Les Familles Bodin Newsletter
August 2, 2018
J. Callahan, Editor
The Bodin Reunion (2018) was
held on April 21, at the Baldwin Community Center, 305 Hwy 83, Baldwin, LA.
More than seventy members were present and old acquaintances were renewed and new family members met relatives they had never known.
Members from Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia, and Arizona came to our reunion.
Front- L-R: Ruby Robicheaux Mestapey, Jeron LaFargue, Mitch Bell, Shayne Owens Bell,
Early sign in on reunion day
Siblings Judy Bodin Shugart, Jim Bodin, Larry Bodin, and Carolyn B. Luke
In the background Cousin Joe Dubois
Jim Hoffman won a Bodin Book Door prize
Henry Richard purchased a Bodin Book
Drew Keller toured Vacherie,
Home of Gregoire Bodin, his Great Grandfather, and then visited
the Bodin Tomb in Charenton, LA. Pictures are compliments of Drew Keller.
Hello Dear Bodin Cousins.
The 2016 Bodin Family Reunion is now in the history book. The event was well attended. I managed to meet a few more of my Bodin Cousins and found that one, Paul Bodin, lives only a mile from me. We had members in attendance from Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
President Larry Bodin wanted to concentrate on the membership being together and visiting with each other at this reunion rather than having a formal program. As we all know this was a form of family entertainment in the days before television and cell phones.Jim Bodin, suffering from a recent injury to his lip, still managed to provide a stirring rendition of Ava Maria which he does by whistling in accompanyment to a music soundtrack. This is a form of Kareoki that I had never heard about. I was impressed. Thank you Jim.
Tolbert Greenwood spoke of his memories of his families past and the ties between the Cajun Bodin families and their relatives across the Sabine River. There is an old joke in my family that many of my Uncles and Aunts ended up in Texas when Gulf Oil built the first pipeline across the Sabine and my relatives followed the pipeline right of way and founded Port Neches. At that time they changed the pronunciation of their name to Boden.
It was a good story for me because my first childhood memories were as a child living in Orange Texas where my Dad worked at Livingston Shipyard building Navy Ships. I really loved that Friday Ice Cream truck.
Travis Callahan 1946 Orange, Texas
Several of my Uncles lived in the area with one being the barber in Port Neches.
Tolbert Greenwood has graciously allowed me to use his notes for this newsletter.
Click Here for his Memories
Penn, Bodin, Dumesnil History
by Larry D. Bodin
This story begins just outside of Jeanerette, Louisiana . The first house was built by Francis Henry Penn I, in the early 1800's. He died in the early 1840's, leaving behind three minor children.
One of the daughters, Celeste, married Ursin Provost. When she died he later married Josephine Bodin (Gregoire's daughter).
After Ursin died Josephine married Eugene LeBlanc. Josephine and E. LeBlanc both died of yellow fever in 1867. Francis Henry Penn II married Azema Bodin, July 26, 1850. The property and home were in litigation for a long time. The home was sold to Robert E. Smith in 1973 and moved to Breaux Bridge to showcase his antique furniture.
I had visited the home near Mulates Restaurant on several occasions. There is even a sign Penn Road, I had gone several times after and the house was fenced off where someone could not even get close to the house. There is a picture of the house after the move, and looked like it had been there forever.
On one of my visits to the area I decided to visit Edna Mae Tyler Dupuis, who lived in Breaux Bridge. Edna Mae was the daughter of Azema Dumesnil Tyler, grandpa's sister, and she was the oldest of the family. All of the older Penn family were paying a lawyer to recover the property where the property was located, Edna Mae was the one representing the family.
The case went to trial in the 50's and the judge ruled that they had no case. There are two documents I found belonging to Grandpa Dumesnil from a lawyer they had hired. On that visit with Edna Mae, she kept asking if I could show her where the house was located? I went and showed her where it was and later she and her family had a gathering there, what a treat for them. On that visit she told me she had a picture of Azema Bodin Penn, which I had never seen. I am also attaching a picture of the un-restored and restored picture along with Henry which I got from another relative. At that time I did not have any clue as to when F. Henry Penn II had died. I knew he was buried in Charenton because he had a Civil War marker and Azema had nothing. Since that time I put markers for both of them in Charenton.
P.S. Leroy (Soup) Dumesnil just passed this weekend, he had accompanied Edna Mae at the hearing in New Iberia in the 50's. Leroy was the son of Henry and Annie Dumesnil, Grandpa Bill Dumesnil's brother, and they lived on Weber street here in Franklin. I had wondered where the name Henry came from, and now we know. Grandpa mother Annette was the oldest child of Henry II and Azema Bodin's family, they lived on Penn Road just outside of Baldwin. I gather from family that it burnt down, but never saw it not even in a picture.
Hand drawn pictures of Henry & Azemay.
A map of the Penn Property in 1939
The History of our Bodin Home, Noirmoutier, France
submitted by Larry D. Bodin
Family Reunion at Ashton
On May 24, 2015, the family of Denis Bodin, Sr. and Laurence Hebert Bodin held a family reunion in Ashton on Rodriguez Lane at the home of Earl & Juliet Rodriguez Peterson. Juliet being the oldest grandchild of that union. Children from this union are, Ambrose, Irene B. Breaux, Hazel B. Rodriguez Dumesnil, Grace B. Haydel, Jules, Theophile, Roland, Denis, Jr., Therese B. Boudreaux, Rita B. Darden and Francis.
There were eleven children born to Denis and Laurence, of the eleven there were four in attendance, Grace being the oldest at 95, Denis, Jr., Therese and Francis. Rita could not make the reunion because of illness. There were 20 grandchildren in attendance. Total family attendees were 113 and the youngest was 8 months old. There were other friends besides the 113 that also came for the day. There were five generations represented. Total number of grandchildren in the family is 49 and 90 g-grandchildren. ( Bodin Book P. 132 # 360).
Denis & Laurence Bodin July 18, 1912
By Larry D. Bodin
The Bodin Family Reunion was held March 29, 2014 at the Baldwin Community Center. Pictures taken at the Reunion are on the album page.
Click here to go to the album page
Three of our members have written articles for your viewing in this issue of the Bodin Newsletter.
All three men are long time genealogists and are continuing to search for the roots of the Bodin Family.
In the order that I recieved their submissions I present them to you.
Click here for the Biographical Sketch of Eugene Gabriel Bodin (1849-1929)
By Larry D. Bodin
Click here for Battle for The Bayous
by Tolbert Greenwood
The presentation by Paul Breaux at the March 29, 2014 Reunion
Click Here for the Presentation by Paul Breaux
Please note that the Bodin Family now owns it's own domain name.
Charter Bodin Board Member Larson Bodin has decided to slow down a little due to health issues and has resigned from the Board of Directors.
On November 16, 2003 Les Familles Bodin presented Cap with a reminder of our thanks in the form of a plaque of appreciation. The plaque is inscribed :
Presenting the plaque is left to right, Larry Bodin, President. Gaynell Bodin Barras,Treasurer,
Larson Bodin, and the late C. Michael Bodin , Board of Directors
Thanks to William Boone Bonvillian for the newsletter addition.
Biography of Captain Claude Albert Bonvillian, U.S.N.:
From Houma, Louisiana to the Manhattan Project
By William Boone Bonvillian of Great Falls, Virginia, his grandson, 7/30/13
Pictures from The Past
Picture Compliments of Kenneth Broussard of Vidor, TX
And Enshrined his fathers name on the memorial wall
Keep an eye on this space for more information.
Please send me any Bodin news that you may have. I will update this page when I have more material.
Click Here for the Bodin Newsletter Album.
The Family Album
Some of the Bodin Board of Trustees in attendance at the 2014 Reunion are
front row, left to right.
Nordine Patin Broussard, Diana Vincent Callahan, Debra Hardy Bodin, Gaynell Bodin Barras, Nancy Garber Borel, and Irma Gary Bodin.
back row L to R,
Kenneth Broussard, Travis J. Callahan, C. Michael Bodin, Ellen Bodin Bayless, Paul Breaux, and President Larry D. Bodin
Present but not pictured, Jeron LaFargue
Trustees not present were, Ivy Bodin, of California, and Noelie Bodin of Belgium .
Picture complements of Gloria Helmstetter
Some of our most interesting communications among the Bodin family is that which is done in simple e-mail messages between two family members. A wonderful example of this communication is the one that follows. Paul Breaux of Lafayette, LA sent his cousin Ivy Bodin of Vista, California an article about French being spoken in Louisiana schools at a time when they were both school boys. Then they describe their own experiences. This is family history at it's best. I will post their conversation here on the newsletter.
Hello Cousin Paul,
with my Bodin grandmother and her Mother, MaMere
LaGrange, French was
always spoken. Daddy could speak French; Mother could
being raised by my grandmother I mostly spoke French until I
Grade. Mother taught my grandmother some English so she could
speak to me
in English but she very seldom did. But they could speak
My Great Grandmother LaGrange spoke no English.
I arrived at school in the
mid-40s -Baldwin Elementary...First Grade was
horrible. All they did
was correct my speech from French to English. We were smacked
on the hand
with a ruler as reinforcement. I was quite puzzled and did
Most puzzling also was my teacher who I knew to be my cousin--Melba
she was the one doing this to me. I could not understand why
she would do
this. She was a Crochet and certainly spoke French like her
My residual feeling about school was anxiety and I hated to
Grade was much of the same, also taught to me by Cousin
Melba. This was so
unnerving. I still spoke French with Grandma Bodin and her
mother and some
English with my parents.
I was indeed learning English the
hard way. By the 3rd grade I could speak English and teacher
Mrs. Robicheaux....a whole different teacher. French was not
not an issue. She was hard and disciplined....and you
excelled. I was starting to have an epiphany.
Grade was a breeze; I excelled
academically and had a marvelous new teacher Mrs. Orville
Longman. She was
kind. And school was interesting and I vowed I would succeed
I was starting to be a whiz by Fifth grade with Miss Myrtle Kramer and
well in 6th. Then on to Franklin High for 7th grade on up.
The French language was out of
my life but in 9th grade I discovered Miss ONeil and her Latin class.
it for 4 years and actually could speak Latin. Arriving at
Lafayette I learned I could study any number of languages
and during my
college career I studied French for 4 years, reclaiming my native
And I also studied German for 4 years. All this as
started regretting having been robbed of my mother tongue French all
ago in school. But I settled into the reality of the French I
Languages all came easy to me and sometimes even I still dream in
one language compliment I did
receive and relish occurred years later when I was in the Air
My testing set the stage for my career there and I was
selected to study
Chinese at Stanford. I could not have been happier.
This did not
happen however and I had a different career in the Air Force for a few
The languages I did know and have were even more precious for me by
Thank you for listening to Ivy's story about his French heritage and theft of his native language. What happened in those days was inexcusable. But then in the 60s and 70s French became a Louisiana Heroine.... I also recall reading that the law against French speech was finally though late, rescinded by the Legislature.....Cousin Ivy
Hello Cousin Ivy,
could not stop reading once I started. I know you to be only
3 or 4 years
older than I, and I could not have ever imagined your at the time you
beginning school having experienced such. I myself began the
in 1948, not really that much behind you. And, I recognize
for one reason or other came in contact with many of the people you
(Melba, for example, who had a son my age and with whom I even roomed
at USL as
a sophomore, and Mrs. Crochet)
my mother, it was such a decisive/defining experience
that she never spoke French in the presence of me and my brother and
She would converse in French only with her mother (Laurence),
siblings, and my dad or his parents. Never with me and my
knew very few French words, and enough to put them together in
phrases but nothing about constructing sentences. Some of the
parents and others did carry over to their English sort of
"unconsciously." I learned as a child that the name for the
closure on the front of pants was "braquette." I remember
that word on the school ground and my buddies not knowing what I was
about. Eventually I called it "zipper," even if it was a
[Coincidentally, I took the Latin classes with Lorena O'Niell, too. Never forgot the "Gallia est omnes divisa " opening in Caesar's Gallic Wars — Ms. O'Niell told us we could not forget it . . .
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CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 46
urge and request state agencies, when translating information from the
the French language, to make every effort to make such translations
French by utilizing dictionaries and other resources dedicated to the
and celebration of this unique language.
pursuant to R.S. 1:51, Louisiana is officially bilingual: "Any act or
made or executed in the French language is as legal and binding upon
if it had been made or executed in the English language"; and
the Louisiana French Language Services Program, provided for in R.S.
through 674, was established by Act No. 106 of the 2011 Regular Session
for purposes that include providing state government services to
and visitors in the French language and assisting Louisiana citizens
in dealing with and receiving services from state government so as to
sustainability of Louisiana's historic French cultural heritage; and
many citizens of Louisiana speak French as a first or second language,
as stated in R.S. 25:671, the legislature finds that the heritage of
of Louisiana is one of the greatest treasures of Louisiana's rich
cultural patrimony and
the most significant factor in making the state's culture unique; and
the legislature further finds, as provided in R.S. 25:671, that
government services in the French language would encourage the
preservation of the
French cultural heritage for future generations, provide important and
sometimes life sustaining
to French-speaking citizens and visitors, and support and encourage
investment in Louisiana, serving not only the state's French-speaking
citizens but the
entire state; and
NO. 46 ENROLLED
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in fulfilling the purposes of the Louisiana French Language Services
as well as under other circumstances, state agencies likely seek
translations of important information from English to French, and
should utilize resources which offer translations from English to
there are resources readily available from reputable publishers and
who are experts in Louisiana French; and
Louisiana French, according to the Council for the Development of
in Louisiana (CODOFIL), is a "rich tapestry of the French that was
spoken in the
century by Acadian and French immigrants and the French and African
came to Louisiana from the West Indies"; CODOFIL notes that Louisiana
aspects of Spanish and English, language from local Native American
vocabulary, making the accent and expressions of Louisiana French truly
Louisiana French plays a significant and singular role in the history of
and contributes to the state's special cultural flavor, and it is
fitting and appropriate
it be used in English-French translations conducted by state agencies.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby
and request state agencies, when translating information from the
English language to
French language, to make every effort to make such translations using
utilizing dictionaries and other resources dedicated to the
preservation and celebration
this unique language.
IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the
of administration and to the chief executive officer of each executive
OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OF THE SENATE
by Larry D. Bodin
trip in 2011 to
first week we spent at
Jim & Ruby’s friends home. Jim had worked in
at Lachaussee we took
a tour of the museum there and the tour person happened to have a Bodin
connection, her name is Michele Bodin Touret . We have communicated
several times since I am back. She has common names of our family and
the area we are from. We are having trouble making a connection because
records during the revolution period. Common names in her line are
Baptist, Charles, Henri and those are common in our line. We have to
see if Jean
Our second week was spent at a condo in Canet
and from there we visited
she got back she found
out that she had broken a small bone in her foot and recently
she began to
walk with a boot that she has been wearing since she got back. We had a
driver, Jim, and plenty of map readers between the three of us. It took
several days into the trip to finally learn how to read a map. Jim and
already proficient at it since they had taken many trips before to
I rely on family members to update this newsletter. Please send any info that you may have .
Remnants of Josephine Bodin Provost LeBlanc Plantation
By Larry D. Bodin
This story has been on the back burner for some time now and so I thought it was time to put it together before I forget some of the details.
Documentation of this story is from :
Fort de Chartres, Illinois being restored, 1986 by Michael R. Rogers,
Descendants of Nicholas Provost by Dr. Kennell Philip Brown, Franklin, LA Courthouse.
the 2010 reunion, I went to visit Father
Crumley, who was the guest speaker at our reunion that year. In a
conversation we began to speak about Mike Rogers,
and Father could tell by my conversation that I did not know that Mike had passed away. In fact I found out that Mike had passed in January of that year. Mike was a genealogist and made many trips to the courthouse in Franklin and on many trips would stop in and visit me at the store in Franklin. On many occasions he had mentioned an old building near the Yellow Bowl that had a connection to the family. He had never shown me exactly where it was.
When Father Crumley told me he had passed that was the first thing I thought of, him not ever showing me where it was. After that surprise I began to ask around and after mentioning it to my Uncle Francis, he said he had an idea about the location of the building. So the next week end we decided we would go to see if we could find the building. We did find the building and its located on Hwy 182. 19343 and Carroll Bonin lives in front of the building. Carol was very interested in what we knew about the building and also gave us the current history of the building. That property was in his family from long ago. He said that the building is well known to genealogist, history department, engineering classes because if it’s age.
He was barbequing at the time under his carport and gave us permission to take pictures and walk around and view the building. The building was part of the Sorrell Plantation. This was the land of the Provost’s and that is where Dr. Brown and Mike Rogers come into play. They are both descendants of the Provosts.
I originally met Dr. Brown through Mike. I remember the first time I met Dr. Brown, he got down on his knees and begged did I have a picture of Josephine Bodin Provost LeBlanc and my answer was negative. After speaking with Dr. Brown, I came to the realization that if he did not have one, there was none to be had. I have on several occasions made an attempt to find relatives but always met a dead end. I have a signed copy of Dr. Brown’s work and have used it on many occasions. His work was done before Father Hebert’s books were published, so he got the records directly from the churches and got his pictures and history from family members. I am sure along the way he was asking for any pictures the family had. Dr. Brown published his book in 1957 and now he is deceased. The building that remains was part of the homestead of Josephine Bodin and Ursin Provost, Jr.
Ursin had first married Celeste Penn (sister of Henri Penn) she died in 1845 and they had two children (Pierre and Therese).
They passed away at young ages so there were no lines to follow. Ursin’s second marriage was to Josephine Bodin in 1846 and they had three children (Joseph, Antoine and Marie Azema) Joseph
Alcide was mayor of Jeanerette (1880’s) and also bought the property of Pierre Ulysee Bodin at a
Sheriff Sale and Zulmee R. Haydel bought it back from him later. Ursin died in 1851 leaving seven children for Josephine to look after.
In 1854, Gregoire Bodin, Josephine’s father, bought the plantation they were living on, which was the estate of Ursin Provost. It was the same property that had been purchased by Ursin. In 1854 Josephine married her brother-in-law Eugene LeBlanc, (Eugene being the brother of Jean Baptist, husband of Caroline Bodin Leblanc). Eugene and Josephine had two children (Eugene and Euginie). Both died of yellow fever in 1867, seven days apart in 1867 and are buried in New Iberia all in the same plot with Ursin, Jr. and his first wife Celeste. The plot is near the cross in the center of the cemetery in New Iberia.
At the time of Josephine & Eugene’s death
Joseph was 20, Ursin was 19, Marie Azema was 17, Eugenie was 13 and Eugene was 8. In previous
Newsletters articles were written about Joseph Alcide Provost and also an article about the purchase
of the plantation by Gregoire Bodin for Josephine, it may have been a wedding present when she married Eugene. So if we look at some dates, Gregoire died in 1865, two years later three died of
Yellow Fever, Augustine Richard, Eugene and Josephine Bodin LeBlanc.
Some of the many families with ties to the Provost family are Guiberteau, Drulhet, Brown, ( Felix the son of Godfrey Provost married Mary Inez Bodin in 1917, daughter of Aldolph Bodin and Clara Trimble, Aldolph being the son of Ernest, Ernest being the son of Norbert Bodin first marriage.) Stanbury, LeBourgeois, Minvielle, Schexnayder, Trappey, Rogers, Girard, Haydel, Gonsoulin, Vincent, Yeutter, Weber, Moresi, Lancon, Dooley, Daigle, Krepper and Judice.
The farm where the building is located near the Yellow Bowl is being farmed by the Gonsoulin Brother's farm.
* Dr. Brown’s book was printed by Bob Angers, Franklin Banner Tribune.
* Carrol Bonin says the Tulane and LSU engineering schools have visited the building and taken pictures.
* Dr. Brown (deceased) was the brother of Carl Brown (deceased) and Carl was the husband of
Jo Ann Bodin, Jo Ann the daughter of John & Yvonne Bodin.
We have recently been contacted by Cousin Mary Dugas who just discovered our web page. She sent the picture below.
Norbert Bodin and wife Melisse Veret and six of their children (Dennis, Dina, Jean-Charles, Flora, Marie-Cecile, and baby Robert Paul, the Grandfather of Mary Dugas.
you for paying your dues. Be sure to notify me when you change an
Postal Address Changes
If you move, PLEASE let me know of your new mailing address. We maintain a file of postal addresses. If your email message returns we may need to write to you to get your new email address.
Printed Copies of this newslettersIf someone you know does not have email capabilty, please consider printing the newsletter for them. I have personally run out of time in my personal life since I do this same job for the Bodin Family and four other organizations. I can no longer print and mail the newsletter. It is my decision to only provide the electronic newsletter.
for the period April 2018 through April,
2020 are as follows:
per family with
children 18 and over living at home for the two year period are $20.00
individuals for the two year period is $10.00.
A large number of members paid their dues at the 2018 reunion covering the period of April 2018--April 2020. As a not for profit association we cannot accumulate a large amount of money and that is why the board cut the dues in half prior to the 2012 reunion. We do not advocate increasing the association dues.
We maintain only enough money to pay for the next reunion. That price increases every year. This year the reunion cost increased by nearly 20% which causes us to have to consider ways to raise additional funds.
If you want to help to maintain the quality of our biennial reunions feel free to provide a donation to Treasurer Gaynell Bodin Barras and she will send me your name and I will show you as a Contributer For the Future ( no amount will be listed) to the cost of the 2020 reunion.
money collected at each reunion is counted at the conclusion of that
reunion by a minimum of three people who are officers of the
association. Those fund are kept in a safety deposit box at the Bank of
Erath . Erath, LA. No one can access that box unless another officer of
the association is present.
make dues checks
payable to our treasurer, Gaynell B. Barras herself
and not to the
association. She cannot cash a check made out to Les Familles BodinHer address is 901 Lake Dauterive Rd Loreauville
You may also send your dues to Larry D. Bodin himself at 711 Main Street
Franklin, LA 70538
ask that you send dues
made out to these people personally since we do not have a checking
Les Familles Bodin and we have trouble cashing checks made out to the
to Order the Bodin Family Book
Larry Bodin advises that he has a few Bodin Books remaining.
Larry D. Bodin 711 Main Street Franklin, LA 70538
Kenneth Broussard, son of the Late Luella Bodin Broussard, author of the Bodin
Book, has a few books left for sale. In the future, Kenneth expects to do an
upgrade on the book by adding new members
family info that was not in the original book.
Online form to submit family information - http://bodin-broussard.com/index/index.php/submit-family-info
Download form - http://bodin-broussard.com/Bodin%20Family%20Genealogy%20Information.docx
(form attached to send out by email.)
Forms can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent through postal mail to:
PO Box 117
Vidor, TX 77670
Click below to visit
The Web Site of the Associations of Families Acadian
Note: I have been asked why I did not publish Stacy Bodin’s entire
story at one time. The article is simply too long to put into a six
newsletter. I am including the link to Stacy’s page here. From her
"Hurricane link" you can see all her storm pictures and
This is a very
interesting page, from a very talented lady.
Click for Stacy's Hurricane Page
Return to The Bodin Homepage
Up dated 4-27-18
Up dated 4-27-18