Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gilmore's Ferry Where are YOU?!? A case of a lost ferry

Gilmore's Ferry, located in Louisiana is no longer,

do you know where it was?

I've been searching the 'net and asking everyone in North Louisiana about a place referred to as "Gilmore's Ferry".  It is said to be a Ferry that our Gilmore family ran in the 1800's in the Winn Parish - Catahoula Parish area part of which is now located in LaSalle Parish. It was apparently used to cross the "Little River", somewhere near "Bayou Funny Louie".  I've read where it was mentioned in an article about its use during the Civil War.

Anyone out there ever heard of it?

I finally have found a mention of it and want to share it here in case there are other Gilmore's who are interested in finding it at some time!  Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to look for it when we visit the area again in September!  Please contact me if you have any information or questions!

Source information:

Supplementary and Final Report of A Geological Reconnaissance of the State Louisiana,
Made under the auspices of the New Orleans academy of sciences, and the bureau of
immigration of the State of Louisiana, in May and June, 1869
Page 34
by Eug. W. Hilgard, Ph.D.
State Geologist of Mississippi, and Professor of Agricultural Chemistry in
the Univerisity of Mississippi.
New Orleans: Picayune Steam Job Print, 66 Camp Street.
out of copyright and found on

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grandpa Pierce's letter to the editor in 1897

This is the letter that (Grandpa) Howard A. Pierce wrote to the editor of the Sac City Democrat, published Feb. 12, 1897 and Feb 19, 1897. 
(This article is copied from the microfilm ordered from the Iowa State Archives and is cited at the end of this post.)

New Orleans and Vicinity
Scenes Around Lake Pontchartrain.
H.A. Pierce Writes Entertainingly of the People, Soil and Climate of Louisiana

New Orleans, Feb. 12, 1897. – Editor Democrat: --

 I am still in New Orleans having become thoroughly convinced that all that we have read concerning the dilatoriness of the Spanish Americans but feebly expresses the truth.  I reached here Monday evening, Feb. 1.  I had inquired of Mr. Sprague where I could get a good place to stop while here, and he recommended Fred’s House.  St. Charles Street, opposite the theater and near the Academy of Music.  On the train I again asked a man I had met at Jackson and he also said Fred’s House.  Accordingly I came in the evening to "Fred’s House.” And here I am stopping, while a band of music serenades my every evening at the St. Charles Theater across the way.  Street parades seem to thrive on this street and electric cars are rustling past constantly all day and inconstantly all night long.  They go like the wind and roar like a tornado.  Fred has been here since 1842 and has kept this house 21 years.  It is a favorite stopping place for the planters, from Kentucky to the gulf.  They often leave their money with Fred while sightseeing in the city.  He only furnishes rooms.  Meals are procured at restaurants all along the streets.  The beds and towels are kept perfectly clean and no drunken man is allowed to stop here.  The rooms cost 50 cts. a day, and meals cost 15 to 25 cents at restaurants.  I have adopted our girl’s plan and board myself mostly, at a cost of six to eight cents a meal.  I have been all over the city viewing the strange sights.  The weather has never been cold enough to freeze except a few nights, when it froze the tender palm leaves a little.  To-night is like a June evening at home.  It has rained all today and yesterday, but is warm.  This whole city is perfectly flat except a slight raise along the river levee, thrown up to keep the river out of the city.  “Niggers” of all shades, Chinamen, Creoles and Italians abound everywhere.  The whites look and appear like white folks, and I have not seen a drunken person here.  I got a Spanish book in Memphis and have become quite proficient in that tongue, only I forget it so very fast.  I study every evening and morning.  I found in the Howard Memorial library here a large volume of “Travels and Adventures in Honduras” and go there every day to read it.  It is a well written work and tells me much that I deserve to know.  I have also met several men who have resided there, and from them have learned much.  I am quite sure that country is near perfection in natural advantages, but is peopled by an indolent race, with one of the worst governments on earth or, more properly, no government except a lot of self-constituted despots bent on robbing the people more than they will always submit to.  I am told that many rich property owners have sent sons to foreign countries to gain naturalization in order to hold property from being confiscated by the ever warring factions, a foreign flag affording the protection denied by their own.  I looked for a vessel for Honduras the first day I was here and found that a mail steamer goes to Honduras every Thursday; but it does not land at Truxillo, but at Puerto Cortez, which is 200 miles too far west.  I talked with a Honduran at a store who was acquainted in Truxillo, and he gave much information.  He says the Honduras company, of Chicago, sold to settlers land they did not own, and after the poor fellows got to Patook and found they were swindled, most of them left in disgust as fast as they could get away.  He also says a white man cannot work in that climate and that the weeds and grass grow so fast in the fields as to require constant work to keep them from spoiling the crops, and that though the land is very rich and productive of big crops, yet there is no market, as there are no steamers to Patooka river.  He recommends the Truxillo country as being a better place to go to, and offers to give me letters to friends of his there, and to the American consul, whom he knows.
            I have been talking with Fred’s lodgers about the country around here and learn that the shores of the Gulf of Mexico between here and Alabama on the Mississippi sound afford the most delightful locations that could be desired.  The whole shore of the sound is dotted with cottages and residences where are entertained wealthy pleasure seekers from the north and from this city, for both summer and winter resorts.  The beach is sandy with fine forests growing all along the coast, where all breezes are either from the fragrant pines or the refreshing tonic sea air; where fish, oysters, lobsters and clams from the sea on one hand, and game and fowl from the forest on the other, may be had for the taking.  I am going across Lake Pontchartrain, as soon as the weather clears, to look at the country there.  A man was here day before yesterday and told Fred he had 2000 acres of land there that he had to sell.  Fred says he has seen it and it lies on the north shore of the lake and that the most of it is nice land.  But some of it is dry, and there are 500 pecan trees on it yielding yearly a good crop of nuts quoted at 15 cents per pound, and it has lots of heavy timber and is a good place for raising hogs.  It is only about 20 miles from this city, and a canal comes from the lake right into the heart of the city, and a straight unites it (Lake Pontchartrain) with the gulf, and the Illinois Central railroad crosses another straight that connects Lake Pontchartrain with Lake Maurepas, so that with a small steamboat one could easily go most anywhere, do you see?  The owner offers to sell this whole 2,000 acres for $2,000 and, as I have plenty of time, I am going to see it, and, if I like it, purchase it and raise rice, hogs, pecan nuts and cypress logs, and do some fishing in, and sailing on, the lake; but not till Honduras has been thoroughly scrutinized.  Fred says the swamps around the lake are not malarious, because the lake is salt, being open to the sea tide.  These rice lands have to be cleared and leveed to keep out the salt water and hold the fresh water to overflow the rice when needed.  Pleasure parties are daily sailing on the lake, and pleasure resorts are plentiful on its sandy shores.  Garden stuff grows here the year around.  Oysters are all around for sale at ten cents per dozen and they are so large that six of them make a dose that remind you of Tennyson “swallowing a baby.”  Nearly all the trees here in the city parks are green all winter.  Palmettos, such as the fans and hats are made of, and several varieties of palm, ivy, numerous lichens, etc., beguile one to forget such things as winter’s snow, ice and sleigh rides.  So more it be. 
            It is too sad to think how the best part of the continent has so long been cursed by Spanish misrule.  I am thoroughly convinced that a large part of Honduras is as healthy as any country on earth and possesses a delightful climate the whole year through, with a soil unsurpassed for fertility and variety of products, with mines of gold, silver, copper, iron and lead on every hand, but all under a curse for want of proper management.  This situation does not discourage me at all.  Under better auspices all the undeveloped resources of so lovely a land would long ago have been developed and it would not now offer such opportunities as it does for men with moderate means to acquire a foot hold where they may display energy and ability in promoting the development of the country.  To go there now seems to me very much like pioneering in the far west in the days of Indians and buffaloes, and I know that many who pioneered American civilization attained an independence and competence hard to gain by later arrivals. 

February 19 --  Now I must begin where the foregoing left off, for I have much to write.  Last Saturday (the 13) I concluded to go to see the place on bayou La Combe of which Fred told me, as I wrote in the foregoing.  As the boat to Honduras did not sail until Wednesday I thought to pass the time by looking around.  Fred and the lodgers here have all the time insisted that Honduras could not compare with the country around here and have all along been advising me to look around here before I go.  This house is a good place to get posted about all the south, for a new lot of people from this and neighboring states are here every evening and there are drovers and planters here on business and seem very sociable and friendly when they see my name form Sac City, Iowa, on the register,.  They all seem to want northerners to come and settle among them and help start enterprises to build up this country.  They see that the stagnation, caused by the old slave system, yields its grip only when attacked by such energy as the north can supply.  As my letter goes on you will understand better what this implies.  There are two basins in the heart of this city where schooners, barges, steam tugs and small sailing craft can enter via two canals from Lake Pontchartrain which is from twelve to twenty-five miles wide and thirty miles long, the shores being five and seven miles from the respective basins.  This lake is connected by a strait with the Gulf of Mexico and is the nearest route by which to reach the city from the ocean.  It was through this lake that the Frenchman, Bienville, came with his soldiers in 1718 and landed his troops at Bayou St. John and sounded the city of New Orleans.  Across the lake in 1762 came the Spaniards, under Don de Ullos, to receive the keys to the city and take possession in the name of the King of Spain, and built the old Spanish Fort, the old wall of which I saw today at the lake end of the old basin canal.  A large fine hotel, standing within its filled up enclosure, and pleasure resorts, boat houses, club houses and a railroad pier running nearly a mile out over the beautiful lake, are pleasant features of the scenery.  It was here that General Jackson landed in 1814, when he arrived at New Orleans to take command and oppose the British invasion.  There are two railroads across the straits at the lower end of the lake and the Illinois Central railroad crosses the strait of Manchac which connects it with Lake Maurepas which is further inland.  Two or Three railroads run from the city to the lake shore, and one also comes from the north to Madisonville on the north shore.  Much of the shore is of the nicest, whitest sand imaginable; but behind this beach, which is a ridge of white sand, there is much of the way a marsh of a mile or two in width, beyond which lies an interminable forest of pine with occasional groves of hardwood, such as live oak, white oak, black jack, pecan, sweet gum, etc.  The marshes are covered with tall grass of various kinds and are favorite ranges for cattle and hogs, which, it is claimed, live and thrive there all winter without care or feeding.  It looks strange to me to see cattle all through the tall grass, up to their knees in the soft turf and water browsing leisurely at something they find and like among the tall dead grass, and to think it is the middle of winter.  But to get to my story.  I found a schooner in the old basin just starting for bayou Bon Forceau, and learning that it was only seven miles from bayou La Combe, took passage.  It was a Creole crew entirely, captain and all, and that generally means now the descendants of the old French settlers by their negro wives.  Those old time Frenchmen got large grants of land from the king of Spain, and having bought them wives in the slave market, their cast and valuable estates, after they died, became the property of these Mullatto Creole descendants.  Those old Frenchmen were energetic and improved their estates, owned and worked many slaves, raised sugar and rice, run canals, built levees, owned saw mills, brick yards, and sugar mills and bred oceans of cattle, horses, mules, sheep and hogs.  Their heirs, while inheriting vast estates abundantly supplied with slaves and stock, inherited also from their mothers the African indolence and incapacity to take thought for the morrow.  Hence, we find today many of the estates relapsed into the condition in which they were before French energy began to make them valuable.  The levees have washed into the ditches, the rice fields are like the swamps, except that they are smoother, and on them the abundant grass might be mowed if anyone cared for hay.  The corn and cane fields are covered with splendid groves, among which may be seen the ridges where once grew beautiful crops. 
           One instinct seemed to pervade the artless minds of these degenerate sons of worthy sires, and that was to hold their estates intact, and this policy they have tenaciously adhered to.  While their slaves have been freed, their cattle sold, their plantations neglected and their game, as a last resort, well nigh exterminated, they have constantly declined to sell their land to strangers.  As a result of this policy their land has lost its former value, and whenever it is wrested from them by the sheriff or sold to satisfy a mortgage, they find its market value is surprisingly little, and, ignorant as they are, they begin to appreciate their folly.  These were the sort of lads with whom I took passage to cross the lake on the “Louisiana State”, a schooner of 60 tons.  The wind got in the north, so we had to pole about half the way through the canal, and on reaching the lake it was near night and I was wet with sweat.  They seemed kind-hearted and honest, spoke very good English with no “nigger” tone or dialect, but talked French among themselves, and all had French names.  The cook got supper and the captain, who had no feature of “nigger” about him except an Indian color, asked me to sit up and eat, which I did, but they all held back.  So taking my plate and coffee I moved back and then they took hold.  I thought it a shame to be enjoying their hospitality and still holding myself too good to eat with them, so I soon came back and finished my meal with them.  These men do not seem a bit like “niggers”, and before I left Captain Narces Menences I forgot that he was not white skinned.  Being sweaty before the fresh northeast wind on the lake made me chilly, having left my overcoat at New Orleans.  He gave me his cabin, and himself spent the whole night on deck.  When I came out at daylight the wind was from dead ahead and all hands were polling up the Bon Forceau running near its west bank where they could reach the bottom.  They had on board a Creole and his wife, who had been shopping at New Orleans.  He was born near Bayou Lacombe and told me many things that interested me.  He found I was going to see John Davis’ place and said it was always considered the best estate in the country, that when old Jacques Mellone had it he raised lots of corn, cane, potatoes and yams; had a brickyard and kept hundreds of cattle and hogs, and when he died it was neglected, and at the length an old Creole bought it for $7,000 cash, for his two sons and then quarreled with them and would not let them have it and would neither sell it nor let anybody live there for many years.  Everything went to the dogs and the fields grew up to trees.  Three years ago John Davis got it for $2,100, but he did not know how to do any other business but lumbering and he took contracts and worked too hard and exposed himself in the water and got sick and lost his contract and nearly worried himself to death. 

            It rained hard most three days and nights just before I left New Orleans and everything was flooded, so when I left the schooner to walk seven miles Capt. Narces said he would go with me up to the house of his aunt who owned all the country about where we landed, which was on the first high land as we came up the bayou all below for the two miles or more since entering the bayou being marsh on which cattle and hogs were feeding.  We accordingly spattered along to the house of his aunt who proved to be a very dark negro woman with a large family of grown-up boys, whose color ranged from yellow to jet black.  They talked awhile together in French when the captain told me that his cousin was going to ride part way to Bayou LaCombe and would saddle another horse for me to ride with him.  No I wasn’t going to ride.  “But you will ride,” said the boy, for the runs are too deep and wide for you to cross afoot.  We got along all right and rode through tall timber all the way with no underbrush, except along the runs and there Palmettos grow 5 or 6 feet high.  The ground all the distance was covered with a fair crop of dead grass resembling blue stem.  They call it broom sedge and say it makes good hay or pasture, but kills down when frost comes in January.  I think some of it grows on Iowa prairies.  We passed one little clearing in the seven or eight miles, and I have learned since that it is the home of a Creole who lately sold over 100 head of cattle off the lakeside marsh all raised without ever having had any feeding or care, and he got awfully beat by the buyer too.  The east line of the Jas. Mallone Spanish grant was close to the Creole’s cabin, so we were traveling on Davis’ land the rest of the road to Bayou Lacombe.  Narce’s cousin went all the way with me.  I found the house one story, about fifteen or eighteen feet wide and about eighty feet long, set up from the ground, boarded up and down and battened, with five pairs of doors on each side set opposite each other, with chimneys and fire places at the four partitions by which it is divided off.  The floor is nice, and all yellow pine flooring.  The rooms are high and all ceiled with matched ceiling, and a narrow roof projects out from the house about three feet the whole length of both sides like a narrow veranda; but it has no floor except the steps and the ground.  There is only one window and that is at the west end.  This Mr. Davis had put in a short time ago.  Some of the doors are kept open to admit light and a pine fire is usually kept in the fireplace.  They cook on a small cook stove, and a negro servant bakes every day in a brick oven, which stands five or six rods south of the house under a big live oak tree.  The house faces the south and a good yard two rods wide, fenced with pickets, is in front.  This yard has flower beds and fruit trees in it.  One of the peach trees was blossoming when I went there.   The trees were all young but looked very thrifty and will blossom full.  I never saw finer pear trees and am told that pears grow in abundance throughout the country.  Apricots, various tame plums, and several kinds of figs are also in the yard.  The fig trees are six inches through and bear full every year.  The orange trees all died down when the big freeze came in Florida a few years ago; but a few of them by the fence sprouted again from the old trunks and are growing rapidly.  There are twenty young orange trees growing, put out last fall among the stumps without plowing or cultivations.  I am sure this fruit could be raised here in plenty by a little care bestowed in protecting the trees when an unusually severe norther threatens to bring in a freeze, which is rarely.  Many oranges are raised at Hammond and other places 60 to 75 miles north of here.  There is a lot fenced in, reaching along the bayou landing and back twenty rods to the woods, and this lot contains fifty or sixty pecan trees a foot to two feet in diameter with broad spreading tops and a fine grass sod all over the lot where they grow.  Some of these trees yield two barrels of pecan nuts that sell for 10 to 15 cts. a pound at wholesale in New Orleans.  One of these trees yielded last year $30.00 worth of pecans.  Some of them did not bear many and the nuts on others were small and sold for 8 cts. A pound.  I am told that the trees can be made to bear full by covering the surface of the surface of the ground with much under them.  Mr. Davis says there are over 500 pecan trees on his place.  The ground where the house stands is nine feet higher than the water in the bayou and lake.  The lake is salty of course, being part of the sea, but during rains the bayou is fresh and is only somewhat brackish at any time.  The bar at the mouth of the bayou has 5 or 6 feet of water now.  The ordinary tide is about six inches in the lake but a long hard wind from the southeast will sometimes raise it two feet.  There is a good landing just above the house where schooners unload supplies and load on wood and lumber for the city eighteen miles away.  The grant contains 1,327 acres, and its owner offers to sell it to me for even $2,000.  He says he cannot keep it because if the hard luck he had last year.  He keeps logging teams, ten yoke of oxen, and has high log wheels, and always follows logging and does not know how to farm.  There is timber enough on the place to pay for three or four such places.  Pine wood, three feet long, 1s low like all things else.  It sells for $2 a cord now in New Orleans.  The schooners take forty cords a load, paying $1 a cord for the wood at the landing.  The “niggers” charge 50 cents for chopping and splitting but are mostly paid in goods and provisions at a profit.  So it really costs 40 or 50 cents to get it cut.  Then it needs to be hauled to the landing.  So you see the profit is not more than 25 cents a cord above expenses.  Last year it sold for $1.25 at the landing and it may do so again when confidence is restored. 
            I have only seen four white families in all this part and they all say it is a very healthy place.  But I ask if the cypress swamps do not breed malaria and they tell me that the water in the swamp being salty from the tide are not malarious and that the air from the lake or the pine woods is always sweet and pure.  They all tell me that cattle and hogs grow fat enough for beef or pork entirely in the marsh and timber.  I came here at the hardest part of the year for stock and find stock looking very well on the range.  They might have hay just for the cutting, but I have seen none even for work cattle and milk cows, but they feed them a little bran or cotton seed meal sometimes.  I do not think there is any hog cholera here though some have complained of losing some young pigs this winter by their getting stiff and dragging their hind parts.  Lumber costs 5 or 6 dollars a thousand feet.  Fuel is little needed and costs nothing.  Fish are plentiful for the taking.  Alligators in the bayous are afraid of being caught and their hides are sought for leather.  The moccasins are not much regarded and hogs destroy them.  Vegetables are grown every month.  Fruit can be grown by carloads.  Blackberries grow wild everywhere.  Strawberries grow wonderfully and ripen in March.  Roads are dry and little need be done to them.  A flowing artesian well of pure soft water can be had anywhere for from $35 to $100.  I am told that the marshes bordering the lake make the finest of rice land by leveeing out the tide water and flowing the rice from the artesian wells, and it seems to me they are just the kinds of lands that Cape Cod cranberries grow on.  Thousands of acres of these marshes can be bought from the state for 12 ½ cents an acre and I am certain they will become very valuable before many years.  They can be diked and pumped out with the wind mills as over half of Holland is.  It is true this land only lies a few feet above the sea level, but it is not the least swampy except the marshes bordering the lake.  The soil is a clayey loam, light brown in color, and is under laid with a stiff light clay.  Where the roads run over a slight rise the rain washes the white sand along the surface and makes the paths look white. 

H.A. Pierce                                                           
 Sac City Democrat, Microfilm – Roll –L;Dec. 13-1895 - Dec. 3-1897

Iowa State Archives / State Historical Society of Iowa
600 East Locust
Des Moines, Iowa.  50319

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A road trip to North Louisiana and Kentucky


I'll be on a genealogy road trip this week to do research for a client.  We'll be hitting northern Louisiana, Bienville Parish and surrounding areas... then to hit central Kentucky.  I'll try to pick up a document on my own family from time to time, stop to stop.... and maybe some photos! 

I'd love to get a photo of the area in Union Parish where my great great grandmother Keziah Griselda McClanahan Barr Book Yossett's, 3rd husband Charles Braun Yossett was shot and killed.  The post before this one tells the story!  I'll try find the court record while I'm there... wouldn't it be great to read the testamony?  Maybe the whole story from Keziah's point of view?  Well, that's what I'd love to do while I'm up there!

We leave Sunday, September 11, and return Sunday, September 18th.

That's it for this time lil blog post!  Wish me luck!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Family Trees, Blood Trees or Step-Blood Trees, they are all My Trees and I love the shade they give us all!

Wow, what a strange statement this title is, eh?  What do I mean?  Good question!  My father, Abner Hilburn Gilmore passed away when I was 11 years old.  I was the youngest of 4 children my mother and father had in their 32 year marriage.  Over the following couple of years later my mother met Jerome Edward Barringer and they married December 1, 1974.  Jerome aka Jerry Barringer had no children with his late wife and was thrown into a family dynamic which he had no experience in with two simple (?) words, “I Do”.  He suddenly had 3 grown children, 3 grandchildren and a "teenage girl".  *G*  From what I remember, I didn't know what to call him, it couldn't be daddy... dad wasn't right either, yet calling him Jerome, Jerry or Mr. Jerome wasn't going to work...  Please remember this was in the early 1970's and as a teenage girl of the 70's he became "Pops"!  I don't know what he ever thought of it, but it stuck all through the years.  My 3 siblings called him Jerome, our children called him Paw-Paw or Big Paw-Paw, but I called him "Pop/Pops".  He had 10 grandchildren and more than a few great grandchildren when he passed away and they all loved their Paw-Paw.  I don’t think any of them realize/realized he wasn’t their biological grand/great-grandfather, unless someone has told them.  He fit into his role as quickly as anyone could have expected him to.  I have missed him terribly since he passed away on August 13th, 2003 after a short illness.  He was legally my stepfather, but in my mind and soul he was my "Pops".  

Jerome was proud of his family and heritage, he would tell the greatest stories about growing up on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in Lacombe, Louisiana.  He was the 3rd of 13 children of William “Bill” P. and Eleanor Barringer had 13 children, 11 boys and 2 girls.  The kids were expected and did work before and after school, he trapped in the marsh, hunted hogs and did anything else asked of them without question.  That was the way it was in the 1940’s in South Louisiana as it was in many other places around the country. 

William P Barringer’s mother, Mandane A. Pierce was the daughter of Howard A. Pierce and Mandane L. Knight from Sac City, Iowa.    She married James M. “Captain Jim” Barringer in 1900.  James M Barringer was a Schooner captain which carried passengers and cargo from New Orleans to the North Shore destinations of Lake Pontchartrain.  We hope to add more facts about Grandpa Barringer in the near future, as for now we’d like to share what we have on our Peirce line! 

I had begun working on my mother and fathers family history in the late 1980’s and it was natural to gather the names, places of dates for “Pops” family as if they were simply another branch of my biological family tree.  That is when I heard more stories about Granpa Pierce and Granpa Barringer, and what stories they are! 

Howard A. Pierce was born in Livermore Falls, Maine and was a very well educated and traveled man.  I’d like my cousins of this branch of my family tree to help me write about this man and his life and travels…. We will add photos and more stories about these fantastic men and women. 
I’ll post some photographs of the land that was bought about 1898 for a dollar an acre by Howard A. Pierce on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Lacombe Louisiana. He was told of the 1000+ acres of land while talking to men at a boarding house in New Orleans.  He was told he could get there via a steamer across the lake, he wrote an article about it to the Sac City newspaper.   I hope to post the article here soon.  The land Granpa Peirce and Granpa Barringer bought in the 1890's and early 1900's is no longer in the family.  Their presence is known by the naming of several streets, such as Mandane Drive, Louise Drive, and Eleanor Drive.  By naming these streets with their wives names they ensured they would always be remembered. 

Muriel "Lucille" King Barringer's street, located at Lake Road and Lucille Drive

Wooden sign for the same street in Lacombe, La.

Remembering Mandane A Pierce and Mandane L Knight

Lake Road, this road leads from the town of Lacombe, La. to the shore of Lake Pontchartrain.  All along this raod is the land that once belonged to the Pierce and Barringer families.  There are always people fishing all along this road... you can see there is a water way on each side of the road.

Corner of Lake Road and Barringer Road. 
The Barringer "Home Place" is just down this road on the left.  
The old home no longer exists
and is no longer owned by the family.

The "dead end" of Lake Road,
Lacombe Louisiana. 
It was a Summer day in the South
and you can see the Thunder Storms that were rolling in!

This is the same place just to the right of the previous photo.  These marshy areas were once full of wildlife that the "Barringer Boys" hunted and trapped on. 

You can probably see why I named this Blog post what I did, eh?  *G*  Please leave us a comment or two and ask any questions you may have!
Proud to be Jerome Edward Barringer’s youngest (step) daughter!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What was "Family Lore" is now known to be the truth!

My great grandmother Josephine Barr DuBell (photo here on the Blog), was the daughter of Keziah Griselda MacClanahan Barr Book Yosset.  She was married 3 times, her second marriage was to William Book and they had one son, John Book.  Great-great grandma Keziah remarried to a Charles Braun Yossett. 
The "family lore" I am referring to is this.  Keziah and Charles had a rocky relationship and he was very abusive to Keziah.  At some point, around 1880 her son John Book was present at one of these altercations and told his step-father, (Charles Yosset) "You can't treat my Momma that way." and shot him.  The story ended by saying he did not serve any time for the killing as it was deemed "Justifiable Homicide".  This has been a story I have heard for the last 20+ years

Over the years I have wanted to see if it this story was truthful.  I've traveled to the area, written letters to various offices, contacted distant relatives, they have written letters, combed old newspapers, and have found no documentation as to prove or disprove this story.  You can imagine the joy I felt this morning when I was following up on some links I have from Lisa Louise Cooke's podcasts and I found a newspaper article giving details of the shooting/killing!  I couldn't believe I was reading it!   The article tells the story in greater detail and it's so close to what our family lore has told us all along!  You see?  It's not always a fable when we hear these stories over the years, don't ever give up! 

Here is the article from the OCR translation:

Claihorne Guardian:
A man by the name of Yosset was killed by his step son. Johnnie Book, last week. The affair occurred five miles north of Vienna.    Yosset was an intemperate man, and treated his wife cruelly when drinking.  He had been on a spree, and Mrs. Yossat, had been driven from home in self-defence.   As she was traveling in company  with her son. Johnnie Book, they were met by Yosset. On meeting them he turned round and traveled with them trying to get his wife to return home with him. She refused, giving his cruel treatment as a reason. When they come to the Vienna and Shiloh road, Yosset attempted to make Mrs. Yosset take the Shiloh road.  . She wished to take the Vienna road. He caught hold of her horse's bridle and jerked the horse. He then picked up a stick and struck the horse. making it jump and very near throw Mrs. Yosset.  Johnnie Book remarked to him that he could not treat his mother in that way.  In a few seconds Mrs. Yosset heard a pistol fire, (her back was turned to them,) and thinking her son was shot she exclaimed "Johnnie, Johnnie," by this time she had turned her horse, and seeing her son still standing, and her husbanding missing, she looked behind a clump of bushes and saw him lying dead. She exclaimed, "oh. Johnnie, what have you done!" to which he replied, "Mother, do you suppose. I was going to let him shoot me down like a hog."   The pistol used was a derringer.  The ball entered the left temple and passed into the brain, causing instant death. The next day, Johnnie Book come to Vienna and surrendered himself to the sheriff. On Tuesday last he had his preliminary trial before Judge Graham. He was released, having made out a clear case of justifiable homicide.
Source information:
 Library of Congress, Chronicling America, Historic Newspapers
In the "Louisiana Capitolian"
Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
Tuesday, March 29, 1881
Vol. 3 No. 22
Page 3 Col. 3  
From the Claiborne Guardian

This has given me more leads as to where to go and hopefully obtain primary documents for this part of my family’s history.  I wouldn't have found it if I had stopped looking and especially if I had given up on the old newspapers!  You can't give up on one type of source because new documents are coming to light every day.  I can't say that enough, it is so important to keep looking and when you get to a point of thinking there isn't anything to find, start again. 

BTW, is you haven't heard of Lisa Louise Cooke and her podcasts, website, videos and blog you should check them out, you won't regret it! Lisa talks to "you" in such a way you feel as you have known her for years, almost as if she is having coffee with you in your kitchen.  Her site URL is:  I attended her webinar on using old newspapers and it had paid off, don't you think?   Thanks to Lisa Louise Cooke and her Genealogy Gems! 

That's it for now.. I have to go pick up my hubby and get back home so I can spread this news to my distant cousin who is working on this line, he's gonna love this! 


Monday, February 21, 2011

I knew I was going to have a hard time keeping this up, but?

Man, this blogging thing is either harder than I thought it would be OR I'm making it harder than it should be or IS!

I want to make a short post, if for no other reason than to say "HI!" to the 3 people who have read it... but then again?  LOL!  A huge reason is the be able to say I have made at least one post this month!

My ever elusive DUBELL's ancestor remains elusive!  I have been corresponding with a lady and her uncle about this line.  They speak little to no English and I speak only English!  Wow, what a challenge!   I copy and paste their messages into Google Translate and we go back and forth that way.  We haven't made any head way and what little we think we have in common may be related to a mis-transcription of a document from years ago on John DuBells's naturalization document. 

That's about it for now...  this is a boring BLOG I tell you!  I will try to write more!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Great Grandfather John DuBell, the first of many mysteries!

Great-Grandfather, John DuBell came to America about 1868, we have no records showing the exact date or what port he came in to.   There are a great many stories about this man and we are striving to find the truth of his journey to America!  

I’d like to start with what we know to be true from documents we have put together at this time. 

According to the United States Federal Census records his date of birth is June 1837.  According to these records his place of birth is states as either “Holland” or “Europe”.  These records also give the dates of his arrival as 1864 or 1869. He is found in the 1880, 1900 and 1910 United States Federal Census records,
His marriage license shows he married Josephine C. Barr on October 20, 1874 at Stafford’s Landing in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana Sadly, this community is no longer in existence. 

He was naturalized on
 December 20th 1885 in Franklin Parish Courthouse in Louisiana.  His name is recorded as John DuBell and signed “John du Bell”.
Their children were;

Mary E DuBell, b. 1875 – d, abt 1894
2 still born children about 1880 and 1882
Edgar DuBell 1882 – date of death unknown
Annie Mae DuBell 1885 - 1942
Rachel DuBell 1888 - 1934
Ellis about 1890 – died as a child
Alice Phenia DuBell 1891 – d. 1950
Benjamin Franklin DuBell 1893 – d. 1909
Thomas DuBell 1895 – d. 1969
Alexander William DuBell 1897 – d. 1974 (My Grandfather)
Lonnie DuBell about 1899 – d. unknown
Marine DuBell 1900 – d. unknown
I will add updates on dates of death when they are verified

Great Grandma Josephine died about 1911 and Great Grandpa John DuBell was awarded Tutorship of their 3 minor children, Thomas, Alexander and Marine.  I have these documents in my files.

He owned land in Catahoula and Franklin Parishes in Louisiana.

After these known facts there are many stories, I’d like to refer to them as “Family Lore” at least until we have found proof of their truthfulness or that they remain Family Lore and are known as such though they are most probably tinged with a certain amount of truth!

We do know a number of things.  My grandfather, Alexander “Alec” DuBell was the first generation born in America in his paternal family… his father; John DuBell came here in 1867 to 1869 from The Netherlands.  He bought farmland in Franklin Parish, Louisiana and raised a family there.  I've been told he attended the local Baptist Church.   It may have been a church in Holly Grove, a small community near his land, or it may have been the church that his son was a deacon of for many years, South Central Baptist Church, Wisner, Louisiana.  Until we find church records we will not know for certain. 

Our Great Grandpa wasn’t known for telling his family very much about the family he left behind in Holland.  At least not that anyone remembers now.  What we do have is memories of other family members about him, and the stories we have all heard over the years, such as:

1.  He was “Shanghaied” by a “press gang” in Amsterdam and made to work on a schooner or ship going back and forth after one such trip.  We have no documents showing he spent any time in New Orleans or immediately began traveling, eventually living in the Catahoula/Franklin parish area of Louisiana

2.  He was from a family who were said to be linen merchants and had their own “schooners/ship”.  The story goes that he was a stowaway on one of the schooners or was working on it and “jumped ship” in New Orleans, once again it isn’t known if  he spent any time in New Orleans or immediately began traveling, eventually living in the Catahoula/Franklin parish area of Louisiana. 
There is one thing that rings true from these stories, our Great Grandfather came to America; we have no idea through what port, New Orleans?  Houston?  New York?  He made his way to Franklin/Catahoula Parish Louisiana. After this, he married Josephine Barr, bought farm land and raised a family.  He became a Naturalized citizen in 1885.  They were married approximately 37 years when Josephine passed away and he was left with 3 of their children to raise.  From documents I’ve found as of this date I believe he died between 1915 and 1919, I haven’t found his name in any census records from 1920 to 1930.

There is one other story I have heard over and again is one of a letter from The Netherlands that arrived in Wisner, Louisiana.  My grandfather Alex DuBell, could not read Dutch he was to get someone possibly a neighbor, to interpret it for him but it has been lost. What it was about, we have no idea.  
There is more to be told about our Dutch Heritage…. I am now corresponding with a lady who lives in Sweden, is of Dutch heritage and is a DuBell!  We are having a difficult time translating our messages as she is writing in German, and I in English!  Thank goodness for Google Translate!  We may be cousins, although I’m not going to get too excited until we find out more about our ancestors and if we are, indeed cousins! 

Do you have any ideas as to what to do next?

TTYS, I hope!