A St Louis Belle

19 year old Edna Mary Micheauon her wedding day1940


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 →


Edna Mary Penny Wells 1941-2008

Edna Mary Penny Wells died last week in St Louis, Missouri, just a few days shy of her 67th birthday. She was the daughter of Edna Mary Micheau of St Louis and the late Ralph Penny; and the granddaughter of the late Joseph Perry Micheau and Edna Lewis. She was the third generation daughter named Edna and hence she was …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 →


My Families’ Weddings

She’s there every morning, watching me, this pretty teenager. Her eyes dipped slightly, confident yet demure; slender and shy. She grips a rosary in her hands. A long veil falls down her back to the floor where it merges with the pool that is the train of her dress. She watches me, this teenager from across the room, from across …Continue reading →


A Little Photographic Treat from The Research Trip

[Posted from Los Angeles, California] In several posts in the last year, I’ve mentioned the Oblate Sisters of Providence (see The French Negroes of Illinois series, here, here, and here; and the Gunsmoke post). In St Louis, I found this photograph of Sister Mary Philomena (nee Emma Micheau) and Sister Mary Celestine (nee Adelaide “Addie” Francis Micheau). That’s Sister Philomena …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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