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Northampton County Tithables, John B. Bell

Free Africans of Northampton County, Virginia 1662-1677

Free Africans living in Northampton County in 1660’s are listed in the Northampton County Virginia Tithables 1662-1677 as Heads of their own Household:

Bastian Cane and his wife Grace.

Emanuel Driggers

Bashaw Ferdinando and his wife Susan, and Hannah Carter.

King Tony and his wife Sarah.

John Francisco and Christian Francisco.

William Harman and his wife Jane.

Anthony Johnson and John Johnson, his son

John Kinge

Philip Mongon and his Wife.

Francis Pane

King Tony and his wife Sarah.

 

The Fight for Freedom

America’s First Freedom Fighters, Emmanuel and Frances Driggers

The Driggers’ should be known as one of the America’s earliest FREEDOM FIGHTERS. In February of 1623 at Bennett’s plantation Frances is listed with her son Peter in the list of the Living.  Frances was listed in Piercey’s Muster at Flowerdew Plantation in the 1624/25 as an African woman with young child of hers, which we now know is Peter.   Other than a listing of a African man, Emmanuel is not named until the 1640’s.  Emmanuel Driggers marries Frances prior to 1640 in Northampton County, Virginia.  They had at least seven (7) children, of which two were not their natural born children.

1. Elizabeth, was born in 1637 since she was eight (8) years old when she was bound to serve Francis Pott in 1645.  Her indenture to Potts stated: “given to my negro, Emmanuel Driggers by one who brought her up by ye space of eight years” (DW 1645-51, 82)

2. Jane, born May 1644 and noted as one (1) year old on 27th of May, 1645 when Emmanuel bound her to Captain Francis Pott to serve him until the age of thirty-one (31).   Like Elizabeth (above) Jane was not their biological daughter since her indenture read: “bought and paid for to Captain Robert Shepard” On May 24, 1652, Driggers paid for the balance of Jane’s indenture, freeing and releasing her from Potts.  Note: Jane was the biological child of Margaret Cornish and Robert Sweat of Robert Shepard’s household.  She was one of four children born of this relationship.

Emmanuel and Frances’ biological children were…

1. Frances, born 1640

2. Thomas, born 1644

3. Ann, born 1648

4. Edward, born 1650

5. William, born 1655

Frances, Emmanuel’s wife died before 1656 when he took a second wife named Elizabeth, an English woman.

Emmanuel and Elizabeth bore two (2) more children:

1. Devorax/Deverick, born 1656

2. Mary, born 1658.

Emmanuel and Frances Driggers along with most of their children received their freedom during a time when legalized slavery was emerging in Virginia.  How you ask?  The foresight and understanding of the English legal system.  Recording their contracts of indentured servitude set an end date to their indentured time. Legally freeing them from servitude and allowing their FREEDOM!

 

James A. Reaves and Jimmie Letson Reaves with their young family

The Third Generation in Winter Garden

James Alexander Reaves was born on May 4, 1861, just before his father Daniel Asbury Reaves joined the 3rd Florida Infantry.  As a young boy, James arrived in Winter Garden with his parents, younger sister and brother along with his baby brother that was not yet a year old. James himself was only eight.

On June 4, 1884, James married Jimmie Tellula Donnie Letson.  Jimmie was born April 24, 1864 to Sethiel J. Letson and MaryAnn E. Dearing.  Her father, like James’ father Daniel was a Civil War Veteran.  By 1887 when James’ parents along with most of his siblings returned north to settle in Bradford County, Florida, James remained at Reaves Settlement in Winter Garden along with his younger brother Mark Bryan Reaves.  James was an established citrus grower and farmer who had acquired a vast amount of land.

James and Jimmie had nine (9) children.

Alberta (Ada Belle) Reaves was born in May of 1885. She would marry Dudley Lanier Clyatt by 1908, in Worthington Springs, Union County, Florida.  Dudley was the brother of Samuel “Dee” Reaves’ wife, Mattie.

Olin Reaves was born November 8, 1887, in Winter Garden, Florida.  He died November 18, 1906.

James Glover Reaves was born September 7, 1889, in Winter Garden, Florida.  James Glover married Minnie Ada Walker, and they had five girls.  He died October 21, 1973 in Micanopy, Alachua County, Florida.

Ida Reaves was born 1891, in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married W.D. Martin from High Springs, Alachua County, Florida.  She died January 16, 1980.

Irvin Raleigh Reaves was born July 16, 1892, in Winter Garden Florida.  Irvin married Winnie Roberson and established his residence in Marion County, Florida.

Mabel Claire Reaves was born March 30, 1894 in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married Edwin F. Johnson and had four children.  Mabel and Edwin Johnson remained at Reaves Settlement (Beulah) until their deaths.  They are buried at Beulah Cemetery, in Winter Garden, Florida.

Creasy Reaves was born in 1896 in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married Albert Bronson and they had three children.  Creasy died in 1936, at the young age of forty, in Winter Garden, Florida.   She is also buried at Beulah Cemetery.

Sethiel Asbury Reaves was born in March 21, 1898, in Winter Garden, Florida.  He married Sallie Frances Martin and died May 3, 1973, Marion County, Florida.

Mamie Mildred Reaves was born March 5, 1900, in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married William Eugene Hendry and had five children.  She died November 4, 1933, in Highlands, Florida.

James Alexander Reaves died May 9, 1939.  His wife Jimmie continued to live in Winter Garden, until her death in May of 1951.  They are both buried in the Beulah Cemetery in Winter Garden, along with many other Reaves ancestors.  Many generations of their descendants remain in Winter Garden, Florida today.

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Sixth Grade Graduation Test of 1890

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Could you pass the 6th Grade Final Exam given in 1890?

It was a handwritten essay test using no notes or reference material. Everything must come out of your head in one sit down session in front of the teacher. There is a time limit of four hours. Many parents took education very seriously as they had to pay taxes for the schools whether their kids went or not. If you failed it as a twelve (12) year old you are considered unsuitable for school and must do hard work on the farm all day for the next six years without pay. Also if you fail it you will have a free trip to the woodshed where father will administer a thorough switching to your bare butt with a willow switch.

Instructions
Using correct spelling, grammar and good hand writing elaborate on the answers in essay form.

U.S. History
1. Name the parts of the Bill of Rights and explain which rights they protect.
2. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
3. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
4. Tell what you can of the history of Michigan.
5. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
6. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?

Geography
1. Name each of the states in the USA and give its capital.
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate?
3. Describe the mountains of N.A.
4. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
5. Describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10.Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

Arithmetic
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cents per bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 1 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $.20 per inch?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10.Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

Grammar
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principle marks of Punctuation.

Orthography
1. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.
2. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
3. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, and super.
4. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, and rays.
5. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Did you pass?

Could William Kirkland from Edgefield, SC be of North Carolina Cherokee descent?

DNA – the ultimate ancestry search

Could William Kirkland from Edgefield, SC be of North Carolina Cherokee descent?

Could William Kirkland from Edgefield, SC be of North Carolina Cherokee descent?

DNA results can even surprise a family historian and professional Genealogist.  DNA is a must if you want to discover your TRUE identity.  When the Kinfolk Detective receives unexpected DNA results a new search took flight.  Surnames which were believed to be English, Irish, and Scottish, are ultimately only Partially European with the balance being Jewish, African, Middle Eastern and Asian.

Hall, Blount, Baker, Davis, Brazel, Moore, Kirkland and Creed are my Paternal surnames and Graves, Witty, Davis, Roberts, Johnson, Erikson, Reaves, and Letson  are my Maternal.   Now, after receiving these DNA results I will begin a new journey to find the origin of each of the surnames in these four generations.  (By the fifth generation the amount of a specific strain would be non-reportable.)

I will begin with my Paternal gr. great grandparents Kirkland and Creed.    These surnames are in my fathers maternal line, and his mother’s maternal grandparents.    William Kirkland married Angeline Irine Creed in 1875.  According to an 1900 census, Born in South Carolina, William Kirkland was 52 years of age.  His wife of twenty-five years born in Georgia was 49 years of age and they were residing in Sawdust, Tattnall County, Georgia with ten of their children.  My grandmothers, mother was their youngest at the age of one.  Lucky for me, my 97-year-old grandmother is living and has a powerful memory.  After questioning her, I find she remembers her mother telling her that her grandmother was a North Carolina Cherokee.  Could this be a strain I’m looking for?

I search the internet, looking specifically for South Asian DNA with the population being Southeast Indian, North Indian and Middle Eastern DNA with the population being from Bedouin, and Mozabite.  I find there are several suggestions of North Carolina Cherokee Indian.  Could this be the link?  After a Google search with the keywords Kirkland and North Carolina Indian,  I find Nathan Kirkland “Cheesequire” who was a Cherokee Indian chief who lived to be 135 years of age reported to have descendants living in Edgefield, SC, where William Kirkland was born.  Could this be a clue?  Could William Kirkland be of North Carolina Cherokee descent?

Continue to follow  under my “exploring DNA” category.

Fold3.com a military website

If your searching for a male ancestor born 16-30 years prior to any war, check out http://FOLD3.com.  This is a military website that can provide immense information.  Looking for my husbands great-grandfather’s military records I made a HUGE discovery.  His name was Daniel Burnett Knight, born in 1833 and the oldest son of nine siblings.     From Fold3’s carded records much information can be learned.   Age, Rank-in/Rank-out, location enlisted, battles fought, injuries as well as all the other members enlisted in the same company.

On October 17, 1861, in Middleburg, Florida, at the age of 27, Daniel Burnett Knight enlisted under the command of Captain Summerlin to Florida’s First Calvary, Company C,  entering with the rank of 3rd Lieutenant.  As I explore the other members of Company C, I realize many are first and second cousins to Lt. D.B. Knight, all enlisting the same day, in Middleburg, FL.  The further I dig, I find the deaths of three brothers, Lt. Knight’s first cousins, who were killed under his command at Missionary Ridge where the confederates took serious casualties.  What a sobering letter he must have written to his Aunt and Uncle reporting the deaths of their three boys.  Then I find a father’s signature signing for his three son’s belongings and pay.   I can’t imagine the grief they withstood.

Looking through each card whether a receipt or a commission, injury, or illness a forgotten story emerges.  I find a letter that was written to the wife of a General who was captured along with Daniel Burnett Knight at Missionary Ridge.  The letter explains that Lt. Knight escaped the Unions grips and made if back to the Confederate camp without further issue, telling information of the captured officers condition to be passed on to their loved ones.  Riveting stuff!

Would I have found this information without FOLD3?  Maybe, maybe not, but its a great website to start with even with the minimal membership costs.  Its a great tool!

 

 

A simple Google search

 

GOOGLE.com

With the Internet making such great strides, many Genealogists put their work on-line.  When you hit a brick wall, (not “if”, because you definitely will) sometimes a simple Google search can provide you with enough suggestion.  The reason I say suggestion, is you must verify all the information that you add to your family tree.  Don’t consider anything and everything to be factual.  Genealogists are humans too, and even the best can make mistakes.

As you Google make sure to check Google Books which is located on the far right side of your google.com task bar.  You may have to drop down the “More” icon to locate it.   Many historical books are on the internet and are fully accessible.

So, make sure to Google.  You never know what you might find!

“If you CAN prove it, it’s Genealogy, if you CAN’T, it’s Mythology!”

A statement that is frequently made among those who search the records of history looking for that all important clue is “If you can prove it, it’s Genealogy, if you can’t, it’s Mythology”.   When you begin your Genealogy be sure to document everything.  Therefore, a good filing system will be necessary.  There are many ways you can organize your files, and the Kinfolk Detective suggests Alphabetically. Starting with your master family files and continuing with the individual files within you master family file.

With each individual file you should have, if you can locate them, the following evidence:

Birth Certificate or equal –  (equivalent could be baptismal).

Immigration papers – if the individual is immigrating from another country.

Census records showing residence – A Federal census is completed every ten years.

Military records.

Marriage Certificate or equal.

Will or Probate records

Newspaper articles

Pictures

In the Kinfolk Detective’s perspective, a census is the easiest place to start.  A federal census can show a lot of good information including current location, name of every person in the household, a description of age, sex, and color, profession or occupation of each, value of estate owned- both real estate and personal,  place of birth, both parents place of birth, if they are able to read and write, and the last year of school they attended.

Now that you have all of this information, you can make some associations and assumptions.  Foremost where did they come from.  The names of brothers, sisters and parents.  When you can compare census’ you may see a brother that might have disappeared.  Did he marry?  Is he now the head of his own household? Did he die from an injury in a war?    Your dates are important as they can give you clues.  In the 1700’s and 1800’s many men married young.  If a seventeen or eighteen year old disappeared, its quite possible that he married or moved away with his wife’s family.  If there was a war within the ten years its possible he was killed in the war.   Sometimes you must think outside of the box to find your answers.

Many of the above documents can give you information and hints to your next subjects, their parents and siblings.

 

How it all began….

In the warmth of the morning sun I ride Peanut, my Shetland pony, down the winding dirt trail through the grove past my great-grandmothers house while dodging the occasional orange tree limb.   We trot across the open meadow where the garden was planted in the spring and around the corner where the briars are thick and the blackberries are sweet.  We turn back heading down to the boondocks, where either a small stream or a trickle of water can be flowing through the little ravine.  The hope is always for enough water for Peanut to jump across rather than trot right through.  We continue up the hill, past Granny Suggs rabbit pen, through the grapefruit grove and across the clay road.

I’m on my way to have a picnic.  I’m not alone, they are all there.  Aunts, Uncles, grandpas and grandmas at least seven generations back.  I know them all.  As I walk with my great-grandmother, she tells me stories of her favorite sister Creasy, her Uncle Asbury who was killed in the war, and the neighbor that caused her much distress letting food go bad instead of giving it to another in need.  Regardless of their relation, they all now lay resting in the small community cemetery, each  with a different headstone or a memorable symbol I use to remember their story.  As she places the flowers in the vase at the base of Papa Johnson’s grave, she reminds me that she just couldn’t hold on to her two boys, Olin and Paul, which her husband now rests  beside.  “Only the girls were strong enough to make it,” she says in a quiet voice.  Even at the young age of five, I know her heart is torn.

Fast forward forty (40) years; With my own children grown up and gone off on their own adventures, I turn to the stories of my childhood re-igniting an addictive passion within me.  “Genealogy”.

As I share my great-grandmothers stories with my husband, I realize that he never knew any of his ancestors.  How could this be?  How could he not know his Grandparents?   I now realize how lucky I was growing up surrounded by family. I had three of my four grandparents and one very healthy great-grandma, which I saw most every day.   It seems our family lived in the same small community forever.  I always knew where I came from or should I say who I came from  and the stories told by a great woman who wished to keep her ancestors memories alive.  Some died in a war, others from a disease that’s now been extinguished some five or six decades, and then there were those who died of old age, but they all had stories, great stories.