Saturday, February 15, 2014

Follow-up on Thursday Thirteen—Black History

One of the Thursday Thirteen I wrote this week was the percentage of European heritage among American blacks.  The assumption I’d had (or read) was that the owner/master was the ancestor of mixed race African Americans.  Apparently not.  There’s an interesting photo archive available on the internet providing a photo genealogy, and a number of the families were descended from a black man and white woman, the man being a free black or a freed slave and a white servant. In that case, I’m assuming the children of the marriage or relationship were free born blacks (over 13% of the African American population by 1830).

“The Gowen family descend from Michael Gowen a "negro" servant who was free in Virginia in 1657.”

The Becketts are descendants of a  “Virginia slave named Peter Beckett who married a white servant woman named Sarah Dawson in 1680.”

“The Maclin family were free African American members of Bruton Parish, James City County in the 1740s and owned land in Wake County in the eighteenth century.”

“The Okey family was free in Delaware about 1680 and owned land in Granville County in the eighteenth century.”

“There were also Granville County marriages between Pettifords and Durhams in 1813 and 1822. The Durhams were free in Delaware about 1690.”  There is a photo of  Narcissa Pettiford Rattley, a white woman (1829-1914) and her black husband, Jesse Rattley whose children married Durhams.

“The Leviner family descends from Jean Lovina, a Norfolk County slave, whose master, Major John Nichols, freed her children, John and Sarah, and left them 350 acres of land in Norfolk County, Virginia in 1697.”

Alfred Burdine “was probably related to David Burdine who was a "free colored" head of a Pendleton District, South Carolina household with one slave in 1820.” (i.e., he was a free black who owned a slave)

“The Banks family descends from Elizabeth Banks, a white servant, who had a child by a slave in York County, Virginia in 1683, and the Hammond family descends from Margaret Hammond, a white servant, who had a child by slave in Northampton County, Virginia in 1689.”

“The Dungey family descends from Frances Dungey, a servant woman who had mixed-race children in Brunswick County, Virginia, in the 1720s.”

It’s a fascinating photo record.  Take a look.


The Pompey family descend from John and Ann Pompey who were free in Brunswick County, Virginia in the 1730s. Photo from c. 1900.

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