This blog post is an addendum to the preceding five posts.
There I’ve tried to piece together probable family lines of enslaved people, using the “Negro’s Ages” journal kept by my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd great-grandfathers in 1800s South Carolina. This journal listed names and birth dates of children under the name of each mother.
I thought I might be missing a page of that journal. And I was. Here it is, thanks to the good graces of archivist Karen Stokes at the South Carolina Historical Society, where I had donated the journal. She copied for me the missing page:
- Joan’s Children No. 7th
- 1 Guilford was born July 13th 1837
- 2 Rufus was born Aug 30th 1839
- 3 Aberdeen was born Aug 6th 1841
- 4 Charles was born July 17th 1843
- 5 Daphne was born Aug 14th 1846
- 6 Peggy was born Dec 19 1848
- 7 Cyrus was born Jan 1st 1861
Here is the color code for these posts: First generation green, second red, third blue, and fourth pink.
I’ve coded Joan red because I think she is the third of Peggy’s Children, from the last blog. She and her children would all be Peggy’s descendants.
Using the Joan’s Children and the Peggy’s Children pages, we can see the outlines of Joan’s life. She was born on 17 Mar 1818 and died in Oct 1895. Her childbearing years extended from 1836 to 1861. She named her sixth child Peggy, creating the mother-daughter-granddaughter group of Peggy-Joan-Peggy.
The Joan’s Children page suggests also some father-son and other male relationships:
- (1) Rufus is Joan’s second male child, born in 1839. There is a Rufus on the Nanny’s Children page born in 1816, a likely age for the father of the Joan’s son Rufus. Notice the handwritten figures under all the names on Joan’s page–subtracting 1816 from 1904 would give father Rufus’s approximate age at death.
- (2) Joan’s last child, Cyrus, born in 1861, could be named for Rufus’s brother Cyrus on the Nanny’s Children page, who lived from 1820 to 1882.
- (3) Joan’s son Charles, born in 1843, echoes the name of a Charles born to Ciller in 1793.
In retrospect, we can see that the families of Peggy, Nanny, and Ciller do share a number of first names. For example, in the last post we saw that Ben’s Peggy was specified, perhaps to distinguish her from other women named Peggy in this group.
Here are three techniques I’ve learned by working with this journal:
- Use a daughter’s first name and birth date to find her page as a mother, moving forward.
- Use a son’s first name and birth date to match him with a father of the same name, moving backward.
- Look for first-name groups that repeat from generation to generation, indicating a family.
My last post gave only a transcription of the Hetty’s Children page. Here is a copy of the page itself:
- Hetty’s Children No. 6th
- Ovid was born Jan 1st 1804
- Hetty was born 1808
- 1 Phillis was born July 4th 1830
- 2 Daniel was born March 15th 1833
- 3 Sarah was born Oct. 15th 1837
- 4th Elisa was born July 9th 1840
- 5th Charlotte was born March 31st 1843
- 6th Harry was born Dec 1st 1846
- 7th [crossed out] dead [crossed out]
- Annie was born June 22d 1852
I’d like to bring together all these posts about the “Negroes’ Ages” journal into an article. I’m considering several genealogical publications whose readers might know (or be) the descendants of some of these enslaved people. I welcome advice from the genealogical community: Which genealogical journal would be the best choice?
These posts will be less frequent for a while. Our family is undergoing big changes. Our new granddaughter is ten days old, living in Indiana. We are moving there from Connecticut and will buy a house in Fort Wayne, Indiana, near our family.
We’re starting the process right away. The realtors, the moving company, the packing up. This all will take a few months. We are now staring at 40 years’ worth of belongings—a formidable maze.
I’ll post again when I can – see you then!
Everyone stay well, meanwhile.