November 29, 2009


"This is the irrational season/
When love blooms bright and wild./
Had Mary been filled with reason/
There'd have been no room for the child."

From Madeleine L'Engle's poem "After Annunciation"

November 27, 2009


The officer's writings are mostly dry and technical - accounts of the weapons deployed and how many lashes were meted out for drinking.
But buried in the terse prose of Jeremiah Bancroft's journal, which goes on display today in Halifax, are new details of Acadian resistance to the 18th-century deportation. It's information that one community leader hopes will help erase a lingering feeling of helplessness.
"I have met several Acadians over the years who have experienced a sense of shame of not having done anything about it," said Victor Tétrault, executive director of the Société Promotion Grand-Pré. "That's what they gleaned from the history, but with this we can know that we did all we could."
Ensign Bancroft's writing offers an account of the 1755 British military efforts to remove Acadians from the Maritimes. It includes some acts of resistance not mentioned in the journal of expedition leader Lieutenant-Colonel John Winslow, the only other British officer whose account of this phase of the deportation has survived.
The original Bancroft journal is now lost, but in 1925 an amateur historian typed out what appears to be an accurate copy, going so far as to replicate archaisms such as "Munday ye 16th." Then it was filed away and sat forgotten for decades, until chanced upon by Jonathan Fowler, an historical archaeologist at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
The pages will have their first public airing today at the university's Sobey School of Business, exhibited for one day only along with artifacts from the Grand-Pré site. There is the hope that the exposure could jog someone's memory and perhaps lead to the original journal resurfacing.
"There are only a few documents written by eyewitnesses, so this is very interesting," Prof. Fowler said. "Because the events of the deportation have such resonance today, any light that we can throw onto these events, that becomes significant."
The transcript notes the captives' "shame and confusion" when they learned their lands were forfeited and they would be deported. Later, though, Ensign Bancroft describes prisoners seizing weapons from the British and fleeing, captives slipping off ships and a man shot while trying to escape.
"It really humanizes the deportation, this cataclysm in the Acadian experience, because it shows us how messy it really was," Prof. Fowler said. "This is not a people that simply goes passively aboard ships and sink into the mists of history."

HALIFAX — From Thursday's Globe and Mail


GO TO 2009/26-11- 2009.html

and click at the bottom where it says VIEW 

November 09, 2009


Lest we forget

Lest we forget

To the editor,

Two hundred fifty years ago, several thousand Acadian men, women, and children were deported from their home; their property burned or confiscated the victims of crime against humanity.

This missive is to alert your readers of a series of interviews by the CBC on the subject of the Acadian deportation.

The first interviewee is Warren Perrin who will address the subject of an apology for the Crown for the deportation. It will be aired on November 10 at 7:15 in the morning.

Perrin is an attorney in Louisiana and the recent author of a biography on Acadian Redemption (copies at Acadian Village in V.B.) He is also President of CODOFIL in Louisiana. Perrin was a recent guest speaker at UMFK, at the invitation of History Professor Roger Paradis.

Perrin has been calling for des excuse de la Reine for over two decades, and, in a carefully researched document, cites numerous precedents for doing so.

David Le Gallant and myself will be interviewed on November 12 at the same time, in French and English.

Le Gallant is a graduate of Moncton University, with a degree in common law.

From there he went on to study at the European Institute for International Studies in France where he won first prize for an essay entitled, "La passion d'un voyage d'un Acadien errant.

He is also the past president of the Acadian Museum Association of P.E.I., and the Sr. Antoinette de Roches Historical Society.

Le Gallant is a man of the world several times over, and he has also endorsed Perrin's efforts to obtain an apology from the Queen for the so-called Grand Dérangement.

For myself I continue to labor in the Augean Stables of Acadian history, 1604-1763.

My interview will focus on the issue of genocide, and whether it is an apt description of the deportation.

Until a few years ago, historians were in agreement to blame colonial underlings for the Acadian tragedy; some even blamed the victims.

I followed the money trail and it led me George II. The Crown has since admitted responsiblility, but the apology lingers. Without this, there can be no healings, no closure.

Two hundred fifty years ago, in 1758, the Acadians on Ile Royale, (Cape Breton Island), and those on Ile Saint-Jean, now Prince Edward Island, were deported to France.

Of the 4,000 who were deported from Ile Saint-Jean, some fifty percent never reached their destination.

Many died from fever on the squalid and over crowded ships; the others went down to a watery grave. Two ships sank in mid Atlantic, and another broke up on a reef.

While the insular Acadians were being rounded up for deportation, General Jeffrey Amhurst ordered Colonel Robert Monckton to clear the St. John River of the unwanted Acadians.

Their settlements were torched and most, though not all, fled up river to the St. Lawrence where they found host families.

Weakened by exposure, hunger and fatigue, many succumbed to disease and were hastily buried in unmarked graves along the river.

For the very elderly and very young, the long trek to Québec was a death march. The few that were found hiding in the forest were ultimately deported.

Among the settlements that were destroyed was Sainte-Anne, the largest with some 250 inhabitants, located at present day Fredericton.

In 1759, the settlement was felled upon in the dead of a winter's night. Among the dead were women and children.

Many of the refugees would eventually find homes here in the upper St. John Valley.

This Thanksgiving, while we are enjoying the comforts of home and family, we may want to pause and reflect on the fate of those refugees, many of them our ancestors.

They were embarked on often-leaky tubs to cross 3,000 miles of ocean during the hurricane season.

This was the most dreadful time to sail the North Atlantic when ships braced against 30 and 40-foot waves, and huddled below deck were hundreds of terrified, filthy, hungry, feverish people, gasping for every breath of fetid air, whose groaning and weeping and screeching mingled with the whimper of the dying.

Gaze upon the river before you and witness the pitifully long line of distraught refugees as they went their way, in fair weather and foul, to face a grim future in a strange and distant land.

In war as in peace, the innocent always suffers more than the guilty. T'was at this time, this season, 250 years past that the light almost went out for the Acadians.

Lest we forget.

Roger Paradis

UMFK Professor

Fort Kent

October 31, 2009


The true origins of Halloween lie with the ancient Celtic tribes who lived in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. For the Celts, November 1 marked the beginning of a new year and the coming of winter. The night before the new year, they celebrated the festival of Samhain, Lord of the Dead. During this festival, Celts believed the souls of the dead—including ghosts, goblins and witches—returned to mingle with the living. In order to scare away the evil spirits, people would wear masks and light bonfires.

When the Romans conquered the Celts, they added their own touches to the Samhain festival, such as making centerpieces out of apples and nuts for Pomona, the Roman goddess of the orchards. The Romans also bobbed for apples and drank cider—traditions which may sound familiar to you. But where does the Christian aspect of the holiday come into play? In 835, Pope Gregory IV moved the celebration for all the martyrs (later all saints) from May 13 to November 1. The night before became known as All Hallow’s Even or “holy evening.” Eventually the name was shortened to the current Halloween. On November 2, the Church celebrates All Souls Day.

The purpose of these feasts is to remember those who have died, whether they are officially recognized by the Church as saints or not. It is a celebration of the “communion of saints,” which reminds us that the Church is not bound by space or time.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that through the communion of saints “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things” (#1475).

Carving the Turnip?

Many of the customs we now associate with Halloween are also derived from ancient celebrations.

For example, the current custom of going door-to-door to collect treats actually started in Ireland hundreds of years ago. Groups of farmers would go door-to-door collecting food and materials for a village feast and bonfire. Those who gave were promised prosperity; those who did not received threats of bad luck. When an influx of Irish Catholic immigrants came to the United States in the 1800s, the custom of trick-or-treating came with them.

Does your family carve a pumpkin to place on your porch for Halloween? If so, then you can once again thank the Irish for the tradition. Actually, the custom began with a turnip. People would hollow out the turnips and place lighted candles inside to scare off the evil spirits. When the Irish came to America, they discovered the pumpkin as a larger substitute for the turnip. And so, we now carve pumpkins instead of turnips for Halloween.

October 29, 2009


All Saints Sunday

By James Akers

ST. MARTINVILLE – It is often said that after 225 years of the existence of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church, there are more people buried in the cemetery than are alive today in town.

All Saints Day, which falls this Sunday, is a major feast day and holy day of obligation in the Roman Catholic Church. But in past times, people used to begin cleaning their family tombs for the occasion starting six to eight weeks before Nov. 1. People could be seen arriving at the cemetery with buckets, brushes, brooms and scraping tools. For weeks before Nov. 1, one could find Mrs. Louis Gary Sr., and her prison labor force cleaning the cemetery.

In the early days there was not the choice of flowers you have now. Talented people would fashion wreaths from wire and would make colorful crepe paper flowers dipped in hot wax. On the church square would be seen vendors of these arrangements. Rooster’s combs, fresh flowers of burgundy and gold, were popular. The small purple flower known as “everlasting” could also be found. The more affluent of the community would have fashioned wreaths of metal flowers to adorn the tombs.

 At the end of the day, these metallic wreaths were removed from the tombs and stored away until next year. Upon the tombs could be seen every type of container from glass milk bottles and glass fruit jars to beautiful vases holding flowers for the deceased. The tombs were described as looking like white wedding cakes.

All Saints Day was a solemn day and yet a festive day. St. Martinville is a social community and the day provided an opportunity for the gathering of local news and visiting friends and relatives. From before dawn on the grand day, people began to converge on the town to fulfill their religious obligations and to honor their dead.

People from the country, out-of-town visitors, and local people began to gather at the cemetery and the church. Many people from the country visited the cemetery the whole day, bringing lunches and beverages. All Saints Day always brought brisk business to town. Most merchants closed their stores for the three o’clock ceremonies, however. Mrs. C.T. Bienvenu could be seen collecting the cemetery dues at the gate. All the way to the rear could be found Mrs. Luke Bonin, sitting on her concrete bench, saying the Rosary.

The women at that time wore black, navy blue, gray or brown. Hats, kerchiefs, and later, chapel veils were appropriate head coverings. Usually All Saints Day was cold. Some of the older ladies wore the Croix de Bon Morte, crucifixes pinned to their coats. Children were starched and ironed within an inch of their lives.

Because of the sugar cane grinding going on at that time, many men were not able to attend services until late in the afternoon. After working so hard in the cemetery, ladies brought pieces of cardboard to fan the soot off the tombs, deposited there by the burning of the sugar cane in the fields and the smoke stacks of the Levert and Bulliard sugar mills, which filled the air with a sweet smell.

At about 2:30 p.m., the vested priest and the altar servers lined up outside the Church, bearing the processional cross, acolytes, the aspergillums and sprinkler carrier. There was no driveway in front of the church at that time, so the procession went down Main Street to Bridge Street and to the cemetery. From the main gate, the procession moved to the large cross in the cemetery. Many of our pastors were gifted orators and gave stirring sermons that were spoken about for days. After the ceremonies, the priest retired to the church and the visiting continued until dusk.

In the 1970s, Father Kenneth R. Morvant added an second observance at night. The community was encouraged to place lighted candles in glass containers on the tops of the tombs for this second blessing of the cemetery. Hundreds of flickering candles enhanced the beauty of the occasion until the 1980s. A great writer once said that one of the beauties of the Christian religion is the way they honor their dead.

Blessing of the tombs in celebration of All Saints Day will take place Sunday, Nov. 1, at the following cemeteries:

•Catahoula – After 10 a.m. Mass, Our Lady of the Lake Cemetery, St. Rita’s Catholic Church.
•Henderson – 11:30 a.m., St. Michael’s Cemetery, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church.
•Cecilia – 8 a.m., St. Joseph Cemetery, St. Joseph Catholic Church; after 10 a.m. Mass, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.
•Arnaudville – After 10:30 a.m. Mass, St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church.
•Coteau Holmes – 11 a.m., St. Elizabeth Catholic Church.
•Breaux Bridge – After 10:30 a.m. Mass, Cemetery No. 1; 3 p.m. Cemetery No. 2, St. Bernard Catholic Church.
•St. Martinville – 4 p.m., St. Michael’s Cemetery, St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church;
3 p.m. Queen of Peace; 4 p.m. St. Michael’s Cemetery, Notre Dame Catholic Church.

September 11, 2009


God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world.
Peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace
among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and
minds are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding, overwhelmed by the
magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and
guidance as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so
that the lives lost...may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us. Strengthen us in hope, and
give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly
for a world where true peace and love reign among
nations and in the hearts of all.

-- Pope Benedict XVI
Prayer Service at Ground Zero
April 20, 2008
Painting by Peter Oneill

August 11, 2009

La Fête Nationale des Acadiens

The Acadian Memorial "A people without a past are a people without a future."

Laa Fête Nationale des Acadiens
National Day of the Acadians

August 15, 2009

121 South New Market
St. Martinville

Acadian Memorial Events

Acadian colors and attire encouraged (red, white, blue, and gold)

St. Martinville, LA ~ Saturday, August 15th! On this day St.
Martinville, Canada, and France celebrate la Fête Nationale de l’Acadie
or National Day of Acadians. The City of St. Martinville, Historic
District, and the Acadian Memorial / Museums, along with the
Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site invite tourists and
friends to enjoy the ongoing activities happening around town. Come
spend the day in historic St. Martinville, we love company!

Events of the day:

The day will start at 1:00 p.m. at the Acadian Memorial with an
opportunity to hear and view the audio interactive of the mural, "The
Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana".

1:00 PM ~ Flag ceremony - Lead by Sarah Roy, Acadian Memorial Choir

2:00 PM ~ A Patchwork of Memories story telling by Yvonne Thibodeaux
Bogan. She will share her short stories about growing up in the 1950s
rural French farming community of Richard in Southwest, LA.

3:30 PM ~ Thèatre Acadien / Vignettes on Deportation Story

5:30 PM ~ Meet at the A
.M. Hall to line up for procession / leave for
church at 5:50 p.m. / For Children:* Tintamarre (racket) is an Acadian
tradition showing Acadian pride by making as much noise as possible.
*Bring your own noise makers.

6:00 PM ~ French Mass at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church, mother
church of the Acadians, with the Acadian Memorial French Choir

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM ~ Enjoy dinner in the historic city’s wonderful

Maegan Berard
St. Martinville Tourism Department
P.O. Box 379
St. Martinville, LA 70582


July 13, 2009


July 28th, 6:00 p.m. ~ Acadian Deportation "Day of Commemoration"

Memorial Service held at St.Martin De Tours & The Acadian Memorial Meditation

Garden St.Martinville ~

Brenda Comeaux Trahan, Curator Director of the Acadian Memorial and Monsignor Douglas Courville of St. Martin De Tours invite all Louisiana Acadian /Cajuns and friends to join in a spiritual Memorial to remember the Acadian victims who died during the years of the deportation.

As mandated by the Queen's Proclamation of December 9, 2003, and with the support of the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, we request that all churches in the Acadiana region please toll the church bells at 6:00 P.M. on July 28th, 2009 in remembrance of the day that the Acadian Deportation Order was signed by the British officials in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The signing of the Order by the British Lt. Governor Charles Lawrence brought about the Diaspora which commenced on September 5, 1755 and resulted in the cruel removal of Acadians from their homelands in Acadie, now present-day Nova Scotia.

Warren Perrin, instrumental in bringing awareness to the Canadian Parliament comments, "Over 250 years after the defining tragic event of Acadian history, we will pause to remember the unparalleled saga of our ancestors because, as was stated in dictum by William Faulkner, ' The past is never dead. It's not even past '

The desirability of an official apology to the Acadians became the subject of debate in the Canadian Parliament and within the Acadian community.

In 2003, the Society Nationale d'Acadie, -- the largest Acadian organization in the world-- wrote directly to the Queen of England "asking that she ' recognize the wrongs done to the Acadian people as a consequence of the deportations from 1755-1763' in order "to turn the page definitely on this tragic episode in our past". As I look back upon the Petition For An Apology, which I launched in 1990, I'm very gratified to have played a role in bringing about this closure."
Following the Commemoration ceremony, please join those in attendance for a prayerful procession to the Acadian Memorial Deportation Cross and the closing ceremony.

Thereafter, there will be a short reception and later a communal dinner at local restaurants in St. Martinville, Louisiana (Dutch treat).

June 24, 2009


Event Date(s): 6/25/2009 - 6/28/2009

Name: Downtown Madawaska
Address: Main Street
City: Madawaska
State: ME

Event Time / Additional Information: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. (see the list of events for times and more information)

The 32nd Annual Acadian Festival will take place June 25-28 in Madawaska. The festival celebrates the culture and heritage of the Acadians who, driven from Nova Scotia during the 18th century, ultimately arrived in the St. John Valley and established settlements that later became American and Canadian towns.

This year’s festival will coincide with the Marquis Family Reunion, with descendants of the original Acadian Marquis traveling to Madawaska from throughout North America — and perhaps points beyond.

Events will take place throughout downtown Madawaska, including Bicentennial Park overlooking the St. John River. Among the scheduled activities are:
• June 25
9 a.m.: Merchant sidewalk sale in downtown Madawaska;
10 a.m.: Quilt show at Madawaska High School;
6-8 p.m.: Official opening ceremony at Bicentennial Park. The Pride of Madawaska Band will perform, and a new festival mascot will appear;
8-10 p.m.: La Famille LeBlanc providing music at Bicentennial Park.

• June 26
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Townwide yard sale;
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: The "My Acadian Valley" bus tour will stop at such locations as the Tante Blanche Museum, the Acadian Village, and Madawaska’s oldest homestead;
11 a.m.: Les Chanteurs Acadien providing music at Bicentennial Park;
12 noon, 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.: Great State of Maine Lumberjack Show at Bicentennial Park;
6-7 p.m.: Bed race on Main Street, with each team requiring five participants;
Throughout the evening: Various groups providing music in downtown Madawaska.

• June 27
6:30-11:30 a.m.: Acadian Breakfast at Four Seasons Trail Lodge, Spring Street, Madawaska;
9 a.m.: Top O’ Maine Mountain Bike Race at Four Seasons Trail Lodge;
9 a.m.- 4 p.m.: Open house at Martin Acadian Homestead on St. Catherine Street, Madawaska;
10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Show n’ Shine Classic Antique Car Show at Dead River Co., Madawaska;
10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Held at the Acadian Cross Landing Site on Route 1 in Madawaska, a Welcoming Ceremony will feature a re-enactment of the first Acadians arriving in the St. John Valley in 1785;
1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 9 p.m.: Great State of Maine Lumberjack Show at Bicentennial Park;
2-4 p.m.: Family Fun Day at Bicentennial Park;
6:30 p.m.: Fashion show at Four Corners Park on Main Street, Madawaska;
7-9 p.m.: La Famille Arsenault performing "Ca Swing Encore" at Bicentennial Park.

• June 28
10:30 a.m.: Firemen’s Chicken Barbeque at Madawaska Fire Station;
1 p.m.: Acadian Festival Parade on Main Street, Madawaska;
3:30-7 p.m.: Closing ceremonies at Bicentennial Park;
10 p.m.: Fireworks display launched over Madawaska.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day: Québec's Fête Nationale

Every year, on the 24th of June, all Québécois get together with friends and family to celebrate their Fête Nationale (National Holiday); la Saint-Jean-Baptiste. It is a privileged moment to celebrate our identity, our pride of what we were, of what we are and of what we dream of becoming. But what are the origins of this great national celebration?

The event originated more than 2000 years ago, in pre-Christian Europe, as the pagan celebration of the summer solstice. It was originally held on the 21st, but with the arrival of Christianity, it transformed into Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, and moved to the 24th. The two events did have several things in common after all. Both celebrated the symbol of "light"; the sun of the summer solstice and Saint-Jean-Baptiste who opens the way for the light of Jesus-Christ. The ancients used to light a great bonfire on the evening of the 24th to honour the sun, a tradition that continued into the Middle Ages.

Before the Revolution, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day was a very important event in France. In the night between the 23rd and 24th, the king himself used to light a great Saint-Jean bonfire. This tradition was brought to New France by the first colonists. The Jesuits refer to the tradition as soon as 1636. On the 24th of June of that year, the Gouverneur of Québec, Monsieur de Montmagny, had five shots of cannon fired. The first Saint-Jean bonfires in New France date back to 1638. They were accompanied by dancing and singing in every village along the Saint-Laurent river.

In the beginning, Saint-Joseph had been designated as the patron saint of New France (just like Saint-Patrick is to Ireland). The problem was that his Holy day is in March and the Québec climate during that time of the year is not very favourable for celebrating. It is for this very practical reason that Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day became more popular, the end of June being a great time to have fun outside. Today, the holiday has lost its religious meaning but has kept its traditional name.

June 18, 2009


Title: WBGS Meeting

Date: Saturday June 20, 2009

Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Location: Westwego Library, 635 4th Street, Westwego, LA

Speaker: Richard Stringfield

Topic: Plaquemines Parish Native American research and the Ancar Family

June 15, 2009


The Breau Family Reunion

(Breault, Breaux, Brault, Brot et autres)

Friday, August 21, 2009 in Neguac


The Br(e)au-lt(x) during the World Acadian Congress 2009 will be held in Neguac on Friday, August 21, 2009. The day Programme includes a community breakfast at the Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School from 7 AM to 11 AM, a genealogical presentation by genealogist Robert Brault of Quebec from 8 :00 AM to Noon and from 7 PM to 9 PM at Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School, the Breau Family Rally & Tribute to Jean-François Breau at Neguac Sportplex Arena from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, and the Breau Party at Neguac Sportplex Arena with Les Fair-Isle-Liens group and others from 9 PM till 1 AM.

At Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School
From 7 AM to 11 AM
Admission : Adults: $5.00 & Children/Students: $3.00

Part 1: At Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School
From 8 AM to 11 AM
Admission included with breakfast

Part 2 : At Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School
From 7 PM till 9 PM
Free Admission

Invited artists : Dominique Breau, Marie-Josée Breau, Raymond Breau & others
At Neguac Sportplex Arena
From 1 :30 PM to 4 :30 PM
Admission : Adults : $5.00 & Children/Students: Free

BREAU PARTY (with Les Fair-Isle-Liens group)
At Neguac Sportplex Arena
From 9 PM to 1 AM
Admission: Adults 19 years or older: $8.00


March 09, 2009


The Beginning: Sainte-Croix Island and Port-Royal

The Acadian adventure in North America started in June 1604 when Pierre Dugua De Mons established a first French trading post in Acadie.

Having been granted the fur trade monopoly in the New World by King Henri IV of France, de Mons organised an expedition composed of a hundred men, including mapmaker and geographer Samuel de Champlain.

They chose Sainte-Croix Island in what is now southwestern New Brunswick to build a Habitation.

During the first winter, scurvy caused many deaths, so much so that only about half of the 80 settlers survived, hence, when spring came the settlers moved to Port-Royal, in what is today northwestern Nova Scotia.

Even though the establishment in Port-Royal was destroyed in 1613 by an English attack, it remained a key French establishment throughout the 17th century and still marks the beginning of the permanent French presence in North America.

March 05, 2009


New EnglandRegional Genealogical Conference (NERGC)

April 22-26, 2009 in Manchester, NH

Some of the talks include:
Discovering Family Treasures in Quebec: What you need to know - SylvieTremblay;

Beginning Acadian Research - Jessica Hacken;

Franch-Canadian/Native American Connections - Patty Vigeant Locke;

How toTell if Your French Canadian Ancestors include Acadians - George Findlen;

Wandering (Canadian) Frenchmen: Tracing the Voyagers Back to Canada - JamesL. Hansen
And much, much more!

NERGC features over 50 genealogical experts and 100 informative lectures,workshops, the Ancestors Road Show, Librarians and Teachers Day and the popular Special Interest Groups.

This year's national headline speakers are Megan Smolenyak, Thomas W. Jones,FASG and
L. Hansen, FASG.

For more information or to register visit

NERGC is held only every other year. And each conference is held in adifferent state. Don't miss the chance to attend in New Hampshire.

February 27, 2009


The Louisiana State Archives is having its

Annual Genealogical Seminar & Book Fair

Sat March 7th 8 AM to 5 PM

Archives 3851 EssenLane, Baton Rouge.

2008 was canceled last fall so this is the first one in a year and a half.

Seminar is free. There is a charge if you would like a box lunch.

Last time the vendors & other exibitors included:

USL (oops ULL-Laf) so check their online catalogue for books ofinterest. We were able to purchase the early US period maps of Bayou Teche &Vermilion River.

Archives association's inPrint books.

Other local associations, libraries & Museums.

Again, I will ask the SAR/DAR if anything has changed about the members of "Verret Company" eligibility.

Anyone who wants more info contact me off list & I will send you theattachment with more info.
Contact me also with your book wish list & I will see what I can do.

Paul Le B l'Ascension Louisiane

February 25, 2009


Ash Wednesday is the first day of the 40-day Lenten Fast. Lent is a word that comes to us in English from the Anglo-Saxon word for Spring. In Cajun French, we use the word, careme. Careme comes to us from the Latin word quadragesima. The Latin and French words for this season of the Church both mean “the 40th day”

The Lenten (or 40-day) Fast is period of fasting and penance preceding the Easter Festival; it occurs 40 days before Good Friday.
On Ash Wednesday, Catholics begin this period by attending Mass, where they will receive ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross.

This ceremony serves several purposes, among which are 1) to remind all of us that we belong to Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for our salvation; 2) that ashes are a biblical symbol of repentance and mourning; 3) and that, by this visible display of our faith, we are a visible sign to the world of the Body of Christ, His Holy Catholic Church.

February 24, 2009


Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday," has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event. But its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the "last hurrah" before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. That's why the enormous party in New Orleans, for example, ends abruptly at midnight on Tuesday, with battalions of streetsweepers pushing the crowds out of the French Quarter towards home.

Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning "farewell to the flesh." Like many Catholic holidays and seasonal celebrations, it likely has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. Some believe the festival represented the few days added to the lunar calendar to make it coincide with the solar calendar; since these days were outside the calendar, rules and customs were not obeyed. Others see it as a late-winter celebration designed to welcome the coming spring. As early as the middle of the second century, the Romans observed a Fast of 40 Days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes and merrymaking.

January 08, 2009