Big changes have come to — all content is now read-only, and member subscriptions and the Shop have been discontinued.
Learn more

Chat | Daily Search | My GenForum | Community Standards | Terms of Service
Jump to Forum
Home: General Topics: Melungeon Forum

Post FollowupReturn to Message ListingsPrint Message

Re: naming - scholarly work on naming Huguenot practices
Posted by: djarrett (ID *****5436) Date: July 16, 2010 at 12:02:36
In Reply to: Re: naming - scholarly work on naming Huguenot practices by djarrett of 28065

You said:

[if this is true,your family might have been treated slightly differently. Your slave family would have been kept together and not sold off seperately or passed off to other family members of the slave master.]

No, I don't believe my ancestors received any special treatment, especially after reading stories about them being referred to as "N's" in some old late 19th news articles.

Moreover, my Jarrett, Copeland, enslaved ancestors were distributed to several of Wm. Copeland, Sr.'s children after he died, most of whom lived in other counties, which caused some of my ancestors to be separated from one another.

This person also posted that our ancestors "were given land and money by the slaveholder to start their new lives over". After antebellum, most former slaves, indentured servants, etc. were given these things (i.e. 40 acres and a mule) in the form of "sharecropper tenancy"; may be 40-60 acres, some tools, grains, etc. but they did not own the land.

Although some did own land that they purchased, or perhaps received as gifts, not necessarily because they were related to their former slaveholder. Many former slaves, indentured servants were given gifts of land and money, and assistance by their former slaveholders, in a lot cases because they were very loyal to them. Not all slaveholders were cruel to their slaves; just read a few Slave Narratives and you'll see what I mean.

In most cases, this had more to do with the fact that slavery was now illegal, no more free slave labor being provided to former slaveholders. Former slaveholders, in order to now keep what was left of their real estate holdings and assets, needed labor to work their land. Put another way, these former slaves, indentured servants, now became "paid employees", no longer enslaved or indentured.

Make no mistake, if the sharecroppers/farmers did not fulfill their end of the agreement, producing enough of the said crop, they were evicted off the property. Some former slaves and indentured servants did agree to stay on their former slaveholders land, but many rejected the offers and moved to other localities.

You will find my g-g-g-grandfather, Benjamin Jarrett, Sr., enumerated (1870-1910 cenuses) living on the land of Wm. Copeland, as a sharecropper (farmer) paying rent. His daughter, Juila and her children are also enumerated living with him throughout (1870-1910). She and her children are then enumerated in the 1920 Census, Harris Co. Ga. living with her son, Charles/Charley Jarrett, ( fathered by a Matthews man) who was enumerated as a farm laborer and "renter".

Although Julia had about 9 children, we have not been able to locate any marriage records, hence, it's only a guess as to who the father of children are. I think two of her children may have been fathered by a former negro slave, Sam Copeland (though not her husband). Her son, Arthur Jarrett, ca. late 1890's, does appear to have been fathered by a white man, whose father, according to the person who posted, may have been a "Gaorg" (sic) Jarrett whom that state is white, and perhaps of French origins based on the spelling, which I happen to believe is just another typical mispelling found in lot of records.

For example, my g-g-g-grandmother, Eliza Jarrett's name is found spelled Liza, Lizzie, Lizabeth, Elizabeth, etc. should I simply choose Elizabeth as her name, and assume she descends from the Queen of England based on the spelling of her name?

You will often find, that depending on the origins of the person writing in the information on birth/death/marriage records in that period, words were spelled based upon how that sounded or how they were written based on the recorders limited knowledge of the English language which had not been standarized. I've seen many historical legal documents in which the word "brought" was spelled "brote", and "bought" spelled "bote".

I understand that you're not a big fan of Google Books, but here are some links regarding slave resesarch that specifically pertains to Harris County, Ga regarding Copelands which was done by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This was based on research he had done for Dr. Ben Carson, world reknown neuro-surgeon, and author of the book, "Healing Hands", who also had Copeland ancestors. Dr. Gates states that although the a large majority of the former slaves of the area took the Copeland surname of their former slaveholder, they were not all blood related.

Here's the link:,+jr.&source=bl&ots=7n0xIZ57Ri&sig=V8HLrcaxT0E3zj2MScijfFyvXyA&hl=en&ei=1dQ_TKrKGoKC8gaHlcDpCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CDAQ6AEwCDgU

And here's another one, research and book, "Passing Strange" by Martha A. Sandweiss which is also about a former Copeland slave from Harris Co. Ga named Ada Copeland who married Clarence King, a white geologist.

Here's the link:

I was very disappointed that Dr. Gates was not able to go beyond 1870 census with one of Dr. Carson's line, although he was able to go a little further back on the other. This man is an Ivy League college professor, reknown historian, genealogist, PBS television personality, who has all kind of research resources at his disposal, etc. and was not able to move past a "Brickwall"! It just goes to show those who are doing or plan to do African American slave research, that it is not a an easy or quick task.


Notify Administrator about this message?

Post FollowupReturn to Message ListingsPrint Message
Search this forum:

Search all of GenForum:

Proximity matching
Add this forum to My GenForum Link to GenForum
Add Forum
Home |  Help |  About Us |  Site Index |  Jobs |  PRIVACY |  Affiliate
© 2007 The Generations Network