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A Little Cottage: 1938

1938. "Thebideau (Thibodaux?) cabin, Franklin vic., St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Related name: Mrs. Streva." Photo: Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

1938. "Thebideau (Thibodaux?) cabin, Franklin vic., St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Related name: Mrs. Streva." Photo: Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


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One of the greatest Cajun names ever [of course, I'm a little biased]. I'm a descendant of Pierre Thibodeaux, first settler of that name in Louisiana in the late 1750s.

Plein Air!

Porlock, yup: that is a typical Deep South feature of southern homes built way back BAC (before a/c), to allow fuller ventilation of the rooms. Also typical was a FULL hallway right through the house (a dogtrot), as shown in the below floor plan. The below plan also has the more typical southern arrangement of chimneys on the outer walls, so that the heat from them radiates or escapes out of the house, while the Shorpy example has the chimney in the center. In the north typically, the chimney would either be in the center, or it would cover an entire end wall. In both cases, the chimney would be waaay more massive than structurally necessary to retain heat. The fire would be kept going all winter if possible, with bricks radiating heat all night as the fire died down to embers, to be rejuvenated ASAP in the morning.


is the usual spelling here in Nova Scotia, from whence the Acadians were expelled by the British in 1755. Many ended up in Louisiana. From our National Post newspaper telling about a Thibodeau reunion here in 2013:

"Don Thibodeaux, a former accountant from Baton Rouge, La., (Cajuns — Acadians who migrated to Louisiana after the deportation — add an “x” to the surname), traced his line to a spot near Moncton, N.B., only to discover it’s now a bowling alley parking lot."

Note that after much wandering, many Acadians were allowed to return to Nova Scotia by the British, who gave some of them land 100 miles away from the fertile valley they had lived before the deportation. My sister-in-law hails from Clare. There is a lively tourism between Cajun country and the Maritime provinces of Canada due to a shared past.

Interesting Design

That porch seems to double as an open-air hallway, giving access to all the rooms. Was that a standard design in those parts, back in the day?

Alternate spellings

This surname could also be spelt Thibedeaux or in several other ways. The first "e" is sometimes rendered as an "i," "a," or "o."

As an amateur genealogist, I am often confounded by such alternate spellings, which reflect variations in dialect across Medieval and Renaissance France as well as later modifications made in the New World.

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