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?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

On the scent

I guess the family reunion has spurred me on to do more than I have been doing in my research. Thanks for the encouragement, Mavis and Mary.

I am, as we all are, the product of several threads in this genealogy quilt. I have chosen not to concentrate on just one thread but to keep pushing to discover as much as possible about all of them. Sometimes that is daunting, sometimes it is exhilarating.

For the past day I have been looking closer at Solomon, the patriarch of my maternal grandmother's family. I am fortunate to be in the possession of the receipt of his being sold in 1839/40 to Isaac Koonce. I was so enthralled with this relic that I didn't even look at the obvious. Solomon was between 14 to 19, depending upon the source, when he was sold to Isaac from the Nunn's estate. I made some weak attempts to discover Solomon's earlier years but now I am in earnest. I want to go back and possibly find his parents as well as his first mate Amy.

According to the census, Solomon was born in Tennessee, South Carolina or North Carolina. I know that the white Nunns and Koonces came from Lenoir County, North Carolina so I approached the moderator of the North Carolina genweb page, Taneya Koonce (so far no relations. I asked her if any Nunns had died in Lenoir County around 1839. No luck. Then I went to I looked for Francis Nunn, David Nunn's uncle, who passed away around that time. Instead I found something that may be more promising. In 1816, Francis Nunn IV died in Williamson County, Tennessee. This Francis is not the uncle but is a distant cousin to David. What was more interesting is that Francis Nunn's will was not probated until his widow died. Marcy Nunn died in 1839 and there were slaves. Upon further research I learned she had lived in Gibson County, Tennessee. Parts of Gibson became Crockett County after 1870. Crockett County is where Isaac Koonce and David Nunn lived after 1870. Although I could not find Marcy on the 1830 census, I did find several of her children. Two of them, Sally Nunn Mayfield and Joel Nunn, owned a slave that could have been Solomon.

I think this a strong, possible lead. We shall see.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's a Family Renuion

Every two years the Koonce family hold a family reunion hosted by different individual families. This year it is my mother's family's turn. Of course, I am on the committee and I am very excited about the upcoming event. It is to be held, as is our custom, during the Labor Day weekend. Although I'm excited, I still feel some anxiety and annoyance. I look at envy at those families that are able to attract hundreds of kin to attend their reunions. My family can't seem to get even 100. My grandmother had 11 children. Out of those 11, the family has grown to nearly 100 by itself. Yet, the interest in family has dwindled. My uncle says that we are fragmented and seems to have no optimism about that changing. I don't want to accept that.

I contracted the "genie" bug from an aunt who has since died. Unfortunately, no one else has gotten the addiction. It would make such a difference in my research if I had at least one partner to share it with me. So part of this year I will try harder to infect a few others of my family with my genealogy obsession and figure out how to entice more family members to gather together. (I'm not calling that my resolution but it sure sounds like it.) Any suggestions?