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.