Dec 11, 2013


WHERE ART THOU?
Brumfield~Dyson~Vernon~Williams~Wilson

Welcome to LaWoods of Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes Louisiana
Bring forth those who have knowledge of the whereabouts of our ancestors so we can meet on the other side of the "brick wall".
  
Come, sip on a cold glass of sweet tea with me out on the back porch. Better grab a piece of cardboard to fan the heat and mosquitoes away while we sit here gazing into the woods. Yea, these woods have many stories to tell of fond memories and heart ache, of success and failure. They are hiding many secrets of those lost in the tangled webs of weeds and thorns through which the mighty oaks still rise.

There are unique challenges here in these woods in that the courthouse records for Washington Parish burned, not once, but twice, in 1854 and 1897. Some deed records were reconstructed and rerecorded but as luck would have it, not one record related to slave holdings, not one...hum...them weeds and thorns. Surely hope someone can disprove this. To add fuel to the fire, the Pike County Mississippi Courthouse, which is just across the border from Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes, also burned in 1881...no slave records. Tangipahoa Parish was established in 1869 after slavery ended.  It is made up of portions of St Helena, Livingston, St Tammany and Washington Parishes. I suspect that ancestors who lived in Tangipahoa Parish in the 1870 Census were actually in that portion of Washington Parish which was appropriated to Tangipahoa Parish...no slave records.

Sometimes when you are in a quandary the best thing to do is nothing. Just sit still and wait for guidance from above. With no records available in the parishes, how do I clear the weed and thorns? After many days of rocking on the back porch, I finally got the message. To find our ancestors I need to reach out to those who possibly held them captive. I knew just the place to look - my DNA matches.

 I contacted all my European 4th - 6th cousin DNA matches inquiring if they had any African American connections in their ancestry. I also posted details of my quest on the Brick Wall and Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - RAOGK USA sites. To my surprise, the next morning I had 8 DNA replies plus a few more later in the day. Of course, some did not know of any African Americans in their family, but one thing's for sure, DNA don't lie. On the other hand, several supplied names and locations of their ancestors who owned slaves and offered their assistance. At least three sources connected the Wilsons with Cherokee Natives. I also received several responses from the other two sites. I was referred to university sites that contain reference material for Washington Parish. Can't wait to get my hands on these.

Now, we are off to tackle these weeds and thorns and forge a path to the wall.
















24 comments:

  1. Great start...have you noticed if your 4th -6th European cousins have Creole surnames, that might help you find possible branches in your area.

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    1. Thanks, most of my matches are from the British Isles region.

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  2. This is not test, this is an actual comment :) Can't wait to read about the path you clear and what you find. You've had more luck than I did with the dna responses!

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    1. Thanks Kristin, I'm waiting on guidance to proceed. Over the last 2 days, we received many more responses than expected.

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    2. That's a good thing, right? :)

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  3. Great post. The picture you posted is beautiful I look forward to reading about your DNA journey.

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  4. I never had ANY doubt that you could do this Jackie! Ancestors don't make mistakes -- they know EXACTLY who they choose & where to direct them. Keep listening & following their lead. And one last thing -- unless you want a brick wall in your path, don't claim one. Speak ONLY what you need & want to manifest! We're with you on the journey... ~ Luckie

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    1. Thanks Luckie for the advice. It's seared in to prepare for a wall but prey for a fence.
      I'm working on it. I really appreciate the energy, knowledge you bring to the Tribe.

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  5. Pleased to know you found away around those infamous courthouse fires. Lovely picture of the woods, goes well with the title.

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    1. Thanks, that's the sunrise view of the woods.

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  6. Congratulations on starting your blog, I just recently started as well. Keep up the great work, I look forward to reading more.

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    1. Thanks, I'll be looking for your blog.

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  7. This was very beautiful; love your writing style! Looking forward to more.

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  8. Congratulations and I look forward to coming by and reading more. All hope is not lost......GReat Beginning!

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  9. I fanned flies while ambling on this journey :) You've taken me into the woods, and I've smelled the smoke of a burning Courthouse. Keep it up, and keep a chair on the porch for me!

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  10. Luckie, That's "pray for a fence"

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  11. I love it! You will find my ancestors in them woods too Washington, Ouachita and Union Parish and as my mother used to say sometimes we can't see the forest, looking at the trees. You've allowed us to see the forest, the bigger picture and given us an idea how to maintain our history one tree at a time.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Victori. We are sharpening our tools now and waiting for the next instructions.

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  12. You have a wonderful gift of imagery through your word usage. I can almost envision ancestors peeking or traveling thru the woods. Like they are telling you to dig deeper. You got this, great start!!

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  13. This is a beautiful blog Jackie. We share a common thread of ancestry through DNA testing; however, just because a persons DNA does not show certain ethnicity does not mean they do not share the same family. Searching my Native American Roots I have found that DNA falls short on connecting directly because it claims I do not have Native American DNA, but I have proof through pictures, census records and family stories that my ggg grandmother was indeed Cherokee which made my gg grandfather part Cherokee. His wife, my gg grandmother was believed to be mixed but we are still seeking her info. Both of my gg grandparents appeared Caucasian, however, their children were all born with different skin tones. My still living grandmother said, race mixing was so taboo they were not allowed to ask questions like why uncle Monroe was very dark, aunt Nora and others looked like they had a permanent tan and my grandmothers mom was pale, yet have distinct Native American features. Genetics is a mysterious thing. I am directly related to all of these people with Native American genetics, yet I got none of those genetics. Hopefully they will create a new test that goes even deeper, until then I will have to go by my grandmothers DNA which I am hoping to get up enough money for. The pictures and family stories from my grandmothers siblings and their children are the oral portion of our history. This could also mean the although I do not show African DNA, it does not mean that my ancestors were not African American. One of two things may be uncovered as I come alongside your journey to find yours. A) either I only have cousins with African ancestry due to a very bad situation that only God can heal or B) I have an African ggg or gggg grandparent that I didn't know about just like the Cherokee I found. DNA is only a portion of our story, it does not show the whole picture, but can lead us in the right direction. As we sit on this porch sipping on sweet tea and searching our history, I envision that one common link, the scarlet thread of the blood of Jesus Christ that runs through us all regardless of DNA ethnicity.
    Your lil redheaded cousin,
    Stephanie

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