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Convent in LA

Convent in LA

Posted: 16 Feb 2013 6:54AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 16 Feb 2013 1:14PM GMT
Surnames: Benning, Bennings
I just found your posts and wondered if you could help me get a start on old lost relative. This involves A young GA orphan who after a fire that killed her mother went to a convent in LA. I can find her name and year of birth. I have a date of death and yet I cannot find her death. She was mulatto or black and her baby brother was my great, grand father. I cannot find definitive proof of the fire. It was said to have been a burning. Her mother, said to be white and father mulatto or black were not married - 1870's GA. I have a family story that researchers tell me cannot be the case because there were no orphanages for black children (this I dis proved when I found history for GA during that period that mentions the Catholic providing that care for blacks in Ga in the civil war and post civil ware era). My Papa told us and I have no reason to disbelieve him that her and two sisters were taken to an orphanage (in Columbus, Augusta or near Appling, GA where they lived) and his older sister Ann Bennings went on to a convent in Louisiana and family members took him in and raised him as their own (that being his father and step mother as best I can determine). I just cannot get a connection to the institutions of the time and also believe that Ann was an Episcopal Nun. My mother knew this story well and she was well aware when Ann died in 1996. Her sister, two years younger died the same year making these events my mother and grandmother did not easily forget or confuse.
I am in MN and surely cannot travel to Ga or LA to reach and if I could I have no idea where to start. I found that a Catholic Orphanage in Ga, did exist in the 1870's and later period and the events leading to this family's demise occurred about 1880. Can you tell me if there is a place to start or some registries that can be checked. I have no idea what Ann's name in the church would have been. proving her story may lead to a more credible story about her mother's death and her name could easily have been Ann, Mary Ann and even Rachel Lam(p)kin(s) on entering the orphanage as the parent were no married and the immediacy of the situation may have lead to misinformation on the children's other parent (Jesse Benning - Sr). census reports list my 3 year old Papa as the son of the head of household and assumptions are being made that his wife was his mother. There are two many living persons who state otherwise about the death of his mother just months before this first census he appears in was taken.

If anyone can help me I will be so happy to clear up confusion in our decades' old family story that 'records' so far do not bear out.

Re: Convent in LA

Posted: 17 Feb 2013 4:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
If you're not Catholic, it may help to know the parishes are organized under dioceses and archdioceses. I would consider contacting the modern-day archdiocese for Ann in GA and also LA. The archdiocese of New Orleans, which had several convents and orphanages, can be contacted via this website:

The Office of the Archives, Archdiocese of New Orleans, can be contacted via one of these methods:
Mail: 7887 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans, Louisiana 70125
T: (504) 861-6241

I've called before to ask about an historical context subject, and reached a knowledgeable woman. I think I'd try calling them first for tips. They know where all the records are stored, etc.

If you don't have luck with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, I'd try the archdiocese for the rest of LA and those for GA. One in GA is Atlanta, of course, and I think the other is Savannah...Baton Rouge is another in LA, but not sure if it covers the everything outside the Archdiocese of New Orleans...

:) I'll do a lil' checking around and let you know if I find anything else helpful.
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