AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States
In Response To: Has anyone read these? ()
While Carter G. Woodson's work is monumental, it is not without error. Researcher Marlene Bransom noted that for Greene County, Pennsylvania Woodson only included "households in which all the persons involved are "persons of color" It does not include interracial households."
For example, Woodson's work includes my Archibald ADAMS of Center Township, Greene Co. PA because all of the members of Archibald's household were listed as "other" BUT his father Jacob ADAMS was not in Woodson's work because there was a free white female (Archibald's mother, Jacob's wife) in his household.
AND, at least for Greene Co. PA, Woodson's work also did not give sex and age of persons other than the head of household, just the total number of others.
Interestingly, in the introduction to Woodson's book he says "...that year a petition from Greene County said that many Negroes had settled in Pennsylvania and had been able to seduce into marriage "the minor children of the white inhabitants." This county, therefore, asked these marriages be made an offence agains the laws of the State."
I just love that considering that of the 18 or so interacial household's in that county in 1830, 8 of them carry the surname of ADAMS or WILSON which are my families. Would surely love to find a copy of the petition to see the names of those who signed it - it just might give me the maiden names of some of those elusive white wives.
So, while Woodson's book is a good starting place, it will not replace looking at the actual census pages.
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