Some Louisiana Erwins

by Rita Lynn Erwin Jackson

According to United States Census records there was a William Erwin born in North Carolina in 1809. I believe this William Erwin to be William Barkley Erwin, the tenth child of Joseph Erwin, Sr. and Catherine Nancy Cowan, who was born January 25, 1809.  He married Evelina Simmons, a daughter of William Simmons and Nancy Pittman, who was born in 1818 in North Carolina. William died in 1837 but his burial place is not known as of this writing. William and Evelina’s children were Nancy Catherine Erwin, born in 1834 in Tennessee, and William Johnson Erwin born November 3, 1837, also in Tennessee.

Evelina Simmons Erwin married (2) William Davidson on December 20, 1838 in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana  where their marriage record can be found. The 1850 Census of that parish shows Evelina Davidson residing at the home of Moses McWaters, a planter in Tunica (West Feliciana), Louisiana. Living in the same household were Maria E. Davidson, nine years old, born in Arkansas and Nancy Catherine Erwin, 16, born in Tennessee. Nancy Catherine married Washington B. White August 9, 1850 in West Feliciana Parish.

The 1850 Census of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana shows William Erwin, age 13, born in Tennessee, residing with John Travasos and his wife. According to the 1860 Census of Iberville Parish, William J. Erwin, age 23, born Tennessee, was living in Rosedale with his grandparents, William and Nancy Simmons. Records from the National Archives in Washington D.C. state that William J. Erwin was a private with Louisiana Infantry, Company C (The Grosse Tete Creoles) from July 2, 1861 to March 1, 1865 during the Civil War. These records also state that he was a cooper by trade and was single.

On January 21, 1867 William Johnson Erwin married Mary Elizabeth Capdeville, a daughter of Damas Capdeville and Frances O’Neal, who was born January 12, 1848. They were married at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. The marriage record states that Mary Elizabeth had to obtain a dispensation to marry William J. Erwin. This probably means that he was not Catholic. Their children were Eva (Evaline) and Edward Roger Erwin.  William J. Erwin died around 1871, but his burial place is not known. Mary Elizabeth then married (2) Harvey Troxell December 18, 1872 in West Feliciana Parish. They had one daughter, Mary Lila Troxell, born in September 1874. She married Edward Hebert. Mary Elizabeth Erwin Troxell died March 15, 1900, and is buried in Our Lady of Prompt Succor Cemetery in White Castle, Louisiana.

Eva (Evaline) Erwin, born Oct 13, 1870, daughter of William J. and Mary Elizabeth Capdeville Erwin, married (1) John Albert Barbay, June 22, 1885, and (2) Willie Wallace Blanchard February 27, 1901 in Iberville Parish. Eva’s child from her marriage to John Albert Barbay was Nellie Barbay. Nellie married (1) Hugh A Marrioneaux on August 25, 1909. One son, Louis A. Marionneaux, was born of this union on December 20, 1909. Louis died March 9, 1957. Nellie then married (2) Marx Kahn, who was born July 5, 1879 in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, on May 3, 1913 in Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Marx Kahn died June 3, 1924, and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish.  From this union there was born one son, Joseph Seth Kahn, on October 25, 1914. Joseph Seth died 20 September 20, 1992 in Georgia. Nellie married (3) Leo A. Schepenns on May 11,  1918, and (4) John Prentiss Lancaster in Iberville Parish on  February 13, 1923.

Eva’s children from her marriage to Willie Wallace Blanchard were Elizabeth Blanchard, Willie Catherine Blanchard and Oliver Erwin “Cotton” Blanchard. Cotton Blanchard was born May 5, 1906, and married (1) Ruby Toups and on November 4, 1933 he married (2) Mattie Hebert. Eva died in 1940 and is buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Plaquemine.

Edward Roger Erwin, Sr., son of William Johnson Erwin. and Mary Elizabeth Capdeville Erwin, was born in September 9, 1872 in Louisiana. He married Victoria Margaret Baist, a daughter of Lewis Baist and Mary Bouvy. She was born October 6, 1880 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish. Victoria’s parents were from Prussia. The children of Edward and Victoria were:Victor Louis Erwin;Jacob Erwin who was born in 1906; Irene Erwin, who married Joseph Martinez; Leona Erwin, who married Louis Porter Danos; Edward Roger Erwin, Jr., who was born January 29, 1912. He married 1936 Gertrude Marie Mire September 8, 1936. She was born April 14, 1914, and was the daughter of Emile Elphege and Rose Marie Serre. Edward Roger Erwin Sr. died May 30 1953, and Victoria August 21,  1953. Both are buried in St. John the Evangelist Cemetery, Plaquemine, Louisiana.

Edward Roger Erwin, Jr. and Gertrude Marie Mire had three children, all born in Plaquemine, Louisiana. They are:

·          Edward Roger Erwin, III, who was born February 7, 1939. He married Sylvia Higgenbotham, September 30, 1940. She was born in September 1940, and was the daughter of  James Fred Higgenbotham and Ellen Marionneaux.

·          Kenneth Wayne Erwin; he wad born January 4, 1940, died April 9, 1970.

·          Rita Lynn Erwin, born December 21 1949. She married (1) Charles Michael Zito November 27, 1969, the son of Ross Giles Zito and Anna Mae Cardinal, and on May 2, 1975 she married (2) Stanley Herman Jackson, Jr., the son of Stanley Herman Jackson Sr. and Lelline Ourso. 


Gertrude Mire Erwin died August 27 1967, and Edward Roger Erwin, Jr. died October 25, 1983. Both are buried in Grace Memorial Cemetery, Plaquemine, Louisiana, along side   their son, Kenneth Wayne Erwin.

The children of Edward R. Erwin, III and Sylvia Higgenbotham are:  

·           Kenneth Mark Erwin, born January 6, 1959. He married Marla Jane Swihart  April 4, 1981. They have two sons: Adrian Mark born March 16, 1982, and Corey Edward born November 11, 1983

·          Jacqueline Marie Erwin, born January 28, 1960. She married Barry Moran. They have two children: Chad Michael Moran, born July 31, 1979, and Hali Moran, born August 18, 1981. Jacqueline then divorced and married Ronnie Fousse.

·          Melonie Elizabeth Erwin, born August 14, 1962. She married James Bayham. They have two daughters: Sommer, born August 13, 1979, and Brooke, born August 3, 1988.


The only child of Rita Lynn Erwin and Charles Michael Zito is Lauren Marie Zito, born November 30, 1972. She married Robert Louis Palermo June 13, 1998 at the Faculty Club on the Louisiana State University Campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They were divorced in May 2003 and no children were born of this union.


Sources: William J. Erwin’s birth date came from Bible records in the possession of Bernice Kahn, Lawrenceville, GA.  1850 & 1860 Census of Iberville, West Feliciana, Avoyelles Parishes; Iberville Parish Records, Vols I & II, Judy Riffle; Iberville Parish Cemeteries, Judy Rifle; Court House Records of Iberville, West Feliciana Parish; Department of Archives, Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records.