Monday, May 4, 2015

Homegoing Celebration for Mrs. Shirley Pipkins

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of my beautiful grandmother, Shirley Jean Pipkins. She went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 3:15 am. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Thank you,

Terrence A. Garnett

Viewing & Funeral: Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spirit of Life Ministries
485 Maxey Rd
Houston, TX 77013

9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

11:00 a.m.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Momma's Baby, Daddy's Maybe: Using DNA to determine Grandma Jane's father

On Ancestry DNA, I have two close DNA matches who both descend from Robert & Mary Jackson of Bellville, Austin County, Texas. These matches are most likely paternal as my father's mother, Jane Garnett was born and raised in Bellville, Texas.

DNA Matches
  • Cousin C is listed in the 2nd - 3rd cousin range (Predicted 2nd Cousin) descends from Robert's daughter Julia E. Jackson Williams
  • Cousin V is in the 3rd-4th cousin range (Predicted 3rd Cousin) - descends from Robert's son Turner Jackson
DNA matches - Descendants of Robert Jackson

Both matches are given the Confidence Range: Extremely High, which according to Ancestry means we would share more than 30 centiMorgans of DNA.

Louise "Mickey" Garnett 

Grandma Jane's mother, Louise Garnett never married and her four children all had different father's. Aunt Leola & Aunt Mable shared the same father, Hannibal "Daddy Sam" Southern and Aunt Martha's father was Milam Curry. Growing up, my father always spoke of Daddy Sam as being his grandfather. When my grandmother was killed in May of 2000, I learned from my dad that Daddy Sam was in fact not my grandmother's biological father, but he did treat her like she was one of his own.

When I started researching in 2006, I asked my grandmother's cousins did she ever know who her father was or mention his name. None of them had ever heard any mention of her father except for my grandmother's 1st cousin Idell. Cousin Idell remembered her mother Rosie Garnett-Smith (Louise's younger sister) state that Ed Taylor was my grandmother's father. At the time I figured it was true, especially because of the 1930 U.S. census Ed Taylor lived just two houses away from Louise Garnett and her family.

1930 U.S. Federal Census - Precinct 1, Austin County, Texas (Burleigh & Creed Taylor Road)

My grandmother's Delayed Birth Certificate found among her belongings did not list her father's name.
Grandma Jane's delayed birth certificate
In 2007, I sent off a request of my grandmother's Social Security Numident - an abstract of an individuals Social Security application (SS-5).

A few weeks later I received the document which listed my grandmother's parents as Robert Garnett & Louisa Travic. Then I thought, "this can't be correct because Louise was definitely a Garnett". Travic/Travick is the surname of Louise's maternal-grandmother, Mary Travick. Now there were two individuals in the Austin County area named Robert Garnett (one a Jr. and the other Sr.) but older relatives stated they didn't know these Garnett's.

Grandma Jane
I then ordered a copy of my grandma's Social Security application to see if the information on the SS application differed from the numident and it did not. My grandmother likely distorted the facts of her parentage on her application due to the shame of being illegitimate during that time.

I believe that the name Robert may not have been a random name my grandmother placed on her SS application and that he is possibly her biological father. If Robert Jackson is my Great-grandfather then that would make Cousin C [2nd Cousin, once removed] and Cousin V [2nd Cousin, twice removed].

Unfortunately, I am unable to triangulate any segments between these matches and myself. Ancestry does not have a Chromosome Browser and neither cousin is on Gedmatch. I'll likely have to wait for another descendant of Robert Jackson to show up in my list of matches (one who would hopefully upload to Gedmatch in order for me to compare segments).

Terrence A. Garnett
   [April 17, 2015]

 Source Citations
  1. 1930 United States Census, online database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Aug 2014), Louisa Garnet HOH (Age: 40), Precinct 1, Austin County, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0002, sheet 16B, family 365, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 2287.
  2. Texas Department of Health Services, Delayed Certificate of Birth, #423132, Jane Garnett born April 1, 1922 (Austin County), Entry for mother: Louise Garnett. Delayed BC issued: May 16, 1984.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

DNA confirms a Suspected 4th Great-Grandmother!

On October 5, 2013, I received an email notification from 23andme stating that a message was sent to my inbox. The message was from a man named Robert the son of one of my grandmother's close matches whom we'll call "L.W".

"My Name is Robert I'm going through my mother's 23andme and I see that you fall under 1st - 3rd cousin. My family currently lives in Portland Oregon. My grandparents, great-aunt, and uncles are from TX, NC, LA. We are currently working on our family tree any help you can provide would be appreciated. You can contact my mother on here or email me at"

My grandmother matches L.W. and her son Robert while my mother and I only match [L.W.]. She and my grandmother are Predicted 3rd Cousins which would mean they likely share common 2nd Great-grandparent(s).
DNA Comparison 

I decided to take a look at L.W.'s family tree to see where in Texas her family migrated from. She listed Cameron, Milam County, Texas and Midland County, Texas; but I wasn't aware of any family members connected to those areas. While looking for her family in various records I found a marriage listing for her grandparents Elijah Calloway and Rosa Cofield in Robertson County, Texas [Which neighbors Milam County]. Additionally, I was able to locate Elijah's death certificate which revealed the names of his parents: Sam Calloway and Hutcherson (mother's 1st name not listed) and his place of birth as Navasota, Texas.

Elijah's father, Samuel "Sam" Calloway lived in Grimes County in 1900 and by 1910 he and his family are living in Robertson County, Texas. Sam passed away on April 6, 1922 in Calvert, Robertson County, Texas. Tax records also show Sam living in Grimes county during the 1870's, 1880's, and 1890's.

Sarah Franklin Johnson (1878-1928)
Navasota is a city in Grimes County, Texas. My grandmother's paternal-grandmother, Sarah Franklin was born in Grimes County, Texas to Edward & Captoria Franklin. Therefore my connection to L.W. was most likely through this branch of my family.

On October 8, 2013, I sent L.W. a message on 23andme with the information I found on her Calloway's and mentioned that our connection is likely through a common ancestor from Grimes County, Texas. She sent me the following message, "Thank you so much for that information about my grandfather. I've only been able to go as far as my great-grandmother Ida Coffield Davis nothing on the Calloways so please let me know where the connection is."

Around October - December of 2013, I took a brief hiatus and set aside my research during that time. I resumed my research earlier this year, but was following leads on my father's side of the family. It wasn't until a few days ago as I was going through my inbox on 23andme that I ran across my message to cousin L.W. (sent about a year ago).

In reviewing the information that I had previously sent to her, I remembered that on the 1880 Census, Ed and Cap Franklin lived next door to a woman named Rebecca Calloway (b.1830). I had long suspected Rebecca was Ed's mother as she reported she was born in Virginia, which is the birthplace reported for Grandpa Ed's parents. At the time I was unable to find any sufficient proof so I dismissed it...that is until now. The evidence suggests that cousin L.W.'s great-grandfather Sam and my ancestor Ed are likely half-siblings and the children of Rebecca.

Marriage records show that Rebecca lives next door to another child, Lucy Calloway Ward.
Samuel, Ed, Rebecca, Lou, nor Lucy could be found in 1870 in Grimes County or any of the surrounding counties.

1880 U.S. Census
LocalityPrecinct 3, Grimes County, Texas
ED, SheetEnumeration District 68, Sheet 194A &194B
Enum Date16 June 1880
Birth Place
205205Franklin, EdBM23HeadFarmerTXVAVA

----------, CapBF22WifeKeep HouseTXVAVA
----------, SarahBF2Daughter
Makey, MarthaBF50Moth.-In-Law
206206Calloway, RebeccaBF50Head

Deadman, LouBF30Daughter

------------, SallieBF15Granddaughter
207207Ward, GeorgeBM38HeadFarmerVAVAVA

-------, LucyBF35WifeKeep HouseTXVAVA

-------, JosephineBF11Daughter

-------, LynchBM15Son

-------, WhitBM10Son

-------, JohnieBM8Son

-------, GeorgeBM7Son

-------, RebeccaBF5Daughter

-------, JamesBM6Son

-------, HattieBF4Daughter

-------, William BM3Son (twin)

-------, HenryBMSon (twin)

-------, EdwardBM4 mo.Son

Lewis, CharlieBM13Son
208208Ward, Davis BM24HeadFarmerVAVAVA

By 1900, Rebecca Calloway is living in the household of her son named William Bell (b. 1853). Rebecca stated that she was the mother of five (5) children with two (2) of those children still living. Grandpa Edward Franklin, Lucy Ward, and Lou Deadmon (Dedmon) passed away sometime before 1900. Samuel Calloway and William Bell were the only two children still living.

Rebecca's five children:
  1. Samuel Calloway (b.1844, Texas) m. Eula Hutchison (Appears to have had outside children with Ann Hutchison & Ida Wallace)
  2. Lucy Calloway Ward (b.1846, Texas) m. George Ward
  3. Lou Calloway Dedmon Ward (b.1850, Texas) m. David or Davis Ward
  4. William Henry Bell (b. 1853, Texas) m. Mary Jane Floyd (1st) and Mariah Neblett (2nd)
  5. Edward Franklin (b.1857, Texas) m. Captoria Franklin

The use of naming patterns was also common among Rebecca's descendants:
  • Samuel Calloway, Lucy Ward, and William Henry Bell all had daughters named Rebecca. 
  • Lucy had sons named William & Henry (who appear to be twins) and a child named Edward.

23andme's 3rd cousin prediction between my grandmother and L.W. is correct. Rebecca Calloway is their 2nd Great-grandmother. This would make Rebecca my 4th great-grandmother.

Terrence A. Garnett
[November 9, 2014]

 Source Citations

  1. Photo of Sarah Franklin Johnson (taken in the 1920's in Montgomery County, Texas) from the collection of her late son, Edward L. Johnson (1908-1990). The original photo is now in the possession of E.J. Clark (daughter of Edward L. Johnson). 
  2. Texas Marriage Index, 1837-1973, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Elijah Calloway and Rosa Cofield, 21 Jan 1917; citing Robertson Co., Texas, Lic. No. 5730, reference ; FHL microfilm 1477496.
  3. John Leffler, "NAVASOTA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 09, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  4. 1880 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Ed Franklin (Age: 23), Precinct 3, Grimes, Texas, United States; citing sheet 194A, NARA microfilm publication T9, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1255308.
  5. 1880 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Rebecca Calloway (Age: 50), Precinct 3, Grimes, Texas, United States; citing sheet 194B, NARA microfilm publication T9, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1255308.
  6. 1900 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Rebecca Caloway in household of William Bell, Justice Precinct 1, Grimes, Texas, United States; citing sheet 7B, family 123, NARA microfilm publication T623, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 1241640.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Part II - A Family Connection: Are Judy & Maria sisters?

 In Part I, I mentioned that there was a strong possibility my ancestor Maria Buie and Judy Brown were siblings. On August 10, 2014, I received the 259 page Civil War Pension File of Anderson Brown and his minor children. The Civil War Pension confirmed my suspicions that Edith Lane was indeed the mother of Judy Brown, making her the sister of Maria Buie. The Pension file listed several depositions from various friends, family, and neighbors who knew both Anderson & Judy Brown before and after the Civil War. Anderson mentioned that his beloved wife Judy died on April 16, 1898 in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana and a year later he married Ms. Fannie Williams. Anderson and Fannie separated 6 months into the marriage and he passed away sometime later on May 19, 1900. Anderson had suffered with heart trouble for several years.

  • Julius was the 1st born child to the union of Anderson & Judy Brown and Judy's 2nd child.
A passage from the deposition of Julius Brown, in the case of Edie & Clara the minor children of Anderson Brown, deceased: "Anderson was first married to my mother Judy Elfrey and she died about 12 years ago, and Judy herself had not been previously married. They were married sometime in 1866 by a white preacher named White (dead) they claimed. I don't know whether they had a license. Anderson and Judy Brown lived together until her death and were never divorced and she had ten children by him and two of them Clarey and Edie were under sixteen years of age at father's death..also when I applied for this pension. I have no family record of their date of birth and public records of that kind are not kept in Louisiana and no doctor was present at their birth. Eliza Hall and my grandmother Edie Lane (dead) were the midwives at the birth of Clarey and Edie." --August 23, 1910

Passage from Julius Brown's Deposition

  • Zebulon "Zeb" York, is the son of Sylvester York and Sophia Peniston and grandson of Dr. Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Peniston the former slave owner of my ancestors.

A passage from the deposition of Zeb York, in the case of Edie & Clara the minor children of Anderson Brown, deceased: "I am 47 years old, Occupation: farmer, Post Office: Peck, LA. I have known Anderson and Judy Brown all my life and they belonged to our family in slavery and lived on our place after the war until the death of Judy. The children Clarey and Edie were born on my place and in the negro quarters close to our family residence and I consider Clarey as eighteen years old at present but am unable to give the day and month she was born. My son Zeb York Jr and daughter Julia York are seventeen and nineteen years old, respectively and Clarey I know was born between them. She was born in 1892 probably. I don't know whether in the month of January. Edie is three or four years older than Clarey but I do not know the year of her birth. She has always been called Edie and was named after her grandmother on her mothers side of the house." -- August 23, 1910

The Special Examiner, W.H. Stovall was concerned about the various birth dates given for Edie and Clara, especially Edie who was mentioned to have been born in 1884, 1886, and 1888 by friends and family. He wanted to know what were their correct names as Edie had been called [Edith, Eadith, Eadey] and Clara had been called [Clarey]. Clara was stated to have suffered from a fever in childhood that left her nearly blind and partially paralyzed on one side unable to do much work. 

Many of the neighbors, friends, and family listed Judy under various maiden names in their depositions. Some mentioned they were married on December 25, 1866 others stated in 1867. Marriage records indicate they were married January 3, 1867 at the residence of Benjamin P. Cuny by Minister T.B. White.

  • Anderson Brown - states that his wife's maiden name was Judy Fortune. On August 4, 1898 he mentioned he had 4 children ages sixteen and under: Zeb Brown (16), Eadith Brown (14), Nellie Brown (10), and Clara Brown (8).
  • Allen Davis - knew both Anderson Brown and Judy Elphert before they were married. In another deposition he mentioned Judy as Judy Cuny.
  • John Gibson - was present at the wedding of Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny. In another deposition he mentioned Judy as Judy Ealphrey.
  • Rev. Monroe Richardson - knew Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny.
  • Anaca Alensworth - was present at the wedding of Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny.
  • Filis (Phyllis) Thomason - was married on the same night as Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny at the same place by the same Minister. It was a double wedding [marriage records confirm this]. Phyllis Burks Davis Thomason was the 1st wife of Allen Davis. [I wonder if she is a relative of Anderson or Judy].
  • Julius Brown - Mentions his mother's maiden name was Judy Elfrey.
Judy Brown's various maiden names likely indicate the surname of her Father, previous owner and the maiden name of her mother Edith.

Evidence from a Court Petition shows that Edith "Edie" Lane was previously enslaved by Benjamin P. Cuny and wife Jane C. Lovelace Cuny. It would appear that she later ended up in the possession of Dr. T.J. Peniston where she remained until emancipation and afterwards. Benjamin P. Cuny and his wife were first cousins and his wife's sister, Sophia Dorcas Ann Lovelace was the wife of Dr. T.J. Peniston. (More research is being done on Edie and I will post my findings in a future blog post)

Children of William Lane (b.1828 - d. After 1880) & Edith Cuny (b. 1825 - d. After 1892)
1.      Judy Fortune (Father: Unknown) (Spouse: Anderson Brown)
2.      Alice Lane (Spouse: Paradise Taylor) - They had no children
3.      Maria Lane (Spouse: Jesse Buie)

Children of Anderson Brown (b.1847 - d. May 19, 1900) & Judy Fortune (b. 1848 - d. April 16, 1898)
1.      Henry Fortune (Father: Unknown)
2.      Julius Brown (Spouse: Mariah)
3.      Joshua "Josh" Brown (Spouse: Fannie Henry)
4.      Alice Brown (Spouse: Mack Douglass)
5.      Ollie Brown (Spouse: Willie Remus)
6.      Zebulon "Zeb" Brown
7.      Edith "Edie" Brown (Spouse: Louis Taylor)
8.      Nellie Brown
9.      Clara Brown
10.    Rena Brown (The 1900 Census shows Rena Brown as a sister, but she was not mentioned in Civil War Pension file). 
Anderson also had a child born outside of the marriage named Ellen Brown Harris, daughter of Patsy Jenkins Middleton and granddaughter of Eliza Bowie Hall (the midwife at the birth of Edie & Clara Brown).

Children of Jesse Buie (b.1855 - d. Nov. 9, 1923) & Maria Lane (b. 1857 - d. After 1890)
1.      Annie Buie (Spouses: Benjamin Franklin & Nelson Lincoln)
2.      Clara Buie
3.      General/Gentle Buie (Spouse: Emma Neal)
4.      Minerva Buie (Spouse: Samuel Banks)
5.      William Buie (Spouse: Grace)
6.      Edie "Ida" Buie (Non-Marital Liaison: Isaiah Taylor) -- My ancestors

Terrence A. Garnett
[August 17, 2014]

 Source Citations
  1. Anderson Brown, Declaration for Invalid pension, 24 Oct 1890, application no. 942490, certificate number 791506, (Pvt., Co. G, 6th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives Record Group 15; National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.
  2. Willie Remus, guardian, Declaration for Minors pension, 5 Aug 1902, application no. 747940, certificate number 715084, service of Anderson Brown (Pvt., Co. G, 6th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives Record Group 15; National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Is Rose Watkins my 4th Great Grandmother?

1880 U.S. Census- 2nd Ward, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Previously, I mentioned that I may have uncovered evidence that suggest that at least one of my 3rd Great-grandfather's parents was still living well after emancipation. Unable to locate Paradise's parents, Louis & Rose Taylor in 1870, I assumed that both had died while enslaved. Recently, while looking at the 1880 U.S. Census I noticed an elderly couple named Lem & Rose Watkins who lived near the Taylors. The name of Lem's wife, her age, place of birth, and close proximity to my family suggested a probable family relationship based on what is known about Paradise's mother.

The following six (6) points lead me to believe that Rose Watkins is the mother Paradise.

1. We know from the death record of Paradise Taylor that his mother was named Rose and that she was born in Kentucky.

2. Naming patterns were evidently of great importance to Paradise & Cynthia as they named one of their daughter Rose, and two of their sons Lemuel and Louis. Lemuel may have been named for both Cynthia's father and Paradise's suspected step-father.

3. According to the Census, Rose Watkins stated that she as well as her parents were born in Kentucky. Paradise consistently reported his mother's place of birth as Kentucky in 1880, 1900, and 1920.
Paradise Taylor, 1880-1920

4. Paradise and his family moved from Catahoula Parish to the neighboring Franklin Parish [where his wife was from] sometime after 1880 as he and Cynthia officially married there in 1887.

Louisiana Parish Map

5. The Louisiana marriage index, shows that Godfrey Neal [a neighbor of Cynthia's parents Lemuel & Ann] married Rose "Wadkins" on December 14, 1890 in Franklin Parish, Louisiana. It would appear that after Lemuel Watkins death Rose followed her son to Franklin Parish.

6. A copy of the marriage license of Godfrey Neal & Rose Wadkins. Two of the witnesses to the marriage Brit Buie [Older brother of my ancestor Jesse Buie] and Rev. Monroe L. Richardson were former residents of Catahoula Parish.
1890 Marriage License
More research is being done in order to verify that Rose Watkins is the mother of Paradise Taylor.

Terrence A. Garnett
[August 16, 2014]

 Source Citations
  1. 1880 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch, Rose Watkins (Age: 50), 2nd Ward, Catahoula, Louisiana, United States; sheet 105C, ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), NARA microfilm publication T9. 
  2. Louisiana, Marriages, 1718-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
  3. Neal, Godfrey & Rose Wadkins [December 14, 1890]: Franklin Parish Marriages; Clerk of Court, Winnsboro, Louisiana.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Paradise Taylor of Catahoula & Franklin Parish

Paradise Taylor was born circa 1848 in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. In 1870, Paradise was living in Ward 7, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana; I suspect that the individuals [Lucy & Wes Adams] living in his household are his sister and brother-in-law, respectively. The family lives near Dr. Henry John Peck the former slave owner of my other ancestors James & Dina Buie [Dina died during slavery & James later married Rosa]. It's quite possible that Paradise was enslaved on the same plantation but more research needs to be done in order to determine if it's true or not.
1870 U.S. Federal Census - Ward 7, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

According to marriage records Paradise was married twice during his lifetime:
  1. Alice Lane, daughter of William & Edith Lane--1st Wife [November, 18 1870, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana]. They were married at the residence of Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Peniston, Alice's former Owner.
  2. Cynthia Davis, daughter of Lemuel & Ann Davis--2nd Wife [October 2, 1887, Franklin Parish, Louisiana].

I'm not certain what became of Alice after her marriage to Paradise, but they don't appear to have had any children together. In 1880, Paradise and Cynthia are living together with their children and niece Matilda "Tilda" [daughter of Cynthia's half-sister Caroline Spencer Oliver] in Catahoula Parish [Ward 2].

1880 U.S. Federal Census - Ward 2, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Paradise and Cynthia had the twelve (12) children together, with ten (10) of them who reached adulthood.
  • Lemuel "Lem" Taylor [b. circa 1876 - d. July 13, 1951, Franklin Parish, Louisiana] 
    • Spouse: Louise Taylor
  • Walter Taylor [b. circa 1879]
  • Rose Taylor [b. circa 1880 - d.October 20, 1944, Franklin Parish, Louisiana] 
    • Spouse: Will Ferguson
  • Louvine Taylor [b. circa 1882]
  • Isaiah Taylor [b. December 25, 1887 - d. September 3, 1947] 
    • Spouse: Addie Taylor 
    • Non-Marital Liaison: Edie Buie
  • Lewis Taylor [b. circa 1888]
  • Julia Taylor [b. circa 1890]
  • Cynthia Taylor [b. June 1, 1892 - d. May 28, 1984, Franklin Parish, Louisiana]
    • Spouse: Anderson Watkins
  • Minta Taylor [b. circa 1894]
  • Carrie Taylor [b. circa 1901]
    • Non Marital-Liaison: George Caston
His Death
His death certificate states he died on April 16, 1926 in Gilbert, Franklin Parish, Louisiana. The cause of death was Brights Disease [Kidney problems]. His parents are listed as Louis & Rose Taylor both of Kentucky; the informant was his son Lem Taylor. I had previously assumed that both of Paradise's parents died before 1870, but I may have uncovered information that suggest otherwise [I'll discuss my theory in a future blog post].
Death Certificate of Paradise Taylor 

Distant Cousin Connection 
Recently a distant cousin named W. Lowe contacted me through, stating that she descends from Cynthia Taylor Watkins, daughter of Paradise & Cynthia. Cousin W.L. went on to state that her grandmother [the last living grandchild of Paradise & Cynthia] is still living. She mentioned that her grandmother was coming to visit and that she would ask her for more information about the family.

According to cousin W.L.'s grandmother, Paradise was the Pastor of a church in Franklin Parish called Oakley Baptist Church. Though the church no longer stands, the cemetery appears to still be active. The Taylor's were also Sharecroppers on the Hope Estate Plantation.

A Google search for Oakley Baptist Church lead me to a post on the Genforum message boards by a user named L.P. Jenkins. According to Ms Jenkins "From my family's oral history there was an Oakley Baptist Church for African Americans there as well as a school. I am not sure whether or not the church and the school were one in the same building. The church building was destroyed by fire about twenty or so years ago, if that long."

Terrence A. Garnett
[August 12, 2014]

 Source Citations

  1. Jenkins, L.P. "Was there ever a church at Oakley Cemetery?", Franklin Parish Genforum, posted 2002 March 6 ( : accessed 15 July 2014)
  2. 1870 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Jul 2014), Paradis Taylor (Age: 22), Louisiana, United States; citing p. 14, dwelling 112, family 121, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
  3. 1880 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Paradise Taylor (Age: 27), 2nd Ward, Catahoula, Louisiana, United States; citing sheet 105C, NARA microfilm publication T9.
  4. Death Certificate of Paradise Taylor - [Volume 11, p. 4677] Louisiana State Archives; Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Acquired record in 2007)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Family Connection: Are Judy & Maria sisters?

In May of this year, I decided to take another look at the family of Anderson & Judy Brown of Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. This family has been of interest to me because Anderson was listed as a witness on several family members marriage records, and he also provided testimony in order to help Roland Norris [aka Roland Ford] obtain his Civil War Pension and later assisted Peggie Norris in obtaining her Widow's Pension. Peggie and my ancestor Jesse Buie were siblings.

1870 U.S. Census -- Ward 7 , Catahoula Parish, Louisiana [p. 12]

After reviewing the 1870, 1880, and 1900 census for the Brown family I searched the Louisiana Death Index on Familysearch looking for the children of Anderson & Judy Brown. One of the death records immediately caught my attention. It was their daughter Edith Brown Taylor, her parents were listed as Anderson Brown & Judy LANE. Could Judy and my ancestor Maria Lane Buie be sisters? Both Women had daughters named Edith/Edie which was the name of Maria's mother Edith Lane. Based on the naming patterns among the children I'm inclined to believe that it's a strong possibility.

Louisiana Death Certificate of Edith Taylor - Vol. 2, p. 544
Informant was niece Annie Brown Turner

Judy's age and maiden name lead me to believe that her and Maria could be half-siblings rather than full siblings. The Louisiana Marriage Index list Judy under the name "Julia Fortner". Anderson and Judy married on January 3, 1867 in Catahoula Parish. I placed an order for their marriage certificate and received a copy in the mail the following week. The actual marriage certificate shows her maiden name as "Fortune" and not Fortner [though there was a family of white Fortners in the area].

 Anderson Brown & Julia Fortune [Vol. B - p.142]
    Married by: Rev. Thomas B. White at the residence of Benjamin Cuny, Esq.
                    Witnesses: John Oliver, George West, and Frank Lewis

I remembered that on the 1880 Census the Brown's lived right next door the Lane's in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. Living in the household of William & Edith Lane was grandson, Henry Fortune. Henry was listed under the surname Lane in 1870 and resided in the household of his grandmother Edey Lane. It appears that Henry is likely an older child of Judy Fortune Brown who ended up in the care of his grandparents. 

1880 U.S. Census -- Ward 2, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

I recently placed an order through the website to obtain the Pension File of Anderson Brown and Minor Pension (for his young children). I should receive my copies soon and my hope is that the depositions/testimony located within the files will help confirm my suspicions. In addition to that I able to locate a descendant of Anderson & Judy Brown on in order to explain our potential family connection.

Terrence A. Garnett
[August 5, 2014]

 Source Citations:

  1. 1870 United States Census, Ward 7, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana; p.12, FamilySearch ( : accessed 05 Aug 2014), NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
  2. 1880 United States Census, William Lane, 2nd Ward, Catahoula, Louisiana, United States; citing sheet 107D, FamilySearch ( : accessed 05 Aug 2014), NARA microfilm publication T9.
  3. Louisiana, Marriages, 1718-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
  4. Civil War Pension File of Roland Norris & Widows Pension of Peggie Norris obtained on 26 May 2009.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Slaves of William D. Reitzell

The Inventory of William D. Reitzell [Died: August 18, 1853]
Microfilm #: 311884
Succession Records, 1838-1908
Volume: D-E (1852-1873), Pages 186-190
County and State: Caldwell Parish, Louisiana
Inventory & Appraisal Filed: October 19, 1853
Widow: Rachel Rogillio Reitzell

  • A negro man named Dick aged about 28 years appraised at $1,000.
  • A negro woman named Sarah aged about 30 years and her three children, Amanda, Allen, and America appraised at $1,650.
  • A negro man named Anthony aged about 26 years appraised at $1,000.
  • A negro boy named Bob aged about 19 years appraised at $900.
  • A negro man named Henry aged about 33 years appraised at $750.
  • A negro woman named Lucy aged about 32 years and her five children, Wash, Harriett, Eli, Jordan, and Jane appraised at $2,000.
  • A negro girl named Lavinia aged about 15 years appraised at $750.
  • A negro girl named Eliza aged about 10 years appraised at $500.
  • A negro girl named Florida appraised at $100.

Slave Name after Emancipation 1st Census Listed
America America Reitzel Calloway 1870  United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), America Reitzel (Age: 18), Louisiana, United States; citing p. 8, family 57, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
Lucy Lucy Harrold 1870 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Lucy Harrald (Age: 35) in household of A W Faulkner, Louisiana, United States; citing p. 5, family 41, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
Wash Washington Harrold 1870 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Wash Herold (Age: 23), Louisiana, United States; citing p. 1, family 7, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
Harriett Harriet Harrold Williams 1870 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Harriet William (Age: 22) in household of Nathan William, Louisiana, United States; citing p. 1, family 9, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
Eli Eli Harrold 1870 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Eli Harrold (Age: 21), Louisiana, United States; citing p. 1, family 8, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
Jordan Jordan Harrold 1880 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Jordan Harrold (Age: 26) in household of Lucy Harrold, 4th Ward, Caldwell, Louisiana, United States; citing sheet 28A, NARA microfilm publication T9.
Lavinia Lavinia Harrold Starks 1870  United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Lavinia Stark (Age: 30) in household of Rachel Reitzell, Louisiana, United States; citing p. 11, family 77, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.
Eliza Eliza Harrold 1870 United States Census, index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Jul 2014), Eliza Harrald (Age: 26) in household of A W Faulkner, Louisiana, United States; citing p. 5, family 41, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552008.

Note: The slaves Lucy and daughter Lavinia are my 4th and 3rd great-grandmothers, respectively. A volunteer listed on RAOGK obtained copies of this Succession for me in 2009.

Terrence A. Garnett

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blog Name Change...

After much thought I have decided to change the name of my blog from "My Panola County Roots" to "My TX/LA Roots". I felt that the stories of both my Texas & Louisiana Branches need to be told. It's what I should have done in the beginning. I also plan to document other African-American families from the areas my ancestors lived.

Terrence A. Garnett

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Life of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr. {1884-1972}

Marcellus Pipkins was born on February 17, 1884 to the late William and Ella (Wells/Parker) Pipkins in Panola County, Texas. His daughter, Mary Lee, recalls her father mentioning that his mother was part Choctaw Indian and that she died when he was a child.
Research has found that Ella was born in Missouri around 1857 and brought to Caddo Parish, Louisiana in the [early 1860's] along with her parents Thomas and Jane Wells, according to census records. 

Marcellus told his children that his father William was the son of a Slave Owner. Records indicate that William was born around 1857 in Keatchie, De Soto Parish, Louisiana to slaves, John (Dark complexion) and Mary (Mulatto complexion) on the farm of Matilda Collins, widow of Moses Collins who died on October 4, 1855. It was sometimes common for children to have different fathers during slavery if the husband was sold away or through other circumstances. John, Mary, and most of their children remained intact as a family unit throughout slavery because of this I believe that John is the father of William and not a Slave Owner. Y-DNA testing of a direct male descendant (My Uncle R.A.) also seems to debunk oral history claims. Uncle R.A.'s haplogroup is [E-M2 shorthand for E1B1A] which is African. It's likely that William's mother Mary descends from the White Collins family who held her and her family during slavery as her maiden name on several documents is listed as Collins. She is listed as "Mulatto" and sometimes "Griff" in the slave transactions. 

1900 U.S. Census
Locality Justice Precinct 4, Panola County, Texas
ED, Sheet, Line Enumeration District 69, Sheet 11A, Line 09
Enum Date 14 June 1900
House Family Name Birth Date Relationship Occupation Birth Place
Self Fath Moth
176 179 William Pipkins Apr 1853 Head Farmer LA MS MS
Ellen Pipkins Mar 1855 Wife LA TN TN
Arthur Pipkins Nov 1883 Son Farm Laborer TX LA MO
Marcelus Pipkins Feb 1886 Son Farm Laborer TX LA MO
Easter Pipkins Oct 1896 Daughter TX LA LA
Mattie Johnson Feb 1892 Step Daughter LA LA LA
Alonzo Johnson Aug 1894 Step Son LA LA LA

According to Aunt Mary, Marcellus did not have any formal schooling, but he learned to read & write by studying the Bible. She remembers her father as "a Holy Ghost filled man who knew the word". At the time of his death he had been a deacon at Antioch Baptist Church for 45 years, this is accurate according to the church history. He was ordained as a deacon in 1927 under the leadership of Reverend A.R. Richardson.  

A photo of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr. that
I received in 2007 from Pastor Roger

Jackson of Antioch Baptist Church 
in De Berry, TX

On December 4, 1910, he united in Holy Matrimony to Roberta Perkins daughter of Jim Perkins &  Mandy Golden. Oral history states that Marcellus and Roberta briefly lived in Wagoner, Oklahoma and that Marcellus went to rescue his nephew Jim and niece from someone in the area.
After several years of marriage they had three children together Tharnar James PipkinsMarcellus Pipkins, Jr, and John Pipkins who died as an infant or a young boy. The death of  the child drove Roberta into a deep depression, some relatives have claimed she was "crazy". According to Marcellus, she had lost her will to live and just gave up. She passed away in 1930 and her husband would go on to marry Lois Allen on October 28, 1930. Lois was the daughter of Frone and Mattie (Scott) Allen and granddaughter of Bettie (Cook) Scott who was stated to have been a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. My DNA reveals a possible family connection between Roberta Pipkins & Lois Pipkins, which I have yet to determine at this time. [Click here to learn more about Roberta]

Marcellus and Lois had four children together Maggie Lee PipkinsDavid PipkinsHosea Pipkins, and Mary Lee Pipkins. Together they reared six children in Bethany, Louisiana a small community on the Louisiana and Texas state line. Research indicates that Marcellus was a farmer, who worked for G.N. Brummel in Bethany, Louisiana. He also owned property located near Antioch Baptist Church.

Marcellus died on March 3, 1972  at the age of 88 and is buried at the Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in De Berry, Texas. He was loved by many, many people...there are several people living today who either knew him personally or heard of him from various friends and family. He was affectionately known as "Paw Paw" by his grandchildren and "Cousin Cellus" by other relatives

Death Certificate of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr.

Heirs of William Pipkins

Children with Ella Parker/Wells Pipkins [married: February 2, 1877, Caddo  Parish, Louisiana]:
  • Henry Pipkins [b. July 16, 1878 - d. November 24,1918, Bexar County, Texas]
    • Spouses: (1st) Florence Rolley and (2nd) Donia Trial
  • Daisy Pipkins  [b. Abt. 1880 - d. After 1903, Caddo Parish, Louisiana]
    • Spouse: Elzie Scroggins
  • Arthur Pipkins [b. November 25,1881 - d. December 13,1921, Caddo Parish, Louisiana]
    • Spouses: (1st) Mattie White and (2nd) Mollie Kelly
  • Marcellus Pipkns [b. February 14, 1884 - d. March 3, 1972, Panola County, Texas]
    • Spouses: (1st) Roberta Perkins and (2nd) Lois Allen
Children with Elizabeth Perkins Crutchfield [Non-Marital Liason]:
  • Parilee Pipkins [b. September 11, 1893 - d. March 5, 1963, Dallas County, Texas]
    • Spouses: (1st) Unk. Dean and (2nd) John Jernigan
  • Viola Pipkins [b. February 14, 1899 - d.November 11, 1985, Panola County, Texas]
    • Non-Marital Liaison: Willie Tatum
Children with Ellen Johnson Pipkins [married: September 21, 1899, Panola County, Texas]:
  • Easter Pipkins [b. October 21, 1896 - d. February 15, 1973, Tillman County, Oklahoma]
  • Morris Pipkins, Sr. [b. July 4, 1899 - d. September 8, 1986, Dallas County, Texas]
    • Spouse: Agnes Golden

*Please note that the Johnson children [Mattie & Alonzo] listed in the household of William & Ellen in 1900 and 1910 are not HIS children. They are children of Ellen's from a previous relationship she was said to have had several Johnson children who were not listed in the household.* Unfortunately there are several family tree's on that have erroneously listed the two children previously mentioned as offspring of William Pipkins. My Aunt Mary mentioned that her grandfather William divorced Ellen Johnson as she treated his children [Ella's kids] badly and only made sure that her children were taken care of.*

Terrence A. Garnett
[December 27, 2013]

 Source Citations:

  1. Succession of Moses Collins; DeSoto Parish Clerk of Court; Volume E, p. 474-499
  2. Succession of Matilda Collins; DeSoto Parish Clerk of Court; Volume F, p. 242-249
  3. "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Dec 2013), Willaim Pipkins Household, Justice Precinct 4, Panola, Texas, United States; citing sheet , family 179, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1241663.
  4. Oral History Interviews [2006, 2007, 2009, 2010] with Aunt Mary, Uncle David, and Uncle Hosea [deceased].
  5. Pipkins, Marcellus: "Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Dec 2013), Marcellus Pipkins, 03 Mar 1972; citing certificate number 22556, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2223766.
  6. Pipkins, Wm & Ellen Parker [February 2, 1877]: Caddo Parish Marriages; Clerk of Court, Shreveport, Louisiana.
  7. Pipkin, Bill & Ellin Johnson [ September 21, 1899]: Panola County Marriages; Volume F: Page 559, County Clerk’s Office, Carthage, Texas.
  8. [History of Antioch Baptist Church in De Berry, Texas]