James Dent Walker Award Recipient 2013

Michael Nolden Henderson

James Dent Walker Award 2013

I was Incredibly honored to receive the James Dent Walker award for excellence in African American genealogy research from the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc (AAHGS) on October 12, 2013 at this years AAHGS conference.

This award is named after James Dent Walker who was the Founder and the first President of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (National). In 1977, a few historians and genealogists, led by James Dent Walker, an archivist, met to discuss concerns and the need for an organization that would focus on the family history and genealogy of minority groups. They felt the research and support for these groups had been overlooked. This group wanted to encourage and support the historical and genealogical studies of families of all ethnic groups, with a special emphasis upon Afro-Americans. (Taken from AAHGS Fifth Anniversary Booklet: 1977 – 1982, compiled by Paul E. Sluby, Sr.)

In 1978 James Dent Walker was named as National Genealogy Society Fellow (FNGS) and in 1999 named National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

Tamela Tinpenny-Lewis, President of AAHGS, Inc., Michael Nolden Henderson (Recipient of the James Dent Walker Award 2013) Alica Harris Co-Chair of the Awards Committee.

(L-R) Tamela Tinpenny-Lewis,President, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Michael Nolden Henderson,James Dent Walker Award 2013, Alice Harris,Co-chairperson AwardsCommittee

Mrs Barbara Walker, Founder and Past President of AAHGS, Michael Nolden Henderson

Mrs Barbara Walker, Founder and Past President of AAHGS, Michael Nolden Henderson, James Dent Walker Award Recipient 2013

This was a special moment for me as I shared with Mrs. Barbara Walker, wife of the person the award I received is named after, James Dent Walker.  Mr. Walker was instrumental in spearheading the research and eventual gathering of African American and Native American patriots who participated in, yet were left out of, the narrative of the American Revolution.

Because of his work and that of many others in 2001, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) published a book identifying African Americans and American Indian Patriots of the Revolutionary War. Seven years later, an updated version was published in 2008 titled, Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the American Revolution, The Guide to Service, Source and Studies. The names of 32 men of color and one woman of color from Georgia identified as patriots of the American Revolution are included in this book. Three in particular I found interesting in Georgia were Austin Dabney,  Mammy Kate, and Daddy Jack (see page 617 once you download file).

In February 2011, I discovered the story of a heroic rescue made by an enslaved woman named Mammy Kate and her husband, Daddy Jack of their slaveholder named Captain Stephen Heard. Heard was captured by the British at the Battle of Kettle Creek on 14 Feb 1779, and was taken to a POW camp in Augusta, Georgia to be executed. Years after his rescue, he became the 12th Governor of Georgia. See more about Mammy Kate story here:

I questioned why these two enslaved persons, who had risked their lives to save their slaveholder, had not been recognized as patriots of the American Revolution. As the first African American inducted into the Georgia Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), I suggested that my local SAR chapter honor Mammy Kate and Daddy Jack with a patriotic grave marking ceremony. On Oct 15, 2011, this ceremony was held see more here.  Patriot Kate became to first woman of color to be recognized as a Patriot of the American Revoluiton in the State of Georgia.


What an honor it was to receive the James Dent Walker award named for the man whose work inspired me and so many others to continue the work of researching and documenting African American and History and Genealogy.

Earliest Known Arrival of French Ancestors to Quebec Canada Confirmed

La Société des filles du Roi

While tracing my Louisiana Creole roots beginning with my mother’s maternal line in New Orleans, I was successful in locating and documenting two of my earliest known French ancestors who arrived in Quebec, Canada in the years 1665 and 1668.  See previous blog post here of another documented discovery recorded and certified by the American-French Genealogical Society.


Francois Trottain dit St Surin and Jeanne Hardy are my 9th generation great grandparents.  After learning that Jeanne Hardy’s husband Francois Trottain dit St Surin was a member of the first expedition of Royal troops (Carignan-Salieres Regiment) to arrived in Canada in 1665 and he would become my earliest known french military connection, I  submitted an application for membership in La Société des Filles du Roi et Soldats du Carignan, Inc.  My genealogy and membership was approved  Aug 2013.  Here below is a little bit about my discovery.

300px-Rgt_Carignan-Sallières_1665-1671The Carignan-Salieres regiment arrived in Quebec City in the summer of 1665, the first contingent  arriving on Jun 18.  This was the first  expedition of Royal troops to Canada. The Regiment counted twenty companies and each company was made up of three officers – a captian, a lieutenant and ensign – two sergeants, three corporals, five anspenssades and forty soldiers, including at least one drummer.  Four  other companies drawn from the regiments of Ligniéres, Chambellé, Poitou and Orléana coming from the West Indies also came to Quebec City with Marquis de Tracy, the new governor general.

Considering that the colony had about 3200 inhabitants, the arrival of some 1200 soldiers and 80 officers had an extraordinary impact on its development. A body of troops of this magnitude in Canada completely transformed what had until then been a precarious military situation for the  colony.  Finally,  towns could be built to clock the Richelieu River, the Iroquis’ traditional route.  In just a few weeks, the french went from the defensive stance that had been necessary for almost a quarter of a century to a new tactic: attacking the Iroquois on their own territory.

About  Francois Trottain dit St SURIN: Son of Francois Trottain and Jeanne Gripon of the Parish of St Severin of the Village of Saint Seurin-d’Uzet.  Now Chenac Saint Seurin d’Uzet, 17120, near Mortagne-sur-Gironde , 17120, Charente Maritime,. Poitou Charentes (Saintonge).

He was in the Naurois Company of the Carignam Regiment. They departed La Rochelle, France aboard  the Justice on May 24 1665 and arrival in Québec City on Sept 14 1665,  according Viateur Boulet / Bosher /.

Before the departure of the regiment in September 1668, he witnessed the marriage contract of his comrade Alexander Teschinay in Quebec August 13, 1668.  He married  on August 16, 1668 in Quebec City, Jeanne Hardy, Les Filles du Roi (daughter of the King) who departed Dieppe, France aboard the La Nouvelle France ( the new France) some time in 1668 and arrived in Quebec, New France on Jul 3, 1668.  She was the  daughter of Pierre Hardy and Mary Daviau or Daniau of the parish of Saint John the Perrot, diocese of La Rochelle Aunis (Charente-Maritime).  To learn more about these women on stuff you did not learn in class  Podcast.howstuffworks see here: Les Filles du Roi

François Trottain become Trottier according to the census of 1681, was a carpenter, seigneurial notary, bailiff and tax attorney Batiscan. He was said to also have been royal notary and keep notes Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Champlain, Batiscan and Sainte-Anne. Probably he never received his commission as royal notary, but the authorities allowed the seigneurial notary conscientious, appropriating this imposing title.

Jeanne Hardy died April 5, 1716 in Batiscan. François Trottain died on February 9 and was buried Feb. 11, 1731. (Died August 9, 1731 for Landry)? Household established in Batiscan. (5 children).

(Tanguay, vol.1, p.572; Jetté, p.1091; Dumas, p.256-57; Landry, p.324; Sulte, Hist., vol.5, p.61(3);  Raymond Douville, D.B.C., vol.2, p.665; DBAQ, t4, p.418; Langlois, p.484

 There is more,   Please see here.

GOT PROOF! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use Of Documentation

Got Proof!I have just published my first book, a memoir, titled “Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation.

As a family history researcher, I have been asked on many occasions what got me started looking into my family history in Louisiana. What were some of my most interesting discoveries found along the way, and when was I going to write a book? As these questions came up I started to see a pattern with my responses. Continue reading