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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: STRANGE family in northern VIRGINIA

I have not yet found proof that HANNAH STRANGE and/or her father NELSON STRANGE of northern Virgina were free before the Civil War, but it appears that some of their relatives were FPOC as early as 1817, according to information found on Roots Web, "Strange family of African American descent in Virginia." I'm still searching for the name of HANNAH'S mother. I hope to find out whether she was free or enslaved.

African Americans with this surname were scattered in the counties of Frederick, Clarke, Loudoun, and Fauquier. Two men named RICHARD STRANGE (in Frederick, 1860-70 and in Fauquier, 1870) could be related to NELSON and HANNAH. The man in Frederick County was a day laborer/whitewasher married to SARAH with a son JOHN.

HANNAH and her father NELSON could be related also to REUBEN and COURTNEY STRANGE, emancipated in 1817 in Frederick County by EDWARD MCGUIRE. This REUBEN and/or his son REUBEN STRANGE, JR. may have moved to Ohio. REUBEN and MARIAH (aka MARIA) STRANGE were counted in Warren County, OH in 1860 and 1880. The elder REUBEN STRANGE had another son, RICHARD (married to SARAH). He is probably the whitewasher in Winchester, Frederick County.

I still don't know whether my HANNAH STRANGE (married to WILLIAM BERRY from 1852-64 and to URIAH WISE from 1867-1910) is related to the Methodist minister JACKLIN STRANGE (married to HANNAH WEAVER).

I've found sufficient evidence to cast doubt on the story that DOROTHY MILLER HESSER'S grandfather JOHN MILLER (farmer/innkeeper) purchased the freedom of "AUNT HANNAH WISE" who left Fauquier County, VA for Chambersburg, PA circa 1878. HANNAH worked for the Miller family in 1900 but my evidence indicates that they never met until well after the Civil War. In 1900, URIAH and his wife HANNAH (STRANGE BERRY) WISE of Chambersburg owned their home free and clear. Military records list URIAH A. WISE of Chambersburg as a Union army veteran who enlisted as a private in 210th Infantry Regiment, Company K, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1864-75. URIAH'S parents are ALFRED and ELIZA WISE. I know nothing about them other than their names.

DOROTHY'S story is published as oral history in SOME CHAMBERSBURG ROOTS: A BLACK PERSPECTIVE.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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