Love is Funny, Slick, and Shrewd

  Love is funny, slick, and shrewd. I found this phrase in a document written by my great-grandfather. My great-grandfather, Robert Martin, was a pastor. He founded a Methodist church in the late 1800s in south Louisiana. Preachers aren’t known for writing about romantic love. Robert wrote up an account of his uncle’s life. The […]

Read More

Red, White, and Black

I have been digging around in the scrubby underbrush of my family tree. I am hoping to squeeze a book about my family out of a few stories I have heard as well as a few details that I can glean from my research. Now, there’s all kinds of things I already know about my […]

Read More

A Good Worker Who Deserves Some Negroes

1728 Johann Adam Matern, of Rosenheim, Upper Alsace. 26 years old. Weaver. A good worker who deserves some negroes. Three pigs. Thus reads the roll in or around 1728, describing my forebear, the first Matern/Matherne who came to the New World with several hundred Germans as pioneers. I don’t know why he was considered worthy […]

Read More

A Weaver’s Tale

This post is the second in an occasional series about my father’s family.  Two hundred and ninety-six years ago, Johann Matern, my ancestor, came to Louisiana from Germany. A great number of Germans had come by ship under the direction of John Law, a Scottish speculator and banker. Many died aboard the ship. The survivors […]

Read More

A Floyd Is Born

This is the first installment of an occasional series about my father and his forebears. On December 24, 1932, a boy was born. His mother was 40, and his father 45. He would be the youngest of eight children. It may have been a starry night, and perhaps some of the family had attended church […]

Read More