For just $5 bucks to the Louisiana Vital Records department, another piece of my family’s lore has gone from hearsay to verified heredity.
My cousins Monique and Renee learned about their slave and master ancestors, Tempy Burton and Col. W.R. Stuart, the same way I did – through family stories. The above death certificate confirms their oral history. It documents that Tempy Burton and William R. Stuart are the parents of Alfred Burton Stuart, my great-uncle. Tempy was a slave to Col. Stuart and his wife Elizabeth when Alfred was born in 1860. This made the colonel’s first child with Tempy his property as well. His last child with Tempy, my great-grandmother Josephine would escape this fate since she was born after the Civil War and the official abolition of slavery.
Monique and I, Tempy and the colonel’s descendants from their oldest and youngest children, were actually chilling on Monique’s deck while our daughters splashed in her pool when this proof arrived in the mail. But we were having such a good time soaking up the summer day that we never bothered to check the mailbox.
Vital records (and family stories) are a beautiful thing.
What family lore are you trying to back up with documentation? One of these days I’ll try to see if there is any truth to our royal Stuart blood rumor.