Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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.


  1. Dear friend, I am a member of the Stirling family and just stumbled on your site. My grandmother lived at Wakefield after her mother died - her name was Jenny Chichester Hereford, her father was James Stirling Hereford. I am 75 years old - my grandmother, who married and lived here in Alabama, told me many stories about her life at Wakefield but I never heard a word about slaves and am horrified to know this. I guess I am naive - after all, it was a plantation and who did I think was doing all the work?? Please accept my profoundest apologies. I am a firm believer in equality and am an Obama supporter and went to the 50th anniversary of the Selma march. Love to you, Patricia, Peyton Carmichael

    1. Peyton, Thank you very much for visiting my blog and your heartwarming email. You are the first person to respond who was a member of the Stirling family. I would love to hear some of your grandmother stories and I would like to communicate with you about your connection to the family. Please send me your email address. I appreciate the apologies, however, I don't hold the descendants of slaveholders responsible for slavery. I believe in reconciliation and open communication between the descendants of slaveholders and the descendants of slaves. I visited the Wakefield in 2013 and have some information from the new owners I can share with you. Patricia

    2. Patricia, I am just now seeing this. It is August, 2016. My email is Please write to me and I will write the stories to you. Peyton

  2. Hi - My name is Peter Stirling Donahue and I live in Rye NY. My mother was Katharine Mary Haley and my grandmother was Lucy Stirling Haley. Her dad was Dr. Louis Stirling of Baton Rouge. HE was the son of Ruffin Grey Stirling

  3. Peyton Carmichael and Peter Stirling Donahue, you are my distant cousins! Peyton, you are my 6th cousin, once removed, and Peter, you are my 7th cousin. Genealogy has been quite the journey for me, and even more so since I was contacted by a distant black cousin, searching for his roots. He has been on a ten year journey and said I was the first breakthrough that he'd had. I was as dismayed as Peyton to find slave owners in my family tree ... they seem to be EVERYWHERE on my mother's side. If either of you get this message, please contact me if you are willing and able to help this cousin. I do think we have him placed within two generations of this one branch of the tree - although he and I have found that we are cousins several times over. I can be contacted at, and if you are able to contact me I will fill you in on my connection to you. Thank you so much, Patricia, for all that you do. (I don't know HOW you do it all!) Nancy Colford

  4. Hi Patricia, my great grandmother Cecile Bryant was born on Wakefield Plantation in 1835 and had my grandfather Virgil Sterling there in 1852. I have some information and I have a relative who has more. Please contact me at I am happy to help with your research.

  5. Hello Everyone,
    I am researching the Samuel Wakefield family of New Iberia, LA who was a Louisiana state senator during reconstruction (around 1876-1878). Samuel and his family were light-complexioned Blacks (at least 1 daughter moved from Louisiana with her husband and "passed" as White). His daughter Emma was the first Black female to receive a Medical Degree in Louisiana. In census records, Samuel listed his father as having been born in England.Does anyone know if there is a relation between Samuel Wakefield, and the Wakefields associated with the Stirling Plantation? Thank you,
    Phebe (