Monday, August 03, 2009

A Breakthrough...

I don't know why I never thought of posting an online blog in regard to my genealogy quest. I do everything else online and it is so convenient considering the amount of travelling I do. Woo hoo!Lightbulb! ahahah...

In any case, lets discuss my breakthrough. Well I recently found the slave owning family of my Paternal Grandmother's Grandmother. Yes... Let me tell you that was a joy and a pain. A joy for linking the past, but a pain to know what she may have endured.

When I saw one of my Paternal Great GrandFather's (Alfred Sr.) death certificate, they had his mother's name listed, but her maiden name was illegible. It read LaBale from my eyes and anyone else I had to review the record. Well I decided that I should try to find death certificates of his siblings who may have the name listed correctly. I tried the brother that signed his death certificate and it wasn't listed at all. But I was able to find the death certificate of his eldest brother and bam, there it was LaBauve.

I remember when I found her, Jane (LaBauve) Thomas in the 1870 census before I knew her maiden name, and she was living with her husband William Thomas, but they were living smack dab in the middle of people with the name of LeBlanc and LeBauve - so you could understand my confusion. When you start in genealogy, you will find that "assuming" is NOT the best route to take - you have to be able to prove it or you'll be claiming relatives that have no relation to you, so I didn't want to "assume" until I had some proof and her son William Thomas Jr. gave me that proof!.

So I decided to look at her "neighbors" LeBauve and I found that they were a well known family in West Baton Rouge, LA and had a couple of plantations, etc. Being that she carried their name most likely means she was from their plantation, but what I find interesting is that she is listed as Mulatto which means she may have been more than their slave, I'm sure there is some relation there as well. So now my research is in finding which LeBauve was her actual owner and to piece together some history there. I know her mother's name, which is Ellen Allen (I believe it is actually Allain, another well known slave owner).

Since this is my personal blog I want to tell how I feel about this. Like I said, joy and pain. Joy that I have found yet another link in my family's history but sad that it is in this arena. Did I honestly think I'd find a free person of color in my family during slavery times? No, but I can't lie and say I didn't wish that my lineage didn't cross Nat Turner and some of his cohorts either. You get ANGRY for your ancestors, you want to FIGHT for your ancestors.

But you know I'm doing just that, I am angry but I'm going to use that in a positive way. I'm going to fight for them so that they aren't lost forever. They will be remembered and someway somehow their story will be told. I say this for the family members that aren't African American too - seriously, I'm not hateful or racist in any way. I love all people, but when you know that there is a great section of your family that has been wronged, it's hard not to be emotional about it.

Back to my breakthrough!

I also had a breakthrough in finding other children that may not have been listed on the census. In searching death records for my ancestors, I noticed there were a lot of children that died very young, some under a year old. So I decided to order a bunch of death certificates for these children and I found out that my Grandfather Spencer Sr. had a baby sister that he was 4 years older than and she died at 11months. She died in between census periods, so she wouldn't have been listed or even remembered. I found some of my Grandfather's brothers children that died at a young age too as well as a bunch of certificates that I cannot link to my family, but I believe in sharing details, so I'm going to try to find other people that may be researching those families and pass that info on to them.

I'm going to end this now and I'll be back soon sharing my research and my thoughts. Be Peace!



Jennifer said...

Loved your post. As a descendant of slaves, it is sometimes hard to get your head around how they survived that system. I'm more amazed than angry. And proud. We are a strong people.

Sunshinelovespeace said...

WOW I think it's awesome that you are tracing your history.

I feel that as decedents of slaves we owe it to them to prosper here in the country they worked tirelessly to build. I believe we owe it to them to go into business for our selves and actually own things instead of always being the labor as they were in those days.

Good luck with your journey and I hope you find everything you are looking for.


Liz said...

Hi, found your blog through La. Genealogy Blogs -- congrats on what you've found so far.

Re: LeBauve family--try the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church volumes. The French surname families were mostly Catholic then & their baptisms, marriages, burials--and those of slaves, sometimes--may be listed in these volumes. The WorldCat site can tell you if a library near you has them:

Or try also the Diocese site for more info: -- the pilot site--also has some older La. death certificates online, if you haven't searched there already:;p=collectionDetails

Hope this helps--

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