Monday, March 29, 2010

Ancestor Badge

I wanted to find a way to let my fellow genealogy bloggers know how much I appreciate and enjoy their blogs full of tips and tricks as well as funny and heartwarming stories so I came up with this little award.

As a recipient of this award I ask that you list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you and pass it along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud.

P.S. Don't forget to let them know that you have awarded them.

Here are the first ten bloggers to receive this award:

  1. Luckie at Our Georgia Roots
  2. Tom at Geneabloggers
  3. Caroline at Family Stories
  4. Dionne at Finding Josephine
  5. Vickie at BeNotForgot
  6. Reconnected Roots
  7. FootnoteMaven
  8. Renate at Into The Light
  9. Diane at CanadaGenealogy, or, Jane's Your Aunt
  10. Elyse's Genealogy Blog

Friday, March 26, 2010

Freind of Friends Friday --Cook and Related Families 2

The following will abstracts are taken from the book "Thomas Cooke of Rhode Island", by Jane Fletcher Fiske. This is a continuation of last Friday's post.
John Cook (1685-1759) pg. 100
John Cook of Tiverton, yeoman, declared that he was "in my Declining years but of sound and perfect mind," and disposed of his estate as follows:

...Moreover I give unto my son Abial Cook my Negro man named Chap for term of life...
...To my daughter Amy Briggs 400 pounds (and)my Negro woman named Meg for term of life besides what I have given unto her already which she hath in her hands or possession.... my daughter Barsheba Sisson 400 pounds (and) my Negro girl named Jenny for term of life besides what I have already given her... my daughter Lillis Cook...400 pounds (and) my Negro girl named Zilf for term of life... my daughter Rebeckas Manchester 400 pounds beside what I have already given her & delivered unto her in my lifetime ... (and) my Negro girl named Mol for term of life ... my daughter Ruth Baley 400 pounds ... one bed & bedding & bedsted & half a dozen high backed chares & great chare ... my Negro girl called Rachel for term of life besides what I have delivered unto her in my lifetime...
James Sisson (1690-1775)pg. 105

By the will his father George, dated 20 August 1718, James received land in Portsmouth, and old Negro man named Abraham and Lucy his wife, 20 sheep, furniture and other goods, and was directed to fence and maintain the family burying ground (Portsmouth Probate 2:165).

James' will was dated 23 March 1775 and proved 4 October 1775.
... To Catherine, widow of son Barnet, James left his Negro girl named Zilf to serve until she was 21, at which time Catherine was to clothe her well and set her at liberty, and she was to be supported by grandson Rodman whenever she should be unable to support herself.
...To son James..."my grate Bible & my first volume of Isaac Penningtons writings & also my Negro boy named Jack to serve him until he arrives to the age of 21 & then to be well clothed & set at Liberty ... my Negro girl named Phillis when she arrives to the age of 18 shall be well clothed & set at Liberty by my son James or his heirs."
Joseph Cook (1695-1726) pg. 108
Joseph Cook, Jr. of Portsmouth died intestate; on 14 November 1726 his widow Hannah was given administration on his estate. The inventory was presented 28 December, and on 9 January 1726/7 the town council recorded a debt found against Joseph Cook for sundry expenses in carrying on the work of building the house in which he died, and also for a Negro woman he was to have sold for Henry Gibbs of Barbados (Portsmouth TC Book 3:5,6,7,76,77).

Thomas Cook (1697-1756) pg. 110
Thomas Cook of Tiverton, yeoman and son to Joseph Cook, deceased, very weak in body, signed his will 19 Oct 1756 and it was proved 19 November following. Witness were Edward Shull, Restcome Sanford and Sarah Soule. daughter Deborah Cook the sum of 300 pounds and my Negro girl named Judah for term of Life... my six daughters Deborah Cook, Susannah Cook, Deliverance Cook Hannah Cook, Mary Cook & Ruth Cook all my household goods together with my Negro woman named Rose for term of life to be equally divided...

Desire Slocum (1734-178?) pg. 114
Ebenezer Slocum of Dartmouth in his will dated 18 June 1781 and proved 16 April 1783 named among others his well beloved daughter Desire Cook, leaving to her twenty Spanish Silver Dollars and a Negro girl named Susanah who was already in her possesion (Portsmouth Probate 7:57).

Thomas Sisson pg. 122-123
Thomas Sisson of Tiveron in his will dated 20 August 1775 and proved 20 January 1777 stated that he was weak of body. He left
...unto my loving Daughter Elizabeth Sherman and to her son after her ... all my housing and land at Portsmouth ... also my Negro woman Named Cansa untill she is thirty years of age and no longer ... said Negro woman to be Free at the age of thirty years and at her own Disposal ... will is that my Negro Girl named Pegg that now lives with Daughter Silvester Sears shall there remain untill she shall Arrive to the age of thirty years and no longer and then to be free and at her own Disposal...
... to my son in law Joseph Shearman all my Negroes born in his house of my Negro woman Named Cansa ...

The will was witnessed by George Tibbits, Eber Davis and Lemuel Sisson Jr. (Tiverton Probate 4:243).

In November 1782 Joseph Sherman of Tiverton, Esq., sued Phillip Sisson of Dartmouth, yeoman, devisee of the real estate of Thomas Sisson late of Tiverton, deceased, charging that from 20 April 1778 until 15 April 1781 he had "found and provided meat, dring, washing and lodging for a certain Negro man Jack belonging to Thomas Sisson late of Tiverton," for which Philip Sisson had apparently promised to pay. Also involved was a bill dated 6 Feburary 1779 for clothing, coffin, funeral charges, digging a grave, looking after him in his last sickness and fetching the doctor several times, and for Dr. Cobb's bill, which, because of its date, must have referred to Thomas Sisson rather than Jack...

I will post the remaining slave mentions in this book next Friday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friend of Friends Friday -- Cooke and Related Families

I searched through all the notes and sources that I had on my ancestors and found no indication of slave owners. Of course there are those ancestors that don't have any sources or notes associated with them.

Well that all changed when I started reading the book THOMAS COOKE OF RHODE ISLAND, by Jane Fletcher Fiske that I was finally able to get a hold of through the Interlibrary Loan. Not only did I find information that I didn't have on my Cooke ancestors, there are oodles of slave references within w
ills and court records relating not only to my line, but to collateral lines as well as second and third spouses and their parents(and I haven't even made it half way through the book yet).

I have done internet searches to see if any of these wills were already online somewhere. So far I have only found one full will and references to a few others, but they neglect to mention the slaves.

I feel that it is my responsibility while I have this book to post everything I can mentioning slaves. I only have the book until March 31, but I have a feeling that I am going to have to renew it because there are two volumes with over 400 pages!

I am going to put a "*" next to my direct ancestors. I will also note the page number from where the information came. I will post the whole will when I can, but to save time I will only post the pertinent information on others. I do want to mention that some of the slaves mentioned are Native American.

* John Cooke alias Butcher (1630-1691) p. 36-37.

John Cooke signed his mark to his will 15 May 1691, less than five months after the death of his wife, Mary. He stated that although he was of sound memory and understanding,“yet being aged and calling to mind the brevity and uncertainty of this life not Knowing how soon the Lord may call me from hence Especially considering the sore visitation of the smallpox wherewith many are now visited and many have been taken away.”

To his son John Cook he left his land at Puncatest Neck, it being about 150 acres, together with the housing thereon, 4 acres of saltmarsh meadow at Sapowet in Little Compton,together with one-half of the upland he had there, 8 head of neat cattle, the feather bed and bedding in the house John, Jr. now lived in at Puncatest, and 20 sheep. From this bequest was reserved for Joseph Cook the right during his lifetime to keep 15 head of cattle at Puncatest and to harvest hay there for the wintering of those cattle.

His son Joseph Cook received the housing were John now lived in Portsmouth, together with all the land and outbuildings, 4 acres of saltmarsh meadow at Sapowet and one-half of the upland there. If Joseph should die without male heirs this property was to pass to son Thomas and his male heirs.

Joseph, within half a year after his father’s decease, was to pay to his sister Mary, wife of William Manchester, £10 and to deliver to her 10 sheep. To his sister, Elizabeth, wife of William Briggs, Sara, wife of Thomas Wait, Hannah, wife of Daniel Wilcox, and Martha, Wife of William Cory, Joseph was to pay £10 apiece. Sister Deborah, wife of William Almy, was to have only one shilling. Sister Amy, wife of David Clayton, was to be paid £10 in money, “and to each of his other sisters being six of them he shall deliver to each of them a cow.” Elizabeth Briggs also received a feather bed, bedding and furniture.

To Joseph he left his Negro man call Jack “who is of service for time of his Life” and his Indian woman Maria to be his servant for ten years and then to be freed, and his Indian boy Goan Francisco to serve with him until he be twenty-four years old, at which time Joseph was to put him in good apparel and give him corn and a horse. Joseph also received a feather bed and bedding.

To son Thomas Cook he left the 16th lot in Pocasset Purchase, divided or undivided, and 4 acres of salt marsh.

To son Samuel Cook he left the 19th lot in Pocasset Purchase, but Samuel was not to have the disposal of this without the advice and consent of the executor and overseers of the will.

John further bequeathed to his son John his Negro woman Betty and to his son Thomas 20 sheep, 3 cows and a mare. He named son Joseph whole and sole executor of the will and “Request and Intreat my Loving friends and neighbors George Sisson and Isaac Lawton to by my overseers to do their utmost that all Things may be managed aright according as I do hereby dispose. Moreover I will and bequeath to my Granddaughter Sarah Manchester a cow to be delivered her at the day of her marriage....”

George Sisson, Margaret Hall and John Yelthro witnessed the will; Yelthro was a schoolmaster and probably the scribe who wrote it. All three testified to it authenticity when it was proved 25 May 1691 (Portsmouth TC [Town Records] 2:266). A copy of this will is included in Court Files, Suffolk, 42579, where it was entered into evidence over fifty years later by John’s great-grandson William Cook when he was seeking to recover his inheritance.

Steven Cook (1656-1712) p. 55

Steven Cook of Shrewsbury, yeoman, very weak in body, made his will 7 March 1711: my well beloved son Silas Cook after the death of my wife,the sd farm which I now live on with ye meadow therunto belonging unto him his heirs & assigns for Ever. Likewise I give & bequeath to son Silas my Negro boy Will (after ye decease of my wife).

Steven signed by mark, in presence of witnesses William West, Thomas Cook, and Samuel Dennis Jr. The will was proved 3 may 1712 (NJA 23:106; original will, N.J. State Library).

Jonathan Marsh ( -1704) p.57
Jonathan Marsh in his will dated 9 June 1704 and proved 3 July 1704, named his wife *Phebe, his sons William and Jonathan, Negroes Robin and Cuffe, his cousin Hester Palmer, daughter of sister Sarah Palmer,, son-in-law (i.e. stepson) Oliver Arnold, six daughters-in-law including Freelove Arnold, and his wife's kinswoman Abigail Remington, to whom he left a cow.

Captain Benjamin Sheffield ( - 1764)p. 59
An inventory of the estate of Capt. Benjamin Sheffield, dated 5 Jan 1764 included a Negro woman called Hagar, a Negor man, Moses, another Negro man Ezekiel, and Negro girl, Patience and on 30 June was added, from the estate of the widow *Damaris, an old Indian woman, Phillis, valued at 4d.

William Briggs (1650-1716) p.62
In his will dated 3 April 1716, William Briggs of Little compton in the County of Bristoll in New England, yeoman, left the dwelling house he lived in to his son Job, along with all the household stuff therein and all the farm. will farther is that my two Mullato girls, Hope and Mercy be with my wife or daughters Woodman and Head till they arrive at the years of twenty five, and then to be Immediately free and att theyr owne dispositien, and to be allowed forthwith by theyr Masters or Mistresses each of them a good new suit of cloathes from top to toe and twenty shillings in money apiece....
(Is it possible that William could be the father of Hope and Mercy?)

Joseph Cook (1661-1746) p. 70-71
An undated Portsmouth Town Council record relates that a Negro man named Jack Cook was warned out of Tiverton and sent to Joseph Cook of Portsmouth. Joseph declared he had sold him to Joseph Wodell, a Negro man of Tiverton, referring to a deed of 13 December 1709 and that Wodell did manumit Jack on 23 March 1709/10. Jack was therefore ordered back to Tiverton (Portsmouth TC 3:278).

Joseph Cook of Portsmouth, yeoman, "being under infirmities respectin my bodily health ... for the prevention [of] future troubles in my family" signed his will 25 April 1742, witnessed by George Sisson, Richard Sisson Jr. and William Sanford (Portsmouth TC 4:251). It reads in part, my son Thomas Cook all my neat Cattle and sheep and Husbandry utensils which are now in his poseesion, whith my new fratherbed & bolster, one pair of sheets, three good blankets and a Coverlet (beside the bed & furniture he hath already received) together with ye Negro man Abraham so called and the Chest commonly called my Chest, two sets of plate buttons one for a Coat & ye other for breeches.

Elizabeth [Little] Cook (1683-1764) p. 84
Elizabeth Cook, widow of John, left a will but it is badly torn. Sick and weak in body, but of sound and well disposed mind, she named her son-in-law [i.e. stepson] Silas Cook and her granddaughter Susanna Brenton, and appointed Samuel Brenton executor. Among items bequeathed to Silas were a silver tankard and shoe buckles that had belonged to his father, John Cook, deceased. The residue of the estate was left to grandaughter Susanna Brenton. Elizabeth directed that a Negro man, Cesar, and a Negro woman [torn] be freed after her decease.

On 5 June, 1764, Ceazer Cook, "late servant of John cook," was admitted to the fellowship of the Second Congregational Church, Newport.

John Pearce (1686-1754)p.84
John's will was dated 25 October 1754 and proved 13 February 1755. He named his [second]wife Mary who was "mother-in-law" to his son John.
....To his grandson George Cook he left a silver tankard, 6 silver spoons, gold buttons and buckles, and a Negro man named London.

Silas Cook (1686-1725)page 91-92
Silas Cook of the town of Shrewsbury, yeoman, signed by mark his will dated 1 June 1725 and proved 1 March 1725/6.
...He specified, "my will is that my Negro man Will at the end of seven years after date hereof shall have his freedom ... if at any time after he shall misbehave himself so that my wife, my heirs or executors shall come to any Damage then he shall lose his freedom and become their slave as if he had not been mentioned herein." Among his inventory were a loom and tackling and sheep's wool, a Bible, smith's tools a Negro girl, and seven years' service of a Negro Man (Stillwell,HGM 6:105-106, 151;NJA 23:106; Monmouth Co. will at N.J. State Library).

I will post more next Friday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friend of Friends Friday -- Winstead

This week I am going to post the slave information from hubby's Winstead ancestors starting with hubby's 7th great-grandparents Samuel and Winifred Winstead.

Samuel Winstead, Jr. (25 Oct 1701 - Abt. 1773)

To Wife, Winnefret: "All the lands that I had of Edward Bullock [74 A. purchased 12 Feb 1751] and James Harold [50 A. purchased October 14 1745] during her natural life, and afterwards to her, son Francis Winstead, and his heirs."

"My four oldest slaves, Will, Dwinsher, Sarah and Sone, to be sold and so equally divided amongst my former children that I had by my first wives."

"The rest of my estate to my wife, Winnifret during her natural life and afterward to be equally divided amongst all my children."

Wife and son, Samuel, to be executors.
Witness, Joseph Powers & Richard Grimstead.

(Will written, 7 April 1773; probated 14 March 1774. 
Northumberland Co, St Stephen's Parish, VA)


Teste., Catesby Jones, Ct. Cur.

Know all men by these presents that I, Winefred Winstead of the County of North'd and parish of St. Stephens, do make over my whole Estate of Lands, Negroes namely George, Richard, Job, Harry, Sarah, Lucey, Minnay and Sarah, and all my Stock of Cattle, Hogs, Sheep and Horses that I shall have in possession on the first day of November 1783. To my son, Francis Winstead, to act and manage as my said son shall think fit for the benefit of my Estate during my natural life, provided that my said Son, Francis Winstead, will maintain my Self and family as far as my Estate will admit of with Frugality etc., and I do agree that if my Son, Francis Winstead, should make anything more than for my Support above mentioned that he may apply to his own use, and I, the said Francis Winstead, for my part do agree to settle of all acc'ts & discharge for my said Mother, Winefred Winstead, that shall come against her and further I do afree if I, the said Francis Winstead, should not perform the above as far as the Estate will admit of them then I do agree that my said mother should take her estate out of my hands & I, the said Winefred Winstead, do agree to perform the above under the penalty of two hundred pounds. Give under my hand this First Day of July 1783.

(signed) Winefred Winstead (SEAL)

Signed (and) Seald in presence of ________

(Signed) Mathew Self
John L. ____ (?)


Below are links to wills that I found while doing a search for Winsteads.

Samuel Winstead, III
Mandley Winstead
Jordan Joyner,sr
Drury Taylor
Christopher Taylor
Hardy Taylor
Harry Taylor
Rosamon Taylor
Wilson Taylor

Narrative of Rachael Stout Winstead, former slave of Stephen Hall Winstead.

I found this next will on

North Carolina Wills and Inventories

Richard Caswell's Will.

In The Name Of God Amen. I, Richard Caswell , of Dobbs County , in the State of North Carolina , Do this second day of July , in the Yiear of our Lord, one thousand, Seven hundred and eighty seven, make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament as the one I made on the death of my dearly beloved son, William Caswell , will not suit withe my present circumstances, I declare that and all former Wills and Testaments by me made, null and void, holding this and this only for firm and effectual, which is as follows:

First, I reserve for the use of a burying ground for all those of my family and Connections who may choose to bury their Relations and friends there, one half acre of Land where the Bones of my dear father and Mother lie, at a place called the Hill, to be laid out East, West, North, and South so as to leave those Bones near the centre of the said half Acre of Ground, and I also reserve in like manner, one half Acre of Land where the Bones of beloved wife (and) and son, William , now lie near the red house, to be laid out in the same manner and for the same purpose as the above half Acre is directed; and these two half Acres to be reserved for the uses afores'd for ever. And its likewise my Will that those who wish to bury their Dead at either of the said places and coming with in the meaning of the description above, shall always have liberty of Egress, Ingress and regress to, at and from the said respective burying grounds to bury the dead or repair or raise an enclosure to the same.

Secondly, To prevent any kind of Dispute which might arise between my Brother, Martin Caswell , or his heirs or Assigns with those claiminge under me, I declare all the Land comprised within his Title from Samuel Caswell or the Title to Samuel Caswell or Nathaniel Bird, I have no claim to, notwithstanding my patent may be of a Younger date, than the Deed I granted to Nathaniel Bird for the same.

Thirdly, Whereas, my Brother, Samuel Caswell,in his life time and myself, agreed for two hundred acres of Land whereon he lived, immediately before his death, which was to begin at Mackilwean's (corner) corner next the river, near Mrs. Skiners dwelling and run up Mackilweans to Dosiers out corner, then with his line to the flat branch near the end of Mr. Coasts feild , then with the side of the said Flat and high Land down to where a small branch empties into the said Flat branch, which runs through Keilings old field, then a direct line to the mouth of the Cypress Gut, then down the river a small distance to Boxes corner, then with his line out to my corner, and then to the Beginning, which included part of Dosiers, Keilings, Boxes and my own former claims, for three hundred pounds and notwithstanding a very small part of that Sum was paid me in my said Brothers life time, and knowing it would very much distress his family was I to require the remainder, therefore, I leave the use of the Land aforesaid with the plantations and appurtenances to my Sister, Eleanor Caswell,the widow of said Brother, untill her son, Shine Caswell, arrives to the age of twenty one Years, at which period I give and devise the same to him, the said Shine Caswell, his heirs and Assigns for ever.

Fourthly, I give to my Grandson, Richard William Caswell , a negro boy named Boson, and his assigns for ever. Fifthly, I give to my Grandson, Richard Francis Mackilwean , a Negro boy named Daniel, and to his Assigns forever.

Sixthly, If Jonathan Morris chooses to take the Land whereon old Jack lives, which I bought at the vendue of Richard Caswell, Junrs : estate at the price I gave for it, I desire that the Title may be made to him for the same.

Seventhly, Whereas, I purchased at the Vendue of the Estate of my Son, Richard Caswell , one Lot and half a Lot of Land in Kinston, with the house wherein Mrs. Caswell now lives, and the appurtenances, one Negro Woman named Sarah, one Negro girl named Sall, one Negro boy named Charles, and one Negro boy named Jim, which Lot and Half and premisses, with the said Negroes, I leave the use of to my Daughter in Law, Mary Caswell, until my Neice, Sarah Caswell, her duaghter, arrives to the age of eighteen Years, if my said Daughter should so long live, and at that period or at the time of my said Daughters Death, if it should happen before my said grand Daughter arrives to the age aforesaid, I give, devise and bequeath the said Lot, half Lot, and premises with the said Negroes, to my said Grand Daughter, her heirs and Assigns forever, to be delivered over to her free of any charges or incumbrances on account of the maintenance and support of my said Grand Daughter. And as it is uncertain into whose hands she may fall, or it may so happen that she may fall into distress unless provided for by me, I therefore desire the Executors of this will in such case to find her reasonable and decent support, in cloathing and board, and attend to her Schooling and Education, which they shall thenselves pay to those who may be intitled to receive the expences of the same, without its going through other hands, and shall be a charge against my Estate, which Support in the case aforesaid, I direct shall be made and continued to her until she arrives at the age of eighteen years or marries.

Eighthly, And, as I have heretofore virtally given to my Daughter, Anna Fonvielle, the land I hold on the East side of the Atkin branch from the road down to the river and down the same to the mouth of the Cypress gut, bounded by the lines, from thence, of the Land herein given to Shine Caswell, and John Coasts lines and my own lines to the road, and then with the road to the Beginning, including all the Land I claim adjoining the atkin and Neuse, below the road, is what is called the walnut Hill and contains about three hundred acres. I have also verbally given to my said daughter, Anne, Negroes, Peter and his wife Barbara, and Doll, these verbal gifts I now confirm to the said Anna Fonveille, her heirs and Assigns for ever.

Ninthly, Whereas, I am engaged to pay very considerable Sums of Money on Account of purchases made of my dear son, Richard 's estate, and as the articles then purchased will be no means bring a sum sufficient, and as I cannot now discrimintate what of my property may be best to dispose of, to raise money sufficient to pay all my debts, I hereby direct the Executors hereof or such of them as may be acting at the time it may become necessary to dispose of such part of my real or personal estate, as he or they Judge necessary and on such terms, tho I think twelve months credit will be best, may appear most for the advantage of my Estate and I hereby empower such Executor or Executors to make Legal and authentic conveyances to the purchasers for the same.

Tenthly, After my Debts are paid and the expences of my household, and Schooling of my children, with every other incidental charge so as a fair and just inventory of the remainder of my estate can be made, of both real and personal property, I require my Executors or acting Executor to return such inventory with his or their Account of the whole transactions relative to my estate, to my friends, Spyers Singleton, Robert White, John Herritage, Jesse Cobb, Francis Childs, Simon Bright, Joshua Croom, Benjamin Caswell and John Coart, or the majority of them or of the Survivors of them, and I request such majority, will arange the personal estate into five equal divisions or parts as near as may be, of which parts, I give my wife, Sarah Caswell, one, which I request she may be allowed to choose, at the same time I request such majority of my friends may set apart for my said wife, in lieu of her dower of my Lands, as she may choose to live on, and such part I leave her the use of during her Natural life; the other four remining parts of my personal property, I request may be drawn for by my three sons, Winston, Dollam, and John, and my daughter, Susannah, and such part as they shall respectively draw I give to the drawer of the same forever. The remainder of my real Estate, I give in like manner, and recommend an appraisment to be made by my friends or a majority of them, or the Survivors of them, so as to assertain the value, and then to put them in four Lots as nearly equal as may be, those Lots to be drawn by my aforesaid four children, Winston , Dallam , John and Susannah, and such Lot I give to the respective drawers, his or her heirs and Assigns forever.

Lastly, I nominate and appoint my said Sons, Winston, Dallam, and John Caswell, Executors of this my Last Will and Testament, that is to say, Winston to act alone untill Dallam arrives at twenty one Years of age, then those two to Act until John arrives to the age of Twenty one years, after which the whole to act as Executors 'till the business is compleat, and I appoint my good friend James Glasgow , in trust to advise and direct the due Execution hereof, which I beg he will attend to.

In Testimoney of the premises, I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal, the day and year first herein written, contained on five sides.
R. Caswell , (Seal).
Executed in presence of us, who have subscribed our names as Witnesses in presence of the Testator, and of each other: Simon Bright. James Bright.

A Codicil to the foregoing last will and Testament of Richard Caswell , made and executed the same day of the will and is to be considered as a part of the same, that is to say, I give to my son, Winston Caswell , Negroes Venus and Diamond, and to his Assigns for ever, to be appraised in like manner and by the persons named in my will, and the Value deducted from his one fourth part, with my Sons, Dallam and John , and Daughter, Susannah.

It is further my Will, that in case of the death of any of my now living children, to wit, Winston , Anne , Dallam , John and Susannah , before marriage, arriving at lawful age or legally disposing of any of the property, herein given, then, that such property shall go to my surviving children and their heers and Assigns, to hold for ever.

Witness my hand and seal which is affixed to the string that binds these two sheets together.
R. Caswell . (Seal)
Executed in presence of: Simon Bright . James Bright .
State of North Carolina, Dobbs County. January Court, 1790 .

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friend Of Friends Friday

I decided to post my slave records on Fridays so today my new blog series 'Friend of Friends Friday' is born. I want to start with hubby's Gray Family. I made this little pedigree to show the relationships of the names included in the records that I am going to post.

Deed: 1836 Apr 25 Bedford...Austin Gray & Rhoda his wife, Pulaski Gray, Reuben Atkerson & Applina his wife, Alexander Gray, James Gray, heirs-at-law of Amy Gray dec'd to Balda McDaniels of the other part...$200.00...all interest in sd Amy Gray's portion under the will of Charles Bright dec'd which is here refunded in the property loaned to him the said Charles Bright's widow, Sally Bright during her life by said will...about 208a conveyed to the sd Charles bright by Robt. Hawkins & wife plus 3 negro to wit Tabitha & her child Polly & Ramsey a son of Agnes & one round horse. (DB 25, page 270).


1840 Bedford County, VA Census, Roll 550; Page: 238.
Austin Gray
2 free white males 5-10
1 free white male 30-40
2 free white females under 5
1 female 20-30
1 female slave under 10

Charles Bright Jr mentioned his niece Amy Gray in his 1819 Bedford Co, VA Will. In the event that his heir Charles Edward Bright died with no heir, Amy was to receive the money from the sale of all his slaves & other property - Will Book 5, pg 104.

Madison Co, KY.
Will Book A pg 660- Inventory of Jesse Crews estate
A pg 691- Widow's dower
c pg 378- Heirs named in settlement
"Amy relinquished her right to adm. & son Edward took the oath with David Crews, David Boyle, Thomas Crews, & Adam Rogers, his sureties."
Settlement of Estate of Jesse Crews dec'd 7 July 1823 - Madison Co, KY (Will Book C, pg 378)
A report of the commissioners appointed by the County court of Madison appointed to settle with the administrator of the Estate of Jesse Crews dec'd do report as follows -
The administrator Dr. Amount of Sales to be $228.88, To the hire of negroes amounting to $97.00=$319.88.
The administrator Cr By money paid to Stanly Crews $26.50, Charles Crews $29.18, To David Crews $19.00, David Boyles $24.00, Betsy Crews $34.99, Jesse Crews $26.50, John Gray $19.00, to George Stanly $19.00 =$194.68.
By money paid per receipts $81.61 1/2, by $40 allowed the Admr. for his services 10 years (Total)=$316.29.5.
Amount of sale & hire of negores $319.88, amount charged to the widow for property kept $118.22.5=$428.10
Debts due by the Estate $121.61.5 and Widow's thirds $102.16.3 =$204.32.7
There are 9 children each ones part is $22.70.3
The 7 Dec 1812 inventory named negro boy Dick, girl Fanny & girl Louisa. (Will Book A, pg 660).


Charles Bright Jr Will on file at Bedford Co, VA; Will Book 5,pg104
2 negroes to Sally Price Perkins (Nichols by 1833), daughter of Elisha Perkins, son Charles Edward by Sally Lewis to inherit land, etc & if no heirs then to brother, Joshua, sister Mary Reynolds, niece Amy Gray, Wm. W. Perkins. Child by Sally Lewis (Charles' 1819 will, 1833 Division, WB 8, pg 323)

That is all the slave records that I have found so far in this particular family.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Carnival of African-American Genealogy -- First Edition

Wow! What a great idea to have a Carnival of African-American Genealogy, and I am proud to be a part of it! First of all I want to thank and commend Luckie for her Open Letter To The Genealogy Community, and bringing to my attention that any slave information I run into needs to be put out there and shared. Since I don't have any ancestors from the south, it didn't occur to me that I could descend from slave owners. Then I kicked myself in the head and said, "Wait a minute, there were slaves in the colonies."

Like Gwen, I too want to be the best 'friend of friends' I can be. I have started sifting through hubby's file first, and then I will look through my own, and my x's, and my sister-in-law's, etc. I will set aside a day to post what I have found. Most of what I have now is second hand information and may be posted on the web somewhere else, but I figured if posted here, it may be found more easily.

Today I want to talk about Captain George Cannon, my 4th great-grandfather. About 25 years ago, give or take a few, when I started delving into my mom's ancestors I learned about the stories of Captain Cannon, the Manx mariner. He was a merchant mariner who dabbled in privateering and smuggling. Captain Cannon's house (still standing today) had as many rooms below ground as above (I imagine that is where he kept his booty). He died at sea in 1811 as the result of a mutiny aboard his ship. Never have been able to find the reason for the mutiny.

At one point several years ago I was considering writing a book about him, maybe an historical fiction based on true events of course, about swashbuckling and what not (I could imagine watching it on the big screen). I mean, who doesn't love a good pirate romance, right? As I started doing research on the old Captain I discovered that his logbook dated 1798-1800 still exists today. I was able to download a copy of it here.

In the logbook the Captain keeps track of weather conditions, location, and anything notable. On the entry for June 22, is the following reference: "Cooper making tubs for the slaves." (What?!) Then again on September 3: "Messed 420 slaves," adding "expended 200 yams, 13,945 remains, also beans and rice." He narrates some cases of sickness and a couple of deaths among the slaves.
I had come to the sad realization that my captain was a slave trader.

I was heart broken. My infatuation with Captain George seemed to lessen after I learned the ugly truth. I mean, I can't even watch a movie or television show about slaves being mistreated without getting upset. My teeth and fists become clenched, breathing becomes erratic and I just want to kick the whip wielding bastard's ass!! (Can I say that?) I can't really explain the feeling that comes over me (past life memories?). Now I had to deal with the fact that ggg great-grandpa had a part in transporting slaves and trading some of them for goods. I can only hope that he was humane with them.

I have had a few years to let this all sink in, I have never really talked about it. I can't even remember if I told mom. But now, I tell myself that this is the past, it is all part of history and I can't change it. After all, we all have relatives (no matter how distant) that do things we disapprove of, but we still love them. I don't know if any of this babbling has helped anything or anyone other than being therapeutic for me, but there it is.

In 2007 the Isle of Man marked the 200th anniversary of the abolition of trade in slaves by British vessels. At their annual film night in the Manx museum they had a public screening of a new dvd called " Manx slave Traders", produced by Frances Wilkins. (He published the book in 1999.) Captain Cannon's logbook played a significant roll in producing this video.

I was able to find record of 3 slave voyages that he captained at the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.

Voyage 81918, Iris (1798)
Voyage identification number: 81918
Voyage in 1999 CD-ROM: Yes
Vessel name: Iris
Flag: Great Britain
Place constructed: Liverpool
Year constructed: 1783
Rig: Ship
Tonnage: 285
Standardized tonnage*: 285
Guns mounted
Vessel owners: Fisher, Ralph
Wedderbourne, James
Particular outcome of voyage: Voyage completed as intended
Outcome of voyage for slaves*: Slaves disembarked in Americas
Outcome of voyage if ship captured*: Not captured
Outcome of voyage for owner*: Delivered slaves for original owners
Place where voyage began*: Liverpool
First place of slave purchase: Bonny
Principal place of slave purchase*: Bonny
First place of slave landing: Kingston
Principal place of slave landing*: Kingston
Place where voyage ended: Liverpool
Region where voyage began*: England
First region of slave purchase: Bight of Biafra and Gulf of Guinea islands
Principal region of slave purchase*: Bight of Biafra and Gulf of Guinea islands
First region of slave landing: Jamaica
Principal region of slave landing*: Jamaica
Region where voyage ended: England
Year arrived with slaves*: 1798
Date voyage began: 1798-06-08
Date vessel arrived with slaves: 1798-11-04
Date vessel departed for home port: 1799-02-12
Date voyage completed: 1799-04-12
Voyage length, home port to slaves landing (days)*: 149
Captain's name: Spencer, John
Cannon, George
Crew at voyage outset: 40
Crew deaths during voyage: 9
Number of slaves intended at first place of purchase: 419
Total slaves embarked*: 452
Number of slaves arriving at first place of landing: 414
Total slaves disembarked*: 414( John Spencer was the Captain in the beginning of this voyage, but he died while on the ship so George Cannon took over as Captain.)

Voyage 81919, Iris (1800)
Voyage identification number: 81919
Voyage in 1999 CD-ROM: Yes
Vessel name: Iris
Flag: Great Britain
Place constructed: Liverpool
Year constructed: 1783
Rig: Ship
Tonnage: 285
Standardized tonnage*: 285
Vessel owners: Fisher, Ralph
Wedderbourne, James
Fisher, Ralph (Jr.)
Aspinall, John Bridge
Aspinall, James
Voyage Outcome: Abandoned or condemned for unseaworthiness in the
AmericasOutcome of voyage for slaves*: Slaves disembarked in Americas
Outcome of voyage if ship captured*: Natural hazard
Outcome of voyage for owner*: Original goal thwarted (natural hazard)
Place where voyage began*: Liverpool
First place of slave purchase: West Central Africa and St. Helena, port unspecified
First place of slave landing: Kingston
Region where voyage began*: England
First region of slave purchase: West Central Africa and St. Helena
First region of slave landing: Jamaica
Year arrived with slaves*: 1800
Date voyage began: 1799-07-05
Date vessel arrived with slaves: 1800-08-06
Voyage length, home port to slaves landing (days)*: 397
Captain's name: Cannon, George
Crew at voyage outset: 44
Crew deaths during voyage: 10
Number of slaves intended at first place of purchase: 419
Total slaves embarked*: 447
Number of slaves arriving at first place of landing: 409
Total slaves disembarked*: 409
(These two voyages on the Iris are referred to in Captain Cannon's logbook.)

Voyage 82740, Minerva (1803)
Voyage identification number: 82740
Voyage in 1999 CD-ROM: Yes
Vessel name: Minerva
Flag: Great Britain
Place constructed: Lancaster
Year constructed: 1795
Place registered: Liverpool
Year registered: 1802
Rig: Brig
Tonnage: 186
Standardized tonnage*: 186
Vessel owners: Pickop, Thomas
Ackers, James
Grundy, John
Ackers, William
Lawrence, Henry
Particular outcome of voyage: Completed as intended
Outcome of voyage for slaves*: Slaves disembarked in Americas
Outcome of voyage if ship captured*: Not captured
Outcome of voyage for owner*: Delivered slaves for original owners
Place where voyage began*: Liverpool
First place of slave purchase: Bonny
First place of slave landing: Bahamas, port unspecified
Place where voyage ended: Liverpool
Region where voyage began*: England
First region of slave purchase: Bight of Biafra and Gulf of Guinea islands
First region of slave landing: Bahamas
Region where voyage ended: England
Year arrived with slaves*: 1803
Date voyage began: 1802-09-29
Date vessel arrived with slaves: 1803-04-19
Date voyage completed: 1803-08-15
Voyage length, home port to slaves landing (days)*: 202
Captain's name: Cannon, George
Crew at voyage outset: 24
Crew deaths during voyage: 1
Number of slaves intended at first place of purchase: 216
Total slaves embarked*: 231
Number of slaves arriving at first place of landing: 212
Total slaves disembarked*: 212
Unfortunately there are no slave names associated with these voyages.

Leslie Ann

Wordless Wednesday -- Twin Falls, Idaho


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