Showing posts with label Slavery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slavery. Show all posts

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Michelle Obama's Maternal Slavery Roots

The New York Times traced first lady Michelle Obama's five generation path from slavery to the White House. Harry Smith of CBS interviewed Megan Smoleyak, the genealogist who researched Mrs. Obama’s maternal ancestry.

Kudos to Megan Smoleyak for her patience and diligence in uncovering this invaluable information.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hampton, the Birthplace of Black America?


I am looking forward to attending the celebration of the 390th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to America on tomorrow, September 26, 2009.

History books indicate that the first Africans arrived to America at Jamestown. However, Hampton History Enthusiast, Calvin Pearson says that Hampton is the birthplace of black America. (Read more on this story)

Stay tuned…I will report more about this historical celebration next week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

From Slavery to Freedom Festival - Speaking Engagement

I will be speaking at the “From Slavery To Freedom Festival” on the topic of Genealogy. This event celebrates the 390th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in America. I will be the first speaker on the program. This program was previously scheduled for Saturday, August 15th at Gosnold Park, but was cancelled due to rain.

Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009

Time: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Place: Mill Point Park, 100 Eaton Street, Hampton, VA 23669

Event is sponsored by the City of Hampton


Directions: I-64 exit 267 - Downtown Hampton. Right at the stoplight onto Settlers Landing Road. Follow Settlers Landing over bridge to Eaton Street. Turn right onto Eaton Street the park will be on the right.
I-64 West exit 267 - County Street. Left at stoplight onto Settlers Landing Road. Follow Settlers Landing over bridge to Eaton Street. Turn right onto Eaton Street the park will be on the right.


For more information about Mill Point Point, vist the website of
City of Hampton Parks and Recreation

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Three Sets of Children of Ellen Moore

It is through conversations with my great aunt Della, a sister of my paternal grandmother Hattie Moore Pair, that I have learned clues about the life of my ancestor Ellen Moore. Although Aunt Della remembers fragments about the family of her paternal grandmother Ellen, these clues have aided me in finding documents to piece together the life of Grandma Ellen.

Ellen Moore was born into slavery around November 1841 in Virginia and worked as a Cook during slavery. I do not know what part of Virginia she was born in, but I find her in living in Greensville County, VA beginning on the 1870 census. Her grandchildren did not recall her ever naming a slave owner and I have not yet identified one through my research. Aunt Della, who is now 98 years old, has repeatedly told me that her Grandma Ellen had three sets of children (two sets born during slavery).and the third set born afterwards. Aunt Della’s father Robert Moore (1869-1955) was born in the family of the third set of children.

From her recollections, Aunt Della named Junious Scott as part of the first set and she remembered seeing him. She remembered hearing about Pleasant Lundy, but she was not sure which set of children he belonged. Other children of the second set, she recalled, were named David and Mary. She did not remember much about David, but she remembered that her Aunt Mary married a Spratley and lived in Petersburg, VA. During Aunt Della’s childhood, her grandmother sometimes lived with her daughter Mary Spratley in Petersburg and with her son Robert Moore (Aunt Della’s father) in Greensville County, VA.

The 1870 census is the first document that I have found on Grandma Ellen Moore. This record lists her husband Washington, and some of the children whom I learned about through oral history. Although the 1870 census does not list family relationships, either future censuses or other documents, give information on the relationships of these children to Grandma Ellen.

1870 U. S. Census, population schedule, Household of Washington Moore,
Greensville County, VA, Hicksford Township, roll #1649,
Sheet 7, Page 352, Dwelling 53, Family 54, Lines 12-17.

Three Sets of Children of Ellen Moore (Continued)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will of David Thweatt of Greensville County, VA

Slaves were often listed in wills and deeds of slave owners. In some cases, a slave owner freed his slaves through a will or deed. Such was the case with David Thweatt of Greensville County, VA.


In his will, he freed his slaves under certain conditions and gave some indications of kinship.

“I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Rebecca Thweatt for and during her natural life the use of my negro woman SALL, together with her two daughters HANNA and SUKEY.” “After the decrease of my wife, my said negroes above named together with their increase if any, become liberated and free.”

I also give and bequeath unto my said wife the use of my negro boys, BOB, DICK and JIMMY until they shall severally arrive to the age of twenty five years in case my said wife shall survive until that period then it is my will and desire that she continue to enjoy the use of my said negroes BOB, DICK, and JIMMY during her natural life, and after her decrease in the latter case on their arrival to the ages of twenty five years in the former case.”

The will of David Thweatt was proved in the court on May 20, 1789. His wife, Rebecca, was qualified as Executrix at May Court 1790.

Source: Greensville County, VA Will Book 1, Page 133, July 8, 1788