Lafayette Genealogical Society

Meeting Minutes

 21 May 2015

The monthly meeting of the Lafayette Genealogical Society was held on May 21, 2015 in the Meeting Room of the South Regional Library, 1601 Johnston Street at 6:30 P.M. The meeting was called to order by President Herb Scheuermann. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited followed by a moment of silence to remember our ancestors and our men and women who have served and are presently serving in the Armed Forces. Guests were welcomed and asked to stand and introduce themselves. They included Suzanne Hulin, Susie Broussard Richard, Nathan Guillory, Henry Peterson, Linda Huff, Tommy Hays and Janelle Guilbeau , who found us on Facebook. Brenda Thibodeaux made a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes. After a brief discussion the motion was amended to accept the minutes as posted on our website. This was seconded and approved.

Warren LeBlanc was called upon to give the Treasurer's Report for April, 2015:

April Beginning Balance                                                                                    $3,339.39

Dues Collected                                                                                                        660.42
Books Sold/Donations
Supplements Sold                                                                                                       5.00
Acadian Project
Publication Expense
Speaker Meals
Banquet Expenses
Office Expense                                                                                                         -18.16
Other Expenses/Rent                                                                                               -455.00
Library Book Project

Ending Balance                                                                                                    $3,531.65

New Members for 2015                                                                                                    21
Members with dues unpaid                                                                                              15

The business portion of the meeting began with a report from the constitution committee. They are meeting informally, mostly through emails and are reviewing the document one page at a time. They have completed page 1 with only minor grammatical corrections. Once the complete document has been reviewed, it will be voted on by the members.

Everett Thompson reported on the website. It is ongoing, being updated on a regular basis.

Four people from our group were able to attend the DNA Seminar in St. Martinville last month and found it very informative. They are going to share some information tonight with the group.

The GRA or Le Grande Réveil Acadien is still schedule for October. The Lafayette Genealogical Association will have a table and volunteers are needed to set up the table and to manage it for the day. Please let Herb know if you can help that day.

One of the tenants of our organization is to share information by publishing our family trees. This is accomplished by submitting family tree information in the form of charts, pictures or stories to be included in the yearly publication Les Memoirs dé Lafayette. At least 4 generation is required. Please give this information to Warren LeBlanc.

Sam Lollard from the Lafayette Public Library gave a report on the opening of the remodeled library downtown. The Genealogy Room will be on the 3rd floor with ample room for research in the Reference Room and Genealogy Collection Room. He is anticipating moving into the area in mid June with the library opening soon thereafter. The temporary library has had very little security at its location and quite a number of books are missing. He said there would be more security when they move back into the remodeled space. He told us that he is always trying to repair books because people using the library will slice out the pages they need instead of making a copy. There should be a new set of Fr. Hebert's books. We are all looking forward to that. He also said there will be no eating in the new library. A small concession room will be available for food and drinks.

The Lafayette Genealogical Society now has a face book page thanks to Marc Andrepont. If you have not done so, please check out the site and request to join. Members may add photos and make comments. Feedback from those who have already visited the site is very good. Please make an effort visit the site soon.

This concluded the business part of our meeting.

Our presentation tonight was from our members Warren LeBlanc, Everett Thompson, Judy Trahan and Herb Scheuermann. Warren spoke on our Cemetery Project. The listing is compiled by volunteers, and then published. You will find graves listed by location in the cemetery and by the alphabet. The location will let a person know how to find a particular tomb; that is, by section, row and number. The alphabetized list will let you know exactly who is buried there. Also published is what is listed on the headstone, such as sayings, pictures and etchings. Also what is on the backside is listed, such as names of parents, children or grandchildren. Warren handed out a grave submission sheet which is used in this work.

We also heard a report from our DNA Special Interest Group. Everett Thompson led off the talk by explaining how dna can be a valuable tool to get started with. The DNA group decided that for our purposes, they would recommend the test. You should start by building a tree, either by membership or on their free trial. You begin by listing all the relatives you know. After the test results are complete, the site will begin finding DNA matches. Many times you can determine common ancestry with others who have taken the test. This can help you get beyond some of your brick walls. Some people take the test and find misattributed paternity or a non paternal event.

Judy Trahan shared her personal experience with DNA testing. With encouragement from Everett and watching Henry Louis Gates on his PBS program, she was ready to move further in her search. Initially her daughter began 15 years ago by asking for information so that she might begin to build her own family tree. Judy and her daughter both did the DNA test and she was able to contact a cousin who is doing his own research their family. Her talk was inspiring and her experience was positive.

Herb Scheuermann talked about his experience with DNA. Even though Scheuermann is not a common name in Lafayette, it is more common in the New Orleans area. His experience involved his Aunt Edna and his cousin Allen. By following leads on, Herb was able to contact his cousin Allen. Allen needed another cousin, Barbara McCloud, to do a DNA test. Together they were able to solve a family mystery which included 2 marriages. The proof was in their mitochondrial DNA. This is very simplified; those who were present were treated to a family chart which helped them figure out this mystery.

There are different types of DNA tests. The broadest is autosomal which is what conducts and is recommended as a starting point. Other tests include mitochondrial and Y-chromosome. They test a mother's line and the father's line.

Everett concluded the talk by showing us his match to Pham Thi Hoa, a distant cousin who was born in Vietnam and adopted by a British couple. Her mother was Vietnamese and the adoption agency had no records regarding her. She is now looking for her father. She needs to find a common ancestor which may help her to narrow her findings. Everett is trying to help her but so far a closer relative has not been found. Everett and Herb then answered general questions from the audience.

In conclusion, in order for this to help you a general DNA test is required. Then you must add you family tree to and be patient and wait for matches. If you have a willingness to learn something new, join the DNA discussion on the second Saturday of the month at 9:30 am at the library. Thanks to everyone who brought treats. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Pellerin, Secretary