Category Archives: Church

1837 African American Census – Thomas Little

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Today, after the torrential rain, I rushed down to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to find the 1837 African American Census. My $8.00 was well worth it although it started to seem as though I was going to go home empty-handed. No such luck!

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I had been warned by someone ever so helpful at HSP that they did have the census but “it didn’t contain much information.” Thank goodness, I’d seen the 1847 African American Census and knew these documents were genealogy GOLD! I’m glad I’m not easily discouraged and you really can’t be when embarking on genealogy. Here is a list of what is contained in the census:

  • Name of family
  • Total number of residents
  • Number of residents who are natives of the state
  • Number of residents who are not natives of the state
  • Occupation of males
  • Occupation of females
  • Value of property
  • Real estate
  • Amount of incumbrance
  • Personal estate
  • Amount paid for ground rent
  • Amount paid for house rent
  • Amount paid for water rent
  • Number of children in day school
  • Number of children not in day school
  • Amount of tax paid
  • How freed and cost of freedom
  • If from another state, how much property brought to Philadelphia
  • Number of children in Sunday school
  • Number of children not in Sunday school
  • Number of household members belonging to beneficial societies
  • Name of the meeting attended by household members

“Nothing”

At any rate, the first volume I reviewed listed a Tobias Little. I took photos and made copies just in case. One never knows where there will be an error or typo.

tobias little

I reviewed two other volumes and found no Hogans or Littles. As I’m rushing to leave, I review the last volume and three pages in at the bottom of the page – I found Thomas Little living in Sterling Alley with eight family members, seven natives to Pennsylvania and one not native. This sounds like my family.

The case supporting Thomas Little as my 5th great-grandfather is pretty compelling but it is indirect. There is a listing of Catherine Little (b 1788) as Thomas’ widow in the city directory.  Thomas Little, Jr (Jul 1817) stated his father was born in Pennsylvania while his mother was born in New Jersey. We know Catherine states multiple times that she was born in New Jersey. I found Thomas Little on the 1820 Census which is a good gauge for his age.

I’m pretty confident that 1) Thomas and Catherine married and 2) Thomas was born in Pennsylvania between 1780 and 1790. If so, this would mean that Thomas Little would be the key for his descendents to qualify for in the First Families of Pennsylvania – Colonies and Commonwealth – 1638 – 1790.  I plan to spend the next month trying to find additional information to support this contention  as the deadline to apply is May 30 for recognition in October.

But back to the 1837 Census.  So much for the census “not containing much information.”

thomas little 1

Add to the list of things I know about my ancestors the following:

  • Thomas worked as a sugar refiner or at a sugar refinery.
  • He had not amassed any real estate, renting his home for $70 per year. His personal wealth was $350.
  • Two of the children that lived with him (probably his children) attended school.
  • Confirmation again that none of the members of the household were manumitted, i.e. they were not born enslaved.
  • One member of the family belonged to Daughters of Ethiopia and the family attend The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas for religious worship.

thomas little 2

What’s interesting about the St. Thomas confirmation, my grandmother, Thomas’ 3rd great granddaughter was Episcopalian. I had a hunch I was going to find that her choice of faith went back very far. My instinct now has been confirmed.

Gee, I don’t know – qualifying for First Families of Pennsylvania, confirming they were not born enslaved AND ascertaining the church my ancestors attended in the 1830s  (which may lead to other documents) seems more than “nothing” to me! But maybe I’m not indifferent…eh…impartial.

This week has been a very good week in breakthroughs. As always, I’m interested in building a network of researchers for this time period. Please spread the word. Thanks!

 

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They Crossed Over – Born Enslaved, Died Free

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Below are a list of my ancestors who were born enslaved but lived past the end of the Civil War to live free. I wonder how many never made it over with them or how many they lost never to find along the way.

Garland Arnold (1851, Georgia) m. Fannie Gray (1855, Georgia) – 2nd Great Grandparents

Garland and Fannie Arnold 1880

1880 Census – Clayton County, Georgia, 12 June 1880

Robert Arnold (1830, Virginia) m. Patsy (1825, Virginia) – 3rd Great Grandparents – parents of Garland Arnold

1880 Census, Clayton County - 14 June 1880

1880 Census – Clayton County, Georgia, 14 June 1880

Boston Mattox (30 Jun 1849, Georgia – 29 Jun 1928, West Virginia) – 2nd Great Grandfather

1880 Census - Wilkes County, 13 January 1920

1880 Census – Wilkes County, Georgia, 13 January 1920

Ester Mattox (1836, Georgia) – 3rd Great Grandmother – Mother of Boston Mattox

1880 Census - Wilkes County, Georgia, 4 June 1880

1880 Census – Wilkes County, Georgia, 4 June 1880

Benjamin Faver (1825, Georgia) – 3rd Great Grandfather

1880 Census - Wilkes County, Georgia, 4 June 1880

1880 Census – Wilkes County, Georgia, 4 June 1880

Sabry Turner Walton Wright (1835, Georgia) – 3rd Great Grandmother

1900 Census - Wilkes County, Georgia, 7 June 1900

1900 Census – Wilkes County, Georgia, 7 June 1900

Winnie Faver (1798, Virginia) – 4th Great Grandmother – Mother of Benjamin Faver

1880 Census - Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 4 June 1880

1880 Census – Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 4 June 1880

George Banks (1830, Virginia) m. Fannie Bowles (1849, Virginia) – 3rd Great Grandparents

1880 Census - Henrico County, Virginia, 4th June 1880

1880 Census – Henrico County, Virginia, 4th June 1880

Thomas Williamson (1841, North Carolina) m. Ella Gunn (1859, North Carolina) – 3rd Great Grandparents

1910 Census - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16 April 1910

1910 Census – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16 April 1910

Squire Gunn (1810, North Carolina) – 4th Great Grandfather – Father of Ella Gun

1870 Census - Person County, North Carolina, 7 October 1870

1870 Census – Person County, North Carolina, 7 October 1870

Peter West (1848, Mississippi) m. Dorcus Brown (1851, Alabama) – 2nd Great Grandparents

1870 Census - Hinds County, Mississippi, 15 July, 1870

1870 Census – Hinds County, Mississippi, 15 July, 1870

Simon Durr (4 September 1845, Simpson County, Mississippi – 13 March 1839, Copiah County, Mississippi) m. Sarah Griffith (Jun 1852, Mississippi) – 2nd Great Grandfather

1900 Census - Simpson County, Mississippi, 25 June 1900

1900 Census – Simpson County, Mississippi, 25 June 1900

Robert Durr (1820, South Carolina) – 3rd Great Grandfather – Father of Simon Durr

1900 Census - Simpson County, Mississippi, 14 June 1900

1900 Census – Simpson County, Mississippi, 14 June 1900

Henry F. Griffith (Aug 1838, Mississippi) m. Agnis Dear (1849, Mississippi) – 3rd Great Grandparents – Parents of Sarah Griffith

1900 Census - Lawrence County, Mississippi, 27 June 1900

1900 Census – Lawrence County, Mississippi, 27 June 1900

Mahala Dear (1800, North Carolina) – 4th Great Grandmother – Mother of Agnis Dear

1880 Census - Lawrence County, Mississippi, 19 June 1880

1880 Census – Lawrence County, Mississippi, 19 June 1880

Raymond Smith (1835, Louisiana) m. Caroline Iles (1850, Mississippi) – 2nd Great Grandparents

1880 Census - Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, 16 June 1880

1880 Census – Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, 16 June 1880

Jane Iles (1830, Virginia) – 3rd Great Grandmother – Mother of Caroline Iles

Jane Iles - 1900

Horris Church (1858,  St. Mary Parish, Louisiana) – 2nd Great Grandfather

Horris Church - 1900

Tom Griffin (1852, Virginia) m. Mary (1835, Louisiana) – 3rd Great Grandparents

Emma was born in 1869. Logical conclusion would be that her parents lived until that date. Family lore says Emma was raised by her father Tom

Emma was born in 1869. Logical conclusion would be that her parents lived until that date. Family lore says Emma was raised by her father Tom

In many cases, these ancestors place me three generations FROM being enslaved. Homage paid to those known and unknown. As James Baldwin said, these ancestors bought and paid for my passage as a citizen to the United States. I owe my country no me!