U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-06-2018, 01:43 PM
 
16,212 posts, read 8,503,104 times
Reputation: 8339

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
It's hard to tell what percentage, but many of the last names amongst African Americans are because people kept the last name of a slave owning father or grandfather.
This is true, but it is important for black researchers to note that it is not always the case. My husband's is descended on both sides of his family from formerly enslaved families and on multiple lines of his family where I've identified the owner of his ancestors, at least half of them had a differing surname versus their previous owner(s).

Thanks to suzy for posting the article. I did remember discussing with people at a conference once the use of "Washington" especially.

Also in the Midwest the surname Jones, like I mentioned for my own distant ancestor was one that was VERY common for slaves who escaped slavery and settled in northern areas, as were the others I mentioned common for escaped slaves. I first learned of this via a genealogical conference and the Jones name was interesting due to me having discovered now 4 lines of my family, who are unrelated, who have the surname of Jones. One of them, I do believe took the name of their former owners (some of my SC ancestors) but two of them were free people of color families enumerated in Ohio prior to the Civil War - Jones and Wilson were actually the most common surnames of black families in my area prior to the Civil War. The other I am not sure as I recently discovered them. However that 4th Jones family is connected to earlier "free" colored people and persons who I interact with online believe they are related to a long ago indigenous ancestor. I have traced them through the 1750s so far and they lived in communities in NC and VA where indigenous persons once lived.

ETA: Wanted to also note it was not uncommon for former slaves to take a variation of their former owners last name both those emancipated via the Civil War or those who emancipated themselves. Jarm Logue comes to mind as he changed his name once he ran away and became known as the "Father of the Underground Railroad" from Jarm Logue to Jermain W. Loguen. His owner was actually his father. My mother in law's family also changed their surname from their former owner's family name - that didn't occur really for her line of the family until the 1900s. However, I've recently connected with people on her line who kept the spelling/pronunciation of the original owners of the family who were a large slave owning family in TX. MIL's branched moved to Oklahoma in the early 1900s and changed their surname to where it was difficult for me to find them for a while.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-06-2018, 01:54 PM
 
16,212 posts, read 8,503,104 times
Reputation: 8339
Here is another source about surnames of formerly enslaved persons:

Tracing Your Roots: Were Slaves Surnames Like Brands by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2018, 05:55 PM
 
25,448 posts, read 18,931,852 times
Reputation: 9910
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
However, as the author of the link notes, not all of them did.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ashington.html
I don't think anyone has ever suggested EVERY Black person's last name comes from a slave owning great great great grandfather or whatever. Only that it certainly happened on more than a few occasions and is definitely apart of African American genealogy.

Just as people changing their names after they were emanicipated or after than ran away is a part of African American genealogy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2018, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,254 posts, read 30,105,172 times
Reputation: 31436
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
I don't think anyone has ever suggested EVERY Black person's last name comes from a slave owning great great great grandfather or whatever. Only that it certainly happened on more than a few occasions and is definitely apart of African American genealogy.

Just as people changing their names after they were emanicipated or after than ran away is a part of African American genealogy.
I am sure it happened.

I have slave-owning ancestors. One of those lines was one of the first I looked at when I started researching a few years back. As I looked for census records for one name I very quickly found two white men (father and son) and a black man and his 9 year old son with the same name in the same county in the 1870 census. Not just the surname, the given name, too, and the given name is not a common one. That taught me to be careful and look at all the census information, not just the names.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2018, 06:48 PM
 
25,448 posts, read 18,931,852 times
Reputation: 9910
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
I am sure it happened.

I have slave-owning ancestors. One of those lines was one of the first I looked at when I started researching a few years back. As I looked for census records for one name I very quickly found two white men (father and son) and a black man and his 9 year old son with the same name in the same county in the 1870 census. Not just the surname, the given name, too, and the given name is not a common one. That taught me to be careful and look at all the census information, not just the names.
Yeah, that's one of the hard things about genealogy. There will be plenty of people with the same or similar last names. So you have to read over ALL of the census information as well as look for any supplementary clues. You might have your DNA tested as well, to fill in any gaps. Depending on what the ethnicity of the white guy, and what your DNA test results show you might find that there's a family relation, especially if you are linked to their descendants as cousins.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-08-2018, 01:13 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,254 posts, read 30,105,172 times
Reputation: 31436
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
Yeah, that's one of the hard things about genealogy. There will be plenty of people with the same or similar last names. So you have to read over ALL of the census information as well as look for any supplementary clues. You might have your DNA tested as well, to fill in any gaps. Depending on what the ethnicity of the white guy, and what your DNA test results show you might find that there's a family relation, especially if you are linked to their descendants as cousins.

I have done the DNA and have results at 23AndMe and FTDNA. I have no matches at all to anyone listing that surname, which is very Irish.

I do have some African American matches but so far do not know how we are related. I am 100% European - minus a fraction of a percent that is Mongolian! (I know, just noise, but fun to see anyway. )

I have my paper trail pretty well documented well prior to the Civil War.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top