June 5, 2011
My husband often complains that I never write anything about his family history. Saying that our children need to know about both sides of their family. The sarcastic part of me says, “Well Mr. Mailhes, looks like you have some writing and researching to do!” But the family history addict says, “Oooh, something new and shiny!”
From my mother-in-law, I have recorded the following information:
Firman Mailhes was born somewhere in France. The story is that he came to America with a young bride who died. He returned to France and married her sister. Those two came to New Orleans and started the Mailhes family. Grandma (Aline Mailhes) didn’t speak English. As a child, I spoke French as I learned it from Grandpa. When I went to LSU and took French, I was asked all the time what I was saying. It turns out that whatever French Grandpa spoke, it wasn’t the French they were teaching at LSU! I dropped out of French.
They had two twin sons – one was either born blind or became blind. I don’t remember which one. He lived in a small apartment behind our house. We grew up on Poland in the 9th Ward. (I love the way, she says 9th – “nighnt”)
I often wonder if we were French at all. Of all the people that I grew up with, I never met another person named Mailhes. Maybe it’s one of those things where the name is misspelled.
I was able to share a ship’s manifest with my husband’s family showing that in 1908, Firmin Mailhes, born in France, entered New York on his way to New Orleans. It doesn’t look like he is traveling with the sister of a dead wife, but that is a question of research.