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.


  1. You're hot on the trail Terrence, I believe that you've found your Rose. Nice research Terrence. Good luck continuing your research. Hopefully I'll be reading about your breakthrough soon.

    1. Thank you Xzanthia! I feel like I'm so close to a breakthrough on this one.

  2. T, I love the graphic organizer you used above to highlight your census information. What software are you using? Excellent as always my friend!

    1. Thank you! I created the graphic in using Microsoft Word. I believe I went to insert> charts or graphs then when it was finished copy/paste into paintbrush to save it as a PNG or JPEG.