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Ford's of Catahoula Parish


Some Ford's of Catahoula Parish
By George Stewart 1971

According to DeBow's Review (issues of March and June 1852 Vol. 12) ELIJAH FORD arrived in Catahoula Parish in 1802 and was one of the 26 permanent Anglo-Saxon settlers in that parish between the years, 1796-1815. Thus, Elijah arrived six years before the creation of the Parish of Catahoula, created in 1818 from a portion of Rapides Parish by Act of the House of Representatives of the Territory of Orleans.
Elijah Ford is head of a household in Catahoula Parish in the U.S. census records from the year 1810 to 1850. In the 1850 census, Elijah is listed as being 63 years of age and having been born in Virginia. His wife, SARAH BANKS, was 65 years old and was from North Carolina. His mother, LYDIA, 83 was listed as having been born in Virginia.
Elijah, along with an Isaac Ford (could have been a close relative since he named his first son, Isaac) participated in the relief of New Orleans during the war of 1812. Records in the National Archives in Washington, DC show that both Elijah and Isaac served in Captain Samuel Leaven's company of the Consolidated 10th and 20th Regiment Louisiana Militia from January 7 to March 31, 1815, for which service each man received the total sum of $22.19.
The children of Elijah and Sarah were Isaac born 1810, Elijah, Jr. born 1815, Lydia born 1819 (married Jacob Lanius) and Laban born 1820. Through his children and their descendants, Elijah has contributed materially to the growth in population of Louisiana and nearby states. During the twentieth century they have moved to other states not so near. A recently compiled family outline discloses that there have been over 900 direct descendants since ELIJAH arrived in Louisiana.
There was another Ford family living in the parish at approximately the same time that Elijah was rearing his family. The children of this family were John born 1821, Elizabeth born 1822 (married Christian Riser) another Elijah born 1823 and another Lydia born 1823 (married Sidney Wilson). The name of their father is not known at the present time. Research is continuing in an effort to determine if the Isaac Ford who served in New Orleans may the father. Well over 500 direct descendants are listed thus far in an incomplete outline of this Ford family.
Members of both Ford families participated in a family reunion held in Olla, Louisiana in June, 1969. The late Jesse J. McKeithen, a grandson of John Ford, issued a call for the "Coming-Together" of all descendants and interested relatives to attend the marking of the recently relocated graves of John Ford and his first and second wives. About 150 descendants representing six states and residing in 29 different town and cities attended the reunion.
Members of the family would be sincerely appreciative of any information that would add to the genealogy of the FORD'S OF CATAHOULA PARISH.
(From the 1971 journal) Submitted by Nelva Lou Ford Powell 2003

NOTE: This article was sent to me in 1976 by Mr. George Stewart whose wife was Mildred Ford, the daughter of Edwin R. Ford, the postmaster of Jonesville, Louisiana for over 40 years. They did extensive research on several branches of the Ford's of Catahoula Parish. Because of all his hard work we now know a lot more about our family history for which we are very thankful. Unfortunately, Mr Stewart passed on before the use of the computer made recording and researching family history so easy. A lot of his research was written by hand or he used the typewriter.

The Isaac Ford mentioned by Mr. Stewart was Elijah's brother and the John Ford would have been Isaac's son. On page 24 of Conveyance Book B in Harrisonburg, Louisiana courthouse covers the appointment of Lydia Bannister as tutorship for her grandchildren, the minor heirs of Isaac and Rachel Ford, deceased. The children are named John Ford, Elizabeth Ford, Elijah Ford and Lydia Ford.

In 1977 Mr. Stewart wrote to me stating he had recorded over 2100 direct descendants of these families. Elijah Ford was born in 1787 in Virginia and Sarah Banks was born in North Carolina. We know his mother was Lydia ______ from Virginia and many researchers say his father was John Webster O'Ford from Ireland.

My direct line goes as follows:

John Webster O'Ford married Lydia ___
Elijah Ford b. 1787 married Sarah  ____
Laban Ford b. 1820 married Elizabeth Girlinghouse (2nd)
Laban Ford, Jr. b.1855 married Ida Bass (2nd)
Benjamin Esaw Ford b. 1890 married Annie Isabelle Bass
Albert Esaw Ford b. 1914 married Janie Marie Smith
Nelva Lou Ford b. 1941 married Luther Cabel Powell lll

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who would like to send me some family stories that you have heard passed down or if you have corrections to my information. This type history is harder to come by than names and dates. It also makes for much more fun reading. My  snail mail is 1250 Robin Hill Road, Media, PA 19063.

Nelva Lou Ford Powell

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