AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: Bunch Family: NYT Article on Bunch-Punch Conne
In Response To: Bunch Family: NYT Article on Bunch-Punch Connect ()
Hi Mark. When you were first researching the Bunch family, you mentioned that there was at least one white Bunch family whose DNA indicated that they were not mixed. And it was my impression from reading the records that there was a white Bunch family that lived not far from the mixed-race group in both Virginia and North Carolina.
Did you do DNA testing on direct descendants of the Bunch family of North Carolina who served on juries and the Bunch family of Louisa County that were treated as white? James Bunch was called "Mr. James Bunch" in Louisa County during the colonial period. The term "Mister" was just short of "Gentleman" during that period. And his handwriting was as good as the clerk's. Did you test a descendant of this James?
There were quite a number of Bunch households in Louisa but only Samuel was brought to court for failure to pay tax on his wife. (Note that the author suggests that it was more likely that Samuel was brought to court for failure to pay tax on a slave. But all the other defendants were mixed-race. These cases were brought in county courts throughout Virginia and the courts kept the defendants together since they were all charged with the same offense and the interpretation of the law would apply to all. Perhaps the authors did not realize that it was the race of the husband which was under question since the law stated that the women of African and Indian descent were tithable as were the wives of people of African and Indian descent, regardless of the race of the wife.
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