Wingfield

And So It Begins: Why Does MY Preservation Matter?

Wingfield-Genealogy---CurationI often wonder what African American descendants researching Slave Ancestry could learn about our Ancestors and heritage if descendants of every slave owning family shared their research data OR donated legacy documents to a repository for public consumption? What could we learn if our own families had preserved Great Grandma’s bible and funny childhood tales or shared freely the rare, coveted Ancestor photo or cloaked family “secret”?

When I visited Duke University Rubenstein Rare Document & Manuscript Library last November I *thought* I knew what to expect. I’d been hoping to touch the collection since discovering it online in 2009, so at least I knew what was “physically” there.

But how could I have known the shock and multitude of answers contained in Samuel WINGFIELD’s plantation ledger? Or known how much seeing and touching the names of my Ancestors branded on those ancient papers would mean to me?

Had it not been for Mrs. Alexander BAIRD’s August 1990 submission to Duke’s Special Collections Library, I’d never know the weight and financial yield of my WINGFIELD Ancestors labor or the names deserving to be called and brought home.

I still don’t know Mrs. BAIRD’s relationship to the WINGFIELDS. I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter. What does is that some 14 years ago she had the forethought to make sure history that’s irreplaceable could rest in a place dedicated to preservation.

I’ve begun talks with Spelman […]

Spelman University: Where My Family Genealogy & Images Will Call Home

At the turn of the 20th century my Great Grandmother Annie CARTER JACKSON lived on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, GA with my GG Grandmother Marrie, and attended Spelman Seminary with her 2 sisters Fannie and Mattie Wee. As a little girl, I was blessed to hear of their antics at Spelman on many occasions!:)

Grandma JACKSON’s gift for delivering our oral history in the most hysterical fashion, was the catalyst for me. Her memories were where my love of family history took root and her devotion to family, is what anchors my commitment to preserving it.

Annie CARTER JACKSONAs the family historian, I’ve spent 15 years unearthing our Georgia and Alabama heritage. I’ve inherited bibles, historic documents and rare family images from my maternal Grandparents and Mom, and through divine intervention, “acquired” the family bible of my paternal Great Grandmother COBB.

Over the past few years I’ve given MUCH thought to how my personal genealogy archive will be managed in the event of my passing. I’ve been trying to answer one simple but difficult question — what’s the BEST way to ensure my heritage is preserved and our data made accessible to other researchers?

As an advocate for digital preservation I’d considered both Ancestry.com and LDS owned Family Search, but in truth neither entity has earned my trust as a researcher of Slave Ancestry. I’m not convinced the digitization of African American history is a ‘true’ priority of either org and I know from personal […]

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 […]

WINGFIELD Slave Manifests From a Ship Named The FLORIDA 1856 & 1859

The-FLORIDA-Slave-Manifest---WINGFIELD-1856---Various

Plantation musings have been ROUGH! When my soul’s Teflon coating has regenerated, I plan to invest time researching these WINGFIELD Slave Manifests discovered via Ancestry’s U.S., Southeast Coastwise Inward and Outward Slave Manifests, 1790-1860.

By my estimates my 6th and/or 7th generation Ancestors could have been Africa-born and survived The Middle Passage.

Inspired by AAGSAR Member Cecilia of Cecilia’s Dig and her 3rd Great Grandfather Mr. Major PERRY, I took a chance locating slave ship manifests for my WINGFIELD and CODY Ancestors of Georgia, and ended up finding several.

For tonight, I’m posting two (2) WINGFIELD manifests from the slave vessel THE FLORIDA — arrival ports Mobile, Alabama (1856) and Savannah, Georgia (1859).

The unknown Ancestors on the slave manifests were owned by WINGFIELDS of Georgia. Given the years of the purchases, I’ll start looking at records for Archibald Simpson WINGFIELD I (b. 1801 – d. 1861). The son of Samuel WINGFIELD, Archibald outlived many of his relatives. In addition to his slave inheritance, as a practicing lawyer he was often named executor of and/or witness to their estates. Archibald, Charles and Garland WINGFIELD owned the majority of my Washington-Wilkes Ancestors in 1860:

  • WINGFIELD, A. S., 66 slaves, page 478B
  • WINGFIELD, C. for self and 2 others, 57 slaves, page 479B
  • WINGFIELD, G., 83 slaves, […]

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 […]

U.S. COLORED TROOPS: WINGFIELD Union Soldiers of the Civil War

Company B 103 Regiment - Unidentified Civil War UNION SoldierEarlier tonight Bernita ALLEN (Air Force SME) of AAGSAR (African American Genealogy and Slave Ancestry Research) shared an awesome site to research your Civil War Ancestors, the National Park Service: Soldiers and Sailors Database.

I’ve already identified 8 WINGFIELD Civil War Soldiers I need to research further to determine if a family connection exists!

Albeit connected by SURNAME, blood and/or plight, I honor these WINGFIELD men of service. I’ll keep you posted on connections too! AMAZING!:)

Luckie

*****************

Wingfield, Albert

  • Regiment Name: 13th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Alexander

  • Regiment Name: 115th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Charles

  • Regiment Name: 95th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Charles

  • Regiment Name: 97th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 95th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Winfield

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 97th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Winfield

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 103rd Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Wingfield

Wingfield, William

  • Regiment Name: 1st Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

USCT Recruitment Poster

NOTE: NPS Soldiers and Sailors database results returned 222 WINGFIELD Confederate Soliders. I also plan to research my Confederate Ancestors of military service

REFERENCES:

A Tale of Many Elberts ~ CODY, DORSEY, DAWSON, WINGFIELD & STRINGER

Elbert STRINGERNeedless to say, I probably should have documented our family Elberts long ago! Truth is, I’m really just now beginning to get a handle on them myself!:)

Cousin Elbert STRINGER (pictured left) is the reason we have Our Georgia Roots. His razor-sharp memory provided all the early “nuggets” that laid the foundation for what was to come. Elbert passed in 1999 and I miss him dearly. He was a sweet, sharp-as-a-tack, family loving man!:)

All our Elberts descend from the Warren County Georgia CODY and DORSEY family lines.

I believe my 4th Great Grandfather Elbert CODY I had children with two sisters – Ailey I (my 4th Great Grandmother) and Dicey (my 4th Great Aunt; Mother to Pierce CODY and siblings).

So in addition to Elbert CODY I having at least 1 son who was his namesake,  he also had several children and grandchildren gift him the same honor!

The result? Elberts many times over!:)

Below is my first attempt at making sense of the Tale of Many Elberts. Naming patterns is a gift to the descendant researcher of slave ancestry. The naming nuances shed light on family clusters and relationships in the absence of verifiable documentation.

I suspect this post will updated in the days ahead, given my Elbert names and family cluster details are always becoming clearer.

Elbert CODY:

  • Elbert CODY I – b. 1820 and identified in the 1832 estate and will of Michael CODY. 4th Great Grandfather. Father of […]

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH: Ralph WORMELEY Plantation Labor, Middlesex County VA

1778-Wormeley-Ledger-ISince discovering Samuel WINGFIELD’S  plantation ledger last month at Duke University, I acknowledge after all these years of researching, I can still be sickened by what I discover. When I consider the experience and not the data, the barbaric nature of Slavery leaves me speechless — and angry.

I’d decided not to publish additional images from the 300 page ledger. It’s painful enough to read; can’t imagine how much my Ancestors suffered enduring it.

Overseer Samuel WINGFIELD was a meticulous record keeper. Void of all humanity, the ledger is a difficult read — especially for this WINGFIELD descendant.

Before migrating to WILKES County, Georgia in 1783 with Thomas WINGFIELD, my Ancestors were enslaved in HANOVER and MIDDLESEX Counties, Virginia. Thomas WINGFIELD worked my Ancestors in every possible way, as well as frequently leasing them to labor for others.

Ralph WORMELEY V (1745-1806) was the Virginian planter my Ancestors provided the most labor for. Whether my Ancestors built/maintained the Rosegill Plantation in Middlesex County or worked some other land owned by WORMELEY, I’ll never know. Honestly, I really don’t care. That’s not the history I care to research or record.

ROSEGILL Plantation  ROSEGILL Plantation

What I do know is along with WINGFIELD and many others, WORMELEY profited from my […]

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 […]