AfriGeneas Brick Wall Forum
Family History, Genealogy, DNA & Geography
I think I may be zeroing in on the solution for one of my brick walls. The African origin and time frame when my earliest documented African Ancestered ancestor arrived here in North America. Using family history, genealogy, DNA testing and geography we’re getting close to the origins of Betty/Bess, an enslaved woman born circa 1735 who was “owned’ by the LaForce family in the Goochland/Henrico county area of Virginia.
Family History … family oral history of my 4th great-grandmother, Rachel Reno, stated her mother, Candis, was captured along with two daughters of her slave owner in an Indian raid in Kentucky and taken to Canada. We have found documentation of a raid on Martin’s Station in Kentucky during the Rev. War by British Loyalists and a party of Shawnee Indians who captured approximately 400 settlers and took them as prisoners to Canada. Among those captured were the LaForce family and their 13 slaves that Betty/Bess, her daughter, Hannah, and Hannah’s daughter, Candis. The Rene LaForce family consisted of Agnes Moseby LaForce, the widow of Rene LaForce and children, including her daughters, Judith and Anna.
Rene LaForce was of a French Huguenot family that came to America ca 1695-1700 and settled in Manakin Town, VA. His father, Rene LaForce, Sr. became the Justice for Goochland County, VA when it was formed out of Henrico County, VA. He married Agnes Moseby, granddaughter of Edward Moseby and Sarah Woodson on 27 Aug 1756 in Goochland County, VA. Here I need to discover whether Betty/Bess was purchased by the LaForce family or was a slave of the Moseby/Woodson family’s and came into the LaForce/ Moseby marriage as a dower slave.
Family Genealogy …. Direct line lineage from Betty/Bess to me, Art Thomas, is displayed in this chart.
Family DNA Testing ….. My autosomal or BioGeographical Admixture (BGA) DNA testing reveals an African, European and Native American composition depending on the testing agency in the 45-52 & 3 % ranges which includes their margins of error. I tested in 2005 with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), AncestryByDNA and in 2011 with 23andme. My direct paternal Y-DNA has a Hapolgroup signature of (I1d1) which is European and a maternal mtDNA signature of (H3), also European.
The admixture DNA testing, while not positively confirming any paternity linkages does positively confirm the ancestral admixtures.
23andme Ancestral Painting
23andme Admixture Population percentages
I believe the LaForce and/or Shawnee components are somewhere are in this admixture.
Family Geography …… The location in Virginia, the Henrico/Goochland County area, where the LaForce family settled was Manakin Town, a French Huguenot settlement along the James River near present day Richmond, VA. A town, Manchester, VA, now incorporated within the city limits of Richmond, VA was a very important port on the James River where ships docked bringing in newly imported slaves from Africa for the Virginia Slave markets.
Could Betty/Bess been a 1st generation born American slave? Could a parent of Betty/Bess have been bought into Manchester and bought by the LaForce family? How long had the African ancestors of Betty/Bess been in America? Did they come into America thru Manchester?
This is a summary of my current status and the type of questions I ‘m seeking to answer as I attempt to scale the Brick Wall of Betty/Bess and her ancestry. Should you care to read more of my journey into family history, genealogy, DNA, geography and to review the sources which got me to this point in this story please visit my Tribal Pages website “Art’s Families & Other Folk” at URL: http://tinyurl.com/382ytzp
Any assistance that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated and “Thank You” for your patience and for reading this posting,