Our last story comes from Robin Foster, founder of Saving Stories.
I do not research only African Americans – my ancestry is made up of both colors – and I have used Freedmen’s Bureau records to help research my entire Southern heritage.
While examining a labor contract in Union County, South Carolina, I found the names of three ancestors. James A. Tucker, who was a former slave holder, and my third great grandparents, Sciller (who took Tucker’s surname) and Henry Sims, who were enslaved by him.
While living on the Tucker plantation after the Civil War, serving as contracted laborers, Sciller and Henry had a daughter, Martha – my second great grandmother.
Martha was freed when she was young and eventually had a child with George Epps Tucker, the grandson of James Tucker.
Because James Tucker protected the inheritance of his grandson, George came into much wealth when he became of age. He never married Martha (perhaps because it was illegal in those days), but he provided for her in his estate. This wealth eventually was passed to her son, George Anderson Tucker.
I have let this story stand as proof that out of the indecent system of slavery – and the aftermath of slavery, which was often more inhumane – this branch of my family was blessed to have land and provisions that kept them from having to flee or migrate. The stability left for them has lasted for generations.
I have been able to piece together enough to know that the dynamics of these family relationships back then were very complicated. This legacy has served to germinate a small seed of hope within me that I can find the good in people if I look hard enough.
Discover stories of your ancestors with the assistance of Freedmen’s Bureau records. Learn details about the people who helped shape your family legacy.
Discover Your Ancestors
Freedmen’s Bureau records open up incredible possibility for African Americans looking to explore their family history. Let the above family stories serve as inspiration to explore your own family ancestry with Freedmen’s Bureau records.
Latest posts by Thom Reed (see all)