Marie Llorens Roque (left)
The Matriarch of Cane River
Marilyn Goudeau Guidry (right)
Heritage Cookbook Author
Kathleen Balthazar Heitzmann
My parents are the late Cassie Balthazar and Frank Pimentel. My grandparents are the late Essie Delphin and Johnny Balthazar. All, except for my father, were born and raised on Cane River.
The Balthazar's: Our Balthazar line descends from Louis Metoyer (c. 1770-1832), the third born child of Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer and CoinCoin. A daughter named Marie Rose Metoyer (b. c. 1792) was born to Louis Metoyer and his wife Antoinette Colton Mais/Cottonmaïs. Marie Rose Metoyer married Jean Baptiste Balthazar Monet (c. 1780) and had the following children: Prosper, François Paul, Antoinette, Marie Felice, Ophelia, Leopold, Rosine, Eulalie, Pierre Felicien, Louise Nicaise, and Marie Balthazar. These offspring and their progeny no doubt represent all of the Cane River Balthazar's. My branch is descendant from the second born son François Paul Balthazar. François Paul Balthazar married Martha Jones and their children were Louis Nicholas, Carroll Augustin, Henry Paul, Catherine (Sa) Honoré, John Dave, Cecelia Aurora, Samuel Thomas, and May Antoinette Balthazar. My grandfather is John Dave Balthazar who married Essie Delphin. Thanks to the research done by Joe Mullon III information has recently come to light that Jean Baptiste Balthazar dit Monet is actually a Dupré. Jean Baptiste Dupré fathered two children with his slave, a Canneci/Kiowa Apache Indian named Catherine. Their son Balthazar took his father’s name, Jean Baptiste as his Christian name and chose Balthazar as his surname.
The Jones’: The Cane River Jones line originates with J. Carroll Jones. Carroll married Catherine Clifton who came from the community of Sieper, Rapides Parish. Together they had sixteen children. Their fifth child Maria Louise married August Delphin. These were my grandmother's parents. Their tenth child Martha married F. Paul Balthazar. These were my grandfather's parents so that we see my grandparents were first cousins. My interest in family history began as a youngster in the 1950s with visits to Cane River. Those visits made an indelible imprint on my young mind. Another important factor in my desire to collect family history came from listening to my mother and her sister’s talk about family members. They seemed to derive such delight and pleasure in the simple task of repeatedly ticking off all of the aunts, uncles, and as many sets of grandparents possible. The Jones original homeplace was on the west side of the river five to six miles north of St. Augustine Church in the area known as Bermuda. The original land extended a few miles south and it is from this property, that both the Delphin homeplace and the Balthazar homeplace were carved out.
In my first self-published book, Cane River Genealogy: Metoyer, CoinCoin, Jones, Clifton, Delphin I was able to include not only the Metoyer and Jones genealogy but photos and stories. Since that time (1994) the collection has grown to include a separate book just on the Metoyer lineage, a book that includes ten other families: Beaudoin, Chevalier, Delphin, Gallien, Jones, Marinovich, Meziere, Rouege, Prudhomme, and Terrell families, and a separate book of stories, Cane River and its Creole Stories which was published by Northwestern State University.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and Master of Science degree in science education from The State University of New York at Albany. I am a retired math and science teacher in the NYS public school system where I still tutor. I also coach varsity cross-country and track.
1) Cane River and its Creole Stories - This book looks at life on Cane River during the teens, twenties, and thirties of the twentieth-century through stories, letters, and interviews. Cane River, located in rural Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, is a unique place in America. Its inhabitants are descendents from French noblemen and merchants, African slaves, and the Native American Choctaw, Canneci and Natchez tribes, who in the 1800s led an aristocratic life. That life was shattered in the aftermath of the Civil War, when their antebellum status as free people was forgotten and everyone with a trace of African descent became ex-slaves in the eyes of the law and our social system.
2) Cane River Genealogy: The Metoyer Volume
3) Cane River Genealogy: Beaudoin, Chevalier, Delphin, Gallien, Jones, Marinovich, Meziere, Rouege, Prudhomme, and Terrell Volume
Claudith Goudeau Washington (Chair) & Theresia Ray Carey (Treasurer)
by Claudith Goudeau Washington
The 1995 Grand Family Reunion was held in Bloomington, Minnesota from July 7th to July 9th. The location was special because it was in the backyard of the Internationally renowned, Mall of America! The time of year was a wonderful opportunity to show the rest of the clan what Minnesota looked and felt like without mounds of snow and below 0 temperatures! I was chair and my beloved cousin, Theresia K. Ray Carey, now deceased (9/24/07), was our very capable co-chair. Our two families worked together so harmoniously that it became a huge blessing just to be together. Frequent and consistent prayer gave us an incredibly good reunion; everything went well, without a glitch! The Grand Family members that attended were delighted that so much fun and a good time could occur in (Where?) Minnesota!!!!
One of the fruits of Grand Family reunions to my family is the interest it has generated in our daughters to pursue our family genealogy! Each one of our daughters has engaged in study of our family history (Gene's and mine) and it has been fascinating to trace our roots! There are so many computer websites and scientific study of DNA available that it makes this pursuit a lot of fun. For me, being with family is an energizing and grounding experience because we share a common bond of culture, language, faith in God, and I think, a special warmth and generosity of spirit. I think it is important for our children to experience this and I pray that they will keep this alive, asking for God's guidance and blessings.
1986 Grand Family Reunion
Hyatt Regency Hotel
July 25th – 27th, 1986
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Mary Goudeau Gilmore, Chair
By Mary Goudeau Gilmore, Chair
It was wonderful working closely with family members who shared ideas to make sure the families from other states enjoyed themselves. We hope those that attended (over 300) left with more family knowledge and had fun getting to know their relatives.
One of the highlights was author of 'The Forgotten People," Gary Mills, was one of our guest speakers. Gary spoke of his interest in the history of our people, he also signed family copies of his book.
We are so fortunate to be able to go so far back into our ancestry.
Look forward to seeing all of you in 2011!
A Tribute to Neola Ray Joe
Founder of the Grand Family Reunion
First Chair, 1981 Alexandria
Grand Family Reunion
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
By Shirley Goudeau Edwards, Chair
The Second Grand Family Reunion was held in July in 1983 in Oklahoma City. There were about 400 in attendance. The family gathered at the Lincoln Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. Events included a “Get Acquainted” Reception on Friday evening as well as a talent show. The Get-Acquainted Reception featured a genealogy slide show presented by Florence Reed. The talent show included a variety of performances, ranging from songs to skits to poetry reading and dancing. There was free time for attendees to sightsee or enjoy individual activities during the day on Saturday. Some family members had the impression that they were coming to the Old West, but were surprised to learn that Oklahoma City is a major metropolitan center with much to offer. Scheduled activities on Saturday included a barbeque dinner featuring western attire in the afternoon, and a casual banquet dinner in the evening. A memorial service was held on Sunday morning to honor those who had passed on since the prior reunion. Lurah Bean rendered a solo, and candles were lit to represent each of those who had died. Plans for the 1986 Reunion were discussed and the decision was made to meet in Long Beach, California. Committee members included Celestine Johnson, Betty Henderson, Mary Slaughter, Janice Brown, and Florence Reed. Thanks to the work of the Oklahoma City Committee Members, the Grand Family Reunion was a great success.