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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Re: We know why they removed the list!

Well Tom I would be one of the white Americans you are looking for. I have a definite suspicion that two of my ancestors (a husband and wife) may have been mixed race people who chose to pass as whites in the late 18th & early 19th century. There is no smoking gun so to speak that helped me arrive at this conclusion just little things that lead me to believe that my ancestors may have been hiding something - namely either Native American or African ancestry. However, little things add up.

First and foremost there are the family pictures. The facial features of Thomas, his children, and even some of his grandchildren. When my mother and I found these pictures in an old leather bound album we sat down and started to ask ourselves where our relatives actually came from. I also know that his daughter though recorded as "white" in the 1895 OR State Census was referred
to in that same document as having a "dark" complexion. According to family stories that were handed down she had olive skin. None of this jives with our supposed Welsh ancestry. She had no Mediterranean or known Native American ancestry and the women in my family back then supposedly avoided the sun like the plague (another family story that was handed down). Being a middle class suburbanite she wasn't working out in the sun so she wouldn't have been tan for that reason.

I also wonder why his parents were curiously left out of the family history written by his granddaughter at the turn of the century. She was researching her family history and genealogy. She kept detailed accounts of all the descendants and family stories that were handed down. Thomas Ė her grandfather Ė lived with her family when she was a child. She had spoken to him many times, she wrote, about his upbringing, childhood, etc. Yet she never asked him his about parents' names or their background! This seems odd to me and I canít help but wonder if it was a deliberate omission on either her part or his. I know Thomas' fatherís name because my cousins thankfully were able to find a record of him elsewhere, but his motherís name remains a mystery. His children were prominent citizens in the cities where they settled, they seem to have been interested in family history, and it doesn't make sense that they left no record of their parents. Especially since Thomas wrote a letter mentioning what a profound impact these unnamed parents had on his life and decision to become a minister.

Then there is the fact that Thomas was a Union man during the Civil War. I have quite a few Southern ancestors and not one of them (even the ones who moved west) would have dreamed of supporting Lincoln. Most Southerners felt so strongly about the subject it seems like an unusual position to have taken. My question would be why did he he take this position? I know he was a Republican, but so were some of the other Southern ancestors in question, and they still supported the Confederacy.

My cousins spent a great deal of time in NC & SC looking for more information about his father and ancestors with no luck. They just seem to appear in 1790 out of nowhere. The first name of his father, Mosby or Moseby, is interesting because it was a family name used in parts of VA & NC. My cousins did note that Thomasí father Mosby was living near a family of free mulattos with the last name Moseby in SC in 1790. This could be a coincidence, however.

It is always possible that they were looking for records that no longer exist since so many records have been lost during fires, floods, the Civil War, etc. It is also possible that they overlooked records that may have mentioned our ancestors. They were looking for a white man named Mosby Owen and wouldn't have checked records concerning FPOC and slaves.

If I ever get the chance I want to follow up on my hunch by searching the archives in NC & SC myself. I would like to know where my relatives came from no matter where my search leads.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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