CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 45
By Damon Veach
UPDATED EDITION: If you failed to get a copy of the original edition of The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your genealogy Computer Program, now is the time to purchase the updated edition. The modern world of genealogy combines the traditional methods of research with the awesome power of computers and the Internet, a combination so powerful that it has transformed the way we do genealogy. It is definitely a lot different from when I started my research.
The purpose of this book is to instruct the researcher in this new methodology, tying the fundamentals of genealogical research to the infrastructure of computers and web sites. In other words, it is a manual for modern genealogy and designed for the beginner but being useful even to the most seasoned researcher.
With a growing reliance on electronic databases, computer programs, and Internet resources, genealogical research, for all practical purposes, will never be the same. However, in many respects it will be the same for the principles of sound genealogical research are immutable, and this book shows how to combine traditional research methods in the National Archives, the LDS Family History Library, and other major resource centers with today’s technology. Included are how to conduct research in courthouse records, censuses, and vital records using techniques unheard of just a decade ago. It shows you how to get started in your family history research, how to organize your family papers, how to enter information into a genealogy computer program so that you can easily manage, store, and retrieve your data, how to analyze the data and place it in various tables, charts, and forms, and how to put together a family history notebook and all the while using conventional record sources with a modern search and retrieval system.
Karen Clifford who compiled this information into book form is an Accredited Genealogist and the president and CEO of Genealogy Research Associates, Inc. with offices in Monterey, California and Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an instructor in genealogy and computer classes at Monterey Peninsula College, California, and is the author of four college textbooks on genealogy and credentialing in genealogy. In addition, she is president of the Utah Genealogical Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and course coordinator of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.
This new updated edition contains references to current URLs and databases, discusses new genealogy software options, describes the latest procedures at FamilySearch, and includes a revision of the census chapter to reflect the release of the 1930 census. It is in a soft-cover format and can be obtained from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211. The price is $45.45, postpaid.
MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: Le Comite des Archives de la Louisiane is beginning another year, and they continue to offer memberships at only $15.00 per year if paid prior to March 1, 2011. Any members joining after March 1 must include an additional $5.00 to cover the cost of mailing back issues of the society’s journal, Le Raconteur. The calendar year runs from January 1 through December 21, and it continues to be one of the best you find anywhere in the U.S.
Members receive four issues of Le Raconteur, now published in March, June, September, and December. Members are also entitles to discounts on society publications and free attendance at the annual meeting held between September 1 and October 15 of each year.
To join, send a check or money order to Le Comite des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc., P.O. Box 1547, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-1547.
SHOW AND TELL: Each year, certain Vicksburg Genealogical Society members volunteer to share artifacts and information on their ancestors. This year, on January 10, 2011, the crowd was small due to bad weather, but the presentations were still very interesting and informative. Here is a summary of the presentations as reviewed by E.A. (Tony) Dardeau, Jr:
Dr. Mary Collins Landin brought with her two cast iron corn bread muffin stick pans. One was handmade (possibly by a Travis family blacksmith) and has corn grain markings in each stick mold. The other pan, which belonged to her great-great-grandmother, Eliza McNair Smith (1818-1900), was manufactured by Excelsior Stove Works (later, Excelsior Manufacturing Company). It was a G.F. Filley #7 Muffin Gem Pan (produced from 1865 to 1900) and has eleven compartments (2 by 3 by e inches).
Bobbie Beyers Edwards emphasized the importance of clearly marking family photographs and shared with the group several that she inherited from her Aunt Lillian Andrews O’Steen (1910-1995). Often photo inscriptions yield information available nowhere else, and some can be quite humorous.
James Earl (Sam) Price showed a photograph of his grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Price, in his Confederate uniform. Thomas enlisted in Copiah County, Mississippi, in 1861 as a 17 year old shortly after Mississippi’s succession from the Union when it was briefly a republic. He saw combat in Virginia and was wounded in the neck, which affected his speech. After capture at Gettysburg in 1863, he was transferred to Fort Delaware. The condition of his release was that he serve as a Agalvanized Yankee. Former Confederates who became Union soldiers were sent West, rather than to the South. One assignment was to Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He returned to Copiah County in 1866 and functioned in a medical capacity using skills he learned in the military. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1890 and died of typhoid fever in 1900.
Martha Price Leese shared flight log books and personal notes kept by her late husband, Grady, who was a World War II pilot. Grady’s notes were very neat and thorough. She also showed a survival packet issued to flight crews. It contained silk maps of Europe, foreign phrase cards, a saw blade, note paper, etc. They began corresponding while Martha was a student nurse and Grady was in pilot training and continued during Grady’s service with the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Tony Dardeau had a spinning wheel spindle and a pair of carding combs used to align fibers prior to spinning. These items were given to him by his maternal aunt, Celeste Gaty, and belonged to his Gaty ancestors. The Gaty family had these items when they migrated in the 1880s from Illinois to homestead on Louisiana’s Mamou Prairie.
NEW OFFICERS: The Canary Islands Heritage Society of Louisiana installed a new slate of officers and directors at their January 8, 2011 meeting. Pictured are Stephen Estopinal, Treasurer, Rose Marie Powell, Board Member (Past President), Alisa Janney, Vice President, Layne Lindsly, President, and Karen Lambert, Secretary. Not pictured are board members Rogers Serpas, Fr. Gerald Lefebvre, and Kathy Brumfield.
For those who were not able to attend this meeting, Bobby M. Freyou, Public Land Records Manager, who was the scheduled speaker, provided a copy of his notes. These were provided for publication in this format by Layne Lindsly, President, and they are included here for your future reference.
LOUISIANA STATE LAND OFFICE
--- up-dated Jan 2011 ---
by Bobby M. Freyou, Public Land Records Manager
"Historical Land Title Records Program - General Info"
* The Louisiana State Land Office has an extensive collection of historical land title records from the United States General Land Office, the U.S. Surveyor General's Office, and the Louisiana State Land Office:
- We have an estimated three million scanned documents comprising:
U.S. & State Tract Books (an index to all of the records)
U.S. Surveyor General Official Township Survey Plats
Field Notes for said survey plats
Claim Papers - French/Spanish/British Land Grants
Exhibit of Private Land Claims Reports
American State Papers (U.S. Acts of Congress)
Selections & Approvals of land per Seminary of Learning Act
Selections & Approvals of land per Internal Improvements Act
Selections & Approvals of land per Swamp Lands Act
U.S. and State Homesteads
U.S. and State Military Warrants
State Certificates - Orders - Receipts
Levee Board Transfers
Section 16 School Lands & Indemnity Lands records
Railroad Land Grants from U.S.
Misc Letters between Federal officials in LA & Washington
- Most records are filed by Land District, Township, Range, and Section.
- Certificates, Receipts, and Patents are filed by their file number.
- Letters are usually filed by date, and grouped by "from - to".
- We have names of the first property owner only (public to private).
- We have an index by name for the US and State Tract Books.
* Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
* In 1805, the Federal Government began requiring landowners to present their land "claim" to a Board in New Orleans. The Board reviewed the claims, assigned them a Claim Number, and ranked them (A, B, C). The U.S. Register & Receiver prepared a report (the Exhibit of Private Land Claims), detailing the claim information, and forwarded it to the U.S. General Land Office in Washington, D. C.
* Washington reviewed the R & R report, and if agreeable, passed a U. S. Act of Congress, in which the Federal Government recognized or "confirmed" the claim - thereby transferring title from the Federal Government to the private owner. These acts were compiled and are known today as the American State Papers.
* Also in 1805, the U.S. Surveyor General's Office came into Louisiana to begin laying out the two meridians, the six land districts, and the township, range, and section lines. Within each township/range, the navigable water bottoms (lakes, rivers, bayous, etc) were meandered and the Approved Land Claims (listed as Private Claimants), the River Lots or radiating lots fronting along waterways, and the "Rectangular" sections (listed as Public Lands) were surveyed and section numbers assigned to them.
* Federal land offices, called General Land Office District offices, were set up in New Orleans, Greensburg, Opelousas, Natchitoches, Monroe, and later Baton Rouge to handle the records of these U.S. land transactions. Over the years these offices were shut down and consolidated, with their records being packed up and moved. Many records may have been lost during this time - also, there was a fire in the New Orleans office in the 1860's. This may explain some of the missing records.
* Most U.S. Official Township survey plats and their field notes were completed between 1820's and 1850's. Many more supplemental surveys were performed in 1870's and 1880's.
* Federal Government sold, homesteaded, or transferred the remaining "public lands" based upon these official township survey plats.
* Federal officials (Surveyor General, Register & Receiver of district offices, Commissioner of the General Land Office, the Sec of Interior) wrote letters back and forth to each other concerning the processing of the land sales and transfers. Therefore we have a large collection of letters - some of which may discuss problems or conflicts that arose with the surveys, sales, or transfers.
* Federal Government transferred "public lands" to Louisiana:
- 1827 U.S. Seminary of Learning Act = 46,000 acres.
- 1841 U.S. Internal Improvement Act = 500,000 acres.
- 1849 U.S. Swamp Lands Act = over 10 million acres ( 1/3 of State).
* State Land Office was created in 1844 to process and sell these lands.
* We have the Federal selection and approval lists, detailing what lands were transferred from the Federal government to the State.
* The State Land Office then sold or homesteaded these lands to private owners or transferred them to Levee Boards. Some of these lands are still owned by the State today.
* We have state certificates (orders), receipts, patents, transfers, etc. documenting these State sales, homesteads, and transfers.
* In theory, every parcel of land should have an official "paper trail" documenting the land's severance (transferring title from the public domain to the private domain) - all sources of land title must begin with the Federal Government and then go to private owners or from the Federal Government to the State and then to private owners. Sales or transfers thereafter from private owner to private owner should be recorded in the Parish Clerk of Court's office in the parish where the property is located.
* The exceptions are navigable water bottoms and Section 16 School Lands. Navigable water bottoms became state-owned in 1812 by virtue of the inherent sovereignty of statehood. Section 16 School Lands became state-owned, under the provisions of a U.S. Act in 1806, upon official approval of the official township survey plat for the township. There is no written documentation transferring these waters & lands from the Federal government to the State.
* All of our U.S. records, documents, & maps came to us from the U.S. Surveyor General's Office when it was abolished in 1910 and from the U.S. General Land Office District Offices, which were consolidated over the years into one office in Baton Rouge, which was then closed in 1927. Louisiana is unique in possessing these U.S. land records in a state land office collection. Almost all, if not all, of the other states in the eastern portion of the country had their U.S. land records sent back to Washington, D.C.
* Today, all of these records are researched daily by surveyors, title attorneys, land title abstractors, oil & gas landmen, genealogists, and historians.
* New directions and technology for the future:
- Most of our records have been microfilmed and laminated years ago.
- We have recently scanned and placed upon our web page approximately 3.5 million documents in our Historical Land Title Records program and Tax Adjudicated Land Records programs. The Louisiana State Land Office Home Page web address is www. doa.louisiana.gov/slo
* You may also wish to contact:
U.S. Dept of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office, 7450 Boston Blvd, Springfield, Virginia 22153. Phone 703-440-1700
Web site address is www.glorecords.blm.gov
- - - OTHER FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE LAND OFFICE - - -
RECORDS: Historical land title records program; Tax adjudicated land records program; State Land and Building System Inventory program (www.gcr1.com/fpc).
LAND & WATERBOTTOM MANAGEMENT: Land sales & appraisals - tax & surplus property; Right of Way program; Surface lease program; Waterbottom permit & lease program; Timber sales;
TITLES & SURVEY: Title and boundaries program; Field survey & inspections program; Identification of State-owned water bottoms project.
GIS: Computer-based mapping of all lands in which the State has a surface interest - either owned & leased, and all state-owned water bottoms, all of which is available on our web page.
Total staff = 22 full-time employees; 2 part-time students; 3 contract personnel.
Located on the ground floor of the Claiborne Building in the Capitol Complex
on North Third Street in downtown Baton Rouge.
MAILING ADDRESS: LOCATION:
Louisiana State Land Office
P. O. Box 44124 Suite G-150
Baton Rouge, LA 70804 Claiborne Building
1201 North Third
Baton Rouge 70802
Main Phone = 225-342-4578
FAX = 225-342-5458
Web address: http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/slo
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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