The Last Will of Thomas Rowlett: 1806

Source: Mecklenburg County, Virginia Will Book 5, p 320, 1806; accessed digitally from Family Search (familysearch.org) September 13, 2018. In late December of 1805, Thomas Rowlett of Mecklenburg County wrote a new will.  Less than a month later, the son of William Rowlett and step-mother Sarah Neal Archer Rowlett was dead.  Thomas left an estate […]

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Sunday morning musing

I have been getting acquainted with my 19th century grandmothers during the last few weeks, creating more questions than stories at the end of each day, which is frustrating at many levels. I catch myself re-centering the family account around the men, specifically the white men, who populate the records.  It is a habit.  A […]

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Lucy Boyd Dodson, Freedwoman

In building out my Dodson ancestors’ social and economic ecosystem I asked questions about the enslaved.  I wondered if I could find evidence of how their journey from emancipation through Reconstruction differed from the post-war opportunities of my family. In doing this research I uncovered what I believe to be a family tree of Lucy […]

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It’s Complicated

I shouldn’t have been astonished. The Mecklenburg County, Virginia U.S. Federal Census of 1860 enumerated two Dodson households–my white 2nd great-grandparents, James and Sarah, and his brother and sister-in-law, Benjamin and Delia. In the U.S. Federal Census of 1870 James and Sarah were enumerated with 9 children; Delia, widowed by a Union sniper bullet in 1864, […]

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