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!

 

Lawnes Creek Parish Tithables 1668-1669 Surry County, Virginia.

Lawnes Creek ParishFirst African Woman to Pay her Own Tithes!

I visited Surry County, Virginia this past week to locate Lawnes Creek Parish.

Listed in the Surry County Tithables 1668-1669, Lawnes Creek Parish is Margaret Cornish. The first AFRICAN woman to pay her own tithes/taxes and own her  home. What an amazing accomplishment in 1668-1669, just one year after slavery is legalized in Virginia. This historic marker locates the Lawnes Creek Church.

 

1619 Genealogy – The Descendants of the First “Twenty and Odd”

After a recent trip to Virginia, meeting with several Professors and Community Leaders, I’ve decided to start 1619 Genealogy – the Descendants of the first “Twenty & Odd.”  A genealogy bank that will be documenting and identifying the descendants of the first Africans to arrive in the English settlement of Virginia in 1619.  Many of these Africans married into the English and Native Indian communities. Could YOU be a descendant? Please LIKE the FB page below – 1619 Genealogy – Descendants of the first “Twenty and Odd.”

Join the Journey! #Project1619, #TwentyandOdd, #1619TheMakingofAmerica, #KinfolkDetective

https://www.facebook.com/1619GenealogyBank?ref=hl

NOTE:  The 1619 Genealogy website is currently under construction.  Please be patient as this is quite the task.  As soon as website is up and running, we will update you through the facebook page listed above.  Thank you for your interest!

Two Angolans in the Depths of Somerset

Manchester Papers, page 252, London, England – PRO.  Courtesy Author – Benjamin Woolley, Savage Kingdom, The True Story of Jamestown.

Two Angolans were not specifically named in the Manchester Papers, filed in the Public Records Offices in London.  The evidence is an accumulation.  The naming of the “White Lyon (Lion) was not coincidental.  These Angolans were pirated from the San Juan Bautista in the summer of 1619.  As you follow, it will be determined, the two Angolans were Margaret Cornish and John Gowen/Graweere.

 

Manchester Papers – Rich Letters  1621

Three other Angolans, pirated from the San Juan Bautista, would also visit England via the English ship, James, from Bermuda.  They landed at the Port of Southampton where they were taken to Leez (Leighs) Priory, Robert Rich II, Earl of Warwick’s estate.   Their names were – Anthony, Mary, and John Pedro.

 

 

Today in History – April 17, 1644

 

The Powhatan King Opechancanough rallied his forces to make a final attempt at routing the English from his people’s land. The attack, launched on April 17, 1644, resulted in the death of at least five-hundred colonist, but, like the attempt made 22 years earlier, did not achieve its objective. The English captured Opechancanough, by then an old and feeble man, was taken to Jamestown, where he was shot in the back by a soldier against orders.

The Chosen Ones – A Genealogy Poem

The Genealogist

The Genealogist

The Chosen Ones
In each family we hear the call to find our ancestors.
To put flesh on their bones and make them live once again,
To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
To me, genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts,
But instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.
We are the story tellers of the tribe.
We have been called as it were by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us:
Tell our story.
So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.
How many graves have I stood before and cried?
I have lost count.
How many times have I told the ancestors?
You have a wonderful family, you would be proud.
How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me?
I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documented facts.
It goes to who I am and why I do the things I do.
It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever,
To weeds and indifference and saying I can’t let this happen.
The bones here are bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
It goes to doing something about it.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
How they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up.
Their resoluteness to building a life for their family.
It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us as a nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us,
That we might be born who we are.
That we might remember who they were.
So we do.
With love and care we scribe each fact of their existence,
Because we are they and they are us.
It is up to that one called in the next generation,
To answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do Genealogy,
And that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.

Author: Della M. Cumming ca. 1943

Forgotten sayings of yesteryear

The meaning behind the old sayings……

wash tub baths

wash tub baths

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house always had the privilege of the nice clean water, then the sons and other men. Next the women and finally the children, with the babies last. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it….Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof….Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and the guest got the top, or the “upper crust.”

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a “wake.”

Today in History August 25, 1619

cover1Almost four-hundred years ago today “twenty and odd” Africans arrive at Old Pointe Comfort, in Hampton, Virginia. They are the first Africans to arrive in what will become English-North America.
The “twenty and odd” Africans were captives, sold as slaves, during the Portuguese invasion of the Kingdom of Ndongo, in Angola Africa. Sold to the Spanish-Portuguese Captain Acuna some three-hundred captives are placed aboard the San Juan Bautista and shipped seven-thousand miles away to their doom in the silver mines of Mexico. But, before the slaver can reach it’s destination the ship is pirated by two English corsairs and fate is set in motion by the Calvinist Reverend turned Privateer, Captain John Jope. Their new destination becomes a small English settlement which will eventually become known as America. Until recent years the identity of the Captain was simply known as a Dutch Captain, who brought “twenty and odd” Africans to the shores of Virginia. Now, after intense research we know who they were, their fate which brought them to America and the cover-up that took place surrounding their arrival.

Returning a family album to its rightful owners

Family of Dr. John Harland Paul

Family of Dr. John Harland Paul

Recently, I came into the possession of a very old and beautiful family album. It is in very good condition for its age. The photos seem to range from 1900 to 1910. The family names noted are Coffin, Hauk, Norman and Paul. Also, there is a letter written by Ellen Coffin of the Parker Coffin family of the Wayne County Coffin Quaker Pioneers, stating that they are of Norman-French descent. Total, there is probably 30-40 very old photographs. The following are just a few. If a notation is added, it is what someone has written on the back of the photo. Please let me know if you recognize any of these, so that the album may be returned to its rightful owner.

John Harland Paul and Kathryn Paul, Shanghai, China 1905  (siblings)

John Harland Paul and Kathryn Paul, Shanghai, China 1905 (siblings)

Harvey Hauk

Harvey Hauk

Florence Hauk, age 8 yrs. old  1903 possibly 1908

Florence Hauk, age 8 yrs. old 1903 possibly 1908

Union Baptist Church, Lanier County GA

Union Baptist Church est. 1825

Union Baptist Church est. 1825

Union Baptist Church, the first church in the old area of Irwin County, Georgia was established October 21, 1825. The original members were William A. Knight and Sarah, his wife; Jonathan Knight and Elizabeth, his wife; Joshua Lee and Martha, his wife; James Patten and Elizabeth, his wife; Mary Knight, and Josiah Sirmans. The first Minister of Union Baptist Church was Reverend Matthew Albritton.