Sunday, December 9, 2012

Leven Weathers

This is a bill of sale for my paternal great-great-great grandfather, Leven.  The sale is dated 3 April 1807 of Leven about 22 years of age , from Isaac Shute to Foster and Withers for $600. Leven last name is Weathers, very similar to Withers, his slave holder. Leven was assigned to Lewis Stirling on 7 November 1807.

This document was found by Judy Riffel as she was researching the Stirling Papers. Lewis Stirling is the owner of the Wakefield Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hicks Gravestone

Mt. Olivet is the burial place of my maternal grandparents, Nace Hicks, Sr. and Willie Estes Hicks. Keith A. McCoy, a cousin and son of Robertine Charles, is also buried here. Mount Olivet is located at 4000 Norman Mayer Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana.

I took this picture while attending my aunt's funeral, Gladys Hicks Butler, on August 25, 2012.  Gladys is also buried at Mt Olivet.

Providence Park & Mausoleum

Providence Park & Mausoleum is located at 8200 Airline Hwy in Metairie, Louisiana.  My parents, Harold and Augusta Bayonne, are buried here. Their home is about a block away from the cemetery.

Bayonne Gravestone

I took this picture of my parents' gravestone while in New Orleans attending the funeral of Mom's sister, Gladys Butler. Gladys died on August 16, 2012 and her funeral was August 25, 2012.

Wakefield Plaque

The Plaque states: 
Built in 1834 by
Lewis and Sarah
Turnbull Stirling
Two upper stories
removed in 1877
to effect partition
of estate.

Road to Wakefield Plantation

Wakefield Plantation

I recently acquired this photo of theWakefield Plantation while visiting St. Francisville, Louisiana. It is also referred to as the Stirling Plantation. Lewis Stirling and his wife, Sarah Turnbull Stirling resided in a 1807 log house until 1834 when the present house was built.

Members of my Morgan and Weathers families were slaves on this plantation.  Many of them were born, raised and died here. Lewis Stirling is their last slaveholder.

Wakefield plantation was originally two and one-half  stories, but in 1877 the house was divided by the heirs and two other houses were built from it. Those two houses later burned, leaving the original diminished house.  The current owners are Dr. Eugene and Jolie Berry. 

During the 42nd Annual Audubon Pilgrimage, March 15, 16, 17, 2013, eight homes will be opened  for tours including the Wakefield Plantation. This pilgrimage celebrates John Audubon's stay at the Oakley Plantation where he tutored a child and painted birds.

Wakefield Plantation


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750 -1925

The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750-1925 by Herbert G. Gutman is a valuable resource for any one researching the origins and culture of the African American families on number of southern plantations.  Information in this book led me to the slave birth registers and family papers of the slave holder of my ancestors. Paying it forward, here is the list of all of the plantations that are studied in Gutman's book:
  • Stirling Plantation, West Feliciana Parish, Lousiana
  • Carlisle Plantation, Concordia Parish, Lousiana
  • Good Hope Plantation, Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • John C. Cohoon's Cedar Vale Plantation, Nansemond Couty, Virginia
  • Benehan-Cameron Plantation, Orange County, North Caroina
  • Henry Watson Plantation, Alabama
Gutman includes charts and tables of family and kinship structures, naming patterns and a few illustrations of birth registers. There was a copy of the birth register which contained complete birth record - day, month, year- for my great-great- grandmother and two of her siblings.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stirling Papers - Record of the Births of Negroes

On June 30, 2012, Judy Riffel went to the library at LSU to examine the records of Lewis Stirling, the owner of a cotton and sugar plantation, to look for the births of my ancestors.  She found them on Reel 25 and sent me two TIF files consisting of 24 pages of births records.  I found the names and  birth records for my second and third great-grandparents and their children and a few death records.  Listed below are the entries from the registers:

Major and Fortine; my great-great-great grandparents

George, the son of Major and Fortine, was born Aug 1807; my great-great grandfather
Linder, daughter of Leven and Big Judy, was born Feby 1814; my great-great grandmother
Cecile*, daughter of Linder & Long George, born 17 of Jany 1833
Primus*, son of Linder & L George, born August 21 1834; died of Port Hudson July 1864
George, son of Linder & Long George, born Dec 9th 1836
Lewis, son of Linder & Long George, born October 24th 1838
David Williams, son of Linder & Long George, born Sept 7 1840; died Nov 29 1840
Roseale, daughter of Linder & Long George, born Feby7 1842; died 1847
Luke, son of Linder & Long George, born Feby 14th 1844
Ann, daughter of Linder & Long George, was born July 28th 1845
Jim, son of Linder & Long George, was born October 11th 1847
Wilson, son of Linder & Long George, was born Feby 10th 1849
Martha, daughter of Linder & Long George, was born July 8th 1851; my great grandmother
Roseale, daughter of Linder & Long George was born Oct 5 1855
* some records list Linder as mother and the father is not listed

Leven; my great-great-great grandfather
Big Judy; my great-great-great grandmother
Ervin, son of Leven and big Judy, was born May 1810
Linder, daughter of Leven & Big Judy, was born Feby 1814; my great-great grandmother
Eveline, daughter of Leven & Big Judy, was born March 1816
Leven, son of Leven & Big Judy, was born Jany 1820' died jany 23 1857
Caroline, daughter of Leven & B Judy, was born October 1st and died of same 1821
Mary, daughter of Leven & Judi, was born 13 Sept 1822; died Jany 20 1853
Maretta, daughter of B. Judy & Leven, was born May 10th 1825
Henrietta, daughter of Leven & B.Judi, born Jany14th  1829

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gussie's Peony


Today, June 23, 2012, is the one year anniversary of my mother's death.  Our friends, Jack & Sandee Buss, gave me the peony plant last year when I returned from her funeral. Jerry planted it in the strip along the driveway in front our home.  On Wednesday, the single flower on the plant opened and it is still open and in good shape.  What a beautiful way to honor my mother's passing and I hope next year that there are more blossoms.  Mom would loved flowers and would have been especially attracted to this beauty.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750-1925

I have had this book for years and did not know that my ancestors were included until a couple of weeks ago. As you can see, it is a used book that I purchased from Half Price Books in Berkeley, California. I bought it as a reference on plantation life for an article I was writing.

On May 31, 2012, I received an email from my cousin, Michael Willis, that had been written by Shawn Taylor, another cousin. Shawn related that excerpts from The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1725-1925 by Herbert G. Gutman contained the names and birth dates of our Morgan family.   This is what I learned from Shawn's email and the book:
  • My ancestors resided on the Stirling Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. The owner of the plantation was Lewis Stirling.
  • My second great grandparents are George Morgan and Linda Weathers. George was also known as Long George. Linda's name was spelled Linder.
  • George and Linda had ten childen. Their names and births were listed in a registry. They are George 9 Dec 1836, Lewis 1838, David 1840, Roseale 1842(deceased), Luke 1844, Ann 1845, Jim 1847, Wilson 1849, Martha, my great grandmother, 8 July 1851, and Roseale 1855.
  • Leven and Judy Weathers are Linda's parents and my third great grandparents.
The following chidren were listed on the registry as children of George and Linda  but in other places in the book, they are identified as Linda's children and no father was listed:
  • Cecile, daughter of Linder & Long George, born the 17th of Jan 1833.
  • Primus, son of Linder and & Long George, born 21 August, 1834.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I have been searching for grandfather, Theodore Bayonne, since 1999 and was finally successful a couple of weeks ago.  I have the following documents for him in my files:  baptismal record, 1900 census,  reconstructed service record for WWI and a death certificate. 

Every now and then, I  search for my ancestors who lack adequate documentation.  Carrie Taylor, my grandmother and wife of Theodore, is one them.  I looked for Carrie that night and found her in a post of the 1949 City Directory for New Orleans. There he was, listed not as Theodore Bayonne, but as Ferguson F. Bayonne. He was using his middle name! I found six more listings in the New Orleans City Directories ranging from 1916 to 1956, five for Ferguson and one for Theo F.

When I was a little girl, Grandma Carrie told me that my grandfather did not like Noel, his given name, and he never used it. Many years later after I got hooked on genealogy, I found his baptismal entry in the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records, 1886-1888, Volume 17, page 46. Man, as we called him, was  recorded as Noel Ferjus Theodore Bayonne. We knew him as Theodore but most people knew him as Ferguson. Theodore Bayonne is the name on his 1918 draft record and his death certificate.  He is identified as Faragard on the 1900 census, apparently a nickame which I concluded because he was born in December.

No other census records were found for Theodore, so the search goes on.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


My great-great grandfather, Nelson Taylor, Sr. and his family, were among the slaves sold after the death of slave holder Josias Gray beginning on December 19, 1842.  The family was not identified in the order, but they were named in the Probate Sale of Josias Gray December 19, 20 & 21st A.D. 1843.
"Negro man,named Nelson, age 30 years, his wife, Negro woman named Lethe age 30 years and her four children: girl named Mandy age six years, Little Nelson age four years, girl named Eliza age two years and girl named Malvina age six months were offered for sale to the highest bidder, adjudication to Henry H. Wall who sign hereto and John A. J. Hamilton - who sign as his security, both agreeing to comply with the terms (illeligible)     - adjudication of the sum of __? two thousand one hundred forty dollars."  transcription of the Probate Sale of Josias Gray, deceased , December 19,20 &21 A.D. 1843

above quote:  From Natchez to New Orleans CD, Slave, Slave Holders & Slavery in the Woodville Republican & Wilkerson Advertisers 1823-1849.

Monday, May 21, 2012


                                                               Nelson and Olivia Hyde Loften

I lived with Nelson and Olivia Loften in New Orleans to attend Booker T. Washington High School. My family moved to Metairie when I was in 5th grade and in order for me to attend a school in NOLA, I had to lived in the city.

My Dad used to take us to visit them when we were little. I did not know that I would be living with them to attend school. Olivia, also known as Sister, was sickly and spent a great deal of time in bed or a wheelchair.  I never knew what was wrong with her and we never talked about it.

Nelson was Grandmother Carrie's nephew.  He was born on January 16, 1891 in New Roads, Louisiana according to his Social Security application. His parents were Sarah Ann Taylor, sister of Nelson Taylor, Jr. and Hillery Loften.  Nelson was first noted on the 1900 U.S. Federal Census in the household of Nelson and Martha Morgan Taylor. He was listed as a grandson.

Olivia Edna Hyde was born on September 25, 1897 to Sarah Walker and Theophile T. Hyde in New Orleans. She married Nelson Loften on April 12, 1916.  They did not have any childen, but had a foster child named Delores. I don't know the date of her death but I remember her wake.

Olivia and her sister Florence, also known as Flossie, lived in a duplex. They shared this house and backyard, but were not speaking to each other when Olivia died. When Flossie learned of Olivia's death, she died of a heart attack. At that time, people held wakes in their homes. Olivia and Flossie's wakes were held together in Flossie's living room.  That stayed with me and I still have this picture in my head of the two feuding sisters in their coffins together in death but not in life.

Nelson died in October 1980. 

Photo courtesy of Michael Willis

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


                                 MATHERVILLE CEMETERY, MISSISSIPPI

Left:  Augustus Estes, Born June 1837, Died March 12, 1906, 68 Yrs, 9Ms, 1 Day

Right: Annie Eliza Estes, Born May 23, 1842, Died May 4, 1904, 61 Yrs, 11 Ms, 12 Days

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lula Jones Estes

                                                                     Lula Jones Estes

Lula Jones was born in Langsdale, Clarke County, Mississippi to Dan and Eugenia Jones.  She is my great-great-grandmother and was married to Augustus Estes, Jr.

Monday, February 20, 2012


                                                            Augustus "Gus " Estes, Jr.

Augustus "Gus" Estes, Jr. is my maternal great grandfather.  He was born in Langsdale, Clarke County, Mississippi about 1870 to Augustus Estes, Sr. and Annie Eliza Winn.  He was the third of eleven children. His siblings are: Arthur, Lela, Ada, Mary, Addie, Evaline, Georgia, Annie, Carrie and Ida. 

I never met my great grandfather and I do not have a date of death for him. He married Lula Jones and together they had three children: Willie, my grandmother, Robert, Eugenia and Edward. My mother, Augusta, was named after him. 

Monday, January 23, 2012


Nace Hicks, Sr.

Nace Hicks was born in Bayou Maringouin, Louisiana to James Henry Hicks and Rachel Scott Hicks on March 1, 1875.  Not much is known about his early childhood and I don't have many memories of my maternal grandfather because I was only eight years old when he died.

Nace was named after his great grandfather, Nace Butler, who was a slave on a Jesuit plantation in Maryland.  It is not known if he knew or remembered his great grandparents because he was about two or three years when they passed.

Nace was a carpenter by trade and prior to that he worked as a laborer in sawmills. On June 3, 1920 he married Willie Estes of Mississippi. Willie's parents, Augustus and Lula Jones Estes,  moved to Fullerton, Louisiana where Gus was employed in a sawmill. Fullerton is where Nace met Willie and it is where their first daughter, Augusta, was born.  

The Hicks family was enumerated in New Orleans on the 1930 census.  At this time the family consisted of four children: Augusta, Wilma, Marion and Gladys. Four more children were born between 1930 and 1938: Nace, Jr., Robertine, Onita, and Elois.

Big Daddy, as he was known to the Bayonne siblings, was a devout Catholic. No household chores  not even ironing clothes to attend church was allowed. He donated his time and skill in building and repairing St. Monica Catholic Church and School. Nace built an altar with a place to kneel and pray in the corner of each classroom.

Nace Hicks died on February 21, 1950 of prostate cancer. It was Mardi Gras Day.