Sunday, January 25, 2015

The History of the Irving Family of Roseland, Louisiana

Dora Curry Irving
When I was a child growing up in Amite, my mother used to take my three brothers and I to Big Zion cemetery in Roseland, Louisiana, to clean the graves of my grandparents. The two wooden building across the road from the cemetery caught my eye. All my life I wanted to know more about those two buildings.

So I decided to knock on somebody door to get some information about the two building. The door that I knocked on was a lady by the name of Sandra Watson Turner. I asked her could she tell me something about those two building. She said I grew up in the two story building and the little house next door was a packing house for produce. I felt like a kid in a toy store! I can't explain how excited I was to talk with someone who had first hand information.

The first thing she told me was about her "Papa Will." She said that her Papa Will and all his brothers were farmers. I searched for them on the census and found Wilbert, his wife and children in the 1940 United States census. Wilbert and Dora had six children; Ora Belle, Lois, Wilbert, Irene, Gloria, Leontine Irving.
Irene Irving Watson Turner

Wilbert parents Lemuel and Susie had eleven children; Wilbert, Alice, Ethel, Lucy, Alma, Ralph, Lemuel, Robert, Tom, Charles Edward & Roscoe Irving. Lemuel was born in 1854 and died on July 18, 1942 in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Lemuel donated the land for Big Zion A.M.E. Church in Roseland, Louisiana.

Lorriane Lizana provided information about the occupations of Lemuel and Susie McKnight Irving descendants. Alice Irving Vernon was a farmer seamstress, Wilbert Irving, Sr., a carpenter, Roscoe was a carpenter, Lucy Irving Collier was a midwife, Alma Irving Wood Perry was a farmer and school teacher.  Lemuel Irving, Jr., a farmer and  factory worker, Ralph Irving, Sr., farmer, was a school bus driver. 

Sandra went on to tell me about her Cherokee grandmother Dora. Dora was a midwife and a natural healer. I asked Sandra if she had a picture of her grandparents, she said yes. I was delighted and anticipated looking at the photograph of the woman who delivered so many baby in the area. She came back with a picture of her grandmother Dora. Sandra recalled how her grandmother Dora healed her and her sibling when they were ill. I wish that someone would have record the knowledge and information Dora knew about natural healing. Irene Irving Watson Turner is Sandra's mother.

When I got home I went straight to "Family Search" to look at the census records to search for Dora's parents. Her parents Peter and Delilia had twelve children; Franklin, Victorine, Katie, Oscar, Soloman, Joe, Samuel, Annie, Richard, Clara, Dora, and Laurence Curry.  Peter was born in Mississippi and Delilia was born in Louisiana. According to the 1900 United States census, Peter was fifty-two and Delilia was thirty-three. Dora was born in 1896 and died in August of 1981 in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana., she is buried in Big Zion Cemetery.