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AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum

Re: Black Gold Miners
In Response To: Re: Black Gold Miners ()

Hello Allen,

Perhaps you can direct me to some resources that may help in attempting to verifying some oral family history.

A 2nd great-grandfather is said to have gone west to California during the Gold Rush. It is stated (oral history) that he drove a wagon to California in a wagon train. After a period of time he is said to have returned home (Ohio) by boat. The trip was from San Francisco to New York City around the tip of South America and then to Ohio.

We have one document that indirectly confirms this story. At least, his presence in California.

In 1864 this ancestor purchases the family property from his siblings and their spouses following the death of their father. The father died Intestate and the Estate Settlement reads "William Adams of California produced $3,000 'cash in hand' for the purpose of purchasing the Lewis Adams property from his siblings and their spouses".

William Adams disappears from the family paper trail following the 1850 Census and does not appear again until this court action. He remained in Ohio and died in 1871.

The men in this family, his brothers and nephews are all listed as Barbers in Census records. I'm of the opinion that William also had Barbering skills and used those skills to accumulate the money for this purchase. I have read where African Americans with "service" skills earned considerable amounts of money from the actual miners during this period.

Any help you can provide in the form of a paper trail to follow would be greatly appreciated.

Warmest Regards,
Art Thomas


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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