Templet family

SOLVED: The mystery of Lizzie Tompley

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Poor Alice’s last name of Giroir was horribly misspelled on the 1900 census. But this was the clue I needed to solve the riddle of Lizzie Tompley.

It turns out Charles Valsin Templet/Tompley and Louisa Josephine Boudreaux did have a sixth child.

Solving this mystery is why I often leave really frustrating family puzzles for a bit and come back to them later. Often, the evidence is right there. You just need to look at it with eyes that aren’t so tired.

To recap, Charles and Louisa were my direct ancestors. They had five – really six = children before Louisa died in 1858. The relatives apparently drew straws for the children (not really) after she died, scattering them to the wind, and her succession record disappeared from the courthouse. So it’s been a chore to figure out what happened to them all. I also suspected there was a child who never showed up in the church records because her mother died so quickly after her birth and the household would have been in an uproar. That would be Lizzie.

I’ve never found a baptism record for Lizzie – possibly because her mother died shortly after her birth (my guess; I don’t know that Louisa died in childbirth). It’s possible someone in the neighborhood baptized the baby, especially if she was a sickly baby born to a dying mother. Anyway, I suspected Lizzie belonged to Charles and Louisa after seeing her name pop up in relative’s households on census records and not being able to fit her anywhere else in the Templet family tree. Sometimes you just get a hunch. But I couldn’t prove it. Until now.

I traced Lizzie through the years and discovered she married a German man named Joseph Schmidt. He worked at the sawmill in Gibson. Lizzie died in 1900, leaving behind Joseph and several children.

Looking through the Terrebonne Parish census records in 1900, I found Joseph, the kids and another person in the household: Alice Giroir. Alice was the daughter of Anaise Templet and Eulice Giroir. She was my great-great grandfather’s baby sister. I knew she married a man from Gibson and died there. I always wondered how she ended up in Gibson.

Now I know. Lizzie’s family took her in after Eulice died. To Alice, that would have been Aunt Lizzie’s family. She’s identified on the census as a niece.

Welcome to the family, Lizzie.




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