Slave LNAB Clarification

+5 votes
I read through the proposed Last Name At Birth for American Enslaved People, and while I basically understand, I have a question to pose for clarification.  

I have a slave lady named "Mary" who had a relationship with the son of her owner.  The owner name was BEAVEN.  So that is one possibility.  

Mary had two children by Mr. Beaven Jr, and he had a special place for her and their sons.  Virginia was not a good place for a mixed relationship, so Daddy Beaven sent them to Kentucky.  There, Junior married a white woman and had several children.  Mary and her sons lived on the same property, and worked on the farm, but had a special home set aside for them.  The sons grew up and married with children of their own, all on this same property.  

Soon, Junior became ill, and in his will, he gave Mary, her sons, and their families to his daughter Catherine, who had married a Quaker and moved to Pennsylvania.  This was in 1855.  Catherine came to Kentucky and signed "Freedom Papers" for the family.  On those papers, due to the haste involved in this event, the Surname assigned to the family was misspelled as "BIVENS"  (It was intended to be "BEAVENS" elsewhere in the other papers).  

So, the family used the name Bivens since 1855.  Mary never really was known by that name, and she died soon after her freedom was granted.  

So, for Mary, I want to use Bivens to associate her to her children, even though the Freedom Papers suggest both Beavens and Bivens.
in Policy and Style by Barry Fellner G2G2 (2.9k points)
edited by Barry Fellner

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer
I would use Beaven and add an AKA of Bivens.  

It's not at all unusual in MANY locations -- Ellis island immigrants, European ruler-and-religion-and-language changing periods, colonial-era Massachusettts, just for a few for instances, for last  names to change dramatically from generation to generation, and for siblings to decide to spell their last names differently.   One sibling decides to Americanize, the other decides to hang on to their heritage -- and there you have two branches with different last names.

Not to mention the tradition of women's names changing every time they get married.

Better to stay consistent with documents written in a person's lifetime -- which is also Wikitree policy.  The familial relationship is documented by the Wikitree relationships, and by the bio that you write.
by Patricia Hawkins G2G6 Mach 3 (31.0k points)
selected by Daniel Bly
I second what Patricia said.

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