If Eyes Could Talk: Unidentified African American Woman 1860-1870

Unidentified-African-American-womanUnidentified African American Woman 1860-1870
The Liljenquist Collection – Library of Congress

By |February 1st, 2014|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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 […]

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 […]

By |December 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|4 Comments


Admittedly, I’m not the traditional Thanksgiving Day observer. As I sit here tonight, relaxing after enjoying movies and junk food with the kids, my mind landed on the WINGFIELD WHITLOCK Slave Ancestors of Virginia. Connected to my family line, I have no idea how much of their bloodline departed Hanover VA with Thomas WINGFIELD in 1783 in-route to Washington-Wilkes GA. 23 Slave Ancestors counted as WINGFIELD’s property are evidence my lineage didn’t begin in 1783 Wilkes County GA, so I can certainly count among these souls DNA Ancestors.

DNA connections don’t really matter much tonight. On a day when we traditionally draw family close, my Ancestors deserve a home here, among kin who shared common experiences and a descendant doing all she can to restore and preserve their legacy.

Slave names and data transcribed here are in alphabetical order accompanied by the names of slaves from the wills of Thomas WINGFIELD (1837) and Martha WHITLOCK (1825).

Peace and ease WINGFIELD WHITLOCK Ancestors. Thankful to have you home.





12 Years A Slave: Why The Backdrop Delivers The Harshest Blow!

12 Years A Slave ~ The ArrivalThere’s an image from 12 Years A Slave I’ve been searching for and I’m disappointed I didn’t find it!

The image is of a defiant and bound Solomon NORTHUP dangling from a hangman’s noose, just barely escaping death by balancing on his toes. A BEYOND painful scene in the movie that’s as slow-moving and sticky as molasses. The scene — and you — hang there right along with Solomon.

Having lost my 4th Grandfather James WINGFIELD in WILKES County GA and my 4th Aunt Amanda CODY in neighboring WARREN County to lynchings, Solomon’s agony made me physically nauseous.

And then the backdrop stole the show — at least for me. What plays out in the backdrop called for more pity — and summoned more anger — than Solomon being hung did!

As a matter of fact, Solomon NORTHUP was not to be pitied at all! To paraphrase Master William FORD, Solomon was pretty damn REMARKABLE!:)

But the time-lapsed backdrop is another matter altogether!

Over the course of a few EXCRUCIATING minutes, Director Steve McQUEEN impeccably delivered a non-verbal, CRYSTAL-CLEAR verdict on the psychological devastation our Ancestors endured daily — and it felt like a sucker-punch to the heart.

Not shocking Solomon being ignored by the Overseer and Mistress — he was their property after all; he’d broken the rules and was subject to punishment. Despicable yes, but shocking? No. But his peers, fellow slaves ignored him too — out of beaten into your bones fear; out of hopelessness that seeped through their skin and […]

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH: Plantation Ledger of Samuel WINGFIELD 1772-1820

Samuel WINGFIELD ~ Plantation LedgerSamuel WINGFIELD 1772-1820 was the son of Thomas WINGFIELD and Elizabeth NELSON, the planter and Revolutionary War soldier who brought my first Ancestors to WILKES County, GA in 1783.

I’ve never seen an image of Samuel WINGFIELD. The researcher in me will certainly head to the WINGFIELD Family Society to see what additional information I can turn up as a lead to more Ancestors.

What I do know about Samuel WINGFIELD is he was Overseer to my Ancestors on the WINGFIELD and Ralph WORMELEY Plantations. A meticulous record keeper, evident by 300 Plantation Ledger pages that with great, heartbreaking detail, tell the story of what work life was like for my WILKES County Ancestors.

I have no plans to publish WINGFIELD’s ledger on Our Georgia Roots. There’s NOTHING in me that wants to give it life ever again. I don’t want to be tempted to understand what its formulas, word problems and complex equations truly represented.

I could study the ledger a lifetime, and NEVER understand the ability of a human being to calculate the value of another human being to be the equivalent of a work-mule.

Though I find no value in publishing the Plantation Ledger, I do believe they are artifacts descendants of Enslaved Ancestors need to see. I would encourage family historians to make an effort to identify and research these rare, but genealogically value documents.

I’ve included below the


Wingfield-Genealogy---CurationIn 2004 I discovered a Special Collection of slave related artifacts belonging to Thomas WINGFIELD curated by Duke University.

According to 1782 HANOVER County VA tax records, Thomas WINGFIELD’s household consisted of 9 family members and 23 slaves. For WINGFIELD’s Revolutionary War service, he received a land grant of 200 acres, migrating to WILKES County GA in 1783.

The 23 Slaves migrating with Thomas WINGFIELD were my original Virginia Ancestors. Pretty darn phenomenal huh?!

This past Saturday, I drove 2.5 hours from Charlotte to the Duke University Rubenstein Rare Document & Manuscript Library to view the collection in person!:)

The WINGFIELD Collection isn’t the first slave owner collection I’ve discovered.

In 2009 I found the Claude Carr CODY Collection housed at Southwestern University in TX. A MASSIVE collection of personal documents belonging to Claude’s Father Madison Derelle CODY, a slave owner of my WARREN County Ancestors. Excited, I hired an onsite researcher to identify documents relevant to my research. Roughly 1 week later we realized the unthinkable — EVERY slave related document belonging to Madison CODY had be meticulously omitted. There wasn’t one, single mention of my Ancestors anywhere.

Devastated is the only word to even come close to how I felt. So though excited to finally touch the WINGFIELD collection, I was careful to hold my excitement in check.

Though much smaller, the historical information contained within the WINGFIELD Collection is far richer than anything I would have expected!

So what did I discover?

SENTIMENTAL SUNDAY: An Early WINGFIELD Thanksgiving Full of Grace & Ancestors

My prayer, may your names FOREVER be called. I pay homage to my WINGFIELD Ancestors. Ashe-O!

 Martha & Children WINGFIELD

Martha & Children


Richard & Moriah

Ancestors WINGFIELD 1780 - 1797

WINGFIELD Ancestors 1780-1797

Ancestors-WINGFIELD 1799 - 1820

WINGFIELD Ancestors 1799-1820

Ancestors WINGFIELD 18?? -- 1862

WINGFIELD Ancestors 18??-1862


WINGFIELD Ancestors List of Negroes Ages 1848-1859


WINGFIELD Ancestors List of Negroes Ages 1794-1832


WINGFIELD Ancestors Births 1790-1848


WINGFIELD Ancestors Deaths 1832-1866


WINGFIELD Ancestors Births 1859-1907


After my Duke University, Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library visit today to view the Thomas WINGFIELD Collection, my once enslaved WINGFIELD Ancestors are a lot less mysterious tonight.

I celebrated EVERY Ancestor name I discovered and carried them home with me. There are MANY days of analysis and transcribing ahead, but for tonight I’m just thankful to finally meet Martha and her Children.

I pay homage to my WINGFIELD Ancestors…

A very grateful, Luckie

Source: WINGFIELD Family – Papers, 1772-1907 (bulk 1772-1866) manuscript

REPLAY: 1st Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research {3.18.10}

Hammond-Davies Slave Bible RecordsTimestamp this moment Friends because with the arrival of the 1st Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research, we have made history!

Never before has an open dialogue and mass sharing of historic slave data between the descendants of slaves and slave owners occurred online, and quite honestly, I’d be surprised if exchanges such as this have transpired much offline either!:-)

On February 8, the genea-community began answering my charge to become a Friend of Friends to their fellow African-American researchers, by sharing oft times private slave data encountered through their own personal genealogy research.

Since then, I’ve been alerted daily via emails, blog posts and tweets to online resources that provide invaluable information pertaining to our enslaved Ancestors. Information that otherwise, may never have been discovered.

In addition to the Restore My Name submissions presented below, there have been at least 20-25 individual blog posts citing previously unpublished slave information! Simply AMAZING!:-)

So as the one who first sounded the alarm, let me also be the first to thank the genea-community for proving that we are in fact a true community of supporters to all who choose to join and a shining example that collectively we can rise above history’s most devastating blemish.

We have chosen to heal history, rather than hide from it.

I am proud of you. I am proud of US.

Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research

Alane Roundtree presents CoAAG 1st […]