A Real Cajun

I know I’ve mentioned before, but it bears repeating. Not everyone who lives in south Louisiana is a Cajun. The definition of Cajun is a descendent of Acadian exiles. That’s not every family here. A lot of family lines came directly from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, and the Caribbean, not Acadia.

My mom’s a genealogist. She loves to dig up information on families. She concentrated on her family for a long time which is how we know one of our ancestors came from England on the Mayflower and “spread the good word” by impregnating as many Native American women as he could. No lie. Her father’s family came from Germany and she was able to trace them all the way back to 1109. Amazing, huh? She tracked my dad’s paternal line back to France in the mid 1600s in a town near Paris. They came to Louisiana in the 1700s.

I never considered myself Cajun because our families came from Germany and France. But she recently checked out my paternal grandmother’s family and discovered that they came from Acadia. What? Seriously? I mean, sure my half-brother is definitely Cajun as his dad’s family was easy to find. They came from Acadia and pretty much stayed in one place. My grandmother’s family, not so much, but it’s official. Danica is a real, live Cajun. Well, like a sliver of me is Cajun, but it’s there!

Do you have a genealogist in your family? Have you found out some interesting things about your family?



Filed under Family

3 responses to “A Real Cajun

  1. Hello Danica, I see Cajun as a culture rather than ancestry. The Acadians, Africans, Germans, Native Americans, Spanish, Irish, French, etc etc combined cultural ways and made the culture of the area. Gumbo is an African word for okra, chaoui is Choctaw word for raccoon, filet is Choctaw, jambalaya is Spanish, accordians in Cajun music was brought by Germans, etc etc etc. But the beaucoup Acadians put the umbrella over all. That’s why many of the older people speak French, etc. Many people with no Acadian ancestry would still be called Cajun because… it would be obvious. Hope that makes sense.

    That’s why I call my area Creole because the umbrella up here in north “Acadiana” was the French Creoles, not Acadians. For example, I have Acadian ancestry but the majority is French. I’m not an expert but I like reading and thinking about all that. I like this post. I ..um.. avoid your Friday posts. But I showed your blog to some female friends and they’re like.. TGIF! LOL

    • LOL it’s okay, you don’t have to like Fridays here 😉

      My maternal side of the family is actually more German than French, while my paternal family is mostly French. IE, we’re mutts LOL

  2. Pingback: Cajun Country « I Love History…and Research

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