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Madison “Mat” Bibbins: A legacy of rising above oppression

There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.-W. E. B. Du Bois Madison “Mat” Bibbins grew up during one of the most turbulent periods in U.S. history. Born in 1853 to Dan and Harriet Bibbins, Mat likely began life on one of the cotton plantations in the Old Natchez District located along the Mississippi River. With more than 340 planters in this district who...

Marguerite Lamain: Our pioneer ancestor on TV

To watch the full episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS click here More than a year ago I wrote a story about the Filles du Roi, Our French Canadian Matriarchs. Recently one of the Filles du Roi in the Gregoire/Granpre family tree, Marguerite Lamain, was featured in an episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS. During the show, actress, fashionista, and model, Chloë Sevigny, discovered that her French Canadian roots run deep in Quebec. Chloë’s 8th great grandmother, Marguerite...

Jung/Young family roots: Washday wine and food

While researching the life of Philip Conrad Jung I was immediately drawn to the beauty and culture of his home in Hahnheim, in the heart of the Rheinhessen wine region. Then I discovered this traditional recipe for potatoes and pork belly and had to share. The Tuesday Backesgrumbeere According to an old Rheinhessen tradition, every Tuesday while the women did laundry they prepared Backesgrumbeere (or potatoes with pork belly). This slow cook dish, featuring the local wine, was their version of...

Jung/Young Family Roots Part 1: German or French?

Above: Battle of Trafalgar by William Lionel Wyllie A Family Mystery: German or French? In 1948 Samuel (S.A.M.) Young wrote a letter addressed to the postmaster in Saulheim, Germany (a small town about an hour Southwest of Frankfurt) hoping to connect with distant cousins and learn more about his ancestry. One of the ongoing questions within the Young family was whether they descended from a German or French family. Samuel’s German father, Johann Adam Jung (changed to Young when he...

Photos from the life of Charles “Dewey” Stookey 1899-1977

Charles “Dewey” Stookey was born in Oklahoma (formerly known as “Indian Territory”) in 1899 to Melvin Lee and Laura Ann (Harris) Stookey. His childhood was filled with sadness as most of his family died from sickness and disease before 1910. Only three of Dewey’s twelve siblings lived to adulthood, married and had families. After the death of both parents the surviving Stookey siblings Harrison, William, Eddie, Dewey, and Leona lived with their older brother Jacob and his wife Viola. Dewey’s...

Grandpre Roots Part 2: Coming to America

Joseph Nazaire Grandpre 1820-1902 Joseph Nazaire Duteau de Grandpre was born in St. Cuthbert, D’Autray, Quebec, the oldest son of Joseph Duteau de Grandpre and Marie “Angele” Dacier Trunet. He was baptized in the St. Cuthbert parish (shown left) on December 16, 1820. Joseph’s 3rd great-grandfather was Charles Duteau, who fled France with his mother Jeanne Perrin in 1658. Their story is told in Grandpre Roots Part 1.  Marriage and Family On February 5, 1844 Joseph married Marie “Adeline” Berard...

Grandpre Roots Part 1: Huguenot Diaspara

The Siege of La Rochelle, 1628 Pierre Duteau was born into the eye of a storm; the brief lull in the midst of a religious war. His hometown of La Rochelle, France, an important seaside trading port for regional wine, cheese, and salt, became a stronghold for Huguenots, like himself, during the early 16th century. The conversion of French citizens to the “Huguenot” protestant beliefs of John Calvin, spurred conflicts with the Jesuit Catholic majority from 1562-1598. Pierre was born in...

Joseph and Agnes (Lebeau) Gregoire family circa 1911

Back row: Victor?, Robert, Herman, George, Harry?, Harvey?. Front Row: Father Joseph, Gertrude, Raymond, Mother Agnes (I am unsure about the identification of the boys with ? behind their names) Joseph gregoire family Joseph Gregoire was born in 1862 in St. George, Illinois. He was the oldest son of Julien and Aurelie (Boudreau) Gregoire and the first generation of our Gregoire family to be born in the US. His father, Julien, emigrated from Quebec in the 1850’s. Joseph married Agnes Francis...