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  • Family Background Search

    Asking for help regarding some folks in my family background. If this is the wrong thread for this, let me know. Anyhow, here goes:

    1. Hansford D. Walker. Born 1809, Barnwell, South Carolina, died 1864 in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Have not been able to identify his parents or any siblings. Migrated from South Carolina to the Mississippi Territory in mid to late 1820's. Married Elizabeth Myers in Lawrence County, Miss. in 1830. Moved to central La. about 1860. There were several Walker families in the Barnwell/Edgefield areas of S.C. in the late 1700's & early 1800's. Just haven't been able to figure out which one he belongs to.

    2. Berry N. Russell. Born 1812 in Tennessee, died 1870 in Hood County, Texas. Same problem as above, have not been able to find anything on his parents, siblings, etc. Married Martha Louise Gordon (from North Carolina) about 1834, turning up in Holmes County, Mississippi by 1840. Martha died in Holmes County about 1848 and Berry Russell moved first to Arkansas (1850) before moving on to Texas.

    3. David Powers. Born abt. 1809 in New York before moving to south central La. Showed up in St. Landry Parish, La. in 1850 and Married Marie Louise Deville there in 1852. Died about 1897 in St. Landry Parish. Same problem, no info found so far on his background.

    I have a tree on ancestry.com, as do several other relatives who are researching these same people. There just seems to be a blank wall behind all of these folks and we've really hit some dead ends. Frustrating to say the least. I'm hoping that even if I don't find some direct information on these folks on the forum, that maybe someone could help by steering us in the right direction. Any help, suggestions, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I gather that you are a Louisiana resident. If you are, then you know that St. Landry Parish covered nearly the entirety of Southwest Louisiana from the Atchafalaya River to the Sabine River. Also, Rapides Parish was also a large parish between the Red River and the Sabine River immediately north of St. Landry Parish. My point is that your question covers an enormous part of Louisiana. Do you have the name of a town or towns in the parishes where your ancestors may have lived?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MFWare View Post
      I gather that you are a Louisiana resident. If you are, then you know that St. Landry Parish covered nearly the entirety of Southwest Louisiana from the Atchafalaya River to the Sabine River. Also, Rapides Parish was also a large parish between the Red River and the Sabine River immediately north of St. Landry Parish. My point is that your question covers an enormous part of Louisiana. Do you have the name of a town or towns in the parishes where your ancestors may have lived?


      Thanks for the response! I am from central La. And yes, both Rapides and St. Landry Parishes were both much larger than they are now. Grant Parish was formed out of Rapides after the Civil War and Evangeline Parish was formed out of St. Landry about 1910. The records in St. Landry Parish are excellent back through the early 1800's, due mainly to the excellent record keeping of the Catholic Church in that region.

      My Walker relative, Hansford D., lived in what was then part of Rapides Parish but is now Grant Parish. He only lived in La. for about four years (1860 - 1864) around the communities of Pollock & Bentley in what is now Grant Parish. Unfortunately, the courthouse in Alexandria (Rapides Parish) was burned in 1864 during the Civil War, so any info on him in La. would likely be scarce. His origins and ancestors in the Barnwell/Edgefield South Carolina area are what I'm really hoping to find something on. Of note: I did do the DNA Test at 67 markers for the Walker Project on FTDNA and matched to Group 10. I have not, as yet, matched up with anyone else claiming decent from Hansford Walker.

      As for Berry N. Russell, he never lived in La. as far as I know. He left Holmes County, Miss. shortly after 1848 when his wife, Martha Gordon Russell died. He then traveled with his six children to Lafayette County, Arkansas where he remarried. He eventually moved on to Hood County, Texas where he died in Oct. 1870. He is buried in Thorp Springs Cemetery there. I'm thinking he came from the far eastern part of Tennessee near the North Carolina border, but haven't been able to nail it down yet. For a bit I thought he was related to an Alexander Russell from that area, but I couldn't really prove it.

      As for David Powers, I have the least info on him. Nothing really on him prior to 1850 when he showed up in a census in St. Landry Parish, which said he was born in New York. He raised his family and died around the small town of Turkey Creek, which is in what is now Evangeline Parish. I have his marriage documents, which I got from the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas.


      Thanks again for the response and refs. Any other info would be greatly appreciated.
      Last edited by Geauxtigs; 9 October 2012, 09:42 PM.

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      • #4
        I am familiar with Grant Parish--Pollock, Bentley, Dry Prong. They are all north of Alexandria. Turkey Creek is south of Alexandria.

        I am a native of one of the parishes that was carved out of old Calcasieu Parish which in turn had been carved out of the original St. Landry Parish. My home parish is taking some pains to collect and preserve its history. I would hope that Evangeline and Grant are doing the same thing. There simple things such as recording the names on headstones in all of the local cemeteries. You may check with the parish courthouses in the three relevant parishes--Grant, Rapides, and Evangeline. You might also check with St. Landry Parish. You can't recover burned records, but perhaps you can identify people with knowledge of records that were not burned.

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