Newspaper articles, St. Mary Parish Genealogy

Father Souby of Amelia

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Father Andrew Souby was known as a pioneer to the Catholics along the bayous of St. Mary Parish. He was the pastor in Morgan City as well as Amelia. He was greatly beloved and remembered to this day.

I thought Father Souby baptized my mother. He didn’t since he died in 1938. Maybe he married my grandparents. Regardless, I’ve heard his name my entire life even though he died long, long, long before I was born.

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In 1971, “The Daily Review” of Morgan City wrote about Father Souby. I’ll share from the writeup:

Father Souby was born in New Orleans on Oct. 21, 1871. He studied the classics and philosophy at Jesuit College and graduated with the highest honors of his graduation year.

The year of his graduation also marked the year of his trip to Italy, where he studied theological studies. He was ordained in 1894 by the archbishop of Genoa.

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Father Souby’s first church was in Baton Rouge. By 1894, he was assigned to Morgan City.

Four years later, he headed to Bayou Boeuf and Amelia, where he would remain for years and earn the respect of his parishioners.

Margaret Mary Songe wrote the newspaper a remembrance about Father Souby.

Margaret Mary was the daughter of Ouralien and Alice Duplantis Songe. The Songes settled in Morgan City as a young married couple and soon welcomed their first child. Unfortunately, the child died as an infant.

The only means of getting the baby’s body to the cemetery was via a railway box car. Ouralien Songe got into the box car for the journey. To his surprise, Father Souby joined him for the heartbreaking trip to the cemetery.

Margaret Mary remembered Father Souby as not just compassionate but also a faithful catechism teacher. He would visit his parishioners at their homes. He always stood on the doorstep with his hat in his hand waiting for an invitation to come inside.

Genealogy tools, genealogy, louisiana, penisson, Newspaper articles, St. Mary Parish Genealogy

Musings on bayou life

In the 1960s and 1970s, a columnist for the Morgan City newspaper (Daily Review) typed up random bits about life on the bayou in and around Amelia (St. Mary Parish). I’d love to track down Joyce Dugas’ book.

Meanwhile, I’ll post snippets from her column.

I didn’t know that the town Amelia was named for an Amelia Dupuis. I did know the sad story of Barbara Verret and her children. I’ll have to blog about that some day.

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Hebert family, St. Mary Parish Genealogy

John S. Hebert’s family

One of the great things about the internet is that it puts you in touch with other family tree researchers without relying on snail mail and classified ads in genealogy magazines.

Through the internet, I’ve learned a lot about my g-g-grandfather John S. Hebert (Jean Severin Hebert) and his family.

John S. was a blacksmith by trade who fought in the Civil War and walked home from prison camp after the war ended. He married and had many, many children. He lived in a house on the bank of a bayou. All of this, I already knew.

What I didn’t know before talking to other researchers, was what unfolded for his siblings. Those details produce a fuller picture of John S. Hebert’s life.

Once upon a time, there were four Hebert brothers who grew up in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. All of them went off to the Civil War. All of them returned home safely. After the war, they came to a fork in the road. Two brothers settled in New Orleans. Two brothers settled along Bayou Boeuf.

Here’s Gideon, who raised a family in St. Mary Parish:

Cute puppy alert! The Heberts love animals. It’s in the genes.


Gideon with one his son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Alexis Jr. worked for the U.S. Mint:


Jules opened a saloon in New Orleans:


Now, if only I could track down a photo of John S. Hebert!

St. Mary Parish Genealogy, Succession Records

The last will of Philomin Gautreaux Aucoin

Ludfrois Aucoin fathered at least 13 children in his 49 years. His youngest, Merante, was my grandmother’s grandmother.

I know the fate of some of the children, but I wondered just how many of them lived into adulthood. Finding the will of his second wife, Philomin Gautreaux, gave me some clues.

Here are Ludfrois’ children:

First marriage

  • Marie Elise, born 1820
  • Leufroi Heli, born in 1821 and died in 1879 during the yellow fever epidemic. Married and had at least one child, Mary.

Second marriage to Philomin

  • Simon Jerome, 1824-1824
  • Francois Rosemond, 1826-1826
  • Eduard Pierre, born 1827
  • Adolphe, born 1829
  • Felonise Marie, born 1832
  • Adrien Augustin, born 1834
  • Honore Luselien, born 1836
  • Caroline, born 1838
  • Celestine Marie, born in 1840 and died in 1879 during the yellow fever epidemic
  • Octave Francois, 1843
  • Merante Carmelite, 1846-1926

According to Philomin’s will, she only left property to Merante and the children of Adrien, Caroline and Celestine. So it appears that only Merante was alive when she died. Eleven children, and only one died after her.

I’ve not been able to find a marriage record for Caroline so I don’t know who her children were, but her mother’s will indicates she had at least one child.

Here’s the will. I’ll translate the French below.





Today in 23rd day of the month of November of the year 1883, before Septime Lanaux, public notary commissioned and sworn in for the parish of St. Mary in the state of Louisiana, and in the presence of Joseph Dellucky, Jules P. Telotte and Hebert Bedel, competent witnesses and residents in said parish, has personally appeared:

Madame Felonise Gautreaux, widow of Leufroy Aucoin deceased, resident of St. Mary Parish, state of Louisiana, who has had the help of the notary, and of the witnesses, and the said lady, who has appointed the notaries, who have taken the words of the receiving of this will, the notary has heard. In his own hand the so-called testament as it was dictated:

I possess at the moment the following immovable property:

A certain piece of land on the Bayou Boeuf, Parish of St. Mary, State of Louisiana, about fifteen acres from the Morgan City railroad station, five acres from the bank of said Bayou Boeuf on a piece of land of seven arpents more or less; neighbored north by the property formerly of Francois Gautreaux now occupied by Octave Landry, south by the property of Hebert Bedel Sr., to the east by Bayou Boeuf and to the west by the land of Appolinaire Frioux, with all the buildings therein.

I bequeath to my daughter Emeranthe, now wife of the Cordelier Gautreaux, an arpent by seven arpents of depth more or less, of my said property, beginning and dividing my property of that of the heirs of Hebert Bedel Sr. recently deceased, and all the buildings and improvements that are in them, and my furniture, which is in the house I occupy and where I live, and which has always been my residence.

I bequeath to my son-in-law, Cordilier Gautreaux, husband of my daughter Emeranthe, an acre opposite the Bayou Boeuf on seven acres of the property more or less of my said property, immediately adjoining the piece left to my daughter Emeranthe.

I bequeath to the heirs of my son Adrien deceased an arpent of seven deep of my said property located next to the piece of Cordilier Gautreaux.

I bequeath to the heirs of my two daughters Celeste and Caroline all two deceased, two arpents by seven arpents and located next to the piece belonging to the heirs of Adrien Aucoin.

This is how I want my property to be divided and shared after my death. I leave no heirs except to those who are mentioned in this will and I am free of debt at the moment.

obituaries, St. Mary Parish Genealogy

Obits in St. Mary Banner

March 24, 1900

We regret to chronicle the death of Mrs. Borah, of Baldwin, which sad event occurred this morning.

March 10, 1900

In Franklin, on Thursday morning, March 8, 1900, Ione Louise, infant daughter of Pinkey D. Alpha and May H. Hooper, aged 1 month. Funeral took place from their residence on Third street, Thursday evening, at 5 o’clock.


In New Orleans, on Tuesday, March 6, 1900, Esther Roussell, daughter of Dr. Roussell, of Patterson, aged 6 years.


Mr. Daniel Thompson, one of St. Mary’s oldest citizens, died at his residence on Calumet plantation on the 8th inst. His remains were shipped to Chicago for interment.

September 20, 1902

A very sad death occurred in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Mequet on Wednesday morning, the 17th inst., when the death angel bore the gentle spirit of little Austin D. Theriot, son of Mr. and Mrs. D.A. Theriot, to his heavenly home. He was just 1 month and 19 days old and was the joy and light of a loving household. His death was a great shock to the fond parents having been sick just a few hours. The funeral services were conducted from the Catholic Church Thursday morning at 10 o’clock and the remains of the little one were tenderly laid to rest in the Franklin cemetery. May the God, in his infinite mercy, comfort the bereaved father and mother and other relatives who loved little Austin so fondly.


Mrs. Lizzie G. Kihnel died at her home in Patterson last Thursday morning, aged 43 years. She was for many years a school teacher and had many friends in Patterson. She leaves three children to mourn her death.


Died on Tuesday morning, Sept. 16th, at 3:30 o’clock, Mamie Smith, infant daughter of Ashton K. Smith and Mary Bateman, aged one year. After a brief earthly sojourn her gentle spirit was borne by ministering angels to the paradise of God and while the fond parents weep they are not as those who have no hope. They know their little one is safe in the arms of Jesus.

Died, at her home in Baldwin, at 1:00 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19th, 1902, Fannie E. Harding. Her remains were interred in the family tomb in the Franklin cemetery, Friday evening, Sept. 19th, 1902, at 3:00 o’clock.

Dec. 6, 1902

Mr. Ralph E. Hine, one of the best known and popular citizens of this place, died at his home on Monday morning, Dec. 1st, at 4:40 o’clock, after an illness of many months. Mr. Hine was in the mercantile business here for many years but at the time of his death was engaged in rice culture. The deceased was born in Connecticut 57 years ago but spent most of his life here. Among the large number of relatives left to mourn the passing away of Mr. Hine are his mother, Mrs. T.D. Hine; his wife, formerly Libbie Walker, three daughters, Mrs. Beverly Ward, Misses May and Nellie and one son, Mr. Murphy Hine. Four brothers, Messrs. Homer, Thomas, Will and Capt. Chas. Hine. The remains of the deceased were buried on Tuesday evening, Dec. 2d, 1902, at 3 o’clock, from the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

A sad accident happened here last Wednesday evening in which Mr. Octave Mequet, a contractor and builder, met a tragic death. Mr. Mequet was engaged to move a stable on the property of Mr. Jos. Jacobs, when one of the rollers slipped and he was pinioned under the building. Help was quickly summoned to his rescue but when he was removed from beneath the structure life was extinct. The untimely death of Mr. Mequet cast a gloom over the whole community as he was a good citizen and had many friends and relatives. The funeral took place from the late residence of the deceased on last Friday evening, Dec. 5th, at 4 o’clock and was largely attended. Mr. Mequet was a Pythian and a Druid, and the members of these orders attended his funeral. The deceased leaves a wife and nine children also several brothers and sisters to mourn his loss.



Riddles, St. Mary Parish Genealogy, Succession Records

The problem of Apolinaire Frioux

I pity any one with the main line of Frioux to trace. It could be Frioux, Fryou, Frillot, Frero or goodness knows what else.

I first came upon the name after discovering that my grandmother’s godfather, Oleus Oscar Montet, had been married before he married my Aunt Louise.

I always felt a little sorry for Oleus. He was always described to me as a very nice man who would give my mother and her sister fruit (a precious thing for a poor family). And he was married to Aunt Louise, who was never described in kind terms. Oleus and Louise had but one child, Paul, who died in his teens.

Ten years before he married Louise, Oleus married Josephine Frioux. She died a little more than a year after the wedding. My guess is that she died in childbirth, but I’m guessing because no one ever told me about Josephine. I stumbled across her in the Catholic record books.

Josephine’s father was Apolinaire Frioux. Her mother was Philomene Gautreaux. Josephine was the only daughter in a family of four children. When she was 14, her father died. Her mother died five years later. Josephine herself was only 20 when she died. I don’t know much about Josephine’s little family. One brother died young. The two other brothers moved to Texas.  Frioux/Fryou/Frillot has been a tough name to trace.

The name Apolinaire was interesting to me, though, because Oleus’ mother had a sister who married an Apolinaire Frioux. I wondered if it could be the same man and if he had two families. It turns out he had three families (but all in a respectable way).

I hadn’t been able to make the link until I found a succession record for Celestine Aucoin, Oleus’ aunt and Apolinaire’s second wife. I knew Celestine died in the yellow fever epidemic. I didn’t realize that she had enough property for a succession to be filed.

In 1880, Apolinaire went to the Franklin courthouse to report that Celestine had died on September 24, 1879, leaving behind one (surviving) child, Florestine. Apolinaire wanted to get married again (only a year after burying poor Celestine) and needed to separate out Celestine’s property for their daughter.

Here’s the inventory:

  1. A tract of land lying and being in the parish of St. Mary having two acres front on Bayou Boeuf and containing about 44 superficial acres more of less with adjoining tract to the rear line appraised and valued at $350.
  2. Nine heads of horned cattle.
  3. One small Creole mars (I have no idea what this means).
  4. One plow.

Total=$452, half of which went to Florestine.

If you read successions, you read a lot about family meetings. I doubt they were as formal as the legal papers make them sound. Regardless, in one description of a family meeting, it was revealed that Apolinaire wanted to marry a Philomene Gautreaux and that it would be his third marriage.

So now I know that Apolinaire was Oleus’ father-in-law and uncle.

St. Mary Parish Genealogy, yellow fever

Yellow fever in Louisiana

yellowMy grandmother was very fond of her own grandmother Merante Aucoin Montet Gauthreaux. Apparently Merante was very kind to her, and there weren’t many people who were kind to my grandmother during her Dickensian childhood.

What amazes me about Merante is that she was able to be a bright spot in a young girl’s life despite her own tragedies. Merante was the 13th child of Ludfrois Aucoin and Amarante Felicite Gautreaux. She was born when her mother was 45. Shortly after her first birthday, her father died.

The Aucoins were a large household. In addition to rearing their own children, Ludfrois and Felicite reared Ludfrois’ son by his first marriage and Felicite’s orphaned niece.

Catholic records weren’t the best in St. Mary Parish during the 1800s. Of the 13 children, I’ve only been able to find a marriage record for Merante, sister Celestine and brother Adrian.

Merante married Pierre Paul Montet in 1868. They had at least four children (possibly more): Rosa, Felonie, Gabriel and Oleus (my grandmother’s parrain). Pierre Paul had been married previously (to an Elizabeth Snell who just faded into history), and had two boys: Oscar and Desire.

Celestine – older than Merante by six years – married Apollinaire Frioux. They had at least four children: Villeo, Ernestine, Florestine and Felonise.

Of these 10 children from the blended families of the two sisters, only three would live to adulthood.

These nurses came to St. Mary Parish just before 1900 to treat yellow fever victims.

Yellow fever arrived in St. Mary Parish in the late 1870s, and it was merciless.

Nowadays, you don’t hear much about yellow fever. According to the CDC, it’s transmitted through mosquito bites (who hasn’t been bitten by mosquitos?) and it leads to fever, chills, severe headaches, vomiting, fatigue and weakness.

Yellow fever killed more than 41,000 people in New Orleans between 1817 and 1905 (


From the Lafayette Advertiser in early October 1879.

In 1879, at least 95 people died of yellow fever in St. Mary Parish. The dead included Merante’s sister, nephew, nieces, husband, half brother and her own children. Not surprisingly, burial records are scant. The priest likely was overwhelmed.

Here’s a list of St. Mary’s dead from the U.S. Mortality Index (I’ve bolded everyone who’s in my family tree):

  • Volsen Aucoin (Jean Baptiste Valery Aucoin, son of Francois Malo Aucoin and Marie Boudreaux)
  • L.E. Aucoin (Ludfrois Heli Aucoin, son of Ludfrois Aucoin and Henrrique Isabel Blanchard)
  • John Boudreaux
  • Henry Berd
  • Carl Berry
  • L Boudreaux
  • A Bourgeois
  • Mary Blanche Breed
  • Ellen Brent
  • Symmthia Buniff (Symphenie Johnston who married Benjamin Buniff in 1874)
  • Peter Burke
  • Judson Campbell
  • T Campbell
  • Judith Alice Cary
  • F C Chase
  • George Clearer
  • Louisa Cook
  • Aleda Corodus
  • Pauline Dellucky (the wife of Etienne Delucky; the Deluckys married into the Bourg family)
  • Chas Ditch
  • Severen Dupuis (Severin married to Victorine Augustine Aucoin)
  • Amylie Dupuis (Amelie, daughter of Severin and Victorine Aucoin Dupuis)
  • Henry Dupuis (son of Severin and Victorine Aucoin Dupuis?)
  • Rosalie Dupuis
  • Celestine Faerie (Celestine Marie Aucoin Frioux, daughter of Ludfrois Aucoin and Felicite Gautreaux; wife of Apollinaire Frioux).
  • Gustave Faerie (possibly a brother of Apollinaire Frioux)
  • Villion Faerie (son of Apollinaire Frioux and Celestine Aucoin)
  • Ernestine Faerie (daughter of Apollinaire Frioux and Celestine Aucoin)
  • Pauline Faerie (probably Felonise, daughter of Apollinaire Frioux and Celestine Aucoin)
  • Clennie Faerie (most likely a daughter of Apollinaire Frioux and Celestine Aucoin)
  • Carl Fellrath
  • Ferdinand Fellrath (son of Antoine and Caroline Fellrath)
  • Frank Fernandez
  • Adele Francioni
  • Emma Francois
  • Augustus Gaines
  • Nancy Ganeway
  • Albert Geisler (Albert Geissler who immigrated from Germany in 1867)
  • Ann Grant
  • Cornelius Grant
  • Joseph Grant
  • William Green
  • James Green
  • Faun Green
  • Thomas Green
  • Jimmy Green
  • Sophie Hattendorf (Sophia Forstl Hottendorf, wife of John Hottendorf).
  • Wm Hayes
  • M L Hayes
  • G A Hilbreth
  • L O Hilbreth
  • Albert Hildreth
  • Oline Hildreth
  • Francisco Johnson
  • Solomon Kahn
  • Thomas Laher
  • Marie LeBlanc
  • Louis Levi
  • Manuel Loeb
  • Lucien McLane
  • Horrace McLane
  • Frank Melville
  • P P Monte (Pierre Paul Montet, son of Pierre Paul Montet and Emerante Emeline Braud; husband of Elizabeth Snell (first) and Merante Carmelite Aucoin (second))
  • Desire Monte (son of Pierre Paul Montet and Elizabeth Snell)
  • Rosa Monte (daughter of Pierre Paul Montet and Merante Carmelite Aucoin)
  • D Monte (probable daughter of Pierre Paul Montet and Merante Carmelite Aucoin)
  • Louise Monte (Felonie Louise Montet, daughter of Pierre Paul Montet and Merante Carmelite Aucoin)
  • Linas Moore
  • Jas H Morehead
  • Wm B Mullens
  • Andrew O’Brien
  • E Passley
  • Louis Peterson
  • Olevia Peterson
  • Frank Queen
  • George Reason
  • Isom Richardson
  • Frank Royers
  • F Royers
  • Mitchell Royers
  • Felix Sennett (Felix Senette, husband of Leodicia Erwin Robertson)
  • James Stansberry
  • Joseph Stout
  • Adelle Thibodeaux
  • Louis Thibodeaux
  • Aletha Unsworth
  • Rosana Walls
  • T M L Whitner
  • H F Whitner
  • Benjamin Willis
  • Wellington Wills
  • Wooster
  • Carry A Wooster (Carrie Agusta Wooster: daughter of Nathan and Mary Wooster)
  • Adam Yancy