November, 2006

The "French Negroes" of Illinois–Part III

Their surnames included Allard, Barbeau, Chalot, Godier, Jacques, Micheau, Paschal, and Roy. They were free people. They were the French Negroes of southern Illinois. They were clustered in Randolph, Union, Jackson, and St Clair counties. How did they get there and where did they come from? Their story probably begins on the Caribbean island of Hispanola, where on December 5, …Continue reading →


The "French Negroes" of Illinois–Joseph Perry Micheau

One of Sister Philomena’s uncles was Joseph Perry Micheau, born February 23, 1888, in Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. He married Edna Julia Lewis of Carbondale, Illinois, on this date [November 27] in 1913 (which is why this story is a bit out of order in terms of the history of Prairie du Rocher. Joseph Perry Micheau was the son of …Continue reading →


The "French Negroes" of Illinois

In the Gunsmoke post of a few weeks ago, I mentioned Sisters Mary Celestine (Addie Francis Micheau) and Philomena (Emma Micheau) of the Oblate Sisters of Providence. Since then, I have come into possession of a small trove of information about the Micheaus of southern Illinois and Missouri. This information touches on the Civil War, slavery, Catholic history in America, …Continue reading →


The Estate of Martha Sanford

The estate of Martha Sanford in probate in 1920 was quite a bit larger than that of her husband, Reuben Henry Sanford, who had died in 1910. The inventory was as follows: PERSONAL PROPERTY 1. Money in Bank $1259.31 2. Liberty Bonds $1500.00 3. War Savings Stamps $100.00 4. Rent of Farm for year 1920,uncollected and unsold,estimated at, $1791.75 REAL …Continue reading →


The Will of Reuben Henry Sanford

The first item in the file of the probate of the estate of Reuben Henry Sanford is the order of the court dated August 2, 1910. The court admitted to probate the will written by Henry on October 8, 1906. Martha Sanford, Henry’s second wife, was appointed executrix. Three other individuals were appointed by the court “to make an inventory …Continue reading →


The Sanfords of Milam County, Texas: Probate

I’ve now received probate papers for both Reuben Henry Sanford and his wife Martha Sanford. You recall that the Sanford family was the family in whose company Billy Sanford (1806-1916) traveled from Virginia to Tennessee and ultimately to Milam County, Texas. Recall that Reuben Henry Sanford, born in 1832 in Williamson County Tennessee, was the fifth child of Reuben Sanford …Continue reading →


Kudos: Milam County (Tex.) Clerk’s Office

I like to recognize good service by those who support our research and without whom, our work would be infinitely more difficult, if not impossible. Today’s honors go to the Milam County Clerk’s Office in Cameron, Texas. I requested copies of two probate files. The files arrived promptly and in great condition (they are over ninety years old). The clerk …Continue reading →


Gunsmoke and Catholic Genealogy

An almost sinful obsession of mine after genealogy is watching Gunsmoke [TVLand, most weekends; also early mornings during the week; check local listings]. Some weekends, it seems as if the time passes and little gets done except hours of Gunsmoke. And yesterday was one of those days. To mitigate the situation, I tried to thing of some genealogical angles to …Continue reading →


Finding Ezekiel Johnson–Part II

A few months ago, I wrote about my quest to discover the parentage of my great-great-grandfather, Ezekiel Johnson, whom I knew to have been born in Northwest Missouri around 1850. When I started, I knew two things about him: first, that he had married a woman named Sarah Gilbert in Clay County, Missouri, in 1867; and second, my mother who …Continue reading →


News from Milam County Clerk’s Office

Some time ago, I had discovered that my great grandmother Betty Sanford Manson, had been declared mentally incompetent in Milam County, Texas during the 1930s. I found the case numbers listed on the Milam County GenWeb site. And this comported with my father’s recollection that when he had visited his family in their new home in Midland in 1948, he …Continue reading →

November 2006
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