CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 41
DILL BOOK: Genealogists are always looking for new sources to further their research goals, and sometimes the material can be found in older publication that may be out of print. It’s a matter of checking with the different genealogical library collections or going online and seeking out sources.
The Caucasian was a tri-weekly newspaper published in Shreveport, and several years ago, Harry F. Dill extracted the marriage and death announcements printed there. He put together a nice soft-cover book by using the microfilm copies, and these references are a valuable resource for both white and African American genealogists seeking ancestors who lived in Caddo Parish from 1903 to 1913.
Although newspaper stories of marriages and deaths do not indicate race, it seems likely that the subjects of these stories were mostly white since this was all written during the period of segregation. However, the newspapers also included statistics on marriages and deaths reported by the Board of Health, and these records identify individuals as white, colored, or black. Marriages and deaths from The Caucasian are presented in Chronological order.
Marriages & Deaths from The Caucasian, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1903-1913 is a soft-cover book, and a full-name index is included. Harry F. Dill is also the author of Some Slaveholders and Their Slaves, Union Parish, Louisiana, 1839-1865, The Underground Railroad and the Picayune Connection, and African American Inhabitants of Rapides Parish, Louisiana, 1 June to 4 September 1870.
At the time this book was released in 2001, Dill was living in Alexandria, Louisiana. All of his books were published by Heritage Books, Inc. of Bowie, Maryland.
CENSUS RECORDS: Another older publication that researchers may be interested in is 1882 Census of the Catholic Population for the Parish of French Settlement with Additions and Corrections from 1887. This is also a soft-cover publication and was released by the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Archives Department.
This 1882 census contains 217 families and over 850 individual names. Most of the entries contain the head of the household, the maiden name of the wife, the children, and all of their ages. Often the relationships of others living in the house are given.
Every attempt was made to copy the information exactly as it appears in the census. Translations were made of the French text appearing in the census. Each name was copied as written in French with no corrections made to the surname. It should be noted that the following surnames are included: Wickner (Vicknair), Sexnaidre (Schexnaidre), Saintjes, Sanche (Sanchez), and Civicque (Scivicque). The “c” which appears next to 144 names indicates those persons who were confirmed by the Archbishop in 1883.
This census has an interesting history. In September of 1887, Father Emile Peufier arrived from France to serve in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Archbishop Perche accepted Father Peufier to work in the Archdiocese and sent him to the Livingston-North Ascension portion of the Parish of Sacred Heart, New River, Louisiana to work under the pastor, Reverend P.E. Mesnil. In the installation transcript, Father Peufier is shown to be assigned specifically as a missionary to visit the stations of Port Vincent, Whitehall, Bear Island and that section north of Blind River up to Lake Maurepas.
Father Peufier appears to have been given pastoral authority over this area with the understanding that it was still pat of and under the ultimate pastoral leadership of Father Mesnil in New River. Whether at the request of Father Mesnil or on his own initiative Father Peufier conducted a census of the area in November of 1882.
That census included the following area communities: Whitehall, Bear Island, Coteau Pierre, La Vielle Riviere (Old River), Petite Amite, La Riviere Amite Haut (Upper Amite River), La Riviere Amite Bas (Lower Amite River), Catfish Tiger Bluffs, Port Vincent, Le Lac (The Lake), Coteau Brown (Brown Ridge), Chene Blanc, La Cote Francais (French Settlement), Blind River, Coteau Brown on Blind River (Brown Ridge on Blind River), and Lac Maurepas (Lake Maurepas).
VIRGINIA FRONTIER: Trans-Allegheny Pioneers, Historical Sketches of the First White Settlements West of the Alleghenies 1748 and After by John P. Hale is one of the most celebrated accounts of life on the Virginia frontier ever written. The author's concern, of course, was on the progressive frontier explorations and settlements along the entire Virginia border, from the Alleghenies to the Ohio, and from the New River-Kanawha and tributaries in the Southwest, where settlements first began, to the Monogahela and tributaries, in the Northwest and along the Ohio, where the frontier line of settlements was last to be advanced.
His focal point is the region of the New River-Kanawha in present-day Montgomery and Pulaski counties, Virginia. Chronologically, the account picks up in the 1740s but truly hits its stride in 1755 with the Indian attack at Draper's Meadows, which resulted in the deaths of a number of settlers and the capture (and ultimate escape) of Mary Ingles and Bettie Draper. The author ably uses the device of the Indian raid and subsequent flight to tell about life along the frontier and the names of the families who settled there.
Other chapters are devoted to the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774 and biographical sketches of its participants. Point Pleasant, in fact, prefigured the conflicts that characterized the frontier theater of the American Revolution. Elsewhere, Hale provides a detailed chronology of milestones along the Trans-Allegheny, Daniel Boone's years along the New River-Kanawha, and a sketch of the early history and progress of nearby Charleston, West Virginia. This is essential reading for anyone interested in frontier history or the genealogies of mid-18th century families who resided in the Valley of Virginia.
This book is still available from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. The price is $33.00, postage and handling included. The book is not indexed, but it offers a lot of genealogical information for those individuals with ancestral ties to this part of the United States.
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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