Grogan, Helen May

Surname Grogan
Given Name Helen May (or Mae)
Sex Female
Born 03-MAY-1911 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana (Certificate 504291)
Died 27-JAN-1997 in Port Neches, Jefferson County, Texas
Buried All Saints Mausoleum in Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas
SSN 466-56-2318; Last residence: Groves, Jefferson County, Texas
Father George H. GROGAN (26-MAY-1864 - 12-MAY-1924)
Mother Emma W. ANGLE (~1890 - )


Helen May (Grogran) Patin was born on 03-MAY-1911 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She does not have an original birth certificate. However, a "Delayed Certificate of Birth" was solicited in 1987 to obtain a passport. My mother, Gail Maxine (Patin) Shook helped her mother, Helen, obtain the birth certificate. So Gail was a witness to this process.

Helen was raised by her older sister, Mabel (Grogan) Vautrain, and brother-in-law, Albert Peter Vautrain, whom she called "Mama" and "Big Daddy". As Gail recalls, Helen really didn't know very much about her mother and father, who are listed as Robert Grogan and Emma Angle on the birth certificate. While Robert Grogan is shown as her father on the delayed birth certificate, George Grogan is also shown as her father (per Social Security Administration). This disparity reflects a skew towards Robert as her father and George as a possiblity. All we known about Helen's mother and father (from Helen) is recorded in the delayed birth certificate.

In the years following Helen's death, I have found genealogical evidence that George H. Grogan was Helen's father. The most tangible reference is the 1920 U.S. Census with George H. Grogan, Emma W. Grogan, and Helen Mae Grogan as their daughter. While this is the only document I have that directly ties Helen to George, there are several City Directory documents that tie Emma to George (rather than Robert). Robert Grogan is listed as the father on Helen's baptismal record (which I don't have a copy of yet), but I feel rather strongly that Robert was either a nickname or a name to obscure George's identity. Hence, at this time I am recording Helen's father as George (rather than Robert).


While Helen always maintained she was born in New Orleans, there is no proof. The first third-party document I have relating to Helen is a 1919 City Directory for Galveston, Texas listing for Emma and George. Helen was probably living with Emma and George in Galveston, since she is with them in the 1920 U.S. Census for Mobile, Alabama - the first third-party document I have on Helen.

City Directory records show Emma and George living in Port Arthur, Texas in 1923. The Louisiana Death Index shows a George H. Grogan died in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1924. The following City Directory for Port Arthur, Texas list Emma Grogan as the widow of Geo A Grogan in 1925. A couple of years later, the 1927 City Directory for Port Arthur, Texas again lists Emma as the widow of Geo H Grogan. Whether Helen was living with Emma (and George) after the 1920 census is unknown, but Helen shows up in the 1930 U.S. Census for New Orleans, Louisiana as the sister / sister-in-law of Mabel and Albert Vautrain. So sometime between the age of 8 and 18, Helen ends up in New Orleans, which she always considered "home".

Albert Vautrain apparently had a successful produce company. He probably shipped produce to Chicago, perhaps traveling there on business. At some point in her developing years, Helen was sent to boarding school in Chicago.

In 1932 at age 21, Helen is found in the 1931 City Dirctory for New Orleans, Louisiana. Later that year, Helen married Chester James Patin.


Helen married Chester James PATIN (10-FEB-1910 - 22-MAR-1987) on 28-DEC-1932 at Holy Rosary in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chester was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. Chester was living in Port Arthur by 1916, however, as his father, Eraste Sidney Patin, is listed in the City Directory. So Chester and Helen were both living in Port Arthur during 1920 - 1930 period Helen was living in Texas. I don't know how Helen and Chester met, but it's not hard to imagine they were school friends during this period.



Helen was known as "Grammie" to her grandchildren. I remember my Grandmother with the fondest of memories. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up, and my grandmother and grandfather moved in with my family around 1980 (when I was a senior in high school). Helen lived with my mother and father almost 17 years until she died at my parent's home in 1997.


Chester and Helen lived at 2912 8th Street, Port Arthur, Texas for most of their adult lives. You can view the house in Google Maps. It has been kept in good shape, and looks much like it did when Chester and Helen lived there (although Paw Paw kept an immaculate yard).


PORT NECHES - Helen May Patin, 85, of Port Neches died Monday at her home.

A native of New Orleans, she lived in the Port Arthur-Port Neches area for several years. She was member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and the Port Arthur Founders Lioness club.

Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday in the All Souls Mausoleum in Greenlawn Memorial Park with the Rev. Bennie Patillo officiating and under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches. A vigil will begin at 6 p.m. at the funeral home.

Survivors include three daughters, Judy Palumbo of Nederland, Gail Shook of Port Neches and Sylvia Majors of Port Neches; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

1 1911 Birth Certificate (Delayed Certificate of Birth) Image ...

2 1920 United States Census->Alabama->Mobile County->Mobile City->District 1->Image 42/47 ( Image ...

Name Age Sex Race Relation Marital Status Birthplace Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace Occupation Industry
Grogan, George H. 54 Male White Head Married Pennsylvania United States United States    
Grogan, Emma W. 40 Female White Wife Married Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi    
Grogan, Helen Mae 8 Female White Daughter Single Louisiana Pennsylvania Mississippi    

3 1930 United States Census->Louisiana->Orleans Parish->New Orleans->District 66->Image 7/48 ( Image ...

Name Age Sex Race Relation Marital Status Birthplace Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace Occupation Industry
Vautrain, Albert P. 54 Male White Self Married Louisiana France Louisiana None  
Vautrain, Mabel M. 35 Female White Wife Married Louisiana Louisiana Louisiana None  
Grogan, Helen 18 Female White Sister-in-Law Single Louisiana Louisiana Louisiana None  

4 1940 United States Census->Texas->Jefferson County->Port Arthur->District 123-75->Image 38/66 ( Image ...

Name Age Sex Race Relation Marital Status Birthplace Occupation Industry
Patin, Charter 30 Male White Self Married Louisiana Pumber Petro refinery
Patin, Helen 28 Female White Wife Married Louisiana    
Patin, Gudith 4 Female White Daughter Single Texas    

5 1932 City Directory->Louisiana->New Orleans->Image 309/801 ( Image ...

6 1933 City Directory->Texas->Port Arthur->Image 133/286 ( Image ...

7 Obituary, Port Arthur News, Tuesday, January 28, 1997 Page 8B (Port Arthur Library microfiche)

8 1997 Texas Death Index ( -- no image)

9 Headstone, All Saints Mausoleum in Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas (jjshook -- Spring 2013) Image ...