This branch of my family tree was the beginning of my journey--it's where and why I started researching my family 12 years ago. I had three initial goals:
- To validate the stories I was told
- To find out if there were unidentified living descendants from collateral lines
- To find the FIRST name of this maternal tree, Binky Shields, my 5th great-grandmother in any surviving historical documents.
|Fanny Shields Page|
My grandmother said Nancy married, but she could not remember her married name. She did remember that Martha Shields' married name was "ENGLAND" and Fanny married my 3x great grandfather, Jack PAGE II. According to my grandmother, Aunt Dutsey never married and Gabriel became a teacher and moved away never to be heard from again.
When I asked her where did they all live during this time period, she said "they all came out of New Orleans." However, years later, when I asked where her grandmother, Cora Page (Fanny's daughter) was born, thinking deeply and out loud, she said, "Was it Houma? I'm not sure."
I'll coming back to that in a minute...
While visiting Baton Rouge, Louisiana to attend a family reunion on my father's side in 2006, my wife and I stopped by the Louisiana State Archives to do genealogical research. I told the staff who & what I was looking for and they suggested that I take a look at their 12 volume set of South Louisiana Records written by Father Donald J. Hebert. These civil court and church records are abstracts from courthouses, as well as Catholic and Protestant churches in both Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. One the volumes contained the courthouse marriage records for Nancy, Martha and Fanny Shields! They were all married in Houma, Louisiana which is located in Terrebonne Parish!
- Nancy married Henry MOORE on Jan 2, 1870 (See Document Here).
- Martha married Frank ENGLAND on May 20, 1976 (See Document Here).
- Fanny married Jack PAGE on August 11, 1977 (See Document Here).
|Benjamin England & |
Dora Gautreaux England
Nancy Shields Moore had 5 children living, although she stated she bore 11 total: James, Joseph, Martha, Nancy & Bertha. I had no other information on them since I did not know the married names of the girls and the sons seem to "vanish" in the records.
|Alberta England Lawrence|
|Mildred Iles Lavizzo|
Here's how it happened:
|Aurora McGraw Goode|
In fact, she also knew Nancy Lavizzo. Barbara introduced me to her sister and we spoke almost every day. They sent phenomenal pictures of their mother, Aurora and her aunt, Bertha Moore, daughter of Henry Moore and Nancy Shields. I recognized Bertha's name from the list of Nancy Shields Moore's children and the newspaper obituary for Aunt Dutsey that I discovered on GenealogyBank.com that mentioned her alongside her sister, Nancy Moore Lavizzo!
|Nancy Shields Moore|
(Child is unknown)
|Nancy Moore Lavizzo |
(Standing) & Bertha Moore
I expressed to Barbara, Renee, Corey and Nancy that I've been searching for them since 2003 and all my life I wanted to know their whereabouts. This was a dream come true! My heart was just overwhelmed with joy and gratitude! They all expressed longing to know their history! This was, yet again, another powerful moment of confirmation for me--that the seeds planted by my grandmothers in me and the years of research were not in vain. I simply have no reason to believe any of these events occurred by chance!
A Note to all of you genetic genealogy enthusiasts: You'll notice that most of these relatives are all women who share a common ancestor, Nellie Shields Washington, through generations of maternal lineages (except Renee who is related on her father's side). Well, it stands to reason that we would all share the same maternal haplogroup. Utilizing 23andme.com I've tested, my aunt, and several cousins who all descend from Cora Page (Fanny's daughter) and we all share the same maternal haplogroup. My hope is that my newly discovered cousins will test and validate what we already know. That will be fun so stay tuned!
Additional photos posted below:
|Bertha Moore (right), |
Woman unknown (Left)
|Close up of Nancy Shields Moore|
|Woman unknown (Right), Bertha (Middle), Aurora (Right)|
This last photo is Fanny Shields Page and the late Janet Mae Goode Payne, Barbara's youngest sister. I was stunned to see such resemblance between them.
|Fanny & Janet Mae Goode (Aurora's Daughter)|
To my 5x Great Grandmother, Grandma Binky: I'm knocking on your door. I know I will find you! It's just a matter of time and I will not rest until I do.