Family of Gustave Toussaint Ayo & Philomene Eucelia Trosclair
Gustave Toussaint Ayo was born 1 November 1847 in Lafourche, LA, and died 15 September 1937 in Plaquemine, LA. Burial was 16 February 1937 in St. Philomene Cemetery, Pitre Family Tomb.
Wife Philomene Eucelia Trosclair was born 21 February 1854 in Labadieville, Assumption, LA (baptism: 20 May 1854 St. Philomene, Assumption, LA), and died 7 April 1938 in Plaquemine, LA. Burial was 8 April 1938 in St. Philomene Cemetery, Pitre Family Tomb. They were married 7 February 1870 at Our Lady of Peace, Vacherie, LA. Link to photo.
Their children were:
1- Joseph Clinton Ayo b: 27 October 1870 Labadieville, Assumption, LA (baptism: 5 January 1871 St. Philomene, Assumption, LA)
+Seraphine Himel b: Abt. 1874; m: 17 January 1895 Lafourche, LA
2- Augustin Clerfe Ayo b: 4 April 1872 Lafourche, LA (baptism: 26 May 1872 Lafourche)
3- Neuville Ayo b: Abt. 1874 Louisiana
+Eda ----- b: January 1878; m: Abt. 1898
Notes for Neuville:
- 1900 Lafourche census: Neuville Ayo 23 (Jul 1876), wife Eda 22 (Jan 1878) & Agate (Aug 1899); married 2 years; Neuville can read, write & speak English
4- Marie Lea Ayo b: 18 December 1876 Vacherie, LA (baptism: 4 January 1877 Our Lady Of Peace, Vacherie, LA); d: 28 February 1962 Plaquemine, LA; burial: 3 March 1962 St. Philomene Cemetery, Pitre Family Tomb
+Henri Valery Pitre b: 27 October 1868 Labadieville, Assumption, LA (baptism: 30 January 1869 St. Philomene, Assumption, LA); m: 30 December 1891 St. Joseph, Thibodaux, Lafourche, LA; d: 10 December 1920 Plaquemine, LA; burial: 11 December 1920 St. Philomene Cemetery, Pitre Family Tomb
Notes for Gustave Toussaint Ayo:
- 1880 Lafourche census, ward 5: Gustave Ayo 29, Philomene 23, Neuville 6, Rodolphe 4, Felicia 1.
- 1900 Lafourche census (ED 29, W5, 3B): Gustave Ayo 51 (NOV 1848); can't read, write, or speak English; Philomene 48 (FEB 1852); can't read, write, or speak English (she states 3 children, all living at this time; married 33 years); They live next door to Martin Pitre and Odile Vicknair.
- 1920 Lafourche census (ED 50, W5, 1A): Gustave Ayo 68, wife Emila 62.
- (Thanks to cousin Lana Merliss for collecting all the stories!)
Gustave Toussaint Ayo was born 1 November 1847 (November 1st being All Saints Day, e.g. "Toussaint"). His mother died before his fifth birthday, but his father married again when he was 7. By the time he married in 1870 he had a dozen siblings and half-siblings to keep him company. He married Philomene Trosclair 2 weeks shy of her 16th birthday. (The Trosclairs were originally Germans - Troxler - who came with many others to settle what became known as the German Coast during the 1700's. They had intermarried with other German settlers as well as the Acadian descendants during this time.) Philomene was the only surviving child of Silvere Trosclair and Marie Elodie Prejean. Twins born the year before her hadn't survived their first year, and her mother died a year after giving birth to Philomene. Her father married again 16 months later to Marie Elodie's younger sister Delphine (so Philomene's step-mother was also her aunt). Gustave and Philomene had only 4 children. They were still living a rural existence by the turn of the century. Neither Gustave nor Philomene could read, write, or speak English. Philomene was a registered midwife who actually delivered many of her own great-grandchildren as late as the 1920's when she was in her 70's. She was paid with groceries or a chicken. She got a great-grandson to fill out the birth papers which were sent to Washington. She was paid $5 for each one, and gave him 50 cents for helping. She had a lovely garden. Being a midwife she visited many homes in the area. When a family she delivered a baby for had a flower in their garden she didn't have, she got cuttings. She had camellias (scarce then), magnolias, and sweet smelling flowers (probably Japanese magnolias). Her granddaughter Bee said, "She had every kind of flower." Great-grandson Dickie said she had all kinds of "little things going" - she made capons out of roosters and could determine if eggs were fertile. The kids "picked up pecans", probably ate some and sold some. Gustave had some money but wouldn't give it to the women running the house or any of the kids. Philomene would share everything. They raised chickens and sometimes sold the eggs. They were known by the affectionate names of Grandpa & Grandma Cattoon or Pepere & Memere Cootoone. In later years Gustave was blinded in one eye as a result of a wood chip flying into it while he was chopping wood. (Granddaughter Chloe related that they were told that he had been sitting under a pecan tree when a small branch fell and hit him in the eye.) He smoked and great-grandson Pat rolled them for him since he couldn't see well enough to do it himself. Philomene would also roll them at night. He used King B tobacco in a yellow pouch. Gustave (Pepere) made a vegetable garden and helped with the yard work. During grinding season he would go "make grinding" away from home, sometimes as far as Sugarland, TX. He was also remembered as a marvelous storyteller. He would sit in HIS chair as his children and their friends would sit on the floor while he told fascinating tales in French, including "La Barbe Bleu" (Blue Beard) and Cinderella. He also sang the "Passion Song" which had 14 stanzas. No one ever had the voice he had or the way he told the beautiful and sometimes hair raising tales. They died within 7 months of each other, Gustave almost 90 (1937) and Philomene at 84 (1938). They were 14 & 7 respectively when the Civil War began, lived through World War I, and experienced most of the Depression.