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The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Centuries-old slave records found in surrounding parishes

March 25, 2019

Multiple slave records that date back to the seventeen hundreds were found in the surrounding parishes like Ascension, Pointe Coupee and more.

There is a team of people in Louisiana that is working to make the records accessible to the public through the internet.

The group is working through their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to make the records accessible through the organization, Family Search, in Utah.

“It was an effort to educate people about data entry of historical records into databases,” Kathe Hambrick, founder of River Road African American Museum, director of interpretation at the West Baton Rouge Museum and coordinator of the workshop for the Indexathon, said.

Monica Stock, art sophomore from Thibodaux, is the group’s link to Nicholls involvement with the project. There were some records in the Ascension Parish area, and Nicholls provided a facility for the group to host a training for people to index the records.

Indexathon, which took place at Nicholls, was the third to be held in the state.

“Even if you don’t have access to family, finding your history and knowing who you are, where you came from can be a very settling concept,” Stock said.

Beth Bluth, who has overseen the training for this project, said that there’s a woman in Mexico that has several thousand records that the group is also trying to obtain to put online through Family Search.

She also said that there are some records in Africa that they are trying to obtain.

“We really do want to help to get these records. It’s just important, I think, for them to be able to have that opportunity and access to those thousands and thousands of records,” Bluth said.

The records found in Ascension Parish are helping Family Search create an international database. The purpose of this database would be to connect family records from slavery back to Africa.



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