Sunday, October 16, 2016

Daughter of Chatham part 2: Who was William Smith??

I can already imagine what you are thinking.  What could I possibly find out about someone named William Smith?  As many genealogists will tell you, when dealing with common names you can go round and round the mulberry bush trying to narrow down the correct ancestor.

Let's start with the basic background on William Smith. 
  • My 4th great-grandfather on my dad's maternal side through my Great Grandmother who we affectionately called Ma Nettie.
  • William Smith was born in 1838 in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
  • I am a descendant of William's daughter Pattie/Patty. 
  • William was married three times to Elizabeth/Eliza, Fanny/Fannie and finally Ada.
We will start our study of William in the 1910 Census and work our way backward to see what information we can gather for him and ultimately his daughter Pattie/Patty.

In 1910 William and Ada are 72 and 64, listed as Mu for Mulatto, married for 8 years and William is on his third marriage and Ada is on her second. William is a farmer and works on his own account.

In 1900 William is living with his second wife Fanny, his daughter Sallie A. Headen, her hisband William and his mother-in-law Phyllis Mitchell.  William and Fanny are 61 and 45 and have been married for 22 years. William's birth date is listed as September 1838.  The race for the family is black.

The 1890 census is unavailable because all were lost in a fire in 1921.

The 1880 census has William aged 42 living with Fanny 25, Eliza Ann 13. my 3x great grandmother Patty Lu, Louisa 9,  a son Jessie 7, Sallie Ann 5, Roxanna 4 months old, a brother Bartlett aged 38, who works on the farm is enumerated on the following page of the census.  All the family members are listed as Mulatto.

This 1870 census is the first census where formerly enslaved Africans were listed by name as free individuals.  William is living with his wife Elizabeth my 4th great-grandmother the mother of Eliza age 4 and Pattie age 1.  There are no other family members and since Elizabeth is not listed with the family in 1880 she died between 1870 and 1880.

In the next blog post we will find out more about the life and times of William Smith.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Daughter of Chatham

Knocks the dust off this blog.

Hey Yall.  I have made some interesting genealogical discoveries this past year.  I am going to start this series talking about my Chatham County roots.  My family surnames from Chatham County are:


Surnames noted with the asterisk are surnames that I have at least twice on my family tree.  As you can imagine that gets interesting when sorting out DNA matches.

I also need to put a caveat on this posting that since Chatham County was formed in 1771 out of Orange County.  There will be some crossing into adjacent counties during this blog series.

 My ancestors from Chatham County were Enslaved Africans, Free People of Color (both African and Native American) and Europeans.

Please leave a comment if any of these surnames are found in your family tree.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Welcome to my Blog!

Four years ago, I received a free DNA test from 23andMe's "Roots into the Future" project. With it, I began to discover my family roots. The test revealed my ancestry composition--the percent of your DNA that comes from the world's 31 populations--and a list of almost 1,000 cousins I never knew I had.

I have since discovered that I have roots in Colonial America hence the name of my blog.  Growing up in North Carolina one of the Thirteen British Colonies in a town founded in 1785 my family tree is deeply rooted in American History.  Follow me as I discover my genealogical history and my place in this Great American Melting Pot.