In the summer of 1995, we had a Theriot family reunion at Alvin and Elizabeth (Theriot) Hebert's house in Pine Island. There were so many cousins there that I had not seen in a very long time, some I had forgotten I had, and many of those I have not seen since. One in particular was Mary Zoe (Theriot) Hidalgo.
Mary, about Nan and Dee's age, was the older of Nonc Leonce Theriot's two daughters, and she and my older sisters had been very close when they were children. I was quite a bit younger, but when we met again, it seems that she and I just took over talking where she and my sisters had left off. A few weeks later, I spent a day and a night with her at her home in Beaumont, Texas and we had, I guess you might say, a "slumber party." For two old ladies to have a slumber party might seem ludicrous to young people, but we really had a good time. We sat up most of the night, and I was all bleary-eyed the next day, but that was alright, because Mary had told me many things about my family that I'd never heard before.
Back in the 1800s and through the early 1900s it was not unusual for a family to take into their home a young orphaned girl to help the mother with the children. Sometimes these girls married one of the young men in the family. I know of at least three such marriages in our family.
Rosalie Drouet's father died when she was very young and her mother remarried. When the girl was a teenager, she left her stepfather's house and went to live with the Pierre Theriot/Marie Seraphine family and ended up marrying their son Augustin Celestin.
Louisiana Watkins, the mother of Marie Elvina Fanguy, died when her little girl was very young, and Vincent Fanguy married a widow with children and the children of both were raised together. When Marie Elvina was old enough, she went to live in the home of Augustin Celestin Theriot, and she later married their son, Telesphore Alexandre.
Aline Marie Parks (Percle) was five, and had a little brother who was even younger when her mother died at age 34, leaving her husband (my Grandpa Parks) with three sons and a daughter to raise alone. For a while they lived at a small hotel in Jeanerette, and the Blanchard family took care of the children when their father went into the marshes each winter to trap animals for the fur trade. When Aline was still quite young, she worked as a desk clerk in the hotel. When she was about fourteen, she was allowed to move to Abbeville to live with Telesphore and Marie Elvina Theriot. She married their son Alexandre Telesphore and became my mother!
To finish the tale, Alexandre and Aline took in one of the girls from the Blanchard family who had taken care of Aline when she was young. Ola Blanchard lived with them in Abbeville until she married Emic Broussard.
And one day I'll tell you a story about Ola and Emic.
Copyright © 2001 Aline T. Meaux, Abbeville, LA
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