Tuesday, November 9, 2010

my absence

Hi folks! I'm sorry I've been away from the blog (and sister website) for so long. I'm still pretty involved in my research of the Pettifords, trying to find some untapped resources. Be sure to keep your eye on the database (http://freeaainnc.tribalpages.com/) as I am constantly updating information there, mostly for Pettiford, but any other free blacks in antebellum NC are added there as I find new information. For instance, today in the database, I added information on Judy Artis who married Reuben Pettiford and resided in Washington County and also her son Alfred Artis Pettiford, both of which filed claims with the Southern Claims Commission (SCC).

Actually, this is one of the untapped resources I've recently discovered! The records for the SCC have been indexed and the records available on ancestry.com (click the link to go directly to the database - you need to be a paying member to access the information though) and also in book format (Gary B. Mills. Southern Loyalists in the Civil War: The Southern Claims Commission. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004.) If you don't have a subscription to Ancestry, then check your local public library to see if you can get this through Interlibrary Loan and a plug for the State Library of North Carolina, if you are someone who visits the State Library of North Carolina, this book is available in the Genealogical reading room.

What is the SCC? From my understanding, The Southern Claims Commission was created for pro-Union Southerners could apply for reimbursement to any damage and losses to their property as a result of the Civil War. The one potential problem with this source is that it does not identify anyone by race. It may take a bit of research to figure out if a person who filed a claim was African-American or white (from what I saw today, most of the claims took place after the Civil War was over, so I say "African-American" instead of "free Black" because at that time they most likely were all free - there could be some that were dated earlier that I did not see today, so that is why I say "could have been", sorry for any confusion)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Pettiford Research and the FreeAAinNC database is online!

Hi Folks,

It's been a long time since I last posted anything to this blog and I apologize for that. I have not posted much to the website, but there are a few new things.

I apologize to everyone for all the spam in the comments sections of the blog. Last thing I posted in September had 33 comments, 20 of which were spam that I deleted, and a few that are left I'm not sure if they are legitimate or not. I may change the way folks can leave comments so they have to be approved by me first in order to keep spammers off.

Well, I'm sure some of you are wondering what I've been doing with the research. I have spent the past year doing indepth research specifically on the Pettiford family in NC. The Pettiford family is a prolific group! I have traced over 500 Pettifords who all descend from 3 Pettifords (George, Lawrence, and Lewis) who were first recorded in Granville County in the 1740s and 1750s. George, Lawrence, and Lewis are all likely brothers, but so far I have found nothing that ties the three of them together. The descendants of these 3 men are found primarily in NC before the Civil War, but many began to move out of the state in the 1800s. Other states Pettifords moved to in the antebellum period are Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. There is also a line of Pettifords in Kentucky that I have not yet been able to tie them into the North Carolina lines, but I believe they are a branch. They seem to be descended from a Fanny Pettiford who was listed in the 1790 census in Kentucky, a free black woman, and I have not been able to connect her to anyone yet, but then again my focus is on North Carolina and I have not spent much time on Fanny and her descendants.

One of the things I have been doing with the Pettiford group is tracking them in the census records. I have pulled all Pettifords (and variant spellings) from the census for 1790-1900 and I plan to do 1910-1930 still. One of the things I discovered while pulling the census information is that many of the Pettifords born in the antebellum period were still alive in the 1900s. That is why I'm pulling census information post-Civil War.

For all you Pettiford researchers out there, be sure to check the surname index of the website out as there are 11 Pettifords listed. I have a whole lot more at home, just haven't had the time to transcribe them. Hopefully this summer I can get to that.

I will continue to work on the Pettiford family through the end of 2010, but beginning 2011, i need to move on and plan to start working on the Mayo family. Why Mayo? It's actually the first family I started working on all those years ago in the fall of 2000!

Finally, I have my database online! The address to my database is http://freeaainnc.tribalpages.com According to the statistics for that site, there are 1640 names in the database with the top surnames being Pettiford, Carter, and Chavis. I actually have more people to add in the future. Some of the people listed in the database are listed only because of marriage bonds I found for them and nothing else.