Creole Family Symposium

Each LHS Creole Family Symposium examines the history of three Creole families who originated in New Orleans in the 18th or early 19th centuries. Historians of the families discuss the reasons for the persistence of the families, their differing life styles, their educations and occupations, where they have lived, and what they bring to the present.

There is a registration fee of $20. Reservations should be made by sending the appropriate sum to the Louisiana Historical Society, 5615 Perrier St., New Orleans, LA 70115. Attendance is limited to 100. Make checks payable to Louisiana Historical Society. E-mail:

Seventh Creole Family Symposium – 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009, 1 to 6 p.m.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

  • Keynote: Sally Reeves, Two-hundreth anniversary of St. Domingue/Cuba refugees.
  • Godard de la Bostrie in France, Saint-Domingue, and Jamaica: Augusta Elmwood
  • Labostrie Family: Greg Osborn
  • Lambert Family: Janice Gonzales Berry
  • d’Aquin Family: Marcelle Saussy

Sally Reeves is the former archivist at the New Orleans Notarial Archives and immediate past president of the Louisiana Historical Society

Greg Osborn is a New Orleans Public Library archivist. He is a historian who discovered through his research that he is a relative of Homer Plessy.

Reservations requested. Information to be mailed out in the near future.

Felton Suthon 8/15/2009

Sixth Creole Family Symposium – 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007, 1 to 6 p.m.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

  • Keynote: Dr. William Keyse Rudolph, “Uniting Creole Families through Art.”
  • The Three Families of Olivier de Vezin: Linda Ursule Goesling of Gulfport, Mississippi
  • The Schexnayder Family: Jay M. Schexnayder of Convent, Louisiana
  • The Descendants of Armand Duplantier of Magnolia Mound Plantation: Virginia Pruet and Barbara Trevigne

Dr. William Keyse Rudolph is curator at the Dallas Museum of Art and author of the recent book, Vaudechamp in New Orleans.

Linda Ursula Goesling is a graduate of the University of New Orleans and an engraver of precious metals.

Jay M. Schexnayder is from Convent, Louisiana and is the historian of the Schexnatder family.

Fifth Creole Family Symposium – 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006, 12:30 to 6 p.m.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

  • Keynote: Dr. Christina Vella, “The Musson Family and the French Mentality in New Orleans”
  • The Saucier Family of Louisiana: Jack Belsom
  • The De la Lande De Ferriere Family and Their Daughter Desiree: Alice Dantro
  • The Soropuru Family: Jude Sorapuru

Dr. Christina Vella is a historian who is best known as the author of Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness Pontalba.

Jack Belsom is the retired long term director of civil service for the City of New Orleans and professional genealogical coordinator for the archives of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Alice Dixon Dantro is a historian, lecturer, and writer, who was inspired by the Jesuits at Springhill College to the study and dissemination knowledge.

Dr. Jude Sorapuru is a native of Lucy, Louisiana, and a member of the family that has owned the historic Soraporus House for 170 years. He earned his Ed.D from the University of Kentucky.

Fourth Creole Family Symposium – 2003

Saturday, October 11, 2003

The Historic New Orleans Collection,

  • Keynote: Dr. Thomas Klingler, “Language and Ethnicity in Francophone Louisiana”
  • The Darby Family: Bryan J. Costello
  • The Perrault Family: Greg Osborne
  • Francisco Bouligny: Ted Martin

Professor Thomas Klingler is a linguist specializing in Francophone linguistics, and Creole studies.

Bryan Costello is the author of thirteen books and serves as the President of Le Cercle Historique. He is also an eleventh-generation Pointe Coupeean.

Ted Martin is an attorney in New Orleans. He is a seventh-generation descendent of Francisco Bouligny.

Greg Osborn is a New Orleans Public Library archivist. He is a historian who discovered through his research that he is a relative of Homer Plessy.

Third Creole Family Symposium – 2002

October 4‑5, 2002

The Historic New Orleans Collection.

  • Keynote: Dr. Mary Ann Wilson, “Grace King’s Lover’s Quarrel with New Orleans Creoles”
  • La Famille de Veuve Paris nee Laveaux: Barbara Trevigne
  • Genealogy Through the Eyes of a Layperson, Claude Joseph Villars Dubreuill: Robert Villars
  • The Charbonnets in the New World: Michael Dean Charbonnet and Wilfred Hellmers Charbonnet

Mary Ann Wilson is Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she has coordinated the Interdisciplinary Humanities program for three years and is currently spearheading efforts to establish a women’s studies program.

Barbara Trevigne is a social worker in the Orleans Parish Public Schools, a student of African American families in New Orleans, and a publicist and commentator on New Orleans history.

Robert Villars is a graduate of Loyola University and a retired real estate appraiser. He has studied the Villars Dubreuil family for many decades.

Michael Charbonnet is an attorney in New Orleans. His father, Wilfred Hellmers Charbonnet, has collected Charbonnet material from the courthouses to the churches of Louisiana and is a retired engineer.

Second Creole Family Symposium – 1999

October 22‑23, 1999

Jones Hall, Tulane University

  • Keynote: H Parrott Bacot, “Evolution of the Creole Interior”
  • The Destrehan Family: William D. Reeves
  • The Olivier Family: Mrs. George Hero
  • The Decuir Family: Peter T. Eshelman:

H. Parrott Bacot is Executive Director/Curator at the LSU Museum of Art (formerly the Anglo American Art Museum.) He is the author of numerous articles on Louisiana furnishings, silver, and decorative arts, as well as Nineteenth Century Lighting: Candle‑Powered Devices, 1783‑1883.

William D. Reeves is a contract historian who writes on Louisiana subjects,

Mrs. George Hero III is a writer and independent television producer

Peter T. Eshelman is president of American Specialty, an Indiana insurance company, and a member of the Decuir family.

First Creole Family Symposium – 1998

October 23~24, 1998

Jones Hall Tulane University

  • Keynote: Joe Logsdon: “Ante‑bellum Creole crisis; the Pandeley case in New Orleans”
  • The Dolliole Family: Kevin Dolliole and Lynette Dolltole Johnson
  • The Favrot Family: Wilbur E. Meneray
  • The Livaudais Family: Sally K, Reeves

Joseph Logsdon is Professor of History and Director of the Ethel and Herman Middle Inrnational Center for New Orleans Studies at the University of New Orleans. His recent books include Creole New Orleans: Race and Americanization (1992) and Crescent City Schools: Public Education in New Orleans 1841‑1990.

Kevin Dolliole is assistant administrator of the New Orleans lnternational Airport, and Lynette DollioIe Johnson is president of Omnivore Company of Long Beach, California..

Wilbur E. Meneray is director of Special Collections, Howard Tilton Mernorlal Library, Tulane University.

Sally Reeves is the archivist at the New Orleans Notarial Archives.