Thursday, March 3, 2011

Families and Photos

Tim Winterbottom is an artist.  His work is modern and abstract.  I like my art real.  Or maybe impressionist.  I like Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, O'Keefe and Rembrandt.  But I think my cousin has some very interesting pieces and one day I hope to see them up close and personal.  So far all I've seen are some pictures of his art.  But pictures are great.

Pictures are one of the things I'm going to talk about today.  At least in part.

RL and his girls brought out a lot of family pictures.  I saw pictures of RL's kids growing up. I saw pictures of my mother and her siblings when they were younger.  And Tim brought over a ton of photos too.  I am going to scan all of them and show a bunch of them to you. (As soon as I learn how to work my new scanner and how to download the photos into this blog...but that's another day.  I tried today, without the aid of "Techie Tutor Tami" and I think I messed up my phone...see what happens when they leave me to my own devices.)

 I got to see a drawn picture (as opposed to a photograph) of a cousin named Jacques Theaux.  This cousin has a tragic tale.  I actually found his story last month in a newspaper that I found in Genealogy  (A wonderful resource for newpapers  Jacques was in World War II and was reported missing.  After being held prisoner for two years by the Germans he was liberated by the Russians.  He was eventually sent to Vienna where he ended up taking his own life.
Looking at his picture made this man real.  Uncle RL told me repeatedly how smart Jacques was.  He spoke several languages and worked in "Intellegence."

The story of Jacques really drove home the importance of gathering not just names and dates but the stories of the people we learn about.  Jacques is so much more than a name and date.

With that in mind I would like to shamlessly plug my friend Tami's blog Finding Family Stories.
Tami talks about just this very thing.

Meanwhile, back to pictures.  One thing I have always wanted to find was a picture of my Grandmother and Grandfather (Mama and Papa Theaux) when they were younger.  Something like a wedding photo.  The only photo I have of them (and the one everyone comes up with when I ask if they have a photo of them) is one taken of them in their golden years.  But this week Tim and RL came up with a photo of them when they were in their 30's or 40's.  What a treasure.

Another treasure is my cousin Eric.  Eric is an avid genealogist and is Tim's half brother.  He has been working on our line for many years.  He lost a lot of his research in Katrina, but he has put most of it back together again and shared a huge amount of information today.  We spent the entire afternoon talking genealogy and walking through the graveyard in St. Martinville, Louisiana.  I took many photos of family graves and felt the "graveyard frenzy fever" come over me. I decided to search for my Grandmother Romero's grave in New Iberia.  (New Iberia is about 12 miles from St. Martinville.)  I couldn't stop myself...I had to find that grave.

So off I went to New Iberia.  My GPS (what a wonderful techie tool) took me to where it thought the graveyard should be; was someone's home.  I wasn't sure I had the right graveyard in the first place.  (Not very prepared...I know) You see, I don't know when she died or where she is buried.  I can't find the records.  But I know it was in New Iberia.  And New Iberia is small.  There is not that many graveyards.  If I have to I'll search them all.  Trouble is...many of the old graves are no longer marked.  The marble has been stolen or broken away.  So I gave up for today. I think the fever has passed.  My bout with the graveyard frenzies has finally subsided.  Once my head cleared I decided to try and approach this in a smarter way.  So back to the drawing board.  I will write to the church in New Iberia and see if they have a record of her death or where she might be buried.

I'm going to take a little time off from genealogy work...I have to the state of Louisiana is about to close down or maybe it's fire up's Mardi Gras...Laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll you'all.)