The last time I was in the vault at the Assumption Parish courthouse, I noticed a new sign. Photographing court records is against Louisiana law.
Now this is annoying. The old records that I need are in heavy, hardbound books. I have to lug them over to the copy machine, heave them onto the copy machine and then heave them back off to flip the page and make more copies. By the time I was finished, I was dripping with sweat (I copied a lot of records).
I also was a lot poorer when I left the courthouse. Those Xerox copies are $1 per page. I don’t get paid for my sweat and labor in making them.
I also wondered: Is it really against the law to photograph court records?
Then I went to the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse and saw the same warning.
I did a little Internet research and found this:
A. The clerk of court is the legal custodian of all of its records and is responsible for their safekeeping and preservation. He may issue a copy of any of these records, certified by him under the seal of the court to be a correct copy of the original. Except as otherwise provided by law, he shall permit any person to examine, copy, photograph, or make a memorandum of any of these records at any time during which the clerk’s office is required by law to be open.However, notwithstanding the provisions of this Paragraph or R.S. 44:31 et seq., the use, placement, or installation of privately owned copying, reproducing, scanning, or any other such imaging equipment, whether hand-held, portable, fixed, or otherwise, within the offices of the clerk of court is prohibited unless ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
I get it. Clerks of court need to make money. But do they have to drive the family tree researcher into the poorhouse to do it?
I’ve been fairly successful in sorting out much of my family tree, and new information is always coming along to surprise me. The past tends to do that. Just when you think you’ve discovered everything, a new bit of information surfaces.
The one person who is a mystery is my great-great-great grandmother, Anaise Templet Giroir Larose.
I’ve never heard the name Anaise before or since. My grandmother always pronounced it ‘Naise.’ Believe it or not, there were two Anaise Templets born about the same year in Assumption Parish. Who would have thought it?
My Anaise was born to Charles Valsin Templet and Louise Josephine Boudreaux. The 1850 census for Louisiana shows Valsin with his wife, daughters Marie and Anais and baby Charles.
Here’s the little family:
That would mean Valsin and Louise had Marie in 1846, Anais in 1848 and Charles in 1849. Except the baptism records show they had Josephine Emeline in 1846, Marie Heloise in 1848, Charles in 1849, Philomene Victorine in 1852 and Marie Uranie in 1854. No mention of an Anais.
So I suppose that Marie in the census is really Emeline and that Marie Heloise in the baptism records possibly was meant to be Marie Anaise (which means she may have later had a child out-of-wedlock).
I’ll just go to the 1860 census and figure it out, right? Well, there’s a problem with that. Louise seems to have died about 1858. Unfortunately, her succession is listed in the index book at the Assumption Parish Courthouse, but the record itself is missing. The nice clerks at the courthouse shrugged and said an attorney probably took it home and forgot to return it back in the 1800s. Sigh.
After their mother’s death, the children were divvied up among the relatives.
Charles and Anaise went to live with the Besses. Charles Besse was a Canadian schoolteacher who married Louise’s sister Marcelite. The Besses had nine children so maybe they didn’t even notice the two extra ones.
So what happened to Emeline, Philomene and Irene (Uranie)? Well, Louise came from a big family.
Sister Adeline took in Uranie. Half-brother Basile took in Philomene. There were 15 people in Basile’s household so what was one more? Emeline – or Evaline as she later called herself – found shelter somewhere because she soon married.
There’s no clue on what happened to Valsin. I can only assume he gave all his children away, changed his name to Lincoln and bought a really tall hat. Or maybe he died. Yeah, he probably died.
But back to Anaise.
Anaise married (I assume) a man with a rather fabulously alliterate name: Eulice Edmond Giroir. There’s no marriage record that I’ve been able to find, but as they baptized their children, I assume the priest would have insisted on them being married.
They had five children in five years: Augustin, Augustine, Alice, Marie and Valcin. Then Eulice died. My grandmother said Eulice died when the youngest child was just a baby.
Anaise farmed out the children but kept Valcin according to census records. Augustin – my great-great grandfather – either visited her or ended up back with her because he told stories about her going off to work the fields every day while he stayed back at the house with his baby brother. Poor Anaise. She had a very hard life.
Then, in 1895, Anaise remarried. She married a man named Felix Leonide Larose. She would have been close to 50 at the time.
Anaise and Felix are on the 1900 census in Assumption Parish. After that, they disappear. I’ve traced what happened to all of her children (except Valcin; he married, had a few children and vanished), but I don’t know when Anaise died or where she’s buried.
It’s funny isn’t it? I can’t really tell you when Anaise’s parents died, when her first husband died or when she died. I can’t really tell you when Anaise was born or when she married her first husband. Did she only show up to be recorded for the census taker?
Loose ends like that drive me crazy. I so badly want to know the rest of Anaise’s story. Maybe, one day, I’ll stumble across more details.