Wilkes County

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

PAGE I
Thomas WINGFIELD Will - Page I
PAGES II & III
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:

Sam WINGFIELD

  • Daniel
  • Indey

Molley WINGFIELD

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

Thomas WINGFIELD

  • Thornton
  • Jenny

John WINGFIELD

  • James
  • Edmund
  • Abram
  • Ealey
  • Nancy

Charles WINGFIELD

  • Emmanuel
  • Davey
  • Martha

Fanney WINGFIELD

  • 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

We’ve Run Revival & Oh What a Time We Had!:)

Jackson A.M.E. Church ~ Wilkes County, GARecently via the AAGSAR Facebook forum, Marci asked me how my family felt about my research. My response was brief and what I believed honest — “they don’t really appreciate it much until I’m not doing it”. How wrong I was!

REBIRTH: It’s Time For Revival was not only SOUL FORTIFYING for this Mama-missing, Buddhist gal, it was Spirit Therapy for my children and family too!:)

The kids, who’ve missed the kinship I grew up with, have been surrounded by it in the weeks leading up to REBIRTH! They’ve heard me singing the Gospel, learned about our family church homes and spiritual customs, and witnessed me reaching for His Eye Is On The Sparrow and Precious Lord time after time, claiming the refuge they have always offered me.

The response to Journeying By Faith from Uncle Jake’s namesake, cousin Ronnie Jr., moved me beyond words!

Bernita of Voice In My Head shared her family’s excitement with the forum, expressing her Mom’s sentiments as she enjoyed reading all the REBIRTH entries and Joann of J-Mac’s Journey was busy sharing our Revival and Aunt Mary with her family AND Co-workers!

SLAVE ANCESTRY RESEARCH: WINGFIELD Slave Owners Genealogy & Crop Data

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?

Hope Lives Within Acts of Genealogical Kindness

Thomas FAVER Estate - 1859 Wilkes County GAAncestor work is HARD work. If you’re a descendant of once Enslaved Ancestors, it’s most often emotionally, spiritually and physically painful. Add to that, my propensity to face online prejudice, race bias and culture slights head-on, it’s rarely a dull moment over here!:)

Today, warm words from an earlier Our Georgia Roots supporter and CONTRIBUTOR, Alane Roundtree, were a welcomed reminder of the hope living within a simple Act of Kindness.

When I received Alane’s email at 11:07 AM, I’d just shared with the AAGSAR Facebook Community my intention to make fully available the 563 scanned Wilkes County Georgia Estate Inventory records I received as a gift from the Georgia Archives in 2009 and committed to bringing back online my MUCH coveted Ancestor Gallery of family images.

Alane’s words confirm how vital the work of preserving, restoring and sharing our Ancestry is, and how like spirits and hearts are without color.

A note from Alane…

8 November 2013

“…the Ancestors are always moving things into place aren’t they? I’ve gotten so comfortable with sharing their energy I don’t even question it anymore.” — Luckie Daniels

I just spent the last hour wrapping myself in the familiar blanket of knowledge called OurGeorgiaRoots.com. As surely as bees are drawn to pollen the Ancestors have found a remarkable conduit for their energy and the pursuit of truth in their Sister Luckie Daniels.

As long as you are able and […]