I have often looked at the picture of my second-great grandmother on my father’s side, Melinda (SNORDAN/SNODAN and all of its other spelling variants) KIMBROUGH and wondered about her life—who was she, what did she think, how did she feel, what were her experiences? It’s not that I don’t wonder this about all of my Ancestors, but for some reason she has been one resting quite heavily with me for a couple of months now (the other two are male Ancestors for whom I do not have photos; I will write about them shortly, but in different posts). This tells me that it is certainly time for her story to be learned and told. It is time to speak her story from the unknown past, what very little of it I know, into the awakening present, so that it can be carried into what I hope is a glorious future.
Melinda was born, according to her death certificate, on 29 January 1833. She was born into the institution of slavery in Kentucky to Isaac SNADAN (who was born in Virginia), and a mother whose name is currently lost to history (though I pray this will not be so for long). She was, according to family story, last enslaved by Thomas Gaines KIMBROUGH, who, according to some family information was the father of at least four of Melinda’s children, including my great-grandfather, Ezekiel Isaac (Zeke). I am still working to find some type of recorded proof (or at least a preponderance of evidence) that both of these accounts are true.
I have located Melinda in the 1900 and 1910 census enumerations (in Massac County, Illinois), but have not been successful in doing so in the 1880 or 1870 enumerations. According to information provided in the 1910 census enumeration, Melinda had given birth to 12 children and six were still living. I can only account for four of the living children and none of the deceased. The four living children were: Ephriam (born August 1872), Ezekiel Isaac—Zeke (born October 1876), Lucy (born February 1877), and Lillian—Lady (born September 1879) [birth months and years given come from the 1900 census enumeration]. Who were the other six children?
I have been going over the very limited information I have and noticed that in the 1870 Hadensville Precinct, Todd County, Kentucky census enumeration there is an Ephriam SNADON, and in the same household, there is an Isaac SNADON, aged 75 born in Virginia—might this be Melinda’s brother and her father (along with other family)? Near this family in 1870, are at least two other SNADON families and a couple of KIMBROUGH families. In the home of Aaron SNADON, there was a 20-year-old by the name of Webster KIMBROUGH—might this Webster be one of Melinda’s children? I wish I could say for certain, but right now, I cannot; I can say that I have not found this Webster in any other census enumerations, and wonder if there is another name by which he might be listed.
There is an Ephriam SNADUN, who died in Hadensville, Kentucky in 1922 whose father was listed as Issaac [sic] SNADUN and mother as Jennie—who was also in the home in 1870—hmm; there is also another individual with the same parentage, Lucy, who died in Todd County, Kentucky in 1915.Melinda died in Joppa, Illinois on 24 July 1918; I hope to be able to fill in the dashes that note her birth and death as my genealogy/family history pilgrimage of 2014 begins to get underway—stay tuned…..
*A note about Melinda’s surname—a cousin who was also researching this KIMBROUGH family received (and shared with me) a copy of an SS-5 (application for Social Security) form for one of Melinda’s daughters. The SS-5 is valuable because it asks for the names of parents, including the Mother’s maiden name. Melinda’s daughter noted that Melinda’s maiden name was Tolliver (the Tolliver surname, as all surnames, has many spelling variants, to include Toliver and Taliaferro).