REFLECTIONS: The HALEY Farm & My Road Home… Still Following The Signs!

Alex Haley Farm - Clinton, TNLooking forward to rising early tomorrow to spend the day watching Alex Haley’s ROOTS with the kids. I haven’t seen ROOTS in many years, and this will be the kids first time! Many of the things I appreciate most about life today, I discovered on the HALEY Farm. 

Hoping we’ll have time to visit once again on our trip to the Tennessee State Museum in February to view the Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation Exhibit, and to visit with Aunts Hannah and Lena in Cincinnati too.

Yes, it’s time to journey home!:)


Original Post 18 July 2011: Sentimental Sunday: The Road Home… Still Following The Signs!

It’s been almost 6 years since I traveled I-75 North heading to Cincinnati, Ohio. Although my Georgia and Alabama family roots reach deep, I was raised in Cincinnati, so the trip home is always warm and familiar.

I hadn’t planned this journey but I see now that doesn’t make it any less predestined. I was supposed to make this trip… at this time.

For the first time, I was blessed to experience the 157 acre Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee all by myself — well sorta — […]

Claiming Annie… Time To Walk Resthaven, Cemetery

Annie - RESTHAVENThough the WINGFIELDS of Wilkes County, Georgia owned hundreds of my Ancestors, to my knowledge I’ve only seen one image of an emancipated WINGFIELD – Newby WINGFIELD, the husband of Creecy COHEN.

I’ve never seen the face of James, my 4th Grandfather owned by James Nelson and Susan WINGFIELD. I have several pages of Ancestor names captured from Samuel WINGFIELD’S Plantation Ledger and numerous names grouped into lots across various WINGFIELD estate inventories, wills and division of slaves probate records, but not one, single face.

Tonight a random GOOGLE search for WINGFIELD sightings landed me here – Tombstone Tuesday: Annie, Resthaven Cemetery, Washington, Wilkes Co., GA via Digging in the Roots, and though I tried, I couldn’t shake the heaviness of this very brief blog post nor the weight of ANNIE’s headstone.

I left the blog. Returned. Bookmarked the post. Left and finally decided to leave this comment:

“My Ancestors were owned by Thomas WINGFIELD who migrated to Wilkes County from Hanover, VA in 1783. The WINGFIELDS were prominent planters. Every African-American WINGFIELD in Washington-Wilkes descends from the first 23 slaves who arrived with Thomas WINGFIELD. Many, if not most of the white WINGFIELDS are buried at Resthaven, and when I stumbled upon your post tonight, a heaviness I can’t quite […]

SLAVE ANCESTRY EXHIBIT: Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation ~ February 2014

Washingtons of Wessyngton PlantationSUPER excited to learn today (thanks LaKesha!) of the upcoming Tennessee State Museum FREE exhibit featuring the genealogy research and slave artifacts of John BAKER’s Ancestors – The WASHINGTONS of Wessyngton Plantation.

Some years back I met John BAKER at an Atlanta AAHGS presentation and book signing, but missed the opportunity to tour Wessyngton Plantation as part of the National Black Arts Festival offerings in 2010.

“The exhibit, Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation, looks at the lives of both the enslaved African Americans and their white owners on the 13,000 acre plantation in Robertson County, Tennessee. The exhibition, which is free to the public, will open Feb. 11 and close Aug. 31, 2014.”

Definitely won’t be missing such a historic exhibit and teaching opportunity for my children to see first hand plantation life as many our Ancestors experienced. I’m also hopeful AAGSAR Community members who are close-by will join us! How cool would that be?!

So mark your 2014 Calendars – Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation will run from February through August 31, 2014 and will be FREE to the public!

Giving the Ancestors their voice and due reverence!:)



Image Source:

“While flipping through my social studies textbook I spotted a photograph of […]

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DREAMFORWARD: Dr. Martin Luther KING Jr. | 15 January 2014

Dr. Martin Luther KING Jr. “So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream…”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

#DREAMFORWARD | 15 January 2014


TECH TALK: Going Beyond The Shaky Leaf ~ Frustrated User’s Edition for

Ancestry.comI’m not going to front, has been very, very good to me!:)

I can still find online 13-year-old queries from my early days when in pursuit of all things WINGFIELD and CODY! Fast forward 14+ years, with an abundance of genealogy data acquired and a transformed family history to share, I frequently turn to Ancestry to support my work.

So yes, I’m an advocate for and long-time user of Ancestry’s genealogy tools.

I am hopeful my product knowledge combined with the fact I’ve launched online technology applications for as long as I’ve used Ancestry, gives credence to my ask that Ancestry’s Business Analysts, User Experience Leads, Information Architects and Application Developers consider updating the current Ancestry Leaf Hint functionality and user experience.

It’s time for a 1.2 or 2.0 enhancement of the Shaky Green Leaf experience offered to users presently. Why? Because though the core requirement (provide customers a user-friendly means of introducing “hints” to support family tree building) has been met, there are user experience considerations and a few business requirements to update and/or add.

Based on our understanding Shaky Green Leaf  functionality has been introduced and applied by Ancestry users, here’s my technical wish list of modifications:

User Experience & Functionality:

  • Coach Marks. To support an enhanced Shaky Green Leaf (SGL) experience, add concise, dynamic “coach marks” to guide […]

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH: John WINGFIELD Estate Division of Slaves ~ 19 January 1811

John-WINGFIELD-Division-of-Slaves-Pg1   John-WINGFIELD-Division-of-Slaves-Pg2

Ask and you shall receive, right? John WINGFIELD’s estate Division of Slaves record was *hidden* — a book inside a book I almost missed! Thanks to my Ancestors for prompting me to take a 2nd look and jump to image 170 which just so happened to be the COVER image of the book I was searching for! From there I navigated to page 105 (image 226) to find my WINGFIELD Ancestors. Quite a coincidence huh?!:)

Mary WINGFIELD (Widow)

  • Tom
  • George
  • Nelson
  • Milly
  • Bonner *
  • Milly
  • Mariah
  • Bob
  • Hubbard
  • Kitty
  • Squire
  • Lucinda

A – Drawn by Patsey SIMPSON

  • Cus * $400
  • Mary $150

B – Drawn by Garland WINGFIELD

  • Edmond $400
  • Polly $200

C – Drawn by Fanny WINGFIELD

  • Eleck $375
  • Peter $200

D – Drawn by Elizabeth WINGFIELD

  • Charles $375
  • Melinda $200

E – Drawn by Sally WINGFIELD

  • Jordan $300
  • Cicily $275

F – Drawn by Nancy WINGFIELD

  • William $250
  • Louisa $275

G – Drawn by John WINGFIELD

  • Clary $350
  • Harriet $50
  • Jude $100

H – Drawn by Overton * WINGFIELD

  • Lucy $200
  • Juley $300

Next Steps?:

  1. Sit with all the newly discovered probate records and my Ancestors to determine my next steps!:)
  2. Compare slaves names of probate records to the 1841 Indenture of James Nelson WINGFIELD. James Nelson was the owner of my 4th Grandfather James WINGFIELD and son of John WINGFIELD.
  3. How can I BEST map the movement of my Ancestors across the probate records/family shuffle?
  4. Determine if the Indenture record was submitted to the court and available […]

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH: Estate Inventory of John WINGFIELD ~ 12 May 1806


I’ve learned more about the WINGFIELDS in the past 4 months than I have in the 15 years of doing Georgia research.

This AM I summoned for the Estate Inventory of John WINGFIELD and this evening I located the executed May 12, 1806 record via Family Search, along with an index of all WINGFIELD probate court records.

So tonight as I take in my Ancestors names, I wonder if James could be my 5th Grandfather, father of James the 4th. Does the presence of Jack and Nelson confirm their connection to my James beyond a WINGFIELD slave owner? Is the Mother of James here too?

  • Tom $450
  • Clus * $300
  • Nelson $300
  • Cesley $400
  • Woman Milly $450
  • Milly Bonner * $350
  • Clarifa $350
  • Maria $200
  • Charles $150
  • Jordan $175
  • James $75
  • Bob $80
  • Hubard $30
  • Edmond $180
  • Julia $150
  • Lousa $100
  • Jack $50

The Georgia Genealogy Trails narrative I discovered this morning regarding John WINGFIELD’s estate:

There was, however, immediately after the Revolution a large influx of Virginians who were in better circumstances, and who brought with them in their large wagons from Virginia a supply of better furniture, and furnished their tables more bountifully.

As illustrative of this we have the inventory of John Wingfield, or as he is written, John Winkfield, who died in 1798, and whose inventory is elaborate and extensive. He had, besides a sufficient supply of plain household and kitchen furniture, some articles mentioned in […]

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH: Division of THOMAS WINGFIELD Slaves ~ 10 January 1828 Ordinary Court

Thomas WINGFIELD - Estate Sale 1828

I’m not quite sure what ‘prompted’ the following December 19, 1827 Inventory and January 10, 1828 division of Thomas (d. 1797) and Elizabeth (d.1802) WINGFIELD slaves in the Ordinary Court of WILKES County, GA. Possibly the passing of a WINGFIELD heir who held their possessions?

I’ll work on having the December 27, 1797 will of Thomas WINGFIELD transcribed. I’m finding the actions of his descendants in respect to the handling of slaves all generate from the directives stated in the will.

I’ve always been told the WINGFIELDS didn’t sell their slaves; they were moved around the family. This *appears* to be true. Across a lot of records I’ve only seen two (2) slaves names mentioned as being sold. But there were many WINGFIELD deaths and more probate records to follow. Who knows what I’ll find?

At some point, I’ll need to return to the dreaded Plantation Ledger of Samuel WINGFIELD (d. 1820) to map all of the new information to his records. As Overseer and inheritor, I can’t avoid going through the 300+ pages of account book. Ugh!:(

The Ancestors have something they want me to find. After 15+ years, I know the signs. I located this WINGFIELD inventory while searching for the estate of John WINGFIELD (d. 1798 eldest son of Thomas and Elizabeth; father of James Nelson WINGFIELD — the owner of my 4th Grandfather James). This morning, […]

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH Will of Thomas WINGFIELD ~ 27 December 1797

Thomas WINGFIELD Will - Page I
Thomas WINGFIELD Will - Pags II & III

It dawned on me if Family Search had digitized Wilkes County Inventories, Appraisements and Sales, there was a good chance I’d find the will of Thomas WINGFIELD too! BINGO! Executed December 27, 1797 the will of Thomas WINGFIELD Sr. in WILKES County, GA.

Surprised to find more WINGFIELD slaves being willed to Thomas’ heirs and wife, Elizabeth. Makes sense though, this is why the first estate inventory I located only had household goods for sale. The second division of slaves, identified the slaves originally willed to Thomas’ wife in 1797 and due to her death in 1802, are being allotted to their children — per the directive in his will.

Thanks to Family Search, looks like my days of chasing probate court records down might be behind me! Well done FS! — Luckie

Heirs and 29 Slaves named in 1797 will of Thomas WINGFIELD:


  • Daniel
  • Indey


  • Milley with all her increase
    • Lily
    • Tempey
    • Rodey *


  • Thornton
  • Jenny


  • James
  • Edmund
  • Abram
  • Ealey
  • Nancy


  • Emmanuel
  • Davey
  • Martha


  • Phillis
    • Kizzy
  • Solomon
  • Johan *

Elizabeth WINGFIELD – Wife

  • ?
  • Charles
  • Joe
  • Nat
  • Patience
  • Venus
  • Suck
  • Silvey *
  • Mary

* indicates possible transcription and/or misspelling

Related Posts:

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH: 1803 Division of Thomas WINGFIELD Slaves a Historical GAMECHANGER!

Thomas WINGFIELD - Division of Ancestors

In 1783 Thomas WINGFIELD (b. 1745 – d. 1797) of HANOVER County, VA migrated to WILKES County, GA to claim land awarded for his Revolutionary War service. Migrating with WINGFIELD were my first 23 Wilkes County Ancestors.

Upon WINGFIELD’s death in 1797 my Ancestors were willed to his heirs and wife, Elizabeth NELSON WINGFIELD on December 27 1797. Elizabeth WINGFIELD died in 1802. The slaves originally willed to Elizabeth by Thomas, were allotted to their children in 1803 in the following division of slaves:

Samuel WINGFIELD (Overseer) — Lot 1 ($645)

  • Charles – $300
  • Mary – $345

Thomas WINGFIELD Jr. — Lot 2 ($865)

  • Joe – $395
  • Venus – $320
  • Jordan – $93
  • Washington -$57

Frances WINGFIELD — Lot 3 ($554)

  • Charles * – $355
  • James * – $205
  • Patsey – $94

Charles WINGFIELD — Lot 4 ($478)

  • Suck – $320
  • William – $121
  • Young Child – $27

John WINGFIELD (Father of James Nelson, owner of my 4th Grandfather James WINGFIELD) — Lot 5 ($522)

  • Nate – $285
  • Amy – $205
  • Lucy – $102

John BUTLER * — Lot 6 ($551)

  • Pal— * – $270
  • Sylvia  – $260
  • Lucy – $46
  • Margaret – $75

Though I knew all African American, Wilkes County WINGFIELDS descended from Thomas’ sons, I never had any idea of how the sorting happened. Now we know — the first parsing of WINGFIELD slaves occurred in