Michael WYNNE, a noted central Louisiana historian, will be our speaker for the Society's October 13, 2018 meeting at 10:00 am at the Opelousas Public Library on Grolee St. With roots in OPELOUSAS & St Landry Parish areas, he will be sharing over 40 years of family research. The following material was sent to the Society by Michael regarding him & his presentation: Michael Wynne, a native of Lafayette, has roots in St. Landry parish going back 8 generations. His grandfather, Henry Lee Whipp, and uncle, Bonneal Whipp, ran the "Veteran's Electric Shoe Shop on the Opelousas courthouse square from the 1920's till Bonneal's death in 2003.
Michael's mother, Lessie Lee Whipp, a 1940 graduate of Opelousas High School, was a Registered Nurse and homemaker with her Pediatrician husband in Lafayette. Michael fell in love with family history research in 1972 and has been researching for 46 years. His early research was in visiting and interviewing with a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder his "old" relatives in the St. Landry parish area, some born as early as 1888. Michael, Vice President of the Alexandria Genealogical Society where he resides, is now a renown historian. He publishes monthly articles in a Central La. journal on local preservationists, museums and authors. Michael had a long-running genealogical column in the Opelousas Daily World from 1980-1985. He has served on 8 museum boards including the Opelousas Historical Museum. He teaches classes on both beginning and advanced genealogy, preservation, and is a frequent speaker around the state on our La. Political history. He has served on 7 Governatorial Commissions, including as Vice Chairman of the La, Statehood Bicentennial Commission. In his youth, Michael spent an extraordinary amount of time in Opelousas and surrounding areas meeting people and learning of its' fascinating history.
THE BOOKS: Michael has published 3 books so far. His first book, "As I Was Told When I Was Young" concentrates on his mother's family side. The 580 page book is not just about names, dates and places, but about the stories he collected, interviews conducted and many historic letters he found and transcribed. It is considered by many as revolutionary in scope and content. The next 2 books concentrate on his father's side. He is currently working on a book on the love letters of his parents in 1943 from Opelousas. His talk will be on his life of family history. Some (not all) of the family surnames covered in his mother's book includes: Bihm, Boudreau, Gosselin, Bordelon, McClelland, Baker, Whipp, Stanford, Latiolais, Schwartzenburg, Lavergne, Leger, Burleigh, Daigle, Fontenot, Prejean, Lejeune, Wyble, Potier, Harmon plus many more.