CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 1, Number 9
By Damon Veach
THE LEANING OAK: In the last column, I mentioned the leaning oak that the local Indians named and located on the highest point at the intersection of Bayou Manchac and the Amite River. Here is the picture taken by Jimmy Johnson of this historic oak.
The subject of this oak came up while I was visiting the site of the archaeological dig being conducted in the area of the original Galveztown.
SIG MEETING: Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane’s African American Special Interest Group (SIG) will hold a meeting on Saturday, July 25th, from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Delta Sigma Theta Life Development Center located at 688 Harding Blvd., next to Subway. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Ryan Seidemann, President of the Mid City Historical Cemetery Coalition in Baton Rouge, will speak on Sweet Olive Cemetery. Officially dating back to 1898, Sweet Olive was the first cemetery for blacks incorporated in the Baton Rouge city limits. Burials are, however, believed to have occurred prior to 1898.
Judy Riffel will give a short presentation on the SIG’s efforts to create an East Baton Rouge Parish slave database. Expert members of the group will also give presentations on cases from their own research files. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own genealogy problems to discuss with the group.
Le Comité’s African American SIG was formed in 2006 as a subgroup of what is possibly the largest and most active genealogical/archival group in the state. This society is well known as a prolific publisher of records and guides pertaining to all aspects of Louisiana genealogical research. Books for sale will also be available for purchase at the meeting.
One of those books of particular interest to African American researchers is a new release entitled New Orleans Register of Free People of Color, 1840-1864. It is a complete transcription of all the information found in four separate registers of free people of color residing in New Orleans who appeared before the mayor to register according to the laws of the time.
Most entries provide the registrant’s name, sex, color, age, identifying marks, profession, place of birth, time of arrival, date of registration, and legal reference to freedom such as Notarial acts and dates or information on parents being free.
Types of occupations typically found among the antebellum free people of color population included steam boat workers, construction workers, barbers, seamstresses, hair dressers, merchants, boarding house keepers, nurses, domestics, cigar makers, drivers, cooks, and waiters.
A few famous people can even be found listed, including P.B.S. Pinchback, Louisiana’s first African American Governor, who served during the Reconstruction period.
While the dates indicate the registrations occurred between 1840 and 1864, some entries may actually date back to the 1830s when an earlier register may have been kept. One drawback, however, is that many of the long-established free blacks living in the city were not required to register under the law. Nevertheless, those researching New Orleans free black population will find this an important source.
The transcriptions contained in this book were actually published in installments in Le Comité’s journal, le Raconteur, between 1992 and 2006. They have been revised and re-indexed into one handy source. A new introduction, written by the compiler, Judy Riffel, is also provided.
The 234-page softcover book sells for $30.00 to Le Comité members and $40.00 to non-members, postpaid. To order, mail check or money order to: Le Comité, P.O. Box 1547, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
For more information, check out the society’s website at www.lecomite.org.
QUARTERLY PUBLICATION: A La Pointe, the quarterly newsletter of the Pointe de l’Eglise: Acadia Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc, has just been issued. As usual, this Acadia Parish society has presented another helpful publication of interest to many researchers.
This issue contains a list of all the parish-wide elected officials from 1887 to present, a list of teachers assigned to schools in 1897, a 1903 address of A.L. Chappuis delivered at the boll weevil convention in 1903, Acadia Parish marriage license index of 1912, Church Point municipal officials from 1893 to present, a property transaction for Isaac Bacon and Hannah Day Beals (1889-1907), and many other miscellaneous items.
The address for this group is P.O. Box 497, Crowley, LA 70527. Their online address is www.rootsweb.com/~lapehgs. Membership in this group is $15 for individuals or $20 for the family. The newsletter editor is Gene Thibodeaux. Check them out. They have lots of publications for sale.
BROUSSARD INFO: Mitch Conover, 300 Strasbourg Drive, Lafayette, LA 70506, has issued another CD on the Broussard descendants. He has done this in a fashion that provides easier navigation. This is an excellent addition to any genealogical library but especially for those with a Broussard connection in their ancestry. The CD is composed in Microsoft Word. This CD sells for $75.00.
MISCELLANEA: Queries are printed in this column format free of charge and can be any length but should have a Louisiana connection by heritage or by residence of individuals who are researching lineages in other states. The e-mail address for this column format is firstname.lastname@example.org. The postal address is: Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337.
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