William George Micheau, 1880-1949

Born 31 Dec 1880, Prairie du Rocher, IllinoisDied 15 Nov 1949, St Louis, MissouriOccupation: Barber*Parents: George Micheau, Sr. & Mary Emma RoySpouse: Clara Robinson (or Roberson), 1885-1938 *“It will doubtless be observed by the reader, that a majority of our colored aristocracy belong to the tonsorial profession; a mulatto takes to razor and soap as naturally as a young duck …Continue reading →


How’d My Mother[-in-law] Get So Smart?

My mother and my mother-in-law are both bright women, each in their own ways. But in keeping with my theme of praising mothers-in-law, we’ll leave my mother-in-fact for another day. My mother-in-law is a descendant of the French Negroes of Illinois. Her father, Joseph Perry Micheau, was born in Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, in 1888 and married Edna Julia Lewis …Continue reading →


Open State Vital Records: Some of the Best States

One of Several Posts about Open Government Laws and Genealogy I’ve made a brief survey of state vital records laws and here present some of the “best” states in terms of “openness.” These determinations are based on several factors: whether law provides that vital records are “open” or “public”; whether reasonable “confidential periods” are imposed; whether reasonable fees are required; …Continue reading →


Black Catholics In America: Who Was The First African-American Priest?

The answer is . . . it depends on who you ask. And sometimes the same person will give two different answers! The contenders are Father James Healy (1830-1900), ordained 1854; and Father Augustine Tolton (1854-1897), ordained 1886. The simple genealogical data would seem conclusive: James Healy was the first African-American priest. But it’s not quite that simple. The 1830 …Continue reading →


Trying Again Pays Off Again: Updating "The French Negroes of Illinois"

Last year, I did a major series on the so-called “French Negroes of Illinois,” focusing on the Micheau family of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. In that series, I traced the origins of the French Negroes of Illinois from slaves brought from Haiti by Pierre Renault, who was seeking silver and gold. Also in that series, I recounted the story told …Continue reading →


Prairie Du Rocher, Illinois

Some Pleasant Surprises in this River Town Last Saturday morning, we set out for Prairie du Rocher, Illinois–me, the Geneablogie Staff Photographer (whom I’ve dubbed Photo Grrl, because it’s shorter and may annoy her), and two direct descendants of the French Negroes of Illinois, Edna P., age 86, and Edna W., her 67 year old daughter. Prairie du Rocher is …Continue reading →


GeneaBlogie’s Mid-Summer Project!

Over the last four or five weeks, I’ve teased a bit about some great project that’s on its way. Well, the teasing is over and our great project has begun! Here it is: we are headed to Missouri on a major research trip . . . but the deal is we are going via Amtrak and for the first time …Continue reading →


Illinois State Archives Databases

I’ve been reminded that I really like the Illinois State Archives Databases on that state’s Secretary of State website. There are a few things that could be better, but overall, this is a useful resource. There are the state’s vital records databases, of course. Unfortunately, unlike neighboring Missouri, the Illinois death index (1916-1950) has no retrievable images. On the other …Continue reading →

August 2015
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