Richard Jordan Anderson and Anna Montgomery Anderson married November 15, 1838, in the Parish of St. Landry, Louisiana. I have limited information on each of them and most begins at this point in time. This short narrative will be a combination of the data collected on these two ancestors.
Both Richard and Anna are included on three United States Federal Census records, but varying birth places are given. However, using the census records along with information gleaned from other researchers on the internet, I am led to believe that Richard’s birth date was about 1802 in Virginia and Anna’s about 1810 in Georgia. However, I would like to add that this information is definitely not “written in stone.”
Prior to meeting and marrying Richard, Anna was previously married twice, first to Dr. Wilson Keller and then to Richard Fenner. She had one child with each husband, a daughter, Mary Ann Keller, and a son, Edward Fenner.
Richard and Anna lived in the Parish of St. Landry, Louisiana. This area had been part of the territory known as the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Until that time the population makeup had been French, Spaniards, French and Spanish Creoles, Africans and Appalousa (and other Indian tribes). The Andersons were among the many Americans from the South and other parts of the United States who migrated to the area, “marking the arrival of the first large English-speaking population and the introduction of the need for more general use of English.”
There is an online record originally from the Bureau of Land Management, “Louisiana Pre-1908 Homestead and Cash Entry Patents” indicating that Richard Anderson purchased 114 acres of land in Opelousas, Louisiana on October 1, 1845. Opelousas has been the seat of government for the St. Landry Parish since its formation. It is likely the Andersons farmed this land. On the 1850 United States Federal Census, Richard gives his occupation as “planter.”
During the years that the Andersons lived in the Parish of St. Landry, they possibly had six children – Susanne (1839) Milton Victor (1841) Albert Berkley (1843) Mary Adelia (1846) James Newton (1848) and Richard Jordan (1850). Evidently their last son was born after the 1850 United States Federal Census was conducted because he was not recorded that year.
Note: It is interesting to note that there is a Susanne Anderson, age 11, listed on the 1850 United States Federal Census. I have not been able to document that she was, in fact, a daughter of John and Anna.
By the time of the 1860 United States Federal Census the Anderson family had moved to Lavaca County, Texas, where Richard was farming. All of their children except Susanne were living with them and working on the farm. This was the year before the onset of the Civil War so perhaps the community was beginning to hear rumblings of discontent. Undoubtedly, Richard was too old to enlist in the Confederate Army, but there is information that his son Albert was enlisted.
When the 1870 United States Federal Census is taken Richard and Anna Anderson are still living in Lavaca County. Richard’s occupation is shown as “School teacher.” In his book The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch Jim Kuhlman points out that the census record reveals the Anderson’s real estate and property values had dropped considerably since the 1860 census. He felt this was due to the effects of the Civil War, and it is likely Richard had to supplement his income by teaching school. (Kuhlman, 60)
Unfortunately, this is where my information about Richard and Anna ends. Some family researchers think Richard died about 1892, and a few sources give Anna’s date of death as May 17, 1889. In both cases, this is undocumented information. I could not find either of them on the 1880 census records and the 1890 census is not available. Obviously these two ancestors will require further research.
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
Chambers, Patricia McMahan, ” Family Files of Patricia McMahan Chambers,”, Ancestry.com. 2007.
Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.
State of Louisiana, Parish of St. Landry, marriage license no.122.
United States, Bureau of Land Management, Louisiana Land Records [database online], Provo, UT, USA; The Generations Network, Inc. 1997.
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, “Calcasieu Parish,”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcasieu_Parish,_Louisiana
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, “St. Landry Parish.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Landry_Parish,_Louisiana
Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2011
Richard J. Anderson Pedigree Chart (click link) richard-j-anderson-pedigree-chart
Richard J. Anderson Family Group Sheet (click link) Richard J. Anderson FGS – Document