Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Jacqueline.

Jacqueline Girouard became a WikiTreer in September 2014 and as her profile says, she’s had something productive to do every day since.  Jackie is one of our wonderful Leaders, co-leading both the Acadian and Louisiana projects, as well as participating as a Sourcerer, Arborist and Data Doctor.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

All names Acadian as well as some non-Acadians in Louisiana (LA) that need TLC.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

SW Louisiana (Acadia Parishes), New Orleans, LA, Natchitoches, LA.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

Acadians in Louisiana have been aware of their ancestry from the moment they arrived in Louisiana from early 1760s to before 1800. We spoke French in our home which was weird when we moved to Texas in the 1950s. More recently, my mother Yvelle Theriot Girouard died at 100 years, 4 months and I inherited her genealogy work.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I don’t have a favorite–they all have their human stories. The Acadian ancestors who were uprooted from Acadie in 1755 after living there over 100 years, are particularly compelling. Some were deported to Virginia, which the colony refused to let them stay. These were put on over-crowded, under-supplied ships and sent to camps in England to await repatriation to France. It is estimated that about ½ of these “Virginia” Acadians perished at sea or in the English camps. From France, many were recruited by Spain to emigrate to Louisiana which now owned Louisiana. After thirty years of exile, these Acadians disembarked from seven ships in New Orleans in 1785 and were given supplies and land in SW Louisiana by the Spanish government.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

Some of my Acadian ancestors from Louisiana inter-married with Irish or Scottish people. These European ancestors have been challenging to identify because their records are scarce and their names were spelled strangely in Louisiana church records.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

That’s not something I ever think about. I feel connected to humans in general and sometimes even to non-humans.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I am an avid birder and maintain a list of the birds I’ve seen using the ebird app maintained by Cornell University. I belong to Texas Master Naturalists, a volunteer conservation organization. A current project we have is monitoring water quality in the town where I live. On Monday evenings during the school year, I can be found singing Alto with the Brazos Valley Chorale. Lastly, I have four adorable grandchildren and three children whom I enjoy spending time with.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I joined in fall 2014 when I stumbled upon WikiTree. I was looking for a website that all my family could see and that I thought might be around for a long time (hopefully forever). I check in every day unless travelling to places with no service. I do merges, error correction, sourcing and co-lead two projects: the Acadian Project and the Louisiana Project. I love to help others find sources for their ancestors.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

WikiTree is all about improvement which means change. It’s free and collaborative for those so inclined. There is a lot of interest in accuracy and sourcing. Assuming good intentions is emphasized.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Go through the tutorial and browse the help index to see what’s there. Enter your ancestors one by one, don’t be enticed to upload a gedcom until you’ve entered many profiles by hand. Before adding someone, do a search to see if they are already there. Source as you go. Ask for help.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

Love is all there is.


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  4 Responses to “Meet our Members: Jacqueline Girouard”

  1. Jackie, what a nice blog post – so glad they picked you to feature. You are an inspiration to me, and I appreciate the various kinds of help and suggestions you’ve provided me. Well deserved recognition!

  2. Jackie, thank you for sharing your lineage and research. I did not know too much about the name ,Acadians, and who they were. Thanks for introducing a new term, which has created a new interest for me!

  3. I second everything Cindy said! The tips you included are spot-on, and should be added to the bottom of the honor code! And I have to say I love the photos of your mom and dad– what a beautiful couple!

  4. I have been searching for the parents of my 3rd ggrand mother her name was Matilda Ann Gambrell she was born in 1823 in Penddleton District South Carolina ……Tracing her relatives they were in Normand , France ….later to Spain was there for the earthquake and fire in 1500’s …chased out of Spain by Catholic Church sent to VA. …not wanted in Va. ..some went to South Carolina . Louisiana….etc. She was from a French Huguenot family……She died in Hopkins Co Texas 1891….on her death certificate it records she was born in Va…..the trail goes cold…..There is another Matilda but she was born in 1814 and husband was not Larkin Bagwell of whom my Matilda married in 1844 in North Carolina…..Interesting reading your blog…..Thank You if you can help me….greatly appreciated

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