I was recently inspired during a trip to one of the states of my ancestors, The Great State of Louisiana. Louisiana is also know as “The Sportsman’s Paradise”. Growing up my grandfather, Thomas Cleveland (II), was an avid hunter and fisherman. He kept hunting dogs and routinely went away to hunt with his friends. He would come back with venison and fish. I grew up seeing deer heads on the wall of his home. (Any PETA members or animal rights activists please hold your emails. This was my grandfather’s pastime, not mine. )
As with most things that occurred when I was young, I didn’t question much of it. It was just my normal. Later on I learned that Southern Louisiana has very specific and varied terrain that lends it to hunting and fishing. My grandfather was born in Louisiana and later move up North to Indiana. He is pictured below, the photo was taken sometime during 1959.
I was about 5 years old when I first visited Louisiana. Rapides Parish to be exact which is in the central portion of the state about 200 miles north of Orleans Parish where New Orleans is located. Louisiana was originally settled by the French and retains a lot of French influences. Louisiana is dived into parishes not counties. The parish seat of Rapides is Alexandria.
I have known the name of my 2x’s Great-Grandfather, Rev. Robert Cleveland and his first wife Serena Ellick Cleveland for a long time. I had estimated his date of birth as circa 1856. Previously I had not been able to locate any records surrounding his death. While visiting Louisiana I felt compelled to go back over my research and hopefully find when and where he died.
Genealogy – New Orleans Public Library From the main page I followed a link that I thought might be helpful.
Louisiana State Archives, Research Library
One of the finest genealogical resources in the state. Then the next.
- Louisiana Vital Records
Search for New Orleans marriage certificates and Louisiana death certificates, through the Louisiana State Archives’ databases.
Louisiana Death Records
You can search the Louisiana Death Records Index Database and order certified copies of death certificates for deaths that occurred in Louisiana more than 50 years from the end of the current calendar year. Photocipies of death certificates are delivered by mail for $5 each, and certified copies are delivered by mail for $10 each.
This service only issues certified copies of microfilmed death certificates for deaths that occurred in Louisiana between 1911–1967. The database also contains older death records for some parishes, such as deaths that occurred in Jefferson parish before 1911, and deaths that occurred in Orleans parish as early as 1804. Microfilmed death certificates may not be available for many of these older records. For example, searching for a death that occurred in Orleans parish between 1804–1818 may produce results taken from the official Orleans parish death index, but individual death certificates for this period do not exist in the archives. We regret that we cannot issue certified copies of death certificates for deaths that occurred in Orleans parish during this period.
I was pretty confident that his death occurred during this time frame that the records recovered.
I used a basic search with his name, that garnered 5 results. See below.
I felt confident about the 1st result since it was the correct parish. I was excited but wouldn’t know if it was a match until I received a copy of the certificate. I then filled out the form and mailed in my $5 check to the State of Louisiana. In about a week the death certificate arrived in the mail.
One week later it arrived!
Each clue gives us more questions. The death certificate gave m the names of his mother and Father. I’m very excited! I’ll be adding this to my family database and sharing my findings with the family. Always teaching always sharing.
Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby
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