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)