AfriGeneas Africa Research Forum
Belle Milandre, Avoyelles, Louisiana
I believe that I may be the descendant of a woman who appears only on the 1880 census as Belle Milandre (good shark???), and claims that she and both parents were born in Africa. In 1880 she is living near several folks who claim that their mother was African born, so I'm hopeful that she after more research will prove to be their mother. Louise Thomas, who lived near Belle in 1880 and claimed her mother was of African birth, married in the 1860's as Louise "Bebelle"....which could imply that she was the Belle's daughter. I don't have a clue as to where in Africa Belle was from, but do know Avoyelles early slave records indicate a substantial number of African born slaves were from the Congo and Senegal. How do I make this connection?
Additionally I have found that my step-sons ancestor, London Coleman was born in the "Belgium Congo"---as were several of his neighbors 1867-1880 in Harris County, Texas. I've found that London, his brother, and another guy who may also have been their relative, used Lufkin as a last name after slavery ended until abt 1870. It could be that they were held as slaves in Lufkin, Tx--or they could have been the slaves of A. Lufkin, a slaveholding entrepeneur in Galveston. Goodman, was another of the names used by some of the Belgium Congo ex-slaves.
How do you make the leap to some African country? Who do you contact? I've had little sucess in making contact with organizations/institutions I thought might be able to give me direction? I realize of course, especially in the Congo--that this obsession of mine pales in light of their turmoil. Still...any suggestion on Belle Milandre or the Lufkin/Colemans?