Narcissa Duncan Pailette: Named for Nature, Defied Nature

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is Nature.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


This week’s prompt led me to an ancestor named for nature — my 3x-great-grandmother Narcissa Duncan Pailette. The name Narcissa means “daffodil” in Greek,¹ and these spring flowers are part of the plant genus Narcissus

Not only was my ancestor Narcissa named for nature, she also defied it. She lived into her 90s, and her obituary recognizes her as one of the oldest citizens of north Louisiana in 1948.

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Malinda McCauley Johnston: Nurturing Wife, Sister, Grandmother, and Aunt

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is Nuture.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


It’s difficult to know the character of our ancestors when all that remains of their lives are a few impersonal records. But sometimes these records can reveal clues about an ancestor’s nature. The simple choice of who lived in her home, the circumstances of a husband returning from a Civil War prisoner of war camp, and the situation of a widowed sister suggests my 3x-great-grandmother Malinda McCauley Johnston was a nurturing wife, sister, grandmother, and aunt.

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Alexander Rose Hendry: Epic Road (and River) Trips Bring New Yorker to Louisiana

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is Road Trip.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


I love a good road trip. In fact, I’ve taken several family history road trips with my sons and father. But the trips we’ve taken cannot compare to the epic journey my 4x-great-grandfather Alexander Rose Hendry took between his native New York and Louisiana, where he settled in the 1830s.

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Elisha Thomas Horn: Primitive Baptist at Worship

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is At Worship.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


My family has a strong Baptist heritage dating back many generations and almost 200 years. On my paternal line, this heritage begins with my earliest known Horne ancestor, my 3x-great-grandfather Elisha Thomas — “Preacher Tommy” — Horn.

Elisha Thomas Horn, c. 1880

Photograph of Elisha Thomas Horn, ca. 1880, digital image, privately held by Thomas Ayres, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Texas. Thomas obtained the photo from Raymond L. Horne of Mississippi who found it among the items of Emmett Horne’s estate.

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Joshua Lawrence Horn: Out of Place Events Reveal a Well-Traveled Life

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is Out of Place.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


When I think of my ancestors who lived before convenient modes of transportation, I often assume they lived in small geographic areas. With only wagons to navigate primitive dirt roads and boats or barges to cross rivers, who would stray too far from home?

My 2x-great-grandfather Joshua Lawrence Horn breaks all my assumptions. Several events in his life occur “out of place” from the expected, providing evidence Joshua traveled between Mississippi and Texas several times. Some of his travels were voluntary; others were not.


I’ve written about Joshua previously — a blog post commemorating his birthday back in 2016 — so I won’t recount all the details of his life again. Instead, I’d like to discuss the “out of place” records I’ve found for him, along with two new discoveries that confirm family oral tradition about this outlaw ancestor and some of the places he lived.

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