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

21 Oct

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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3 responses to “A couple days of pursuing the quest of finding Vilmont Schexnayder’s mother

  1. MyLuckieGroove

    October 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I love everything… and I mean EVERYTHING about this post! From the genea-trip with found Cousins, to the research center information, to the findings & the sharing. Every piece speaks to why we do this work, why it’s so vital to document it & what a gift technology is! Well done Steph!:)

  2. LindaRe

    October 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I love reading old letters, so insightful to what they were really thinking.


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