Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Proctor Perley Sargent

     While attempting to determine how and why one of Jayme's ancestors went from New Hampshire to Louisiana around the time of the Civil War, I needed to trace her first husband.  
     Olivia Mead married P. P. (Proctor Perley) Sargent in New Hampshire in 1858; followed him to Louisiana where he died in 1865; married husband number two in Louisiana in 1868; and moved to Hunt County, Texas  by 1870 with her second husband.
     Proctor Perley Sargent was born on 7 Oct 1830 to Marcus Sargent and Ann Severns in New London, New Hampshire1.
     On 11 Nov 1858, P. P. Sargent of Texas and Olivia A. Mead of New London, New Hampshire were married in Bradford, New Hampshire2.
     In the 1850 Census, Proctor P. Sargent is working as a shoemaker and living with his parents in New London3. He is also listed as a shoemaker in the 1850 Concord, New Hampshire City Directory4.  His wife is living in New London with their child and his parents at the time of the 1860 Census. The whereabouts of Proctor P. Sargent in the 1860 Census is unknown at this time.  
     P. P Sargent died in New Orleans on 28 Feb 1865, shortly before the end of the Civil War5.
     Two separate family genealogies published in 1882 and 1906 mention that Proctor moved around.  The Perley family (Proctor's ancestry) genealogy states that he traveled to California and other states and died in New Orleans6.  The Folsom family genealogy (Olivia's ancestry) doesn't mention California but states similar information7. Both mention that their child died around 1860.  Both mention her marriage to Wilson H. McKie on 5 Aug 1867.
    An additional record exists of a muster call of a man named P. P. Sargent with the Confederate Guards Regiment, Louisiana Militia8.  
    Could the man in the militia be Proctor Perley Sargent?  
    What was the cause of Proctor's death?  Was it war related?   
    When did Olivia follow her husband south?  Before the war?
    Where did their daughter die?

1. "New Hampshire, Birth Records, Early to 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 April 2015), Proctor Perley Sargent, 07 Oct 1830; citing New London, Merrimack, New Hampshire, United States, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord; FHL microfilm 1,001,044.2. "New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637-1947." Index and images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord.
3. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1850; Census Place: New London, Merrimack, New Hampshire; Roll: M432_436; Page: 110A; Image: 228
4. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011  Concord, New Hampshire, City Directory, 1850
5. "Louisiana, Orleans Parish Vital Records, 1910, 1960." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. State Archives, Baton Rouge
6. Perley, M. V. B. History and Genealogy of the Perley Family. Salem, Massachusetts, 1906, M. V. B. Perley Publisher
7. Chapman, Jacob. A Genealogy of the Folsom Family: John Folsom and His Descendants, 1615-1882. Concord, N.H.: Printed by the Republican Press Association, 1882. (Google E-Books)
8. "Louisiana, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 April 2015), P P Sargent, 1862; from "Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Louisiana," database, ( : n.d.); citing military unit Confederate Guards Regiment, Militia, H- S, NARA microfilm publication M320 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1961), roll 375.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


    While examining the 1850 Census Record for Wilson MacKie (McKie) of East Feliciano Parish, Louisiana1, I noticed his listed occupation.

     It wasn't a word I recognized and I tried searching on Google for old occupations but the websites I happened to check didn't have any occupation that was even close.  
     The first letter was definitely a 'G' based on Georgiana and Georgia which appeared earlier on the same page.
     After sleeping on it I read the pages of the census before and after this page and there I found an occupation listed which I recognized.

     Wheelwright was probably written by a different person based upon the 'ght' but wheelwright brought me to Ginwright. It turns out that a ginwright (gin wright) is someone who builds cotton gins or maintains and repairs existing cotton gins.   
       By the middle of the nineteenth century, cotton gins were large machines which were housed in large industrial-sized buildings.  Cotton was big business and it is easy to see that it could be costly if the cotton gin didn't operate. 
    So the 1850 Census shows Wilson H MacKie (McKie) as a Ginwright.  He is living, along with his first wife, Elizabeth, and child, James. They are living with Elizabeth's parents, Sothy and Nancy Hays.

1. Year: 1850; Census Place: East Feliciana, Louisiana; Roll: M432_231; Page: 248B; Image: 177
Old Hill Burying Ground, 1850 United States Federal Census

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ancestors Traveling Around Cape Horn

     For the last few weeks I have been following six sailboats as they make their way around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race. There were seven boats but one ended up on a reef in the Indian Ocean.   Recently they have been making their way across the Southern Ocean from New Zealand to Cape Horn.  The Southern Ocean is considered the toughest stretch of ocean to cross.  Cape Horn is considered the Mount Everest of ocean sailing.  The Internet carried live coverage of four of the boats as they made their way around the Horn on a 'good' weather day.  (The two other boats include one which lost a sail and is limping along several days behind and another boat which lost their mast and had to withdraw from the race.)
     These modern racing yachts are among the best boats made.  Equipment is top notch. Their positions are sent to race headquarters every fifteen seconds.  Satellites give them weather information and the positions of icebergs.  The crews are the most experienced sailors in the world.  And yet three of the seven have been or are in serious trouble.

     Shortly after I watched the four boats pass Cape Horn, I was reading a digital book about the genealogy of one branch of Jayme's family1.  Joseph Libbey Folsom (the founder of Folsom, CA) was the half-brother of Jayme's great-great-grandmother, Olivia Ann Mead Sargent McKie.  Captain Joseph Libbey Folsom was sent by the army from the east coast of the United States around  Cape Horn to California in 1846.  The trip took six months. WOW. I admire the inner strength of these people to undertake such a journey.  Thousands died attempting to travel to California by traveling around South America.  (In the nineteenth century alone over fifty boats were documented to have sunk while rounding the Horn.  Countless others were lost at other points in the passage from east to west.)

1. Chapman, Jacob. A Genealogy of the Folsom Family: John Folsom and His Descendants, 1615-1882. Concord, N.H.: Printed by the Republican Press Association, 1882. (Google E-Books)