I am a descendant of Jedediah SMITH, who brought his family to Natchez in 1776; his nieces were Edith SMITH BUHLER DEVALL and Eunice SMITH LILLY (now spelled LILLEY), all who resided in Baton Rouge. I was aware that Edith and her second husband Richard DEVALL purchased land in West Baton Rouge, but generally I have placed family member in The Plains area, a fact supported by Jennings' The Plains and the People, with LILLY at Springfield Plantation/Landing. Various early records refer to him as syndic of Springfield during Spanish rule and owner of The Plains store during the West Florida Rebellion.
However, recent research on a different family (WIKOFF-WATTS) sent me on a search for Stephen WATTS' plantation Belmont in Baton Rouge. A map search shows Belmont in West Baton Rouge Parish. And, there, close by in the same parish are Springfield and Devalls. I went looking for early parish info for an explanation and found "Genealogical Information for the State of Louisiana," www.mylouisianagenealogy.com
. Under West Baton Rouge Parish History, I read that "Baton Rouge Parish was created in 1792 in the West Floridas arera. The land was divided into E. & W. Baton Rouge Parishes in 1810." However, the Parish Formation Maps at the site show something a little different--12 counties established by Orleans Territory in 1805 when the U.S. began governing all but the Florida parishes. The map shows Pointe Coupee and Iberville Counties--no Baton Rouge. The 1807 map shows the division into 19 parishes, including Baton Rouge on the west bank of the Mississippi. The 1812 map adds the Florida parishes and gives the names East and West Baton Rouge parishes.
Question 1: Is the parish information above basically accurate?
Question 2: Is there any standard for evaluating early references to "Baton Rouge," for example, whether the location is on the east or west bank?
Question 3: In genealogy databases and other writing, should the writer/compiler state the name of the area at the time, followed by "presentday ---"? What is the standard for designating location where names and boundaries have changed?
Question 4: If Baton Rouge Parish was created in West Florida in 1792, what was the area known as when governed by the English, then the Spanish before 1792?
Question 5: Can anyone help me with Springfield and the location of Thomas LILLY's property?
Thanks to anyone who can help with this.
E. W. Prichard