Relatively Speaking: Recorded For Posterity

Relatively Speaking is a throwback to another time in the world of genealogy. These are anecdotal stories to inspire those who search for their ancestors. Although, many of these stories are from before the world of computers and certainly the age of the internet, I believe that all of us have benefited from serendipity in our research.

Recorded For Posterity

Once every decade for one hundred and eighty years, thousands of unsung heroes have ventured forth to enumerate America?›ƒ?ªƒ?›s swelling population. Though today?›ƒ?ªƒ?›s census-takers face many problems, their experiences pale in comparison to the trials endured by their forerunners who rode wooded paths, forded streams and waded swamps to reach families who could not even spell for them their names.

In the early years of Louisiana?›ƒ?ªƒ?›s statehood, a special problem was faced by the ?›ƒ?ª?American?›ƒ?ª? enumerators as they interviewed natives who spoke another language. In 1830 one bold man of Anglo-Saxon descent, William Shearer, set out to enumerate the parishes of LaFource and Terrebonne. Bravely he stumbled through such listings as Babineaux, Guillot and Trapagnier, but finally the challenge proved too much. In desperation, and exasperation, Shearer recorded for posterity the existence of two unusual men; “jean Hibert Something,” and “Abel Dam ned Hard.”


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