Monthly Archives: October 2013

“Slavery is not a shame on me, my ancestors were some of the most creative and enduring people.”

“Slavery is not a shame on me, my ancestors were some of the most creative and enduring people.” a quote from “Many Rivers to Cross” PBS special.

Vilmont real

I look at this picture and think that Louisiana wanted everybody to believed that Vilmont was not human, born as property. He was not a Mandingo in statue, since he was not of breeded stock. His White father did not claim him like the free people of color was accustomed to.  He was a slave on a Perique tobacco plantation and a sugar plantation He worked hard from sun up to sun down. When he was 23 years old he was valued at one thousand dollars…He was not the top dollar item…Did he work in the house?…I don’t know…but I do know the house Negro worked as hard..don’t believe the myth that the house Negro had it made. They did not stay in the house in comfort. But I don’t know if he was a house Negro or field Negro, but I do know that he was given a slave quarter after the war, was it the same one he had lived in before the war?.. I don’t know…but his ex-master allowed him to live in an ex slave quarter and share crop on the property.

Vilmont price3

Vilmont is the six name down. Vilmont was a named property in the settlement of the estate of George Roussel on January 28th 1859. He was passed down to his son Louis Amedee Roussel.


Vilmont ran off Louis Roussel’s plantation and joined the United States Colored Troop. He did return after the war to Louis Roussel’s plantation.

81st Regiment,

United States Colored Infantry



RANK OUT:Private

FILM NUMBER:M589 roll 77 NOTES: REFERENCE CARD. Original filed under Belmont/Seching Belomont Sechnight.

When the enlistment officer asked for Vilmont Schexnayder’s name, this is what he heard coming out of Vilmont’s mouth, “Belmont Sechnight”  Vilmont said that during roll call, he answered to that name, since no one else was stepping up to the name, he said “It must be me.”


Vilmont was honored with the other African-American Civil War soldiers. His name is on a plaque at the African-American Civil War Memorial, at the corner of Vermont Avenue, 10th St, and U Street NW in Washington, D.C.

I am not ashamed of this man nor any other ancestors who were bought and sold as properties. I give them all the reverence, starting with the ancestors on that Trans-Atlantic boat to the ones that finally heard that “We are Free”.


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African- American Cemetery

September 16, 2013

The second day of my trip I visited the
cemetery in Patterson Louisiana.Located off of HWY 182,
turn on William St.,near the end of William is the cemetery on O 

Grave Mcclennen
 Birth 2 Feb 1867 in Pattersonville, Louisiana
 Death 10 JUL 1947 in Patterson, Louisiana

McClennan Schexnayder is my great-grand uncle and the son of Vilmont 
Schexnayder. His wife Dolly Thomas Robinson is buried next to him.

 Born July 20 1866 Death Dec. 16 1969

  Grave dolly

 Louis Schexnayder 
 Born 4 Jul 1875  Death:1940                 
 Vilmont's son.

 graves louis

 The below pictures is the wide view of the cemetery, that I had to 
walk through to find my ancestors. In Louisiana the caskets are placed
above the ground due to water content in the soil which would make 
the coffin come out of the ground on its own.
                      grave 3

     If the family want to keep the family together and there is
 no plots nearby, the next best thing is to....
                       grave ferreletine
 The bottom casket is my grand-aunt Glennie Davis Henderson (My great 
grandmother Julia Schexnayder's daughter) and the
top is Glennie's daughter Ferrelltine Henderson Bartley.
Grave glennie              graveferrgrave4

 Here is an example of a grave that was buried in the ground, I am 
sure the graves of Vilmont and Julia Schexnayder were buried in the 
ground and got destroyed as others did as well.

I love to Google, I had Google either African-American Cemetery or 
Black cemetery in Patterson Louisiana and I found out that Melissa 
Hutton had actually listed all the readable headstones or had obtain 
the list of the readable headstone and placed it on

Date: Sep., 2004 

                                  Day 2 was a great day

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A couple days of pursuing the quest of finding Vilmont Schexnayder’s mother

October 15. 2013


On Southwest Airlines heading to New Orleans. taking the time to go over the Muggah Family Papers. Since my other branches are from the same location, I will be researching them as well. At the airport I met up with my Schexnayder cousins that I met on Rose and Lagare Simmons from Patterson La. and Sunday Washington-Linton from Houston Texas.


We did not waste anytime our first stop after the airport was the:

Williams Research Center 

410 Chartres Street • New Orleans, LA 70130.

A museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. General and Mrs L. Kemper Williams, collectors of Louisiana materials, established the institution in 1966 to keep their collection intact and available for research and exhibition to the public. Tuesday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays

I had Google the name Muggah and the their family papers came up, being kept at the William Research Center. So off we went to the center, the staff was very nice and informational. We learn a great lesson while  reading the documents. The Muggahs were a family of River boat captains, hotel owners and slave owners in Patterson Louisiana.

Magnifying glass

Magnifying glass is a great tool to use while reading these old documents. Fortunately the center had magnifying glasses available to use. In the documents was the genealogy of the James Muggah family. The Muggah  family are possible the slave holder of  my 2rd great-grandmother Arabella Harper/Hopper (Born 1831 in Tennessee), she had mulatto children with the surname Muggah. I am assuming she was not a free person of color therefor did not have a  Plaçage (Common-law marriage or left handed marriage with one of the Muggah males. Unfortunately there wasn’t a slave property list in the documents. But there was a letter dated Aug 1843 talking about infidelity of Charles R. Muggah. One letter dated 22 Oct. 1847 Julia Muggah was writing about an unpleasant encounter with some abolitionists. ” I would come in contact with the abolitionist, and they have little sense of reason, and talk about the Southerners that they made me feel very disagreeable. There was an old woman in Indiana who said she had rather have a negro as black as the devil at the head of the government than to have Polk”

Polk  President James K. Polk, 11th President March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849. During his presidency, many abolitionists harshly criticized him as an instrument of the “Slave Power”

Even though I didn’t find information pertaining to Arabella or her children. I read letters that gave me an insight how the Muggahs were thinking and the history during that period. Also the genealogy of the Muggahs and sources to back up the facts. In reality their genealogy might be my genealogy. There were fragile pictures and hair locks in the records. Do you think that the center would not notice a couple of hair strands missing?……No I did not take any DNA evidence…….. One day down and it was a good day!!!


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Surge of New African American Genealogy Blogs

Here is a repost by a fellow tribesmen

Surge of New African American Genealogy Blogs

Posted on October 13, 2013 by Kristin

Recently there has been a huge surge of New African American Genealogy blogs. We have the new group African-American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research to thank for encouraging and guiding their creation as part of their mission to move African American genealogy forward, to break down brick walls and to form a community of researchers encouraging and sharing with each other.  Here are links to some of the new blogs, and a few older ones.  If you can, visit.  You might find something you were looking for.

There are other African American blogs listed above under “Some Blogs I Follow”.


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