"Thy Remembrance Shall Endure Unto All Generations"
- Psalms 102
The Kerlegon - Breaux - Norman family originated from Louisiana. Family members include business proprietors, inventors, a skilled seamtress, gifted gardeners, mechanics and builders who built landmarks that are part of Houston's Fifth Ward community today. They provided services to the Settegast, Fifth Ward and Frenchtown communities as well as wealthy oil families and hotel owners in the mid to late 1900's. Members of this family were original founders of Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church, the second black church in Houston and the only one to be built by a Creole community.
This family has reunited twice: At Bernadette Kerlegon's residence on September 2 over fifteen years ago to celebrate the birthday of her brother, Whitney J. (Kerlegon) Calegon, and recently on September 2, 2000 to dedicate a graveside family mounment at Ames Catholic Cemetery donated by eight of Joseph and Eva (Breaux) Kerlegon's grandchildren.
We hope you enjoy visiting this web site and that you will be inspired by this family's spirit of giving and commitment to serving others as you read the following non-fiction short story, Fulfilling A Dream, by Denise Labrie.
Please sign the guest book to share your thoughts about this non-fiction short story.
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Copyright 2000-2010, Denise Labrie. All Rights Reserved.
By Denise Labrie as told to her by Inez (Kerlegon) Calegon and Noella Kerlegon
In 1893, Joseph Norman, the first child of Eva Breaux was born in Louisiana. Joseph's father died prior to his birth. Eva later married Joseph Kerlegon. After the birth of their last child, Joseph Whitney in 1914, the family relocated to Texas. They lived briefly in Galveston and Ames. By 1922, they were residing at 1109 Hays Street in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas.
Throughout the family's history, Bernadette "Aunt Guess" Kerlegon, was the driving force bringing the family together. Since the deaths of her mother, Eva (Breaux) Kerlegon, in 1929, her brother Rodney Kerlegon in 1936 and her father, Joseph Kerlegon in 1949, she lovingly cared for the family's gravesites at the Ames Catholic Cemetery. Noella Kerlegon recalls, "On every holiday Aunt Guess would make a family outing of visiting the graves. I remember Aunt Guess prepared fried chicken, potato salad, home baked cakes, cookies, bread, a washtub full of ice and sodas and a visit to the graves would quickly become a family picnic." She continued, " We would clean so many graves, we thought we were cleaning the entire graveyard. We were so young at the time it wasn't until we got older that we realized that so many of our relatives are buried at the Ames Catholic Cemetery and we were cleaning all of the family's plots."
Noella continued, "During 1950 at 7942 Miley Street in Settegast in Houston, Texas, I remember the day Aunt Guess made cross forms out of used lumber. She then mixed concrete in a foot tub and poured it into the forms. Before the concrete dried, she wrote the names of her mother, brother and father on the crosses. The last time Noella remembers going to the cemetery with Aunt Guess was to place the crosses on their graves over fifty years ago."
Inez Calegon, Bernadette's sister-in-law recalls, "Over the years, I accompanied Guess on numerous trips to clean the graves. Guess worked so long and hard on the upkeep of the graves that after she died, I always thought it would be a fitting tribute to her hard work and dedication to place a memorial that would last for future generations." Since Guess' death Inez, Whitney, Thomas, Yvonne Bernadette and Patricia Calegon have made trips to the gravesite to periodically secure and restore the crosses.
Inez was never financially able to carry out this dream for a permanent memorial so she encouraged the grandchildren of Joseph and Eva Kerlegon to do so. Last year the gandchildren were able to jointly visit the gravesite, design and purchase a family memorial. The crosses Aunt Guess made so many years ago will remain along with the memorial that was placed on July 10, 2000. Today, Aunt Guess' family is still uniting under the caring actions she initiated years ago.
It wasn't until the plans for this reunion had been made that we realized the last time our family united was at Aunt Guess' home on Miley Street. The occasion was to celebrate her brother, Whitney's birthday. We don't think this was a coincidence that our family reunites today, September 2, again on what would have been her brother's birthday to remember how she kept us in touch with our heritage and each other.
What joy there must be in Heaven today as our ancestors look down to see our family gathered and reunited in their memory to proclaim "Thy remembrance shall endure unto all generations!"
This page was last updated on: April 5, 2010
Joseph Kerlegon was born on
April 24, 1871 in St. Martinville, Louisiana. He died on April 21, 1949
in Houston, Texas. In the early 1900's, he was a farmer in Ames, Texas who owned 225 acres of land.
One of the de Kerlegand men? and slave mistress, Felicite a negress slave
(Felicite and her children were freed by Marie Guiho de Kerlegand around 1820)
Jean-Baptiste de Kerlegand a free mulatto m. Marie Lucille Alixe Frilot a free quadroon
Jean-Baptiste Florville de Kerlegand m. Elizabeth Aubry - free quadroons
Joseph Numa Kerlegand b. 4-14-1871(or 4-17-1870) d. 4-21-1949, m. Marie Eva Breaux b. 5-11-1874 (or 5-15-1872), d. 12-27-1929
Special thanks to Joanne Jester (CPJester@aol.com) and Christophe Landry-Hoegan (firstname.lastname@example.org) for providing us with this information
Breaux - Norman Family Descendant's Line
Oriska (or Ledoiska) Breaux (original surname was possibly Fostin) b. 1832 d.after 1880 m. ? possibly Norbert Desire Breaux son of Joseph Breaux aand Marcelite Carmouche (unconfirmed)
Albert Breaux b.1852, d 9-20-1883, m. Elizabeth Aubry
Marie Eva Breaux b. 5-11-1874 (or 5-15-1872) , d. 12-27-1929 m. Joseph L. Normand (1st) 4-18-1892 , Joseph Numa Kerlegand (2nd) b. 4-24-1871 (or 4-17-1870), d. 4-21-1949
Special thanks to Joanne Jester (CPJester@aol.com), a descendant of Alida Breaux (Alida is Joanne's great-grandmother) and Eva Breaux's aunt (Albert Breaux's sister), for providing us with this information
Joseph's son & my father:
Whitney Joseph Calegon (Kerlegon)
Born 9-2-1914 Died 5-25-1990. Photo taken
in the 1940's at the famous Hotel Theresa
in Harlem 125th & 7th Ave. New York City
Can you help us determine how and if we are related to the following people?
1) Lumas Kerlegon, Sr
2) Savannah, Georgia Cemetery Tombstone: "In Honor and Grateful Memory of - Captain Denis Cottineau de Kerlouguen" Born in Nantes, France.