CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 14
FROM OUT OF THE PAST: While cleaning out some files recently, I came across quite a bit of material from DeSoto Parish. I was fascinated by this picture which was taken at the Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church located about six miles north of Logansport on the Marshall Road. By taking a magnifying glass, I was able to identify so many of these people. The picture was taken at the communion service and after dinner on the grounds, and it dates to the early 1950s. There are so many family history connections in this picture.
A lot of the Veach and Foshee family members are there as well as so many of the friends I attended school with in Logansport. I am doing a brief history of the Veach family in DeSoto Parish now and will submit it for publication in the DeSoto Plume, the quarterly publication of the DeSoto Parish Historical Society. I have been planning to do this for quite some time, but when I found this picture in some files that belonged to my mother, I decided I had waited long enough.
It was at this church that my grandfather was called to pastor in the early 1920s, and this brought the Veach family to DeSoto Parish from Kansas. This was Joshua H. Veach, who had married Harriett Adeline Wilson in Kansas, and their five sons, Clessie, Harry, Tommy, Paul, and Amos. It is always interesting in doing family research when you start putting the puzzles together, and you realize how close many of the families in a given area are related by marriages, friendships, churches, or in work situations. Of course, one clue always leads to another, and regardless of how much you do, there always seems to be even more to do – and more discoveries along the way.
It is always nice to learn of new publications to aid in family research, and I’m not sure when this “family maps series” of books started, but it is one of the most useful and refreshing finds I’ve made in quite some time. It covers all the old homesteads, roads, waterways, towns, cemeteries, railroads, and other identifying items, but even after checking these maps I find that I know of cemeteries that were not included in this book. This isn’t a reflection on the author’s work but on the lack of documentation over the years. I suppose it is that way with everything, and this is why it is so important to label all pictures, document all notes, and, by all means, share with others so that knowledge is not lost in time. Even though I knew of these cemetery locations, no one ever logged them in with the official records of the parish. It is for this reason that I will get busy writing up my family history for publication and adding these missing pictures and descriptions to the history of the parish.
Gregory A. Boyd has done a masterful job with this volume, and other parish books are available. Our Federal government’s General Land Office of the Bureau of Land Management (the GLO) has given genealogists and historians an incredible gift by virtue of its enormous database housed on its website at glorecords.blm.gov. Be sure to check this out.
You can also learn more about other books at Arphax Publishing Co., www.arphax.com.
Something else I would like to point out when doing research on your family is to seek out old Bibles, letters, documents, and pictures. I did a lot of research in earlier years and much of it has been filed away, but, again, while cleaning and re-filing some things I have come across a really nice collection of materials. Below is an example of a page I took from our old Foshee family Bible. I laminated it so it wouldn’t keep falling apart, and it is just another of those surprises that I hadn’t thought about in many years, filed away for safekeeping and now in published form for the first time.
The Foshee family presents another story I’m working on for the DeSoto Plume. The Foshee kin came from Alabama and Georgia, and my records go back to France as does my Veach lineage, the LaVache line. Many things were told to me by my grandmother, and I logged those in a notebook so I would have them for my records. I have descriptions of the Veach, Foshee, Sinclair, Adams, Reeves, Galbreath, and related family members, and it is like having known them personally. It is a vivid account copied years ago and just now uncovered again.
I will have to admit that the note at the bottom of this Bible page made me think about this ancestor all day and now while I’m writing this: “Remember me when this you see.” His name was Elijah James Foshee, pictured below, and he was killed in a timber accident two months before my mother was born, so all I have is a picture of him and my notes told to me by my grandmother, Lillie May Adams Foshee. I remember him only through a picture and my grandmother’s stories, but they are precious memories that have grown more important with time.
FAMILY DATA NEEDED: The Todora and Artall families were residents of the Melville, Louisiana area. Natal “Nat” Todore (1880-1949) was the pioneer member of the family. He was an Italian immigrant who arrived at the Port of New Orleans on board the Letimbro from Roccamena, Sicily on November 4, 1886.
Nat was the eldest of eleven children born to Francesco Todora (1860-1924) and Santa Michela (1864-1923). He worked on the Atchafalaya River Ferry, which ran daily from Melville to Pointe Coupee Parish.
At the turn of the 20th century, he married Josephine Artall (1883-1958), also an Italian immigrant and the daughter of Jasper Artall (1867-1941) and Antoinette Liuzza (1870-1942). Nat and Josephine lived out their lives in Melville where they are buried in the Catholic Cemetery there.
Their children were: Anna, born 1900, married John Napoli; Frances, born 1903, married Victor Cannella; Frank, born 1905, married Frances Viola; Michel, born 1908, married Rose Benedetto; Anne, born 1911, married J.A. Romero; Katie, born 1914, married Lee Torina; Mary, born 1916, married Sam Gulino; and Rozena, born 1918.
Mark J. Normand is searching for additional information and photos of the Todora and Artall families of Melville. You can contact him at email@example.com or by mail to 1342 Holly Drive, Slaughter, LA 70777.
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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