Genealogy and Family History

Genealogy and the sources we use can teach us about far more than the bare facts of our ancestors’ lives. We can use these sources to add context, and understand what was going on around them as they lived their daily lives. For example, newspapers, the first drafts of history, show that some elements of the past are familiar to us today. The Advocate Historical Archive, available through the digital library on the EBR Parish Library web site, is a fully searchable archive of every iteration of the Advocate going back to the 1840s.

We have all been reading the news: An illness sweeping across our country; forced closure of public buildings; pleas to keep inside; a grim and growing total reported daily in the newspaper. 

This headline appeared in the Baton Rouge State Times on June 24, 1952: 

Just a month later, on July 23, this sentence appeared: 

This article also came with this advice from Dr. J. D. Martin, the parish health officer:

Polio in 1952, like COVID-19 today, was a frightening, often deadly illness. It attacked the muscular system, so many of those who escaped with their lives were left with mobility problems. Most of these victims were children. Unlike the Spanish flu, Polio outbreaks occurred within living memory. However, with a massive societal effort, and the discovery of an effective vaccine, polio has been eliminated from the United States. The last known case here was reported in 1979, according to the CDC. 

As you undertake your genealogy journey, you should contact older relatives for information about their lives. A good way to start a conversation is to ask about the events that they lived through, especially those that are similar to our lives right now. You might ask how it affected their lives, or if they knew of anybody who got the disease. These sorts of questions can lead to broader discussions of family relationships.

guest post by David Laatsch, EBRPL genealogist

Beneath the Weight: Free Workshops to End Stress Eating

Don’t miss the second session of Beneath the Weight, tomorrow at the Main Library on Goodwood! Participants can get in touch with what is happening in their minds when overeating, become mindful eaters, and design and implement their own long-lasting healthy eating lifestyles. The second and third sessions will be held January 13th and January 20th, both from 9:30 AM – 12 PM. Registration is available online.

Teen Health and Wellness

Teens, cheTeen Health and Wellness-2ck out Teen Health and Wellness, a great database for all your health questions. It’s been revamped and now you can browse by subject (such as Family Life; Friendship and Dating; and Mind, Mood, and Emotions) and get informed on all the topics in which you might be interested! There are also links to hotlines and local and national resources if you’re struggling with something. It’s all free of course – check it out from our Teen Databases page in our Digital Library. Call 231-3770 for more information.

Teen Health and Wellness

Fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone Presentation

Join us this Sunday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. for a special presentation by LSU researcher Christopher Mores on his time in the west African nation Sierra Leone.

ebola-2Mores, SM, ScD, is a virologist, trained in infectious disease epidemiology, and an associate professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. He will speak about his work in Africa regarding the Ebola outbreak and U.S. policies related to Ebola. He landed in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on November 29, 2014, to help with the development of an Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) and served as the lead epidemiologist and infection control specialist at the ETC in Port Loko with colleagues from the GOAL Aid Agency, which includes 120 clinical and support staff members. Dr. Mores also worked with international aid agencies such as the WHO, UN, and USAID, as well as the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health to initiate a surveillance scheme for the purpose of preventing future outbreaks. He returned to the U.S. on February 4 of this year.



Building a Suicide Safer Community


Adults and teens are invited to hear Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center (BRCIC) Executive Director Norma Rutledge discuss how to build a suicide safer community, an effort designed to bring awareness a circle of support in our community. Participants will gauge their knowledge of suicide before and after the presentation and will have an opportunity to ask questions. This program is in conjunction with our spring One Book, One Community selection A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, who committed suicide in 1969.

BRCIC “strives to reduce emotional distress, raise hope, save lives, and save the community money through the utilization of crisis intervention services and traumatic loss services. BRCIC began in 1970 as THE PHONE – a 24-hour confidential telephone crisis counseling service on the campus of Louisiana State University. Over the years, this project developed into a nationally certified Crisis Intervention Center that is locally supported and a member agency of the Capital Area United Way.” The Center’s role in crisis intervention and counseling has expanded to comprise all facets of traumatic loss, and focuses on one of the most traumatic, suicide. The BRCIC mission is to offer prevention, intervention and postvention services that provide support in times of crisis and reduce the impact of suicide in the community.

BRCIC’s goal is to reduce emotional distress that can lead to destructive behaviors, especially suicide, for those experiencing a crisis, and to advance the field of crisis prevention through early intervention and postvention.

Dates, times, and locations for the Building a Suicide Safer Community programs are:

Tuesday, April 14, at  6 p.m. at the Central Branch Library

Wednesday, April 15, at 4 p.m. at the Pride-Chaneyville Branch Library

Wednesday, April 22, at 2 p.m. at the Fairwood Branch Library


Jones Creek Pacers Walking Club

Join us at the Jones Creek Regional Branch Library this Monday, April 7, for the first meeting of our new walking club called the Jones Creek Pacers. Come at 6 p.m. for an informational meeting and then it’s Ready, Set, Walk time at 6:30. Wear casual clothes and comfortable walking shoes. We’ll discuss appropriate goals, tracking, warming up, etc., and we’d like your input on walking times, distances, and frequency.

For more information or to register, visit the Jones Creek Reference desk or call (225) 756-1150. Your Pace or Mine?