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Petrus Family Archives

Just about the whole tree, nuts and all.

Not THAT Steve Erwin

Illustrator Steve Erwin contacted me via email today regarding my partial transcript of Rosalie Priour's autobiography. In his own words:

I have been researching the Texas Revolution for several years now with hopes of producing a series of graphic novels about the events. A couple of years ago, I found Mrs. Priour's story of her coming to Texas from Ireland on the Son Of Dewitt Colony website and was just floored by the first-person narrative. I thought I'd never be able to read the rest of her story...

This is just priceless.

I can't thank you enough for providing this story online! Whether or not my personal project(s) ever materialize, the wealth of information from her observances and insights from the 1830's onward is totally fascinating. Truely, this is what the internet was intended to be all about.

I am up to Chapter 23 and look forward to Chapter 24. Having discovered this website only tonight, this has been a 'book I couldn't put down'. I consider it an early holiday present to myself; I've downloaded each page in PDF for future re-reading.

You must be very proud to have such a wonderful woman in your ancestry and to be able to know so much about her.

Thanks again. And a very happy holiday season to you.

Steve Erwin
Thinking Differently @

Happy St. Arnoldus Day

Rick Thiels, our cousin in Belgium, sent along this photo of a "Petrus" beer mat. Read more about the Petrus line of beers in the Global Beer Network's page on Bouwerij Bavik. Check out their short Key to Heaven commercial. Oh, and happy St. Arnoldus Day.

Louisiana Thiels Family Website

Janel Gaines points out that the Thiels Family website has been updated. www.thielslafamily.org

Seeking Photos of uncle Eck

There's been a lot of interest in our famous fiddling uncle Eck Robertson recently. I received the following notes via email. Each requests access to photos of uncle Eck. If any of you have photos you would like to contribute to the projects (if it's not too late), you may want to contact the people referenced below.

Austin Texas: In a round about way I found about your family's connection to fiddler Eck Robertson. I'm doing research for a music history project here in Austin, TX and we are looking for pictures of Eck to include. There are 3 pictures of him on the Old-Time Fiddlers website that we would love to find and use in the work we're doing. The website indicates that the pictures were provided by a great granddaughter, Robin Leah. Would you know how to contact her or do you know where these pictures or others could be found? My name is Ruth Sullivan, 512-280-7353. You can contact me at this number or by e-mail. I would love to give you more details on this project. We hope to use Eck's pictures to tell his story and the contributions he made to Texas music history. Thanks for your help, Ruth

London, Great Britain: Hello, I’m emailing from a record label in London called LO-MAX Records. We are currently putting together a major album release called The Anthology of American Music, which is a collection of blues, country, cajun, folk and bluegrass recorded from 1926 to 1931. There is also an accompanying book, and I was wondering if you would be able to help me with this project. I would very much like to get hold of some images of Eck Robertson, and I have visited your website (www.iconaustin.com/petrus/eckrobertsoninfo.com) and see that you have some wonderful pictures of him on there. Would you happen to know the details of the owner of these images so that I can find out about using them in this Anthology release? Any help you can give me on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Katherine Dykes, LO-MAX Records

Photos of Thiels Family Belgium Reunion

Our Belgian cousin Rick Thiels writes "I added some pictures on the Thiels website from the reunion last week. You can see them on our site: www.defamiliethiels.be. Go to photos reunion and click on Photos reunion September 2005

Belgian and Louisiana Relatives Reunite

There is currently a contingent of Louisiana-side relatives touring Belgium as part of a multi-national "Thiels Family Reunion." Several members of the Thiels family have in the past 100 years married into the Petrus family including my great aunt Emma Petrus who married Louis Thiels and moved back to Louisiana.

I notified our Belgian relative, Jan Scholliers (see ERRATA below), of the impending visit and he expressed an interest in meeting with the group. I gave Jan the email address of fellow Belgian reunion organizer Rik Thiels and just received the following note regarding his visit.

Dear Keith

I wrote to Rik Thiels, explained who I am, and asked him if some relatives of Emma Petrus had come to Belgium. He told me that there was a Anne Moseley - Van Mol among the American party that landed at Brussels on Sept. 6th.

So I went to the meeting on Sunday Sept. 11th and found Rik who brought Anne to me. I said something like 'I am Jan, I have nothing to do with this Thiels Familiy... but if I am right you are a granddaughter of Emma Petrus, daughter of Ferdinand, who had a sister Paulina etc...etc...' I got a big hug when she realised we were distant relatives. We exchanged email addresses and she recognized my name when she saw it in writing (because it is mentioned in the Petrus Family site). We only could talk for something like 15 minutes, she had to attend to the ongoing activities in the hall. I will write her and tell her about the family here in Belgium. As she came to the Thiels meeting, she might be interested in other Belgian roots.

So... that is what I wanted to tell you. Would you believe...... having no uncles, no aunts and no nephews nore nieces, it was a special moment for me! I hope there will be, some day, an opportunity to meet you and your family too.

Jan (Scholliers)

ERRATA: I previously misidentified the author of the email above, Jan Scholliers, as "Jan Meijnaerts." Jan Scholliers is a descendent of Paulina Petrus/Van Opstal, sister to my great great grandfather Ferdinand Petrus. Ferdinand's sisters, Paulina and Justina, remained in Belgium with their husbands while the men of the family immigrated to the United States. Jan is my 3rd cousin and our common ancestors are Joseph and Christina Meijnaerts/Petrus.

I received the following polite note from Mr. Scholliers regarding my error in identification:

Dear Keith
As you posted my mail to the Petrusfamily website, I just looked to it. I am afraid you have been mixing things up. I am not Jan Meynaerts, but Jan Scholliers.... Well...maybe you can 'repair' the thing before anyone else notices.
Best regards

Jan Meijnaerts, on the other hand, is the son of recently deceased Lucien Meynaerts who was instrumental in piecing together the Belgian side of our family history. The Meijnaerts family tree of which our family is a branch, may be viewed at: Stamboom Familie Meynaerts en aanverwanten. Jan Meijnaerts assisted his father in his research and carries on the tradition today. The website is in Dutch/Flemish but you'll get the basic idea.

Welcome to the new Petrus Family Archives

Great Great Grandma & Grandpa, Christina Meynaerts and Joseph Petrus. Photo courtesy of Anne Mosely.

Please be patient as I embark on a massive overhaul of an already massive website. And yes, that is actually the wallpaper in our living room (sorry Cathi).

Not so recent additions to the site.

Added a newspaper clipping of the accident that led to the death of my great grandfather Ferdinand Petrus and reposted "Letters to Ferdinand." Updated information about the old Corrigan Settlement and Campo Santo Cemetery. Added more notes about my great aunt, Annabelle Thiele and the 1903 obituary of great great grandmother Rosalie Hart/Priour. The Photo Journal has been moved to a new server and, for now, it is no longer necessary to enter that annoying password. The Skidmore History page was long overdue for an update, so I reworked it a bit with better quality photos and some interesting "special effects."Added Joseph Petrus' Marriage Certificate and Ferdinand Petrus' Birth Certificate. Both documents were sent via email by our Belgian cousin Jan Scholliers. Also updated information about Ferdinand's sister Paulina Petrus including a photo of Jan's grandparents. Our cousin Alan Barber on the Priour/Barber side of the family located the gravesite of Samuel Barber and has submitted an application for Historic Cemetery through the Texas Historical Commission. Samuel Barber was a grandfather of my great grandmother Mattie Priour. You may view the application which tells of Alan's detective work in finding the gravesite at www.barberhome.com. Updated Joseph Petrus' page with the new photos provided by our cousin Jan Scholliers of Belgium. Jan also supplied me with photos and information about his great grandmother, Paulina Petrus/Van Opstal. Janel Gaines emailed me with news of a new Thiels Family website. Thanks to the efforts of uncle Bruce Stratton, aka "Dr. B" at KFTX Real Country in Corpus, our fiddling uncle Eck Robertson was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Read more about uncle Eck at: www.oldtimemusic.com. Added information about the descendants of my great uncle Joseph Larimore Robertson. Corrected a huge error on the Petrus Pedigree page. Thanks to Belgian relative Rik Thiels for pointing out that I had identified the wrong man in a photo as being my great grandfather, Ferdinand Petrus. Added photos of Julius, Gerald, and Annie Laurie Petrus provided to me by Anne Moseley. Added more information about Rose Petrus/Robrecht's descendents provided by cousin Jeannie Garcia. Added photos and updated information about Emma Petrus, Lawrence Petrus, and Ann Petrus/Parkhill (courtesy of cousin Anne Van Mol/Moseley of Baton Rouge). Added a letter written our great aunt Mary Petrus, courtesy of Anne Moseley. Added a link to the Howard Family Reunion website. Our Louisiana cousin, Anne Moseley sent me a letter written to her mother by Grandma Ella Cecelia Petrus in 1969. While working the family pedigree I came across the rest of Mimi Head's family at the Nuckols Worldwide Kindred website. Added Chapters 22 and Chapter 23 of Rosalie Hart Priour's autobiography. Added a few more pages from "A Man from Corpus Christi" Added photos of the gravestones of my great great grandparents James Wilson Treadway and Amanda Sellars. Added information about my great great great grandmother Elizabeth Hart, original Texas Powers Colony settler. Added a letter (thanks to Margie Petrus) from my grandfather Julius Raymond Petrus written 5 months prior to his death in 1926. Added a photo (provided by Lucien Meynaerts) of the WWII American Bombing of Mortsel, Belgium in which an 8 year old Belgian relative was killed while attending school. See the page on Justina Petrus/Counson for details. Added new information about Eck Robertson (our famous fiddling uncle). Added information about Justina Petrus/Counson and her Belgian descendants (thanks to Lucien Meynaerts). Read the "News of Texas" story about Reagan Bownds and his goat roping/football career. Thanks to distant cousin Jane McManus of Alexandria, Louisiana, we've discovered two new sets of great great great grandparents. See the Petrus Pedigree page for information about Amanda Sellars and James Wilson Treadway. Our Belgian cousin, Lucien Meynaerts, sent more information about my great great grandfather and Antwerp foundling, Joseph Petrus. Lucien and Jan have just finished their new web site. See how our family ties into theirs at www.meynaerts.com (you may need to brush up on your Flemish). Larry Robertson sent me more information about the descendants of John Simpson Robertson. Why did my great aunt, Ann Parkhill, have such an interest in Father Flanagan's Boys Town? See the page on Anne Petrus/Parkhill, to read about 1939 Boys Town mayor "Happy Sam" Turner. I've also updated information (from social security administration records) about Ann's sister, Mary Petrus/Holstein. Added information about my great great grandfather, Joseph Petrus, provided by Belgian relative Rik Thiels. Added information about Joseph L. Robertson's descendants. Updated information about the descendants of Eck Robertson. Updated the schedule for Josh and Zach's Little League games on the Petrus Sports page. Added information about Annie Petrus/Parkhill, Emma Petrus/Thiels, and Lawrence Petrus (thanks to Margie Petrus for donating memorabilia belonging to Annie Petrus Parkhill). Added a photo of Gerald Petrus that accompanied a World War II newspaper clipping. Added a new letter from British Controlled Oilfields regarding the death of my grandfather, Julius Raymond Petrus, in Venezuela. Added photos of my g-g-great grandfather, Joseph Addison Barber and his wife Emmeline Francis Jackson (courtesy of David Barber). Added information about my great grandmother, Laura Treadway/Petrus. Added photos of the Antwerp "Foundlinghouse" where my great great grandfather Joseph Petrus was left in the "slide" (thanks to our Belgian cousin Lucien Meynaerts for providing the photos). Added Historical Marker info to Skidmore page. Added excerpts from Charles Blaschke's "The Legend of the Famous Corrigan Pool.