio. She found the document on her visit to the Louisiana State Archives in February of 2013.
Ask the Experts Program -
January 5, 2013
Judy Riffel demonstrates how to use the Archives book scanner to make
digital images of large maps. Looking on are Suzanne and Mike Schexnayder,
Karen Ortolano, and Armogene Declouet.
(1/5/13) Also participating in the Ask the Experts program on January 5, 2013, were Homer Baugh, Renee Richard, Doris Falkenheiner, Paul and Mary McKeough, Bunny Heroman, Diana Robert, Adrian Zeno, and Larry LaBauve. Assisting were Ann DeVilllier Riffel and Stella Carline Tanoos. Topics covered included State Land Office records, searching the FamilySearch and Chronicling America websites, military records, Freedmen's Bureau records, colonial records, and how to use the Archives new computer database.
Member in the Spotlight
E. A. "Tony" Dardeau, Jr.
(12/1/12) Readers of Le Raconteur will recognize E.A. "Tony" Dardeau, Jr., as a regular contributor. One of the benefits of his interest in stamp collecting is that he often finds interesting contents in the postal history material he acquires. He transcribes and annotates these historical letters, often doing painstaking research on the writers and recipients. He then submits them as articles, not only to Le Raconteur, but to Mississippi River Routes, the quarterly publication of the Vicksburg Genealogical Society, which he has edited since 1996.
He has also served on the VGS Board of Directors, maintains their website, and was the 1997 recipient of their Woodland G. Shockley Award for outstanding promotion of genealogy. Tony is also a member of the Vicksburg & Warren County Historical Society, the Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Society, the Evangeline Genealogical Society, and First Families of Mississippi. He is a native of Ville Platte, Louisiana, resides in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and has been married to the former Margie Gordon for 43 years. They have two children and two granddaughters.
Iberville Parish Census Project - October 2012
At left, Iberville Parish Clerk of Court J. Gerald "Bubbie" Dupont holds a copy of 1878 Iberville Parish Census, which the organization presented to his office. The original census is housed in the courthouse. Stella Carline Tanoos holds a copy of Our Home Journal and Judy Riffel holds the earliest known issue of the Iberville Gazette, two rare newspapers found in the courthouse. Tanoos, Riffel, Ann DeVillier Riffel (at right), and Rita Lynn Erwin Jackson (not pictured) recently completed a project to digitize the earliest newspapers found in the files of the Clerk's office. See the What's New page for details.
Board Meeting - October 2012
Board members met at the home of Doris Falkenheiner in October of 2012. Pictured from left: President Damon Veach; Board Members Ann DeVillier Riffel and Stella Carline Tanoos; and Secretary Doris Falkenheiner. Not pictured: Judy Riffel, Treasurer.
Annual Meeting - September 18, 2012
Aaron Holt reviews the basics of conducting research at the National Archives Southwest Branch in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Annual Meeting held on September 18, 2012, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge.
An attentive audience listens to Aaron Holt discuss records at the National Archives Fort Worth Branch.
Aaron Holt explains the naturalization process.
The 1940 census is available for free online at 1940census.archives.gov/.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs records were among the many topics covered by Aaron Holt of the National Archives at the Annual Meeting held on September 18, 2012, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge.
Board Meeting - May 19, 2012
Members of the Board of Directors met at the home of Doris Falkenheiner on May 19, 2012. Pictured from left to right: Secretary Doris Falkenheiner; Board Members Audrey Nabors Jackson and Ann DeVillier Riffel; and President Damon Veach. Not pictured, Treasurer Judy Riffel.
African American Special Interest Group Seminar
April 14, 2012
Adrian Zeno, Dr. Leon Tarver, and Kenneth Kleinpeter spoke at the African American Special Interest Group seminar on April 14, 2012.
Third Vice President Cherryl Forbes Montgomery greets attendees at the African American Special Interest Group seminar on April 14, 2012.
Judy Riffel - April 14, 2012
Judy Riffel speaks on her research into Former Secretary of State Condo-
leezza Rice's Louisiana roots, April 14, 2012.
Board of Directors Meeting - Zachary, October 15, 2011
Members of the Board of Directors enjoy lunch following the fall board meeting at the home of Audrey Nabors-Jackson in Zachary, October 15, 2011. From left to right: Doris Falkenheiner (Secretary); Cherryl Forbes Montgomery (Third VicePresident); not pictured, Judy Riffel (Treasurer); Ann DeVillier Riffel
(Board Member); and Audrey Nabors-Jackson (Board Member)
Annual Meeting - September 18, 2011
Suzanne Schexnayder demonstrates how to use the Family Search web site at the Annual Meeting held on September 18, 2011, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge.
Mike Schexnayder discusses the Family Search web site at the Annual Meeting on September 18, 2011.
Athena Jackson explains LSU's Newspaper Digitization Program at the Annual Meeting on September 18, 2011.
Freedmen's Bureau Finding Aid Presentation
at the State Archives - August 6, 2011
Judy Riffel explains the use of the Freedmen's Bureau Finding Aid to Adrian Zeno at the State Archives on August 6, 2011.
Kenneth Washington searches the Freedmen's Bureau microfilm for traces of his ancestors on August 6, 2011.
African American Genealogy Seminar - June 25, 2011
Sharon Batiste Gillins lectures on Louisiana Conveyance Records at the African American genealogy seminar on June 25, 2011.
Attendees enjoy the African American genealogy seminar held at the Delta Sigma Theta Life Development Center in Baton Rouge, June 25, 2011.
Third Vice President Cherryl Forbes Montgomery presents a copy of A Guide to Genealogical Research at the Louisiana State Archives to Reginald Washington of the National Archives. Washington gave two presentations at Le Comit� African American Genealogy Seminar on June 25, 2011.
Board Member Ann DeVillier Riffel tends Le Comit�'s publications table at the African American Genealogy Seminar on June 25, 2011.
Board Meeting at the Opelousas Library - June 11, 2011
Board meeting held at the Opelousas Library on June 11, 2011. From left: Ann DeVillier Riffel, Judy Riffel, Doris Falkenheiner and Winston De Ville.
Board meeting held at the Opelousas Library on June 11, 2011. (L to R) Winston De Ville, Ann DeVillier Riffel and Doris Falkenheiner. Attending via Skype are Cherryl Forbes Montgomery and Audrey Nabors-Jackson.