My family research project took an unexpected turn last night. And I got my first big break.
My dad emailed me this photograph. "Who was she?" I asked.
"Marie-Grace Rousseau Gardner Hotchkiss."
"She was my dad's great-grandmother. She was originally from New Orleans but she was raised in Pennsylvania. After she'd returned to New Orleans, she met John Peter Hotchkiss (of Quaker descent) when she was seventeen. The next year she married him and returned to Pennsylvania with him. The records say her name was Mary-Grace Hotchkiss, but that was because when she got to Pennsylvania she Americanized her name." According to the records, John and Mary Grace Hotchkiss had 6 kids.
Hmm, that explains why after the divorce my dad decided to come to Louisiana. Turns out I'm not the only one researching this family.