My grandmother was Margaret Demby, born December 16, 1872 near Church HIll, Maryland. Her parents were William Demby and Amelia Thomas. William's origins are unknown to me. He was AFrican American and related to Bishop Edward Demby who was an Episcopal bishop in Arkansas. He (Edward Demby) founded the Forest City Girl's School, I believe. William ran off with a "dancing band" in 1872 just prior to my grandmother's birth. He performed somewhere in the North -- perhaps around Boston. Years later he showed up as a minister in Philadelphia and married again. He and his family moved to a small town in western Pennsylvania. He had a son named William who was born in the 1890s in Philadelphia. Will Demby, the son, died in 1992. That Will Demby's eldest child is William Demby, an AFrican American novelist who lives between Rome and New York. HIs children are Gloria Demby, Frank Demby, M.D., and Betty Demby.
My mother was born to Margaret Demby Ayers and John Thomas Ayers in Wilmington Delaware. Her mother had one full sister, Marcelene Demby Ridgeway.
Other Demby's connected somehow to my family are recorded in the 1790s church charter for Ezion Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware. They were seeningly free Blacks whose arrivals were from undisclosed places in the South.
The name Demby is also found amongst a number of people in Siera Leone, West AFrica. It is not known by me whether the Dembys there are repatriated Blacks from the US who fled to Siera Leona to secure their freedom or whether they are indigenous to WEst AFrica as part of a Demby clan. Gloria Demby of New York (indicated above) supposedly traced the name back to West AFrica.
My grandmother and other Dembys I have met who seem connected to our family were/are (in generations born prior to 1930) dark brown skinned with thin straight black hair.
If you are not knowingly of AFrican descent, you amy have mixed feelings about this information. there is also a Constance Demby who is noted as a 5th generation Demby of California. She was born in Northern California and is an internationally known musician specializing in "Space" music.
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