While sitting on the front steps of a very modest home in the small Cajun community of Church Point in Louisiana, Nolan Lavergne talked to his son about the happiness and hardships of growing up on a tenant farm in rural St. Landry Parish. His son was a rookie high school American History teacher who asked a seemingly simple question: "Who was your grandfather?" The father did not know.
"Well, Daddy, I'm going to find out for you," said the son.
Thus began a fourteen-year-long project culminating in Lives of Quiet Desperation, a look at the ancestry of Gary M. Lavergne, a Louisianian of French descent. In addition to a substantial genealogy with over 1,200 names, Lavergne includes a series of concise essays placing generations in historical context. Special treatment is given to the forces that helped to determine the migrations of various groups of French-speaking people, and the pioneers who helped to build new worlds in Canada and French Louisiana. Particular emphasis is placed upon defining and describing the differences between Cajuns, Creoles, and other Louisiana French cultures.
The vast majority of the ancestors were simple, poor, tenant farmers with large cohesive families. the uncommon were pioneers of note. they all faced considerable odds and led lives of quiet desperation.
NOLAN LAVERGNE AND HELEN "BOBBIE" RICHARD
Helen Barbara "Miss Bobbie" Richard was born on June 6, 1931 and was the daughter of Joseph Darbis Richard and Lilia Comeaux. She is pictured here at the time of her marriage on June 24, 1951 to Nolan Dale Lavergne, the son of Jean Clairville Lavergne and Aline Olivier. She died on February 23, 1990.
Nolan Dale Lavergne was the son of Jean Clairville Lavergne and Aline Olivier. He was born on May 3, 1928. His picture above is circa 1938. to the right is the handwritten receipt from a doctor for his delivery by a Dr. A.V. Pavy.
Helen Barbara Richard and Nolan Dale Lavergne, circa 1951.