Louisa Addison obtained her certificate of freedom in 1849 in Prince Georges County, Virginia. She and her family husband Benjamin Addison and their five children were recorded on the Federal Census in Newton in 1870. No information has been discovered about Louisa and her family between those dates. The Addison family most likely stayed in Maryland until shortly after the birth of the youngest child, Charles, in 1867.
Information from the 1870 Federal Census for Newton, Massachusetts
House 1571 Family 1652
Addison, Benjamin 48 Gardener/Coachman born Maryland
Addison, Louisa 44 Housekeeper born Maryland
Addison, Margaret 15 At school born Maryland
Addison, Alice 14 At school born Maryland
Addison, Josephine 10 At school born Maryland
Addison, Charles 3 At home born Maryland
House 1571 Family 1653
Riley, Nathaniel 22 Gardener/Coachman born Maryland
Riley, Eliza 22 Housekeeper born Maryland
Riley, Margaret 1 At home born Maryland
Riley, Emma 1 At home born Maryland
Eliza Riley was Louisa's eldest child, born in 1849, the same year the certificate was written. By 180 she was married to Nathaniel Riley and they had twin daughters. Although the census lists the birthplace of the daughters as Maryland, birth records show that they were born in Newton, Massachusetts.
In 1870, the Addisons and the Rileys shared a house on Oak Avenue in West Newton. The Addisons most likely came to the Newton area to join family and friends, some of whom may be in the photograph of the Myrtle Baptist Church congregation at right. In 1870, when the Addisons first appear in Newton census records, about 85 African-Americans made Newton their home and 3,496 lived in Boston. By 1905, the year before Louisa's death, 522 African Americans lived in Newton and the African-American population in Boston had risen to 11,948.
This photograph shows Louisa Magruder Addison's descendants in Newton. It is taken from the Myrtle Baptist Church 125th Anniversary Programme:
Upper left: George Haywood, husband of Gertrude Wilson Haywood, Louisa's granddaughter
Upper right: Alfred Haywood, Louisa's great-grandson
Bottom: Walter, Howard, Alfred, and Arthur Haywood, Louisa's great-great-grandsons
No photographs of Louisa Addison, her husband Benjamin, or their children exist. But thanks to generations of their descendants, who carefully preserved the certificate of freedom, we know something of their lives.
Sheila Sibley, Curator