Genealogy Trip to East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana
East Feliciana Parish Courthouse in Clinton, Louisiana
Not every courthouse holds the marriage, probate, or land records, etc. Such is the case if you are researching East Feliciana Parish. We discovered the Clerk of Court for this area was in a much smaller building kitty corner to the courthouse. The courthouse is only open on the days they have court, and they were closed the day we journeyed there. We did take time out to take photos of the building and landscape.
"The East Feliciana Parish Courthouse stands as a monument that has suffered few alterations from its original appearance as completed in 1840. Designed by J. S. Savage and built by Lafayette Saunders, the Courthouse stands as a two-story brick building surrounded by a Doric colonnade. See "Courthouse and Lawyer's Row."
Audubon Regional Library
We were advised by a patron back at the Louisiana State Archives that we should stop by the Audubon Regional Library to search marriage books. Their genealogy and local history collection has been moved to an adjacent building, and the librarians there were very helpful. It was thrilling to finally be able to search through resources that are not accessible online and to handle books which told specifically about people from this area.
We normally do not narrow resources down by color of people. We know that casting a wide net in our research enables us to make connections to people who interacted with each other and appear on records together. The librarian started us off by pulling the books from the shelves which were most likely help us identify people from the area in the late 1880's. How I wished we had more time to browse their collection.
We mostly focused on the books on this particular bookcase. It is so rewarding to thumb through books that depict the history of a people in the same location or state. Records and books help us to gain an appreciation for the way of life and communities our ancestors lived in. Louisiana research is like no other research I have ever conducted. I have a great appreciation for all I will learn on this quest to help Ellis learn about his heritage.
One of the most fascinating books to me are cemetery books, because the folks who compile these books have meticulously documented information of people buried in local cemeteries that may no longer even be accessible. These books are treasures. We are told in Baton Rouge about a cemetery book for East Feliciana Parish that documented African Americans. We have not come across it so far, but we will keep looking. It is supposed to include cemeteries in Jackson where Josephine and Joseph Marshall lived.
A great way to learn about the resources in a library is by searching the library catalog which you can do before you visit. A search for East Feliciana Parish in the Audubon Regional Library Catalog brings up several resources including two volumes listing East Feliciana marriages. We discovered an index for a marriage for Joe S. Marshall and Josephine Jones in 1883. We decided to head to the Clerk of Court to pull this marriage record in Book 4, page 655
East Feliciana Parish Louisiana Marriage Record Index 1834 - 1982 Vol. 1
The Clerk of Court for East Feliciana has the smallest facility I have ever seen. When you walk in, there is an island, shelves, and a few computers. It is fortunate that we have had plenty experience researching courthouse records. There was a very limited staff, and they were busy. We looked up the marriage record in marriage books where we found what we believe is the marriage of Ellis' great grandparents. Ellis took the book to the counter so that a clerk could copy it for him.
We will be researching further resources so that we can determine if these two individuals are in fact the parents of Louise Marshall Johnson. What makes us uncertain is the marriage date of these two individuals occurs after the birth of several of the children listed on the 1880 Census. We will keep you posted.