The 1838 Indictment of Nancy Flood for Cohabiting with an Enslaved Black Man

While reading the 1838/1839 estate record of Bryan Randolph of Northampton County, North Carolina, I found several documents that uncovered the case of Nancy Flood, a white woman, who had an illegal “common-law marriage” with Davy Horn. Davy had been enslaved by Randolph. Relationships between southern white women and enslaved Black men were relatively uncommon, …

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A Census Visit to Ms. Julie

My sister often tells me to put my imagination on paper. This fictitious scenario shows how discrepancies in census records were inevitable. So here goes …. On July 2, 1900, the census taker for Enumeration District 24 of Tishomingo County, Mississippi visited Julie Braselton. Her neighbor forewarned him of her colorful personality. His visit with …

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Reuniting a Son with His Father

Sadly, the horrible act of splitting children from their parents is deeply entrenched in American history, especially African American history. Rather if we know the specifics or not in our family histories, it happened a lot. One of my passions has always been unearthing and reconnecting those lost ties that have been unknown for generations. …

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Different Research Approaches, Same Successful Results

Hector & Lucy Davis, Panola County, Mississippi Fortunately, my uncle had this picture of my great great grandparents in his attic. It had belonged to my maternal grandmother, Minnie Davis Reed.  The couple are her paternal grandparents, Hector Davis & Lucy Milam Davis, who had been born into slavery about 1842 and 1846, respectively. I …

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Read the Entire Probate File: Don’t Miss the Storytelling Gems

North Carolina Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina; Picture taken on 28 June 2013 while researching there. When slave-owners died, their estates had to be probated in order to properly distribute their property to lawful heirs. The executor, who was named in the will or who was appointed by a judge, has to prove the validity of …

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Colorado’s First Black Licensed Female Barber

Entering a barbershop, people usually see a business full of men who specialize in cutting and styling men and boys’ hair, shaving faces, and grooming facial hair. Barbering is and has always been male-dominated. In fact, a USA Today article published that only 16% of the 135,000 barbers on record in the U.S. in 2017 …

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DNA Makes the World Incredibly Small

Source: Detroit Free Pass, "Flint mayor wins praise for highlighting water crisis," 22 March 2016, page A5, accessed from newspapers.com. I take time weekly to check my DNA accounts for new DNA matches that are worth investigating. While browsing the new matches in my uncle’s AncestryDNA account, I saw “Cousin Weaver.” AncestryDNA identified her as …

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