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?