Surnames and Family Research Forum
Re: Looking For .......
In Response To: Looking For ....... ()
I have a new lease on my genealogy life, prompted by a trip to DC by a friend last fall. She was touring Monticello, heard the name Gillette mentioned and asked questions. She learned that there is a project called "Getting Word" the object of which is to trace descendants of slave families at Monticello. She was so excited for me that she'd found black folks named Gillette!! Yea!
Well, the three main family names that were at Monticello during Jefferson's time are Gillette, Hern and Hemings. They are featured in a book called "Free Some Day." She called me to tell me this and that I must order the book, after determining that I did have a Virginia connection in that line. I was obedient, and ordered the book. Fascinating reading. I am actually getting hopeful that I will find some useful information!!
I have two aunts by marriage (2 sisters married my mother's 2 brothers) whose maternal grandmother was in the 1880 census with her father: Brunette Hern and her father Gillett Hern. One of them had said to me a few years before that "we were always told that we are kin to the Gillettes." And "we always knew we were kin to the Hearns, but not how."
Well, I had never been told that they were kin to the Gillettes, nor had my dad's niece, (the one person who is always interested in this genealogy stuff) and my father was knowledgeable of his family. My two aunts are still living, but my dad and all his siblings are gone. After I found my aunts' grandmother in the census with her father, it occurred to me that maybe the story got confused over time, coupled with the coincidence of the first name.
Now that I am reading this Monticello book, with the Gillettes, Herns and Hemings serving together as one of the main work forces at Monticello over several generations, marrying each other, I can give more credence to a relationship between my Gillettes and her Hearns/Herns.