Here’s the problem: we have this organization called the “Terriot Acadian Family Society”, or simply “Terriot Acadian Family” for short. It was founded in 1999 just before the turn of the new century. Today, many continue to refer to it as “Joe-Ralph’s organization”, or “Joe-Ralph’s website”… “Joe-Ralph’s Grand Branches”, etc.
To introduce and explain our organization, we have an “About Us” page here on our blog and of course, throughout our website, we have an extensive introduction to our mission, our work and our organization on our website. Still, many continue rudely ignore the work of so many other people. Our website is the work of many devoted delegates; our Jehan Terriot Archive is the work of some 100 delegates each representing their respective Great-Branches.
Perhaps it is the nature of our organization. We don’t have a headquarters, or a central location. We are an e-society. We talk to each other by e-mail, sometimes by phone and some times by virtual conference over Webex, GoToMeeting or Skype. And at other times, we enjoy each others company in personal visits as some of us travel around the North American continent. Many delegates have never met in face-to-face meetings but all have worked together to bring their genealogy together and to accomplish other family projects. Our membership is by invitation only and we do not levy membership dues which makes us a little unusual, I suppose. As the sole condition for membership, each member has agreed to represent his or her branch and to help develop the genealogy and possibly also the history of his or her branch.
Our goal is to integrate the genealogy of the descendants of Jehan and Perrine Terriot. To date, we believe that the first 5 generations are complete as defined by the best research of our Acadian researchers like Stephen White, Fidèle Thériault and Karen Theriot Reader. To date, we have documented in our Archive about 900 members of the 9th generation. Our ‘Great Branch’ concept bases its definition of a Great Branch on the members of the 9th generation: each member of the 9th generation defines a Great Branch. Using statistical analysis and a few assumptions about the size and composition of our families, we believe that we will eventually discover another 100 members of the 9th generation.
To date, we have documented about 100 Great Branches up to the contemporary 14th generation as shown in our ‘Great Branch Lineage Table‘. Although we have the data for many more Great Branches, we will not document them until and unless someone volunteers to bring his or her branch to us and volunteers to serve as a delegate for the Great Branch. That is our operational concept. This limitation is imposed because we are not just a genealogical organization. We are also a historical and a social organization of family members who work together and exchange family information. (See our new “Photo Histories” section.) This is our experiment; to see how far we can go to integrate our genealogy as we get to know each other and thus pull together the various Great Branches of our family. Finally, while we are not just a genealogical organization, our genealogy is distinguished from the others (with the exception of Stephen White and Karen Theriot Reader) in that we document our sources. To date, we have well over two thousand documented sources as listed in our ‘Archive Sources‘.
We continue to be contacted by members of the family who just learned about our website and ask how they could join. Gradually, slowly, our Great-Branch count increases. Our beautiful website continues to serve as a beacon sending out the bilingual message throughout the world about the story and descendants of Jehan and Perrine Terriot.
How long will it take to find and document all 1000 Great-Branches? That is an open question.