September 22, 2010


The West Florida Genealogical Society (WFGS) presents its Fall Seminar on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Washington High School, 6000 College Parkway, right off Airport Blvd. in Pensacola, Florida. The school has a new, state of the art theater/auditorium with ample seating. Registration is from 8-8:50 a.m. The Seminar begins promptly at 9 a.m. Click on the Registration Form, then open the document and print it. The form contains directions. Complete the form and mail it in with your check at your earliest convenience. Point of contact is Cynthia Dean, 850-432-7072,

Mark your calendars now!

Elizabeth Shown Mills, the internationally known and very popular genealogy lecturer, author, editor and translator will present an interesting and informational seminar on the following topics:

Genealogical Problem Solving: Professional Techniques for Everyday Success

Finding Origins and Birth Families: Methods that Work

In a Rut? 7 Ways to Jump-Start Your Research

The Genealogical Proof Standard: How to Build a Case When No Record States the Answer

To learn more about Elizabeth's professional background, honors and publications, Google Elizabeth Shown Mills. She is cited in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the New England Register as "the genealogist who had the most impact on American genealogy in the post-Roots era."


Before October 27, 2010 -- $36 (does not include lunch). There are 37 nearby places to eat, or you may bring your lunch and take it to the meeting room at the West Florida Genealogy Library.

After October 27th and at the Door -- $40 (does not include lunch).

September 20, 2010


Above is the silver cross measuring only 3cm wide found at Grand Pre.

Test results on an artifact recovered from Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada have excited archaeologists who are gearing up to return to the site this spring. The artifact is a long-lost fragment of Acadian church history: a silver cross measuring only 3cm wide. The Grand-Pré find is the only one of its kind from what was one of the largest of the region’s pre-1755 Acadian communities, and an extremely rare archaeological example of colonial church silver.

Archaeologists are pleased with the discovery. According to Professor Jonathan Fowler of Saint Mary’s University, who has directed an archaeological field school at the national historic site for the past eight years, it represents “compelling evidence in support of the tradition that the church of St-Charles-des-Mines stood nearby.”

The Acadian parish church, established in 1687, was used as a headquarters by New England’s Lieutenant-Colonel John Winslow during the 1755 Deportation of the Acadians from Grand-Pré. During this time it served as a temporary prison for nearly 500 Acadian men and boys. Long believed to have stood at the center of the national historic site, the structure’s precise location is still a mystery.

Broken at its base, the cross appears to have once been joined to a larger object, such as a chalice lid or a ciborium, sacred vessels used during the celebration of the Eucharist. The artifact was recovered from the cellar of a building that appears to be a burned Acadian home. Archaeologists will continue to investigate the building this spring.

September 17, 2010

Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane

Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, September 26, at the Embassy Suites, 4914 Constitution Ave., in Baton Rouge. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. and is free to members. Non-members may join at the door for $15.

This year’s main speaker will be Barry Jean Ancelet, co-editor of Dictionary of Louisiana French: As Spoken in Cajun, Creole, and Native American Communities. He will speak on his new book which was recently published by the University Press of Mississippi. Ancelet is Granger & Debaillon Endowed Professor of Francophone Studies and Folklore at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He has given papers and published articles and books on various aspects of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cultures and languages.

Judy Riffel will also give a presentation on Louisiana Spanish Land Grants. Riffel is a professional genealogist and has compiled numerous books and articles on Louisiana genealogical sources. She is also editor of Le Comité’s print journal, Le Raconteur, and electronic newsletter, E-Communiqué.

The society will also display its publications for sale. Members already receive a discount on purchases, but for this one day only, they receive an additional discount.

For a copy of the program, visit the society’s website at

September 11, 2010


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 O'Neill
"Two Minutes of Silence"

September 09, 2010


On Sunday I did the commemorative walk at Grand- Pré - you would have loved it!

To the day 255 years ago at 3 o'clock the church bells started to ring and 418 men and boys from 10 years of age and up were made to stay in the church to be read the deportation orders from WINSLOW! We did the re-enactment of that day at 3 o'clock!!!! Everybody was given a tag name of a deported person. The Parks Canada team there are trying to find the original church so 418 of us were photographed from high up in a crane so they can know the real dimensions the church would have been. Over 500 persons came... and this is the day after the hurricane Earl swept through.

Then we walked to the very wharf that took them away on boats..... we had 7 stops on the way and each place had 2 persons acting as a deported acadian of 1755 - a lot of tears were shed...

by a woman remembering her Acadian ancestors

September 07, 2010


An international leadership team is preparing for the 2014 World Acadian Congress to be held in Maine’s St. John Valley and New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula.
In fact, welcome signs recently put up in the St. John Valley are already heralding the event. In French, the conference is called Congres Mondial Acadian 2014 (CMA 2014). It’s a 2-3 week celebration held once every five years at a specially selected place to celebrate the Acadian and Franco-American cultures. It’s an important event because the Congress brings together the families and shared cultures of people who were separated by centuries of past displacements due to colonial wars and political treaties.

Jason Parent is a well known community leader in the St. John Valley. He speaks French and English. He was appointed President of the Maine delegation to the 15-member CMA international organizing committee. They are planning activities in Aroostook County, in Quebec and New Brunswick Canada. Their work is focused on a mission to bring international attention to the seemingly lost population of the Acadians and Franco-Americans of Maine and New Brunswick.

“The St. John Valley has a very strong Acadian Culture,” says Parent. “On a global level, we have been forgotten. People think of the Louisiana Cajuns or Acadians in other parts of Maritime Canada, but seem to forget we exist up here.”

Tragic historical events described by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic poem “Evangeline” described how the Acadians were purged from Nova Scotia by the British in the horrible events of 1755. Yet, comparatively little is written about the refugees who fled the deportation known as le Grand Derangement. Many found their way to the Madawaska region where they landed at St. David, in Maine. The Madawaska Historical Society protects the Acadian Landing Site as part of the Tante Blanche Museum complex in St. David parish, Madawaska.

Parent says Maine and New Brunswick worked hard to attract CMA 2014.

“The site selection is competitive and rigorous,” says Parent. Louisiana and Quebec also wanted to host. “We are honored to be the region selected.”

Planners expect to attract 50,000 people from the four corners of the world to the Maine and New Brunswick area for the festivities. Activities planned include 300 events like family reunions, local historical celebrations, commemoration ceremonies, musical, and theatrical productions, conferences, genealogy networking and sporting events.

The theme for CMA 2014 is “L’acadie des terres et des forets!” or “Acadia of the Lands and Forests.” Parent says the first of many welcome signs to promote the theme was unveiled on Aug. 9, specifically because the date marks four years to the day of the

In addition, the date is significant for Acadian history because it marks the 168th anniversary of signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty on August 9, 1842. This treaty set the boundary between Maine and Canada along the St. John River. Unfortunately, the boundary split Acadian and Canadian families living on both sides of river. Once again, Acadian families were sadly separated by the border, after they had worked to build their lives following the 1755 expulsion from Nova Scotia by the British.

Celebrations of the pentennial Congress are scheduled around August 15th, the Acadian Feast Day to honor Our Lady of the Assumption, the patron saint of the Acadian people.

Parent says CMA 2014 will be a cultural and economic attraction. The committee is working on ways to provide smooth border crossings for the people who plan to attend festivities on both sides of Maine’s international border with Canada.

by Juliana d'Heureux

September 06, 2010


God, our Father, I turn to you seeking your divine help and guidance as I look for suitable employment. I need your wisdom to guide my footsteps along the right path, and to lead me to find the proper things to say and do in this quest. I wish to use the gifts and talents you have given me, but I need the opportunity to do so with gainful employment. Do not abandon me, dear Father, in this search, but rather grant me this favor I seek so that I may return to you with praise and thanksgiving for your gracious assistance. Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.