[AfriAm-Smith] Re: afriamsurnames reply

Jim Smith jsmith208819 at comcast.net
Sun Oct 19 16:16:53 EDT 2003


Thank you so much for replying.  To answer your questions...

Yes, the men and probably Nancy Smith who was born in Virginia were 
African American, listed as either black or mulatto depending upon the 
census year.  In the early twenties, there was a family schism where my 
Great-grandfather Ananias and his wife began identifying him and their 
children as white.  His brothers and sisters raised their children as 
African American.

I have death certificates for my Great-grandfather and mother but for no 
one else.  I do know that Waddy Sr. died in Liberty Twp, Grant Co., IN 
and where he is buried.  But there is no record of his death or that of 
his wife's.

I have been able to trace the family back through census records to 1850.

Family lore states that the Smiths carried with them a document stating 
that they were Freemen. However, Nancy, who could be Waddy Sr.'s mother 
and not his wife (she was 61 yrs. old in the 1850 census while Waddy Sr. 
was listed as 47), may have been a slave in Virginia.

I have only been able to document marriage back to Waddy Jr. in Harlan 
Co., KY.

Have just began searching Virginia registers.

Depending upon which census is consulted, the Smiths either originated 
in North Carolina (later censuses) or South Carolina (early censuses.  
Family lore claims the North Carolina connection in Guilford Co., NC.  
They migrated to KY sometime between 1830 and 1845 according to the 
birth state comments on Waddy Jr.'s children in 1850.  Either Waddy was 
mentioned in in a white man's will leaving him property in Bernuda in 
the early 1800s.  That will was probated in Philadelphia.

Once I try to go past Harlan Co., KY in 1850 I am running into a brick 
wall.  My tree is on rootsweb (jim_smith87123) and I will be entering 
Waddy Sr.'s children today.

Waddy Jr.'s wife was a white, Quaker woman as was Ananias' wife.  
However, their husbands are not listed in the Encyclopedia of Quaker 
Genealogy.  I have no trouble tracing Ananias' wife Phoebe Ellen 
Davidson but cannot locate any records on Nancy Marks, Waddy Jr.'s 
wife.  The 1850 census states she was born in TN.

OK, I think I have answered your questions.  Oh, I cannot find any of 
Waddy Sr.'s children later than 1850 except for James and Ananias even 
though I know from family records that most did migrate to Grant Co., IN 
sometime between 1850 and 1860.

Any help or suggestions would greatly appreciated.  This is part of my 
heritage of which I am proud and I want to know everything I can find 
out about my ancestry, my family. What was it like to marry white women 
in the 1800s?  Were they ever slaves? Who "owned" them? Where in Africa 
do we come from? I can feel a hunger for that knowledge in my gut that 
keeps me awake at night.  What's unusual, is that on my mother's side of 
the family are Smiths.  They also come from North Carolina.

Thanks,

Jim




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