Father’s side

Nothing New Under the Sun: My West Feliciana Parish Family’s confrontation with Voter Suppression

Ecclesiastes 1:9 – “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” In recent months, we’ve seen an uptick in votersuppression tactics that make Americans question whether their civil liberties are under attack. However, the right to vote for African Americans has always …

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Freedmen, Firearms, Citizenship and the Right to Assembly

A few years ago, while researching the Freedmen’s Bureau Records, I came across a fascinating report of an incident in Laurel Hill, Louisiana located in West Feliciana Parish.  Many of my ancestors were enslaved there and many descendants remained in the parish until the 1950’s.On July 27, 1867, local white citizens were alarmed over a …

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The Wederstrandt Slaves of Harlem Plantation (Plaquemine & West Feliciana Parishes)

In October of 2016, I visited the West Feliciana Parish Courthouse and discovered my 4th great-grandmother, Antoinette “Annette” King, listed as a slave in the inventory of John C. Wederstrandt, owner of Harlem Plantation.  The inventory is apart of his Last Will & Testament recorded in Notarial Book K (1849-1853), pages 451-458. Below,  I transcribed pages 456 …

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DNA Strikes Again with MORE Descendants of Robert Williams: Yolanda Adebiyi

This past September, I called my cousin, Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, and thanked her for encouraging me to create this blog.  She stressed the importance of “telling your story” because of the impact it has, not only on your family members and future generations, but other genealogists as well.  In addition, she felt it was important that …

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Talk About Twists And Turns And Crumbling Brick Walls: DNA Confirms My Penny Lineage

Ok, this is a story that’s going to make many of my family members’ heads spin, but I’m excited about this post because it is a fun story about the many ties that bind! Before I get started here’s a brief look at my paternal family tree for the reader’s benefit of understanding this article. In August …

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You Can Tell A Tree By The Fruit That It Bears

Matthew 7: 17-20 (New International Version) “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit …

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William Maddox, the White Confederate Who Loved a Black Family

As I continue researching my 3rd great-grandmother, Artimease Wederstrandt Benton, a former slave and widow of a Civil War United States Colored Troop (USCT),  I’m amazed at the untold, underlying stories revealed during her life and times.  It’s taught me that the Antebellum and Postbellum South–Louisiana in particular, have a very complex history.  When I …

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