A Short History of the Berger Family
The seedling that started our family tree is Henry Berger.
Many stories have been exchanged and renditions vary on why Henry Berger came from France and eventually settled in Louisiana.
He is thought to have come from France to New York on a merchant ship. Reportedly, because Henry had no money, he rode a flatcar on a train from New York to South Louisiana and was found by Eugenie "Gam" Berger's brother, Germain, nearly frozen to death. At the time, it was winter and very cold. Presumably, his reason for selecting Louisiana was learning that other Frenchman had settled there.
It has been speculated that many Frenchmen left France because young men, at age 18, were expected to serve their country for one year. Rather than forfeit a year of their life, many young men chose to pursue a different life.
We can only speculate as to what may have driven Henry to leave his native country.
Another account has him on a cattle boat from France docking in New Orleans. There he meets his future father-in-law who supposedly was there buying cattle and the two rode wagons back to the LeBlanc Community.
Still another version tells of Henry being in the Navy and perhaps jumping ship in New Orleans. (It is unclear why a French naval vessel would have been in New Orleans in the mid-to-late 1800s.)
There could be other different interpretations circulating.
Thumb through the Family Album
Visitors, peek into the lives of a unique family. View all of the smiling faces and reminisce on those great memories.
If you have Berger Family pictures, send them in so that we can gather all of the loose leaves and branches of our family tree.
A Look at Past Family Reunions
Henry and Eugenie Berger's great-granddaughter, Georgia LeBlanc Fremin, has been "Queen of the Reunions" for the past 30 years! During the reunion of July of 1995, she announced that she would be retiring from this role. We have found it in our hearts to forgive her for this injustice and honor her for her incredible dedication to the gathering of the Berger family.
and Plans for the Future
The first reunion was held in 1969 at the LeBlanc Community Church Hall to celebrate the return of Henry and Eugenie's great-granddaughter, Mary Nell, and her family from an extended stay in Hawaii. Mary Nell's children performed Hawaiian songs and danced the Hula. The newspaper article describes all who attended.
That must have been one big party-there was not another reunion planned until July 3, 1983. This was held in the American Legion Hall in Erath, Louisiana. There was lots of visiting and a "potluck" supper with many Cajun dishes.
After a five year interval, a reunion was held at the Frances Memorial Building in Coteau, Louisiana. Kerney Boutte was the DJ and everyone was up and dancing. There were also some accordion players. Our cousin, Mrs. Eula LeBlanc, played the triangle iron. J. T. Thibodeaux, a non-family member and Southwest Louisiana businessman, donated to help fund our reunions.
This reunion was so successful; it was decided to start a three-year tradition of future reunions. On July 11, 1992, a reunion was again held at the Frances Memorial Building in Coteau, Louisiana. Randy Lewis was the DJ. There were door prizes, an auction, and wonderful food for the "potluck" supper.
On July 8, 1995, the reunion was held at the Lazy L. Ranch also known as "The Barn." Mrs. George LeBlanc Fremin's husband, Nolan; her sons, Kenneth and Kyle; and her brother, June, provided barbecue chicken and brisket. The rest of the family brought salad or a dessert. There was jewelry door prizes provided by Henry and Eugenie's great great granddaughter-in-law, Joani Scaff. Another great great granddaughter, Annette Gray, brought trophies to give out for categories such as, "biggest purse," "newest addition to the Berger family," and "farthest traveled to the reunion." The competition was fierce!
This was Georgia's last reunion, and now that a new generation has taken over the organization, we can fully appreciate her work in the past. We love you Cuz! Family reunions have always been an important part of the Berger Family and their many descendants. We hope that many generations to come will share in this important tradition.
Also be thinking of which family member could be the following trees in the family grove: the nut tree, the fruity tree, the shady tress, the
tree with the most bark, or the evergreen.
Keep in Contact with the Family
Drop us a line or tell us a story. We will pass on your message to the rest of the family.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please email us.
View the Questbook
If you would like to view the questbook, click here: