CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 40
By Damon Veach
VIRGINIA RECORDS: Virginia is rich in history and is one of the more important areas where researchers seek out family information. It has been covered by both historians and genealogists in fiction and non-fiction works, but one of the most important in recent years is A History of Louisa County, Virginia. Some authors just have the knack for displaying history in a way that it comes across in a more interesting manner. Lists of residents, soldiers, and immigrants are great works, but research is more than just listings. It is a study in early American history and how our ancestors lived.
Dr. Malcolm Harris, who is perhaps better known for his 1977 two-volume history of Old New Kent County, Virginia, compiled a definitive look at Louisa County many years earlier. This county was broken off of the earlier Hanover County. This book features a wealth of information for genealogists and historians. However, Harris’ primary aim was to highlight the contributions of Louisa people. The author organized the first half of the book around five institutional themes: politics, military records, country roads, churches and parishes, and education.
In this way, researchers can observe the milestones of settlement and jurisprudence, turning points in wars from 1756 to 1919, location of venerable homes and other structures, a who’ who of the religious establishment, and the foundation of schools, newspapers, and the professions. I have long encouraged researchers to do all the research themselves and become involved in the way our ancestors lived and where they lived. If a professional researcher does this, the pride of being a part of American is lessened.
Even within the chapters of this book, Harris introduces lists of the individuals who were there when the history was being made: land patentees, brides and grooms, Revolutionary and Civil War veterans, teachers and their students, and others. This is what makes this book so important for researchers especially if you have ancestors that came through Virginia on their way west or into the south. My paternal ancestors actually went over through Indiana, on to Iowa, into Kansas, and then down into Louisiana and later Texas.
The second part of this book is actually where the genealogists really can get involved in the search for early family members. Following a list of Louisa Marriage bonds from 1767 to 1800, Harris treats the genealogist to 150 pages of family sketches of varying lengths.
Here is a list of pioneering Louisa families: Ambler, Anderson, Bacon, Barrett, Bibb, Bickley, Boxley, Bronnaugh, Bullock, Burnley, Campbell, Carr, Claybrooke, Cooke, Cosby, Callis, Dabney, Daniel, Dickinson, Duncan, Farrar, Fontaine, Fox, Francisco, Gardner, Garland, Garrett, Goodwin, Harris, Hart, Hiter, Kimbrough, Jerdone, Jackson, Johnson, Kean, McGhee, Maury, Minor, Morris, Nelson, Overton, Pettus, Pendleton, Poindexter, Pope, Ragland, Shelton, Smith, Terrell, Waddy, Walker, Waller, Walton, Wash, Watson, West, Winston, and Yancy.
The book concludes with lists of elected officials from Louisa County, a comprehensive bibliography for its time period, and a full name index. This is what you need to look for in any area where your ancestors lived, and don’t just do the main lineage. You can sometimes find valuable information by checking out any allied line, and you don’t have to be a descendant here. Lots of clues to family lineages can be found in unexpected places and records.
This book is probably too expensive for the normal researcher to add to his or her library – unless your direct line is found here. Therefore, I always encourage people to request local librarians in the major genealogical sections to add any item of interest to the research files.
This one is priced at $57.45, postage and handling included. It is another excellent book from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211. As mentioned at the beginning of this copy, you can also find the previous works of Dr. Malcolm Harris, especially the Kent County material.
New Kent County, Virginia, was created from York and a portion of James City County in 1654, and it was itself the parent county of King & Queen and King William counties. Harris' two-volume history and genealogy of "Old" New Kent County (the three present-day counties in the aggregate) is one of the great achievements of Virginia local history of the last century. Clearfield Company was honored to have been selected by the Harris family to reprint a hardcover edition of Old New Kent County. Privately published and out of print for many years, this work takes on even greater importance in light of the loss of county records in New Kent and in King & Queen counties and the survival of mere fragments for King William County prior to 1865.
The scope and arrangement of Old New Kent County are both entertaining and extraordinarily informative. Because the author's objective was to aid researchers in locating the sites and the inhabitants of the region during the colonial period, a pleasing narrative, supported by numerous photographs, links New Kent's plantations, ancestral homes, landmarks, and artifacts with its ancestors and their descendants. The work is arranged by county and thereunder according to the Episcopal parishes that comprised each county, namely Blisland and St. Peter's in New Kent; Stratton Major, St. Stephen's, and Drysdale in King & Queen; and St. John's and St. David's in King William. Besides the local and family histories, the publication boasts of an inventory of extant records at each county clerk's office, a number of lists of landowners (including a comprehensive list of King William County land tax assessments for 1782), marriage or other source records, and a comprehensive name index.
Of greatest interest to genealogists, of course, are the genealogies and sketches of Old New Kent families. Following is a list of most of the main families covered in this extraordinary work. (Researchers should bear in mind that many more surnames will be found in the index to the work.)
New Kent: Adams, Allen, Apperson, Armistead, Bacon, Bassett, Bathurst, Boyd, Burnet, Butts, Chamberlayne, Christian, Clayton, Clopton, Cousic, Crump, Dancie, Dandridge, Daingerfield, Davies, Ellyson, Foster, Goddin, Graves, Jones, Lacy, Lafayette, Lewis, Littlepage, Lyddall, Macon, Massie, Meaux, Mossom, Otey, Parke, Parkinson, Poindexter, Pollard, Scott, Semple, Stewart, Tarleton, Terrell, Tunstall, Vaiden, Martha Washington, Webb, Wilks, Williams, Winslow, Woodward, and Wyatt-Field-Jefferson.
King & Queen: Bagby, Bates, Baylor, Beverley, Bird, Boyd, Brooke, Camm, Campbell, Coleman, Corbin, Dame, Dew, Didlake, Dillard, Dixon, Dunlap, Field, Fleet, Gaines, Gardner, Gatewood, Govan, Gregory, Gresham, Gwathmey, Hill, Hockley, Holmes, Hoomes, Hoskins, Howell-Fielding-Dixon, Hubbard, Leigh, Lewis, Livingston, Lumpkin, Lyne, Madison, Meredith, Milby, Pendleton, Pollard, Richards, Roane, Robinson, Rootes, Ryland, Sears, Semple, Shackleford, Smith, Soanes, Spencer, Strachey-Metcalfe, Taliaferro, Taylor, Todd, Tunstall, Walker, Ware, Wyatt, and Young.
King William: Arnold, Aylett, Banks, Boothe, Braxton, Buckner, Burwell, Butler, Campbell, Carr, Catlett, Chamberlayne, Chiles, Claiborne, Cocke, Cownes, Dabney, Dandridge, Ellett, Fontaine, Fox, Frazer, Garlick, Harris, Hickman, Hill, Hoomes, Huntington, Johnson, Jones, King, Langbourne, Lipscomb, Littlepage, McGeorge, McGhee, Marshall, Martin, Maury, Mill, Moore, Nelson, Palmer, Perrin, Pollard, Power, Quarles, Ragsdale, Richeson, Ruffin, Seaton, Skyren, Southerland, Spencer, Starke, Taliaferro, Temple, Toler, Tompkins, Valentine, Waller, Webber, West, Wormley, and Winston.
This huge volume combining the two books sells for $145.50, postpaid. Here again, just see if your local librarian can add this to their genealogical collection or perhaps a local genealogical society can purchase and put it in a collection so it will be available for research. This is what I have done for my collection which is now open for research. Books are continually being added to this collection known as the Veach-Foshee Memorial Library Collection and housed at the Mansfield Female College Museum in Mansfield, Louisiana, which is in DeSoto Parish.
JACOBS, WHITMAN INQUIRY: Norma T. Henagan, 314 Live Oak Street, DeQuincy, LA 70633-3253 needs information on the Primitive Baptist Church (also known as Hardshell Baptist Church). Her grandfather, Peter Hiram Jacobs, was a Primitive Baptist preacher and was married to Nancy Lorine Whitman. He was a pastor in Fields, Louisiana, near the Hyatt School in Beauregard Parish.
(Editorial Note: My grandfather, Joshua H. Veach, was a Primitive Baptist preacher, and this is why the Veach family ended up in Louisiana. He became the pastor at the Cool Springs Primitive Church, located about six miles north of Logansport in DeSoto Parish on the Marshall Road. Part of the family moved later on to Gonzales, Texas, where he was called to preach at a church there.)
FREE SERVICE: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Queries and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Claitor’s Publishing can serve as a distributor for self-published genealogy titles. Go to their homepage for details on how you can obtain this excellent service.
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