Histories


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1
'Take 'Er Down!': The Story of Commander Gilmore
"Take 'Er Down!": The Story of Commander Gilmore
Commander Gilmore was a bona fide hero of World War II. His fateful words as he made the ultimate sacrifice are uttered still today by every submarine commander in the U. S. Navy.
 
2
A. L. & Audrey Vitter: Role Models Extraordinaires
A. L. & Audrey Vitter: Role Models Extraordinaires
Jeff Vitter's parents A. L. Jr. & Audrey (née St. Raymond) Vitter (grandparent names Père and Mimi) led accomplished lives of extraordinary service and caring for others — a legacy for generations to follow (including many Domers and a killer cookbook!).
 
3
Aaron Burr: Not Throwin' Away My Shot
Aaron Burr: Not Throwin' Away My Shot
Which character in the play Hamilton are you related to? Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter has a connection in her family to Aaron Burr — the conflicted antihero who shot Alexander Hamilton.
 
4
Academic Genealogy
Academic Genealogy
Jeff Vitter has another kind of family tree: the academic generations created by a teacher who teaches a student how to learn, who in turn becomes a teacher and passes on that knowledge to another student, etc. The cycle continues, as it has since the days of Socrates, his student Plato, and Plato's student Aristotle.
 
5
Albert Artigues Jr. & All That Jazz
Albert Artigues Jr. & All That Jazz
For the middle part of the 20th century, Albert Artigues Jr. and his cornet were mainstays in the New Orleans jazz scene at night, while he worked at the family business during the days.
 
6
Alcée Fortier and the Creole Culture of New Orleans
Alcée Fortier and the Creole Culture of New Orleans
One of New Orleans's outstanding educators (and well-known names) was a Baldwin family relative and a leading advocate for the many languages and cultures that formed the city's renowned melting pot.
 
7
Après le <em>Aha!</em> moment (et avant aussi!)
Après le Aha! moment (et avant aussi!)
As highlighted in the history "The Aha! Moment That Led to This Website," Jeff Vitter made a big breakthrough in December 2000 when he discovered when, where, and how his Vitter ancestors came from Europe to the USA. Much correspondence behind the scenes led up to and beyond that discovery. This history gives an inside look at the correspondences that genealogists engage in and how what we understand grows (we hope!) with time.
 
8
Artigues Family Notes and Open Questions
Artigues Family Notes and Open Questions
A. L. Vitter Jr. had Artigues connections on both sides of his family: his mother (Marie) Berthe (née Artigues) Vitter was the daughter of immigrant Ferréol Jean Marie Artigues, and his 1st cousin 2x removed Marie Louise Cathalongne (daughter of 1843 Clerval immigrant Marie Louise Vitter) married immigrant Jean Ferréol "John" Artigues. Ferréol and John were 1st cousins. This history includes records about the Artigues, including several who we think are related to us but we haven't yet shown.
 
9
George Nicolay: The German-Born Secretary Who Made Abraham Lincoln Great
George Nicolay: The German-Born Secretary Who Made Abraham Lincoln Great
Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter's 4th great uncle George Nicolay played what is essentially today's crucial role of chief of staff to the President of the United States — and that president was Abraham Lincoln. Nicolay later became U. S. consul to France, Marshal of the U. S. Supreme Court, and Lincoln biographer.
 
10
How the Vitters Got to Clerval
How the Vitters Got to Clerval
19 years after Jeff Vitter's Aha! moment, Jean-Pierre Vitter resolves the mystery of where in Europe the Vitter family came from originally and how they got to France in the late 1700s.
 
11
Martin Samuel Weaver: Kansas Homesteader
Martin Samuel Weaver: Kansas Homesteader
Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter's paternal great grandfather Martin Weaver, from a family of 18 children, forged the way from Holmes County, Ohio to Miami County, Kansas and established today's Weaver Homestead in suburban Kansas City.
 
12
Mennonite Beginnings
Mennonite Beginnings
The history traces Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter's 10th great grandparents of 16th century Switzerland and their Anabaptist/Mennonite/Amish descendants who emigrated to America in the 1700s, as did many others, to escape religious persecution.
 
13
Our Loyal Guardians Rex & Queenie
Our Loyal Guardians Rex & Queenie
Rex and Queenie — half-ton cast-iron Newfoundland dogs — have stood guard over Vitter-Artigues homes in New Orleans for about 110 years and have a fascinating (and still mysterious) genealogy of their own.
 
14
Photos from Mimi's Homecoming Weekend, June 2006
Photos from Mimi's Homecoming Weekend, June 2006
We couldn't bury Audrey "Mimi" (née St. Raymond) Vitter in New Orleans at the time of her death because of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. When her body was brought back home for reburial eight months later, it was a time for several family events and to celebrate her life.
 
15
Relativity Research
Relativity Research
The underlying theme of our website is research on relativity — our relatives pulsate outward in our time-space continuum in a series of gravitational waves spanning many generations and relationships! This page gives an overview of several family histories, beginning with Jeff Vitter's Aha! moment, which ultimately led to creation of this website.
 
16
Remembering Those Back in Uzan
Remembering Those Back in Uzan
In the 1800s, the Ferran, St. Raymond, and Cougot families lived around a small village in southwestern France called Uzan (pronounced "u-ZHANG" in the local patois). After emigrating to the U. S. A., they sponsored a monument to those from Uzan who gave their lives during World War I. It stands there still today in front of the city hall.
 
17
The <em>Aha!</em> Moment That Led to This Website
The Aha! Moment That Led to This Website
When Jeff Vitter was growing up in New Orleans, his parents A. L. Vitter Jr. and Audrey (née St. Raymond) Vitter would always tell the family about their trips to France as young children to meet relatives, but they didn't know many particulars beyond their grandparents, especially on my dad's paternal side. Jeff's Aha! moment came when he combined technologies — new and old — to discover how, when, and where the Vitters came to the USA from Europe.
 
18
The Hochstetler Attack: Life on the Frontier
The Hochstetler Attack: Life on the Frontier
One of the most well-known anecdotes in Amish and Mennonite history is the story of pacifist Jacob Hochstetler and the tragedy his family underwent at the Northkill Settlement in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
 
19
The Ups and Downs of Mini-Me
The Ups and Downs of Mini-Me
Pick someone with one of a dozen popular Amish surnames, and Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter is probably related to that person, sometimes in many ways. Such is the case with actor and stuntman Verne Troyer, a.k.a. "Mini-Me," whose life was too short.
 
20
The Weaver Way: Zurich → Pennsylvania → Ohio
The Weaver Way: Zurich → Pennsylvania → Ohio
This history traces the path of Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter's 4th great grandfather, Swiss immigrant Jacob Weaver Sr., who ventured from Zurich to Pennsylvania and whose sons later continued onward to Ohio. Open questions remain about his ancestors in the old country.
 
21
Three Vitters of the French Resistance
Three Vitters of the French Resistance
World War II saw France divided and conquered by Hitler's Third Reich, and Louis, Roger, and Pierre Vitter went underground to fight as part of the Resistance.
 
22
Uriah Hayden: Colonial Shipbuilder
Uriah Hayden: Colonial Shipbuilder
Building a strong and vital navy helped win independence and launch the U. S. A., and Connecticut shipbuilder Uriah Hayden played a key role, right in his own backyard.
 
23
Vitter Holiday Cards Through the Years
Vitter Holiday Cards Through the Years
'Tis the Season to be jolly! Welcome to a tradition spanning several generations of annual Christmas greeting cards, augmented from time to time with cards for other occasions.
 
24
What Might Have Altered the Start of World War II
What Might Have Altered the Start of World War II
French foreign minister (Jean) Louis Barthou, the "grand old man of European diplomacy," played an important role in Europe in garnering opposition to the rising Adolph Hitler … until he got shot.