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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum Archive

The Puzzle Fits, but.......

The puzzle fits, but I am still without the most important document that can prove this without a shadow of doubt! That document is probably a bill of sale.

Today, I got the 1840 census report for my ggg-grandparents' last enslaver, Joseph Milam, of Tate County, MS. Then, I compared it to the 1850 slave schedule for Joseph, and it confirmed some things I had been speculating.

Here's my research "challenge":
My gr-gr-gr-grandparents were Wade Milam and Peggy Milam. Wade was born in Alabama abt. 1825, and Peggy was born somewhere in Tennessee about 1826. The enslaver migrated to Mississippi from Madison County, Ala. in/around 1835, according to his descendants.

About two years ago, an elderly relative mentioned to me that my great-great-grandmother, Lucy Milam Davis, daughter of Wade and Peggy, was related to this certain Cole Family. I went back to the census records and found the link. There appear to be some kind of connection to a lady named Mrs. Nancy Cole. She was living just a few doors down from my ggg-grandmother, Peggy, in 1870. Like Peggy, Nancy was also born in Tennessee, about 1831. Where they sisters??? Good question!

Back in 1999, a new-found, distant cousin e-mailed me who was also researching the Milam name from the same area. She was a descendant of Sam Milam. I had already found a Sam Milam living near Peggy too in 1870, but I didn't know for sure if he was blood-related. He was born about 1830 in Tennessee. We found out through my cousin that there was definitely some kind of family connection between her ancestor and my great-great-grandmother, Lucy, but no one never knew exactly how. Wade was born in AL, but since Peggy was born in TN, could Peggy and Sam Milam have been brother & sister???? Another good question!

Well, today, the 1840 census revealed some things to me. In 1840, Joseph Milam only had 5 slaves: 3 males under age 10, 1 male age 10-24, and only one female, age 10-24. Since my Wade was born about 1825 in Alabama, I think there's a strong possibility that he was the one male slave in 1840 who was between age 10-24. Also, since the Milams had come from AL just five years prior, it's likely that they bought Wade with them.

However, in 1850, ten years later, Joseph Milam now has two males, ages 25 and 22, and four females, ages 28, 25, 22, and 20. The rest of the 18 total slaves were 12 years old and under. Therefore, he acquired one additional male slave and three female slaves after 1840. From where? Another good question!

Well, I located Nancy Cole's death certificate last year at the M.D.A.H. She had died in 1914 at age 83. The informant, her son, didn't know her parents' names, but this note was written instead: "Can't find out, was bought from slave trader in 1845, aged 14 years old." I was stunned when I read that!

Soooo...since, (1) Joseph Milam definitely acquired about four slaves (one male and three females) after 1840, (2) three of those 4 additional slaves match Sam's, Nancy's, and Peggy's ages very closely, (3) Sam, Nancy and Peggy were all from Tennessee, and (4) there is knowledge of a blood kinship between the descendants of Sam, Nancy and Peggy, would this be enough info to conclude (without an actual bill of sale) that they were all siblings who had been purchased by Joseph Milam in 1845 and brought to his farm in Mississippi????

I haven't been able to pinpoint where in Tennessee Grandma Peggy was born. However, her son's death certificate reports her maiden name as Margaret Warren. The Warren surname has not helped. But just yesterday, another descendant of Joseph Milam sent me his entire family tree, showing all of his brothers and sisters. I noticed that one of his sisters married a Warren, but his first name was not given...just "married to a Mr. Warren". Unfortunately, she did not have anymore info about him.

Sorry for the long e-mail. :)


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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