Discoveries in Jones Hall-- Williams family genealogy and images

LaRC Manuscripts Collection 256 is the family bible given to Tulane in 1973 by Virginia Williams Harris and Espy Williams of New Orleans.  It was donated in memory of their sister, Lealuh (or Leluh) Olivia Williams Davis (1877-1973), a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church.

This bible is considered an archival collection because of its unique and personalized additions. The book itself, a large locking volume with ornate binding, contains handwritten genealogical notations about members of this branch of the African-American Williams family of Louisiana.   In various people's handwriting, there are lovingly written notes listing marriages, births and deaths having happened from the mid-nineteenth century forward through 1973, along with pressed leaves and flowers.  Toward the end of the volume, there is a small batch of family photographs, including tintype and printed individual portraits made at studios in New Orleans, kept probably since before the publication of the book. Other family names represented in this collection include Davis, Claverie, Banks, Harris, Satasfield or Satterfield, Coleman, and Barrilleaux. The volume itself is in fragile condition.

LaRC encourages all Louisiana families to consider donating their family papers as archival collections, which will ensure safekeeping, long-term preservation, and researcher access.

1. undated and uncaptioned photographic portraits of family members--the two smaller prints are tintypes, dating them from the latter half of the nineteenth century, and the mounted photograph is a paper print made at a New Orleans portrait studio, probably early twentieth century.  
2. a page with handwritten genealogical notations through 1973.
Jeanette Davis Davis, Oct. 14, 1903; died May 9, 1929
Rowena Claverie, July 3, 1881; died July 16, 1954
Frances Daisy Banks, Nov. 4, 1879; died Nov. 22, 1957
Leluh Olivia Williams Davis
Born July 28 - 1877   Died Aug. 16 - 1973. 
Images of items held in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be re-published without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers


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