Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Lambert Quest--Part 1

It is time for a revelation.  I am often asked 'Why did you decide to do this trip? What was your motivation? What possessed you?  Why are you doing something so dumb!?' (Pick your question--they all ask the same thing.)
I have said it before, and it is still top on my list...I do this to re-unite with family and old friends that I had not seen in years or had just lost track of.  It remains the best part of this trip and has produced many wonderful moments.
Next on my list is to re-acquaint myself with the American culture and history.  There is so much to learn about this country and, in that respect, I am just starting.
But I also had a compelling third reason for this explore the genealogy on my 'birth' father's side of the family.
If this becomes boring to you, my loyal readers out there, then let me suggest that you spend a few minutes and check out the blogs, "To Simplify" or "Teri's Blog".  You will find the links over to the right on this page.  Just check back with me in a few days when I have exhausted this subject and follow me as I next, meander through Texas.

Those of you who decided to stick with me...Here goes:
(Apologies to my departed Mother who would disown me if she knew I was divulging this less-reputable part of the family)
I never knew my father.  My parents were married in 1940 and then divorced when I was only a month old, because my father, along with a few of his friends, went to jail for stealing, and fencing, car parts from Huey Long and the state of Louisiana.  Mother soon remarried and had two more daughters but she kept the secret of her first marriage from me until I was 13 years of age.  It was then that she told me about him but all she would divulge was:

1.) His name was Utice Drew Lambert (nickname, Mac)
2.) He had a brother named Clarence and two sisters (names I had forgotten)
3.) He grew up in Many and Robeline, La.
4.) He was probably dead and, more than likely, died in prison.
5.) He was a very nice man. (Yeah, right!)
6.) And whenever I asked she would always end with,  "Now, don't ask me any more questions about him--It's best forgotten."

So, Mother, I am sorry but curiosity has finally won out.

One day a few years back while I was idly surfing the web  I put his name in "Google" and, Eureka, up popped the information that he was buried at the Lambert Town Cemetery just outside of Robeline, Louisiana.  Wow! I suddenly had a birth & death date.
So, when I planned this Odyssey I decided to seek out this cemetery and maybe find some answers,  I arrived here one year ago on the second Sunday in October! What I found was his grave, along with dozens of other Lamberts. (aunts? uncles? siblings?)


And this notice showing that I had just missed a Lambert Homecoming by one week! (Sometimes Serendipity works against you)

(These 3 graves are: Utice Drew Lambert,  Amy Lambert, and Andrew J. Lambert)
If you have been following this blog then you know I went from Robeline to Angola prison.  It was  in an effort to find his prison record but, as nice as the warden and deputy warden were, they were not able to pull out any prison records from that time.

So my next stop was to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where I went to the Genealogy section of the main library (no luck),  the Louisiana Archives (no luck), and finally to the Clerk of Court's office where I was able to get a death certificate.

I became strangely emotional when the clerk put this document in my hands.  This person, who had been merely a curiosity to me up to this point, suddenly became very real and--well, related!

I learned from this certificate that.....

1.) He did not die in prison but at his sister, Amy's house. (Her grave is now next to his at the cemetery)

2.) His father's name was A.J. Lambert and mother's name was Mary E. Thompson.

3. He had been married to Mildred Bailey but was divorced at the time of his death.

4.) He was 58 years old when he died. Birth/death was 1907/1965

 I put the whole matter aside and continued on with my travels for the next year--but I was determined to return to the Lambert Town Cemetery by the first Sunday of October (last month) and see who might show up.

And I now had new questions and a new quest--do I have any other cousins or siblings? Where did the Lamberts come from? What is their history?  Besides, this whole adventure had become great fun.

(To be Continued)

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  1. This post gave me chills - especially when you were given the death certificate.

  2. Enjoyed Toni.....I am sharing it with the family and maybe some answers will come your way.

    Dean Lambert
    Many, La.