Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To be or not to be a slave...is that's my question?

So I was feeling guilty about neglecting my father's side of the family, and frankly tired of mother's side. So I began searching around where I had been stuck before. My father's family is from Louisiana, and I have been able to get just to and maybe a little past the Civil War due to my uncle's past research.

I have not been able to locate my father's mother Etalia Reese prior to the 1920 census. She married Henry L. Antoine and dies prior to the 1930 census. I was mucking around trying to find her in the 1910 census but no luck... when I discover her husband Henry's parents Paul and Courine's Antoine's marriage record which listed his mother's maiden name as Lorence.

Now Courine Lorence was born in 1869 in Louisiana. So I began searching for one that matches the age of my ancestor. Turns out there were two. A Corinne Llorens from Natchitoches and a Corinne Lorinse from St. Martinville (which is the family hometown so I'm going with this one). Courine's father is listed as Hyppolite Lorinse, born 1842 (Lorins, Lorince, Lorence...yep, multiple spellings driving me crazy).

Also on the same census was his father, Hyppolite Sr. who was born in 1805 in France. I have not been able to find Courine's mother's name. Hyppolite Jr's mother's name, though may be Belzire. I have not been able to locate her or the children living with Hyppolite Sr. in previous census records and I imagined it was not ok until after the Civil war. I found Hyppolite sr living at a school in 1850. There is someone I think might be his brother by the name of So.B. Dest Laurent and his wife Rose, both born in France. There was a ship passenger record for a Hyppolite from France in 1839, who's last name is very difficult to read who was listed as a Professor of Music.

So this is where I was when I started searching this evening and this is what I discovered.

I followed up on the lead regarding the school. On the 1850 , Hyppolite is living next to the private school and his possible relation S.R.D.A. Laurant aka SO. B. Laurant. It does have that Mr. Laurant is a teacher at a private school, and I assume it is for a girls since there are three girls living there. In 1850 there were quite a bit more students than in 1860. In 1860 census, Hyppolite is living a few houses away and can be found on the following page.

At both these times there should be a record of his children but there is not. So then I began to look on the slave census and I found that Mr. Laurant owned 8 slaves in 1860. Then I looked to see how many he owned in 1850 and I found my Hypolite Lorins listed directly above Mr. Laurant. Hyppolite owned six slaves which match his wife, four sons and a daughter that are found in the 1880 census record. The ages seem to fit his children; however, he has them all listed as female. I did not find a record of him owning slaves in 1860 but it may be that he sold them to his brother (Laurant) or that I have just not been able to figure out which spelling of his name he is using. Anyway, that's all I have for now. Peace out

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bass Family verified

I received the probate records for Jethro Bass and he is the father of my Emily. Edward Minnis is also listed in the probate record for Jethro and Polly. I have not been able to locate Polly's family. She is a Mitchell. I think her mother may be Abigail, but I will need to get documentation for that. It seems the families intermarried quite a bit. The Anderson's married into the Bass family, so I have Kate Anderson as a double grandmother (I guess that is what it is called) on the Anderson and Artis side. I also have William and Catherine Lanier doubled since their sons William and John fathered children who were father and grandmother of Prudence Bass, Jethro's mother.

Confused yet? Yeh... so am I.

The most interesting thing that has happened occurred Friday. You see, I work in an office in a small town in California. I'm not from this area but have migrated here like a lot Californians. One of the women I work with is also working on her family tree. Now my friend and I have similar in interests. We are obviously in the same job field and enjoy our work. She's Caucasian and I'm African American and as we've researched our family history we have been able to learn about the cultures of our ancestors. We talk about her Mormon family ties and how difficult it was for one of her grandfathers who lost a secession of wives to death due to illness, some in the same Cholera outbreak that took Elizabeth Lee. I've talked about my difficulty in finding my ancestors who may have been slaves (like Edward Minnis who I'm still stuck on)

My friend and I were both were surprised and excited to discover the family history of Emily and Jethro Bass. And my friend shared her own excitement and frustration when she found an ancestor who may have been a slave, but hasn't been able to trace her back past the 1840 census. After speaking with the family, she learned that there may be African American and Native American ancestry in her family.

This has been the best part! Most people have no interest in genealogy. Even people in your own family have no interest in genealogy. My husband has absolutely NO INTEREST in genealogy, though he is kind to pretend that he does. So having a friend who shares and interest in genealogy and having someone to talk to about and blogging about this (ok, I admit it's an obsession) has been rewarding.

Every day my friend and I discuss the information we found the night before while working on our tree. We brainstorm when we are stuck, vent when we are frustrated and congratulate each other when we have found a broken link in our chain of ancestors. Friday was no different.
My friend mentioned she had found a new thread that she was following by the last name of Jordan. Which seemed familiar, but you know how it is when you do a tree that someone else has already researched. At times the names seemed to blend together until you loose track of who you are because it seems so removed. This was the way this name seemed to reverberate in my head. I knew it seemed familiar but I couldn't remember how.

So, I looked it up and sure enough I had Jordan's in my tree as well. The problem was that the spelling for the Jordan's changed... I had Jordaines and she had Jourdaines. Turns out it didn't really matter because the wife of my Robert Jordaine and her Robert Jourdaine was the same Jane Coker.

So to sum it up...

Robert and Jane Jordaine had two son's, John and Thomas. Each boy married and had a child, who married... and so on until five hundred years later you reach my friend and I who it turns out are not only co-workers...but we're also thirteenth cousins twice removed (I think). Cool huh?

Friday, February 22, 2008

The MYSTERY of Emily is solved!

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated this blog. Things have been spinning since this time. I was a littled burned out back in January and was stuck with no new information. I watched the PBS series "African American Lives II", and hearing the stories was so inspiring. One of my cousins did the DNA testing and it came back that her mother's, mother, so on was from Cameroon, Africa.

I contacted the Vigo County Library, in Indiana to get copies of some marriage certificates I had found. One request in particular, which at the time I thought nothing would come of it, was for a marriage between an Edward Minnie and Duphena E. Bass, in Vigo, Indiana.

Well, I recieved my copies, which only cost a dollar, and almost passed out!

The marriage record is for an Edward Minnis who married Duphena Emily Bass in 1856. Yep, for some reason he left Illinois and went to Harrison Twp, Vigo, IN and married Emily. Another coincidence is that there is a Wheeler Minnis that lived in Harrison, and was found in the 1850 census, but in the 1860 census his wife and only a few of the kids are in Norfolk, Virgina. Maybe related?

Anyway, to continue:
I began researching census records for Vigo, and come across an Emily who fits the age of my Emily. Her father is Jethro Bass. I was able to trace the Bass family back, I mean way...back in time....well, let's just say I'm now in 1001 AD, in Normandy, France. I thougth I was was overwhelmed before, but now I swimming in a sea of disbelief.

I've found that I may be related to an Earl, a Comte, and the family comes from England, France, Italy, Morrocco, Scotland. So far, I have yet to find my African ancestor, unless the Italian of Moorish/Jewish ancestry counts. He by the way was from a famous musician family.

Anyway, I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. The problem with ancestry is that though there is a lot of information available, not all of it is accurate. I will be pretty busy trying to find sources for these possible ancestors and making sure birth dates match. I also am trying to find probate records or any documentation that confirms that my Duphena Emily Bass is the daughter of Jethro Bass, from whom all this information stems.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


After logging all the new information I had received on various sides of the family tree, I needed to take a break. I was totally burnt-out. Each time I contemplated sitting at the computer and entering more data, I swear, the thought of it filled me with nausea... or the reaction stemmed from the fact that I had contracted the stomach flu which has been going around. Either way no computer for me. So today, I finally logged on and weeded through the 256 messages in my email and have read some of the words of support from family members who appreciate that I'm working on our family history, and I feel rejuvenated.

But, still not ready to do data entry, yuck!. I had mentioned that my mother sent a huge packet of information on the family, well for some reason, I felt it necessary to scan all the pictures and log all the names. And after all that work, I'm still stuck! Same questions, very few answers on the puzzles of the past.

In the papers I received there were a couple of clues. There was a marriage certificate for one of the Dotson's that listed his mother's name as Elizabeth Buzzby. This is the "Blackfoot" grandmother, known only as Charlotte, who traveled by wagon train to Kansas. According to her son, my uncle she was unable to speak English. She was born in Louisiana and was found with her husband Jordan Dotson in Columbus, Lowndes, Mississippi in 1870. Prior to that there is no record that I have found. I learned from someone else researching the Dotson's that they were Creek, and that some were slave owners who after the war traveled with their slaves West. Some settled in Utah, and some stopped along the way. Jordan and Charlotte were listed as black on the 1970 census and were living in a predominantly African-American neighborhood during that time. So with the addition of her maiden name I began to search for Buzzby's or Busby's from Louisiana. So far, I'm still stuck.

Also listed in the papers was that Edward Minnis' wife's maiden name was Bass. I asked my mom and aunt where the maiden name came from but they could not remember. They had done their research ten or more years ago, and couldn't remember where they found the info. I decided to run the name Bass with Edward Minnis ancestries data base and found a marriage in Indiana for a Duphena E. Bass to an Edward Minnie (hopefully a typo).

This is the same town that the Roberts (who are related to William Roberts) moved to. I contacted the Vigo County Library and for a dollar they will send copies of all the marriage certificates that I found in Ancestry. So I'm getting that one as well as the marriage certificates for Archable Roberts and Eveline Artis. Hopefully, there will be some information listed on them that will help in the search. I found out from the librarian that Indiana did not keep birth or death certificates back in the 1840's. I also began searching in Indiana for an Emily Bass, and funny enough I found one. Even more interesting I was able to trace the family back the same way I did the Artis line using Mr. Heinegg's book. So now all I have to do is wait to see what the marriage certificate says to know whether I'm even on the right track. I could still be completely off base, and Elizabeth Ann Lee is Emily (doesn't it flow well).

I bought a book called "Southern Seed, Northern Soil" about the Roberts who came from North Carolina and settled in Indiana. It mentioned that they had to take their free-papers and provide them to the County Clerk when the left North Carolina and then when they settled in Indiana. I will see if I can track down Archable that way. I forgot to ask the librarian if they had those on record when I called her about the marriage certificate.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Roberts Family link to Archable Roberts

My mother sent a bunch of pictures and information that she and my Aunt Charlotte had located while doing their own research. I've been adding this information to the family tree on ancestry, as well. I've included some picture I had received.

The one below is of my great, great, grandmother William and Permelia Roberts' daughters Eva Roberts Tumbleson, her daughter Irene Tumbleson and Dollie Roberts Taylor.

This is the picture of Permelia (2nd woman) and her sisters. The second picture is of Permelia's children Ida, Norman, Carrie, and Jennie.

I also have started a second tree which details the Roberts family in Ancestry. Hopefully someone will see it and have additional information. I have sourced Paul Heinegg's "Free African American's in Colonial Virgina and North Carolina. I also had the Roberts Settlement family tree documents my mother had gotten from the Library of Congress. By putting the names in Ancestry, I have been able to narrow down Archable's family since he was living in Vigo, in 1850 with the Stewart family. Hezekiah Roberts was living there as well. It is slow going but making progress.