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Re: Oral History~ article


Below is an article I posted to the AfriGeneas Mail List....Mar 1999...titled Family Legend & Documentation. Since this Posting much information has surfaced verifying the "heart" of the Family Legend. My experience somewhat parallels the article.

See my Home Page (URL below)and the account of the LaForce family, their slaves and the raid at Martin's Station in June of 1780. Scroll to the Related Files Section and "click' on La Force Efforts to Recover Slaves.

Art Thomas

Recent postings concerning Alex Haley and the value of
oral history has prompted me to write of a verifying
document in regards to family legends.

Our family oral history stated that the mother of a 4th
great-grandmother had been captured by Indians in
Kentucky and taken to Canada and sold/traded.

The 4th great-grandmother -Rachel Magee Reno-
(177?-1864) has been documented very well from her
union to Francis (Frank) Reno, their 16 children,including
my 3rd great-grandmother Susannah, who married Lewis
Adams, 1 Jan 1816 in Urbana, Ohio. Then, through a
posting to Afrigeneas I was contacted by a Mr. Pen Bogert,
an associate with the Filson Club in Louisville,
KY. He informed me of a reference to a Rachel Reno in
the "Draper Collection" or some may call them the
"Draper Manuscripts". I found the reference, Series "S",
Vol. 17.

Through the Inter-Library Loan I obtained a copy
of the microfilm and on page 281 THERE IT WAS, in
Draper's handwriting. An interview by Lyman C. Draper
TAKEN in 1863 of Rachel Reno, an African women, over
80 years of age, whose mother had been captured by
Shawnee Indians and taken to Canada. There she was
sold/given to a Col. Alexander McKee of Sandwich,
Ontario, Canada. I later find that Col. McKee was a
British Loyalist and an Indian Agent married to a Shawnee
woman and whose mother was Indian (Shawnee?).

Rachel states she was born in Blue Jacket's Town,
which was near what is now Bellefontaine, Ohio. This
would be in the 1770-1780 time-frame according to her
age at the time of the interview. Blue Jacket was one of the
more renowned Shawnee Indian war chiefs.

My research in this area now centers around a Shawnee
raid at Martin's Station, KY., where a Capt.
Alex McKee was susposedly involved. Captured along
with two daughters of Rene Laforce was a Negro girl
named Candis. she was taken to Canada by McKee and
the Shawnee raiding party. Now the questions come.
Could this be Rachel's mother? If so, who is the father?
Could the Magee really refer to McKee?

Incidently Susannah was born in Canada and there is
documentation in Detroit, MI. archives referencing the
Reno's, Reyno's and Renaus. It never ends.
I guess I'm saying RESEARCH those family stories and
you may be fortunate enough to find supporting documentation.
Thanks for listening............
.Art Thomas

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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