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Re: ALTEMUS family ~ Plaquemine LA


Thank you so much for the information you have provided. It certainly will help point me in a different direction to finding my family.

In response to your post, I would like to point out the following:

I apologize for omission of the race. That was an error on my part. When doing this research, I have found it very helpful to keep records of all censuses I find to make it easier to refer back to.

When I reviewed the 1900 census, it showed Mary, her mother and her father as colored. On the 1920 census Mary, her husband, my grandmother Helen and her siblings are listed as mulattoes. Kisiah is listed as black and Virgina is listed as mulatto. On the 1930 census Mary, her children, and Kisiah are listed as negroes.

I have also been told by my aunt that Kisiah was of Choctaw descent. This leads me to assume that this is one of the reasons they are listed as mulatto (in addition to the mixed race I previously mentioned in my initial post).

As a mental note, I have been researching the Indian census as well as other Indian databases to locate Kisiah or her family. I did manage to find one person that may possibly link me to Kisiah but given my concentration on finding them in the regular census, I have not allocated much time to this particular area of research. But I will make it a point to do so at a later time.

Ancestry, Heritage, and Familysearch are the genealogy sites I use to perform my research. So I will go back to those sites and take into account the suggestions you have made to delve deeper.

You are correct in that Virginia was listed on the 1920 census, not the 1930 census. And given the information you provided on Thomas, Virgina, and Mary, there is a strong possibility that these may be my relatives.

As for Kisiah using Mary as a second name, you may have something here, too. Because I found when doing research on another family member, on one census her first name was listed as Martha Ellen. On another census her name was listed as Marthy Ellen, and on another census she was listed as Ellen. So I will take into account the second name theory and take that route to research further.

Side note, Kisiah's maiden name appears as James on her death certificate. It also listed her father's name as H James and her mother's name as Mary Toliver. The certificate was signed by my great-uncle so I know this is her.

However, given only an initial for his first name, it is next to impossible to search for him. I have had little luck locating Mary Toliver with the exception of finding one individual with the same name on the 1910 census showing a different husband with another last name. It also listed this as her second marriage. I am still doing research on this one.

Yes, you are correct in that I did not find any marriage documentation on Mary to Edward Altemus or Kisiah to Thomas Johnson. I have searched the city directories, but I believe I only located ones for years ranging 1936-1938. I am working to find earlier dated directories since it looks like the marriages may have occured prior to these dates.

No, I haven't done any research on Mose Johnson, and if my memory serves me correctly, I think I noticed the same thing you mentioned, but I didn't venture further since I was so heavily concentrated on Kisiah and Thomas. But please know that I have put this on my bucket list to do. :)

Not that it has much relevance on this particular discussion but I wanted to make a note of what I found on Kisiah on the 1900 census. She had four children but listed only one child living. I have come to understand that this does not always mean an individual is deceased because I had another relative who was listed as a widow, but her spouse was found on another census listed with a different wife and other children living in another parish. I also found identical mother and father information on the male spouse on two separate occasions that suggested this was him. So, I am working to locate the names of Kisiah's children or even death records that may lead me to finding her.

Thanks for pointing out the 1910 marriage information. It was just a few weeks ago that I noticed this on the census after looking at it closely. Which I found to be a great help!

As for the Thomas Johnson you mentioned who passed away in 1919, it may possibly be the person I am looking for. I will work to get the death certificate on him if it is available, and see if that may provide any clues to determine if he may in fact the relative I am searching for.

With that said, I will look at Moses Johnson as well as Thomas, Virginia, Mary, and Martha as you suggested. Additionally, I will replace Kisiah's first name with Mary and try that route.

You are correct in that I seem a bit discouraged because I am. Yet, I will not give up on finding this family because I believe it is important that I find the missing pieces to this puzzle. Not for me, but for my elders who have not one clue as to who they are or the lineage they belong to. I feel in my soul that this is something I must complete so that I am able to present it as a gift to my elders, my children, my generation, and generations to come.

Finally, again, thank you very much for responding to my inquiry and providing what I believe is significant information that will lead me to other routes in finding my relatives. It is encouraging and has motivated me to delve deeper as I work to solve this mystery. I am certain in time, I will be able to put together all the missing pieces of this puzzle and bring joy to my relatives.

When this research effort comes full circle, I definitely will post my findings! :)

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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