Leave no Stone Unturned

This is why genealogy is so addictive.

You get a message like this one…


My name is Mary Helen Lagasse, wife of the recently deceased Wilbur L. Lagasse, son of Benard Lagasse, and grandson of Henri Lagasse buried in the cemetery across from Commander’s on Washington Avenue. I had visted that site with my mother-in-law, Gertrude Dreyer Lagasse a number of times.

My husband and I visited Mannheim to look up ancestors of my mother-in-law, but had no luck. We were to visit Alsace Lorraine where a doctor friend told us there are a number of tomstones bearing the name “Lagasse.” But we never got the chance. My husband died 3 years ago. I am a published, prize-winning novelist, presently writing a historical novel. The focal point of this novel is the 1830s construction of the New Basin Canal in New Orleans. Countless numbers of Irish died there, as well as German, both of whom comprised the large number of “ditchers” that constructed the canal. I understand that my father-in-law, Benny, now deceased, son of Henri & Matilde, was 3/4th French and 1/4th German, but now that the principals are gone it is difficult, if not impossible for me to verify anything! I wish to learn about the Lagasse ancestors. If you, any of you, would be kind enough, perhaps you might point me in the right direction, or even elect to contact me personally.

I would be most grateful.

Many thanks.

Mary Helen Lagasse

And then you get a dopamine rush… and rush to your time machine!