Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Outing: Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA

(In which I am a silly newbie at Forest Lawn but have a good time anyway... )

I was feeling a bit blah today but it was beautiful out (81, woo hoo!), so I tell my hubby I'm going over to Forest Lawn Memorial-Park to look for third-ish cousins I recently discovered are buried there and to enjoy the nice day.  Hubby laughs and replies, "You know, not everyone thinks of a cemetery as a great place to cheer up!"  My reply: "Genealogists do!"

While some cemeteries can certainly be dreary, it's rather great to drive not far from your citified concrete, asphalt and stucco neighborhood and enjoy a serene, pastoral setting.  Here's proof (click to enlarge the photos):

 Liberty section, looking more or less NW (top) and S (bottom).

The silly newbie part?  Well, I've lived in Southern California for 21 years, but have rarely visited a cemetery (I have few relatives buried here).  Most of my cemetery research has been done in smallish, easily navigable church cemeteries in Louisiana.  I visited Forest Lawn as a tourist on a family trip once when I was young, so I knew it was big, but WOW, I had forgotten exactly how big!  

Even the map (a PDF is available in search results from the online Interment Locator) didn't get it into my head how big one section could be.  Little Miss Independent just figured: I can follow a map!  Well, yes, I can, but can I find the plots once I find the correct section?  Um, no.  The Liberty section, an older one, is especially large.  I really should have driven right back down the hill/junior mountain to get more specific directions to find the plots of the cousins I'm seeking (Scott and Tullis family members).  But no biggie, I was in the mood to explore, I don't live far from here, and it's not like the cousins are going anywhere! (I did notice the so-unobtrusive-as-to-be-nearly-invisible numbered directional markers and got more info on the way out.  I will definitely get a map of this section itself next visit.)

Ankle brace, anyone? My car's on the far left, if you want to compare the hill's steep grade to the level road.

My cousins are buried on a very steep hill.  Thanks, guys!  I'm not frail or anything, but I have been known to trip over my own two feet when looking at headstones (or a book, or up at architecture) instead of where I'm walking.  Down was harder than up, actually (pine straw can be slippery).  So I made a mental note to take my cell phone next time; thoughts of indelicately crawling up the hill with a twisted ankle, using mini American flags à la rock-climbing pickaxes came to mind.  

Speaking of flags, there were some visible in this section from Veterans' Day. 

We're everywhere!  (Cajuns and/or Acadians, that is.)  Couldn't resist taking a photo--I'm always surprised to see an Acadian name in California.  I don't directly descend from Babineaus, but my great-grandpa Constant Légère married a Babineau/x (Estelle, his first of four wives) in Louisiana.  I'm guessing Albert G. Babineau was Acadian, because most Cajun Babineauxs seem to spell it with an 'x.'  Will have to check to see if I can find out his story.  His wife, presumably, Marie A. Babineau, is buried next to him.

Some markers I just find touching.  Having recently celebrated my first wedding anniversary with my husband, I thought this remembrance of Edwin Henry Grobe was particularly lovely: "Devoted companion through forty years of marriage, he lives in memory ... his love and kindness a constant and continuing inspiration, as they were each day of the many wonderful years we shared."

And oh, to be remembered for the ages as your husband's "best girl."  So sweet.  Will have to add these to Find a Grave, I think.

The western-facing slopes get beautiful golden light in the late afternoon.  Not a bad place to rest eternally, nor spend an hour on a lovely day, n'est-ce pas?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Surname Saturday: Surnames tab up on my blog!

Hey folks, if you have Louisiana ancestors, including French, Acadian, Cajun, Quebeçois, German, Irish, English, Scots-Irish or Scottish, in New Orleans, Northwest Louisiana or Southwest Louisiana, just a quick Surname Saturday note to say: Check my new Surnames tab at the top of my blog!  Not all my lines are listed, by any means, but some of my more recent branches are, and some that I hope to be blogging about in the future (such as my NOLA colonials and my dash of German ancestry).

I have more Surname Saturdays in the works, but meanwhile, I'm trying to clean up and sync my citations and notes from among my private Ancestry tree, my Reunion database, and many computer notes and paper files, so that when I do post Surname Saturdays, I can either do it with footnotes, or have reports ready to go for inquiring cousins.

Here's a quick name list.  Dates, places and links to blog posts (if any) are included on my blog's Surnames tab. Bogard, Bopff, Boftz, or Bossie?, Burell, Burelle, Burnaman, Burnam, Burnham, Boernemann?, Carriere, Cotter, Davis, Desbordes, Debordes, Farris, Faress, Fariss, Hadden, Hall, Harrell, Hollier, Kilpatrick, Langlois, Lebert, Leger, Legere, McBride, McCoy, Pate, Potier, Poiter, Pothier, Sanmerine, Saumerine, Smith, Stemmann, Stemmans, Stemann, Stephenson, Stevenson, Thommelin, Tommelin, Thomelin, Tomelin, Trahan, Trepagnier, Trepanier, Trepagny, Werich.

Your name isn't here?  If it's in NW or SW Louisiana, especially if it's in Claiborne, Webster, Bienville or Lafayette Parishes, check my blog labels or tags list on the right-hand column of my blog just in case I've mentioned your people in passing.  Or if you think we might have a connection, drop me a line at hallroots **at** sbcglobal **dot** net to compare notes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mystery Monday: Mystery photo, La. Legere or Leger family

This is a copy of a photo owned by P.J. Blanchard, my 3rd cousin once removed.  It was originally owned by his grandparents, Hypolite and Oza or Ozea (Landry) Blanchard, of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, and is captioned on the back "Alciae Legere, Cameron 18 miles east Grand Chanere [sic] Rd." ["Alciae" is hard to read but it's the closest spelling P.J. could determine.]

There is a Grand Chenier Rd. in Cameron Parish, and there is a Leger or Legere family in Cameron Parish in the 1920 census with a daughter Elza ("Elzea" in Southwest Louisiana Records) who was born in 1901 in or near Kaplan to Alcée Legere (possibly spelled Leger) and Ida Landry Legere.  Elza married Alva ("Alvy" or "Cap") Miller and lived in the community of Grand Chenier, in Cameron Parish.  She is related to both P.J. and I through the Legere family, but neither of us knew of her before P.J. was given this box of photos.  P.J. does remember that his father occasionally visited cousins in the Cameron area, though.

The photo mounting with what looks like a cardstock backing resembles one I have from North La. c. 1905. If it's from the same time period, the woman would probably be a generation older than Elza, perhaps her mother Ida Landry Legere or an aunt?  Is there an "Alicia" relative perhaps?  Or another "Elzea" or "Alcea" relative?  Or could it be from c. 1920 and be Elza?  Perhaps Ida Landry Legere is related to Oza Landry Blanchard, P.J.'s grandmother.  I'm still investigating this angle along with the Legeres in Cameron Parish.

Meanwhile, P.J. and I would like to know if anyone out there can help us identify the woman.  And while I'm asking, P.J. would also love to find a photo of his great-grandmother, Eve Legere Blanchard, wife of Romain Blanchard, of Kaplan, LA.  She was born in 1862 in St. Landry Parish to Hypolite "Paul" & Mary (Addison) Legere and died in Kaplan (Vermilion Parish) in 1920.  E-mail me at hallroots **at** sbcglobal **dot** net if you can help with either request.  Thanks!