Neddle In A Haystack

Finding out about granddaddy  is like finding a needle in a haystack. Hmmm. Why is it so difficult? He always had a mysterious air about him. Although a quiet man, he also could become quite agitated, especially about death, calling it trouble in the family. My parents told me stories of how he sold the family property because he thought that he was dying. Thousands, well maybe hundreds, of acres gone. He called all of the family together to see him off. Sisters, brothers, aunts,uncles, and cousins hastily arrived by train, bus, horse, and foot to see Granddaddy off to a better place. Hours passed, and Granddaddy lingered on. Into the midnight hours of the next day, it was obvious that Granddaddy was here to stay a little while longer. So, what really happened? Why did Granddaddy sell his land, leaving his children with nothing? The search continues.

4 thoughts on “Neddle In A Haystack

  1. I may have some useful information on the Foreman / Robinson families of African descent from Clarke County, Al.
    My GG Grandfather, Larkin Foreman, was the 1st Foreman appearing in records. Larkin is listed in the 1830 Census as a 22 year old head of household, with a female 50-60 years of age. In 1832 he marries Caroline (Liny) Robinson, the daughter of William Robinson. Four of William Robinson’s children marry children of John Russell Robinson. I believe that William and John Russell were 1st cousins.
    Larkin Foreman begins buying land in 1831, and by 1850, owns over 1200 acres that include all of the land north of present day Hwy 84, from old Line Rd, West beyond Nettie Hill Rd, North beyond Indian Ridge Baptist Church. He also owned the N 1/2 of 2 Sections on the South side of 84 from the twin bridges at Whatley to Old Line Rd. There are Foreman and Robinson descendents of those former slaves living on that land today. There is a Foreman lane on the South side of 84 near Old Line Rd.
    As you know from your research, there is little information on the actual names of former slaves, until the 1866 state census, followed by the 1870 federal census.
    The oldest information I have on the names of actual slaves is in the 1845 Probate records and Will of William Robinson. William Robinson also had extensive land holdings on the Alabama River near present day Gosport. The Robinson home, in very poor condition, is still there today.
    I have not reviewed my records for some time now. The census records list this community by various names through the decades: Anderson, Anderson/Gates, Indian Ridge, Suggsville and Grove Hill.
    In reviewing the 1870, and subsequent Federal Census, there seems to be 3 primary identifications of race: White – Black – Mulatto. While there are some Mulatto’s listed, I am suspect of the accuracy of these records. I believe their was an effort by the Southern Offcialsto downplay the numbers in order to deny any perception of a “mixing of the races”. As you mentioned, we may all share more than our surname.
    Sorry I don’t have more specific information for you. I just found this link and thought I could at least provide some basic information on the Foreman / Robinson
    connection for Indian Ridge. I will review my information and post anything that may be more related to your search.
    I also considered the DNA test to confirm my theories as to Larkin’s ancestors, as I am a direct male descendent. I have connected him to the George Foreman line from Edgefield, SC. That family can be traced to William Foreman in Va. around 1640. My Father, Grandfather and G Grandfather were all born on that Foreman land. My father left there in 1940 at the age of 21. I was born in Newport, RI. and now live in Pensacola, Fl.
    The issue of slavery can be a difficult subject to discuss between the races and I hope you excuse any perceived casualness in my comments. I have experienced the whole range of emotions in my research over the past few years. I have just learned to accept the information as the historical facts.
    I have developed a special interest in a former slave, Pricilla (Silla) Foreman. Silla, her husband Hardy and 2 children are listed in the 1870 census as, Mulatto. I follow Silla to the 1940 census, where she is listed as 121 years old. When I went to Amity Cemetery (where my Foreman’s are buried) several months ago, I walked the Indian Ridge Cemetery and found her grave. It is marked with her name and dates, hand carved in a small stone. The small, flat headstone reads
    “Pricilla Foman born 1819 died 1940”. Later that day, I met a (white) older couple, only to find out that he was also a Larkin Foreman descendent. He told me that his Grandmother would take him as a young boy to visit Aunt Silla. I ask him, “so you called her Aunt Silla”. He responded, “Oh, everyone called her Aunt Silla”.
    I plan to visit the cemetery again where my ancestors are buried. It’s only a 2 hour drive from Pensacola. I think I’ll always have to stop and visit Aunt Silla.
    I’ll try and post that information soon. If you have a request for any information, contact me on Facebook.

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