Joseph H. DEWIL was born about 1824 in what would become known as Belgium. He must have been in the earliest group of people from that region of the world to migrate to Central Louisiana, for he married in Rapides Parish circa 1848. His wife's maiden name is not known, but she was Mary, who died 23 Dec 1868 in Rapides Parish and is likely the first person buried in the family cemetery, still called Dewil Cemetery today. It is located on 4 + acres of land in the southwest corner of the NE 1/4 of Section 12. That 1/4 section having been patented by Andre LaMOTHE and conveyed to Joseph DEWIL sometime before June 1864, when the courthouse and records were burned by retreating Union Army personell.
Joseph and Mary had but one son, Francis Marion, called Frank, to carry on the DEWIL name. However, after reviewing the tombstone readings of that cemetery, it appears that all the DEWIL males sired by Frank, died in infancy. That would explain why I had not before known that name to exist.
There were 3 minor daughters at the time of Mary's death in 1868: Catherine Ann, Azenith and Martha Alice DEWIL. In 1903 their father filed a Quit Claim Deed on all the land he owned in Section 12 and within the text, he mentions two other daughters: Elizabeth and Mary.
Does anyone know if Elizabeth married Benjamin PERKINS ?
They were living next door to Joseph and his 2nd wife, Matilda, when the 1870 census was taken.
Deeds showed Joseph's land to be bounded by land of Silas MARLER and Benjamin PERKINS, and Silas's family lived on the other side of Joseph in that same census.
This land is presently in Ward 5 (aka Hineston Ward), but on the 1870 census, it was shown to be in Ward 7 (aka Cotile Ward).
Does anyone know the history of Ward line changes in Rapides Parish ?