In Lake Providence...again...
Last night we arrived in Lake Providence. It was a nice drive up Highway 61 to get here. We went through some of the major small cities in this side of the country. Of course, Lake Providence is exactly how it was when we got here last year.
We're staying with our cousins Robert and Cinderella. We have been laughing since we got here. Although we don't have a cell phone signal, we've been having such a great time. We went to the new Super Walmart when we got here. I'm so happy that they finally have something like that in this area. It was way past needed.
Today, we spent most of our day at the East Carroll Parish Courthouse. I discovered that William L. Balfour mortgaged the land that comprised Eyrie/Balfour Plantation in 1841 and later bought it in 1848. When he mortgaged it, he bought it from John Vance and his wife in New Orleans, LA. It came with the land, all effects including 29 slaves. By 1850, this number of slaves grew to 61 and then by 1860, this number of slaves grew to 103. Unfortunately, none of these 29 slaves had names matching up with those of our earliest traceable ancestors. I checked for records of slaves being bought from John Vance, but I didn't see anything off hand in that name. I'll probably search tomorrow. In addition, I went through the indirect conveyance records and didn't find anything noting slave sales for William L. Balfour either. Our next step, is to order microfilm for Edgecombe County, NC, which is where the Balfour family originated from. We also are going to try to get microfilm for Bolivar County, MS, which is where I believe that they had our earliest traceable ancestors prior to shipping them to Eyrie Plantation in East Carroll Parish, LA.
I was also able to find even more marriage records than we did last year. We'll probably begin to copy those down tomorrow.
I found records for Simon Allis/Atlas as well as a London Allis/Atlas. I still have no idea regarding their relation to us, but I know that because of how small this area is, there is no way they aren't related to us.
I was able to copy down succession information for my great grandfather, Louis B. Atlas as well as for my great grandmother, Susie Lee Atlas and for a great, great aunt, Ella Louise Atlas.
In addition, we found a ton of land records for family members in the parish. Based on our research from this trip, we can see that family members were land owners in this area from 1873 to present.
We ate sandwiches at Jehovah Java. I think I may go back there and get a t-shirt or a sweatshirt. The food was great as well as the service.
We also made a visit over to Progressive Chapel MBC, which is a church that some of my family members started. When we got there, they were having Bible study and we sat in for the last 15 minutes of it. We had a great time and were able to touch base with some people who knew our family. In fact, one of my grandmother's classmates was in the session.
We were also able to visit our cousin Florence, who we stayed with last year. We had a brief visit at her house, but it's possible we may go back by there because she is such a resource.