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Updated February 15, 2011

Brenda Pilet Wagner

This page is my way of fulfilling a promise I made to my now deceased father-in-law, who for the last 2 years of his life, decided he would like to research where his family came from and who they were. He had very little information to start with, therefore, he needed someone to help him find his way. Since I had a computer and was on-line, it was inevitable that I would be the one he sought out. He discovered the local genealogy society and we were on our way. We went to libraries and cemeteries and were able to find some family ties.

It seemed only natural that, since my parents were deceased along with all of their siblings, I had a lot of searching to do on my family origin.

This is how it began. Now that my father-in-law has passed on, I am continuing his quest, as well as mine, to find the ancestors for our children and our children's children to have a sense of how they came to be.

I am researching the Wagner/Scholly/Engel branch that came from Germany in the 1800's, and may have lived in Texas for a time before they eventually ended up in the New Orleans, La. area.

I am also researching the Pilet/Vernier/Fulton/Piaget/Desporte/Barnett/Fayard/Mayence or Mayance/Farrell/Francis on my father's side of our family and the Gerdes/Crespo lines on my mother's side. The Pilet line seems to have originated in Les Verrieres, Neuchatel, Switzerland and the Vernier line is from Courchaton, Department of Haute Saone, France before coming to settle in Mississippi and eventually in Louisiana.

The Crespo line is directly linked to immigrants from the Canary Islands who settled in St. Bernard Parish, La. I haven't found where the Gerdes' originated from or when or where they entered the U.S. I 've hit a brick wall researching my great-grandmother's maiden name. On my grandfather's death certificate (John Gerdes), his father is named as Joseph Gerdes but no mother's name is listed on the document. The U.S. census in Louisiana shows my grandfather's birthplace as N.O., LA. although his death certificate notes that he was a native of France. I'm partially convinced that John came to the U.S. alone from France since I am unable to find any documentation supporting otherwise.

If there is any info that you may need or that you can assist me with, contact me at

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