Stephanie "Steff" Ward Mandarino, daughter of Johnny Ward and Willa "Pete" Hanks, grew up in New Orleans, but was born in the Cajun part of Texas to a mother from Acadia Parish, Louisiana and a dad who was a Georgia peach. Speaking of Johnny Ward , long story, but only recently, via DNA and WikiTree, it came to light that HIS father was NOT the mysterious and elusive, now strongly suspected to have been fictional, "Frank Ward" listed on his birth certificate. "Fictional" would explain why he's a total brick wall.As for Willa "Pete" Hanks, another long story, but her Acadian ancestors first arrived in Louisiana in 1765. A hundred years before, the patriarch of one line had left Lyon, France, to settle Port-Royal, Acadie (now-Nova Scotia), only to be dérangé-ed by the English in 1755. Others arrived from France in 1785 via the Amitie, which sailed from France to the New World then-Spanish colony of Louisiana. They married into other Acadian, and already-established German and French families, as well as newly-arriving Spanish, Irish and American settlers in southwest Louisiana. Willa's first language was French, but in school she was required to speak only English. She grew up in the time before Cajun cooking was considered cuisine and our Acadian heritage was embraced and celebrated by American Louisiana. By the time her children came along, Willa had assimilated so well (thanks to her WW2 service in Washington D.C. with the Marine Corps) that she had no trace of an accent and claimed she couldn't speak it when asked for help with her child's high school French (to be fair, Cajun French is quite a leap from the modern standard now taught).
Met Joe Mandarino at Loyola Law School in New Orleans; married in 1991. Two children. Nothing before that matters.
Participated in the USBH Connecting Challenge, adding 15 profiles, Feb 2021
Completed the Profile Improvements Project's Profile Improvement Voyage 18 Feb 2021
Co-captain, Gulf Coast Hurricanes, 4th annual Source-a-Thon, Oct 4-7, 2019
Active Member, Categorization Project liason w/Acadian and Louisiana Projects, August, 2019, current
Co-captain, Gulf Coast Hurricanes, 1st annual Connect-a-Thon, Jul 12-14, 2019
Active Member, Rangers Project, May, 2019, current
Co-captain, new team Gulf Coast Hurricanes, 2nd Spring Clean-a-Thon, Mar 2019
Captain, Team Acadia, 1st annual Scan-a-Thon, 11-14 Jan 2019
Louisiana Families Project Coordinator, Oct 2018. Most of my time spent improving Louisiana profiles: adding sources; cleaning gedcoms; formatting and outlining biographies; merging duplicates; monitoring the project watch list; working with new members; clearing Louisiana errors; handling some communication. current
Co-leader, Team Acadia, 3rd annual Source-a-Thon, 2-4 Sep 2018
Active member, Profile Improvement Project, 20 Aug 2018
Participant, 1st annual Spring Clean-a-Thon, 5 Apr 2018
Participant, 2nd annual Source-a-Thon, 15 Sep 2017
Active member of the Data Doctors Project, 28 Aug 2017
Participant, 1st annual Source-a-Thon, 30 Aug 2016
Active member of the United States History Project, 23 May 2016
Active member of the Acadians Project, 13 May 2016
Active member of the Louisiana Families Project, 5 May 2016
Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.
Stephanie is 19 degrees from Michael Collins, 22 degrees from Judith Resnik, 24 degrees from Ellison Onizuka, 32 degrees from Michael Phillip Anderson, 19 degrees from Sally Ride, 30 degrees from Wubbo Johannes Ockels, 20 degrees from Neil Armstrong, 18 degrees from Virgil Grissom, 22 degrees from Christa McAuliffe, 21 degrees from Dick Scobee, 21 degrees from Edward White and 27 degrees from Frances Piercy-Reins on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.