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General - Family History & Genealogy Message Board

Published: 2018-01-23 02:30:10Z


Re: how high of a percentage would indicate african american ethnicity?

2018-01-23 02:40:34Z

27% is not insignificant - you are 1/4 Nigerian. It indicates that, for example, a grandfather was all Nigerian and, therefore, one of your parents was 1/2 Nigerian and so you're 1/4. OR any other combination, such as two grandparents 1/2 Nigerian so one of your parents was 1/2 Nigerian also, and you're 1/4th. Or ALL of your grandparents were 1/4 Nigerian and so your parents were both 1/4 Nigerian and so you're 1/4 Nigerian. Whatever combination, you're 1/4!

Basically, you get 50% of your DNA from one parent & 50% from the other parent. BUT the 50% you yourself get from each may differ somewhat from that which your full siblings may get. Kinda like a full deck of card where you get dealt 1/2 or 26 cards; and then reshuffle all 52 cards again and deal your pretend sister 1/2 or 26 cards. You'll have plenty of the same cards as your sister, but they'll be a number of cards that differ. Then when your children are tested, they can only inherit what you have (and the other parent has) - 50% from each / random selection for both 50%s. ...and your sister can only pass down what she has to her kids: so the 1st cousins (your pretend kids & your pretend sister's pretend kids!) will have even more differing DNA.
My hubby didn't get any Native American DNA but his older sister did; therefore, my hubby's kids cannot have any NA DNA show up on a test (as my hubby had none to pass down and the mother was not NA) but his sister's son did. But my hubby is still of NA descent.
What's the other 13%? Do you know who your dad was (on your birth cert.? )and, if so, do you need help with your family tree?

how high of a percentage would indicate african american ethnicity?

2018-01-21 22:51:30Z

I did my DNA test to help narrow down the search on my biological father. My whole life my mother has insisted my father was a white guy but people always assume I'm mixed. Her siblings even believe my father to be a black guy from their school. My DNA results show me to be 27% Nigerian and about 60% to be Great Britain and Ireland combined. I'm wondering if this is a high enough percentage to indicate I'm probably mixed or if 27% is pretty insignificant?

Re: Chaney Brown Holman

2018-01-05 22:50:53Z

Text me your personal email. I can give you more dates and death certificates for some of the Odom side of the family. Death certificates can tell a lot as well as census forms.

Re: Chaney Brown Holman

2018-01-04 00:49:33Z

Happy New Year! And I will let my mother know that you asked about her.

I've only been working on this for about a week now but I feel like it's going pretty well. It's gets confusing sometimes trying to weed out actual relates from nonrelatives and sifting through all if the different name variations.

I'll grant you access to my tree so that you can see what I have so far.

Re: Chaney Brown Holman

2018-01-03 14:21:38Z

Hello Cousin,
I haven’t done much with the Odom side of the family. However I’ll help you in any way I can. From what I’ve gathered from Cora’s side is that her mother and father were Christopher and Zilpha (Zelpha). I believe Zilpha was brought over here from Antigua. I’m still researching more on that.
My mother is still living at 97. Her mother was Minnie’s sister Florrie. She suffers from a little dementia but she remembers some things. I hope this helps. Text me any time and we can go from there. Tell Denise I said hello. Lois and I keep in contact.
Happy New Year

Re: Chaney Brown Holman

2017-12-31 14:28:46Z


I'm Djuan Taliaferro, Denise Odom' s son from SC. Lois is my 1st cousin. I just started working on our family tree.

I've been finding a lot of branch family info but not much on the Odom/Whitt or Holman/Brown side past Mack Odom Sr./Lucinda Whitt and Charlotte Dunbar (James Holman's mother) and Cora (Chaney Brown's mother).

Edward William Odom and Minnie Mae Holman were my great-grandparents.

George Beeher Howard

2017-12-26 00:41:48Z

My Great grandfather George Beecher was dropped off at the Howard Orphanage sometime between 1868 and 1880. He arrived handsomely dressed with the name George Howard stitched in his suit jacket. It was told that they gave him the surname Howard because he was given to the Howard Orphanage. He was turned over to Tuthil farm in Long Island as a farm boy at age of 12. Any info on George is greatly appreciated. Thanks Cynthia Mangini

Re: Hogan Family

2017-11-25 00:41:53Z

hello my name is katrina renee Hogan ive been searching for Hogan relatives iam from savannah Georgia chatham county. I have family with the Hogan last name in Cleveland and Painesville checking to see if we could be email phone number 3364223710 thank you

Re: Anyone with the name Madry

2017-11-16 14:29:13Z

Thanks a lot. This gives me another path to research. I know they moved around a lot. I have found some Madrys in Georgia, Thomas and Laura migrated to North Florida.
Again. Thanks.
I'll let you know what I find. [ I realize it may be a while]

Re: Anyone with the name Madry

2017-11-16 03:01:36Z

The only Madrys/Madrays I know of that were in SC about that time were the following:
Starling Madray was in Duplin County in the late 1790's and in St Stephens Parish of SC in 1800.
His son, George Washington Madray, was born in SC and married a Locklair. Their sons, James Madison Madray, born 1834 and George Washington Madray, born 1836, were in the Civil War. James, who was my gr grandfather, married and had 3 boys who were the ancestors of all the SC Madrays.
Hope this helps.

Re: Anyone with the name Madry

2017-11-15 13:46:11Z

Thanks for the information. Thomas and Laura lived in Edgefield, SC Thomas was born in about 1830 and his wife Laura was born in 1840. I would appreciate any help, I have been looking for a while. Thanks

Re: Anyone with the name Madry

2017-11-14 22:44:18Z

Hi. I may be able to help you. The Madry/Maddry/Maddera family line originally was in VA but some went to north and south Carolina. Need birth or death dates for your Thomas and Laura. There may be a link to this line who were in SC check out message at

Re: Finding slave owner by last name?

2017-11-04 15:44:51Z

Your question about slave surnames isn’t easy to answer. If you have no other clues, then the place to start is white, slave owners with the same surname. Sometimes freedmen took the name of their last owner, sometimes their first owner, and sometimes the name seems to be selected at random. More than once I’ve seen freedmen’s surnames change completely between the 1870 US census and the 1880 US census (found only because the person I was searching for had a very unusual, given name and the other names in the households and approximate ages matched).

Both Ancestry and FamilySearch are placing probate records online, and Rutherford Co. TN’s probate records are available at both places. Do NOT rely on Ancestry’s index; you have to search records by yourself. In the case of Huggins slave owners in Rutherford Co. TN, it appears that J. [Jonathan?] Huggins and C.B. [Camillus Brennus?] Huggins were the owners in 1860. If the info on your Slave Owner’s tree is correct, Jonathan Huggins died in 1870, and C.B. Huggins died in 1910---both died after slavery ended.

In order to find slave names in probate records, the owner has to have died before slavery ended. The most likely places to find slaves’ names are the inventory of the deceased’s property, the sale of the deceased’s property, the final distribution to the heirs, or sometimes the will of the deceased. It’s not easy going through old records---and trying to read the handwriting.

I know almost nothing about TN records, but I do know that in some states, deeds for slaves are sometimes found in county deed records. FamilySearch is beginning to put county deeds online. Some states had separate volumes for recording deeds for slaves.

I have a few other ideas on where and how you might search. Check your Ancestry messages.
Best of luck!

Re: Finding slave owner by last name?

2017-10-24 03:21:39Z

There is some validity to your last question. It's possible your ancestor's surname might have been different compared to the 1860 records. That 1870 brick-wall is difficult to overcome. Best hope might be probate records from the slaveholders' descendants if they are willing to share?

Finding slave owner by last name?

2017-10-23 05:22:39Z

I have found Freedmen records indicating that my ancestor lived in Rutherford, Tennessee in 1866. His last name Huggins is somewhat unique and in the 1860 slave schedules there are only two slave owners in that town with that last name. I otherwise feel like I am at a dead end, so is it safe to assume my ancestor belonged to the Huggins owner with a slave the age he would be in 1860? Or is it possible the name is unrelated?

Winnie Martin Fogg Weaver Langford and James H. Langford

2017-10-20 01:48:43Z

For the person looking for information about Billy Weaver and Winnie Martin Fogg Weaver Langford, be advised that Winnie was my great Grandmother. I can provide you with Census data, a photo of Winnie and the name and contact information for the family historian that can provide you with all of the information regarding the Weavers. My email address is Send me your contact information and I will give you a call or call me at 919-477-4009.

Family of Booker Fitzgerald grandson

2017-10-08 00:15:04Z

Call me at 770-969-6524

Re: Just starting ... pointers, tips, advice?

2017-10-01 03:02:44Z

You don't have to do any work to track the Jefferson connection:
Since the Jefferson / Hemings line is now finally recognized, their genealogy has been completed as well as possible'd be able to find public trees on ancestry OR contact Monticello: they have it too (actually, it's on the wall in one museum exhibit there!).
They had 4 children to live to adulthood - three lived as white (7/8 European) and one stayed within the black community.
Harriet & Beverly (male) Hemings did not use Jefferson name but left Monticello early and prob. changed names from Heming /identified as white in DC / Harriet moved to MD after marriage. Descendants not tracked now but didn't use Jefferson name anyway.
Madison kept the Hemings name / identified with black community/ he has Hemings descendants; on censuses as free person of color.
Easton was the only one who used the Jefferson name & has descendants with the Jefferson last name; moved abt 1835 after Sally's death (with Madison too) to Ohio / on censuses as free person of color/ Hemings. Later, Easton moved from Ohio to Madison, WI, then changed his name to Jefferson, and he and his family identified as white from then on.
"As of 2007, there are known male-line descendants of Eston Hemings/Jefferson, and known female-line descendants of Madison Hemings' three daughters: Sarah, Harriet, and Ellen." - wikipedia

Re: Just starting ... pointers, tips, advice?

2017-10-01 00:20:22Z

Thanks much. All of that makes quite a bit of sense and will be very useful. Her name is Jefferson and she has a family legend that they are related the Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. From your pointers, it might be more likely that the Jefferson name was selected at some point. Though with the strong Virginia connection, there might be some sort of Jefferson connection that I'll run down.

Re: Just starting ... pointers, tips, advice?

2017-09-30 23:26:02Z

Some items that might help you: 1) The 1870 census was the first one to record formerly enslaved people - getting back beyond 1870 is tough. Some couples married as soon as they were able which would be 1865 at the earliest, even if they were already together / had children that's one great source to check. 2) Enslaved people did not have last names and so many, if not most, ended up with their former slaveholders' last names, keeping the same first names in most cases. So when the 1870 censuses taker came to a household, if the family didn't have a last name, which was not unusual then, the slaveholder's last name of the eldest person in the household would be used; then that name would usually be recorded for everyone in that household. So, if the oldest person was the wife's mother, then her daughter & her daughter's husband and all the children got that name...even if they all were released from different slaveholders. And it's really a meaningless name at that time anyway..... 3) It took some time for former slaves to realize that they could take any last name they wanted. So some people are recorded with the slaveholder's last name on the 1870, then by 1880 they realized they could use another name and didn't really care much for the former slaveholder anyway, so the name on the 1880 census was different. (That's how we get so many black families named Lincoln and Washington, for example.) We can frequently find the family, though, as the first names, ages of children, and birth order are the clues...and it helps if the family stays in the same place. 4) Formerly enslaved people released from the same slaveholder may not be related to each other at all...they just ended up with the last name. So when looking for relatives, the same last name, even an unusual one for people living in the same area, is a clue but doesn't really tell us if those people are related.5) Besides getting stuck with their slaveholders' names, released slaves did not have traditions of marriage where the wife took the husband's name. The children of an enslaved mother were owned by her slaveholder, not the father's slaveholder. They may have never been able to live as a family unit until Emancipation. 6) You may find, when a former enslaved mother's husband died (or they split up) and the mother remarries, in many cases all the children permanently took the new husband's last name...again, no tradition of using last track the family, it's again first names, birth age/order, & location.7) So many black cemeteries have been lost to time. The white cemeteries were frequently kept up by cities / towns as were white cemeteries attached to churches. Black cemeteries of black churches fared better than cemeteries on former plantations or in black communities. 8) In the South for many years, black families could not record children's births / black mothers were not admitted to hospitals. Therefore, many black people do not have birth certificates / there is no record of their births. (That's why some older black people from the South cannot birth cert / no registration ....even though they've voted for years and collect social security/ been in the military, etc.) 9) Released slaves, in most cases, did not read / write and so kept no written records, like a family Bible. This changed when the children were able to start school / black churches began to teach adults as they got educated pastors/ministers from the North. Message me thru ancestry if you get stuck.... I'm traveling for a[...]

Just starting ... pointers, tips, advice?

2017-09-27 14:21:58Z

I’m a white guy with a black girlfriend. We want to build some family trees of her family as Christmas presents for her grandmothers.

I’m not a novice to genealogy, but it’s quite apparent that there significant challenges to researching AA families as compared to my lines that all go back to the colonial period. (Though it is somewhat similar in challenge to researching my European Jewish lines beyond 1900).

Her paternal line was pretty easy. We have a tree structure back to about 1800 that I just need to fill out with siblings and their families and document. I’m thinking this line was easy because the family was mostly urban/suburban (Virginia Beach/Norfolk - Caffee, Wiggins, Ferebee, Poole, Overton, Griffin, Ward) and there’s a paper trail.

Now the maternal line (Jefferson, Urquhart) is ... fun. From the looks of it so far, it’s a matriarchy parents not marrying and children taking the mother’s surname. One great-grandma did marry, took her husband’s surname and had kids. BUT some of those kids have the name, but were born well after the husband died.

Kinda frustrating, but amazingly fun and intriguing to research. So i’d Appreciate any pointers or tips or rocks of the trade in researching AA genealogy, i’m all ears.

Re: African-American Mulatto

2017-09-22 04:23:36Z

Aha! Kindred spirit with "advanced" research skills? Meet researcher "nonpareil".

Re: Conaway Family (African descent) - Sussex County, Delaware

2017-09-21 21:43:20Z

I am an Isaacs, but I am also a Connaway. Noble Connaway being my 3rd great-grandfather. From the Laurel/Broadcreek area. From what I can see from the census records, the two families were neighbors and intermarried. Perhaps the Connaways weren't slaves but freemen. There were a significant # of freemen in Delaware. We could very well be cousins.

Re: How do you document a slave owner?

2017-09-15 13:13:20Z

Thanks...that's pretty much what I did.

Re: How do you document a slave owner?

2017-09-15 07:58:33Z

I just added him to the notes. I wish there was a different option though.

Re: African-American Mulatto

2017-09-15 07:51:41Z

Patty Canon and her gang were depicted in two seasons of the now defunct series (UPN)The Underground. She was an incorrigible character. The show was amazing by the way, unfortunately it cost too much to continue.

Re: Researching West African ancestor where do I start?

2017-09-15 07:29:15Z

The company offers a more detailed DNA test that can actually pinpoint the tribe that you're from in West Africa. The test is around $200 but it provides more info. Good luck.

Cherokee Nation Freemen citizenship

2017-09-11 15:21:29Z

The Cherokee Nation is now accepting citizenship applications from descendants of Cherokee Freedmen listed on the Dawes Roll.

Mayfield surname

2017-08-06 20:30:53Z

Hello: There are a WHOLE group of Mayfields in Louisiana. Percy mayfield was NOT Curtis Mayfield's father just probably a cousin as he was a cousin of mine. I met Percy at my house in Louisiana. He was an accomplished writer for singers such as Ray Charles "Hit the Road Jack", "Send me Someone to Love" etc. Percy is from Louisiana and I have a line on his
ancestry here. They are related to my great grandfather. All of this is North Louisiana not South Louisiana.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia about curtis:
Curtis Mayfield was born on June 3, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Marion Washington and Kenneth Mayfield

Re: Obit. Henry STOTTS - Ohio Civil War Veteran

2017-08-04 16:52:02Z

Josphine Ann French



Birth Date:
abt 1844

Marriage Date:
20 Jan 1909

Marriage Place:
Muskingum, Ohio, USA

Samuel French

Mary Reynolds

Henry Stotts

Josephine Paige

Re: Is this abnormal dna for an AA?

2017-07-25 02:30:40Z

Greetings. If I am not mistaken, in American history, anyone known with any so called "black" blood would be classified as "negro" so you shouldn't go by records. Do you have pictures of your great and great-great grandparents? Also, do your grandparents appear "mixed"? In my experience, many African Americans are "shocked" at their results but they clearly look mixed. Also, there may be a cultural difference. In the Caribbean and Latin America, people are open to talking about their European ancestors whereas in the USA, it is clearly not the case. Furthermore, so called "middle eastern" DNA which may likely be "west asian" is generally part of Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese ancestry given the history of Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Re: West Africa, also called Western Africa and the West of Africa

2017-05-10 01:44:58Z

This might help............ The website link is below it has lots of info and maps I'm sure it will help you.

West Africa, also called Western Africa and the West of Africa, is the westernmost subregion of Africa. West Africa has been defined as including 18 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo.

Lillie Sheffey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-25 20:04:03Z


Young Colored Girl Dies of Consumption-Mother Dead Only Few Weeks

Her mother having died last April, and her father several years ago, Lillie Sheffey, a young colored girl, 16 years of age, passed away at 7 o'clock Wednesday evening at the home of her aunt, Mrs. Bursey, in the rear of Belknap street, after a short illness of consumption.
Only one member of the family, a younger sister named Olivia, is left.
Arrangements for the funeral of the young girl have not been completed.

Zanesville Daily Times Recorder
Thursday, May 19, 1904

Funeral services of Lillie Sheffey, the young colored girl who died Wednesday evening will be held at 1 o'clock Friday afternoon at the home of her aunt Mrs. Bursey on Augusta street, Rev. A. M. Thomas of the Union Baptist Church officiating.
Interment will be made in Greenwood cemetery.

Zanesville Daily Times Recorder
Friday, May 20, 1904
p. 8

Muskingum County, Ohio

Lulu Sheffey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-25 19:44:04Z

Mrs. Lulu Sheffey, colored, aged 39 years, died Sunday morning at 6 o'clock at the family residence in the rear of Belknap street in the old Seventh ward.
Those who survive are Misses Lillie and Olivia, daughters, besides two sisters and six brothers.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

The Zanesville Daily Times Recorder, published: Zanesville, Ohio
Monday, April 4, 1904

Residence of Late Mrs. Lulu Sheffey May Cause Difficulty at Funeral

A funeral conducted under flood difficulties will be held at 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon in a little residence on Augusta street in case the waters do not recede by that time.
Mrs. Lulu Sheffey, colored, died Sunday morning and the undertakers had some difficulty in reaching the residence which is surrounded on three sides by water.
When they came to the work of carrying the coffin into the house they had to wade through water nearly a foot deep and the same conditions are likely to prevail Wednesday.
Rev. A. M. Thomas, pastor of the colored Baptist church on Eighth street will conduct the services and the interment will be made in Greenwood cemetery.

Zanesville Daily Times Recorder
Tuesday, April 5, 1904
page 8

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-23 20:57:22Z

Disagree! William was a resident of Nashville in obits of John and Mary. Find another person with the same criteria. Older sister, Lula, wed Jessie L. Sheffey 28 Aug 1884 in Knox, TN. He may have died prior to 1900 'cause "Lulla" enumerated as widow in Allegheny, PA with daughters Lilly (12) and Olivia (8). They moved to Muskingum, OH where Lula died 3 Apr 1904 and Lillie died 18 May 1904. Bewildered! A female died at age 16? Margaret King died 22 Mar 1920 in Canton, Stark, OH. I see you have her second marriage. Find her 1900 OH-Muskingum-Zanesville Ward 7-District 77-Image 10. Daughter Ethel wed John McDavid 31 Aug 1907. See Lookup Frank Spencer Gregory (25 Nov 1878 - 27 May 1947) in Canton and Cleveland OH.

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-23 20:05:52Z

Having trouble confirming that the William P. Gregory that died 9 March 1928 is the same William P. Gregory that was my great uncle. My prior searches have revealed there is a William P. Gregory with a father named "Jno Gregory". I have seen census records with the name "Jno" and therefore do not believe it to be a typo. I have just reviewed the death record associated with the William P. Gregory that died 9 March 1928 and it lists his father as Rev. Jno Gregory, Sr., which leads me to believe this is not the same individual in my tree. Thoughts?

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-23 19:43:37Z

Prior to last week I was not even aware of any of the sisters, and only knew for sure of brothers Walter B. (my great grandfather), Oscar H., Frank, and William P.. I have been able to find out a lot of info just from these threads and you and the one other person contributing currently. I have zero info on Charles, and was not aware of this Gregory sibling until very recently, as mentioned. I have yet to add him to my tree as I was trying to find more information prior. I had attributed the early deaths maybe to lifestyle/environmental factors, but that was only assuming. The obituary for John Gregory (died 1908) lists stomach trouble and a short illness as cause of death. This is particularly interesting because my father and I both have Crohn's disease, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system. The obituary for Mary M. Bursey (Gregory) (died 1909) lists death due to lung trouble, with an illness lasting over a year. When I originally started researching years ago all I had was the name Walter B. Gregory and his wife Nona (my great grandparents), and Walter's brother Oscar Gregory. I've been working on this on and off for years and am so excited to see all the information I've been able to acquire these past few weeks.

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-23 18:51:45Z

Please? No days-off from research until further notice? Yes, I'm ex-military and good at giving orders but this is serious! Only one of your ancestor's siblings (Oscar) achieved God's promise of "three score and ten". To me, that's reason to be alarmed and motivation to learn the reasons for the early deaths! Consider ages at death: Lula (39), William P. (61), Mary (40), Margaret (45), John (31), Frank (69), Walter (59), and Oscar (76). Even if you must purchase individual death certificates it might prove to be worth the cost? What info do you have on Charles? He's mentioned in obits of John and Mary but not displayed on your tree?

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-22 17:23:20Z

Found your tree, already! Aside from DNA, the marriage record is impossible to confirm. I'll share my favorite Sherlock Holmes quote: "When you have eliminated the impossible, what ever remains, no matter how improbable, is the solution". William P. Gregory (12 May 1867 - 9 Mar 1928) has find-a-grave memorial in Nashville, Davidson, TN. His last wife, Mamie Barnes Gregory (1880 - 28 Jan 1942) is linked in the same cemetery. The wife prior to Mamie, Belle Anderson Gregory (1874 - 3 Feb 1927), is also buried there but not linked to William. He left a will mentioning both ladies. I believe he also wed Allie MNU in 1897 and had a daughter, Mattie? Lastly, he wed Mary L. Bostic 30 Jan 1890, Belle Anderson Mar 1913, and Mamie Barnes 26 Sep 1927.

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-22 16:20:35Z

I definitely owe you baked goodies of some sort! This is a great lead!! I agree with you that John and Ann likely died prior to 1900; I did happen to see the same 1900 census just yesterday showing Oscar living with Mary Bursey. Is there anyway to confirm that the 1867 marriage record is in fact the same John and Ann Gregory in my family? See link to my family tree below. Feel free to email me at Thank you!!

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-22 15:08:30Z

Direct me to your tree then get started making some "teacakes"(lol)! John Gregory wed Ann Pate 15 Aug 1867 in Knox County, TN. The ceremony was officiated by a Justice of the Peace and the certification is viewable The couple's first-born was Lula/Lulu ca. 1865. View 1870 TN-Knox-District 10-Image 20 and 1880 TN-Knox-District 10-160-Image 22. The parents may have died prior to 1900? That's based on Oscar's residence in the home of his married sister, Mary Bursey.

Re: Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-22 00:54:02Z

This is fantastic!! It gives me verification on the names of the Gregory sisters of Walter, Oscar, and Frank et. al. Are these obituaries able to be viewed online or only at an Ohio library? I have been looking for a marriage certificate for William H. Bursey and Mary M. Gregory, but have had no luck finding anything. I was also curious if you know at what point in US history marriage certificates were issued to people of color. I'm assuming (please correct me if I'm wrong) that marriage certificates were not issued to slaves in the 19th century and prior. My biggest goal right now is to find out the names and birth dates of the Gregory siblings' (Walter, Oscar, Frank, etc.) parents. My great grandfather Walter B. Gregory was born in 1882 so it is very possible that his parents were freed slaves.

Mary M. Gregory Bursey - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-18 21:58:01Z

Mary M. Bursey
Mrs. Mary M. Bursey of No. 410 Walnut street, one of Zanesville's well known colored women, died at the family home at 12 o'clock last night, after an illness of lung trouble, lasting over a period of more than a year.
She was aged 40 years and was a long time resident of this city.
The following brothers and a sister are left to mourn: Frank Gregory of Canton (Ohio) Walter Gregory of Coshocton, (Ohio) William and Charles Gregory of Nashville, Tennessee, Oscar of the west and Mrs. Margaret King of this city.
Arrangements for the funeral will be announced later.
The Zanesville Courier, Zanesville, Ohio
11 Nov 1909

The funeral of the late Mrs. W. H. Bursey was conducted from the South Street A.M.E. church at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon, the Rev. Mr. Jones officiating
Interment was made in Greenwood cemetery. (Zanesville, Ohio)

William H. Bursey - b. Tennessee
died 18 May 1955, age 77

William H. Bursey, 83, of 1458 Walnut street, (Zanesville, Ohio) died early this morning at a Cambridge (Ohio) hospital after an illness of two years.
He had been a patient at the hospital all during his illness.
Surviving are his widow, Alma.
The body was removed to the Hillis Funeral home where it will remain until time of services at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon at the Wings of Hope Tabernacle. Rev. G. W. Morse will officiate
Burial will be in Greenwood cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home after 1 o'clock Thursday afternoon.

Zanesville Signal
18 May 1955 Section 4 page 1


Obit. John Gregory - 1908 - Zanesville, Ohio

2017-04-18 21:25:53Z

John Gregory, colored, died at the home of his sister, Mrs. W. H. Bursey, of Walnut street (Zanesville, Ohio) at 7:15 o'clock Tuesday morning. His death was due to stomach trouble, and resulted after a short illness.
The deceased was 31 years old and came to this city from Louisville, Kentucky last April.
He is survived by two sisters and five brothers. They are Mrs W. H. Bursey with whom he resided. Mrs. King of Blue avenue; William Gregory of Nashville, Tenn.;Frank Gregory of Nashville, Tennessee, -----(Garbled) Gregory of Canton,(Ohio) Walter Gregory of this city, Charles Gregory of Knoxville, Tennessee and Oscar Gregory, an employee of Gentry Brothers' show.
No funeral arrangements have been made.

The Zanesville Courier
4 Aug 1908

The funeral of John Gregory will be held at the late home on Walnut street at 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon, Rev. A. M. Thomas officiating.
Interment will be made in Greenwood cemetery.

The Daily Courier, Zanesville, Ohio
5 Aug 1908 p.8

Muskingum County, Ohio

Mrs. William H Bursey (Mary M. Bursey)
african american

Re: Obit. John Gregory - 1908

2017-04-12 15:19:49Z

Where can I find this in print? Walter Gregory was my great grandfather and Oscar and Frank were his brothers.

Re: Hollman/Holman from Orangeburge SC

2017-03-21 21:46:00Z

Neither Sarah nor Nancy ring a bell. I'm wondering too if he may have been orphaned. Maybe his parent(s) were owned by these women. That's the only thing I can think of. Let me know what you find out. There may be some info I've overlooked in my own research.

Re: Brief History Of Boley, Oklahoma Negro Town

2017-03-18 19:58:16Z

Ms. Harris,

My name is Christina and I am a historian. I am writing about the AME Church in Oklahoma. Do you have any information on Ward Chapel in Boley?


Re: Hollman/Holman from Orangeburge SC

2017-03-07 20:24:10Z

Hello, not sure if you can help me or not but I was looking into my 3rd great grandfather's records and in 1870 he is 11 years old living with 2 white women named Sarah Bell and Nancy Swann. They were sisters I was told and their maiden name is Holman. They are from South Carolina. Do you have any info or have heard of these women? Any clue as to why my grandfather was in their household. My guess is he was possibly orphaned or separated from his family due to slavery. Any info you have will be greatly appreciated. My 3rd great grandfather's name is Alfred(Alford) Knox. Thank you.

Re: Macbeths of South Carolina

2017-02-07 22:53:35Z

There's a lot of information online about Arthur L. Macbeth. He was a noted photographer with studios in Charleston, SC, and later moved in Norfolk, Va., and Baltimore, Md. A genealogy board says his father was "unknown" and his mother was Martha Mitchell Macbeth. Here's a link to that wiki:
The family were friends of my family in Charleston. In fact, I have a photograph of his daughter, Lois Macbeth Carr, in her wedding gown that was taken by her father. I can probably provide more information, if you're still interested. My email address is

Researching West African ancestor where do I start?

2017-02-05 06:08:58Z

I just got results back from a DNA test and found that I am a small prrcentage West African. I am fascinated by this, as I am the palest white person you will ever meet, and had no idea of this, though I've done a lot of genealogical research. How would I go about trying to find out who this ancestor was? All of my ancestors were from the southern U.S. and I know of 3 who owned slaves. I do have a partial list of the names of some of the slaves. (Family names of ancestors who owned slaves were Wooldridge (in VA) and Lewis (in AL), if those names happen to match up with anyone else's research.) Anyone know where to start? Is there a good website with tips for researching slave ancestors? I don't even know for sure that this ancestor was a slave, but it seems the most likely scenario. It would have been likely 6-8 generations back that my ancestor was full blood West African.