Searching Beyond Slavery for My Heritage… Come One Come All and HELP!!!

At the age of forty-five it has become more important to me to learn as much as possible about my heritage no matter how difficult a task it would be… I assumed that the task would be somewhat overwhelming since my forefathers history in America evolved out of slavery. Additionally, it appears that once freed many former slaves changed their names and a large majority migrated to the north. I was fortunate to learn about some of the heroic acts of some family members as a child and that assisted possibly in molding me into the strong and happy person that I am today.

My grandmother Lula Mae Kennedy was born in 1923; she migrated to Chicago from Mississippi at an early age. Grandmamma and I would sit for hours talking about her childhood and history; she lost her mother named Corinthian at the age of just ten years. I’ve tried to visualize growing up during that early period as a Black female and weathering life storms without a mother and it seems like an impossible reality. I must tell you that my grandmother had the biggest heart you could ever imagine; she was well liked and respected by her neighbors and others within the community. She was the greatest cook that I’ve ever known and I still can’t find another peach cobbler that taste similar to hers. Grandma was loved by everyone; White folk as well as Black folk — My grandmother provided caretaking services at times during her life span and I suspect some maid services for many prior to my birth, but what I remember about her growing up is that she was always home with us and that she laughed often; my grandmother passed away in her mid seventies, but she lived a life of servicing others and she was proud of her children and family and contributions to society. Seriously, I never realized how much we didn’t have because of grandma’s personality; she was the unlicensed counselor, bank manager, and food provider for anyone in the community that asked for help and her ability to make a chicken back taste as good as the chicken breast lead me to believe we were rich —

There are other relatives that are remembered in history; my mother Mozella has often shared with me information about her father Ezra Smith; “the Elephant Trainer” that stood 6 ft 7 inches tall. Just yesterday, mother shared a new photo with me that was retrieved from the internet, which made me search the engine for further possibilities and low and behold, I found several stories about my grandfather’s role in recapturing an elephant named” Modoc” that had escaped and terrorized a town for five days. The news articles and stories shared by freelance writers’ all stated that my grandfather was an “elephant whisperer.” At your leisure review the story online; it is a tale that I heard throughout my childhood and that I finally am able to confirm; how fascinating….

After, going to bed last night and feeling quite proud about the tee bits of information uncovered or revisited about my grandfather Ezra Smith and reflecting on the multiple kind spirits that shape my family, especially feeling refreshed and happy by the remembrance of Grandma Lula; I decided that it was time to face what appears to be the greatest obstacle; learning more about my history. I have decided to open the closed doors that will lead me back to that period of slavery and I pray ‘”the journey will lead me beyond slavery —

Day one occurred at 1a.m. in the morning; I sat at my desk in my home office with a rather large cup of coffee and began typing in different sets of words relating to my family tree; I located many topics to be revisited at a later date. Finally, I stumbled on a website that is a recording of the “Smith pedigree?” Well, it appears that those recordings are a listing of the bloodlines of White families, which in someway I am certain could lead to a discovery of my own bloodline, but I wasn’t prepared for that journey just yet; besides I didn’t locate any familiar first names (smile). After leaving that site I felt anxious to discover more about “who I am?” or even “where I come from — ” I’m certain my mother would tell me that I am a Strong and unique African American Female, A Social Worker, Master level Clinical Psychology student, published author, mother and person that loves life and it’s challenges; mother would be right, but aside from that what can I learn about my forefather’s if I took a little time out of life’s busy schedule to trace back to my roots? Perhaps, I will find nothing and that would be fine because I am an American and I am proud of who I am and proud of my current family connections, but what if I did discover more about my families evolution? How proud my children and their children might be — So, with knew found energy I typed in “First free slave named Smith;” I felt somehow that I was cheating my father as his last name is Peterson, but I understand that tracing this history could take a life time or the rest of my life; I will note that my great grandmother; named Mrs. Bradley, lived to be around 105 years of age. So, I understand he importance of the maternal and paternal family and I desire to complete the paternal side later.

Now the next section may scare some of you, but I am appealing to everyone from all ethnicities, historians, scholars, layman, curious folk; I mean everyone, please make suggestions to me about other possibilities of discovering and obtaining information — In remembering that part of my history involves a couple hundred years of slavery I ascertained that my journey would not be easy and that some sadness might be experienced, but in order to obtain a desired treasure at times we must dig beyond the dirt, so provide me with my initial shovels by providing suggestive information to guide me along the way, no time for too many sad moments and no tolerance for shame, reach out to your friend and share with me some of your ideals. In advance I thank you —

Fellow writer’s this is what I discovered behind door number one: 1860 Slave Owners of Ft. Smith Vicinity—-Sebastian County Slave Schedule (Source: United States Federal Census. Slave Schedule-Sebastian County Arkansas 1860. National Archives Publication M653 Microfilm Reel 54)

Data is listed in the following order:
Name of Slave Owner/Total # of Slaves/
Gender of Each Slave/Age of Slave/Color

(Unfortunately for the African American genealogist, the names of slaves were not included in the Slave Schedules. However, this document can be useful in assisting the researcher in identifying the possible slave owners, which will take the researcher backwards in time, into the period of slavery. By learning the name of the slave owner, the researcher will be able to research tax records, wills, deeds, bills of sale and other documents pertaining to the identity of slaves. Many slaves changed their names after the Civil War ended, and they were freed. This list is placed on this page as a guide to possible surnames that may or may not be associated with their enslaved ancestors.)

This list is presented in the order in which they appear in the 1860 United States Federal census
Joel Denton/ 1 slave:
—–Female / 26/Mulatto
W.W. Denton/ 1 slave:
—–Female/23/Black
Thompson Bates/2 slaves/:
—–Male 27/Black
—–Female/17 Black
Anna Pinnion/ 1 slave:
—–Female/ 75/ Black
Jackson Patterson/ 2 slaves/ :
—–Male/ 22 / Mulatto
—–Female / 12 / Black
Isaiah Barnett / 2 slaves:
—–Female/ 18/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 14/ Mulatto
William Watson / 1 slave:
—–Female/ 20/ Black
Wilson Cass /1 slave:
—–Female/ 14/ Mulatto
James William Ousley/ 3 slaves:
—–Male/30/Black
—–Female/40/Black
—–Male/20/Mulatto
William Pettis/ 8 slaves:
—–Male / 60/ Black
—–Male/ 21/ Black
—–Female / 21/ Black
—–Male/ 15 / Black
—–Female/ 10 /Black
—–Male / 6/ Black
—–Female/ 3 / Black
—–Female/ 3/ Black
William Waters / 3 slaves:
—–Female/ 40/ Black
—–Male / 10/ Black
—–Female / 25 / Black
James Riddlespurger / 17 slaves:
—–Male/ 48/ Black
—–Female / 45 / Black
—–Female/ 43/ Black
—–Male/ 38 / Black
—–Male / 27/ Black
—–Female/ 21/Mulatto
—–Female /19/ Black
—–Male/18/ Black
—–Male/ 18/ Black
—–Female/ 7/ Black
—–Female/ 5/ Black
—–Female/ 5/ Black
—–Male/ 4/ Black
—–Female/ 6/ Black
—–Female/ 3/ Black
—–Female / 7mo./ Black
—–Male/ 7 mo. /Black
Allen A. Kersh/ 15 slaves:
—–Male/ 55/ Black
—–Male/ 33 Black
—–Female/ 26/ Black
—–Female/ 24/ Black
—–Male/ 14 / Black
—–Male/ 12/ Black
—–Male/ 7/ Black
—–Female/ 7/ Black
—–Female/ 6/ Black
—–Female/ 6/Black
—–Female/ 4/ Black
—–Female/ 4/ Black
—–Female/ 3/ Black
—–Female/ 6mo./Black
—–Female/ 7mo./Black
William Parks / 3 slaves:
—–Female/ 30/ Black
—–Male/ 18/ Black
—– Female / 11/ Black
E.I. Wallace/ 15 Slaves:
—–Female / 46/Black
—–Male/ 35 / Mulatto
—–Male / 33/ Black
—–Female / 30 / Black
—–Female / 25 / Mulatto
—–Male / 12 / Male
—–Male / 18 / Black
—–Male/ 12 / Mulatto
—–Female / 11 / Black
—–Male / 7 / Male
—–Male / 6 / Black
—–Female / 5 / Male
—–Male /3 / Black
—–Female / 7 / Mulatto
—–Male / 1 / Mulatto
Edward E. Moore / 12 slaves:
—–Female / 35 / Mulatto
—–Female / 28/ Black
—–Male / 25 / Black
—–Male / 24/ Black
—–Male /21 / Black
—–Male/ 18 / Black
—–Female / 17 / Black
—–Female / 16 /Black
—–Female / 5 / Black
—–Female / 3 /Black
—–Female / 2/ Black
—–Female / 9 / Black
John Simms / 11 slaves:
—–Male / 33/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 30/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 20/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 12/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 10/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 8 / Mulatto
—–Male/ 7/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 5/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 2/ Mulatto
—–Female/ 2 / Mulatto
—–Male/ 2mo. / Mulatto
S.M. Martines / 6 slaves:
—–Male / 28 /Black
—–Female/18 / Black
—–Female/ 17 / Black
—–Female / 13 / Black
—–Female / 3 / Black
—–Female/ 6 mo. / Black
Joseph Head / 7 slaves:
—–Female / 30 / Black
—–Female / 19 / Mulatto
—–Female/ 13 / Black
—–Female / 9 / Black
—–Female / 7 / Mulatto
—–Female / 2 / Black
—–Male / 1mo. / Mulatto
Thomas Rye / 1 slave:
—–Male/ 6 / Black
R.L. Haines / 3 slaves:
—–Male / 30/ Black
—–Female / 18 / Black
—–Male / 3mo./ Black
C.B.Neal / 2 slaves:
—–Male / 10 / Mulatto
—–Male /23/ Black
Susan P. Jage / 2 slaves:
—–Male / 45 / Black
—–Male/ 16 / Black
Joseph W. Head / 7 slaves:
—–Female / 30 / Black
—–Female / 18 / Mulatto
—–Female / 12 / Black
—–Female / 10 / Black
—–Female / 8 / Mulatto
—–Male / 2 / Black
—–Male /1mo. / Mulatto
Mary Hale / 1 slave:
—–Female/ 50 / Mulatto
C.C. Burton / 3 slaves:
—–Female / 30 / Black
—–Male / 10 / Mulatto
—–Male/ 8 / Mulatto
S.H. Payne / 2 slaves:
—–Female/ 21 / Black
—–Female / 3 / Black
Dotson Bell / 1 slave:
—–Male/ 18 /Mulatto
Pastial(?) Andrews / 4 slaves:
—–Female / 33/ Black
—–Male / 6 / Black
—–Female / 4 / Black
—–Female / 2 / Black
E.D. Ford / 1 slave:
—–Female / 13 / Black
Dennis Trammel / 7 slaves:
—–Male / 26 / Black
—–Female / 25 /Black
—–Male / 11 / Black
—–Female / 7 / Mulatto
—–Female / 4/ Mulatto
—–Male / 1 / Mulatto
—–Male / 4 mo. / Mulatto
Sam’l Griffith / 28 slaves:
—–Male / 21 / Black
—–Female / 16 /Black
—–Female / 12/ Black
—–Female / 10/ Black
—–Male / 5/ Black
—–Male / 45/ Black
—–Female / 40/ Black
—–Female / 35/ Black
—–Male / 30/ Black
—–Male / 24/ Black
—–Male / 24/ Black
—–Male / 23/ Black
—–Female/ 18/ Black
—–Female / 18/ Black
—–Female / 16/ Black
—–Female / 16/ Black
—–Male / 13/ Black
—–Female / 12/ Black
—–Male / 10/ Black
—–Male / 8/ Black
—–Male / 7 / Black
—–Male / 6 / Black
—–Male / 5 / Black
—–Female / 3 / Black
—–Male / 4 / Black
—–Female / 3/ Black
—–Female / 2 / Black
—–Female / 5 mo./ Black
—–Female / 8 / Black
Julian Ragsdale / 1 slave:
—–Female / 23/ Black
Sarah Dungan / 1 slave:
—–Female / 25 Mulatto
John Booth / 8 slaves
—–Male/ 47/ Male/ Black
—–Male/45/Black
—–Female/34/Black
—–Male/15/Black
—–Male/12/Black
—–Male,/10/Black
—–Female/8/Black
—–Female/4/Black
William Park/ 9 slaves:
—–Male,/50/Black
—–Female/30/Black
—–Female/23/Black
—–Female/17/Black
—–Male/18/Black
—–Male/15/Black
—–Female/8/Black
—–Female/7/Black
—–Female/2/Black
Martin Bunch/ 1 slave:
—–Male/8/Black
Alexander Cahill/4 slaves:
—–Female/38/Black
—–Male/13/Mulatto
—–Male/8/Black
—–Female/3/Black
Martin W. Branch/8 slaves
—–Male/42/Black
—–Fmale/35/Black
—–Male/23/Black
—–Male/19/Mulatto
—–Female/15/Mulatto
—–Male/13/Mulatto
—–Male/3/Black
—–Male/Black
Hester Green/1 slave:
—–Female/33/Black
Henry Smith/3 Slaves:
—–Female/30/Black
—–Female/20/Black
—–Female/8 mo./Black
Jno. W. Wear/2 slaves
—–Male/13/Mulatto
—–Female/10
Archibald Woods/3 slaves:
—–Male/43/Black
—–Female/15/Malatto
—–Male/11/Black
James Hawkins/4 slaves:
—–Female/35/Black
—–Male/35/Black
—–Female/35/Black
—–Male/6/Black
David Ramsey/1 slave:
—–Male/24/Black
P.J. Cox/3 slaves:
—–Female/27/Black
—–Male/21/Black
—–Male/2/Black
Cebron A. Hinton/5 slaves:
—–Female/18/Mulatto
—–Male/17/Black
—–Male/14/Black
—–Female/12/Mulatto
—–Female/1/Black
James Johnson/3 slaves:
—–Female/50/Black
—–Female/29/Black
—–Male/15/Mulatto
Laurence Thompson/9 slaves:
—–Male/80/Black
—–Female/28/Black
—–Female/18/Black
—–Male/10/Black
—–Male/8/Black
—–Male/6/Mulatto
—–Male/4/Mulatto
—–Male/2/Mulatto
—–Female/6 mo./Mulatto
James Cotton/1 slaves:
—–Femal3/19/Black
Menan Haines/4 slaves:
—–Female/23/Black
—–Female/5/Black
—–Male/3/Black
—–Male/8 mo./Black
Mary Carter/12 slaves:
—–Female/31/Mulatto
—–Female/36/Black
—–Female/25/Black
—–Male/13/Black
—–Male/11/Black
—–Female/9/Black
—–Male/7/Black
—–Female/4/Mulatto
—–Male/8/Black
—–Female/4/Black
—–Female/2/Black
—–Male/1/Black
J.K. Milum Employer/1 slave:
—–Female/14/Black
Thomas Hatcher/1 slave:
—–Female/13/Black
David F. Hollas/1 slave:
—–Female/55/Black
Jno. B. Gore/9 slaves:
—–Male/4/Mulatto
—–Male/6/Black
—–Female/5/Black
—–Female/3/Black
—–Male/1/Black
—–Female/2/Black
—–Female/2/Black
—–Male/6m/Black
—–Male/2m/Black
P.McDavis 1 slave
—–Female/21/Black
Aliancy Barrett 1 slave
—–Male/65/Black
John S. Quindlin 6 slaves
—–Male 55/Black
—–Female/22/Black
—–Male/14/Black
—–Female/13/Black
—–Female/11/Black
—–Female/7/Black
James Train 9 slaves
—–Male/43/Black
—–Female/27/Black
—–Female/23/Black
—–Male/19/Black
—–Female/11/Black
—–Female/9/Black
—–Female/7/Black
—–Female/4/Black
—–Male/1/Black
Thomas McCarran 2 slaves
—–Female/37/Black
—–Female/27/Mulatto
John Ward 2 slaves
—–Female/19/Black
—–Female/10/Mulatto
John Kannada 1 slave
—–Female/60/Mulatto
S.C. Bryant 5 slaves
—–Male/27/Black
—–Female/22/Black
—–Female/11/Black
—–Male/6/Mulatto
—–Female/3/Black
S.P. Dillard 22 slaves
—–Female/66/Black
—–Female/61/Black
—–Female/45/Black
—–Male/44/Black
—–Male/41/Black
—–Male/37/Black
—–Female/28/Black
—–Male/28/Black
—–Male/24/Black
—–Male/22/Black
—–Female/20/Black
—–Female/15/Black
—–Female/11/Black
—–Male/6/Black
—–Male/6/Black
—–Female/4/Black
—–Female/2/Black
—–Female/6m/Black
—–Male/10/Black
—–Female/31/Mulatto
—–Female/12/Multatto
Sarah Gibson 9 slaves
—–Male/50/Black
—–Male/34/Black
—–Male/18/Black
—–Male/19/Black
—–Male/15/Black
—–Male/11/Black
—–Female/19/Black
—–Female/16/Black
—–Female/30/Black

F.J. Crockett 9 slaves
—–Female/30/black
—–Male/32/Black
—–Female/17/Black
—–Male/12/Mulato
—–Female/10/Black
—–Male/9/Black
—–Female/7/Black
—–Female/5/Black
—–Male/2/Black
Harriet A. Nowland 15 slaves
—–35/Male/Black
—–35/Female/Black
—–16/Female/Black
—–15/Male/Black
—–15/Male/Black
—–12/Female/Black
—–10/Female/Black
—– 9/Female/Black
—– 7/Female/Black
—– 8/Female/Black
—– 3/Female/Black
—– 3/Male/Black
—– 3/Male/Black
—–6m/Male/Black

Reference: 1860 Slave Owners of Ft. Vin ; retrieved on 7/12/2011 from

www.angelfire.com/ar/freedmen/slvown2.html)

The list went on forever — So Help!!! Thank you all in advance,

Latonya S. Peterson; author of “The Cradle Robber, There’s One Nut in Every Family and Make Me Feel Good: You Must Define your own Self-worth.”