Saturday, June 19, 2021

Juneteenth -- A National Holiday!

On June 17, 2021 President Biden signed a bill into law making June 19th -- Juneteenth -- a national holiday. The bill came to him after it was passed unanimously in the Senate and 415-14 in the House -- with the nay votes coming from 14 Republicans. 

June 19th is the date in 1865 that Union soldiers came to Galveston, Texas, letting enslaved people know that they had been freed in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. The emancipation of enslaved people was not immediately recognized in southern confederate states and Texas was the last to implement the Proclamation. 

Juneteenth has been celebrated in some southern African American communities, especially Texas since the late 1800s. I am from Buffalo, New York where Juneteenth has been celebrated every year since 1976 on a weekend of the "teenth" (a Saturday and Sunday with the dates from the 13th to the 19th). 

That Juneteenth is now a national holiday is especially meaningful to me because I now know the name of my 3rd great-grandmother -- Sylvia Adair Washington -- who I wrote about in a previous post. She was a part of an enslaved family unit that included Elijah, possibly my 3rd great grandfather and Elijah, my 2nd great grandfather -- all were born enslaved and lived to see freedom.

As I continue to search for my ancestors, I proudly call out their names. I know that I am their hopes, their dreams and the reason they kept moving forward. They are my DNA and I am their DNA. I stand on their shoulders. Ase!



Copyright © 2021 by Sandra Williams Bush, Ancestor Callings: Georgia and Mississippi Roots. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957

So one year I strayed off the beaten path of census records, birth, death, and marriage records and found a maternal great grandmother and her siblings in a different type of record --  the Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957. This collection is available for free at  FamilySearch, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) websites.



Catalog Record: Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children
Film / Digital Note: Children lists, series 105, box 2652, 1878

Series 105 (1850-1894) contains lists prepared by counties and filed by the Secretary of State. This series lists the name of the child, age, gender, race, and election district or ward. 

For my family and research purposes, this record verifies the sibling relationships of Mary, Elizie, Anthony, and Nelson; their ages, and that they lived in Simpson County, Mississippi. 


"Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957," database with images, FamilySearch : 18 September 2015, Simpson > 1878 > image 65 of 83; Government Records, Jackson.


My maternal great-grandmother 
Name:  Mary Stamps
Age: 13
Sex: Female
Race: Black
Election District or Ward: Palestine
Event Type: School enrollment
Event Date: 1878
Event Place: , Simpson, Mississippi, United States
Birth Year (estimate): 1865
Parent Name: Stamps

Her sister (from same record)
Name: Eliza J Stamps
Age: 5
Sex: Female
Race: Black
Election District or Ward: Palestine
Event Type: School enrollment
Event Date: 1878
Event Place: , Simpson, Mississippi, United States
Birth Year (estimate): 1873
Parent Name: Stamps



"Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957," database with images, FamilySearch : 18 September 2015, Simpson > 1878 > image 64 of 83; Government Records, Jackson.


Her brother (from same record, different page)
Name: Anthony Stamps
Age: 7
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Election District or Ward: Palestine
Event Type: School enrollment
Event Date: 1878
Event Place: , Simpson, Mississippi, United States
Birth Year (estimate): 1871
Parent Name: Stamps

Her brother (from same record, different page)
Name: Nelson Stamps
Age: 5
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Election District or Ward: Palestine
Event Type: School enrollment
Event Date: 1878
Event Place: , Simpson, Mississippi, United States
Birth Year (estimate): 1873
Parent Name: Stamps


Oath of Tax Assessor of Simpson County, Mississippi that all information is "true and correct"


In 1878, there were six children in the household of Simon Stamps -- Mary, born 1865; Anthony, born 1869; Nelson, born 1872; Elizie, born 1873; William, born 1876; and Henry, born 1878 -- four of the siblings were of age to be in school. 

In the 1880 U.S. census of Simpson County, Mississippi, 16-year-old Mary is listed as house laborer and there are marks indicating that she could not read or write. The only child marked as attending school is Anthony.



Year: 1880; Census Place: Simpson, Mississippi




Copyright © 2021 by Sandra Williams Bush, Ancestor Callings: Georgia and Mississippi Roots. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Nigerian DNA Family

Today (April 6, 2021) I had a distant cousin from Nigeria reached out to me on Ancestry-dot-com -- a young man aged 18-29 who lives in Dublin Ireland. His dna summary is 90% Nigeria and 10% Benin & Togo. His message was simply "Hey cousin" but that message and his reaching out has me beaming!  I HAVE PEOPLE ON THE CONTINENT!!! 

We are 5th-8th Cousins
Shared DNA:  8cM across 1 segment

His family tree, so far, includes the surnames: 
    Ogunyemi (paternal grandfather, born in Lagos, Nigeria and paternal great-grandfather, born in Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria) 

    Iyamabo (maternal grandfather, born in Nigeria and great-grandfather born in Nigeria )

    Omiyi (maternal grandfather born in Nigeria)


To date my Ethnicity Estimate from Ancestry-dot-com is:




WEST AFRICA
Benin is west of Nigeria, and west of Benin is Togo. Benin has more ethnic ties to Nigeria while Togo has more ties to Ghana. These ethnic ties are based in long-standing kingdoms that existed before European colonists created new borders.   

The official name of Benin is Republique du Benin (Republic of Benin). It is the present day site of the Dahomey Kingdom (1600-1900). The territory became a French colony in 1872, retaining the name Dahomey. In 1990 it changed its name to Republique du Benin in honor of the Ancient Kingdom Benin of Nigeria. The country gained its independence on August 1, 1960.     

The official name of Togo is Republique Togolaise (Republic of Togo). Under the League of Nations the area was split between the British and French after World War I. The British portion incorporated into Ghana. The French portion became Togo and declared its independence on April 27, 1960.



Current map of West Africa (2021)







Resources on Benin, Togo:

Encyclopedia Britannica
https://www.britannica.com

InfoPlease Countries of the World
https://www.infoplease.com/world/countries

One World - Nations Online
https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/africa.htm




Copyright © 2021 by Sandra Williams Bush, Ancestor Callings: Georgia and Mississippi Roots. All Rights Reserved.