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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Military Reference Question
In Response To: Military Reference Question ()

Thought I would take a quick shot at the Massachusetts end. On the People of Color Mass. State Census (1855-65) there are two potential names. Matilda Comeraw, who was 22 in 1855, born in Ct, and living in Springfield, Hampden County. Ma. A potential sister or cousin, perhaps?

The other is William Connor, who was a free man of color, born in Georgia, living in Boston and 40 in 1855. (Remember census takers were often terrible spellers-and wrote what they heard-it wouldn't be a surprise for Comer to sound like Conner-and be written as such.

I can find no records at this time, for either a William or E.L. Comer in the Ma. Vital records- but many Black children were listed simply by given name, or merely "male child" of .......(given name).
He doesn't show up on my master lists that have been transcribed-but I have stacks of things to transcribe-some day when I have time. (HA)

There was a Comer Commercial College in Boston at that time-and one of its scholars was a George Hayward Allan, who I mention, because he went from there, to become the General Assistant of the Freedmen Union Commission for Schools in Florida and Alabama in 1865-and Black surnames came from many different sources besides slave owners.

If you know the area of Massachusetts he came from-you can check the vital records for that town/area. Massachusetts was very anal and complete in gathering their records into individual volumes. They are called simply the
Vital records of ------(insert town)----from ----- to---(usually around 1850 or so) They were published by the New England Historical Geneological Society individually, and are a tremendous resource.

Major areas for Black settlement in Ma. were of course, Boston, and in the Western towns of Springfield and Amherst. You will also find concentrations around the New Bedford and Nantucket areas, where many were sailors-and in the Wampanoag, Mashepequot and Narragansett villages, like Gay Head.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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