De Soto Parish


Black Confederates: Inconvenient Truth or Racist-inspired Revisionism?

A Long-Sought Photograph, Discovered, Stirs the Pot The photograph of my second great-grandfather was in a book titled Black Confederates (Pelican Publishing 2001), which its editors and publisher  tout as a compilation of historical accounts, photographs and documents relating to blacks who served with rebel forces in the Civil War.  Lewis LeJay (1835-1921) is described in the book through an …Continue reading →

Lewis LeJay (1835-1921)

There are some ancestors I have given up any hope of ever seeing in a photograph.  So it was with my second great-grandfather, Lewis LeJay of De Soto Parish, Louisiana.   He  was the husband of Syntrilla Brayboy and they were the parents of Sylvia LeJay. Sylvia married Richard William Gines, and they became my mother’s grandparents. Researching the LeJays has …Continue reading →

The Process of Breaking Down a Brick Wall

Second in a multi-part series Here’s a synopsis of how I achieved my #1 research goal: finding the parents of my great-grandfather, Richard Gines of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Bear in mind that eahcof these steps took months or even years to complete and some ran concurrently. Step 1:  The  Neophyte Phase.  I was new to genealogical research and had fairly easily …Continue reading →

Louisiana Public Records Online Access: Good and Ugly

I’ve written favorably about the vital records index at the Louisiana State Archives.  It’s easy to use to look up information and it’s set up to make ordering certified copies by snail mail easy.  Unlike Texas, Louisiana does not have an on-line ordering capability run by the state.  But since they make everything else so easy, I barely noticed. Now …Continue reading →

The UPS Man Cometh

Finally!  Back in January, I ordered from Amzaon.com the book, Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana, originally published in 1890 by Southern Publishing Co.   For several months, I kept getting notices from Amazon that shipping would delayed and they would give a date range during which it would ship.  All truned out to wrong until the last notice, which …Continue reading →

The Mailman Cometh

“Was there anything in the mail today?” I ask. “Yeah, a lot of stuff.  But nothing really exciting,” she replies.  “It’s there on the table.” I look there on the table, and wade through the usual bills, sales flyers, charitable solicitations, junk mail disguised as first class mail, until I finally come to a big brown envelope marked “Louisiana Secretary …Continue reading →

Names, Places & Most Wanted Faces

I started this with a note on Facebook and it was suggested that it would make a good meme for bloggers.  The idea is to publicize your surnames and locales to see if anyone elseknows something about them.  For me on Facebook, I got several research-helpful replies. So how much better to take it to a wider audience. List the …Continue reading →

Can’t find a Louisiana Relative or Ancestor? Try Looking in California!

What?! Yes, you heard right. If you’re having difficulty locating a Louisiana relative or ancestor from the 20th century, perhaps you should try looking in California . . . well, at least in some of the California databases on Ancestry.com. During and after World War II, there was a huge movement of people from the South to California. They were …Continue reading →

Where Was Your Family in 1908?

Lisa, who has the energy to write several interesting blogs, posed the question, “Where was your family in 1908?” on, appropriately enough, her 100 Years in America blog. A century ago, neither of my paternal grandparents had been born yet, although one, my grandmother Jessie Beatrice Bowie, was just a year away. Her parents, my great-grandparents, Hattie Bryant and Elias …Continue reading →

A Brayboy Challenge

One genealogical feature that I’ve come to enjoy recently is Chris Dunham’s “Genealogical Challenge,” which appears from time to time at The Genealogue. Chris challenges readers to find some interesting or obscure genealogical information about an historical or pop culture figure. These challenges and their solutions serve to refine research skills and open up many sources that one might not …Continue reading →

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