What's New

Date of Last GEDCOM Import: 17 Apr 2021 13:55:29

It's been a busy time on this vitter.org website during the pandemic! We got lots done. Our big launch of the genealogy site on vitter.org was 1 September 2020, and since then we've added many new features and functionalities.

The main addition has been a number of "histories," the name we use for the short stories of various relatives and events. We now have more than two dozen histories. You can find them on the Relativity Research page.

The histories are ongoing — constantly being updated as we find new discoveries. For example,

  • We have extended our information considerably about the Artigues family (Jeff Vitter's relatives on his dad's side) by going through the online archives through the early 1600s in Salies-du-Salat and other towns in the Haute-Garonne and Hautes-Pyrénées departments of SW France.
  • We have also learned a lot more about relatives on Jeff's mom's side, especially around Uzan in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of SW France. The history "Après le « Aha! moment » (et avant aussi ! )" details the new findings and includes several photos of various Vitter trips during the generations to SW France. We visited the farm Larneilh of Jeff's mom's maternal grandfather Jean Ferran dit Larneilh and saw the monument in Uzan that our family helped fund in 1921 to commemorate those from Uzan who died fighting in WW I, which include one of Jeff's 1st cousins 2x removed.
  • Don't miss the videos of the family of Judge Wendy (née Baldwin) Vitter on the 1980s game show Family Feud — including many kisses from host Richard Dawson.
  • On Sharon Vitter's paternal side, we are getting exciting new info about her ancestors from DNA information. In particular, there's lots of new Y-DNA analysis that has corrected some former misconceptions about ancestry. Sharon's Kauffman ancestry as recorded in the history "Mennonite Beginnings" seems to be correct. However, another branch headed by Michael Kauffman (1675–1718), which was first thought to be connected to Sharon's line of Kauffmans, is actually a totally separate line not related via male-male links, although possibly the two Kauffman lines could be related through intermarriage during earlier generations in Switzerland or the Rhineland-Palatinate. We will continue to upate the histories about her Weaver ancestors and Kauffman ancestors, who immigrated to the USA from Switzerland and the Rhineland-Palatinate, as we get more information. On the Weaver side, we first need to get a male Weaver descendant, like one of Sharon's brothers (hint, hint!), to take a Y-DNA test.

Other recent additions:

  • We added several new people into the family tree, including lots of info from the Baldwin family, including (Albert) Baldwin Wood, the renowned inventor of the centrifuge and screw pumps used in New Orleans by the Sewerage & Water Board and elsewhere around the world. We wonder if Jeff's great aunt Rose "Tawo" Ferran knew him, given how much time she spent battling the S&WB! ;-) (That's a long story for another time.)
  • In mid-February, we launched our new Cemeteries page, where you can find all the cemeteries and burial places listed in our family tree. Using it on a smartphone is a smart way to visit cemeteries and see the tombs and gravestones of relatives. There's also a complementary Headstones page with all our photos of tombs and headstones.
  • We added language capabilities for six other languages besides English: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, and Spanish. They allow you to see most of the text on the main page in translated form, and all the family tree forms and instructions are language-friendly. You can choose your preferred language in the menu at the top of the page.
  • Jeff's mom's fabulous cookbook, Thursday Night Cookin': Mimi's Recipes for a Happy Home, is now available online. It's our favorite!

Sharon has been published, along with her photo, in the April 2021 issue of Mennonite Family History. It's a letter about the Weaver family, which immigrated to Pennsylvania from Switzerland in 1767.

Stay tuned for some upcoming new histories. Here are two being planned:

  • The Mystic Krewe of Atlantis I and II, which rolled from 4100 Vincennes Place around the neighborhood in uptown New Orleans — complete with floats, krewe doubloons, a band, and a broadcast parade progress.
  • A story about Nazi abuse survivor Ingeborg Mayer and her family, many of whom settled in Cleveland in the Mississippi Delta, which developed a thriving Jewish community. Jeff's dad is related to the Tinney family, who married into the Friedman/Reichenberg/Mayer family of Würzburg, Germany. We will include the gripping oral history interview (on video) that Inge Mayer gave about her harrowing experiences during the Third Reich.

And please sign our guest book. We always look forward to hear from you!