AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive 3
Re: Knights, still stuck
In Response To: Knights, still stuck :( ()
Have you checked local newspapers to determine if any of the Knight's posted notices that Thomas and his wife escaped? Do you have timeframe in which they escaped? Was before, during or after the Civil War? Did Thomas serve in the Civil War in a military or civilian capacity? Was he too young or too old to serve? If too old, did he have sons who served during the war? If so, one of them may have applied for a pension and the pension might contain some information. Or, if you know of any of Thomas' male siblings who might have served during the war, they too could have pensions that supply some information.
That you found the couple in North Carolina, doesn't necessarily mean that they ran there. If they escaped and were living during the Civil War, they may have been forced or encouraged to move by military folk, or other refugees to the place you found them in 1870. Since you have very few documents, you need to be more open to other interpretations than you've presented. You should also consider that perhaps they were returning to a place where they lived previously, even if the scant records you have, show them as being Mississippi-born.
Have you checked the Freedmen's Bureau records for Mississippi and North Carolina? Sometimes the local field office records yield good results. Most typically, you'll find the largest number of individuals listed as "destitutes" who received government rations, or some form of assistance. Typically the assistance was provided to those classed as needy. If Thomas and his wife were old, infirm or otherwise unable to perform labor, then they might have received some form of government assistance.
Also, since you have placed Thomas at Newt's plantation, what records have you found to support this? Have you been able to document that Thomas was indeed a resident of Newt's plantation, or do you merely have oral history? The reason I ask, is that people often accept oral history as the gospel truth and search endlessly to prove it, without considering that the oral history might not be accurate.
Have you checked probate or estate records to determine who enslaved Thomas or his wife? Do any of the white Knight family records identify either Thomas or his wife? Is it possible that Newt may have hired them? Or conversely, Newt could have owned them, but was not the one who paid taxes on them. This happened quite often. Sometimes if someone was indebted to Newt, this man or woman would have paid Newt's tax on slaves for him. I'm just throwing these ideas out as possible leads, since you've not been able to find the evidence you expected to find.