BAILEY, LA, Born During Slavery

An African-American Family In Terrebonne Parish

In August 1994 four gravestones were found (scattered about) on an old Indian mound on Ashland Plantation on Bayou Grand Cadlou (about 7 miles below Houma), Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. These listings are not in the Cemeteries of Lower Terrebonne book.

John Balley,born 6 June 1843,died 17 Aug. 1909,age 66
Lucy Bailly,born ?died 24 May 1903,age 106
Virginia Bailley,born 1 June 1858,died 11 Feb. 1908,age 50
W. S. Thomas,born 10 June 1878,died 4 Apr. 1905,age 27

Upon investigation the 1900 census records of Terrebonne Parish revealed these facts: The Balley, Bailly, Bailley were of the same family. Lucy Bailly was found on the 1900 census, given as born Oct. 1798 in Virginia (evidently in slavery) and both of her parents were born in Virginia. Of the 15 children she had borne, 5 were still living. She was then a widow, age given as 102, living at the home of her daughter Sarah Bailey and son-in-law, Frank Dennis.

1900 Census Terrebonne Parish LA

Ward 4 (on Ashland Plantation)
Frank DENNIS,husband / black male,b. Mar. 1853,age 47,married 28 years
Sarah (BAILEY),wife / black female,b. Sept. 1854,age 45,4 child. born, 1 living
Clarence D. BOWIE, nephew / black male,b. Nov. 1893,age 6
Lucy BAILEY,m-i-l / black female,b. Oct. 1798,age 102,widow
Ward 4 (on Ashland Plantation)
John BAILEY,husband / black male,b. Mar. 1842,age 48,married 21 years (he, and both his parents, given as born in Louisiana)
Virginia BAILEY,wife / black female,b. Apr. 1862,age 38,12 child. born, 9 living (both she, and her parents, were given as born in Mississippi)
Ruffin BAILEY,son / black male,b. Aug. 1883, LA,age 16,farm laborer
Granville BAILEY,son / black male,b. Sept. 1885, LA,age 14,farm laborer
Flemen BAILEY,son / black male,b. Aug. 1888, LA,age 11,student
Christine BAILEY,dau / black female,b. Oct. 1890,age 9,student
Levi BAILEY,son / black male,b. Jan. 1895,age 5
Joseph BAILEY,son / black male,b. Sept. 1897,age 2
Next family to John:
*James BAILEY,husband / black male,b. Dec. 1873, LA,age 26,married 6 years,farm laborer
*Nancy BAILEY,wife / black female,b. Oct. 1876 LA,age 23, m. 6 yrs, of 4 children born to her, 1 was living
William BAILEY,son / black male, b. Aug. 1897,age 2
Granville M. BAILEY,husband, black male,b. Apr. 1837 LA,age 63,married 30 years, farm laborer, both parents born in Tennessee
Sarah L. BAILEY,wife, black female,b. Mar. 1838 VA,age 62,married 30 years, 5 children born, 3 living; both parents born VA

*James BAILEY and Nancy MOORE were married 10 Feb. 1894 in Houma (Marriage vol. 27 #92)

1870 Census Terrebonne Parish LA

Ward 11 Houma Post Office, 1870
Dennis BAILEY,age 50,farm laborer, born in Virginia
Lucy BAILEY,age 47,given as born in Louisiana
Sarah BAILEY,age 16,born LA (she was actually about 26)
John BAILEY,age 18,farm laborer, born LA
Sarah,age 4,born LA. (probably child of Sarah BAILEY)
7 houses away (same)
Granville BAILEY,age 31,farm laborer, born Virginia
Lizzie BAILEY,age 26,born LA
Pinkey BAILEY,age 3 (male),born LA.
Ward 13 Houma or Tigerville Post Office (Gibson LA)
+Reuben SCOTT,age 54,black male,farm laborer, born LA
+Caroline BAILEY,age 49,black female,keeping house, born LA
Frank,age 6,black male,b. LA
Mary,age 16,black female,b. LA
Mary,age 17,black female,b. LA
Celine,age 14,black female,b. LA
Rosanna,age 8,black female,b. LA
Digger,age 8,black female,b. LA

+It is uncetain if Caroline was married to Reuben or if these were her children, but it appears to be. Reuben SCOTT married 14 Mar. 1872 Jane MOTIN or MODEN in Houma (Marriages vol. 10 #247)

Ward 2 Terrebonne Station (Schriever LA)
James BAILEY,age 24,black male,farm laborer,b. LA, He was living / boarding at the home of Harry and Eliza Hughes
Harry HUGHES,age 60,black male, b. VA
Eliza HUGHES, wife of Harryage 50,black female,b. VA
Ward 2 Terrebonne Station (Schriever LA)
Kitty BAILEY,age 12,black female,b. LA, She was living at the home of Peter and Sophia Adams
Peter ADAMS,age 50,black male,Blacksmith,b. KY
Sophia, wife of Peter,age 45,black female,b. Mississippi
Ward 14 Houma Post Office
Macing (?Maxine?) BAILEY,age 20,black female,field hand,b. LA
Fail (?Phil?) BAILEY,age 3,black male,b. LA

Although she may have felt to be over 100 years old, the fact is the 1870 census listing of her is probably more correct; she was born ca. 1823 and in 1900 was about 77 years old, still a good respectable old age. The birth year of her daughter, Sarah (Sept. 1854) confirms a later birth year for Lucy. She could hardly have been having a child at 56 in 1854. Lucy was about 80 years old when she died in May 1903. There is a clue in this, however, for anyone searching this family. Lucy (or her daughter Sarah) may have been reporting birth information on Lucy's mother who was probably born about 1798 in Virgina.

Uploaders Note: Subtracting 1854 from 1900 equals 46, which would be the supposed correct age for Lucy's daughter, Sarah, in the year 1900, providing the census had been taken after Sarah's Sept. birthday. Apparently, the census was taken before Sarah's birthday, making her 45 years of age. In the 1870 census, Sarah's age appears to be correctly given. Subtracting 16 from 1870 equals 1854 -- the same year given in the 1900 census.

Copied from the Terrebonne Life Times, Vol. 16, No. 1, pages 34-36.

Gravestone info supplied by: Mrs. Trudy V. Hebert
Research and comments by: Mrs. Audrey B. Westerman
Contributed by: Karen Wightkin,


Created: 26 December 1998 | Updated: 28 Jan 2000
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