I started researching my family history in 1986. However, I just recently decided to share some of my more interesting discoveries via my new blog called Finding Agnes Mathieu. With so many family surnames in which I have attempted to trace, Agnes Mathieu has given me a center of focus from which many of those lines extend. Right now, I am attempting to figure out how best to organize, capture and better share my information with the hope that the outcome continues to encourage and inspire those who stop by and spend a few moments as new discoveries are revealed. This is truly a labor of love that I am really enjoying. Hope you will enjoy them too.
|My Induction Into The National Society|
Sons Of the American Revolution June 29 2010
Michael Nolden Henderson
Lieutenant Commander Michael N. Henderson, U.S. Navy Retired, began his genealogy journey almost 30 years ago. He began by asking questions of family members, starting with his mother, who comes from a line of French Creoles with the surname of Mathieu. One of the family’s elders shared a story with Henderson of an ancestor who had once said, “They wouldn’t allow us to use daddy’s last name.” From the moment he heard the story, Henderson was haunted by it and wanted to know the mystery behind it.
Since then, Henderson has queried family members, friends and strangers, searched family documents and photo albums, poured over research books and archival records, scanned micro-fiche files and Googled names, dates and places to uncover a family history rich with stories of people who lived hundreds of years ago. He eventually uncovered his fourth generation great-grandmother, Agnes Mathieu, a slave whose great grandparents were listed on an inventory document in 1738. He further discovered that Agnes had gained her freedom in 1779 through a year-long court battle with the help of Mathieu Devaux, a French National, who served in the American Revolutionary War under the Spanish Governor General Bernardo de Galvez. Devaux and Agnes maintained a long relationship that produced seven children, all of whom were born free prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Henderson is descendent from one of those children; all of whom adopted their father’s first name as their last.
Once Henderson discovered his ancestor’s connection to the Revolutionary War and the potential for his membership in the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR), he began researching the organization. “I’m the first in my family to pursue membership in the NSSAR, so the process was especially detailed for me,” he says. “But it was truly a labor of love and it’s an honor to have my family tied to an American Revolutionary War patriot.”
Henderson’s success as a genealogist is attributed to an early curiosity about his family’s history, as well as the keen research skills he honed in the Navy, having been trained as a research analyst at Officer Candidate School and at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Over the course of his research, he has uncovered Native American, French, African, German and Creole ancestry as far back as 1670. Through extensive archival and online investigation, Henderson has located evidence of six French ships that brought his German and French progenitors to Louisiana. In addition, he is investigating several slave ships that could prove to have brought his African ancestors to Louisiana.
A native of Algiers -- a suburb of New Orleans, La. -- Henderson is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana. He is member of the Louisiana Historical Society, a board member of the Algiers Historical Society and a past member of the San Diego African American Genealogical Research Group. La Creole-Louisiana Creole Research Association. Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society,Inc, Metro Atlanta, General Society War of 1812. Henderson resides in Sugar hill , Georgia and Immediate Pas t- President of the Button Gwinnett Chapter, Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution.
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