Searching for Black Heritage

+7 votes
I am presently working on Genealogy for a close friend of mine, this genealogy  consist of Black and Mulatto Race.  I have one female that was supposed to be a slave and when she was freed, she brought her children with her.

Can anyone give me some advice on checking back further than 1880...that is my stopping point. Working in the states of Mississippi and Missouri.
in Genealogy Help by Deborah Dunn G2G6 Mach 2 (21.8k points)
edited by Ellen Smith

Except in very rare circumstances, the 1870  census, the first done after emancipation, is the stopping wall.

Some links

2 Answers

+3 votes

Deborah ~

It looks like you may not have this 1880 census for whom I believe to be Elisa Westmorland (listed as E. Westmorland) in the Kennedy household.  You could try researching the children (Dink is listed) and the Kennedy's.

They are neighbors with a Shaw household.  I don't see George listed here.  But I think I see him living in the Pitt household, Calhoun, Miss.

* 1880 census: 

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 August 2016), E Westmoreland in household of Wm C Kennedy, Beat 4, Calhoun, Mississippi, United States; citing enumeration district ED 16, sheet 622A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0642; FHL microfilm 1,254,642.


by Mary Cole G2G6 Pilot (102k points)
Mary Cole, I actually had this census of 1880 attached as a source at one time, then removed it.  It shows Eliza marrying in the Marshall County Marriage Records to George Shaw in 1881.  Her family said she came from Marshall County MS.  That was all they knew about her.

I noticed in the near vicinity of the Kennedy Household, is the Shaw family, but the George listed as a daughter was only 3 years old.

I have gone back now and re-attached the 1880 Calhoun County MS Census as a  source.  Thanks for your assistance.
I have found the Kennedy's died and buried in Yalobusha County, MS many years later. Nothing found on Eliza prior to her in the Calhoun County 1880 Census.  The Westmorelands, actually told me she was a servant in this house and was freed and took all her children with her.  She married in Marshall County, MS in 1881 to George Shaw, they moved back to Calhoun County, and can be found there in 1900 Census. Children from both marriages are also found in this household.

Just still don't know who her oldest son was.  Even the Westmorelands and Bobo's can tell you her oldest son, whose name they do not know was the father of a list of children.....but no one can remember his name, and I have not been able to find any leads on his name.
+3 votes
You can try the United States Freedmen's Bureau, Records of Freedmen, 1865-1872 at
by Joe Hay G2G6 Mach 1 (11.4k points)

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