Friday, September 17, 2010

"Friend of Friends" Friday: LEGER and other "LE" surnames, SW La.

"A friend of friends" was a password used on the Underground Railroad.  My "Friend of Friends" series was inspired by the essay posted by Sandra Taliaferro here.  I am posting slavery-related records occasionally as I come across them, in the hope that it might help other researchers find their ancestors. For more in the series, click here.

Rev. Donald Hébert's Southwest Louisiana Records series compiles church (mostly, but not exclusively, Catholic) and court records for southwestern parishes of Louisiana. (For tips on using the series, read my previous posts here.)

Volume 33 of the series is a supplement containing records from 1756-1904 not included in previous volumes, corrections, and "records of blacks" [the volume's term, not mine] from 1765-1886.  Hébert says that some records are mixed into the other volumes; check the entire series if you are researching African-Americans (most churches kept separate registers for slaves, which is probably why the records are separated in this volume).  The "records of blacks" section has many records of slaves without surnames, which are alphabetized by first name only, followed by the slaveowner's name.  Entries with surnames may refer to free people of color, slaves, or post-slavery records, depending on the date and the person's status.

I copied a page including Legers from the volume; I don't think they're connected with my Legeres (whose spelling is standardized to "Leger" in these volumes), but maybe it will help someone.  These aren't technically records from slavery, but I include them as they are church records from 1865-1879 and may help those doing African-American research (spellings are as in the book):

from volume 33, p. 223:
LEGER, Alexis (Narcus & Genevieve VALERY) bt. 1866 (CP Ch.: v. 2, p. 43) [Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Church Point, La.]
LEGER, Elizabeth (Michel & Pelcile) bt. 1865 (CP Ch.: v.2, p. 36)
LEGER, Henry (Narcisse & Genevieve VALLERY) bt. 1868 (CP Ch.: v. 2, p. 49)
LEGER, Marie m. 14 April 1879 William NED (GC Ch.: v. 4, p. 313) [St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Grand Coteau, La.]
LEGER, Narcise Michel m. 1866 Genevieve VALERY (CP Ch.: v. 2, p. 8)

Other surnames on the page include LEDE (Amelia through Valentin), LEDET (Jean only), LEDOUX (Louis Palemon only), LEIGH (Mrs., slaveowner on Bayou Boeuf), LEJEUNE (Louis only), and LEMELLE (partial, Alphred through Félicité), in records from 1801-1876.  I'm happy to do lookups; just drop me a line w/the given name/s or places for which you're looking at the address at the right side of my blog page under "about me."

p.s.  Some of my ancestors owned slaves, unfortunately.  Fortunately, I don't mind if you see a familiar surname in my blog and want to ask me about it.  I haven't researched all my ancestors' history with (or without) slavery, and I'm a bit new to that area of research, but ask me if you like, I'll look into it.  It's weird, it's awkward, but we can be weird and awkward together, and maybe help each other along the way. 

Copyright 2010 by Liz Hall Morgan, all rights reserved.

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