Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jeffersons who completed World War I Draft Cards in DeSoto Parish

These are listed by name, date of birth, race, parish and state.

Ben Jefferson 10 Jun 1880 Black Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Charlie Jefferson 4 Sep 1895 Black Louisiana Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Chesnutt Jefferson 29 Nov 1891 Black Louisiana Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Elijah Jefferson 26 Oct 1874 Black Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Harrison Jefferson 12 Sep 1889 Colored (Black) Louisiana;United States of America

Henry Jefferson 25 Oct 1893 Black Louisiana Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Henry Jefferson 23 Jan 1879 Black Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Isaac Jefferson 19 Jan 1887 African (Black) Texas;United States of America Not Stated, De Soto, LA

John Jefferson 26 Jul 1900 Black Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Louis Jefferson 23 Sep 1896 Louisiana Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Marion Jefferson 10 Mar 1871 Black Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Mark Jefferson 14 Feb 1884 Black Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Robert Jefferson 18 Nov 1889 Black Louisiana;United States of America Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Sylvester Jefferson 4 Jan 1899 Not Stated Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Thomas Jefferson 20 Oct 1884 Black Not Stated, De Soto, LA

Willie Hilton Jefferson 27 Jan 1894 Black Louisiana;United States of America Not Stated, De Soto, LA

African Proverbs

Rain beats a leopard's skin, but it does not wash out the spots.
Ashanti of Ghana

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.
Ashanti of Ghana

Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.
Ashanti of Ghana

The moon moves slowly, but it crosses the town.
Ashanti of Ghana

The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.
Ashanti of Ghana

When the cock is drunk, he forgets about the hawk.
Ashanti of Ghana

There is no medicine to cure hatred.
Ashanti of Ghana

When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.
Ashanti of Ghana

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.
Ashanti of Ghana

It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man.
Ashanti of Ghana

Where there is a will, there are sure to be relatives

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.

Love is like a baby: it needs to be treated tenderly.

You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.

The friends of our friends are our friends.

Death does not sound a trumpet.

No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.

To love someone who does not love you, is like shaking a tree to make the dew drops fall.

Sleep is the cousin of death.

A single bracelet does not jingle.

Pride only goes the length one can spit.

When your neighbour is wrong you point a finger, but when you are wrong you hide.

To one who does not know, a who garden is a forest.

Evil enters like a needle and spreads like a oak tree.

The witness of a rat is another rat.

He who learns, teaches.

Unless you call out, who will open the door?

When the heart overflows, it comes out through the mouth.

You cannot build a house for last year's summer.

When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.

The fool speaks, the wise man listens.

A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat.

A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children.

It is easy to become a monk in one's old age.

The fool is thirsty in the midst of water.

One's name remains above the grave.

As the wound inflames the finger, so thought inflames the mind.

Move your neck according to the music.

One is born, one dies; the land increases.

Two waterfalls do not hear each other.

When you see clouds gathering, prepare to catch rainwater.

One camel does not make fun of the other camel's hump.

A good deed is something one returns.

He who does not cultivate his field, will die of hunger.

Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

Death is like a robe everyone has to wear.
Guinea (Mandingo)

Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living.

When the brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father's estate.

God! I am in your hands! What you say will happen! Nothing baffles you!

Words are sweet, but they never take the place of food.

The rain does not recognize anyone as a friend; it drenches all equally.

The death of an elderly man is like a burning library.

Hope is the pillar of the world.

After a foolish deed comes remorse.

Talking with one another is loving one another.

Life is a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly by and is no more.

Death is like a robe that everyone has to wear.

A friend is someone you share the path with.

When one is in trouble, one remembers God.

Time destroys all things.

Without retaliation, evils would one day become extinct from the world.

If you have one finger pointing at somebody, you have three pointing towards yourself.

You don't need pain killers for another man's headache.
Nigeria (Igala)

God does not sleep.
Nigerian (Bette)

If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips.

It is better to be loved than feared.
Sierra Leone

A big fish is caught with big bait.
Sierra Leone

A cow must graze where she is tied.
Sierra Leone

Do not tell the man who is carrying you that he stinks.
Sierra Leone

He who does not seize opportunity today, will be unable to seize tomorrow's opportunity.

The wind does not break a tree that bends.

He who tells the truth is never wrong.

To be without a friend is to be poor indeed.

A roaring lion kills no game.

The tears running down your face do not blind you.

Water that has been begged for does not quench the thirst.

It takes a whole village to raise a child

Whenyou will sit when you are old, it shows where you stood in youth.

If you damage the character of another, you damage your own.

Work is the medicine for poverty.

The man who has bread to eat does not appreciate the severity of a famine.

The horse that arrives early gets good drinking water.

He who hates, hates himself.

From the mouths of babes!

This poem was supposedly written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital. I found it to be a touching life lesson and advice for families and generations to come.


Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down. Don't dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask how are you? Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores running through your head?

You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won't last.

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time to call and say,'Hi'

You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.

Life is not a race. Do take it slower
Hear the music before the song is over.

Obama, an all american family man

The following are images of Presidential hopeful, Barrack Obama with various members of his family.

Barrack's maternal grandparents pictured w/his late mother as a child

Barrack pictured w/his late mother and grandfather at high school graduation

Barrack pictured with his maternal grandparents

Barrack Obama's Kenyan, Harvard educated father

Barrack pictured with his paternal grandmother in Africa

Barrack pictured with his wife Michelle and their children

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nat and Sarah Hill, former slaves

Nat and Sarah Hill were my gggg-grandparents. They were slaves that were brought from South Carolina to Frierson, Louisiana in DeSoto parish.

1. Nat and Sarah Hill were the parents of at least 1 child, my ggg-grandmother, Mary Hill Hines who was the wife of Pompey Hines.

2.Pompey and Mary Hill Hines begat many children. Among them were my gg-grandfather David Hines who married Mariah Pressley Hines, daughter of Stephen and Phyllis Pressley.

3. David and Mariah begat many children. Among them was my grandfather Isam Hines who married Cornelia Jefferson Hines Nickelberry, daughter of Issac and Jane Brayboy Jefferson.

4. Isam and Cornelia had several children. Among them was my beautiful grandmother, Bessie Hines Burney who married William Burney, son of Anderson and Caroline Burney.

5. William and Bessie had 5 children, William, Jewel, (Living Son),
(Living daughter)and Rosie. William also begat Bobbie and Lois. Among them was my father, Jewel Burney who married Lottie.

6. Jewel and Lottie begat 5 children plus 4. Among them was me, Karen Burney.

I am the 6th generation from Nat and Sarah Hill and my son is the 7th but my great-nieces and nephews are 8 generations from the Hills.

The 1870 census list both Nat and Sarah Hill as being born in South Carolina and both at age 60, which means that both were born around 1810. James Madison was president at the time of their births. Nat Hill is listed as a farmer on the 1880 census.

None of their children were in the house at the time but there was one child who could have been a grandchild in the househould named Moses Hill, aged 12.

By 1880, 10 years later, Nat Hill had apparently passed away and Sarah was living in the household of her grandson, Danniel Hines and his wife Caroline Pressley Hines. (Danniel Hines was my ggg-grandfather, David Hines brother and his wife Caroline was David's wife Mariah Pressley Hine's sister so their children were double-kin. You see, in those days when you found a good man and he had a nice brother, you introduced him to your nice sister or cousin!) On the 1880 census, they have Sarah's age as 90 with her being born in 1790 which is 20 years older than she was on the 1870. This was not uncommon though especially among the older former slave population since they individuals often did not know their true age so they estimated it." However, 90 seems more plausible because her daughter, Mary was 67 and her grandson, Danniel was 40. Also, in the household by 1880 with Danniel and Caroline Pressley were their children and Danniel's mother, Mary Hill Hines since her husband Pompey had also passed away by this time. Hence, there were generations in that household in 1880.

I still have a lot to learn about my Hill line such as who were their other children? What part of South Carolina they came from? Although, I suspect Darlington county like my other lines in Desoto parish but have not confirmed it yet. Who were their slaveowners?

One thing I do know is that they both lived to see freedom. Nat Hill listed as a farmer was once the property of another and more than likely tilled the fields until days end for his Master. Sarah, I imagine would have also worked the fields or perhaps did the cooking, cleaning and other tasks related to the tending of her mistress' household.

Freedom must have tasted so sweet! To you grandparents, I dedicate this scripture:

Isaiah 65:21-24

21And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Slavery in Kanawha county, charleston, west virginia

West Virginia is the state that I find the earliest record of the surname, Brittentine, one of my family lines. Although, my ggg-grandfather, Monroe Brittentine was born a slave in the neighboring state of Kentucky but later relocated to Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

My research revealed that farming and livestock operations in Western Virginia mainstrem and required the use of slave labor. However, there were many parts of the region that did not employ slave labor.

The region where I find Brittentines is the Kanawha County, Charleston area. This region consisted of valleys and of larger farms of tobacco and other cash crops which used slaves. You can click on the map above to view Kanawha county if you want to get a sense of where it is located in the state.

My research further revealed that in 1860, there were 490,308 slaves which represented almost 1/3 of the population in West Virginia. A substantial slave population existed in the Kanawha Valley. Due to the decline of plantation agriculture in the 1800s, slavery was no longer as profitable in the east and slaves were frequently hired out or sold. The salt industry was driven by poor white transients and slave labor, often leased from eastern Virginia. This was the first significant introduction of slavery into western Virginia because salt was the first major industry to develop. Of the slaves in the Kanawha Valley, half were owned or hired by salt firms. About 40% percent of these slaves were used to mine coal for the salt works because they could be hired from their owners for much lower wages than white laborers demanded. These slaves were usually leased and insured rather than bought due to the risk of death or injury in the coal mines.

Based on the above, it is highly probable that the Brittentines I located in this area were held as slaves on farms or salt/coal mines.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Congratulations to my nephew Jonathan Anene

Press Release
by Carla Anene

On Friday, January 24, 2008, Jide was crowned Third Grade Spelling Champion at his school. Jonathan, an eight-year-old scholar/athlete, bested all of his third grade peers and one formidable second grader to take the third-grade title in his school's spelling bee. Audience members hung on the edges of their seats as the third-grade competition went into overtime with the final two spellers, Jonathan and second-grader Madi, dueling it out. Earlier that morning second-grade spelling phenom Madi had captured the second-grade title, then thrilled audiences by out-spelling all third graders except Jonathan. Jonathan and Madi matched each other word for word until all of the words on the official third grade list had been exhausted. The moderator then went to an auxiliary list. The break in the match came when Madi misspelled "furniture." Jonathan stepped to the microphone and correctly spelled that word, and then spelled "muscle" to capture the title.

Jonathan's accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you consider his route to the championship. Just one week prior to the spelling bee, all third graders were required to participate in a "pop" spelling bee, without any opportunity for preparation. From that competition, Jonathan and 5 other classmates emerged as the top spellers. They were given the task of studying 522 frequently misspelled words, in addition to their regular homework assignments and extracurricular activities.

Following Jonathan's win, his mother beamed with pride as she congratulated Jonathan with a bear hug. She was overhead telling the school principal, "I barely made it here. This morning I awoke to a flat tire and a bent rim, but I pleaded with the guys at the repair shop to expedite the repair because my son was in the spelling bee. I also persuaded my boss to change the time of our staff meeting so I could get here. Then, there was heavy traffic due to the pouring rain, but nothing was going to stop me from getting here." Jonathan's mom arrived just as Jonathan's close friend and basketball teammate was eliminated. That ouster left Jonathan and Madi to duke it out for the title.

Over a celebratory dinner on Friday evening, Jonathan's parents reminded their children that Jonathan's victory, as well as his buddy's third-place finish, sends a powerful message that African-American students in general, and African-American males in particular, are an academic force to be reckoned with. Jonathan and his buddy are the only two African-American students in third grade. Jonathan's parents also noted that the only two African-American males in the fourth grade class also advanced to the finals in their division, although they did not place in the top three. Jonathan's parents shared with their son a favorite quote from the late, great Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. "There are three keys to success- preparation, preparation, preparation." Jonathan has already learned to put that motto into action.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Possible Brittentine connection?

I recently ran across another possible surname, Brizendine which could be the origin of my Brittentine Line. These slaveowners are from Virginia and Kentucky where my Brittentine line came from. It may be a stretch but it is one of the closest surnames that I found to my Brittentine line. Variations of the name include Brizendine/Brisendine information, consider a variety of spellings including Bresendine, Brisendine, Brezentine, Bresentine, Brasentine, Brigindine, Briginden. I will explore more since that family has a website but here is a 1850 slave schedule as follows:

The names in the middle are the slaveowners and the slaves are mentioned at the beginning only by age gender and race.

27 Female Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
26 Male Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
8 Female Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
7 Male Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
5 Female Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
3 Female Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
0 Female Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
0 Male Black Austin Brizendine Essex, Virginia
46 Female Black Elizabeth Brizendine Essex, Virginia
5 Male Black Elizabeth Brizendine Essex, Virginia
3 Female Black Elizabeth Brizendine Essex, Virginia
2 Male Black Elizabeth Brizendine Essex, Virginia
0 Female Black Elizabeth Brizendine Essex, Virginia
45 Female Black Wiley Brizendine Essex, Virginia
20 Male Black Wiley Brizendine Essex, Virginia
20 Male Black Wiley Brizendine Essex, Virginia
20 Male Black J Brisendine District 1, Todd, Kentucky
30 Female Black Mary Brisendine Essex, Virginia
10 Female Black Mary Brisendine Essex, Virginia
4 Male Black Mary Brisendine Essex, Virginia
2 Female Black Mary Brisendine Essex, Virginia
2 Female Black Mary Brisendine Essex, Virginia
41 Male Black John C Brisendine Essex, Virginia
40 Female Black John C Brisendine Essex, Virginia
10 Male Black John C Brisendine Essex, Virginia
24 Female Black Temple Brisendine Essex, Virginia
14 Female Black Temple Brisendine Essex, Virginia

Also, here is the will of a John Brizendine of Essex virgina but no slaves mentioned

The Will of JOHN BRIZENDINE Will written on 9/15/1777
Essex County, Va. Wills # 3 - 1775-1785 Page 314-315, 341-342

In the name of God, Amen. I, JOHN BRIZENDINE of the parish of South Farnham in the county of
Essex, beinng very sick and weak, but of perfect sence and memory, do make this my last will
and testament, revoking all other wills in my name whatsoever.

First, I bequeath my soul to Jesus Christ that gave it in share of sartain hope of the
resurrection of both body and soul at the last day, and my body to be buried according
to the direction of my Executors; and for what estate it hath pleased God to bestow upon
me, I bequeath as
followeth ----

Item - I do give to my daughter, NANA BRIZENDINE my ---- harnesses and stays to she and
her heirs forever.

Item - I do lend all the rest of my real estate both real and personal to my loving wife,
SUSANAH BRIZENDINE during her natural life or widowhood and afterwards I give it as followeth:

Item - I do give to my son, RICHARD BRIZENDINE, twenty five acres of land joininng WILLIAM
COLE on the great swamp beginning at a black oak tree between my land and THOMAS DOBBINS to
he and his heirs forever.

Item - I do give to my son, ABNER BRIZENDINE all the rest of my land and houses to he and
his heirs forever. And if he should die under age or without heir lawfully begotten I do
leave it to be equally divided between my two sons RUBIN BRIZENDINE and BARTELET BRIZENDINE.

Item - I do leave all the rest of my whole estate not yet mentioned to be equally divided
among all my chhildren.

Lastly, I do ordain, constitute and appoint my loving wife, SUSANAH BRIZENDINE and my son,
WILLIAM BRIZENDINE holely and soally Executors of this my last will and testament, revoking
all other wills in my name whatsoever. This is the 15th day of September in the year of our
Lord, one thousand seven hundred seventy seven.

Signed, sealed in the JOHN X BRIZENDINE
presence of His mark


Will proven in court 8/27/1780.

Submitted by
Carol Bush Sikes

Brittentine +Rest in Peace+

This article ran Tuesday, March 24, 1936 in Lima, Ohio.

Charles Brittentine 47 who died of acute alcoholism in city prison Sunday will be held at the Patterson funeral home at 2 p m Wednesday by the Rev Harvey Beasley Burial will be in Fletcher cemetery.

I had a while ago remember running across a document for regarding this same person who had been hospitalized twice for alchool recovery. Sadly, this poor gentleman lost his battle.

I am wondering whether he was related to my Brittentine line since as mentioned in an earlier blog, that the surname, Brittentine was uncommon. I only found it in Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky where my ggg-grandfather, Monroe Brittentine was born.

If anyone knew of this gentlemen or his family line, please let me know. Thanks

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Reverend Anderson Burney

In Memory of Reverend Anderson Burney

My great-grandfather was Reverend Anderson Burney who was born in the Brundidge/Monticello/Tennille areas of Pike County, Alabama in 1866. He was the son of former slaves Prince and Jennie Burney. His father, Prince was born in Florida and his mother in Georgia. Prince was of African and Native American ancestry. Anderson was their first free-born child. Oh what a blessing he must have been!

Rev. Anderson Burney met and married the beautiful young Caroline Knox, the daughter of former slaves William and Louisa Knox also of Pike County, Alabama.

The couple relocated in the early 1900's with their children in tow to Plain Dealing, Louisiana. Their children were Katie, David, Paul, Bessie, Tessie, William and Fred.

God spoke to Anderson and led him to become an ordained Baptist Minister and Pastor of Egypt Hill Baptist Church in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

I can only guess why Anderson was so eager to answer God's call. After all, he like many other African Americans had a lot to be thankful for. He had narrowly escaped being a slave since slavery only ended a year before his birth. God had brought an entire nation of slaves out of bondage and Anderson chose to tell his community and the world about it. And further that through faith and belief in Christ that eternal life and freedom was also there for the asking.

My father, Jewel Burney had many fond memories of attending the soul-stirring church sermons of his grandpa Anderson. Others have recounted stories of attending church at Egypt Hill including my late cousin Elizabeth (Lizzie) Neal Bagley. She also related that they held school there back in the 1920's to 1940's.

I have also heard many stories about his first lady, Caroline Knox Burney. She is described by all as a gentle, caring and loving spirit with always a kind word to say.

I did not know my grandfather in life but his memory was kept alive by his children and grandchildren who knew and loved him and knew of his passsion and dedication to the Lord.

I never had the privilege of hearing one of his powerful Sunday sermons but I am sure that as a vessel of the Lord God Almighty he helped bring a lot of souls to eternal life through Jesus Christ and that he himself is currently is the presence of the Lord.

Reverend Anderson Burney was called to Glory in April 1952. He is buried in Caldwell Cemetery in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

Although, we did not meet in life, grandpa, it is my prayer that we shall someday we will meet in Heaven!

1 Colossians 25-29

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

In Search of Brittentines

For years I have been trying to connect my ggg-grandfather, Monroe Brittentine with other relatives. He was born a slave in Kentucky according to census records as were his parents whose names I do not know.

That is only part of the problem. The other is that I cannot connect him with any other relatives. The surname Brittentine is virtually non-existent prior to 1870 and it only worn by African american with the exception of 1 white female by the name of Mary Brittentine in Arkansas. The only other Brittentine I find in the country period is a large family of african americans some former slaves in Ohio and West Virginia. Now Ohio and West Virginia are very close in proximity to Kentucky so I have been thinking maybe they relocated there.

My grandfather, Monroe Brittentine was the only Brittentine in Louisiana in 1870 and all the individuals wearing that name presently in that area are his descendents. My guess is that he was brought from Kentucky to Louisiana as a slave. I have found him and his family on this 1870 and 1880 census and have a near complete chart of the lineage beginning with him.

Now, some of the older Ohio Brittentines bear similar or the same name as some of his children which might indicate that they are his relatives. There was one other black man by the name of Clem Brittentine who I found in an old obituary residing in Texas.

There are some closely related names such as, Britten, Brittain and Britton that I have long suspected might have been the actual origin of my family name. In fact, one of my cousins entire line changed their name to Brittine. The name, Britton is of English origin and was originally given to a person who was a Briton (a Celt of England) or a Breton (an inhabitant of Brittany, France which is in close proximity to England). Hence, those spellings are very common all over England and US

It is possible because of the slave dialect the name inadvertenly became Brittentine or was maybe intentionally changed to differentiate the former slaves from the previous white owners. I just don't know. But being the sleuth that I am, I am bound and determined to find out.

One thing is certain, the name is often spelled wrong on almost every census at least in the case of my known Brittentine ancestors.

Here are some of the Brittentines that I found on the census:
1870 census
Mary Brittentine Hot Springs, Hot Spring, AR abt 1848 Arkansas White Female

John Brittentine Salisbury, Meigs, OH abt 1828 West Virginia Black Male

Susan Brittentine Salisbury, Meigs, OH abt 1825 West Virginia Mulatto Female

1880 Census
Margera Brittentine Charleston, Kanawha, WV abt 1850 West Virginia Self (Head)

Cornelia Brittentine Margera Charleston, Kanawha, WV abt 1861 West Virginia Daughter

William Brittentine Margera Charleston, Kanawha, WV abt 1866 West Virginia Son

Cuba Brittentine Margera Charleston, Kanawha, WV abt 1874 West Virginia Son

Bettie Brittentine Margera Charleston, Kanawha, WV abt 1876 West Virginia Daughter

Virgie Brittentine Margera Charleston, Kanawha, WV abt 1878 West Virginia Daughter

Lewis Brittentine Margera Charleston, Kanawha, WV abt 1879 West Virginia Son

Adalphry Brittentine Rutland, Meigs, OH abt 1835 Virginia Self (Head)

Silas Brittentine Adalphry Rutland, Meigs, OH abt 1866 Ohio Son

Franklin Brittentine Adalphry Rutland, Meigs, OH abt 1872 Ohio Son

Judson Brittentine Rutland, Meigs, OH abt 1879 Ohio Grandson

Aaron Brittentine Mary Rutland, Meigs, OH abt 1835 West Virginia Self (Head)

Mary Brittentine Aaron Rutland, Meigs, OH abt 1855 Ohio Wife

Ella Brittentine Pittsburgh, Allegheny, PA abt 1856 Minnesota Something other than a direct relationship

1900 Census

Nancy Brittentine Gallipolis, Gallia, Ohio abt 1802 West Virginia Black Aunt

Charles Brittentine Butler, Mercer, Ohio abt 1881 Ohio Black Servant

1880 Census (These are all my Lousiana ancestors)

Monroe Brittenten Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1842 Kentucky Self (Head)

Sophia Brittenten Monroe 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1847 Louisiana Wife

Robert Brittenten Monroe,Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1865 Louisiana Son

Sidney Brittenten Monroe,Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1867 Louisiana Son

Esther Brittenten Monroe,Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1868 Louisiana Daughter

Ella Brittenten Monroe,Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1870 Louisiana Daughter

Eva Brittenten Monroe,Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1872 Louisiana Daughter

Lizzie Brittenten Monroe,Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1874 Louisiana Daughter

Jones Brittenten (Actually James) Monroe,Sophia 5th Ward, Bossier, LA abt 1879 Louisiana Son
In 1880 the following related names are listed both born in Louisiana:

Sam Britten Bossier, LA abt 1832 Louisiana Self (Head)

Willie Britten Sam Bossier, LA abt 1870 Louisiana Son

In 1900 the following related names are listed in Bossier

Richard Bretten 58 (born in Louisiana but parents born in

Fellis Bretten 60
Savanah Bretten 23
Geneve Collins 13

I would appreciate help from anyone knowing a connection between Monroe and Ohio/West Virginia Brittentines.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

3rd Annual African American Family History Seminar

March 8, 2008 is the 3rd Annual African American Family History Seminar.
Watch for details on the free DNA testing at the seminar.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bonnie and Clyde's Louisiana connection

The infamous Bonnie and Clyde had a Louisiana connection. Although, the pair was originally from the Dallas, Texas area, they made several robbery sprees and had hideouts in Louisiana which is where they eventually met their end at the hands of Texas Rangers.

My mother remembers hearing stories as a child of how they had been reported to have been in the area of her hometown of Plain Dealing, Louisiana. My research revealed that the couple did in fact land in Plain Dealing on several occasions and had a hiding place for passing notes between themselves and other members of the Barrow gang.

My mother says that she heard the "Old folks" talk about how Bonnie and Clyde rode through Plain Dealing one day, and as they drove through town, they commenced to throwing money (bills)out of the window of their car. She was told that people was scrambling to pick it up since this occurred around 1933-1934 during the height of the Great Depression. My mom said that people talked about it for years. In fact, she said that one of my great grandpa's said he and several other negro men were standing around the vicinity of the present day Piggly Wiggley and they initially thought the money was counterfeit and once they picked it up and started comparing it to the few dollars they had between them, they confirmed it was real. One man went a step further and went into the Turnley store to buy something to see if any "eyebrows raised" and they took it with no problems.

Bonnie and Clyde met their actual demise in Gibsland, Louisiana after being tipped off by the father of one of the Barrow Gang.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed in their car on May 23, 1934 by 4 Texas officials and 2 local Louisiana officers at the tender ages of 23, and 24. There were 167 rounds fired into the vehicle they were driving and about 50 rounds that went into their bodies.

Years later, while plowing his field, one of my grandfather's friends found a bag of money that had been buried and turned it in to authorities.

Could that have belonged to Clyde? Very, possibly since we now know that he was in fact in that area.

As well, my mother shared that in the 1940's, my great-grandfather whom we called "Big Daddy" who was a sharecropper on the Old Bass Place in Plain Dealing, was awakened by the sound of shovels and men digging in the wee hours of the morning. As he peered through the curtain with the lights still out and he witnessed 4 men feverously digging on the side of the property with several lanterns and guns in hands. He related that the digging went on for about an hour until he heard one exclaim, "there it is!" He watched silently as they jointly lifted a big black steel trunk out of the ground. He continued to peer at them and saw them pry it open and to his amazement, they pulled out a LOT of money. He watched as they counted it out and divided it up amongst themselves. Once done they started filling the massive hole back with dirt but soon tired and abandoned that effort. The four climbed into 3
1940's style cars and sped off.

My great-grandpa waited until dawn and then went to alert the Sheriff who came with some other law enforcement officers and took down his story and surveyed the hole that resembled a freshly dug grave. My mother had stayed the night and although asleep at the time the actual event occurred, she did view the hole.

It was theorized by officials that the men were probably members of the Barrow gang that had been released from prison or some other ban2k robbers maybe Charlie Frazier or his crew who had robbed the Plain Dealing Bank some years earlier who had buried the money and come back for it. It is unknown whether anyone was ever apprehended but at that time, they were long gone.

In the case of Bonnie and Clyde, it was a tragic end to two young lives. However, their story though tragic and violent serves as a lesson for future generations of right and wrong and illustrates the hard lessons learned when following the wrong path.

Their decision to live a life of crime with total disregard for the lives of 12 other human beings was ultimately why they got about 5 times what they gave since they received almost 5 bullets into their own bodies for every one of the 12 people they had shot.

At a time when the country as a whole had sank into the worst economic times in US history, during the Great Depression, people overall were suffering and trying to feed their families. However, most did the best they could with what they had including taking on extra jobs, planting and tending their own crops, whole families pitched in from young and old to ease the stress of hard times. Even with that, a lot of bellies went hungry.

Both Bonnie and Clyde grew up very poor. Bonnie was raised by a single mother with 3 kids so times must have been rough. They both undoubtedly received a lot of taunting from those who were maybe a little more fortunate than themselves maybe about their living situations or their clothing or lack of food. Maybe their decision to commit robberies by any means necessary was not only to satify their own needs but they may have viewed it as a means of gaining what they percieved to be respect especially since they were also notorious for their stylish ill-gotten clothes. Nice clothing at that time as is now to a certain degree was a definite status symbol. However, there is NO respect for someone who takes the life of another to satisy his or her own needs or psyche, even during hard times.

There were many other people in the same financial situation as they were but unlike Bonnie and Clyde, they did not all resort to stealing from and killing others to satify their personal own needs. Others chose to work hard and do their best to make ends means. These are these real heroes and much respect goes out to all the men and women who roughed out the Great Depression which includes my own ancestors who chose the honest path whatever the consequences and in doing so passed down some honest values to their children that can be further handed down through the generations. Their "high road" choices illustrates that that even when times get hard, you still have to choose the the right road to follow by using the talents God gave you to alter your circumstances and not preying on others to improve your standing in life.

Still my heart goes out to the families of Bonnie and Clyde since history has it that Bonnie's mother especially grieved greatly at the loss of her young daughter.

The bible best tells us:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

This holds true throughout the generations yet it is also up to each of us young and old to choose the right paths to follow.

And so ends the story of Bonnie and Clyde and their encounter with the small town of Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

Karen Burney
Louisiana Lineage Legacies

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Years Day 2008 Gumbo

New Years Day was a great day even though it was a rather cold day. I stayed inside most of the day lounging, looking at football games and preparing and feasting on my annual pot of Gumbo.

As a Louisiana born girl, New Years Day would not be the same without it. As well, I feel by preparing and eating it, I am giving tribute to my ancestors and distant homeland.

Afterall, Gumbo or a variation there of is said to have originated in Africa. In fact, the word Gumbo or quingumbo or kingumbo means okra in the Bantu language which is the main ingredient in traditional Louisiana Gumbo. While the word, okra or okuru itself comes from the Nigerian dialect and means none other than okra. It is believed that either the slaves smuggled it over when they were brought to the U.S. or the slave smugglers to provide food for their captives since it was easy to grow and a few seeds produced many crops. Prior to the importation of slaves to the Americas, okra was not found in those regions. Rather, it was found only Africa in
12th century Egypt, Ethiopia and other african countries.

As many of you may know, there is an ongoing debate as to whether the dish, Gumbo can actually be called as such with the inclusion of okra. Some don't like it and exclude it because of its sometimes slimy quality. I am not one of the folks. My Gumbo has to okra. Maybe because I stir-fry my okra first prior to adding it last in the dish which is essential to prevent the slim and the seeds from ruining the dish.

Another prime ingredient in Gumbo is file of gumbo which was a gift from the native Louisiana indians and is made from ground sassafrass leaves. It has a kind of musky taste and lends to the dish that "downhome funk." This is also an essential item in my Gumbo but must also be added last or can have diastrous results.

Be that as it may. I respect those who have strayed from the traditional Gumbo and revised it to fit their own tastebuds.

But as for me, "It aint't Gumbo, unless it has okra!"

New Years Eve 2007

Well, 2008 arrived with a bang! Although, this year was much quieter than most. I was home most of the evening sipping cider and cozied up by the fireplace.

I did watch the televised New Years Rocking Eve show and reminisced about the last time I rang in the New Year in Time Square in 2006.

I wonder how my distant ancestors celebrated New Years eve? I don't really know but I bet I can guess what some of them wished for the coming years. Freedom! At least those who were slaves and one of their resolutions might have been to pray more and be more pleasing in God's sight so that he can grant them freedom or maybe they resolved to be more courageous and proactive in their struggle for freedom.

Again, I don't really know but thinking about it makes my resolutions seem more obtainable.

So when you make your New Years Resolutions this year, ponder and contrast your desires and goals vs. what your ancestors might have been and I bet yours will seem more in reach too!

Well, all our 10, 9, 8's ...are gone at least for a while and old acquaintances forgotten until next year, anyway.

Here's wishing you and all yours the best in 2008!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Leftovers

Previously, in my Post-Thanksgiving blog, I shared with you my left over Turkey recipes. Well, now that Christmas has passed, it leaves behind a lot of spiral sliced ham. Hence, I refrigerated and froze the remnants in multiple freezer storage bags and used them in several post-Christmas recipes that I am sharing with you. Enjoy!

1. Ham and Egg Scramble or Omelette
Stir-fry in Butter Spray or Pam, onion, green onion,chopped garlic-red/yellow/green bell pepper and mushrooms in fry pan. Sprinkle w/Mrs. Dash or other herb seasoning, no salt seasonings and garlic powder. Once vegetables are tender, chunk size pieces of ham and eggbeaters or real egg blended w/milk. This dish can also be made into omelette by placing in an omelette maker.

2. Ham and Cheese Croissant-Place slices of ham topped with your favorite cheese, can be non-fat on top of a large Croissant. Stick in microwave for about 1 minute until cheese melts and ham is warm. Delicious and quick.

3. Lima Beans and Great Northern Beans w/Ham
Wash and soak beans overnight or quick soak 1 hr in hot water. Add beans and 5 cups of water to crockpot. Add garlic, onion, garlic powder,fresh basil, Mrs. Dash, 2TBSPS butter or margarine, left over ham pieces and bone pieces. Slow cook for 4 hours.

4. Stir-fried Cabbage or Brussel Sprouts w/ham
Saute cabbage or brussel sprouts w/onion, tri-color bell peppers slices, garlic, garlic, powder, Mrs. Dash and pieces of ham in butter spray until tender.

So there you have it. This was my post-Christmas leftover week. Enjoy!