Thursday, June 19, 2014

Juneteenth National Freedom Day Observation - 19 June 1865

19 June 2014

Today we celebrate Juneteenth National Freedom Day. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is the name given to Emancipation Day also know as Freedom Day by African Americans living in Galveston, Texas in 1865 when they first learned that all slaves were free.

Officially, the end of slavery was declared on 1 January 1863 by President Lincoln but the declaration was issued on 22 September 1962.  The people in Texas didn't learn of the decalaration until June 19, 1865.

Juneteenth is celebrated all over the United States with religious services, speakers, reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, with food, dances and games.

Friday, February 28, 2014


Last week, I learned something about my great-uncle, Joseph Leo Bayonne. A shaky leaf indicated that the hint was a California marriage record for Uncle Leo. I thought, "No way could this be my relative; he has never been to California." I pulled up the information and checked out the groom's parents and there were the names of my great-grandparents, Jules Bayonne and Victorine Randall. To my knowledge, Uncle Leo had never lived in any places except Louisiana which is where he was born and Alabama where lived at the time of his death.

According to the marriage license, Leo Bayonne was 35 years old, a tailor and a resident of Oakland California when he married Sarah Blanche Broussard, 32 years, a housewife and a resident of Oakland, California on August 4, 1930. It was a second marriage for both of them - Leo was divorced and Sarah was widowed. Sarah's parents were Perry Lawson and Emily Hunter... three more surnames to add to my  family tree!

Although 1930 was before my birth, I would think that this would have come up in my research of  the Bayonne family. I had just watched a webinar on Ancestry entitled, "Forward Thinking: Tracing the Children of your Ancestors and their Children." Now I am more motivated than ever to get started tracing the children of Jules and Victorine Randall Bayonne.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Nelson Lofton's Obituary

Date: Friday, October 17, 1980  Paper: Times-Picayune(New Orleans, LA) Page: 25

Mr. Nelson Lofton, on Monday, October 11, 1980 at 10:00 a.m., at Touro Infirmary Hospital, beloved husband of Mrs. Rebecca Lofton, father of Ms. Carol Lofton.

Funeral sevice from Gertrude Geddes Willis Funeral Home on Saturday, October 18, 1980 at 10:30 a.m. followed by religious service at Mount Zion Methodist Church, on Louisiana Avenue.

Interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Wake serice on Friday October 17, 1980 at 9 p.m. at Gertrude Geddis Funeral Home.

Curtesy of Michael Willis

(author's note: This obituary was abbreviated because the print was blurred and difficult to read.)

15th Amendment Ratified Today

On February 3, 1870, the 15th amendment was ratified. Republicans wanted the amendment passed to obtain the the vote of the freed slaves.

The 15th Amendment ensures the right to vote to all male citizens of the United States, regardless of order or previous condition of servitude. The 15th amendment opened the door for the elections of African Americans to the US Congress and to Southern local and state offices. New Southern governments began collecting taxes for local public schools.

Women would have to wait until 1920 to get the vote, the year that my mother was born.

Source:  African American Registry 2/3/20014