In 1996 my great Aunt Marie mailed me a box of papers in fear of her passing away and all her hard work and years of research with her two sisters (one my grandmother Caroline) would be lost. Both her sisters had recently passed away within months of each other and she was scared.
The odd part about this is that I was never really close to my mother's side of the family. Not by choice, but by circumstance beyond my control as a child.
I had only two years before started some research with my, at that time, husband's father's family. Rumors spread that I was a Genealogist and that I enjoyed it. (I don't know how that happens!)
Anyway, my Aunt Marie made me promise that one day I would publish a book. You see, they did not use the internet to research and really had no idea that you would be able to publish online and in digital formats.
I intend on keeping that promise. I lost touch with her after Hurricane Katrina. You see, she lived on the south side of Lake Pontchartrain and had moved to the north side. Or - at least that is what I was told.
I only recently (this month even) found out that she had passed away several months ago. I had so wanted to let her know how far I'd gotten and that her dream would soon come to reality.
This whole website would not be possible without the contributions of three very beautiful women. I so then dedicate it's existence to them:
Caroline Elizabeth Duke Wagner
Joann Duke Matthews
Ruth Marie Duke Mehrhoff
Rest in Peace. We love and Miss you all.
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