Friday, January 21, 2011

More on Solomon

This blog is my way of keeping up with my research into my family. It records my first impression of data I find. Instead of keeping a written journal that I may lose, I write here. I don't mind sharing what I find so that it can help others and also so it can help connect me with others. That's just a benefit.

I'm concentrating on going back farther on Solomon Koonce, my great-great-great-grandfather. I am looking into whether he was sold from the estate of Francis Nunn of Williamson, Tennessee. The information should be in the court records according to "Nunns of the South," an old book written about the Nunn family. I'm looking into having those records sent here from the Tennessee state archives through the inter-library program.

While looking up Solomon on, I noticed for the first time that Solomon claimed he was a mulatto. How did I miss that? Of course, I'm not sure what that means. Sometimes Blacks were called mulatto because of the color of their skin. Sometimes because the person was acknowledging that his or her parentage was part white. In the photos, Solomon does not have a light complexion. However, his features are somewhat keen. As one of my cousins noted, the nose the family calls the Koonce nose didn't come from Solomon. His nose was more aquiline. Our family nose actually came from Lizzie Brasfield, Willie Koonce's wife and my great grandmother. So it is really the Brasfield nose.

The mulatto designation is on the 1880 census. Solomon also says he was born in 1828 in South Carolina and that his parents were born in North Carolina. I am seasoned enough to know not to believe everything I see on the census. I know the birth year is probably wrong but are the other things wrong as well?


Mavis said...

What I've learned is it's the enumerator who usually provides the racial designations of mulatto vs. black. And who the heck knows how they determined this. It's why ancestors can bounce back and forth between being enumerated as mulatto and being enumerated as black.

Jennifer said...

I have found that too. We were told about my maternal grandfather's family being part white so it was no surprise that as dark as my grandfather Fred was, he was called mulatto. I know nothing about Solomon's heritage except that the oral legend says his father was brought here from Africa. I know nothing about his mother though. This is my quest--to go past Solomon.

Gini said...

Happy Blogiversary Jennifer, looking forward to many more!

Christine said...

Hallo Jennifer,

I've learned something here! I am in the UK and go through the parish registers and quite a few times I have seen "mulatto" written against someone's name! Now I know what this means.

I find your blog very interesting so I have nominated you for the Ancestor Approved Award. You can learn more about it at my blog So That's Where I Get It From (

Kind regards,

Christine (rootsresearcher)