Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wordy Wednesday: Esters Eley and Jackson Parish

Ester Eley born 28 Jun 1908
Eros, Jackson Parish, Louisiana
You may be wondering where in this world is Jackson Parish, Louisiana? And you probably have never heard of Jackson Parish, Louisiana. Jonesboro is now the Parish Seat, and there is a state park there named the Jimmie Davis State Park, and the Caney Lake Reservoir is located there. And it my understanding that Caney is a great place to fish.

Jimmie Davis was once the Governor of the Sunshine state. He was known for the song, "You Are My Sunshine." You can read about our former governor on this website::

Jackson Parish was formed in 1845 from Wachita (Ouachita) Parish. Jackson Parish was formed from Claiborne, Ouachita, and Union Parishes.

Ouachita Parish was created as an original parish and Monroe was the parish seat. The Ouachita Parish courthouse was destroyed in 1864 and 1882.

Jackson Parish has a little known history of the Civil War when General Richard Taylor sent some of Confederate Companies into Jackson parish and Winn Parishes in Louisiana.

Jackson Parish was named for President Andrew Jackson, and is located in Louisiana. It isn't one of those parishes that gets a lot of attention or is famous for any one thing; however, it is important to me. That is where my father Esters Eley was born 28 Jun 1908 to Alice Lee. The Lee family had migrated to Jackson Parish,  about 1903. The two that Daddy spoke of  often were Eros and Chatham. I was just a small child and didn't ask questions when he would speak of those places. As I got older though it piqued my interest as to why they meant so much to Daddy. When I began to delve into family history research I found out why Eros was important to daddy.

My quest was to find out about Daddy and Eros, his place of birth. I wanted to know about the life and times of my father as a child. What was his life like as a child? What was it like living near Grandpa and Grandma Meadows growing up? What was it like when his mother married Jackson Lawrence Eley? It will take time, but those questions will be answered with more research and knowing the historical and social information relating to the time period that Daddy and his family lived in Jackson Parish; and later West Carroll Parish. When I look at the social life of those families of that small  parish and the time period I will have a better understanding of the lives of Esters and his family. I will know why they relocated from Jackson to West Carroll Parish, and why the Edwards migrated back to Alabama.

If you look at the maps you can tell where in Louisiana Jackson Parish is located and where Eros is on the map. When researching it is vital to know the history of an area, parish, county, district, town, or state. Historical context is the elements that permeates the lives of our families. The history of where they were born and the events that help to shape their lives is historical context. Also, the living conditions during that era in which your ancestors lived can give you an understanding of who our families are and how they were affected.

My father wasn't a trail blazer nor did he do anything to cause a war or spearhead an uprising, but he was an important person in my life. As I research the areas where he lived and look at the social dynamics of that area I get a glimpse of what life was like for Daddy. Research continues on this family line and has been a fun enlightening journey along the way.
Map of Louisiana highlighting Jackson Parish
Image from,_Louisiana

Image from,_Louisiana

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