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My 3rd ggm Alice Brumfield-Gartley : Slave of Charles “Charlie” Brumfield

I had learned through a DNA matched cousin that the father of my 3rd great grandmother Alice Brumfield (b. 1857/1858 in Dover, Yazoo County, Mississippi) is his great uncle Oscar Hope Brumfield (b. 1841 in Dover, d. 1922 at the Jefferson Davis Beauvoir Soldier’s Home on Beach Road in Biloxi, Harrison Cty, MS).  Oscar’s father Charles “Charlie” Brumfield (b. 1796, d. 1870) and mother Harriet Knight (b. 1804, d. 1870) owned a plantation in Dover and had many slaves.

My Brumfield cousin’s father told him a story that when he was a boy, he was at a store in town talking to the store owner.  He saw a young mulatto woman walking and asked the store owner who it was.  The store owner told him, “That’s your uncle Oscar’s daughter Alice Brumfield.”  Oscar, the son of the plantation owner, fathered a child with one of his father’s slave women when he was 16 years old.  The child was my 3rd ggm Alice.

I found recently, with the help of members of a genealogy group, a copy of an 1865 inventory of the slaves owned by Charles “Charlie” Brumfield, that listed all of the names of his slaves.  On this inventory is my 3rd ggm Alice at the age of 8.  In this list, there are only 4 slave women that would have been an age to have possibly been Alice’s mother.  I will be travelling to Mississippi again soon to conduct further research.  I do hope, however, that someone might have information about specifically the following :

  • Oscar Hope Brumfield (b. 1841 in Dover, d. 1922 in Biloxi) fathering a child with one of his father’s slave women when he was about 16 years old
  • A slave owned by Charles “Charlie” Brumfield named Peggy/Peggie (b. abt 1823), who could potentially be the mother of my 3rd ggm Alice
  • A slave owned by Charles “Charlie” Brumfield named Charlotte (b. abt 1826), who could potentially be the mother of my 3rd ggm Alice
  • A slave owned by Charles “Charlie” Brumfield named Margaret (b. abt 1836), who could potentially be the mother of my 3rd ggm Alice
  • A slave owned by Charles “Charlie” Brumfield named Cinda (b. abt 1843), who could potentially be the mother of my 3rd ggm Alice, and was closest in age to Alice’s father Oscar Hope Brumfield

 

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Do You Have a Legacy Plan for Your DNA? by The DNA Geek

Interesting article by The DNA Geek, suggesting designating a beneficiary of your DNA, as well as the importance of acquiring the DNA of your relatives.

http://thednageek.com/do-you-have-a-legacy-plan-for-your-dna/

 

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The Living Dead – A Historical African American Autobiography

Authored by John Willis Berry Jr.
Edited by Kimberly Berry 


This edited and annotated book, originally written by my grandfather in 1968, was claimed by him as the memoirs of his life from growing up in the deep south Mississippi in the 1920s to 1940s, to his experience leaving Mississippi to pursue a new life in Detroit, and later moving his family to Ohio. He metaphorically and poetically interprets the birth and death of his spirit and how he came to know God. His beautifully written prose reflects the turmoil in his soul from his struggle with being a light-skinned black child in the south, his grappling with gender roles and the meaning of manhood, his spiritual conflict with the morality of mankind, his understanding of religion, and his inner rationalizations for his menacing and murderous tendencies.  Considered a work of African American history and held in historical collections by major universities and historical societies, offered in the 1960s to be made into a major motion picture if he would agree to call it fiction, but he refused, insisting it was truth in its entirety, much of the story is written in the style of classical literature. I am astonished by the vision and depth of his writing. Truly a moving, yet troubling, piece of literature.

BUY IT IN PRINT for $14.99 at : https://www.createspace.com/7584111

BUY IT ON KINDLE for $9.99 at : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075YCKTFC

 

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FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event

FamilySearch.org has announced their annual worldwide indexing event to take place October 20-22, 2017.

Join tens of thousands of volunteers worldwide, and you’ll have 72 hours to index as few or as many batches of records as you want.

For more information and to sign up, visit https://www.familysearch.org/IndexingEvent2017

Also, the FamilySearch RootsTech 2018 conference has now been scheduled for February 28 – March 03, 2018 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  For more information and to register, visit http://www.feedspot.com/?dadi=1#feed/fof_fo_862842__f_1103545/article/4213776912?dd=431151752615956

 

A featured recommendation by GenealogyBank.com!  Rated 4 out of 4 stars by and currently featured on the home page of OnlineBookClub.org!  Received a glowing review from Kirkus, the most authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years!  GET A COPY OF AUTHOR KIMBERLY BERRY’S BOOK, “All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research” at Amazon’s CreateSpace e-Store BY CLICKING HERE.

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Civil War Prisons

During the Civil War, captured soldiers were originally being held in barns and warehouses.  As the war progressed, camps were converted into prisons, some were constructed, and some previously existing federal prisons were converted.  According to the National Park Service, there was over 150 military prisons, the largest of which was Camp Sumter in Andersonville, Georgia where 45,000 Union soldiers were held. Throughout the course of the war, there were 194,732 Union soldiers held in Confederate prisons, and 220,000 Confederate soldiers held in Union prisons.  Approximately 56,000 died while in prison from starvation, injuries and rampant diseases.  

Learning more about Civil War prisons can help lead you to more information about your ancestors.  Some northern prisons holding Confederate soldiers were even guarded by former slaves.  

A collection of images, lists, and registers in 429 volumes of Confederate Prisoners of War records can be searched for FREE through FamilySearch at https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://www.familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/1916234/waypoints

U.S. Civil War Prisoners of War Records can be searched, for a fee, through Ancestry.com at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1124

Following is a list of some Civil War prison locations and websites where you can find more information.  Most of the following websites do not offer prison rosters.  But you can contact the site directors by phone or e-mail to request information.

Alabama, Cahaba (Union prisoners) – Cahaba/Cahawba Prison, http://cahawba.com/cahaba-federal-prison/

Delaware, Pea Patch Island (Confederate and Union prisoners) – Fort Delaware, http://www.destateparks.com/park/fort-delaware/civil-war/index.asp

Florida, Gulf Breeze, Santa Rosa Island (Confederate prisoners) – Fort Pickens, https://www.recreation.gov/camping/fort-pickens-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=97219

Florida, Key West, Garden Key (Confederate and Union prisoners) – Fort Jefferson/”Devil’s Island”, https://www.nps.gov/drto/learn/historyculture/fort-jefferson.htm

Georgia, Andersonville (Union prisoners) – Camp Sumter/Andersonville Prison Camp, https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-prisoners.htm

Georgia, Atlanta (Union prisoners) – Fulton County Jail, http://www.fultonsheriff.org/county-jail.html

Georgia, Blackshear (Union prisoners) – Blackshear Prison, http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/506-blackshear-civil-war-prison-camp

Georgia, Cockspur Island (Union prisoners) – Fort Pulaski, https://www.nps.gov/fopu/learn/historyculture/the-immortal-six-hundred.htm

Georgia, Macon (Union prisoners) – Fort Oglethorpe Prison, https://fortogov.com/

Georgia, Millen (Union prisoners) – Camp Lawton, http://gastateparks.org/MagnoliaSprings/

Georgia, Thomasville (Union prisoners) – Thomasville Prison, http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/thomasvilleprison.html

Illinois, Alton (Confederate prisoners) – Alton Military Prison, http://www.altonweb.com/history/civilwar/confed/#search

Illinois, Chicago (Confederate prisoners) – Camp Douglas, http://www.campdouglas.org/

Illinois, island between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa (Confederate prisoners) – Rock Island Prison/Arsenal Island, http://www.arsenalhistoricalsociety.org/museum/

Illinois, Springfield (Confederate prisoners) – Camp Butler, https://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/campbutler.asp

Indiana, Indianapolis (Confederate prisoners) – Camp Morton, https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/indiana/crown_hill_confederate_plot.html

Kentucky, Lexington (Confederate prisoners) – Camp Nelson, https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/lexington/civilwar.htm

Maryland, Baltimore (Confederate prisoners) – Fort McHenry, https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-prisoners.htm

Maryland, St. Mary’s County (Confederate prisoners) – Point Lookout Prison/Camp Hoffman, https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/maryland/point_lookout_confederate_cemetery.html

Massachusetts, Boston, Georges Island (Confederate prisoners) – Fort Warren, http://archive.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/outdoors/articles/2009/09/20/georges_island_peace_and_play_on_a_war_footing/

Mississippi, Ship Island (Confederate prisoners) – Fort Massachusetts, https://www.nps.gov/guis/learn/historyculture/fort-massachusetts.htm

Missouri, St. Louis (Confederate prisoners) – Gratiot Street Prison, http://www.civilwarstlouis.com/Gratiot/List.htm

New York, Bedloe’s Island/Liberty Island (Confederate prisoners) – Fort Wood, https://www.nps.gov/places/fort-wood-fort-gibson.htm

New York, David’s Island (Confederate prisoners) – Fort Slocum, www.nps.gov/cwdw/learn/historyculture/fort-slocum.htm

New York, Elmira (Confederate prisoners) – Elmira Prison, http://www.elmiraprisoncamp.com/

New York, Governor’s Island (Confederate prisoners) – Fort Jay/Fort Columbus/Castle Williams, https://www.nps.gov/gois/index.htm

North Carolina, Salisbury (Confederate prisoners) – Salisbury Prison, http://www.salisburyprison.org/PrisonHistory.htm

Ohio, Columbus (Confederate prisoners) – Camp Chase, https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/lots/campchase.asp#gi

Ohio, Columbus (Confederate prisoners) – Ohio Penitentiary, http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Ohio_Penitentiary

Ohio, Sandusky (Confederate prisoners) – Johnson’s Island, http://www.johnsons-island.org/

South Carolina, Charleston Harbor (Union prisoners) – Castle Pinckney, https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2009/10/pruning-parks-castle-pinckney-national-monument-1933-19564731

South Carolina, Columbia (Union prisoners) – Castle Sorghum, http://discoversouthcarolina.com/products/27152

South Carolina, Florence County (Union prisoners) – Florence Stockade Camp, http://discoversouthcarolina.com/products/26656

Texas, Tyler (Union prisoners) – Camp Ford, http://campford.us/about-us-2/

Virginia, Belle Isle (Union prisoners) – Belle Isle, http://www.mdgorman.com/Prisons/belle_isle_prison.htm

Virginia, Danville (Union prisoners) – Danville Prison, http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/danvilleprison.html

Virginia, Hampton (Confederate prisoners) – Fortress Monroe, http://www.fmauthority.com/about/fort-monroe/history/

Virginia, Richmond (Confederate prisoners) – Castle Thunder, https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Castle_Thunder_Prison

Virginia, Richmond (Union prisoners) – Libby Prison, https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Libby_Prison

Washington, D.C. (Confederate prisoners) – Old Capitol Prison, http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/washington/other-government-buildings/government-buildings-old-capitol-prison/

Wisconsin, Madison (Confederate prisoners) – Camp Randall, http://www.historicmadison.org/Madison%27s%20Past/connectingwithourpast/camprandallprisoncamp.html

 

 

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Where Were Some Of the Slave Auctions?

When a slave ship was known to be soon arriving, slave auctions would be advertised and announced in newspapers and flyers that were posted around town.  Upon arriving to the Americas, slave ships would dock at various ports to take the slaves to auction.  To prepare for what was either a “scramble auction”, a “grab and go auction” or a “bidding auction”, the traders would wash, shave, sometimes cover the skin of slaves with tar, grease or oil to cover injuries and sores to make the slaves look more healthy in order to fetch a higher price, and occasionally dress them in cheap suits or dresses.  The slaves would then be taken from the ships, sometimes chained, and jailed in pens.  At a scramble auction, buyers would just grab the slaves they wanted and take them.  At a grab-and-go auction, buyers would purchase a ticket from the trader, and upon a drum roll, the pen holding the slaves would be opened and buyers would run in and grab the slaves they wanted.  At scramble and grab-and-go auctions, fights often broke out, which sometimes resulted in gunfire.  At bidding auctions, as the auction proceeded, either individual or small groups of slaves would be brought from the pens to stand high on a platform where bidders could see them more easily.  Bidders were given the opportunity to inspect the slaves, who were poked, forced to open their mouths, forced to remove pieces of clothing, etc.  The slaves were sometimes paraded and even made to dance.  On occasion, families would be kept together, but often they were separated and sold to various owners from all over the northeast and the south.  At the conclusion of the bidding auction, buyers would line up to pay for their slaves and would brand them with their initials.  It wasn’t uncommon that when families were being separated, they would attempt to fight the traders and new slave owners.  But when they did, they would be savagely beaten and whipped right there at auction, then dragged away from each other.

Following is a list of some of the major historical slave ports and auction sites that researchers can investigate further in local court probate records, newspapers, local archives, and historical societies to perhaps find more information on the whereabouts of their slave ancestors.

  • Alabama : Beginning in 1808, slaves were brought to a port in Mobile, Alabama.  The Mobile slave market, a three-story holding facility, was located at the corner of St Louis Street and North Royal Street.  By 1819, slaves accounted for more than 30% of the population of Alabama.  By 1861, Montgomery, Alabama is said to have had more slave depots than it did churches or schools.  In Montgomery, the slave import site was a dock next to the train station near Riverfront Park. Throughout the city there were numerous slave pens, warehouses and 4 depots.  A very large warehouse owned by John Murphy was at 122 Commerce Street.  Three of the four depots (owned by Mason Harwell, S.N. Brown, and E. Barnard & Co) were on Market Street (now Dexter Avenue) between Lawrence and McDonough.  The fourth depot, owned by Thomas L. Frazer, was opened on Market Street in 1864.  The large market was held at the Artesian Basin (Court Square) at the corner of Dexter Avenue and S. Court Street.
  • Arkansas : The first slaves in Arkansas are thought to have been brought there around 1720.  The state’s largest slave owner was Elisha Worthington of Chicot County.  The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture lists the number of Arkansas slaves by county and by year in 1840, 1850 and 1860 (http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=1275).  Most of the slaves in Arkansas were transported in from slave auctions in other states, primarily from New Orleans and Memphis.
  • Connecticut : In “A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa: But Resident above Sixy Years in the United States of America, Related by Himself”, Venture Smith, who was captured at the age of 6 from Ghana, wrote in his autobiography that he believes he was one of the first Africans to be sold into slavery in Connecticut in 1638.  Many of the slaves brought into Connecticut were sold at the “Old State House”, located at 800 Main Street in Hartford.  Often, advertisements for the auctions can be found in The Connecticut Courant newspaper.
  • Delaware : The first known African slave in Delaware is said to have been named Anthony who was brought there in 1639.  The major slave auction site in Delaware was in Dover.  Much of the Delaware slave trade was tied to the ports of Rhode Island.  One notable Delaware slave trader was Lucretia Patricia “Patty” Hanly.  Patty Cannon was a member of the “Cannon-Johnson Gang”, a group of illegal slave traders that kidnapped free blacks and fugitive slaves in the north, then sold them into slavery in the south.  Patty was married to Jesse Cannon and they lived at what was called Johnson’s Crossroads, at the border of Sussex County Delaware, and Caroline and Dorchester counties of Maryland.  One of Cannon’s daughters twice married men that were also involved in this activity.  Her first husband, Henry Brereton, was captured and hanged.  Her second husband was Joe Johnson.
  • Florida : As early as 1687, the Spanish government began to offer asylum to slaves that escaped the British colonies.  In 1693, the Spanish Crown proclaimed that runaways could find refuge in Spanish Florida if they agreed to convert to Catholicism, and the men agreed to 4 years of military service for the Spanish Crown.  If they did, they would be freed by the Spanish.  Most of these former slaves that found asylum in Florida then lived in a free black settlement in an area called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (now a historic landmark called Fort Mose Historic State Park) in St. Johns County near St. Augustine, established in 1738 by the Spanish Governor of Florida, Manuel de Montiano.  Many of the inhabitants spoke Portuguese.  In 1740, the fort was raided and destroyed by James Oglethorpe, a leader of British forces from Georgia, and some of the inhabitants were murdered.  But many of those that escaped settled in St. Augustine, and a new Fort Mose was built there by the Spanish in 1752.  Some of the escaped former slaves also sought refuge by living among the Creek and Seminole Native Americans who had settlements in Florida.  After the First Seminole War (1814-1819), the United States took control of Florida, and in 1820, the Spanish Crown ceded the territory to the United States.  By 1822, slavery was allowed in Florida.  Many of the free blacks that had settled there fled to Havana, Cuba.  But many of those were recaptured by the Americans and brought back to the United States to be resold into slavery.  Florida became a slave state in 1845, and cotton plantations began popping up in the northern portions of the state.  By 1860, over 40% of Florida’s population was enslaved Africans.  An open-air pavilion, what is called the “Old Slave Market”, was erected at the Plaza de la Constitución in the town square, located at 170-186 St. George Street, St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Georgia : The largest sale of slaves in the history of the United States was on March 2nd and 3rd, 1859 at the Ten Broeck Race Course in Savannah, Georgia.  436 of who had been slaves of Pierce M. Butler, a Georgia plantation owner who was deeply in debt, were brought by railway and steamboat to the racetrack for sale.  The sale of these 436 people proceeded here for two days, where it rained throughout the course of the auction, and came to be known as “the weeping time”.  The largest slave market in Georgia for many years, however, was the Slave Market House in Louisville, Georgia, which was built in 1758.
  • Kentucky : Kentucky slave auctions were held primarily in Lexington, and were typically held on court days near the Fayette County Courthouse on the public square on Cheapside Street at the Cheapside Auction Block, and at the court house on Main Street and Third.  One large Lexington trader was named William F. Talbott.  Other large slave auctions were held in Louisville and in Fredericksburg.
  • Louisiana : The slave port of New Orleans, Louisiana was founded in 1718, and was regulated in 1724 y Louis XIV of France’s “Code Noir”.  A large number of slaves sold in New Orleans were auctioned in the rotunda of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel at 621 St. Louis Street.  Many slaves were sold at the Banks’ Arcade (now the location of the St. James Hotel, next door to the grand Board of Trade Plaza) on Magazine Street.  From about 1808, New Orleans was considered the largest slave market in America.  In 1829, it became illegal to house slaves in the French Quarter, so pens began to be established around the city.  One of these pens was located at what is now a residential home at the corner of Chartres Street and Esplanade Avenue.  One was the Maspero’s Exchange on the West Bank of the Mississippi River in Algiers Point, now the site of the Old St. Louis Hotel (also called the City Exchange Hotel), across the street from Maspero’s Restaurant.  But there were an estimated about 52 locations in New Orleans where slaves were sold.
  • Maryland : The institution of slavery existed in Maryland from the state’s inception in 1634.  It is said that by 1835, there were at least twelve slave auctions established in Baltimore, Maryland, with the largest dealer being a man named Hope H. Slatter, who would advertise his auctions in the Baltimore Republican, Commercial Advertiser, and The Sun newspapers.  Many slave auctions were held at harborside storefronts along Pratt and adjacent streets.  One large auction was held at the Lexington Market on Lexington Street, between Eutaw and Greene Streets on the west side of Baltimore.  The Power Plant Live Plaza (once the Marsh Market Space, or Center Market) was a large slave auction market bordered by Gay Street on the west, Pratt Street on the south, Baltimore Street (aka Market Street) on the north, and Jones Falls on the east.  Slaves for sale would be paraded along a route from Pratt Street to Fells Point.  One of the slave pens was a large brick building with barred windows at the corner of Pratt and Howard Street.  Often slaves that weren’t sold in Baltimore were boarded on ships there to be taken to auction in New Orleans.  Other Maryland slave markets were held where the Kunta Kinte – Alex Haley Memorial stands at the City Dock, and in Hagerstown.  A substantial amount of information about the history of slavery in Maryland can be found in an article entitled “A Guide to the History of Slavery in Maryland” published by the Maryland State Archives of Annapolis and the University of Maryland College Park that can be downloaded by clicking https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjux5-Gja3WAhVj0YMKHTirB30QFggoMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmsa.maryland.gov%2Fmsa%2Fintromsa%2Fpdf%2Fslavery_pamphlet.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEK228LQnq00VqnESf4Pzzv1wB9eA
  • Massachusetts : The first slaves in Massachusetts were recorded in 1638.  It is said that the largest slaveholders in Massachusetts was the family of Isaac Royall, Sr., who owned the Royall House and Slave Quarters at 15 George Street in Medford (now a national historic landmark and museum).  Most of the Massachusetts slave trade took place in Boston.  One large slave market in Boston was at Merchants Row, a short street running from State Street to Faneuil Hall Square in the Financial District, near Long Wharf and Dock Square.  Some other auctions were held in Salem and Newburyport.
  • Mississippi : By far, the largest slave markets in Mississippi were held in Natchez.  Although some smaller markets were also held in Aberdeen, Crystal Springs, Vicksburg, Woodville and Jackson.  Natchez’s slave markets were held primarily at “Forks of the Road”, located at 232 St. Catherine Street.
  • Missouri : The first African slaves are said to have been brought to Missouri by Philippe Renault, who acquired many of his slaves from Haiti, in 1719.  Most of the slaves brought to Missouri spoke French.  St. Louis was the largest slave market in Missouri.  Slaves were often sold on the steps of the old St. Louis courthouse (at 11 N. 4th Street) and at the St. Louis Slave Market on the riverfront.  Other slave pens included the Lynch’s Slave Pen (owned by Bernard M. Lynch and located on the south side of Locust Street, east of Fourth Street, but later moved to Fifth Street, which is now Broadway, near the corner of Spruce Street), the pen owned by Bolton, Dickens and Company (at 52 Second Street), the Thompson’s Slave Pen (owned by Corbin Thompson, located near the county jail), and a pen at 57 South Fifth Street, whose owner “specialized in the sale of children ages 5-16”.  One of the auctioneer companies in St. Louis was Austin & Savage.  One other location is thought to be at what is called “Slave Rock” (renamed “Graham Rock” or “Picnic Rock”), which is located between the lanes of I-70, about two miles west of the Danville interchange.
  • New Jersey : Many of the slave auctions in New Jersey were held on the docks in Camden, where slave ships would dock at Cooper’s Ferry.  A good source of information about the slave auctions in Camden is the Camden County Historical Society, which is located in what was once Pomona Hall at 1900 Park Blvd.
  • New York : It is said that the first actual chattel slave auction held in America was in New Amsterdam (later New York), a town on Manhattan Island within the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1655.  However, slavery was introduced here in 1625.  New York had what was called the “Wall Street Slave Market”, once located on the East River waterfront, at the corner of Wall and Pearl Streets, which operated from 1711 to 1762.
  • North Carolina : Built in 1832, a large slave market house in North Carolina was called the “Fayetteville’s Market House”, located in Market Square in downtown Fayetteville at the center of the junction of Green, Person, Gillespie and Hay Streets.
  • Pennsylvania : The largest center of slave trade in Pennsylvania was in Philadelphia.  Most of the slaves brought into Philadelphia were from West Africa, but were brought there via the Caribbean.  Slaves were brought into Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River Waterfront.  Originally, the major location of the auctions was the London Coffee House, which was located at the corner of Front Street and High Street but was torn down in 1883.  In the early 1770s, merchants built a new Merchant’s Coffee House (also called City Tavern) and moved their activity there.  The City Tavern operates as a restaurant today and is located at 138 South 2nd Street, at Walnut Street.
  • Rhode Island : Importation of slaves into Rhode Island is said to have began in 1652.  Between 1769 to 1820, the DeWolf family of Bristol, Rhode Island were the leading slave traders in America.  The two major slave markets in Rhode Island were located in Bristol and Newport.  In the 1700s, Newport was one of the largest slave trading centers in America, along with Boston, New York and Philadelphia.
  • South Carolina : One of the first major slave auctions in the Carolinas was at Charles Town (Charleston) in 1670.  Prior to 1856, the public auctions of Charleston took place in the Exchange Building (now the “Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon” or “Custom House”), located at 122 E. Bay Street.  Later, the slave trades of Charleston moved to markets along Chalmers, Queen and State Streets.  Ryan’s Mart (built by Thomas Ryan, also called the “Old Slave Mart”) was one slave jail and auction site, and is located at 6 Chalmers Street in Charleston.
  • Tennessee : Slave markets were highly prominent in Tennessee and existed in nearly every town.  However, the largest permanent slave market was located in Memphis.  Another slave market was located in Clarksville, and there were four in Market Square in Nashville, one off of College Street (3rd Avenue North), and one on Cedar Street.  One of the most prominent Tennessee slave traders was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who owned the Forrest Trading Center of Memphis, and was Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.  One of the leading slave trading companies from the late 1820s to the late 1830s was Franklin & Armfield, owned by Isaac Franklin and his nephew John Armfield of Tennessee, who bought most of their slaves in Virginia but then sold them mainly in Nashville or Gallatin, Tennessee (but also shipped them down the Mississippi River into Jackson and Natchez, Mississippi).  A couple of large Tennessee business owners that purchased slaves for labor included Montgomery Bell (who used slaves to operate his furnace companies), and Thomas Yeatman and his partners (who owned the Cumberland River Iron Works).  Another large buyer of slave labor was the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad Company.
  • Texas : Galveston, Texas is considered to have held the largest slave market west of New Orleans.  Cuba was a primary source of slaves for Texas colonists.  A great many slaves were brought to Galveston by Jean Lafitte over the course of several years.  Some other slave smugglers in the area were the brothers John, Resin and James Bowie.  Other prominent Texas traders included James Walker Fannin, Monroe Edwards, Thomas McKinney, and the McNeil brothers.
  • Virginia : The first Africans said to be brought to the new colonial America were on a Dutch ship, and were taken to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.  They were not brought as chattel slaves, but as indentured servants.  It is said that the first African to be forced into slavery, rather than indentured servitude, in Virginia was John Punch in 1640.  From 1830 to 1865, Richmond was second only to New Orleans in the slave trade.  From 1861 to 1865, Shockoe Bottom, an eight-block area of Richmond (located just east of downtown, along the James River, between Shockoe Hill and Church Hill), was the second largest slave trading market in America, where it is estimated that over three hundred thousand slaves were sold.  Shockoe Bottom is the location of Goodwin’s slave jail, referenced in “Twelve Years a Slave”, where Solomon Northup was held in 1841.  Lumpkin’s jail (owned by Robert Lumpkin, also known as “the Devil’s half acre”) was another slave holding facility in Shockoe Bottom, located on Wall Street, only three blocks from today’s capitol building.
  • West Virginia : West Virginia’s primary slave market was in Wheeling, held on a wooden platform auction block in the northwest corner of the Second Ward market house, where the city scales are now located.

 

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My 3rd Gr-Grandmother’s Slave Owner / Father’s Will

After my last post about having created a map of the landowners in Yazoo County, Mississippi in the 1800s that have the surnames in my family (http://blackgenealogyblog.com/2017/09/12/my-mississippi-slave-owner-family-surname-map), my next research step was to look through wills and probate records.  So I spent some time combing through some Yazoo County Chancery Court books to see if I could find something about these specific landowners that have our family names…and I FOUND A COPY OF THE WILL OF THE PERSON THAT WAS THE WHITE OWNER (AND FATHER) OF MY 3RD GREAT GRANDMOTHER MARIAH BERRY (mother of my 2nd gr-grandfather Jim Berry)!

This landowner’s name was Ephraim Guice.  Ephraim was born about 1798 in Mississippi.  On the 1830 U.S. Federal Census I found that he was living in Warren, Mississippi along with a white female between the ages of 20-29 and two white females under the age of 5.  The 1830 census also shows him owning 1 male slave age 55-99, 1 female slave age 36-54, 1 male slave age 24-35, and 1 male slave under age 10.  I had already searched the land ownership maps and found that Ephraim Guice purchased a great deal of land in Yazoo County, Mississippi on 21 September 1835.  The large plots of land he purchased were just to the south of the huge plantations owned by Young Berry (who patented his land on the same day as Ephraim Guice in 1835).

By 1840, the U.S. Federal Census shows Ephraim Guice living with a white female between the ages of 30-39 (assuming the same female, probably his wife, that was living with him in 1830), a white male age 30-39, a white male age 20-29, a white female age 20-29, two white females ages 10-14 (assuming the same two little girls, probably his daughters, that were living with him in 1830), a white female age 5-9, and a white female under age 5. The 1840 census also shows him owning 3 male slaves age 24-35, 1 male slave age 10-23, 6 female slaves age 10-23, 2 male slaves under age 10, and 2 female slaves under age 10.  The census shows that 11 of the residents were employed in agriculture (I did then search the Federal Non-Population Agricultural Schedules but didn’t find anything for Ephraim).

My 3rd great grandmother’s name was Mariah Guice (her birth name was Aida and it was changed to Mariah).  Mariah (my 2nd gr-grandfather Jim Berry’s mother) was born in about 1841.

By 1850, the U.S. Federal Census shows Ephraim Guice (now age 52) living with Augusta Guice (age 12) and Alexander J. Guice (age 10) in Yazoo County, Mississippi.  Ephraim’s occupation was planter.  On this census taken on 12 October 1850, Ephraim’s dwelling number was 295.  I scrolled through a few more pages of the census and found that Charles Brumfield (my 3rd gr-grandmother Coya Alice Brumfield’s possible father) was living at dwelling number 303 (only 8 dwellings away).  I also found that William Gartley (the possible owner of my 3rd gr-grandmother Coya Alice Brumfield’s husband Wallace Walter Gartley) was at dwelling number 305.

Ephraim’s will that I found in the Mississippi Wills & Probate records was dated 19 August 1854 and read as follows…”In the name of ‘God Amen’ I Ephraim Guice of Yazoo County State of Mississippi, considering the uncertainty of life, and being sound in mind and memory, do make publish and ordain this my last Will & Testament revoking all and any other testamentary provisions or depositions by me heretofore made.  It is my will that all my property, both real and personal, (except such personal property as shall be named in the following bequests) shall be sold as follows Viz, the personal property on a credit of twelve months and the real estate on equal payments of one and two years and that all my legal debts be paid out of the proceeds of said sale and the proceeds arising from the sale of my personal growing crop.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Margaret Elizabeth Russell, my negro boy named George, about 13 or 14 years of age and my negro girl named Jane about 4 or 5 years of age.  I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Cynthia Amanda Ferris MY NEGRO GIRL NAMED MARIAH ABOUT 13 YEARS OF AGE and my negro boy named Robert or Bob about six years of age.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Augusta Marian Amelia Guice, a certain mulatto girl named Betty, said about 11 years, and a certain boy named Henry aged about 9 years; and I do further give her the sum of one thousand dollars to be paid from the sale of my property as here in before stated, after the payment of all my debts.  I give and bequeath unto my son Alexander James Guice, a certain mullatto boy named Jim or James, aged about 17 years; and I do further give him a negro girl named Lucy aged about 13 years, and one thousand dollars to be paid him from the sale of property herein before mentioned.  Should such sum remain after the payment of my debts, it is further my will that the profits arising from the labour or hire of the said Negroes bequeathed to the said Augusta Marion Amanda & Alexander James Guice, be shared between them, share and share alike, for and during the period of five years from the date of this will, and that each of said last named children shall have a Bedslead, Bed & Mattrass together with all the bed clothing in the house, already marked and claimed by them, the Bedsleads to be the best in the House.  It is further my Will, that should there be a surplus remaining from the sale of property as herein before stated after the payment of my debts & the bequests mentioned, that such residue or surplus be divided amongst my said four children, share and share alike.  It is further my will, that a certain Note executed by me and held by the Estate of Sion Mobley due a shall be paid not withstanding it may now be barred by the statute of limitation.  I nominate and appoint my son in law William D. Ferris sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament.  And lastly, now that my temporal concerns are settled I resign my body to the ground and my soul to God who gave it.  Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life he that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live.  In testimony, whereof I hereto set my name and seal the 19th day of August A D 1854.  Ephraim Guice…Signed sealed and published by the Testator as & for his last Will & Testament, in our presence, at his request, and in the presence of each other, and so by us witnessed, on this day of the date thereof.  R. F. Johnson, B. L. Flowers, E. Winecoff?, E. Wasson…The State of Mississippi…Personally appeared in open court Yazoo County…R. F. Johnson and B. L. Flowers […] being witnesses to the annexed instrument of writing, who being first duly sworn depose and say that tho said Ephraim Guice signed, published and declared the said instrument of writing to be his last Will and Testament on the day of tho date of said instrument in the presence of these deponants & in the presence of E. Wincoff & Eli […] Wasson the other subscribing witnesses to said instrument, that said Testator was then of sound and disposing mind and memory and more than twenty one years of age, that these deponants subscribed said instrument as witnesses to the signature and publication thereof, at the bequest and in the presence of said Testator, and in the presence of each other, and in the presence of the other subscribing witnesses…Sworn to & Subscribed in open Court this the 25 day of Sept 1854, Wm H. Bell Clk, By Jm Hollingsworth DC…[signatures R F Johnson, B L Flowers]…The State of Mississippi…Yazoo County…Personally appeared in open Court Elihu Wasson? one of the subscribing witnesses to the annexed instrument of writing, who being first duly sworn deposeth and saith, that tho said Ephraim Guice signed published and declared the said instrument to be his last Will and Testament, on the day of the date of said instrument in the presence of deponant and in the presence of the other subscribing witnesses to said instrument, that said Testator was then of sound and disposing mind and memory and more than twenty one years of age, that this deponant subscribed said instrument as a witness to the signature publication whereof, at the request and in the presence of said Testator and in the presence of each other and in the presence of the other subscribing witnesses thereto.  …Sworn to & Subscribed in open Court this 26th Sept 1854, WH Bell Clr, By Jm Hollingsworth DC…[signature E. Wasson]

IN SUMMARY, by starting with plotting a surname map of the last names in my family for landowners in Yazoo County, Mississippi, this led me to searching Mississippi Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Federal Census Records, State and Territorial Census Records, Non-Population Agricultural Schedules, Land Patents, and ultimately Wills and Probate Records.  And after scouring through hundreds and hundreds of hand-written wills, I found a copy of the will of Ephraim Guice, which named my 3rd great grandmother Mariah Guice as his slave that he left upon his death to his daughter Cynthia Amanda Ferris.  NEXT STEP…finding Cynthia and figuring out what happened to grandma Mariah!  Her son Jim Berry (my 2nd gr-grandfather) was born around 1864, so I’m hoping this will help me figure out specifically when and where.  By 1870 (as reflected in the U.S. Federal Census) Jim was living with his mother Mariah and with a man (believed to be his father) named Peter Berry, along with three other children.  On the 1870 census, it says that his mother Mariah was actually born in Florida.  The Peter Berry living with her was said to have been born in South Carolina.  So I’ll be working backward to try and figure out exactly how Mariah got from Florida to Yazoo County (where she was owned by Ephraim Guice), and moving forward to figure out where she went when she was left to Ephraim’s daughter Cynthia, then hopefully learning exactly where my 2nd gr-grandpa Jim was born.  Another note on 2nd gr-grandpa Jim is that historically the law stated that children born inherited the slave status of the MOTHER, regardless of whether or not the father was free.  So it will be interesting also to learn whether Mariah was still a slave of Cynthia when Jim was born.  If so, this would indicate that he was in fact born into slavery.  Family stories indicate that Mariah may have been taken for a time to North Carolina.  So I think I’ll start my search there.  Wish me luck!

 

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My Mississippi Slave Owner Family Surname Map

When I was travelling in Mississippi, I spent a great deal of time in the county archives offices going through copies of maps, deeds, etc. I have also purchased quite a few books over time related to Yazoo County. So the last few days I’ve been going through a couple of books that I have and comparing them to my notes I took while in MS, to various vital record copies/census records that I have found or purchased, and some things I was looking for through the Library of Congress website, specifically looking for my Brumfield and Gartley family lines.

So I worked the last few days on drawing a map in MicroSoft Paint of Yazoo County and I plotted on it some of my family surnames and where people with some of the last names in the family lived and owned land in Yazoo County and when they bought it.

It turns out that all in the relatively same area there were white landowners that have many of my black family surnames including William Berry, William Gartley, Job Taylor, Matilda Taylor, Edwin Taylor, Robert Spiars, Young Berry, Ephraim Guice, Charles Brumfield, Isaac Taylor and Lewis Gartley. And many of them bought their land ON THE SAME DAY in 1835. Some of them within a few days, and a couple within just a couple of weeks.

I had been told previously by a distant white Brumfield cousin (that I’m DNA matched to) that the Brumfield family never owned slaves. However, I found on an old land ownership map that Charles “Charlie” Brumfield (b. 1796 in South Carolina) purchased land in Yazoo County, MS on 01 Feb 1832 and again on 21 Sept 1835.  So then I searched for some slave census records and found that he owned 14 slaves in 1850 and 24 slaves in 1860.  I THINK that my 3rd great-grandmother Cora/Coya “Alice” Brumfield was born in 1858, and Charles owned a 2-year old female in 1860.  It was suggested to me by my white Brumfield cousin that his family legends also say that Charles Brumfield was firmly against having inter-racial relationships. But that his son Oscar Hope Brumfield had quite the fondness for dark-skinned women and had many relationships (and possibly children) with them. Their line of the family believes Cora/Coya “Alice’s” (my 3rd ggm) father was probably Charles’ son Oscar.

So then I was looking through my Gartley stuff. A Col. William Gartley (b. 1801 in Louisiana) bought land in Yazoo County, MS on 15 October 1835. He later bought more land in Madison County in January 1850. In 1850, this William Gartley owned 112 slaves in Yazoo County. Out of all 112, there was only 1 called “mulatto”, a 35 year old female. This William died in 1856. His son, Capt. William F. Gartley (b. 1835 in Louisiana), owned 63 slaves in 1860 in Yazoo County.

It turns out (as I visualized on the map I drew) that the Brumfield and Gartley plantations are VERY close to each other, with William Gartley owning a smaller plantation just to the northwest and a huge plantation just to the southeast of Charles Brumfield’s plantation.

Cora/Coya “Alice” Brumfield is listed on the 1900 census as “black”, and on the 1920 census as “mulatto”, born abt 1858. I assume she was likely born in Dover, Yazoo County since this is where the William Brumfield plantation was at the time.

Wallace Walter Gartley was born abt 1865, I think it’s safe to assume on Capt. William F. Gartley’s plantation in Yazoo County, who owned 63 slaves in 1860. On the 1900 census, Wallace is listed as “black”. But on the 1920 census, he’s listed as “mulatto”. In 1930 & 1940, he’s listed as “negro”.

SO…in a nutshell…my thoughts are leaning toward Cora/Coya “Alice” Brumfield’s (b. 1858 prob. in Dover, Yazoo County) father was either Charles “Charlie” Brumfield (b. 1796) OR Charles’ son Oscar. And her mother was probably one of their slaves OR perhaps a Native American woman (Charles’s father John Brumfield had married a Catawba woman when he was in the army in Rock Hill, SC during the Revolutionary War, and Charles was actually 1/2 Catawba Native American, his son Oscar 1/4 Catawba)…And that Wallace Walter Gartley’s (b. abt 1865) father was probably the white Captain William F. Gartley (b. 1835) and his mother was probably one of his slaves. (I am VERY closely DNA matched to the white Brumfield family of Yazoo County, so I feel pretty confident about that part). My great grandmother Polly Burton’s sister Lucille “Sack” Patterson-Jackson lived and worked on the Brumfield’s farm.

Searching through old land records and using them to plot family surnames is EXTREMELY helpful in visualizing where your black ancestors may have lived, and if they were slaves, who their owners may have been.  It is especially exciting if, as in my case, you find multiple landowners that are very near each other that purchased land on the same day, that all have various surnames that are in your family.

Next step is looking for wills and probate records…

And if anyone has any information about these family lines, specifically related to Cora/Coya “Alice” Brumfield (mulatto, b. abt 1858) and Wallace Walter Gartley (mulatto, b. abt 1865), I would be so, so happy to hear from you!

 

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Finding Family After Slavery – FREE Website

Last Seen : Finding Family After Slavery” is an incredible website for searching your ex-slave ancestors.  The site features copies of newspaper ads that were placed by people looking for their family members that had been slaves.  The site is maintained as a project by graduate students studying history at Villanova University.  The students scour old microfilmed newspapers ads, copy them, and include them in their online searchable database. To date, the students have posted 2,658 advertisements that are searchable and viewable (with images) for FREE!  Visit their website at : http://informationwanted.org

 

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Kirkus Review!

All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research receives a glowing review from Kirkus, the most authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years!

Read it now at :

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/kimberly-l-berry/all-one-basic-advanced-guide-genealogy-ancestry-hi/

 

 

A featured recommendation by GenealogyBank.com!  Rated 4 out of 4 stars by and currently featured on the home page of OnlineBookClub.org!  Received a glowing review from Kirkus, the most authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years!  GET A COPY OF AUTHOR KIMBERLY BERRY’S BOOK, “All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research” at Amazon’s CreateSpace e-Store BY CLICKING HERE.

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Who Were the Freedom Riders?

In December 1960, the Interstate Commerce Commission, as a result of the Boynton v. Virginia Supreme Court case, initiated new regulations banning racial segregation on interstate transportation and in bus terminals.  On May 04, 1961, a group of friends, six whites and twelve blacks ranging in ages from 18 to 61, set out to test the new regulation by planning an interstate bus ride from Washington D.C. to New Orleans, Louisiana.  Along the way, these Freedom Riders also tested whether they could sit wherever they wanted, eat together in restaurants, use the same public restrooms, etc.  These brave people were met with angry mobs and attacked along the way. On May 14th, their bus was attacked with rocks, bricks, pipes, axes and a fire-bomb near Anniston, Alabama and Hank Thomas was beaten over the head with a baseball bat.  Members of the mob shouted, “Burn them alive!” and “Fry the goddamn niggers!”  In Anniston, they were attacked by another mob that boarded their bus, but they managed to escape and move forward toward Birmingham.  But the Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor and Police Sergeant Tom Cook (an avid KKK supporter) encouraged people to again attack the Freedom Riders.  They promised FBI informer Gary Thomas Rowe (a member of the most violent Klan sub-group in Alabama) that the KKK would have 15 minutes to attack the Freedom Riders without any interference from the police.  Another mob then assaulted them with iron pipes, baseball bats and bicycle chains, resulting in Jim Peck needing 53 stitches.  The Greyhound and Trailways bus drivers then refused to drive any bus carrying freedom riders.  So they were ultimately forced out of their mission before reaching Montgomery, Alabama when Attorney General Robert Kennedy called for a “cooling off period”.  But the riders then boarded an airplane to New Orleans where they attended a rally.  News of the events of their journey became widespread in world-wide media. Their mission inspired others to become Freedom Riders and more joined the cause, successfully arriving in Montgomery.  On May 24th, twelve more boarded a bus headed to Jackson, Mississippi.  When the Freedom Riders arrived in Jackson, they attempted to eat at a “whites only” restaurant and were arrested.  More and more citizens, an estimated over 400, became Freedom Riders and the rides continued through the summer of 1961.  Most of the Freedom Rides were sponsored and organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  In September 1961, Robert Kennedy commanded the Interstate Commerce Commission to end discrimination on an interstate level.  And in November 1961, all interstate buses were required to display a sign stating, “Seating aboard this vehicle is without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin, by order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.”

A list of names and details about individual Freedom Riders compiled by Oxford University Press can be downloaded here : https://global.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780199754311/pdf/FreedomRiders_Appx_Roster.pdf

A PBS documentary on the Freedom Riders can be purchased on Amazon here : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004RV713M/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=anaooks-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B004RV713M&linkId=ee46be3e046a9e2d09aae610ad5392d8

 

A featured recommendation by GenealogyBank.com!  Rated 4 out of 4 stars by and currently featured on the home page of OnlineBookClub.org!  Received a glowing review from Kirkus, the most authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years!  GET A COPY OF AUTHOR KIMBERLY BERRY’S BOOK, “All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research” at Amazon’s CreateSpace e-Store BY CLICKING HERE.

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FREE State of Missouri Birth & Death Certificates Online

The state of Missouri offers online (for FREE) copies of birth and death records prior to 1910, as well as copies of death certificates from 1910 to 1966.  The Secretary of State website has a searchable database located at https://s1.sos.mo.gov/records/archives/archivesdb/birthdeath/.

 

A featured recommendation by GenealogyBank.com!  Rated 4 out of 4 stars by and currently featured on the home page of OnlineBookClub.org!  Received a glowing review from Kirkus, the most authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years!  GET A COPY OF AUTHOR KIMBERLY BERRY’S BOOK, “All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research” at Amazon’s CreateSpace e-Store BY CLICKING HERE.

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Clarion-Ledger Newspaper (Jackson, Mississippi) Slave Ads from 1864 to the end of the Civil War

  • 04 June 1864 : 1.) $400 REWARD.  Runaway from the subscriber, living near Cooks, Miss., on the 27th inst., a negro man named SEABORN, aged 35 to 40, black, tall statute, 5 to 10 inches high, thin visage, at times affected with rheumaties, with a fresh cut with a hatchet on the ball of his left hand, just below the thumb joint.  He is a carpenter by trade, and a very shrewd, sensible fellow.  I purchased him five years since in New Orleans of Mr. W. H. Harris, of Carrall Parish, Louisiana.  He will try to get to the Yankees at Vicksburg of New Orleans, as he has worked in New Orleans and Port Hudson, La.  I will pay Four Hundred Dollars for his delivery to me, or a proportionate sum if lodged in jail so that I get him again.  (He can write.)  PETER WIER.  2.) $100 REWARD.  Ran away, about two months ago, my boy, Rasmus, from the neighborhood of Scooba, Kemper county, Mississippi.  He is about twenty-two years old, of copper color, smooth face, little no beard, about five feet, four or five inches high, stout built, weighs about one hundred and fifty pounds, is a smart intelligent negro, polite in his manners, has been in the army as a waiting boy, he is quick and ready in speaking and usually of pleasant countenance, wore when he left a brown cap with a blue band around it.  and brown jeans pantaloons, other clothing not recollected.  I will pay the above reward for the delivery of said boy to me eight miles east of DeSoto, or to Micajah McGee five miles east of Paulding, Miss., or for his apprehension and confinement in jail so that I can get him.  SUSAN POWE.  3.) NOTICE.  Ran away some time about the middle of April, a negro woman named WINNY, aged about twenty-five years, of medium height.  A liberal reward will be paid for her apprehension.  W. A. WARD.
  • 15 June 1864 : 1.) $200 REWARD.  On Sunday night, the 5th inst., my negro boy Beck, or Berry, ran away from me at Enterprise, or below there.  He is about eighteen years old, black slender and not likely and was bought lately from Robert G. Green, of Holmes county.  He will endeavor to go back to Holmes, or to the Yankees.  I will pay the above reward for him delivered to me at Lexington, or to M. D. Haynes, at Macon, Miss.  B. F. OWEN.
  • 22 June 1864 : 1.) $100 REWARD.  Ran away from the subscriber, living eight miles south-east of DeKalb, Miss., about the 1st of May, my negro boy, George, about 30 years old, 5 feet, 4 or 5 inches high, stout built, copper color, has two upper front teeth out, and claims to have a wife and children near Enterprise, Miss., belonging to a Mr. Brown.  He was once owned by a man named Brown, who lived in the neighborhood of Enterprise himself, and is probably lurking in that vicinity.  I will pay the above reward for the delivery of said boy to me, or a reasonable price for him if lodged in any jail.  JAS. S. NETHERY.  2.) $100 REWARD.  Ran away from me at Macon, Miss., June 16th, 1864, my boy Henry, aged 28 years is 5 feet 8 inches high, weighs 150 pounds, is of copper color, has several small scars on one cheek, long ugly upper teeth, slight mustache and thin beard, is slow spoken and easily agitated.  He will try to get to the Yankees.  I will pay the above reward for his lodgement in jail so that I can get him.  A. A. ROWLAND.  3.)  $100.00 REWARD.  Ran away from the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers Railroad, on Sunday, the 12th of June, near Marion, Miss., two Negro Men named MARK and JIM.  Mark is five feet eight inches high, chunky built, slow in speech, and about twenty-four years old.  Jim is dark copper colored, chunky built, wears whiskers, is five feet eight and a half inches high, and about thirty years old.  They both belong to T. S. Tate, of Senatobia, and will probably attempt to go home.  The above reward will be paid for their delivery in any jail – Fifty dollars for either of them.  M. B. PRICHARD.  4.) $200 REWARD.  Ran away from the subscriber, a negro man, Charles, thirty years old, stout built, and weighs 169 pounds.  Said boy was hired on the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad, and he is said to have a gun.  He will try to make his way home or to the Yankees.  I will pay the above reward for him if lodged in jail and safely kept so I can get him, or I will pay three hundred dollars for him if delivered to me three miles south of Thomastown, Leake county, Miss.  ISRAEL W. PICKENS.
  • 23 June 1864 : 1.) $150 REWARD.  Ran away from the Government Shops at Demopolis, Ala., on the 19th just, a negro man, Sam.  He is 23 years old, slow spoken, full face, very black, weighs about 150 pounds, and is about 5 feet 7 inches high.  He is supposed to be trying to make his way to Brookhaven, Miss., with a forged pas.  The above reward will be paid for his delivery in Demopolis, or in any jail where we can get him.  ROBERTSON BROTHERS.
  • 25 June 1864 : 1.) RAN AWAY.  From Meridian on Thursday night, June 23d a negro boy whose name is Green, about 5 feet 5 inches high, yellow complexion, has lost one eye, and weighs about 130 pounds.  Also one by the name of Monroe, about 5 feet 5 inches high, yellow complexion and weight about 130 pounds.  Ages 18 and 20.  A liberal reward will be paid for their delivery to me at the Jackson Creek Salt Works, Alabama, or confined in any jail where I can get them.  S. STOVALL.
  • 03 August 1864 : 1.) 900 NEGROES CAPTURED.  Columbus, GA., August 2. – Five hundred raiders were brought into Macon yesterday evening, including Maj. Gen. Stoneman and staff, with forty other officers captured eighteen miles from Macon.  Numerous stolen negroes, horses, mules, wagons, ambulances and several cannon, were also captured.  The same party attacked Macon Saturday and Sunday.  They were met by Gen. Iverson, with a small force of Wheeler’s cavalry, who fought all day with the above result.  The balance of the command is scattered and being purged.  Jackson, August 2. – The following dispatch was received last night from the Trans-Mississippi Department.  Gen. Pollgnac attacked Vidalla on the 22d ult., killing forty negroes and five whites, and capturing nine hundred negroes.  His loss was five killed and four captured.
  • 09 September 1864 : 1.) RUNAWAY.  From the Mississippi State Salt Works in Washington county, Ala., between the 15th and 18th inst., the following named negroes : Josh and Henry, belonging to Dr. Fisher, Carroll Co., Miss.  Gibb, belonging to the estate of S. B. Crane, Sunflower Co., Miss.  Ed, Dawsy, Cyrus, and Jake, belonging to W. B. Prince, Carroll Co., Miss.  Ike, Wilks, Bob, Lumpkin, William, Mack, Albert, Jack and Jasper, belonging to J. H. Robinson, Carroll Co., Miss.  Any information respecting them will be thankfully received.  E. A. PHILLIPS.
  • 28 October 1864 : 1.) $1000 REWARD.  Runaway from the subscriber, (a refugee from Warren county Miss., on Big Black, 8 miles from Grand Gulf,) the following negroes, on the 4th July : Two men, brothers, DICK, about 42 years of age, black, about, 5 feet 5 inches high ; also JERRY, about 30 years of age, black, stout, slow and low spoken, about 5 feet 7 inches high, both teamsters.  Again on the 12th inst, boy LITTLE LIGE, 21 years of age, slim black, about 5 feet 6 inches high, the end of his fore finger on his left hand cut off.  His two sisters, MILLY, yellow, slim, about 5 feet 5 inches high, 27 years of age, she speaks in a very drawling way.  Also FANNY, 23 years of age, about 5 feet 5 inches high, stout, likely, and dark copper color.  I will pay Two Hundred dollars each, if delivered to me on the Tombigbee river, on Doctor Jordan’s plantation, 12 miles south of Coffeeville, Clarke county Alabama, or one hundred dollars each, if lodged in jail so that I can get them.  I do not think their intention is to go to the Yankees, but get back to my plantation in Warren county.  Address me if caught, to JAMES ALLEN.  2.) $50 REWARD.  Will be paid for the apprehension and delivery to me in the eastern part of Jasper county, Miss., my boy MOSES, who ran away from me about the 10th inst.  Said boy is about 50 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high, stooped shouldered, dark copper color ; or a liberal reward will be paid for his confinement in any jail in the State where I can get him.  B. THOMAS.  3.) RUNAWAY IN JAIL.  Was committed to the Jail of Jasper County, Miss., on the 16th inst., by the Hon. B. Thigpen, Judge of Probate, a runaway who calls himself ELICK, and says he belongs to Mr. E. S. Lanehart, of Wilkinson County, Miss.  Said boy is about 22 or 23 years of age, 5 feet high, dark complexion, with the little toe off of his right foot.  He has a scar on his left hip, caused by a burn when small.  He has very small and peculiar ears ; will weigh about 125.  He says that he ran away from Perry’s salt works in Alabama.  The owner of said slave is required to come forward, prove property, pay charges or he will be dealt with as the law directs.  L. B. LASSITER, Sheriff and Jailor of Jasper County.  4.) COMMITTED to the […] county, on the first inst. […] named Harrison; said boy is black […] about forty years old, about five feet eight inches high, and will weigh about one hundred and seventy-five pounds.  Said negro was sold by B. F. Burk, of this county, to Lev. Simpson, of Mobile, Ala., to whim it is believed he now belongs.  The owner of said negro is hereby […]tified to come forward, prove property, pay charges and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs.  W. H. RODGERS, Sheriff Scott County, Miss.  5.) RUNAWAY.  Was committed to the jail of Jasper county, in this State of Mississippi, by the Hon. Benj. Thigpen, on the […]th day of June 1864, as a runaway, a negro boy who says his name is NELSON, and belongs to George Clark, of Mobile, Ala.  Said boy is about 22 or 23 years of age, five feet six inches high, of a dark copper color, weighs about 135 pounds, has a scar on his right shoulder blade ; had on when committed a common Lowell suit of clothes.  The owner of said boy is requested to come forward, prove property and take him away, or he will be dealt with according to law.  J. B. LASSITER, Sheriff & Jailor.
  • 20 December 1864 : 1.) TAKEN UP by B. Jones, a negro boy who says his name is JOHN.  Said boy is about 21 years old, about 5 feet high, has three of his front teeth out, and says he belongs to Edward Sharp, near Cuthbert, Randolph County, Ga.  He says he has been at work on the fortifications at Mobile.  The boy is at my residence, Lockhart, Miss.  M. L. McMAHAN.
  • 06 January 1865 : 1.) NOTICE, taken up on the Alabama and Mississippi Railroad, a negro man who says he belongs t Lunley, of Mibile.  Said boy is about 5 feet 8 inches high, and quite black.  The owner is requested to come forward, pay charges and take him away.  H. J. THOMAS.  2.) RUNAWAY, from me, December 26th, 1864, a negro boy, named BILL – calls himself Friday.  Said boy is 14 years old, black complexion, marks of dog bites on both legs and […] knee on left leg.  Had on when he left, dark woolen pants, dark ragged coat, and an old ragged wool hat.  A liberal reward will be paid for him or his confinement.  A. J. ODOM.
  • 18 January 1865 : 1.) $300 REWARD.  I will pay the above reward for my boy, JOHN, who left Meridian on Tuesday the 27th.  I think he was carried off by some white men.  He is 18 years old, copper color, five and a half feet high, weighs 145 lbs, walks a little lame on his right foot, caused by a nail being stuck in his heel.  Said boy  was purchased from [R. P.?] Terrell, at Meridian in September last.  J. NEWMAN.
  • 28 March 1865 : 1.) NEGRO FOR SALE, I have a likely MULATTO BOY for sale.  Age nineteen years.  W. A. VANZILE.

 

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Freedman’s Bank Records for Slave Research

During the Civil War, there were banks established in the South where black soldiers and runaway slaves could make deposits.  But many of the records were lost and after the war, many of the newly freedmen were unable to get their money back.  Also, if they died in the war, many of their deposits were never claimed.  The Freedman’s Bank (also known as the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company) was started by John W. Alvord and A. M. Sperry in 1864 to consolidate the many small banks under the common control of one large company.  On 03 March 1865, Congress incorporated the bank, along with the newly formed Freedman’s Bureau.  The Freedman’s Bank then managed accounts for and collected deposits from people who were former slaves and their descendants.  Interest was earned on the deposits, and any of the deposits to the smaller banks that were made during the war and had gone unclaimed were used to fund educational programs for the children of ex-slaves.  Unfortunately, the bank made several bad investments and there was corruption and fraud among the bank’s management who tried to cover it up.  By 1874, the bank, which then had 37 branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia, faced economic instability.  President Frederick Douglass donated thousands of dollars of his own money to try to revive the bank.  But by mid-year the bank was closed and there was almost three million dollars of deposits due to be paid back to 61,000 African American depositors (none of which was insured by the federal government) that vanished and was never returned.

In 1989, Marie Taylor of the Family and Church History Department of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints discovered the original microfilms of the old bank records.  She organized a program for prison inmate volunteers to transcribe and index the records.  After 11 years of extracting 484,083 names and copies of records, today, the records of 29 of the bank’s branches (with images of the documents) are available and searchable for free at FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/African_American_Freedman%27s_Savings_and_Trust_Company_Records).  These records contain a remarkable amount of information about the newly freed African American depositors.  Copies of the applications contain their name, their ages, where they were born, their occupation, names of their family members and their relationships, who their former slave owner was and where they lived when they were a slave, how long they lived there, where they were living at the time they applied for a bank account, and who was living with them.

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Languages of West Africa

There are very few regions of the world where such a large and diverse number of languages are spoken as West Africa, and many West Africans speak second and third languages.  In an article by the Linguistic Data Consortium of the University of Pennsylvania, the writers estimate that the languages most commonly spoken are Hausa, followed by Yoruba, then Igbo, Fulah, Akan, Moore, Mandingo, Wolof, Yemba, then Ngomba.  Other sources estimate that for all of the African continent, over 1500 languages are spoken, principally Arabic, French and English.  In West Africa, there are generally 3 main language regions as follows :

The Afroasiatic (Afrasian) languages (which consists of six branches including Egyptian, Semitic, Berber, Cushitic, Omotic, and Chadic) are spoken primarily in West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and parts of Sahel and consist of an estimated over 300 languages and dialects.

  • Amazigh (Berber) : includes the Tashelhit (Tashelhiyt, Tashelhait, Shilha), Tarifit, Kabyle, Tamazight, Tamahaq, Guanche and Iberian languages, spoken primarily in Morocco, the Maghrib enclaves, a region of Africa between Egypt’s Siwa Oasis and Mauretania, the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula
  • Chadic : consists of over 140 languages including Hausa, Biu-Madara and Masa, spoken primarily in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad
  • Cushitic : consists of about 40 languages including North Cushitic (Beja), Bilin, Kemant, Kwara, Xamtage, Awngi, Iraqw, Burunge, Gorowa, Dahalo, Burji, Sidamo, Kambata, Hadiyya, Dasenech, Arbore, Saho-Afar, Oromo, Konso, Somali, Rendille and Boni, spoken primarily in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, northwestern Kenya and Tanzania
  • Egyptian : the extinct language of the Nile valley
  • Omotic : consists of about 40 languages including Aari, Hamer-Banna, Karo, Dime, Dizi, Nayi, Sheko, Kaficho, Shakacho, Boro, Anfillo, Yemsa (Janjero), Gimira-Ometo, Woylatta, Gamo, Gofa, Basketto, Male and Chara, spoken primarily in western Ethiopia
  • Semitic

The Niger-Congo languages are spoken mostly in the West, Central, Southeast and Southern Africa regions.  They are considered the world’s largest family of languages and dialects, with the most common being Yoruba, Igbo, Fula, Shona and Swahili.  The major traditional language branches and sub-groups of this region include :

  • Kordofanian languages : consists of about 20 languages including Talodi-Heiban, Lafofa, Rashad, Katla and Kadu spoken primarily in the Nuba Hills of southern Sudan
  • Mande languages : consists of about 40 languages Bambara, Malinke, Maninka, Mende, Dyula, Loma, Soninke, Dan, Jula, Mandinka, Susu and Kpelle spoken primarily in southeastern Senega, the Gambia, southern Mauritania, southwestern Mali, eastern Guinea, northern and eastern Sierra Leone, northern Liberia, western Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, southern Guinea, western Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, southwestern Niger and northwestern Nigeria
  • Dogon language : is spoken primarily in northeastern Mali, to the east of Mopti and along the border between Mali and Burkina Faso.
  • Atlantic languages : includes Wolof (the national language of Senegal but also spoken in Mauritania and Mali), Fula, Serer, Diola, Balanta, Manjaku, Temne, Kisi and Limba which are spoken primarily in Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Ijoid (Ijaw) languages : including Eastern Ijo, the Brass Ijo, Izon and Arogbo, spoken by few people primarily along the Niger River delta region of Nigeria
  • Kru languages : consists of about 24 languages including Guere, Bassa, Bete, Nyabwa, Dida, and Seme, spoken primarily by people living of the forest regions of southwestern Cote d’Ivoire and southern Liberia as well as Burkina Faso
  • Senufo languages : consists of about 20 languages including Senari, Supyire, Cabaara and Mamara, spoken primarily in northern Cote d’Ivoire, southwestern Burkina Faso and southeastern Mali
  • Central Gur languages : consists of about 45 languages including Moore (Mossi), Gurma, Gurenne, Dagbani, Dagaari and Kabiye, spoken primarily in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso
  • Adamawa-Ubangian languages : consists of about 120 languages including Chamba Leko, Mumuye, Tupuri, Ngbaka, Sango, Banda, Gbaya and Zande, spoken primarily in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan
  • Kwa languages : consists of about 45 languages including Akan, Ewe, Baule, Fon, Ga-Dangme, Guang and Anyi, spoken primarily in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
  • Volta-Niger languages (Gur) : consists of about 85 languages including Moore, Gbe, Yoruba and Igbo, spoken primarily in the savanna lands north of the forest belt that runs from southeastern Mali across northern Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Benin.
  • West Benue-Congo languages : consists of about 900 languages including Bantu, Swahili, Fang, Kongo, Zulu, Yoruba, Isekiri, Igala, Edo, Igbo, Nupe, Idoma and Akokoid, spoken primarily in Nigeria, Cameroon, and through central Africa to eastern Africa
  • Platoid languages : consists of about 50 languages including Jju, Tsuvadi, Kwanka, Kaje, Birom, Tarok, Jukun Takum, Wapan, Tigon-Mbembe and Icen, spoken in the area of the Jos Plateau southward to the Benue River valley and across the river to the southeast
  • Cross-River languages : consists of about 60 languages including Ibibo, Efik, Anang, Khana, Ogbia, Loko, Mbembe, Obolo and Gokana, spoken primarily around the Cross River in southeastern Nigeria and westward toward the Niger Delta
  • Northern Bantoid languages : consists of about 15 languages including Chamba Daka, Mambila, Tikar and Jarawa, spoken primarily in eastern Nigeria and central Cameroon
  • Southern Bantoid languages : consists of over 100 languages including Bantu, Jarawa, Tiv, Beboid, Ekoi, Nyang, the Grassfields languages, Beti, Fang, Lingala, Gikuyu (Kikuyu), Kamba, Gusii, Meru, Sukuma, Nyamwesi, Swahili, Gogo, Kituba, Luanda Mbundu, Kongo, Yaka, Ganda, Chiga, Nyankore, Soga, Haya, Luyia, Nandi, Rwanda, Rundi, Ha, Luba, Songe, Tonga, Nyakusa-Ngonde, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Sena, Makua, Yao, Ngulu, Makonde, Mbundu, Herero, Shona, Ndau, North-Sotho, Pedi (South Sotho), Tswana, South-Ndebele, Lozi, Zulu, Xhosa, North Ndebele, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswa, Ronga, Chopi and Venda, spoken primarily in eastern Nigeria and Cameroon

The Nilo-Saharan languages are spoken by nearly 60 million people.  The primary subdivisions of this language group are Berta, Fur, Gumuz, Koman, Kuliak, Kunama, Maban, Saharan, Songhay, Central Sudanic, Eastern Sudanic (including Nilotic), Kadu, Mimi-D and Shabo.  The primary languages include :

  • Luo (Dholuo) : spoken primarily in Kenya and Tanzania
  • Kanuri : spoken primarily around Lake Chad
  • Songhay : spoken primarily along the Niger River in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger
  • Teso
  • Nubian : spoken primarily from southern Egypt into northern Sudan
  • Lugbara : spoken primarily in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • the Nandi-Markweta languages : spoken primarily in the Kenyan Rift Valley
  • Lango : spoken primarily in Uganda
  • Dinka : spoken primarily in South Sudan
  • Acholi : spoken primarily in Uganda
  • Nuer : spoken primarily in South Sudan and Ethiopia
  • Maasai : spoken primarily in Kenya
  • Ngambay : spoken primarily in Central Sudan and Southern Chad
  • Fur : spoken primarily in the Darfur Province in western Sudan
  • Tubu : spoken primarily in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and into Libya

 

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Historical Literature Preservation Project

Society for History and Research Education (S.H.A.R.E.) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, focusing on local, state and national consumers that have an interest in American history and a desire to pursue knowledge about the founding and development of our country.  The organization concentrates its efforts on those communities that are rich in American history but have been financially underserved and lacking in resources to accommodate the preservation of historically significant literature and documents.

There is a substantial collection of THOUSANDS of historical books and documents in Mississippi dating back to the late 1700s and early 1800s that is stored in a back room of city building, decaying, and the information is not available to the public.  Not only is the information not publicly available, but if there were a fire, a flood or any other disaster, all of this history would be lost forever.  The local community does not have the resources to reproduce and preserve this collection or make it publicly available.  Only 47.7% of the population in this community over the age of 16 is employed and 34.2% of the population is in poverty.

Society for History and Research Education (S.H.A.R.E.) will index, digitize, preserve and reproduce, and make publicly available this massive collection of historically significant literature and documents; S.H.A.R.E. will also provide history and genealogy research assistance services to the public; offer lectures, seminars and educational activities related to history and genealogy free of charge to the public; will offer a comfortable research area and free in-office wireless Internet access to local researchers; and will host regular activities to engage the community.

Your generous donation will help fund their mission and is tax deductible under IRC Section 170.  Please be sure to consult with your tax advisor.

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Newspapers for Ancestry Research

Historical newspapers can be an invaluable resource for researching your ancestry.  Newspapers contain a wealth of information including marriage announcements, obituaries, advertisements for stores your ancestor may have owned, runaway slave ads, articles about events occurring at the time your ancestor lived in that location, notices about family reunions and who attended them, church office and government office appointments, criminal announcements, and more.  I can’t stress enough how much it is worth your while to search historical newspapers.  You might find information directly related to your ancestor.  But at the very least, you will learn about the events occurring in the community and get a feel of the social, cultural, economic, and political environment in the town where they lived when they lived there.

In many cases, historical newspapers have long been out of print.  In that case, you can find online resources through websites such as Newspapers.com, NewspaperArchive.com, and GenealogyBank.com.  It was through one of these sites that I found a copy of a runaway slave advertisement that was placed about my 5th great grandfather.  The National Archives and Records Administration has an online database of over 1,000 historical newspapers with full text that can be accessed for free through FamilySearch.org.  You may also be able to find archives of newspapers at local libraries and local historical societies.  Many local libraries also offer free access to some of the paid research sites.

However, there a some newspapers (more than you might think) that have been in print for over 200 years and still are today.  For those publications, you can contact the newspaper publisher directly and may be able to retrieve copies of archives.  Some newspapers that began publication over 150 years ago and are still in print today are in the following list.  If your ancestor lived in the general vicinity of any of the following areas, it will likely be well worth your while to give the publication a call and ask for archives copies of editions that were printed when your ancestor lived in the area.

 

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Notable African American Firsts

  • (1640) Anthony and Mary Johnson : Antonio “Anthony” Johnson arrived in America in 1621 aboard the ship James.  He worked on a tobacco plantation in Virginia.  In 1622, the plantation was attacked by Native Americans who killed over fifty people.  Only five survived, including Anthony.  That same year, Mary had arrived on the ship Margrett and John.   Anthony and Mary obtained their freedom from servitude and moved to the Atlantic coast of Virginia where in 1640 they bought a small estate, becoming the first African Americans to own land.  By 1651, the couple owned 250 acres and raised livestock.  The Johnson’s became slave owners, and in 1653 a great fire destroyed their plantation.  Seven years later, they moved with their children to Maryland where they leased a farm.
  • (1641) Matthias de Sousa : Matthias de Sousa was an indentured servant who worked for Father Andrew White (a Catholic priest).  Matthias was brought to America on the ship “The Arc” and is recorded in historical documents as having been mulatto.  In 1638 he was freed from indentured servitude but continued to work for the priests.  He was also a trader and commanded a small boat to travel and trade with the Native Americans, trading goods with them for food and furs.  He was elected into the Maryland General Assembly in 1641 and served until 1642.  He was the only black person to serve in the colonial legislature of Maryland. And as such, was the first African American to sit on any legislative body that would become the United States.
  • (1821) Thomas L. Jennings : Thomas L. Jennings was born free in New York in 1791.  As a young man he worked as a tailor and owned his own dry cleaning business, where he developed the process of dry-scouring.  Although slaves were not legally permitted to own inventions at the time (as anything they produced was property of their owner), Thomas was a free man.  And in 1821, he became the first African American to receive a U.S. Patent on an invention.
  • (1836) Alexander Lucius Twilight : Alexander Lucius Twilight was the first African American to graduate from college.  He was the son of a white mother and a mixed-race father.  In his youth, he was an indentured servant on a farm, but went on to graduate from Middlebury College, then later was a school teacher in New York, and became headmaster of Orleans County Grammar School.  He was elected to the Vermont General Assembly in 1836. [It is debated that John Chavis was the first African American to graduate college in 1777.  However, Chavis attended a school of theology as well as an academy.  These institutions later became what is now Princeton University and Washington and Lee University.  But at the time of his attendance, the schools were not recognized as a college or university.]
  • (1837) James McCune Smith : James McCune Smith was born in New York in 1813 to a mother who had been a slave but purchased her own freedom.  As a child, James attended the African Free School of New York City.  After graduating, James attempted to enroll in several colleges but was denied admission to all of them because of his race.  But James persisted and raised money to attend college in Scotland, where he achieved both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, and in 1837 received a medical degree.  James then became the first African American to obtain a degree in medicine.  James completed his medical internship in France but then returned to New York City where he opened his own medical office and pharmacy.
  • (1869) Walter Moses Burton : When Walter Moses Burton was 21 years old, he had been brought to Texas as a slave, but was taught to read and write by his master Thomas Burton.  After the Civil War and being freed, Thomas sold Walter large plots of land in Fort Bend County, where he was later elected Sheriff and Tax Collector, making him the first black elected Sheriff in the United States.  In 1873, he ran for Texas Senate and won, serving seven years.
  • (1870) Hiram Rhoades Revels : Hiram Rhoades Revels was born in North Carolina, the son of free parents that were mixed African American and Native American.  In 1844, he moved to Indiana to attend Beech Grove Seminary.  In 1845, he attended the Darke County Seminary for Negroes in Ohio.  Hiram later traveled throughout the north and the south preaching to both free and enslaved African Americans.  Then from 1857-1858, he attended Knox College in Illinois.  Between 1863 to 1865, he served as a chaplain in the Union Army.  After the war, Hiram returned to traveling and preaching, but then settled in Mississippi to preside over a church, later becoming a city alderman.  In 1869, he ran for state senate as a Republican and won, becoming the first African American United States Senator.
  • (1900) Sgt. William H. Carney : William H. Carney was a member of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in the Civil War, which was Massachusetts’ first all African-American regiment.  William fought in the battle at Fort Wagner.  During the battle, the flag-bearer was wounded, so William retrieved the flag from him and carried it himself.  William was wounded, but delivered the flag safely back to his regiment.  After the Civil War, William worked for the United States Postal Service.  And in 1900, he became the first African American to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor.  A monument in honor of the rescued flag (the Saint-Gaudens Monument) and the preserved flag are in Boston.
  • (1904) George Coleman Poage : George Coleman Poage was born in 1880 in Missouri, but grew up in Wisconsin.  He was an athlete in high school and ran track in college at the University of Wisconsin.  By his sophomore year of college, he was on the varsity track team.  George graduated in 1903 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History, but continued graduate studies and remained on the track team.  During his college career, he was a track champion and broke several records.  Despite racial tensions that surrounded the games, in 1904, George applied to compete in Missouri in the Olympics, when he became the first African American to win an Olympic medal, making third place in the 220 and 440 yard hurdles.
  • (1904) George Edwin Taylor : George Edwin Taylor was born in Arkansas to a free mother and a father that was a slave.  When he was still a toddler, he moved with his mother to Illinois.  His mother died when he was only 5 years old.  George then was on his own, but at 8 years old, found his way to Wisconsin on a paddleboat.  He was taken in by a black family there and later attended Wayland University.  He went on to work for local newspapers and became interested in politics.  He started his own newspaper called the Wisconsin Labor Advocate which focused on national politics.  He wrote increasingly about African American issues and his newspaper “folded” around 1887/1888.  In 1891, at about 34 years old, George moved to Iowa where he started the newspaper, the Negro Solicitor.  George then joined the first exclusively black national political party, the National Liberty Party, which met in Missouri in 1904.  The NLP had a candidate for President, but their candidate was thrown in jail so they encouraged George to take his place.  George then became the first full-blooded African American to run for President of the United States.  He lost the election and later moved to Florida where he worked as a newspaper editor and was a director for the local YMCA.
  • (1905) Robert Abbott : Robert Sengstacke Abbott was born in 1870 to parents who were former slaves.  Robert attended school at the Hampton Institute in Virginia and graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law in Illinois in 1899.  In 1905, he began a newspaper called the Chicago Defender, which focused on racial issues and injustices.  Upon the Great Northern Migration, when millions of southern African Americans were moving from the south to the north (many of whom moved to Chicago), the newspaper was passed around and read aloud publicly.  By the 1920s, the newspaper was a huge success and Robert became one of the first African American millionaires.
  • (1940) Hattie McDaniel : Hattie McDaniel’s first performance was when she was in grade school in Colorado.  As a child, her father wouldn’t allow her to travel with him and her brothers with his own minstrel show.  But he allowed Hattie to perform locally in other shows.  When in high school, Hattie convinced her parents to allow her to quit school and travel to perform with her father’s show.  After her father retired, she began to travel and perform with an orchestra led by Professor George Morrison.  Hattie, however, also performed her own gigs and tried to make extra money wherever she could find work.  She took a job as a ladies room attendant at Club Madrid in Milwaukee, but then began performing there and later became one of their nightly featured performers.  A few of Hattie’s sibling were living in Hollywood, so Hattie decided to move there in 1931.  It was while in Hollywood that she landed the role as “Mammy” in Gone With the Wind.  And for this performance, in 1940, she became the first African American to win an Oscar.
  • (1947) Jackie Robinson : Jackie Robinson was born in 1919, growing up in Pasadena, California.  He was a star athlete through high school and college, attending UCLA.  Jackie played baseball, basketball, football, and ran track.  But he wasn’t able to complete his college degree, having to return home to care for his mother.  By 1941, however, Jackie was playing professional football for the LA Bulldogs.  But then he entered the United States Army to fight in World War II.  He was discharged in 1945, and in that same year was signed by the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers to play for the Montreal Royals.  Jackie played for the team as second baseman.  Then in 1947, he was invited to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American to play major league baseball.  Later, in 1962, Jackie also became the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • (1950) Ralph Johnson Bunche : Ralph Johnson Bunche was born in Detroit in 1904.  He received a P.h.D. from Harvard University in 1934 and taught political science at Howard University.  By 1941, Ralph was working as Chief Research Analyst in the Office of Strategic Services and in 1945 became a division head in the Department of State.  In 1946, he became the Director of the Trusteeship Division of the United Nations.  And in 1947, he became Principal Secretary of the UN Palestine Commission.  In 1950, Ralph became the first African American to win a Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the 1948 Arab-Israeli truce.
  • (1950) Gwendolyn Brooks : Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Kansas in 1917, but later moved to Chicago.  She received an Associates Degree in Literature from Wilson Junior College.  When in high school, Gwendolyn authored collections of poetry that were published in the Chicago Defender, and in 1945 she published her own poetry collections in her book entitled A Street in Bronzeville.  In 1949, Gwendolyn published Annie Allen, which led her to be the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1950.
  • (1957) Althea Gibson : Althea Gibson was born in 1927 in South Carolina to parents that were sharecroppers on a cotton farm.  When she was 3 years old, her family moved to Harlem.  Growing up there, Althea played paddle tennis on the street and in 1939, when she was only 12 years old, she won the New York City Women’s Paddle Tennis Championship.  In 1940, family friends and neighbors collected a fund to pay for Althea to join the Cosmopolitan Tennis Club.  And the next year, at age 14, she won the New York State Championship of the American Tennis Association.  In 1944 and 1945, while still a teen, she won the girl’s division of the American Tennis Association’s national championships.  By 1949, Althea was competing in United States Tennis Association tournaments and she won a scholarship to Florida A&M University.  In 1950, Althea competed in the U.S. Open in New York but lost.  The following year, she won the Caribbean Championship in Jamaica.  In 1955, Althea was sent on a tour of Asia by the U.S. State Department.  After the tour, she went on to win several competitions throughout Asia and Europe.  Then in 1956, she became the first African American to win the French Open.  And the following year, she became the first African American to win at Wimbledon, receiving a trophy from Queen Elizabeth.
  • (1958) Count Basie : Count Basie was born William Allen Basie in 1904 in New Jersey.  His mother taught him piano.  When he was a young man, he toured with vaudeville acts playing piano and organ, and also played for silent films.  In 1928, he joined a jazz band.  And in 1938, he was broadcast on the radio.  Basie’s band gained international recognition, and in 1943 they were hired to play in a New York hotel.  Basie’s band went on to tour in Europe and Japan.  His Count Basie Orchestra played with renowned musicians including Billie Holliday and Frank Sinatra.  In 1958, Basie became the first African American male Grammy award winner.
  • (1958) Ella Fitzgerald : Ella Fitzgerald was born in 1917 in Virginia, but grew up in poverty in Yonkers, New York.  At the age of 17, she sang in and won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.  She was then invited to join Chick Webb’s band and began performing at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.  Ella’s first nation-wide musical hit was A-Tisket, A-Tasket in 1938.  Chick Webb died in 1939, and Ella continued to lead the band.  Ella became well-known for her musical talents and wrote and performed several hits.  In 1958 (the same year that Count Basie was the first African American male to win a Grammy), Ella became the first female African American Grammy award winner.  Ella went on to win a total of 13 Grammy’s and sold tens of millions of records.
  • (1967) Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. : Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. was born in Chicago in 1935.  He graduated from Englewood High School and later from Bradley University with a degree in chemistry.  While attending Bradley University, Robert was a member of the ROTC.  He became a U.S. Air Force pilot in 1956.  Robert was recognized by NASA for his research related to flight maneuvers and flight characteristics necessary for spacecraft to return to Earth from orbit.  In 1965, Robert earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Ohio State University.  Then in 1967, he was selected in the Manned Orbital Laboratory as the first African American to be selected as an astronaut for space travel.  Lawrence however never made it outer space.  He was killed only six months after being selected as an astronaut in a jet crash when he was flying as an instructor with a student pilot.
  • (1967) Thurgood Marshall : Thurgood Marshall was born in Maryland, the great-grandson of a slave.  His father was a railroad porter and his mother was an elementary school teacher.  He graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1925 and from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1930.  Thurgood was denied admission to the University of Maryland School of Law because of his race.  So he instead attended Howard University Law School and graduated in 1933.  Thurgood then became a lawyer for the NAACP, during which time he represented another young black student that was denied admission to the University of Maryland School of Law because of their race and won the case.  In 1954, Thurgood represented a group of black students, namely Linda Brown in the case known as Brown vs. Board of Education.  In this case, the prior Supreme Court ruling from 1896 known as Plessy vs. Ferguson (which declared “separate but equal” rules) was overturned and deemed unconstitutional.  In 1961, Thurgood was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  And in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court, where he served for the next 24 years.
  • (1983) Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr. : Guion Stewart Bluford was born and raised in Philadelphia.  In 1964, he graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in aerospace engineering.  He later completed pilot training at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona.  Guion was then sent to Vietnam in 1967, where he flew 144 combat missions.  After the war, he became a flight instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.  He went on to complete a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering in 1974, and also obtained his P.h.D. in 1978.  In 1978, Guion was selected for the NASA astronaut training program.  And in 1983, he became the first African American astronaut to launch into outer space.
  • (1984) Vanessa Williams : Vanessa Williams was born in New York in 1963.  Her parents were music teachers and she grew up learning to play instruments.  After graduating high school, Vanessa attended Syracuse University, majoring in theater.  While in college, she began competing in beauty pageants.  In 1983, Vanessa won the title of Miss Greater Syracuse, then later the title of Miss New York.  And in 1984, Vanessa became the first African American to win Miss America.
  • (2001) Robert Louis Johnson : Robert Louis Johnson was born in Mississippi in 1946.  His family later moved to Illinois where he attended the University of Illinois and earned a Bachelor of Arts in History.  Robert went on to obtain his Master of Public Administration from Princeton in New Jersey in 1972.  He then moved to Washington D.C. and worked his way up to the position of VP of Governmental Relations at the National Cable Television Association.  It was at the NCTA that Robert worked on developing programs that were targeted to African American viewers.  Robert went on to convince an investor to fund a project for a network geared toward a black audience, and in 1980, BET was born.  In the beginning, BET mostly aired old black films.  But Johnson began to incorporate promoting R&B and Hip-Hop artists in programming.  BET grew to be a full-time nationwide independent network, becoming a publicly traded company in 1991.  The growth of BET let Johnson to becoming the first African American billionaire.
  • (2001) Colin Powell : Colin Powell was born in the Bronx, New York to parents who were immigrants from Jamaica.  He attended public schools in South Bronx, and went on to attend college at City University of New York, where he also enrolled in ROTC.  After graduating, he made his career in the United States Army and served in Vietnam.  Later, Colin earned a Masters Degree from George Washington University.  By 1986, he was a Three-Star General and commanded a unit in Germany.  In 1987, under President Ronald Reagan, he was appointed National Security Advisor.  He then became the first African American promoted to Four-Star General.  In 1989, Colin was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Colin retired from the military in 1993.  Eight years later, he returned to Washington and was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first African American Secretary of State, the position of which he held until 2005.
  • (2009) Barack Obama, Jr. : Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, the son of an African father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas.  When he was young, his mother remarried and was living in Indonesia, but left Barack to live with his grandparents in Hawaii where he attended a prestigious prep school.  He went on to attend college in California, later transferring to Columbia University in New York.  He then went to law school at Harvard University, graduating in 1992.  Barack then moved to Chicago where he met his future wife, Michelle Robinson, who was an attorney.  In 1994, Barack was elected to the Illinois State Senate.  In 2004, he was elected to the United States Senate.  In 2007, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States, going on to win the election and beginning his term in 2009.  It is disputed by many that Barack Obama, Jr. was not the first African American president of the United States.  Many before him had African ancestry.  However, he was the first African American President that “looks black” and identifies himself as black (can’t really be denied), was the first presidential candidate to ever utilize cell phone technology to promote his campaign, and also raised more money than any other candidate in American history.

 

A featured recommendation by GenealogyBank.com!  Rated 4 out of 4 stars by OnlineBookClub.org!  Received a glowing review from Kirkus, the most authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years!  GET A COPY OF AUTHOR KIMBERLY BERRY’S BOOK, “All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research” at Amazon’s CreateSpace e-Store BY CLICKING HERE.

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Words of Wisdom from Nelson Mandela

In the “Speech from the Dock” Nelson Mandela stated, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

In light of recent tragic events in Virginia, take a moment to remember that you (we) fight and die for freedom, compassion, understanding, the right to be heard.  How can you expect peace if you don’t offer the same in return?

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“All-In-One Basic to Advance Guide to Genealogy and Ancestry History Research” Rated 4 out of 4 Stars!

OnlineBookClub.org rates “All-In-One Basic to Advance Guide to Genealogy and Ancestry History Research” by Kimberly Berry 4 out of 4 stars! The books is currently featured on their home page!

“The title of the book accurately reflects its content. The book is truly a basic to advanced guide to genealogy research… All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research is probably the only guide that you’ll ever need.”

A featured recommendation by GenealogyBank.com!  Rated 4 out of 4 stars by OnlineBookClub.org!  Received a glowing review from Kirkus, the most authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years!  GET A COPY OF AUTHOR KIMBERLY BERRY’S BOOK, “All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research” at Amazon’s CreateSpace e-Store BY CLICKING HERE.

Click HERE to return to the Home Page and read more posts.