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