Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Little Detective Work

I didn't make any real resolutions for this year but in my mind I vowed to figure out more of my ancestry. The year is nearly half over and I'm still chipping away at that brick wall.

I'm so glad I have this blog to remind me--to remind me of those silent vows, of promises to keep, of avenues to follow. I was rereading some of my entries and found this from a couple of years back.

"Negro boy, Ben, age 14, sold to John Koonce by Abner Green - Jones Co, North Carolina , January 1814

Negro woman, Betty age 20 from George Mitchell to John Koonce - March 1808, North Carolina

Gorge and Hanah from John Koonce to son Isaac Koonce, Jones Co, NC December 1822

Elijah, age 20, sold to Isaac Koonce in Haywood Co TN (not Transcribed) 1829

Mariah, age 12 – to Isaac Koonce from Alfred Kennedy, Haywood Co, TN - August 1832."

I don't even remember receiving this information let alone writing about it. This was given to me by a relative of Isaac Koonce along with the receipt of the sale of Solomon. It is possible that this holds important clues to Amy, my great-great-great grandmother. Here is how I break it down.

Isaac Koonce came to Haywood County, Tennessee in 1828 with brother-in-law David Augustus Nunn. Along with David's brother John (Jack) Nunn and uncle Francis (Frank) Nunn, they settled into western Tennessee. All of the North Carolina natives came with slaves. Isaac only had a few. Two of them, George and Hannah, were gifts from his father John Koonce.

On the 1830 Haywood census, Isaac claimed six slaves--three males and three females. The three males were between the ages 10 to 23. Two of the females were of those ages with one being younger than 10. Looking at the information given me, I deduce that the two adult slaves were George and Hannah and that the child was probably their daughter. Also, Elijah was one of the male slaves.

On the 1840 census,Isaac Koonce still has 6 slaves, but only two males. One male is under 24 to 10. I thinks this is Solomon who he just bought in 1839. The other male is between 24 and 35. This is either Elijah or George. I speculate that it is George because he was a gift but I know this is just speculation. Something may have happened to one of the men and that is why he bought Solomon. Of the four female slaves, two are under 10, one is between 10 and 24, and one is between 24 and 35. Isaac bought 12-year old Mariah in 1832. Is she the one between 10 and 24? I deduce that the one between 24 and 35 is Hannah. The two under 10 are possibly her daughters.

Jumping to the 1850 census slave schedule, Isaac now owns eight slaves. One was a male, 23 years old. That would be the right age for Solomon. There was also a 38 year old male (George?), a 40 year old female(Hannah?), a 28 year old female(Mariah?), and an 18 year old female. I think that the 18-year old may be the elusive Amy, mother to Solomon’s first set of children. There were also a twelve, a nine and a two year old female slave. If the 18 year old female is Amy, then she could have been one of the slaves under 10 on the 1840 census. I don't think she is the 28 year old female because Amy's oldest daughter was born around 1849. Twenty-eight is kind of old during this time to bear your first child. The 2 year old female is probably Mosella.

On the 1860 slave schedule, Isaac now has twelve slaves. There is now only one male who has to be Solomon at 35 years old. The 48 year old woman is probably Hannah. Here comes the tricky part. There is a 32 yr. old female and a 22 yr. old female who is designated a mulatto, the only one of the slaves that is so. I know that the ages are usually inaccurate and change from census to census. Amy is definitely there. She has born at least two more children--James, my great great grandfather that correlates with one of the nine year old males on the census, and Solomon Jr. who correlates with the 6 year old male. The 12 year old female has to be Mosella. So which one is Amy? Is Mariah still there? Is she the 32 year old? Is Amy the 22 year old? One oral legend says she is part Cherokee. Could she be called mulatto because of this?

I do plan on going to Tennessee this summer. Haywood County is a must see stop now to see if there are any records that corroborate any of my conclusions.


KYLA said...

Hello, I love your blog! I think that I am ready to start researching possible slaveholders. The oldest relative in my family tree was born in 1820 and used the surname SMith. There are several white Smiths' in the county that my ancestory lived in. I have no idea of how to narrow it down. Do you have any suggestions for starting or can you recommend a book that might be helpful?

Jennifer said...

Thanks. There's lots of books and website out there. I read Family Pride when I first started. There are lots of books available, Black Roots and Slaves in the Family, just to name a few. Also, look for a local genealogy club or find a library with a genealogy section. Smiths may be a hard one to research but not impossible. I have cousins whose father's surname is Smith.

Bquiltin said...

Just saying hello... My brick wall is via the name SIPUEL..... if you ever locate Mississippi members or COGIC related papers,,, please let me know... Keep blogging...my friend

Jennifer said...

Hi Bev, we need to talk. My great grandfather was an early deacon in the COGIC under Bishop Mason. Also, what counties in MS? The name Sipuel is so unusual it would seem that you may have more luck researching than others with more common names.