Mysteries

Missing Johnnie Mae ~ Thank You Sandra!:)

Johnnie Mae & Robert LongLaughing about the recent cemetery “adventure” of AAGSAR member Sandra WILLIAMS-BUSH (Ancestral Callings: Georgia & Mississippi), I was reminded of one the funniest family stories ever shared with me by my late Cousin, Johnnie Mae STRINGER LONG.

Mae was Elbert STRINGER’s younger sister, the daughter of Missy DORSEY and John STRINGER. Missy and my GG Grandmother, Marrie WINGFIELD CARTER were Sisters. All of the beautiful DORSEY and STRINGER images I have, came from Mae. Her facial features and voice were so much like that of my Great Grandmother Annie CARTER JACKSON (Mae and Elbert’s first cousin they referred to lovingly as “Baby Sister”), I would just stare at her. It was comforting to be in her presence.

I spent many afternoons with Mae scanning pictures, capturing history and laughing about her fear of ghosts and spirits.

My favorite Mae story?

According to Mae, she’d always been the scary type. When she was a teen she and Elbert would visit Grandma Catie’s grave at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta.

Mae told me when Grandma Catie died, her son John “Bud” WINGFIELD and cousin Harry HECTOR carried a huge boulder via wagon from Washington-Wilkes to place on Catie’s Grave.

Well when they arrived for one visit the boulder had disappeared – sunken COMPLETELY in the ground! On top of Grandma Catie’s grave! And when they attempted to investigate further, Elbert and Mae began to sink into soft earth!

Mae said the calmer Elbert got, the more hysterical she became! Mae said […]

Finding NO Peace In PEACEWOOD: My WINGFIELD Ancestors Plantation Home

Peacewood I - WINGFIELD Wilkes County GAWINGFIELD-CADE-SAUNDERS House (PEACEWOOD) circa 1936

When I really peer beneath the surface of our country’s damaged history, and how human transgressions have been processed by the descendants inheriting it, I’m challenged to find our cultural silver lining.

I believe the healing salve for historic ignorance and human cruelty lies within our yet to be lived future; to be championed by the untainted souls of descendants far removed from the slave legacy I inherited.

Am I saying Generations X, Baby Boomers and beyond are hopeless? Sadly, yes.

The longer I live, I find it harder to vest in the goodness of mankind when he’s still very much covered in his Ancestors history-stamped residue.

For example, while scanning this 2010 Tours of Home blog post regarding PEACEWOOD, the plantation my WINGFIELD Ancestors built and sustained while enslaved by Thomas WINGFIELD and his descendants, I immediately became angry reading this narrative:

This beautiful old plantation home is a significant and interesting example of a house assembled from different periods and made into a columned plantation seat in the 1840s and 1850s during the period of prosperity before the Civil War.

Beautiful?! William Johnson is referring to the time period when MY ANCESTORS were bought, sold, raped, bred, tormented, overworked and subjugated to the discretion of his or her WINGFIELD owner. A period when their free labor was exploited, bartered […]

Pierce CODY of Macon Georgia, Much More Than a Slave Narrative

Pierce Cody - Macon GA City Directory 1924Born about 1850, Pierce CODY is my 3rd great grand uncle; brother-cousin to my 3rd great Grandmother Catie WINGFIELD-DORSEY and Aunt Ailey II CODY DORSEY.

Born into slavery in Warrenton, WARREN County Georgia, Pierce’s parents were Elbert, my 4th Great Grandfather and Dicey (Dorothy) CODY. I believe even before he was emancipated Pierce took Fannie (b. about 1851) as his wife and they had at least two (2) children, Sarah (b. 1872) and Harry (b. 1880).

Pierce’s 1937 WPA Slave Narrative came to me early in my research (1999) and I knew immediately he belonged to me.

Reflections of life on Bob CODY’s place, mirrored Catie’s WARREN County plantation memories of “Master CODY” and her sister, Ailey. Learning Pierce’s father carried the name Elbert shed light on the origin of a long-standing family name!

Catie named a son Elbert WINGFIELD, and her grandson cousin Elbert STRINGER’s ability to remember our family’s oral history is the reason we have Our Georgia Roots today!:)

I’m thankful for the gift Pierce’s WPA Narrative has been, but my uncle lived nearly 90 years! Slavery and his reflections of it were but a small portion of a full life. I’d be remiss to allow that narrative to be the only one reflective of his […]

1867 Voters & Reconstruction Oath Book: Seaborn CODY – Warren County GA

Seaborn CODY - 1867 Oath Book Warren County GAA few days ago, while researching Family Search GEORGIA probate records I discovered two individual CODY bills of sale – a boy Seaborn sold to Wm CASTLEBERRY (1833 by Rebecca CODY) and a woman Sarah, sold with her child by Edmund CODY to Jesse R. BEALL (1854), a Warren County overseer.

I wasn’t looking for Seaborn or Sarah, and don’t know their exact relationship to my CODYS — though I’m sure there is one. It just pained me to see them sold. I felt their names deserved to be called and plight recognized.

So I posted both bills of sale records along with information I could supplement them with.

Kristin CLEAGE and I shared one common wish, that both Seaborn and Sarah knew freedom.

For reasons I may never clearly understand, Seaborn is familiar to me. He was sold by Rebecca CODY, wife of Michael, mother of Madison and Jeptha. So he is connected to me in some manner.

There’s a Seab referenced in the C.C. CODY journal; a slave still on the plantation close to the end of the Civil War. It’s possible the family could have acquired Seaborn back at some point. They had ongoing dealings with CASTLEBERRY. Only time will tell.

Today I felt the […]

1832 Inventory & Appraisement Estate of Edmund CODY – Warren County Georgia

Ike & Anne May HILLMAN - Greene County GAEdmund and Michael CODY were the sons of James CODY. According to Michael’s will, their property lines were adjoined, along with George HARDAWAY’S land. George married Sarah CODY, Edmund’s daughter. The JOHNSON and HILLMAN families were also close by.

Edmund’s descendants originally owned my maternal line – Rachel, Ailey I, Ailey II, Catie, Dicey; Michael’s descendants my paternal line – Elbert, Old Rose, Rosetta, Grace. Eventually, as CODYS died and willed my Ancestors down their family line, and the slaves married/intermingled, the division became far more blurry.

My theory is my 5th Grandfather Elbert CODY owned by Michael, first had children Catie and Ailey II with Ailey I, my 5th Grandmother owned by Edmund’s grandson Robert CODY. Sometime after 1855 Elbert began having children with Dicey, also owned by Bob CODY. They remained together post-Emancipation.

The number one question to answer, were Ailey I and Dicey sisters, and was Rachel Mother to both? If yes, this would make Rachel my second 6th Warren County Grandmother, believing Old Rose (owned by Michael CODY) to be the other.

I also need to confirm if Robert Donnelson CODY died in 1852 and if he did, which CODY purchased his estate? Catie was born about 1850 and had memories of being on the plantation with “Master CODY”. This tells me I need to look further than Bob CODY and revisit Pierce’s slave narrative for missed clues.

Could Marion Michael (Madison’s Brother, another Michael Descendant) have been the CODY owner after Robert?

CODY Ancestors identified in Edmund’s […]

1832 Inventory & Appraisment Estate of Michael CODY – Warren County Georgia

Ailey & Catie CODYI’ve said many a day, if I could just see the estate inventories of Michael and Edmund CODY I could really learn some things about my CODY Ancestors.

Well yesterday, I got my wish! Thanks to the ongoing build of GEORGIA Probate Records 1742-1990 by Family Search, for the first time in 15 years I was able to study more than the transcribed wills of the two slave owners who played such a pivotal role in my Georgia Ancestors lives. I now have insight into their estate inventories.

There’s MUCH analysis ahead and many clues to source. I’m relieved to see the names of Ancestors but equally heartbroken by their circumstance.

Today, I needed to get this 182 year old relic, the 1832 Inventory and appraisment of the Estate of Michael CODY, posted and give light to my CODY Ancestors!

I’m calling your names and I’ve brought Catie and Ailey II out to welcome you home!:)

I’ve learned more about you this week, than in all the time I’ve sought your names and stories. #GRATITUDE

  • 5 aces(?) 2.00 Armsted negro man 275.00 Jack negro man 312.50 — 589.50
  • George negro man 475.00 Lewis negro man 475.00 John do do 500 — 1450.00
  • Jefferson 500.00  Harrison’s John 475.00 Daniel 500.00 Garrison 475.00 — 1950.00
  • Reddick 500.00 Anderson 400.00 Abraham 475.00 Jerry a Boy 400.00 — 1775.00
  • Elias a boy 350.00 Reuben do 325.00 Henry do 275.00 Anthony 250.00 — 1200.00
  • Stephen 250.00 Elbert 250.00 Siller a girl 275.00 Cynthia do 350.00 — 1125.00
  • Eliza 375.00 Ailsey & her 4 children Martha, Mariah, Vina & Ellick 950.00 — 1325.00
  • Phillis & her child Simeon […]

ROSE CODY Chronicles: What Became of Our NEWTON Rose?

Rosetta CODY & King COOK - Newton ML 1871Well it’s been an exciting research week for me and the realization of 1864 slave catcher’s receipts for Rose, Mary and Garrison CODY have birthed new life into my recently quiet CODY Ancestors! Read about this week’s events here – ROSE CODY: She Saying Something Now!:)

Eventually, I will post a copy of the receipts shared with me by researchers Mark AUSLANDER and J.P. GODFREY, my most recently discovered CODY-descended cousin. Eventually. Just doesn’t feel like the right time now.

So what do I know?:

ROSE CODY: She Saying Something Now!:)

It has been a SURREAL few days.

On Monday night, deep in the midst of final #DREAMFORWARD preparation I found myself on GOOGLE poking for family slave document leads on Emory University’s President James Edward DICKEY, son of James Madison DICKEY, the Methodist minister who was the second owner of my 4th Grandmother Catie WINGFIELD-DORSEY.

How I landed on the AJC article referencing Emory’s slave history and research work by Emory Professor Leslie HARRIS, I cannot tell you. However that lead to my emailing Ms. HARRIS, which lead to additional outreach to Mark AUSLANDER, author of The Accidental Slaveowner. Which leads to a currently running research email thread on its 12th iteration!:)

On the other side of my Ancestor breadcrumb trail there’s Lisa HENDERSON of Scuffalong: Genealogy (our newest AAGSAR member) who inadvertently connects me to an acquaintance, artist Lynn Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier of Miss Kitty’s Cloak believing our Emory, Oxford, Methodist-church research might somehow be connected.

And guess what? It is! Every person I’ve bumped into over the past two days leads back to the exact same Ancestor — Rose CODY!:)

Rose was the first slave purchased by Michael CODY of Warrenton Georgia and many of the CODY slaves descend from her. Rose summoned me in 2009, and I produced these now archived posts […]

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 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 […]