Tag Archives: Caddo

Finding Sarah Walker Smith in Shreveport

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, because I have been hunting Sarah!
Whenever I’m researching, different songs pop in my head that seem to reflect my state of mind at the time. It usually happens about 2am after I’ve been searching for several hours, I think it’s my brains way of saying go to bed!
Sarah’s song is All Around The World by Lisa Stanfield,


I substitute Sarah’s name for “baby” it just keeps running through my head, from one census record to another LOL!

Sarah Walker Smith was my maternal Great- Great- Grandmother. I first found Miss Sarah in the 1900 census living in Shreveport, Ward 3, Caddo Parrish, Louisiana. She’s living with, Susie Jackson age 31, Sam Smith age 44, Julia Smith age 14, Elizabeth Smith age 13, Rosa Smith age 12, Virginia Smith age 7 and Mingo Lovelady age 17, Sarah is 34. Susie Jackson is listed as head of household, Sam, Sarah and Mingo are listed as boarders.

1900 Census Shreveport
1900 Census Shreveport

The actual transcription list Sarah as the daughter of Susie(Sarah is older than Susie)…and Virginia as being 27 (Virginia is Sarah’s daughter)! Of course I looked at the actual census, did the math and submitted corrections. Another reminder to look at the census with your own eyes and NOT rely on what the transcriber saw!

Over the summer I took a genealogical road trip that included Shreveport, it was there that I found the marriage license and certificate issued for Sarah Walker and Samuel Smith! Boy did I do some jumping up and down, I now had Sarah’s maiden name! They were married October 17, 1881. I wish I could read all the names of the witnesses, one looks like Ann Smith. I’m sure I could solve some more puzzles if I could read the other names.

Marriage Certificate Sarah Walker Samuel Smith

Weeks and weeks of head banging and Sarah’s song going around in my head trying to locate Sarah prior to 1900, I reached out to a Facebook friend, Pam Camacho, to share my frustration. I was ready to hire a researcher! She suggested I reach out to a Facebook friend of hers, Cynthia Wilson. Once Cynthia and I connected I gave her what I had and wished her luck! (Here’s where another pair of eyes, a different way of seeing things and years of genealogy research trumps head banging)
Cynthia got back to me the next day she had found Miss Sarah in the 1800 census! To say that I was surprised is putting it mildly! I read Cynthia’s email and went to see what she had found.

1880 Sarah WalkerWait! Wait! Wait hold up! This can’t be her! Her place of birth and place of birth for her parents are different from what it shows in the 1900 census! In 1900 it’s listed that she was born in Arkansas and so were her parents. This 1880 census lists her and her parents as being born in Texas! Email back to Cynthia. Email from Cynthia back to me, Samuel Smith is also listed a few blocks away with an Ann Smith who based on age is probably his mother! Oh… Wait Sam in 1900 says his parents were born in South Carolina, in 1880 North Carolina is listed!

More head banging and now head shaking.

Having spent 25 years as a police officer my thinking is geared towards facts and these facts just didn’t add up! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it as many times as is required, I will NEVER stop learning until the day I’m dead!
So this wonderful woman, Cynthia Wilson, responded to my email this way,
After many years of researching (since 1993), I’ve learned from a pro that birth places/dates can be very misleading. You have to remember that the Census Taker is getting information from family, friends, next door neighbors, occupants of the same household, unrelated to the head or others within that household.

If you are looking for perfection in information regarding your family, you are not going to find it. I often tell my students that if the age is within 5 years or less, your match is probably good. If the years of marriage don’t match the ages of the children, then it’s a good guess that the children are either the 2nd husband’s children or the wife’s children by another man. The children may even assume the surname of the mother’s husband.

If you notice, Sarah is 15 years old – maybe she doesn’t know for sure or her employer gave the information. By the time she is a grown woman, she’s decided Arkansas was where she was born.
Thank you one again Cynthia!

Armed with this knowledge I dug deeper into the 1880 census and guess who else I found living four doors away, Mingo Lovelady! This Mingo is not the same one living with Sarah and family in 1900 because he’s 50 years old but I believe he is the father, even though there is also a difference in place of birth, how many men can there be with the same exact name! Coincidence? I think not!
Not only had Miss Sarah been found but Samuel as well! Now, who is Ann Smith, mother, sister? Another mystery for another day!

I have learned that Louisiana, the northwest section in particular is part of a socio-economic region where Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma intersect. That helps in bringing some understanding of the different birthplaces.

Sarah Walker Smith was born about 1865 or January 1866 in either Arkansas or Texas. She lived in Shreveport Louisiana in 1900. It’s listed in that census that she bore seven children, five of which were living at the time. Only four are listed as living with her, who are the other three?
The more information I find, the more question I have that need answers. I will give voice to my Great– Great- Grandmother.

PS I think Ann Smith is in fact Samuel’s mother and my great grandmother, Julia Ann, was given Ann as a middle name and my mother was named after her grandmother, Julia Ann!

Smile Momma 🙂

Keeping up with The Jones’ of Bossier and Caddo Louisiana

Because I had so much trouble tracking my grandmother, Eunice Sarah Franklin, I decided to see if I could locate any of her mother’s family and perhaps I could track back.

My great-grandmother, Julia Ann Smith was said to have had four sisters. To date I’ve only found three. One of the sisters, Rosa Smith, was born July, 1887 in (possibly) Shreveport, Louisiana, died October 1975 in Shreveport.  She married Ulysses Jones Sr. and this is where the Jones journey begins!

Ulysses was born June 28, 1886 in Homer, Louisiana which is a town in the Parish of Claiborne. He married Rosa Smith November 24, 1906. On a trip to Shreveport I was able to obtain a copy of a deposition/affidavit that was was given in 1954 by Rosa’s aunt, Lula Jackson attesting to the marriage.

Affidavit of Marriage Rosa Smith Ulysses Jones Sr

This union bore nine children, Sarah, Aretha, (which was spelled Ireca in the 1930 census), Buelha, Ulysses, Douglas, Malcolm, Sam, Harvey and Evelyn. That’s a lot of Jones’ to keep up with!

The 1900 census shows Ulysses Sr. 18 years old living with his mother Rosa Jones, (yes, another Rosa) and siblings. In this census his name is spelled “Vlis” (had fun time with that one!) It also shows his birth information as December 1886. But his World War I Draft Registration card shows D.O.B. as June 28, 1884 – presumably filled out by him, which is why I chose to use that information.

Draft Card for Ulysses Jones

I noticed that Ulysses stated that his present occupation was farming and that his employer was Neyoh/Neaoh Smith. Could this be “Noah” and could this person be related to his wife’s family? Another mystery to investigate!

I was unable to locate Ulysses or Rosa in the 1920 census but I did find them in U.S. City Directory, 1821-1989 living at 1307 Royal St. On my trip to Shreveport, I found that their home was no longer there.

Moving into 1930, we find Ulysses and Rosa living at 1305 Royal St with all of their children. His occupation is listed as Watchman for a Cotton Mill. For the question of Age At First Marriage there’s 24 for him and 14 for her! Doing the math I think there’s some ‘splaning to do!

In the 1900 census Ulysses is listed as 13, D.O.B. December 1886.

In the 1900 census Rosa is listed as 12, D.O.B. July 1887.

Ulysses and Rosa married in November 1906.

Daughter Sarah was born in 1906/1907.

In the 1910 census Ulysses is 26, Rosa is 24. It’s magic – now 2 years apart!

In 1918 Ulysses filled out a Draft Card stating he was 33 D.O.B. June 28, 1884.

No 1920 census.

In 1930 Ulysses is 48, Rosa is 38. More magic, 10 years apart!

In 1940 Ulysses is 48, Rosa is 44. He hasn’t aged one single day! But she, on the other hand, has by 6 years! Sarah is now 31..Mmm..

On the death certificate dated June 3, 1954 for Ulysses, his age is listed as 67, D.O.B. June 28, 1886, Rosa is listed as 64!

Are you keeping up with the Jones’?

I will probably never know the reason for the discrepancies. Were the date of births different because they really were unsure what year they were born? But you would think that Ulysses’ mother would know if he was born when it was cold, December or warm, June! Was the marriage date fudged a little to account for a child, Sarah, born out of wedlock? Did the census taker talk to someone other than the family? The information for the Death Certificate was more than likely provided by someone other than Rosa. These and other questions may never have answers but it’s kinda fun trying to keep up with the Jones’ of Bossier and Caddo Louisiana!

And just think, I have nine other Jones’ to track down!