Monday, October 23, 2017


     Rachel Butler Hicks (seated), Henry Hicks, spouse (left), Beverly Hicks, son, (right)
courtesy of Katie Poll Primas, granddaughter of Beverly Hicks

After reading the New York Times' article about the Jesuit slaveholdings, Katie Poll Primas sent me this photograph of my great grandparents, Rachel and Henry Hicks, and their son Beverly. Katy is the granddaughter of Beverly Hicks. I never thought that I would see the faces of my geat grandparents because they were deceased when I was born. With the photo, Katy included the message "hoping this will help you."  Beverly is the older brother of Nace Hicks, my grandfather.

Rachel Butler was born into slavery on Jesse Batey's Maringuion Plantation in 1853. She was the daughter of two of the original Jesuit slaves, James Scott, born 1816, and Mary Butler, born in 1835. Rachel is also the granddaughter of four Jesuit slaves,  Bennett and Clare Scott and Nace and Biby Butler who were sold to Batey in 1838. This is a photo of my great grandmother who was a child of Jesuit slaves and who was enslaved with them and her grandparents on Jesse Batey's plantation. Henry Hicks, my great grandfather, was born in Virginia around i851.  It is not known how and when he arrived in Louisiana.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Update: Beverly Hicks

William Beverly Hicks

I discovered more information about Beverly Hicks. I used the new Freedmen's Bureau records from Family Search which were indexed by more than 25,000 volunteers last year. There were 1,781,463 records released and they added significantly to Beverly Hicks' story.

One thing I learned from the records is Beverly had two wives. I was always conflicted about this because I have seen Beverly and Jane listed as parents in the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church records and I also have seen Beverly listed with Mary in the census records. The 1870 Federal Census enumerates Beverly with Mary Hicks. There is a marriage certificate for Beverly Hix (sic) and Mary Bird also known as Byrd. They were married on 27 Dec 1864. I have not found a marriage certificate for Beverly and Jane but there is a record that states they were married.

A letter was submitted for consideration and an opinion to Capt. McDonnell. It states:
  • Beverly Hicks married a colored woman named Jane (also a slave). They lived together until 1863 when Jane was sold out of state.
  • Beverly became free in 1847!!!
  • After Jane was sold, Beverly obtained a marriage license in Halifax County and married a free woman named Mary Bird and they lived together since marriage.
  • Jane returned to Manchester in 1866(?) where she was owned and lived with Beverly up to the present time. The letter is dated Oct 15, 1866.
  • Jane and Beverly have 11 children and support was received from him.
  • Mary and Beverly have one child and Mary received support from him.
  • Both women claimed Beverly as their "lawfully" husband and want the Right of Possession be speedily determined.
  • Beverly runs on the Danville R.R. (I assumed "runs" means work.)
Beverly and Mary were living together according to 1900 Federal Census for Midlothian, Chesterfield, Virginia. On a bank form,  Emma Jane Hicks, 15, and John Hicks, 12, and George Hicks, 10, indicated that Beverly Hicks, their father, left Jane Hicks, their mother during the war.

The marriage certificate indicates that Beverly's parents are John and Amy Hix. A photo of a gravestone on Find a Grave is inscribed with the name of William Beverly Hicks, birth Apr 9, 1826 and death June 25, 1901. His spouse is Mary A. Byrd Hicks (1846-1927). Children: Thomas Rufus Hicks (1883-1965). Note: The 1900 Federal Census lists Thomas as 17 yrs. so I think that this is our Beverly. The other child who was listed is Alexander Hicks (1886-1950). This is the first time I have seen Alexander's name but they are the ones who buried Beverly. William Beverly Hicks is buried at First Baptist Church Cemetery in Midlothian, VA.