Saturday, August 27, 2011

Genealogy and Slavery

Summer will soon be coming to an end. I should think about finishing some of my genealogy projects. Right now, I am indexing the Logan County, Kentucky, Will Records from 1833-1838. Not too many people died in the county during that time, or perhaps the decedents just did not leave a will. Though I don't have too many names to look for, I do have a lot of pages to look through. Reading 1830's script has put a strain on my eyes and some permanent "squint lines" on my forehead.

Since I've been doing some Kentucky indexing, I thought it to be a good time to bring out my Stone family again to see what I could find.  Most of what is out there on Elisha Stone has been put out there by yours truly.  Though a recent website has Elisha as the son of Thomas Stone and Betty Jackman, I'd still like to find some proof (although I do tend to agree with that assumption).  Last night, as I squinted my way through dozens of Mercer County records, I managed to find a copy of my ggg-grandpappy's will from 1829. I've read a partially transcribed copy of the will before, but here in front of me was the copy of the real Mccoy!  You bet I was excited!!

The will talks a bit about Elisha's children, mentions his deceased father (though not by name) and a mother-in-law, which judging by the tone of the document, may actually be referring to a stepmother.  I then had a queasy feeling in my stomach when I read "...bequeath to my son...a negroe boy...", and felt disgusted when I read, "...the balance of the negroes I give to my daughter..."

Elisha Stone, willing a "negroe" to his son, Elisha Jr.

With the majority of my family having come from northern states, slavery is rather uncommon in my tree.  It did exist here and there.  Early ancestors who settled in Virginia and in the Carolinas had slaves.  My ancestors though had a pioneering spirit and set out to explore the west early in our country's history.  By the time of the Civil War, all of my family lived in the mid west for a generation and had long given up the cruel and inhumane business of slavery.

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