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Old 01-25-2018, 01:49 PM
 
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Three searches. One woman thought she was Irish or Scottish. Simple Google search of the grandfather's name got an article listing 20 ancestors and the family originated in Wales. Search easy and over.

They have two friends who'd like to find out where her ancestors came from.
One is an African American who was born in 1940. She has no exact dates except her own. She knows the names of her parents and grandparents on her mother's side. And names of a couple uncles and five step siblings and all are deceased with no dates to work with. She does not even know her own parents death or birth dates.
All she wants to know is her families country of origin.

Since she was the youngest and born early 1940 I was going to start with the 1930 and go backwards since her step siblings were born in the 1920's to 1930's. As well as her birth certificate and her mother's marriage records.

What are your ideas where to begin since all she wants to know is her family's country of origin. It was Africa and the last name is Johnson as far back as her father and Murray as far back as her grandfather on her mother's side.

Not many Murray's and Johnson's in those countries.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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She is likely descended from slaves, meaning the surnames won't tell you anything, and unfortunately that makes it extremely unlikely that you'll ever be able to identify a country of origin. Of course, most slaves came from the Slave Coast but that doesn't narrow it down to a country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_...of_West_Africa

She could also take a DNA test which will provide an estimated ethnicity report - while it may not be as specific as a nation, and it's only an estimate, it's often the only option for descendants of slaves. I'd recommend AncestryDNA, since they have the most break down for West Africa: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...CjlohG/pubhtml
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
She is likely descended from slaves, meaning the surnames won't tell you anything, and unfortunately that makes it extremely unlikely that you'll ever be able to identify a country of origin.
I found the father in the 1940 census as head of household. Born 1905 and in the 1910 census he is shown as a nephew along with three nieces (all four with the same last name and the correct surname) under the head of household female age 48 and her name may indicate she was Caucasian.

Was it common to refer to slavery related juveniles as one's niece and nephews?
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by howard555 View Post
I found the father in the 1940 census as head of household. Born 1905 and in the 1910 census he is shown as a nephew along with three nieces (all four with the same last name and the correct surname) under the head of household female age 48 and her name may indicate she was Caucasian.

Was it common to refer to slavery related juveniles as one's niece and nephews?
I'm not sure I follow your thinking. Why would her name indicate she's white/caucasian? The census should state her race - what does that say?

I'm also not sure what you mean by slavery related juveniles - someone born in 1905 was not born into slavery, and there's even a good chance neither were his parents. If it says niece and nephew, they probably were niece and nephew. Of course, mistakes can be made on censuses, but it was definitely not the norm for a white woman (if she even is white - I'm unclear why you're assuming that) to refer to unrelated black children as her niece and nephew.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:40 PM
 
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Mis-stated question, sorry. I am a white man and married and we have two black teenagers working on our farm. The male is 19 and the female is 18 and she has a 3 year old child. How would those three be mentioned in the census for our household.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howard555 View Post
Mis-stated question, sorry. I am a white man and married and we have two black teenagers working on our farm. The male is 19 and the female is 18 and she has a 3 year old child. How would those three be mentioned in the census for our household.
Assuming they lived there, as boarders, maybe servants.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:16 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
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No relation to the head of the household. Probably listed as farm laborers with the child as a boarder or somehow indicated as child of preceding listed person. That is probably fairly common in farm country so there might be a standard method.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
No relation to the head of the household. Probably listed as farm laborers with the child as a boarder or somehow indicated as child of preceding listed person. That is probably fairly common in farm country so there might be a standard method.
"Farm laborer" would go in the occupation field, not the relationship to head of household field. Everyone living in the same household had to have the "relationship to head of household" filled out on the census - for farm laborers, it was normally "boarder" or "servant" (could also sometimes be lodger, roomer, or hired man) in the relationship field, and "farm laborer" in the occupation field.
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by howard555 View Post
Mis-stated question, sorry. I am a white man and married and we have two black teenagers working on our farm. The male is 19 and the female is 18 and she has a 3 year old child. How would those three be mentioned in the census for our household.

I think it depends on when/where. On many of my ancestors records they have one or two unrelated names under the household in the census, listed as black age titled, "farm hands," or something to that effect. This was post slavery.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:59 AM
 
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From an accurate list of step siblings, her 35 year old father in the 1940 census was found as age 5 in the 1910 census. There he is showed as a nephew and three nieces (all four have the same last name) living in the household of a Caroline Anderson (widowed) age 48 and she was born in 1862.
Caroline Anderson is not found in the 1900 census. Search again with the last name Johnson since the four kids in her household in 1910 were Johnson's and ages 2-5-17-22.
Searching Carolina Johnson which assumes she was born a Johnson, married an Anderson after 1900 and he died before 1910 for her to be widowed. In 1910 she is caring for the son and three daughters of one of her siblings. All possible.
But none of the Carolina Johnson's have the right birth date though one of them does have the right county location.

Likelihood that the 1900 census missed her or had her birth date wrong?

Since she was born in 1862 in the United States and her parents are shown to have been born in the same state and assuming they were age 18 when she were born that takes us back to 1844 or before.
Which was still over 100 years after slavery began along the east coast of North America.

--------------------------------------------------

"The slave traders discovered that Carolina planters had very specific ideas concerning the ethnicity of the slaves they sought. No less a merchant than Henry Laurens wrote:
The Slaves from the River Gambia are preferr'd to all others with us [here in Carolina] save the Gold Coast.... next to Them the Windward Coast are preferr'd to Angolas."

https://www.sciway.net/hist/chicora/slavery18-2.html

If DNA testing will unlikely pinpoint a country as PA2UK mentioned in a previous comment, then the map from that article may be the closest estimate of where the woman's ancestors came from also mentioned by PA2UK.

If she does not want to do DNA I'll reasonably conclude to her that her family originated in the Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire areas.
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