Author Topic: Searching for African American ancestor  (Read 517 times)

Offline aithne

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #9 on: Sunday 06 June 21 12:50 BST (UK) »
The National Archives holds a significant number of records about Aboriginal people including individuals https://www.naa.gov.au/explore-collection/first-australians
Yes, but thatís Aboriginal people, in Australia. And we already have the Native welfare files. And my family was lucky anyway because one convict ancestor made a lit of money from mining so his Aboriginal children werenít stolen and therefore we know so much more about my family than those who were stolen.
Iím not looking for information on my Aboriginal family though. Iím looking for the African ancestor

I will also point out that those files arenít formal documents. Itís most word of mouth information, things police reported etc that were then written into files. They canít be taken as fact. They often have fathers listed for children who werenít even there at the time.
Leitch, Bain, Buchan, McNamara, Matheson, McRay, Harman, Harris

Offline aithne

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #10 on: Sunday 06 June 21 12:52 BST (UK) »
Quote
Anyway, the ancestor was listed with a single name on the family tree i inherited - Mullane or Mullaney is all it says. The biographical index of whalers for the area he was has a whaler named Molaney and since many people at the time couldnít read and write too well iíve always kept an open mind on spellings of names.
What 'biographical index'? what 'area'? Can you post a link to this?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281277010_A_Biographical_Index_of_Western_Australian_Whalers_1836-1880

A copy if this same document is in the state library of Western Australia because i looked at it physically

Edit: i think people are getting confused in the point of my thread.
Iím not asking for help to find this person. Iím asking if i should continue the search or give up.
Leitch, Bain, Buchan, McNamara, Matheson, McRay, Harman, Harris

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #11 on: Sunday 06 June 21 12:55 BST (UK) »
I understood what you are asking but it was unclear if this index was for Australia or New England.
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!


Offline aithne

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #12 on: Sunday 06 June 21 12:58 BST (UK) »
I understood what you are asking but it was unclear if this index was for Australia or New England.
Itís for Australia, where his daughter was born.
We donít even know that the ancestor was in New England.
Leitch, Bain, Buchan, McNamara, Matheson, McRay, Harman, Harris

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #13 on: Sunday 06 June 21 13:21 BST (UK) »
This is what made me wonder if it was a New England resource-
Quote
My sisters and I have searched with the name we were given and havenít come up with anyone who this man could be, until i found an American whaler with a similar name (probably pronounced the same but different spelling) being in the right area at the right time. We canít seem to find anything on that man to rule him out. Weíve searched crew lists from New Bedford and New London etc and although thereís similar names none of them are the two names weíve been told or that i found on the whalerís index.
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #14 on: Sunday 06 June 21 13:37 BST (UK) »
Ethnicity results are generally to be taken with a pinch of salt, however in this case they may be helpful. I imagine there would be also a large sample population for African American heritage, so the accuracy may be better.

You say you have matches with people in the USA. I think most of us do due to more Americans taking tests that other populations. It does not follow that we all have African heritage as Iím sure you know.

What percentage African heritage do Ancestry and My Heritage say you have? Is it 5%? Do both sites agrees with that estimate?

Family stories can often have some truth to them, though not always, and they can miss a generation or relate to the other side of the family than the one you expect, so it is worth looking at both branches. :)

Point is, we know that itís there and that the family story was true. And also because the Chief Protector of Aborigines (the man who was determined to breed the black out of us aka committing genocide) was pretty annoyed a century ago when he realised my family had African heritage because the black can still come out in a later generation and all their work would be undone. So itís not a question as to whether African is there, and the matches iím talking about all have Nigerian and/or Sierra Leone as the ethnic match. Also, their profile pictures show them to be black. So i donít really see a point in questioning whether thatís accurate. Itís getting off track now and thatís not what i was here asking for.

Iím wanting to know if itís worth trying to pursue this ancestor with so many obstacles or if i should give up.

The percentages may give some indication of how many generations back you need to go to find this ancestor. 

Sorry you thought I was ďgetting off trackĒ.

Good luck with your search.

Offline Erato

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #15 on: Sunday 06 June 21 14:39 BST (UK) »
"Since would have been born around 1820, and on a ship in 1840s with his daughter born in Western Australia about 1850, and because of slavery iím guessing there probably werenít records for him"

Records are poor for everyone during this time period because, before 1850, the censuses only listed heads of households by name and the sea-faring lifestyle meant that some sailors were not counted at all.  Slavery is obviously an additional complication to tracing this man's origins.  Presumably his parents or grandparents were slaves but he himself was a free man.  There were free Black people and they did get censused.  Some of them were mariners - as I recall, the cook on the Brig Pilgrim in 1834 [Richard Henry Dana, Two Years Before the Mast] was Black and had a family in Boston.

You could start by the tedious process of trawling through the 1850 census of the whaling towns of New England looking for appropriately named Black families engaged in the maritime trades.  You can search the 1850 census by race.
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr, Davis

Offline Erato

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Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr, Davis

Offline brigidmac

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Re: Searching for African American ancestor
« Reply #17 on: Sunday 06 June 21 17:49 BST (UK) »
I saw your post this morning and coincidentaly while i was searching for Scottish relatives a slave of same name as one of my ancestors  came up on a list of British Colonial transport .

Out of interest i looked at the list and saw that the first column titled original name had short names like Bob Tom
Next column was baptized names
Another column had phrases like" son of Sal ".or" mother of Tom ."

I remembered what you said about "known as Lou" so maybe the person who wrote your tree had seen a record like this

Im really sorry i didnt save to my shoebox as now i cant remember document title or year i know Jamaica was mentioned.

As others have said there will be a lot of trawling to do but hopefully you will get more clues along the way .
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid smith jones,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson