As New Orleans is celebrating its 300th anniversary, the Acadians are celebrating their 250th anniversary. The population of New Orleans in 1717 was under 500 people and two of those families were the Daigles and Schexnayders.

After three hundred years, both families are prominent and prolific in modern day Louisiana. The story of Louisiana in the early 1700s is tied inextricably to these two families. Much of the history of Louisiana is typically told after 1750, and these two families were here from the beginning. 

Louisiana Legacy explores the early years of how the Catholic Church shaped the culture and dealt with slavery, the indigenous peoples, and the mixture of the French, Germans, Haitians, Indians, and Spanish which formed the South Louisiana culture before the arrival of the Acadians.

Etienne D'Aigle III traveled to St. Louis, Missouri in 1777 and married Marie Anne Taillon. They moved to Plaquemine Brulée (Church Point, La.) and he is credited with founding Church Point. The original church was in fact built on land donated by two D'Aigle brothers, Etienne III and Joseph. This area of Louisiana was the center of the Daigle family for many years and is still the hub of the subsequent generations of Daigles.
The Schexnayders remained predominately in the areas of the German Coast along the Mississippi River northwest of New Orleans. Following the Grand Derangement both families also populated the area along Bayou Lafourche down to the Gulf of Mexico.
This book opens the eyes and minds of readers both old and young as it discusses such rich Louisiana culture and how both families survived and thrived. Dig deep and the story of the Daigle and Schexnayder families are really the story of their arrival in the early 1700s through the arrival of the Acadians from 1755 through 1785. After the arrival of the Acadians the story becomes one of many South Louisiana families which dominate the history of South Louisiana and adds to its vitality.

Louisiana Legacy: History of the Daigle and Schexnayder Families

  • Neal Bertrand was born and raised in Opelousas, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun Country. Cajun and Cooking are synonymous to those familiar with the culture, so it’s no coincidence that Neal started his company, Cypress Cove Publishing, putting out cookbooks. It’s also no coincidence that his moniker since 2005 has been The Cookbook Dude. He is quick to recall that family holidays always revolved around food, no matter where he was. Whether it was barbecued steak from the cattle his family raised, or gumbo, Neal grew up with food and fun.

    The cookbooks he has written and published have sold over 100,000 copies, and they are available both as print and e-book on Amazon, and through his website at

    In 2009, Neal and his son Jeremy began scanning and photo-editing the war pictures of Neal’s dad. Neither had ever seen the backs of the photos until then because they had been attached to the pages of three photo albums kept in a cedar chest in the hallway of Neal’s childhood home. The photos were put in the albums in no particular order. But once he figured out the timeline, Neal was able to organize them by country, month, and year. After six months of researching battalion diary entries and culling the photos, Neal was able to trace his father’s steps from boot camp to war and back home and he began compiling his findings into his latest book, Dad’s War Photos: Adventures in the South Pacific.

    Prior to starting the war book, Neal was involved in charting his genealogy. He joined two genealogy societies and charted his ancestry back ten generations. Genealogy is one of Neal’s favorite pastimes, as is starting a major creative project and watching it come to life, which he has done admirably with Dad’s War Photos.

  • ISBN: 1936707403 
    6 x 9 Paperback
    262 Pages
    Published: June 01, 2018
    Features: Bibliography, Color Photography, Historical Photography