Acadian Immigrants in Louisiana, February 1764-early 1800s
In the beginning, there were the Acadians in Gray (see the Introduction to that part of this project). I was determined to tell the history of my people, the Acadians/Cajuns of South Louisiana, in their struggle for independence during what we Southerners call the War Between the States. It didn't take long to realize that I did not actually know who my people were! I knew what an Acadian was, and what a Cajun was supposed to be, but I had little idea of who they were--which families in South Louisiana were Acadian, and which were not. It became evident that before I could compile a list of Cajun units that fought for Louisiana during the War Between the States, I had to figure out which Acadian, and non-Acadian, families had created the Cajun culture.
It had to begin with the Acadian exiles who came to Louisiana during its late colonial period. So I threw myself into discovering who exactly were "my people." I created the Acadians-to-Louisiana Alpha List, which grew and grew, until it had to be reorganized into individual web pages for each Acadian family--158 of them. The link attached to "TOC"--Table of Contents--above takes you to a list of these family pages. Click on the surname in the TOC and a hyperlink will take you to that family's page, where you will find the following features:
First is a pronunciation key for the family's surname based on how the name is pronounced in Louisiana today. If you disagree with the pronunciation of your surname, please tell me; I am winging it on some of these names.
Each narrative begins with an introduction to the progenitor(s) of the family in Acadia, using the spelling of the surname most common in Canada today, then the names of the progenitor's sons and their wives, where they settled in the colony, and how many married sons they produced. Also included are the families into which the daughters married, all allied families highlighted in bold.
Next is a summary of the family's experience during Le Grand Dérangement, including where they were deported and where members of the family settled in present-day Canada after 1763.
The final part of the narrative concentrates on the family's experience in Louisiana: when they arrived, where they settled, who they married, and who were their sons and grandsons, sometimes to the fourth and fifth generation in Louisiana; the "begats," I call it:
The "begats" are organized chronologically, based on the year of the Acadian immigrants' arrival--1764, 1765, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, and 1785. If more than one male immigrant from a given family arrived at the same time--for example, Joseph Landry--they are listed not alphabetically but by year of birth.
The terms "late colonial period" and "antebellum period" are well known to historians but perhaps not so much to the general public. The colonial period in Louisiana lasted from 1699 to 1803. The late colonial period encompassed the Spanish possession of the colony from 1766 to 1803. The antebellum, or pre-war, period began in 1803 and ended with the coming of the War Between the States in 1861. The post-war period runs from 1865 to the early twentieth century.
In order to give geographical continuity to the family's history in the Bayou State, Louisiana settlements are divided into three main categories--River Settlements, Western Settlements, and Lafourche Valley Settlements. Notice that there are repeated references to the Atchafalaya Basin. Anyone familiar with the geography of South Louisiana (only outsiders call it "southern Louisiana") knows that the Basin is still the great boundary between the southeastern and southwestern parts of the state. Crossing the Basin in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before modern bridges, even during the age of steamboats, was not an easy matter. It is not unusual to find an Acadian family settling on only one side of the Basin (my own Cormier family, after the 1770s, can be found only in the Western Settlements). However, most families of any size, especially the larger ones, tended to settle in all three areas. If an Acadian was born in one area but settled in another, his family line will be detailed in the new area of settlement.
Generally, if an Acadian immigrant was married and had no more sons after he reached Louisiana, only his sons who came to Louisiana with him will be given headings in the "begats." If an Acadian immigrant came to Louisiana unmarried and took a wife in the colony or was already married and had more sons after he reached Louisiana, he will have his own heading. All headings are centered and are marked by the underlining of the patriarch's name and birth/death years. Next to the name and birth/death years, in smaller type, is what I call the grandfather line--the names of the Louisiana patriarch's grandfathers, back to the family's Acadian progenitor. Many ?s among these names--and, sadly, there are many--I am confident will be removed by further research in data compiled by Stephen A. White and other Acadian genealogists.
This, in the jargon of genealogy, is an agnatic study, emphasizing descent from the father's side. The "begats" are structured by patrilinearity--sons, grandsons, great-grandsons--based first on birth order and then on order of marriage, with numbers and lower case letters to highlight the patrilineal relationship. The exception are married daughters, whose husband's surnames are included in the "begats," thus highlighting the South Louisiana families, both Acadian and non-Acadian, who allied with the Acadians by marriage.
All surnames, except those of historical figures, are highlighted in bold for easier identification of allied families.
The accuracy and completeness of the "begats" hangs, of course, on the diligence of ecclesiastical and civil record keepers in the churches and courthouses of South Louisiana during the colonial and antebellum eras. As anyone who has worked in these records can testify, some priests and clerks were more devoted than others to the records entrusted to them, and some church record compilations include more details than others. The use here of qualifying language such as "probably," "likely," "perhaps," "it seems that," or "may have," generally is a reflection of sloppy record keeping, or, to cut the record keepers a break, of poor or unlucky record preservation. Please keep in mind that in an age before birth certificates and other official documents, what a priest put into the church record was only as good as the information he received from family members. The principal church records used here are the sacramental records of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (BRDR), Father Donald J. Hébert's South LA Records (Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux) and Southwest LA Records (Diocese of Lafayette and Diocese of Lake Charles), and the sacramental records of the Archdiocese of New Orleans (NOAR). These cover all of the church parishes of South Louisiana from the colony's early years into the twentieth century. Father Hébert's works also contain civil records. The Baton Rouge Diocese records do not, though a priest may note in a baptismal or marriage record that a couple married civilly before their marriage was sanctified in the church. In this study, the marriages and births/baptisms will end generally at 1870. On the pages of the larger families especially, one encounters columns of names labeled Others. These are individuals, both immigrant and native, who area church and civil records fail to link to known family lines. The next set of volumes from Stephen A. White, and diligent research in published family histories, will diminish the number of these Others. Readers are encouraged to share information that places these Others in their proper family lines. (For a chronological list of South Louisiana church parishes and the priests who were assigned to those parishes, see Appendix.)
Please note that when the narrative says a couple married at a certain church, it does not mean that the wedding took place in that church on that particular day. Despite repeated orders from the bishop at New Orleans that all marriages should take place in the couple's parish church, one suspects that during the colonial and antebellum periods many South Louisiana weddings occurred in someone's home, officiated by a parish or mission priest who recorded the ceremony in the appropriate register after he returned to his rectory.
If a marriage took place during the colonial era or in the early territorial period, before civil parishes were created (from 1699 to 1807), the colonial name of the church of record is used--e.g., Attakapas, St.-Jacques. From 1807 onward, when civil parishes existed, the church of record is given in English, with the civil parish following the church's name--e.g., St. Martinville church, St. Martin Parish, and St. James church, St. James Parish. One will notice the Thibodaux church is variously called Thibodauxville church, Lafourche Interior Parish, Thibodaux church, Lafourche Interior Parish, and Thibodaux church, Lafourche Parish. The name of the town and especially the civil parish changed several times from 1807 to 1853, so the names given are those used at the time of the wedding. Note that Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish, formerly Lafourche des Chitimachas or simply Ascension, was called Donaldson from 1806 to 1823. I am not trying to be "picky" here, I simply want the reader to get a feel of the many political and geographical changes that touched the lives of Louisiana Acadians. Please excuse the redundancies in naming the churches (that is, in repeating the name of the civil parishes in marriage after marriage within a given family line). I want each nuclear family to be seen as a unit unto itself, and full references to church names is a way to achieve that.
If a bride's father's surname was not Acadian, but the bride's mother's surname was Acadian, I will include the bride's mother's surname as well. The same holds true for a bride whose mother's surname was the same as the groom's surname, or if the bride and groom have mothers with the same surname. Cousins can be cousins in many ways.
When the narrative says that a child was born "at" or "near" a community or "in" a civil parish, it generally refers to the church where the birth/baptism was recorded. A couple, for example, living on the south bank of Bayou Carencro at the extreme northern edge of Lafayette Parish could have had three sons, the first one with a baptism recorded at Vermilionville, the second at Grand Coteau, and the third at Church Point. This does not mean that the couple moved three times, only that priests from those particular parishes (Carencro did not have its own church until 1874) recorded the baptisms of their sons. Either the parish boundaries changed over the time those three sons were born, or a priest from a parish other than their own performed the baptism perhaps at home. This is especially true on the southeastern bayous before 1847, when Houma, the seat of Terrebonne Parish, finally got its own church. Terrebonne Parish was created in 1822, so there was a 25-year-period when the residents of that civil parish had their children baptized by priests from the Thibodauxville/Thibodaux church, but the church records usually offer no geographical specificity as to the parents' residence. If a baptismal record does say that the parents were living in Terrebonne Parish when their child was baptized, the narrative will reflect that fact; otherwise, the birth will be placed in the civil parish--Lafourche Interior--where the baptism was recorded.
The given names of sons are in italics the first time they are listed. All sons found in the church/civil records are included, even the ones who did not create families of their own, in order of birth following their parents' marriage information. If a son served as an Acadian in Gray, a hyperlink attached to his name goes to his Confederate service record in another part of this website. Daughters' given names and birth months are generally not included, only the families into which they married (feminists, please remember--this is an agnatic study).
Also included in the narrative are any namesakes among the non-Acadian families in Louisiana who should not be confused with the Acadian branch of the family, including Afro Creoles who may have descended from family slaves. Most of these non-Acadians are French Creoles; follow this link for my definition of this often misunderstood term.
At the end of each narrative is a list of sources used to write the family's history. Until Acadian genealogist Stephen A. White publishes his latest set of volumes on the Acadians in Nova Scotia (marriages from 1715-80, which we will called DGFA-2), I am forced to rely heavily on Bona Arsenault's Généalogie for information on many of these families.
An important part of each family page is the alphabetical list of names and biographical profiles of every member of the family who emigrated to Louisiana. Each profile has an endnote after the person's name that contains the sources used to compile the individual's history (most of these endnotes are still incomplete). Individuals are listed alphabetically by given name. If two or more individuals have the same given name, as is common among Acadians, they are listed in order of date of arrival in Louisiana; if they arrived at the same time, they are listed in order of age.
The nearly 2,900 names in these family pages are taken from the pamphlet Wall of Names published by the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville, Louisiana, unless otherwise noted. For a list of Acadians who came to Louisiana but who do not appear on the Acadian Memorial's Wall of Names, follow this link; they are marked on their family's page by a small * before their names. Seven Ships passengers are taken also from Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, which includes passenger ages, something Wall of Names does not include. I have added first and middle names not found in Wall of Names and Acadian Families in Exile 1785 but which I have found in other sources. The standard for given-name spellings in Acadia is White, DGFA-1. The standard for given-name spellings in Louisiana is ... whatever presents itself in South Louisiana church and civil records. For an explanation of standard surname spellings used in this study, follow this link. Surnames in bold in the list of immigrants on a family page indicate heads of families at the time of immigration. I have added French accent marks as well as dashes to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French given names (e.g,, Étienne-Noël and Cécile-Josèphe) to conform to European usage at the time. The dashes disappear after 1803 to signify that Louisiana no longer was a European possession. The French accent marks remain, however, signifying that the Acadians and their allied families in South Louisiana still considered themselves "French."
A dit or dite is what we would call a nickname today. A personal dit/dite is given between an individual's given name and surname. E.g., Simon dit Agros LeBlanc, Anne dite Manon Hébert. Family dits are given after the surname. E.g., Marguerite Martin dit Barnabé. If a family's dit was used as a surname in Louisiana, the dit also will be written in bold. E.g., Anastasie Célestin dit Bellemère.
A word about the use of père, fils, l'aîné, and le jeune. In French, père means father, fils means son, l'aîné means older, and le jeune means younger. On this list, père and fils are used to distinguish father and son with the same given names, such as the English "senior" and "junior". L'aîné and le jeune are used to distinguish two men or a man and a boy who have the same given names and surnames but who are not father and son; they could be related, such as brothers or uncle and nephew, but not always; they simply have the same names and are not father and son. The Acadians themselves would have used these terms in their communities, in Acadia as well as Louisiana. See White, DGFA-1 and the South Louisiana church records for many examples. (The term cadet also was used to distinguish a boy from a man with the same given name, either the man's son, grandson, or nephew, or, rarely, just someone in the neighborhood.)
The hyperlink attached to an Acadian immigrant's name is connected to a list of names for a particular settlement and provides a different perspective on the immigrant's place in family and community. The settlement assignments on this listing for Seven Ships passengers do not always conform to the official Spanish reports found in Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, and Kinnaird, "Post War Decade, 1782-91," 169. See Appendix for a more detailed explanation.
Endnotes were first employed in this listing only to discuss conflicts between sources. Eventually they will document all sources I have used to complete an individual's profile. Therefore, this list contains an endnote for every name on it. Generally, the first citation in an endnote is to Wall of Names, the foundation of this listing; "pl." after the page number stands for the plaque on which the individual's name is found on the bronze Wall of Names at the Memorial in St. Martinville. Next in the citation are Arsenault and White, the two essential sources for Acadian genealogy. Subsequent sources are cited more or less chronologically through the person's life. I am determined to include in the citations every variation of the person's name that the sources reveal. This will allow a reader to see the many ways that a person's given name was spelled and to follow the evolution of surname spellings from Acadia to Louisiana.
Please remember this about endnotes. Many of the notes contain a wealth of information that goes beyond a pedestrian citation of sources. I would go so far to say that without reading the endnote, the reader cannot get the complete picture of an Acadian immigrant's life as presented here. Some of the endnotes are little stories in themselves, delving deeply into questions that, because of the dictates of format and lack of space, have no room in the individual's profile. See, for example, the endnote for Marie-Josèphe Babin, daughter of Basile Babin and Anne Sonnier. If you read only her profile, you miss some interesting nuances of her life that are discussed in detail in the endnote. See also the endnotes for Jean-Baptiste Daigle and his wife Marie Boudreaux, who endured a horrible Christmas at Plouër, France, in 1771.
Wives are assumed to have traveled with their husbands, children with their parents, unless otherwise noted. The logic of an individual's arrival date goes like this:
Despite family legends that refuse to die, there is no documented arrival of Acadian families in Louisiana before February 1764.
Only four Acadian families, made up of 21 individuals, appeared in the colony in February 1764. See Appendix.
Arrivals in 1765 are more difficult to detect and will remain so until someone finds the Holy Grail of Louisiana Acadian genealogy, which is the passenger lists for the ships that took the Acadian exiles from Halifax to Cap-Français, St.-Domingue, today's Haiti, and then on to New Orleans in late 1764 and throughout much of 1765. If an individual likely was a member of the Broussard dit Beausoleil party and went with them to the Attakapas District, he/she is given an arrival date of Feb 1765. See Appendix. If an individual appears, or seems to appear, in one of the April 1766 militia lists/censuses for Opelousas or Cabanocé/St.-Jacques, found in Bourgeois, Cabanocey, and Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, he/she is given an arrival date of 1765. See Appendix for Opelousas, and Appendix for Cabanocé.
Arrivals in September 1766 are the ones who are not in the Cabanocé/St.-Jacques militia list/census of April 1766 but are in the Cabanocé/St.-Jacques census of September 1769, found in Bourgeois and Voorhies, J. If an individual was at Cabanocé/St.-Jacques in September 1769 but not on the lists of July 1767 or February 1768 arrivals, it can be assumed that he/she arrived with the September 1766 party from Maryland. The logic here is that the July 1767 and February 1768 arrivals from Maryland were parceled out to the new settlements at St.-Gabriel d'Iberville and San Luìs de Natchez, respectively, and those lists, found in Voorhies, J., are very detailed. See Appendix.
Arrivals in July 1767 are documented by the Spanish reports in Voorhies, J. See Appendix.
Arrivals in February 1768 are documented by the Spanish reports in Voorhies, J. See Appendix.
Arrivals in October 1769 are documented in Stanley LeBlanc's <thecajuns.com/britania.htm> and other sources. See Appendix.
I have not found a list of the 22 Acadians who supposedly sailed from France to Louisiana in 1777 for the good reason that it could not have existed. Robichaux, Acadians in Nantes, viii, says: "In 1777, the Count d'Aranda, Ambassador of Spain in Paris, was asked if his government had any objections to the transporting of the families of Jean Jacques LeBlanc and Andre Templais, composed of 22 persons, to Louisiana. Although earlier historians have mistaken the request as having been fulfilled, the documents prove that the French government abandoned the idea on the grounds that the cost would be too great; therefore, no Acadians came to Louisiana from France in 1777."
Arrivals in 1785 are thoroughly documented by ships' passenger lists and Spanish reports found in Kinnaird, "Post War Decade, 1782-91," 169; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785 (the main source used here for individual records); <acadian-cajun.com/hiscaj2c.htm>; Wall of Names; and Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey. See Appendix.
Arrivals in December 1788 are documented. See Appendix.
I have found no lists of arrivals after December 1788, only assertions in Wall of Names and other sources that Acadians reached Louisiana in 1809 and 1813 from Haiti via Cuba or Jamaica. Church records have revealed the presence of these late arrivals in various Acadian communities, but their arrival dates are only an educated guess.
In one of my appendices there is a list of over a hundred Acadians whose date of arrival in Louisiana I cannot determine. This long list is the result of this researcher's inability to find evidence of an individual's arrival date, not of sloppy boundary enforcement by officials in New Orleans. (See, for example, the endnote for Pierre Poirier.)
In regards to Acadian arrivals in Louisiana, please keep in mind the following observation about the nature of Spanish imperialism:
Most of the Acadians who found refuge in Louisiana did so during the Spanish regime, which began with the arrival of Governor Antonio de Ulloa at New Orleans in March 1766 and lasted until only a few weeks before the United States took possession of the colony in December 1803. During those 37 years, the Spanish allowed Acadians to settle in Louisiana only with official permission. A few years before Ulloa's arrival, a virtual world war had ended. The Seven Years' War had placed Britain in possession of the vast area east of the Mississippi from Bayou Manchac, 70 miles above New Orleans, all the way up to the Illinois country. Spain and Britain had been enemies in the long war for imperial hegemony. The Treaty of Paris of February 1763 had ended only the fighting; it did not end the global rivalry between the two nations. Nowhere was there a longer boundary between British and Spanish possessions than along the Mississippi River. As a result, Spain watched its Louisiana boundaries carefully. Few, if any, intruders came down the Mississippi or entered the Spanish realm from British West Florida without a Spanish official in New Orleans making note of it. This would have included wayward Acadians making their way downriver from the Illinois country or trekking over the mountains from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi valley. (That Acadians entered Louisiana this way is probably the stuff of family legend.) Spanish governors expected immigrants from the British possessions or from the Caribbean basin to enter Louisiana via The Balize or, during Ulloa's governorship, via Isla Real Católica de San Carlos, at the mouth of the Mississippi, before making their way up, with official permission, to the metropolis at New Orleans. To have done otherwise would have violated imperial policy and incurred the wrath of the governor and his officials, the penalty for which would have been an unpleasant stay in a New Orleans prison cell. Again, borders were watched as closely then as the technology of the day allowed. And movement within the colony was regulated by passports issued by local commandants. As any careful student of United States history will tell you, even after the Americans, with Spanish assistance, won their independence from Britain, the Spanish continued to keep a very close eye on their Mississippi River boundary, now facing an even more aggressive people, their erstwhile friends, the Americans. See, for example, the daily log of Senor Don Zenon Trudeau, a Frenchman in the service of Spain, who commanded His Majesty's galiot La Fleche in an expedition from Natchez to St. Louis and back in the winter of 1793 (Kinnaird, "Problems of Frontier Defense, 1792-94," 111-35). Trudeau and his men encountered all kinds of characters in their two and half months on the river. As Senor Trudeau's remarkable journal reveals, he made note of every encounter. You can rest assured that the approaches to the colony along Bayou Manchac, the Amite River, and the three big lakes north of New Orleans, the famous Isle of Orleans, were watched just as closely. (A recent article in Louisiana History--Frederick, "In Defense of Crown & Colony"--details the efforts of Spanish governors O'Reilly and Unzaga to plug the leaks in Louisiana's defenses.)
Exact birth and baptismal dates are noted when I can find them, but, because of Le Grand Dérangement, birth/baptismal records are rare for the Acadians who found refuge in Louisiana before 1785. As a result, I must estimate the birth date of an individual as best I can. Calculating the birth years for these folks can be a tricky business; hence the "c", or circa, designations before the year of birth. Birth years of Seven Ships immigrants are estimated from ages found on passenger lists unless otherwise noted. Other birth years are usually calculated from census or burial records. If a record gives an age for an individual that varies from the calculated birth year by two years or more, a [sic] will follow the age given. If the age is only a year off from the calculated birth year, no [sic] is necessary. Please pardon my math.
This listing is only for Acadians who were not natives of Louisiana with the exception of children who were in utero at the time of their mothers' arrival, hence the occasional notation that an individual on this list was born in New Orleans or in one of the Louisiana Acadian settlements. Why do I include these "natives" of Louisiana on a list of Acadian immigrants? Simple. The Acadians were devout Roman Catholics, and they would have agreed with their Church that life begins at conception, not at birth. These children were "alive" when their mothers stepped off the ship at New Orleans, so I include them here. Please note that most of these in utero arrivals will not be found in Wall of Names, the editors of which have a stricter definition than mine of who was an Acadian immigrant to Louisiana.
Parents' names are given without reference to a parent being alive or dead at the time of the individual's arrival. If a mother was not the only wife of a father, it is noted. Siblings listed after an individual's parents' names are only those who came to Louisiana with the individual or who came at a different time or settled in a different place and have individual profiles in this listing. Siblings born in Louisiana, except for those who arrived in utero, are not listed after the parents' names.
Details within an individual's profile come from various sources, especially Arsenault, Généalogie; BRDR; Bourgeois, Cabanocey; De Ville's published Louisiana censuses and militia rosters; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records; Hébert, D., South LA Records; Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies; NOAR; Robichaux's published Louisiana censuses and militia rosters as well as his three volumes on the Acadians in France; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians; West, Atlas of LA Surnames; White, DGFA-1, including the English-language supplement; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey; and family genealogies. For a description of the Louisiana censuses and militia rosters used in this study, see Appendix. The names and ages of Acadian children found in these censuses are listed here only in the father's profile, unless the father was non-Acadian or the mother was a widow at the time of the census, then they can be found in the Acadian mother's profile. Given names and surnames in the censuses are spelled exactly as I found them, but badly botched names and some multiple given names I have clarified in brackets.
Surnames of Acadian spouses are highlighted in yellow; non-Acadian spouses are highlighted in turquoise. Citations for marriage records include not only the names of the bride and groom as recorded by the parish priest but also information that is not found in the individuals' profiles, such as the names of the marriage witnesses. (Names and entire sentences highlighted in gray refer to my own Acadian and non-Acadian ancestors. I have done this for my own enlightenment. Feel free to ignore it. Then again, this may give you an idea of what I mean when I say "all Cajuns are related.")
Spouses and children of Acadian immigrants with non-Acadian surnames who arrived on the Seven Ships can be found on that list and in the settlement lists. The names on the Seven Ships list are being linked to the names in this listing.
The notation in the profiles of many of the Seven Ships passengers that reads "in Poitou, France, 1773-75" refers to the failed Acadian settlement in the Poitou region near the towns of Archigny and Châtellerault. The Acadians called the settlement La Leigne-les-bois or La Grand Ligne, which in English means the line in the woods, referring to the simple houses they built in the area. For a history of this sad venture, see Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, chap. 6; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 62-64; Robichaux, Acadians in Châtellerault, passim, especially xiv; and Braud, From Nantes to LA, chap. 2.
For a complete list of Louisiana Acadian surnames and their totals broken down by time of arrival, follow this link.
One last comment, and pardon the repetition: My work on the Acadians who found refuge in Louisiana is incomplete. And, considering the nature of such research, especially on this scale, even when it is "finished" it will still be incomplete. All serious genealogists and historians know this--no work of this nature is ever truly finished. New sources appear, or new interpretations of known sources change perspectives or even the "facts" of the matter. That is the wonder of history. And then there is the wonder of this thing called cyberspace. It allows for infinite change. My work here remains fluid, alive, not set in bronze. Even setting it to paper may do it an injustice. It may be set to paper someday, but for now you will find it only in cyberspace. Enjoy it, use it, it is yours for the taking, but do not be surprised if something has changed the next time you come looking here for the story of your ancestors.
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Copyright (c) 2005-12 Steven A. Cormier