"In this great future you can't forget your past" ~No Woman, No Cry, Bob Marley

My Maternal Lines

The following are the surnames of my maternal lines. Each line is at a different stage of research, including the very beginning (meaning I only know how the name is connected).  The names are listed in no particular order. Continue on to read a very brief synopsis of what I know about each line.

Bannister ~ While all information shows that this line came out of Indiana, it is more than likely that this family had its origination in Virginia. This was a free person of color line; it is not yet known at what point they became free and how their freedom was obtained.  The earliest ancestor I can trace back to is James Bannister, born about 1824. 

Clark ~ Thus far, the only thing known about this line is the name and how it connects to the family.  This was the maiden surname of Levy Jane who married three times, first to a man with the surname of Burch; second, to Louisa's father, Shelton Jones and third, to Carter Nicholas (whose surname Louisa would carry).  Their daughter, Louisa would go on to marry General Donaldson.  What is known, however, is that this family has its roots in Kentucky and most likely was one that survived slavery. Levy Jane's father, George as born about 1842; a little more work needs to happen to verify that Nancy J. was her mother.

Donaldson ~ This particular Donaldson line hails from Alabama.  The patriarch of this line, Jesse, managed to get from Hazel Green Plantation in Alabama to Tennessee where he enlisted in the Army to serve with one of the United States Colored Troops (USCT).  Some evidence suggests that Jesse was the son of his master, Levi, who more than likely came to "own" Jesse's mother, Sarah (among other enslaved persons) when he married his wife (the enslaved were a wedding gift). The Donaldson's migrated to Eastern Washington some time in the late 1890s, making them Early Settlers of the State. No evidence yet connects this Donaldson line with the well-known Donaldson Plantation in Hermitage, Tennessee.

Hammond ~ this was the maiden name of one of my grandmothers, Sarah.  This line hailed from North Carolina and was among the many Free People of Color families in the state.  I have not yet learned if they were always free or freed early in life. Sarah would go on to marry a man from another of North Carolina's Free People of Color families, Willis Roberts.

Harris ~ This Free People of Color family found in Indiana as early as around 1840 had its roots in North Carolina. Jacob, born about 1812 is the farthest back I have gone so far.  Jacob married a woman by the name of Charlotte Stewart.

Jones ~ No solid work has been done on this line as of yet.  What is known is that this family had solid roots in Albemarle County, Virginia.  Shelton, father of Louisa (Jones/Nicholas) Donaldson was born there about 1857 as well as his father, William and mother, Elvira/Alvina.

Locklear ~ Locklear was the maiden name of Dicey/Dyea. At the current time, all that I and others researching this family group know is that the Locklears were probably Free People of Color and may have been a tri-racial line; they lived in North Carolina.

Miller ~ The death certificate of my second great grandfather, Whitfield, suggests that this mother’s maiden name was Miller. Because death certificates are both primary and secondary sources of information, this needs to be further substantiated. I hope that additional research will be able to cement this as actual, not highly probable fact.

Monroe ~ This family settled in Illinois. It is not certain where they were Free People of Color of Freedmen. At least one member of the family worked for the railroads, while the family’s patriarch, James worked his farm until the age of 95, four years before his death in 1916 (according to his death certificate).

Moran ~ This fascinating family had an African-ancestor patriarch, Richard, born about 1796 in Kentucky and a probable European-heritage matriarch, Mary, born about 1804 in either Ohio or Pennsylvania. The Morans, a Free Person of Color family can be found in Indiana as early as 1820. By 1860, the bulk of the family relocated to Illinois. One member of this family was a Civil War Veteran.

Roberts ~ This Free Person of Color, tri-racial line is one that research suggests never experienced slavery, however, it is probable that there was some indentured servitude. This line has hundreds of descendants all over the United States, many of whom have researched their direct Roberts line and its connections, all of which go back to a woman by the name of Margaret, born about 1738. Our Roberts line is that of John Wesley, through his father, Etheldred (Dred), son of Ishmael, a Revolutionary War Veteran. The Roberts have extensive roots in North Carolina. Many left North Carolina beginning around the 1830s; they settled in Indiana, where they were instrumental in helping establish thriving communities. John Wesley and his family were Early Settlers of Washington State, successfully homesteading in the Squaw Valley.

Samuels ~ Another of my maternal grandmother’s lines, the Samuels, from Kenturcky, set roots in McLean County, Illinois. Shortly after 1900, the patriarch of this line, Alfred, a survivor of slavery and at least three of his children, including my second-great grandmother, Mary, migrated to Everett, Snohomish County, Washington.

Smalley ~ At this time, not much is known about this line. What is known, via vital records of children, is that this was the maiden name of Anna, wife of Jesse Donaldson.

Stewart ~ this was the maiden name of Charlotte Harris, wife of Jacob Harris. Very preliminary research suggests that this family has roots in North Carolina and may have been a Free Person of Color family.

Sullivan ~ this is another line presenting some interesting challenges. Based on some secondary resources, this line was from Missouri. Thus far, it appears that this family survived slavery. Additional work and research must be and is being done to sort out the plethora of questions that have been presented with this line. Right now, it is known that Benjamin Sullivan is the patriarch of this line, born between 1878 and 1880; Benjamin died in the late 1930s in Seattle, King County, Washington.

Tribble ~ Many interesting questions have arisen while working on this line. I am positive the answers will come as I continue to research. The earliest known ancestor via this line at this time is Henry Tribble born about 1839. Early census information suggests that he and his mother were born in Mexico, later census records and the marriage records of his children suggest Kentucky as his place of birth. This family has strong Indiana (mostly Vigo County) roots, with descendants now living in states such as Maryland, Michigan, California, and Washington, as well as the “home state” of Indiana.

Wright ~ Currently, all that is known of this line is that according to death record information, Wright was the surname of Mary, who was married to Richard Moran.

Wise or Weir ~ At the present time, this is a very uncertain piece of the family history. It has been suggested via death certificates and marriage records of Alfred and Jane’s children, one of these was Jane’s surname prior to marriage—both have been given—some of it might be in the handwriting, more research will have to happen.



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