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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Miles Manzilla b.1799 VA mvd Smith, Ohio wife Ann M. brn VA

Dear Friends,

(To give some context first, my family is African-American, mostly from Oak Grove, VA as far back as my mother knows.)

My mother has asked me to find out about an alledgedly traceable Cherokee ancestor of ours, Maude Manzilla Bourke, born in Indian Territory in 1899. I found her (she was actually born in Noble OK, which had been part of IT, but by 1899 was part of the Cherokee Outlet, so it was in fact no longer Indian Territory, I believe, at that point). I have traced her family back as far as I can. I've managed to find census data showing him in 1840, 1850, and 1860, with his wife Ann M. Manzilla, also born in VA around 1808, and by 1840 they have two or three young children, and stay there until they simply disappear after 1860. My family alledges that the Manzilla branch is Cherokee, but with no evidence of life in VA, that just doesn't make sense, and also, I am at a loss to see how the Manzilla's got to Ohio.

He is listed various races on the different census year forms (colored, mulatto, and white at different times). The name seems to be extremely rare. Is this a mistake, or possibly a name chosen by a former slave? I can find no other mention of the name Manzilla until recent times.
Any help appreciated,

Many Thanks,
Shira D. (the Universal HealthCare Cantaora-Singer)

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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