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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: surname Strange, Virginia marriages FPOC

My research has focused on African-American families that may be related to a former slave, REUBEN STRANGE, who was freed in Virginia in 1817. I have tried to follow the migration of his descendants and relatives to Pennsylvania and Ohio. I donít have any information on Strange families in Georgia; but it is reasonable to believe that some of your ancestors might have roots in Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Ohio.

If you know the name, approximate birth year, and/or location of your grandfather, you can search for him in an on-line database of census and other vital information such as Ancestry or Heritage Quest. Although these are paid subscription services, it might be possible to use them free of charge at your local public library. For ancestors who were living in 1880, you can use Family Search, a free on-line service. Census records at present are available only up to 1930, so if your grandfather was born after that date, you might try searching for his parents, or browsing the census records for families in Georgia with Strange surname. Sometimes in your ancestorís community youíll find an unusual but familiar name thatís been passed down in your family, suggesting that you might have found another ancestor or relative. If you know the town or county where your ancestor was born, married, or died, you can write to Vital Records for a birth, marriage, or death certificate. (You can save money in search fees if you know the exact dates.) It's also possible to find military records for ancestors who were in armed services. The National Archives (NARA) is a good source of information for historical military records.

In a quick search on Heritage Quest I found a 24-year-old black man named LEROY D. STRANGE living in St. Louis, MO in 1910. Usually Iíd expect to see the state where he was born written on the census form; but in this case it only indicates that he and his parents were born in the United States. A quick look at Family Search found about 70 black and mulatto individuals with Strange surname counted in Georgia in 1880 census. In my own research, Iíve often had to check the scanned image of the census form for individuals whose first and/or last names are misspelled on the forms or transcribed into the database with errors. For example, Iíve found the surname STRANGE spelled as STRAGE, STRENGE, STRAND, or STRANGLE and the name REUBEN spelled as RUBEN, REUBAN, ROBBIN, or RIBBIN. In such cases, I double check the age, gender, race, location, occupation, and other census information that might help to confirm the individual's identity.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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