PAST MEETINGS AND EVENTS
"Guanches and Canary Islanders of the 18th Century"
Feb 6, 2021 11:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Author and society board member Stephen Estopinal will discuss the Guanches and the Isleños of the 18th century. He will look into the modern theories of the original islanders, in particular, how the Spanish conquest changed everything. Lastly, he'll describe what their mixed descendants looked like before the migration to Louisiana.
"The Spanish Tinge – The Musical Connection Between the Canary Islands and Louisiana"
November 7, 2020
Based on their book "The Spanish Tinge – Louisiana Music Pioneers of Canary Islands Descent", published in Spanish in the Canary Islands last year, Johnette Downing and Scott Billington discuss the musical link between the Canary Islands and Louisiana through three profiles: jazz clarinetist Alcide Nuñez, Cajun accordionist Joe Falcon, and décima singer Irvan Pérez. They will also share their findings from their research trip to the Canary Islands this past December, including video footage of contemporary décima singers. The research trip was partially funded by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.
Johnette is an author and songwriter for Louisiana Roots Music and Books for Children. Scott is a three-time Grammy Award winner.
March 2020 - May 2020
No meetings. All cancelled due to Covid-19.
"Alemans of Aguimes"
Feb 1, 2020 at 11 AM – 2 PM
We hope you can attend our meeting on February 1, 2020, to see Cajun/Isleno descendant Shaun Van Horn discuss his recent research on the Alemans of Aguimes, Gran Canaria. Many Islenos descend from Juan de Aleman and Juana Ramirez of Aguimes. But the history of the Aleman family in Gran Canaria is not well known. Shaun will present on his work with genealogists in Gran Canaria, his study of Aguimes history, and his 2019 trip to Aguimes to further our community’s connection to its Canario past. Shaun will also recount his own journey into Cajun/Isleno history through his great-grandfather, Eddie Antoine Savoie of Cutoff-Larose.
Shaun Michael Van Horn is a lawyer in Chicago, where he handles litigation in the areas of antitrust and intellectual property. He was born in Hawaii, and grew up in Virginia, Nebraska, and Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan (2005) and New York University School of Law (2008). He is fluent in French and received a certificate of law from the University of Paris II (2006). Shaun lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his wife, Melanie, and their four children. Shaun’s maternal great-grandfather is Eddie Antoine Savoie (b. 1901), the son of Leontine Marguerite Bourgeois and Joseph Abel Savoie.
"Galveztown Records in the Catholic Archives"
Jan 4, 2020 at 11 AM – 2 PM
Galveztown Records in the Catholic Archives of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It is a look at where different Galveztown records are now located, what is published and not published and what appears to be missing.
Renee has contributed as abstractor, researcher and/or assistant editor to the publication of nine volumes of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records and is a contributing writer to The Catholic Commentator. She has also worked for the Office of Archives and Records of the Archdiocese of New Orleans on five exhibits for the Old Ursuline Convent Museum in the French Quarter.
No meeting. Christmas party.
Topic: "CISLANDERUS Exhibit at Capital Park Museum"
The CISLANDERUS exhibit is open at the Capitol Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge. This exhibit is the work of Thenesoya Martin and Anibal Martel, natives of the Canary Islands who are bringing the story of Canarian descendants in Louisiana to life with photographs, video and research. Come join us at the museum.
Please note that our November meeting will not be held at its normal date and time. We will instead meet on the second Saturday of November, the 9th at 11:00am at the Capitol Park Museum, located at 660 N. 4th Street. We will meet to tour the newly installed CISLANDERUS exhibit as a group. Meetings are free of charge and open to the public.
Speakers: Joan Aleman and Paul Newfield
Topic: “Honoring Our Founders"
The Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana will be honoring their founding members. Joan Aleman and Paul Newfield will present a program honoring the founding members of our organization who will be in attendance. Those members are Dennis P. Delaney , Deanna Stoufflet Carbo, Joseph William Carmena, Jr. and Mervin Thomas Medine.
"Allemans of Pierre Part"
Sep 7, 2019 at 11 AM – 2 PM
Speakers: Chad Leblanc and Alleman family members
Discussion on the Alleman's of Pierre Part and related members, with a focus on the families of Edward and Ebdon Alleman.
The meeting is open to the public
Hosted by: CIHSL
Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library
9200 Bluebonnet Blvd,
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810
"Language in Louisiana"
Aug 3, 2019 at 11 AM – 2 PM
Speakers: Dr. Dorian Dorado & Dr. Rafael Orozco
An upcoming book "Language in Louisiana: Community and Culture" will feature a section on the Spanish language in Louisiana, written by Dr. Dorian Dorado & Dr. Rafael Orozco. They will speak about their upcoming book, specifically about their section on Louisiana's Spanish language.
Speakers: Dr. Dorian Dorado & Dr. Rafael Orozco
Topic: "Language in Louisiana"
An upcoming book "Language in Louisiana: Community and Culture" will feature a section on the Spanish language in Louisiana, written by Dr. Dorian Dorado & Dr. Rafael Orozco. They spoke about their upcoming book, specifically about their section on Louisiana's Spanish language.
Speaker: Wade Falcon
Topic: "Ancestry and Musical Legacy of Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux"
In 1928, two Louisiana musicians from two families joined forces to create history. Isleno descendant Joe Falcon and Acadian descendant Cleoma Breaux recorded the very first Cajun commercial recording in New Orleans. Since then their music has been featured across Louisiana for decades. Recently, they have been the feature of a film called American Epic in 2016 and have gained popularity in the Canaries, even featured on an episode of "La Huella Islena" back in 2017.
Wade Falcon presented their ancestry, lives, and musical careers of these Cajun recording artists. He covered their family's origins as well as describe their life and times through the years. March 2019
Our February meeting featured speaker Dr. Charles Holloway who spoke about the Spanish spoken in the Brule areas around Donaldsonville. Dr. Holloway presented a very interesting presentation highlighting the differences between the traditional Spanish spoken in most areas and the dialect of the Brule people. He also contrasted and compared how the French language influenced this unique dialect.
At our January meeting, 2019 officers and board members were sworn in to begin their terms of service. Officers and board members for 2019 are as follows: President - Chad J. LeBlanc, Vice-President - Vacant, Secretary - Alisa Janney, Treasurer - Stephen Estopinal, Board Members: Denise Alleman Lindsly, Gwen Hanna, Janelle Hickey, Karen Lambert, Past-President: Joan Aleman.
Members screened the documentary, Islenos: A Root of America, the award winning film by Eduardo Cubillo. The film does an excellent job of telling the story of how the Islenos came to be in South Louisiana and featuring modern day descendants who carry on their way of life today.
PAST MEETINGS AND EVENTS - 2018
In December, members of the society gathered at the home of Chad LeBlanc for a holiday party. Outgoing society president Joan Aleman was presented with a plaque commemorating her years of service and leadership to the organization.
Our November meeting featured society treasurer, our own Stephen Estopinal who spoke about "The Pig in Louisiana". He presented an interesting program highlight the origins of the animal and its importance in the lives of the early settlers of our area. Members and guests enjoyed the presentation along with delicious pulled pork prepared by Steven and his wife Marie.
We also held annual elections. Everyone on the slate of candidates were elected by acclimation as they were all unopposed.
Officers and board members for 2019 are as follows: President - Chad J. LeBlanc, Vice-President - Vacant (previously Chad J. LeBlanc), Secretary - Alisa Janney, Treasurer - Stephen Estopinal, Board Members: Denise Alleman Lindsly, Gwen Hanna, Janelle Hickey, Karen Lambert
Our society did not hold a meeting of its own, but rather joined with the Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society at their fall seminar, held at the State Archives building on Essen Lane in Baton Rouge. The topic of the seminar was the Islenos of Louisiana. Speakers William Hyland, John Hickey, and Stephen Estopinal delivered presentations on the various aspects of the Islenos history and heritage.
Videos of the various presentations are posted on the society's Facebook page located here.
Click the links below for the video presentations:
William De Marigny "Bill" Hyland - The Canary Islands
William De Marigny "Bill" Hyland - Tierra de Bueyes
Stephen Estopinal - The Military Contribution of the Islenos
John Hickey - Valenzuela, Barataria, Galveztown
Here are links to the videos that Marty Guidry showed during the seminar:
Irvan Perez perfoming a Decima on Rendez-Vous des Cajuns - https://vimeo.com/22404507
Irvan & Alvin Perez on Rendez-Vous des Cajuns - https://vimeo.com/22401667
Irvan and Alvin Perez discuss carving duck decoys - https://vimeo.com/22406541
Traditional Canary Island Dance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b8hZFC_G1E
Gran Canaria - Traditional Dance & Live Music! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORvU8DZhccE
Whistled language of the island of La Gomera (Canary Islands), the Silbo Gomero - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgEmSb0cKBg
Say it in a whistle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBfwHMJtM7M
Member Wade Falcon spoke about The Isleños of Pensacola. In June of 1779, the last of the main Canary Islander ships, El Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, left Tenerife bound for New Orleans. It never made it to it's destination. The American Revolutionary War was waging and Spain would soon enter. Fearing capture by the English, the ship captain of El Sagrado and Isleno families aboard disembarked in Cuba in July of 1779. What they thought would be a short layover turned into a three year stay on the island. Wade presented the journey of this ship, the stay in Cuba, the battle of Pensacola, the routes in which these families took to get to Pensacola along with neighboring cities, and the scant legacy left behind of these families that never made it to the other Isleno settlements.
Click here to download a copy of the presentation
Society Vice-President Chad LeBlanc spoke about his book, "The Islenos of Pierre Part", which traces the lineage of people in the town of Pierre Part back to their Canarian roots. He presented the story of the Islenos, their migration to Louisiana, and their eventual relocation to the Pierre Part area.
Our Society did not have a regular meeting in July, but instead met in support of folks in the Thibodaux area looking to establish a new group of the Sons of the American Revolution.
During the American Revolution, Louisiana militiamen under General Gálvez supported the Americans by driving the British out of the Gulf Coast. Descendants of these militiamen are eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Anyone who can trace their Louisiana Roots to the years 1779-1781 are very likely descendants of these soldiers.
Author Chad LeBlanc discussed his book on the Canary Islanders of Pierre Part, and Greg Lindsly of the SAR discussed the requirements for joining SAR - DAR. Persons interested in finding their ancestral connection to the American Revolution are invited to attend a workshop on Saturday, July 14th beginning at 11:00 am at the Thibodaux Library, 705 W. 5th Street, Thibodaux, Louisiana. At this workshop, members of the SAR will be on hand to help you trace your ancestry to persons eligible for application to the organization. Click here to see Greg's presentation on the SAR.
Louisiana became a colony of France in 1682. France ceded Louisiana to Spain in 1763. As hostilities
between the English colonists and British soldiers grew, the Spanish Crown sought to increase its military
presence in Louisiana. This led to the recruitment of 700 soldiers from the Canary Islands for settlement in
Louisiana between 1778 and 1779. These soldiers fought with Galvez in his campaigns against the British
during the American Revolution, making their descendants eligible for membership in the Sons of the American
Revolution (SAR) and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
At our June meeting, members Gwen Hanna and Greg Lindsly discussed the requirements for
joining SAR, DAR, First Families of Louisiana, and other programs that recognize the contributions of our
Canary Islander ancestors.
Our May meeting featured speaker Cliff “Chachie” LeGrange, known as “Chachie of the Atchafayala,” who is considered the go-to historian of
the Atchafalaya Basin. He has been hunting and fishing in the Central Atchafalaya Basin since 1963 and has
been involved with the Atchafalaya Basin Landowners and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries organization in
improving the quality of hunting and fishing in the basin since the 1970s. In 2011, he published his first
book Bayou Pigeon, Louisiana: Spirit of the Atchafalaya, which aims to share and preserve the rich history of
the Atchafalaya Basin. Mr. LaGrange spoke about the cultures that formed communities in and near
the basin and about his new book, ‘Heritage of the Atchafalaya, A Natural and Cultural History of the Atchafalaya Basin’.
Society Member Dr. Carroll Falcon gave a presentation on his recent trip to Gran Canaria. He presented his photos of historic sites and recalled personal stories about his visit.
We joined our Isleños cousins down in St. Bernard for their annual Fiesta.
Society Vice-President Chad LeBlanc presented his work on the Isleños of Pierre Part at the Assumption Parish Library's Pierre Part branch located in Pierre Part. He spoke about the history of the people who came from the islands and their huge impact on the numerous descendants who live in the town today. The meeting was very well attended by both members and guests alike. Thanks to the Friends of the Library in Pierre Part for hosting the meeting and their hospitality.
His work has been compiled into a book - "The Isleños of Pierre Part" which is available here.
Speaker Greg Lindsly delivered a presentation on the Canary Islanders that migrated to the area of southwest Louisiana. He presented information gathered from the Southwest Louisiana Records of the Catholic Church, by Rev. Donald Hebert. Click here to see a copy of his presentation.
PAST MEETINGS AND EVENTS - 2017
Society members gathered for a holiday social.
Society member and treasurer Stephen Estopinal discussed the volcanic island of La Gomera, its stunning topography and the whistle language of Silbo, unique to that island.
Our society celebrated its 21st anniversary with a meeting at the Gonzales branch of the Ascension Parish Library. Speakers were John Hickey who spoke about the history of the town of Gonzales and Karen Decoteau Lambert who spoke about the Diez and Sevario families.
Click here to see pictures from the meeting.
Long time society member Paul Newfield spoke about Estevan Hernandez, who many of our members have in our lineage. Many of us have questions about him and have hit a brick wall. He shared what he has learned about this Hernandez descendant.
Society member, Rogers Romero shared his knowledge of how the Southeast Louisiana Spanish and the Acadians came together after about three (3) generations. He had displays depicting his Malaquenos and Isleño lines. He gave a very interesting presentation.
We did not have a meeting in July.
Member Terry Thibodeaux presented an interesting topic, The Role of Jews in Spain and the Canary Islands. He described the effect of the Inquisition on the Canarian Jews and how some became "crypto-Jews": Jews who converted to Catholicism but maintained cultural rituals and practices that were historically Jewish.
Click here to download Terry's presentation materials.
Click here to see the video of his presentation
Members shared their genealogy charts, family photos, etc. Several members brought their charts to go over with fellow members and make connections on various branches that they had been researching.
Click here to see photos from the meeting.
Renée Richard, Assistant Archivist of the Diocese of Baton Rouge gave a presentation about the construction of the new Catholic diocese records building and what it means to researchers. She also spoke the three publication projects in the works and volumes of the diocese records available through Amazon. We learned about those things which are available to the public via the Archives website and Facebook page. Renee also shared some of the interesting findings in the records that are not published.
On March 4-5, our society attended and participated in the Islenos Fiesta down in St. Bernard. We had an exhibit showing our society's history, records and materials from over the years. Board member Chad LeBlanc and long time society member John Hickey gave presentations on Galveztown and Valenzuela.
On Monday, March 6th, Pedro Rodriguez Zaragoza . Vice Minister of Gobierno de Canarias External Affairs and other dignitaries of the Canary Islands visited Baton Rouge and met with members of our society at the Bluebonnet library..
Ms. Stella Tanoos presented the results of her extensive research into the history of the Louisiana cattle drives of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries at the February 4th regular meeting of the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana. The little known cattle trails across southwest Louisiana pre-dated the famous western cattle drives by more than a century.
Click here to see pictures from the meeting
We did not have a meeting in January.
PAST MEETINGS AND EVENTS - 2016
Our society gathered for a holiday celebration where we shared food and fellowship. Society member and Canarian Sergio Ramos performed the swearing in of our newly elected board members and officers.
Click here to see pictures from the meeting.
We were honored to have a Louisiana teacher who is a native of the Island of Tenerife as our speaker for our November 5th meeting.
Doña Maria Candelaria “Cande” Rodriguez y Lorenzo gave a talk, entitled “Mis Raíces, Nuestras Raíces” (My Roots, Our Roots) that presented a modern view of the Canary Islands and our common ancestry. Also at the meeting, nominating committee Chairman Janelle Hickey and committee members Rose Marie Powell, John Hickey and Denise Lindsly presented the following proposed slate for the positions of President, Joan Alemán; Secretary, Karen Lambert; Board Positions, Gwen Hanna and Denise Lindsly. These positions are for the years 2017 and 2018. The slate of candidates were all unanimously elected to office. The newly elected Officers/Board Members will be installed at the December 3rd meeting and will take office in January 2017.
Our society gathered at the Capital Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge to celebrate our 20th anniversary and the 238th anniversary of the arrival of the Canary Islanders to Louisiana. There was an exhibit displayed featuring the documents of the 1778-1781 passenger lists, the Revolutionary War Louisiana Militia Rosters, the making of Tenerife lace, and the extensive photo collection of member Dennis Delaney. Treasurer Steve Estopinal gave a presentation on the challenges that faced the colonial settlers. Members enjoyed snacks and a special cake to commemorate the occasion.
Click here to see photos from the event.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution along with the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana participated in a ceremony commemorating the September 21, 1779 Spanish victory over the British at the Battle of Baton Rouge in support of the American Revolution. The presentation of memorial wreaths took place at the original site of the fort located between the State Capitol Welcome Center and the Pentagon Barracks Museum.
Click here to see a photo from the event.
September 2016 -
Our speaker was Christopher Achee, a descendant of Don Carlos de Grand-Pre, the last Spanish commander of the fort at Baton Rouge. He presented a program about Colonial Louisiana and Spain's critical aid to the American Revolution. Mr. Achee is the branch manager of the Ascension Parish library in Gonzales. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons and Daughters of the Province and Republic of West Florida.
August 2016 -
Greg and Denise Alleman Lindsly presented a Power Point Presentation with information on several Aleman families that left the Canary Islands
and arrived in Louisiana in the 1779 time frame and settled the area of Bayou Lafourche, LA there raising large
families. Their program introduced the Aleman’s from the Canaries who left decendants in Louisiana, and was concentrated on Juan de Aleman and his wife Juana Ramirez and their five children
that accompanied them and two more that were born after they arrived. Much of their expansive family tree
was provided and some of the history and accomplishments of the family was highlighted. The Aleman
association with the Cosa Natural plantation was also discussed.
Here is a link to the presentation.
July 2016 -
We did not have a meeting in July.
June 2016 -
Society member Stephen Estopinal presented information on a real life incident that occurred in
St. Bernard Parish in 1926 between Leander Perez, then DA of neighboring Plaquemines Parish, and the local Isleño residents (original Spanish settlers to Louisiana) over fur trapping lands. Stephen’s ancestors were involved in the trappers’ war and he recalled stories he was told by his grandfather about the event.
May 2016 - Members gathered to celebrate Dia de la Cruz, the day of the cross, a holiday celebrated throughout the Canaries. Members decorated crosses with flowers and shared a meal.
April 2016 - Board Member Chad LeBlanc spoke about the newly update website and members only applications that have been implemented.
March 2016 - Annual Isleños Fiesta
Click here to see photos from the Fiesta.
February 2016 - The Brulees
Speaker Carroll Falcon spoke about his research findings on these places our ancestors lived.
January 2016 - No meeting