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You Never Know Who's All Up In The Family Tree/ David McMillian, LPC, LMFT
Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 4:28pm
You never know who’s all up in your family tree; recently some surprises fell out of mine. Let me explain. Recently I hosted Eddie Whitlock on Strategies for Living, talking about genealogical research.You can listen in the morning on Newsradio 710KEEL 9:05am to 10am.Eddie is a former radio host himself, who’s also written a book Evil is Always Human (self-published and available from amazon.com, where it has 4.7stars!).Eddie says the book got its genesis from a family legend, and his first novel is a finalist in Fore Word Magazine’s general fiction category.He also contends that most of us “have a book in us,” so I thought maybe this could spur me to get to writing.

I’ve actually been intrigued for a while by genealogy, and maybe that’s one reason I invited Eddie on; Strategies turns 21 years old this month, and I can’t recall ever doing a program on this topic.Anyway, Eddie says that he and his wife started researching their families at the same time, and for every nobleman she discovered in her family, he found a horse thief in his. I began to wonder why I knew so little about my family lineage; what were they trying to hide anyway? I had relationships growing up with both grandmothers, but that's about it since both grandfathers had passed away prior to mine, my brother’s or sister’s births. Eddie acknowledged there were websites out there where you could go to get started, but cautioned that some of them charged monthly fees for what you can get free, if you know where and how to look.I was aware that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) maintained a website for people who were curious, so I decided to start there (www.familysearch.org).Wow.In a relatively short time, after entering the family members and names I did know, basically just my parents and grandparents, I had the names and some information about all 8 of my great-grandparents. One warning though, it’s addictive; I stayed up past my bed time a couple of nights, because I didn’t want to stop learning about the history of McMillians, Bordelons, Crews, and Spikes.

After I got to know all the great grandparents, I decided why not go for the “great-greats,” and although it was late, I kept going.I found the name of Great Grandfather Raymond’s mother pretty quickly; Adelina Lacour Bordelon and the website search took me to the Census of 1850, when Raymond was just 6 years old in a household of 12 children! The father’s name was just listed “Bordelon,” but the children included Ovide, Cyprien, Clarisse, Pierre, Fabien, and little Silvere just to name a few.On a hunch, I searched for Pierre’s birth certificate, and there was my great-great grandfather’s name, Hypolite Bordelon; no wonder he told the census taker his name was just “Bordelon.” Thinking I now deserved a good night’s sleep, I turn the light off, but in a few minutes my wife Suzanne wakes me up saying “you’re not going to believe this.”She’s “Googled” Hypolite, and turns out The Hypolite Bordelon house is a tourist attraction in Marksville, on the Historic Registry, and listed on the Marksville Chamber of Commerce site! Members of my family lived in the home, which is now furnished with articles from the 1820-1940 period, until Pierre died in 1941.In 1979, the house was given to Marksville and moved to the center of town.As you can imagine, if I wasn’t before, I’m now “hooked.”I hope you’ll tune in tomorrow, but if you can’t listen to the program in the morning, remember that you can always listen on-line at www.strategiesforliving.com; just be careful when you climb up the family tree. You never know who or what you’ll find there.

     Listen Now to the interview with Eddie Whitlock

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