CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 48
BLACK HISTORY: Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane’s African American Special Interest Group (SIG) will hold its 2012 meeting on Saturday, April 14th, and complete program details will be given as soon as these are available.
Le Comité’s African American SIG was formed in 2006 as a subgroup of what is possibly the largest and most active genealogical/archival group in the state. This society is well known as a prolific publisher of records and guides pertaining to all aspects of Louisiana genealogical research. One of those books of particular interest to African American researchers is a release called New Orleans Register of Free People of Color, 1840-1864. It is a complete transcription of all the information found in four separate registers of free people of color residing in New Orleans who appeared before the mayor to register according to the laws of the time.
Most entries provide the registrant’s name, sex, color, age, identifying marks, profession, place of birth, time of arrival, date of registration, and legal reference to freedom such as Notarial acts and dates or information on parents being free.
Types of occupations typically found among the antebellum free people of color population included steam boat workers, construction workers, barbers, seamstresses, hair dressers, merchants, boarding house keepers, nurses, domestics, cigar makers, drivers, cooks, and waiters.
A few famous people can even be found listed, including P.B.S. Pinchback, Louisiana’s first African American Governor, who served during the Reconstruction period.
While the dates indicate the registrations occurred between 1840 and 1864, some entries may actually date back to the 1830s when an earlier register may have been kept. One drawback, however, is that many of the long-established free blacks living in the city were not required to register under the law. Nevertheless, those researching New Orleans free black population will find this an important source.
The transcriptions contained in this book were actually published in installments in Le Comité’s journal, le Raconteur, between 1992 and 2006. They have been revised and re-indexed into one handy source. A new introduction, written by the compiler, Judy Riffel, is also provided.
The 234-page soft-cover book is available from Le Comité. To order, check out the information at the society’s website (www.lecomite.org) or contact them at Le Comité, P.O. Box 1547, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
MORE RECORDS: Following the Civil War, the Freedmen’s Bureau provided assistance to tens of thousands of former slaves making the transition from slavery to freedom. Included in these extraordinary records are registers that give names, ages, and former occupations of freedmen and names and residences of former owners.
On Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 10:30 a.m., you can learn about these informative records at the Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library, 9200 Bluebonnet Boulevard here in Baton Rouge. Cassandra Fedrick will conduct the program.
There are also census lists, detailed labor and apprenticeship agreements, complaint registers, and rosters with personal data about black veterans (including company and regiment). The Bureau issued food and clothing, operated hospitals and refugee camps, established schools, helped legalize marriages, and supervised labor agreements.
These records are similar but different from those donated to the Louisiana State Archives last year by Le Comite des Archives de la Louisiane. You may wish to check these out too.
Registration is required for this meeting. For more information, call 225-763-2283.
ACADIA RECORDS: A La Pointe, the quarterly newsletter of the Pointe d l’Eglise: Acadia Genealogical and Historical Society has been released, and it contains more of the biographical data and pictures on early residents of this area. Much genealogical material can be found in data of this type.
Also continued in this issue is the listing of marriage records, compiled by Red Quebodeaux, and Acadia Parish ward constables for 1887-2011.
Membership in this society is $20 for individuals and $25 for family. These fees can be mailed to the society at P.O. Box 497, Crowley, LA 70527, and more information on the group can be found at www.rootsweb.com/~lapehgs. Meetings are held on the second Saturday of February, May, August, and November.
The next meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday February 11 at the Crowley branch of the Acadia Parish Library, located at 1125 N. Parkerson Avenue in Crowley. You may also want to check out some of their publications that are available from them. If you have ancestral ties to this area of the state, these may be of great importance to you.
NEW BOOK: The Terrebonne Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 20295, Houma, LA 70360 has announced a new book available from their group. It is 2011 Houma Courier Deaths and sells for $43, postpaid. They also have lots of other books that are invaluable when doing research in this area.
Membership in this society is $25 per individual or $30 for family. Their meeting on Saturday, February 4th featured a presentation by Patty Whitney on slave ancestors.
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 email@example.com. 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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