Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I have reached 1840 in public records!!!!

In July 2013, I started on the journey of tracing my maternal grandmothers back to Africa. I found my g-grandmother (Victoria) in the censuses of 1900-1940 with not much problem. Then the first wall! I could not find anyone before 1900. I then turned to the Catholic records. Hint for those in south Louisiana - even if you are not Catholic today, your relatives could have been. I found the baptism records for Vicotoria, which was the information that turned out to be the most critical in my search up to now. That record gave me her date of birth (1866) as well as her mother and father's names (at that point, I did not know the names of her parents or the correct year of birth). So, I printed out the 1880 census for the parish (Pointe Coupee) and looked line by line for over a month. I gave up and decided to go line by line in the 1870 census for two weeks. EUREKA!!! I found an entry that matched the data from the Catholic record. Another piece of information in the Catholic record was that my family resided at a certain white residence. Could this be the plantation they lived on before the slaves were freed? Long story short, it was and I have now found my g-g-g-grandparents (Clair Jeanpierre- born 1839/40 and Vincent Jeanpierre born 1835/6) all the way back to the 1840 Slave Schedule on the plantation belonging to the person referenced in the baptism record. The Catholic Diocese also gave me a record of Vincent's parents with their births going back to 1810. So, I have now have covered from 2013 to 1810 (over 200  years) on my maternal side. The reason I could not find them in the 1870 and 1880 censuses by the last name is because the census taker reversed Vincent's name. Next step, take a trip the courthouse in New Roads, Louisisana. This is scheduled for maybe November/December.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I am beginning my journey on finding my past!  Over the last two years, I have been to Africa 5 times.  Three times to Equatorial Guinea for work, once to Morocco for vacation and once to South Africa on a mission trip.  As a result of these trips, I have been more interested in finding my roots back to Africa.  Here is the status of my journey:

I am from New Roads La. and have started doing my family tree on my grandmother's side. I have also taken the DNA test with African ancestry on my maternal side and will get my results in the next week or so. I am have been able to find my relatives using up to the 1900 Census. I am now looking for the birth record of my great great-grandmother (Victoria Jeanpierre) in the Catholic records. Per the census records, she was born somewhere between 1868-1878. I am now at the point of visually reviewing all of the 1880 Census for Pointe Coupee Parish (county) to find her. In the 1900 Census it listed she and her two brothers together. They were all in their 30's at that time. No indication of their parents could be pick up from the names around them. My first goal is to connect the information I will receive from the DNA testing to the information I find in Louisiana and hopefully find the ship that brought my maternal side to the states. I have a book written by Gwendolyn Hall that gives much detail information about the slaves in the parish and where they were brought from. I have also been in contact with an archivist in the parish, Brian Costello, who has written a number of books about it. I received the books from Hall and Costello this week and will be reading to look for more information about the events in the parish. My journey started about two months ago after coming back from a three week mission trip to South Africa.

If anyone has any information on the Jeanpierre group in Pointe Coupee Parish, let me know.  I will of course post updates as I go along this journey.