The Hazel Sockridder Duchamp Room
Here you will find genealogy journals, family histories by parish residents, genealogy resources written by local and nationally known genealogists, and oral histories. Local historians and genealogists are familiar with the works of Rev. Donald Hebert whose 47 volume series, Southwest Louisiana Records, and the smaller South Louisiana Records contain abstracts of the records from churches and courthouses throughout South Louisiana. These volumes are the mainstay of genealogy research on local families. A cd of the Southwest Louisiana records is available for checkout at the circulation desk. A file cabinet labeled Family Name Files contains genealogy and local interest information and has been made available through donations of local family histories and genealogic charts. The genealogy collection has the index of Sacramental records from St. Martin de Tours Church. This is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Attakapas area, founded in 1765. Other Louisiana church records are in the volumes of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Records and the Dioceses of Baton Rouge Records.
As many local families can trace their ancestry to the Grand Derangement (the Great Upheaval) from Acadie in northeast Canada the Library collects volumes on Acadian families and histories of areas throughout the Atlantic Basin. This includes Canada, France, and the Caribbean, along the eastern seaboard and from the Illinois Country at the head waters of the Mississippi. In addition, the collection reflects information on the Spanish Colonial history of the area. The long military service of local men and women is documented in volumes on the military units and battles from Colonial confrontations to present day National Guard units.
The Louisiana collection contains new and old volumes written by Louisiana authors on Louisiana. These include histories, biographies, parish histories, and local church histories. There are books on local architecture, culture, customs and humor. As the area is steeped its French and Creole Heritage there are books on Acadian French and Creole music. The beautiful landscape is captured in the volumes of photographs. Information and maps on local points of interest are available in this section.
A microfilm collection is accessible with the provided microfilm reader and printer. Our microfilm collection includes the local legal journal which began as the Weekly Messenger in 1886 and was renamed the Teche News in 1948. The collection includes records beginning in 1886 through December 2009. Additionally, issues of the Teche News from Sept. 1948 through Dec. 1978 have been scanned to cd. Records from Sept 1948 – Dec 1969 are available on cd at the Breaux Bridge Branch Library. Records from Sept 1948 – Dec 1978 are available on cd at the St. Martinville Library Branch. These cds may be transferred to any other branch for patron viewing.
In the microfilm collection, one can find copies of Spanish and French Colonial records form Seville, Spain and Paris, France to the new world including the earliest records here in St. Martinville that date to 1750. Old records from churches and courthouses throughout south Louisiana, including New Orleans, are included on microfilm. U. S. Census records for Louisiana and the U. S. Passenger lists are also part of this collection.
The oldest volumes owned by the Library, the Evangeline Collection, are housed in two glass cabinets of the Duchamp room. The contents are available for viewing by appointment only. The Genealogy staff will be happy to make an appointment for the viewing of these items. Appointments to view the Evangeline collection can be made by contacting Ms GuteKunst at 337-394-2207 ext 217 or by email at [email protected].