CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 11
By Damon Veach
Photo by Cliff Normand
MEETING HELD: The Canary Islanders Heritage Society met May 7, 2011, at the Louisiana State Archives where they replicated the Canary Islands Festival of Dia de la Cruz (day of the cross) by decorating several iron crucifixes with flowers while enjoying several traditional Spanish dishes. The members pictured are, from left to right, Lynda Normand, R. Layne Lindsly, Stephen Estopinal, Marie Estopinal, Karen Lambert, Jean Nauman, and Alisa Janney.
SOUTH CAROLINA RECORDS: FamilySearch, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization in charge of the world’s largest genealogy repository, has announced a rich new online resources that will certainly be of interest to South Carolina residents, Civil War buffs, and family historians with Southern roots. FamilySearch’s free resources consist of new historic records and image collections and an in-depth online help center (wiki) for South Carolina genealogy resources. The information can be found at FamilySearch.org. The announcement coincided with the National Genealogical Society’s 33rd annual family history conference in Charleston.
FamilySearch’s newest South Carolina collections are South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964, and South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977. Probate and estate records typically include wills, bonds, property inventory, and court petitions.
“These types of records are extremely valuable to genealogists because they may be the only known source of an ancestor’s death date, name of a spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence,” said Mary Lynn Sharpe, FamilySearch project manager.
The new collections include hundreds of thousands of digital images of the original historic documents that can be browsed online at FamilySearch.org using a digital viewer.
“For example, let’s say your ancestor was Jasper Crooks, and you knew he lived in Oconee County South Carolina,” said Sharpe. “A review of the historic probate records online will reveal that his wife, Sallie Crooks, petitioned the court for permission to divvy up his estate. The records show Jasper Crooks’ death date was November 1, 1897, and personal property deemed most valuable at the time—right down to the mouse grey mule, old two horse wagon, 4 rocking chairs, 3 padlocks, wash pot, and a corn sheller.”
Also in FamilySearch’s free online collection of South Carolina records are South Carolina deaths (1915–1955) and Civil War Confederate Service Records (1861–1865). The two collections comprise millions of searchable records.
FamilySearch has also introduced a South Carolina section to its free online research wiki. Using the information from the wiki, patrons can quickly find out what other historical records exist by county and where. There are also links to free online genealogy courses and a free forum for asking personal research questions. The help services are supported by volunteers.
And, in a separate announcement, FamilySearch says that the Civil War Era records project was just launched. Volunteers will be indexing millions of historic records from the Civil War period to help family history sleuths gather the pieces of their family stories that extend to that period. There is also a FamilySearch Civil War wiki page where specialists are contributing online content dedicated to regiments and states.
In the last year, FamilySearch, with its growing base of volunteers, has published almost 500 million historic records online free for the public to search or view. Fueled by technology and the popularity of genealogy, interest in family history continues to grow. With this growth comes an ever-increasing demand for access to information and historic records needed to fill in the next branch of someone’s family tree.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULED: The 2011 Cemetery Symposium will take place on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at Longue Vue House & Gardens, 7 Bamboo Road, New Orleans, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check-in time is 8:30 a.m., and the cost is $25 for Save Our Cemeteries members and $30 for non-members.
This will be a full day of useful and accurate information about Louisiana’s unique cemeteries and burial customs. Topics for discussion include: necrogeography 101 (North and South Louisiana cemeteries; murder by poison in Louisiana, the demise of unfortunate individuals; death and burial in the Bible; and Buddy Stall on beautiful and historic Metairie Cemetery. There will also be a special session for new and aspiring tour guides with information on tour guide licensing, mentor training, cemetery tour training manual and mentor tours of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Basin Street on July 9th and Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 on Washington Avenue, July 16th.
Deadline to register is Monday, June 20, 2011.
CENSUS DATA: The Mamou Prairie in 1900 is a genealogical study based on the 1900 Federal census of Louisiana and was compiled by Dowell Lafleur. It is actually part of a series of works on this census. It was first published by Provincial Press and is now reprinted by Claitor’s Publishing in Baton Rouge.
The first two books were Opelousas Town and Northern Evangeline Parish Before It Ever Was. Some of the small towns listed in the Mamou Prairie are Johnson Cove, L’Anse Grise, L’Anse Meg, P’tite Prairie, Pine Point, Platin, Reddell, Spring Prairie, Soileau, Vidrine, and Mamou. It appears that the census taker started in the southeast section of the census areas, somewhere approximately northwest of present-day Chataignier and moved northward in back and forth sweeps.
The 1900 St. Landry Parish Upper Mamou census was started on the first day of June 1900 and was completed on the eighteenth of July. The census taker was Joseph R. Hardy. Even though some of his spellings are off, the records are there to be gleaned by descendants.
You can order this book now from Claitor’s Publishing. The price is $33.50.
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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