Terry, My genealogy records are in storage.If you want a copy of the will, let me know along with your mailing address and I will send you a copy.
Lafayette James Mast (L.J. Mast) was the son of Reuben Mast and had a brother, William Penn Mast, for whom he wanted his son named.In his will, he clearly states that he is the father of the child naming his given name and his mother's name, and asks that he be renamed for his brother.His will makes it crystal clear that he is the father of this child.William (H./M./Xavier) Mast was my great-grandfather and none of his children or grandchildren, including my mother, was aware of this information until my youngest sister and I found the will in the Nacogdoches County Courthouse. My mother's cousin did quite a bit of research in the Catholic Church and found the baptism certificate.I have been told it was later withdrawn because the parents were not married. The Nacogdoches Church records have been moved to the Houston Diocese.
While L. J. Mast was serving in the Confederate Army, his wife Mary L. (presumed to be Shull) and his daughter also named Mary L. (about one year of age) died.I have not found a death notice, burial information, or anything else to support why they died, but I was told by historians in the area that flu was the most likely cause and that they were probably buried on the L. J. Mast farm.Unfortunately I do not know where that was located.Nacogdoches is the parent county of about six other counties in East Texas.
My great-aunt, Lurline Mast Hudspeth, a sister to my grandmother, did tell me before her death, "When I was in school in Nacogdoches this little Mexican girl came up to me and told me that we were cousins.Her last name was Procella.I told her that I was not kin to any Mexicans."
She said she never mentioned it to her parents and we both wondered how her father, my great-grandfather, would have felt and reacted to her reply.He never discussed his ancestry with his family.When asked about his mother, my aunt said he told them she died when he was young.That may have even been what he was told, because L. J. named a guardian and young Will was legally moved from one guardian to the next. His mother was not dead; she later married John Molandes and I am in touch with one of his descendants.
I know that he was close to at least one Molandes and he was one of his pallbearers at his funeral.