AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: at a road block
In Response To: at a road block ()
Based on the information you provided, here's what I've found:
Abraham BETTERS is 53 y.o. in 1850, a Blacksmith, living in Dunbar Township, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and born in Virginia. Enumerated just after the BETTERS family is the family of Jacob REINER, 45(?) y.o., born in Germany. (His wife's name is also spelled "Ellanor") At their home at that time is a child named Caroline BETTERS, 7 y.o., listed as "B" (under "Race"), and born in Pennsylvania. The REINER's are listed as "W" under "Race".
The 1840 federal census for Western District, Grayson County, Virginia lists a Jacob REINER, but doesn't list any slaves for him.
Abraham BEDDERS can be found on the 1860 federal census of Dunbar Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Connellsville Post Office, with his wife "Nellie", they're both listed as 60 y.o., and born in Virginia. Caroline is listed as 17 y.o., and born in Virginia.
I only did a name search, but some 'possible' slave owners in 1840 in Pennsylvania include: George BAUDERS, in Salt Lick, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and George, James, and/or William BADDERS in South Beaver, Beaver, Pennsylvania. I don't know for certain that any of these people owned or dealt with slaves, but the names could be a place to look for starters.
As far as which name you should use to request the military records, I suggest that you use the name that you found your relative listed as (BITTERS). Just be sure to make clear that the time frame in question is sometime during the Civil War.
AS you may know, researching African Americans before 1870 gets REALLY difficult for most of us. Also, as so many knowledgeable researchers say time-and-again, "spelling doesn't count!!" (along with placing absolute confidence in any one document or oral account).
Good Luck with your research!