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Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc. Scholarship Award

The Board of Directors of Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc., has approved a new scholarship to be awarded annually. Le Comité will give one $300 scholarship per year for expenses incurred in the process of conducting research which will "promote and facilitate the use of the Louisiana State Archives and Records Service for genealogical and historical research."

Le Comité will award a scholarship for research using material housed or accessed at the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This award will provide a stipend to assist those interested in Louisiana genealogy and history for whom distance and expenses present an obstacle to research in the state's rich archives. The award will be open to genealogists, independent scholars, and others who are researching Louisiana genealogy and history.

To apply, submit the following in one PDF document by the deadline to Judy Riffel at riffelj@bellsouth.net:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Description of the research project (two pages, double-spaced) to include:
    a. Title and description of the project;
    b. Statement explaining the genealogical and historiographical significance of the proposed work;
    c. An indication of the specific Louisiana State Archives collections and/or records services the applicant will use; and
    d. A brief project budget.

The awardee is required to submit a report suitable for publication in Le Raconteur. The report can be a short essay summarizing how the grant advanced their project. Specifically, they should state what they did, what records they utilized, whether or not they found the information they were seeking, and how they plan to use the information. Le Comité financial support must be acknowledged in any publication resulting from this funded research.

Le Comité will give the awardee $150 upon announcement at the Annual Meeting and $150 upon receipt of the final report.

Please address all related grant questions to Marianne Fisher-Giorlando at mariannegsu@gmail.com or Judy Riffel at riffelj@bellsouth.net.

2023 Annual Meeting

To Be Held Sunday, October 8, 2023, at 1 p.m.
In Person at Embassy Suites Hotel, 4914 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge

And Via Zoom
Speakers are Colleen Fitzpatrick (via Zoom) and Alex Da'Paul Lee (in person). Click here for the Program.


Members may attend in person without preregistering. Non-members may join at the door for $15.

Selected society books will be deeply discounted (most at $5 each) this one day only. Available back issues of Le Raconteur will be offered to Members free of charge. Supplies will be limited and there will be no rain checks. A number of used books and periodicals will also be for sale and free.

If attending via Zoom, please preregister by e-mailing Judy Riffel riffelj@bellsouth.net no later than Friday, October 6, 2023.
Click here for the program.

Members who cannot attend in person are asked to print out the Ballot, vote, sign, and send an image to riffelj@bellsouth.net or mail to Le Comité at P.O. Box 1547, Baton Rouge, LA, by October 14, 2023.

Zoom Presentations

Upcoming Presentations

Past Presentations

June 28, 2023, 2 p.m.
"Black Homesteaders of the South"
presented by Bernice Bennett
Watch video in Members' Section

April 12, 2023, 10 a.m.
"Exploring the Russ Williams Collection"
Presented by Bill Stafford, Archives Supervisor
Members only
Watch video in Members' Section

February 25, 2023, 1 p.m.
"Women in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, 1866-1900"
Presented by Marianne Fisher Giorlando
Members only
Watch video in Members' Section

December 17, 2022, 11 a.m.
"Getting the Most Out of Le Comité's Website"
Presented by Judy Riffel
Free and open to the public
Zoom Video Presentation by Judy Riffel
NOTE: The following passcode must be used to see the archived Zoom Video: !7mh?p+8
Click here to see PDF of presentation slides.

2022 Annual Meeting

(9/15/22) Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc. Announces its Annual Meeting to be held via Zoom Sunday, September 25, 2022, at 1 p.m. FREE TO MEMBERS, BUT PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED**
Deadline to preregister is September 24, 2022, at noon.
Email: riffelj@bellsouth.net
Click Here for More Information

Speaker Philip Adderley will give two one-hour presentations.

Navigating Louisiana's OSL Website, Part 1 The first half of this presentation will focus not just upon the Office of State Land's (OSL) website itself, but also what background is needed in order to get the most from the website.
Navigating Louisiana's OSL Website, Part 2 The second half of this presentation will focus on using the OSL website coupled with National Archives records in two case examples.

Philip Burnett Adderley, 311 Research, L.L.C., is a professional genealogist, author, and lecturer. An avid genealogist since 1977, he has completed numerous advanced courses in genealogy. Beginning in 2006, Mr. Adderley conducted full-time genealogical research professionally for private clients nationwide, with emphasis on compiled narrative lineages and brick wall problems, the latter augmented since 2010 by DNA testing. In 2009, he earned certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and served a five-year term as a Certified Genealogist®. His work as been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. He specializes in land, courthouse, and archival records of the southern American colonies and states, and 17th to 19th century British colonial records of Bermuda.

The Zoom meeting will begin at 1 p.m. A break will be taken between his presentations to conduct a brief Annual Meeting. A summary report and combined bylaws/officers ballot are available on the Members' Page of the website on the About Le Comité tab of the menu. Please download the ballot, vote, sign it, and return via U.S. mail or e-mail before the deadline.

**New and renewal memberships will be accepted if received via PayPal prior to noon September 24, 2022. Use the PayPal donation button on the website and send $16

Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane's
African American Genealogy Special Interest Group Presents
"Family Relationships in Lists of the Enslaved: New Approaches to Analyzing Old Documents"

Presented by Judy Riffel
Sunday, February 20, 2022 2 p.m. Via Zoom

(2/3/22) Lists of the enslaved can be found in inventories, succession sales, conveyances, mortgages, and many other documents. Family relationships may or may not be spelled out. What can you do if they're not? Judy Riffel will briefly describe these documents, then take a deep dive to explain techniques you can use to uncover hidden family relationships among lists of the enslaved. The presentation is geared towards intermediate and advanced genealogists, but beginners can benefit from the information as well.

Judy Riffel is a professional genealogist who has done research for the television series Finding Your Roots, Who Do You Think You Are?, Genealogy Roadshow, and Roots of Faith: Ancestry. She is currently the Lead Genealogist for the Georgetown Memory Project, a nonprofit organization tracing the descendants of some 272 enslaved persons sold by the Jesuits in Maryland and sent to Louisiana plantations in 1838. She is an officer in Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, and has been editor of their journal, Le Raconteur, since 1984.

The seminar is free to current members of Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc. Space is limited and preregistration is required. To reserve your spot, e-mail riffelj@bellsouth.net. New and renewal memberships will be accepted if received via PayPal prior to Saturday, February 19, 2022, at 5 p.m. CST. Please use the PayPal button on the society's website, www.lecomite.org and send $16. Click here for more information.

View PDFs of PowerPoint Slides and Sources

2021 Annual Meeting

(9/16/21) The 2021 Annual Meeting was be held via Zoom on October 10, 2021, beginning at 1 p.m. The meeting was free to Members,

The speaker, Peggy Jude, gave two one-hour presentations:

1950 Census–Get Ready! The 1950 Census will be released to the public on April 1, 2022. Learn more about the 1950 census, how to get ready, and what you need to know to make the most of this exciting resource.

What Can I Do With My DNA? 13 Things You Can Do With Your DNA–So you took a test, and you know your ethnicity. You are related to who you expected. Now what? Explore all the things you can do with your DNA from the basics to more advanced options.

The Zoom meeting will begin at 1 p.m. A break will be taken between her presentations to conduct a brief Annual Meeting. A summary report and ballot are available on the About Us Members' Page of the website.

Peggy JudePeggy Jude is a nationally known speaker, educator and researcher who has been conducting genealogical research for her family and clients for over 40 years. She has conducted extensive research on her family in the Midwest, and in Sweden and Scotland. She specializes and teaches in five areas of genealogical interest: DNA, Preserving Family History and Family Heirlooms, Genealogical Methods and Records, Genealogical Technology, and Swedish Genealogy.

Peggy serves as the VP, Projects, and member of the board of the Manatee Genealogical Society (FL.) She leads both the DNA and the Technology for Genealogy Special Interest Groups for the society. She holds a BS in Zoology from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Following a successful career as a Global Human Resources Executive, she opened her genealogical business centered in the west coast of Florida. Peggy is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild. She is a graduate of ProGen, and an alumnus of multiple advanced genealogical institutes.

2019 Annual Meeting

(10/30/19) The 2019 Annual Meeting was held in Baton Rouge on September 29th. New officers were elected as follows: President Doris Falkenheiner; Vice President Cherryl Forbes Montgomery; Secretary Donna Wakeman; and Treasurer Judy Riffel. Speakers Sally Sinor explored the history and documentation of freemasonry in Louisiana and Lyle Barbato presented a Y-DNA case study on an Avoyelles Parish family. The 2020 Annual Meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 27, 2020, in Baton Rouge. Details are coming soon.

African American Genealogical Seminar Set for June 15, 2019

(5/25/19) Le Comité's African American Special Interest Group will hold its African American Genealogical Seminar on Saturday, June 15th, at the St. Gabriel Catholic Church Activity Center, 3625 Highway 75, St. Gabriel. Speakers and their topics are: Erin M. Greenwald, "After the Middle Passage: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865"; Kenya Key Rachal, "Written History vs. DNA: When the Historical Record and Genetic Record Don't Align"; Emily "Lee" Gagnet Leumas, "Uncomfortable Entries: Documenting Enslaved People Through Catholic Sacramental Records"; Marie Marcel, "1868 St. Landry Parish Massacre"; and Kathryn Labat, "Felicité." Videos will be shown at lunch–"A Place Called Desire," presented by Leonard Smith, III, and "St. Gabriel Catholic Church," presented by Clifford Normand. Orders for bag lunches from St. Gabriel Grocery will be taken at registration time, or participants may bring their own lunch. The seminar is free to Members of Le Comité. Non-members may join at the door for $15 (Individual Membership) and $25 (Family Membership). For details, see flyer here.

2018 Annual Meeting

(10/1/18) The 2018 Annual Meeting was held in Baton Rouge on September 30th. After a short business meeting, Elaine Boston gave a presentation on DNA focusing on GEDmatch and DNA Painter. Slides of her presentation are available here.

Judy Riffel also gave a short presentation on the society's website.


Iberville Newspaper Digitization Project Completed

(10/24/12) A project to digitize the oldest newspapers in the Iberville Parish Clerk of Court's office has been completed. These issues are available (9/16/21) in the Louisiana Digital Library | Louisiana Newspapers. Included are 13 Iberville titles, one West Baton Rouge title, and two Baton Rouge titles. The 139 issues date from 1831 to 1922 and comprise 372 pages. Working on this project were members Judy Riffel, Stella Carline Tanoos, Rita Lynn Erwin Jackson, and Ann DeVillier Riffel. Special thanks go to Iberville Clerk of Court J. Gerald "Bubbie" Dupont for allowing the newspapers to be digitized, and Gina Costello and Sheila Lee at the LSU Libraries. A similar project for St. Martin Parish is currently being explored.





Website Updates

(8/20/18) The 2017 Index to Le Raconteur was added to the public section of the website. On the Members' Page, several out-of-print articles and an updated Accessions file have been posted. Images of three volumes the Confederate Pension Board Registers (1919-1951) have been posted to the Original Records section along with indexes to volumes 1 and 3. The Parish Research Guides have been updated. Thanks go to this year's sponsors: Joan Aleman, Teal Anderson, Mary David Baker, Ruth Bennett, Mary Cargill Blunt, Lori Cummings, Carolyn DeWolfe, Doris Falkenheiner, Alexandra Hainkel, Chris Hansen, Audrey Nabors Jackson, David Ledet, Robert LeJeune, Kenya Key Rachal, Renee Richard, Ann Riffel, Judy Riffel, Joyce Rivette, and Stella Tanoos. The following parishes are available for sponsorship: Bossier, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Red River, Richland, St. Helena, Tensas, Union, Webster, and Winn.

Gilbert Funeral Home Records

(10/22/17) A new category has been added to the Members' Page of the website – Original Records. The first set of images posted here are the Gilbert Funeral Home Records for 1905 to 1957. Gilbert Funeral Home was one of the earliest black funeral homes in Baton Rouge, established just after the Civil War. Its records were later acquired by Rhodes United Fidelity Funeral Home on Scenic Highway. In 2002, the funeral home allowed members of Le Comité to borrow the records and microfilm them at the Louisiana State Archives. A copy of the microfilm was deposited at the State Archives. Recently, the society sent a copy to a company to have the images digitized and those images are now posted here. Typed name indexes with links to the images are currently being prepared by members and will be posted as they become available.