Were any of my ancestors slaves?

+2 votes
298 views
For some reason, my great great grandmother Samantha Kemp, gave away her children. I think five of them.They ended up as working boarders in various homes. I know that they were young children working for families to stay with them. My great grandmother was always hungry where she was sent to work. I wonder if their mom gave them up, because they were mixed race. My grandmother says we are Cherokee,but there is more to this I know.
asked in Genealogy Help by Karen Bowman G2G Crew (480 points)
I think the possible answer(s) to your question could depend tremendously on where and when Samantha Kemp lived. I looked at your ancestry list for insight, but I don't see a profile for Samantha Kemp among your WikiTree ancestors.

I suggest that you build out your ancestry so it connects you to her. That would help other people discuss your question in an informed fashion -- and it's something you should do sooner or later, anyway.
Thank you.
Karen it depends the time period and the location, Yes some people gave up their kids for many reasons, I hope you can find a starting point to really find this out. Yes they did keep many records of these, but how ever it is still hard to track them down,

2 Answers

+1 vote
Maybe instead of putting them in a children's home she figured having them go to families who could feed them would be better?
answered by Charlotte Shockey G2G6 Pilot (919k points)
Thank you.
+1 vote

United States Census, 1900 
Listed as Ellen S Rufty Widowed with two children. Corley aged 4 and Nola aged 2

United States Census, 1910 
Listed as Ellen Younger Married with husband Gaston and five children. Carlie 12, Stella 9, Bertha 8, William 5, and Lizza 2

United States Census, 1920 
Listed as Ellen Younger Married with husband Gaston and 4children. William 14, Mallie 12, Kate 8, and Bertha 16.

United States Census, 1930 
Listed as Ellen Younger Widowed living with daughter, Kate, and son-in-law, Carl Small

North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994 
Recorded as Ellen Younger Age 65 Widowed

Find A Grave 
Listed as Samantha Ellen Kemp Younger

Lizzie's (your great grandmother) death certificate on Ancestry says she was born 10 Nov 1895. In August 1894, she is named with 3 siblings in a court petition submitted by her uncle, Mike L. Rufty, as guardian, requesting the sale of a parcel of land that she and her siblings own a share of, to be applied toward their care and maintenance. The other children named are Addie, Joseph, and Jay. 

None of the children, their father, Rufus, or mother, Ellen are ever named as any race other than white in any census record. I don't see any evidence of Native American or African American ancestry.

I do find it interesting that only four children are named in the petition and the two seen with Ellen in 1900 are not named. Considering their ages and the date on the petition of 1894, it seems pretty clear that the two children living with her were not the children of Rufus Rufty as he was already deceased at the time of their conception.

It is possible that the children were sent to live with their uncle because Ellen was unable to care for them financially and they were later farmed out by their uncle, perhaps when he married, as they aren't with him in 1900.

Life was not easy for women then. If they had no means of support, and no family willing to help, their choices were very limited. She may simply have had no other choice at the time.

answered by Deb Durham G2G6 Pilot (621k points)
Thank you.
Thank you so much for finding that for me. I have very limited knowledge of this site, or using Internet tools etc. I appreciate your time and effort so much. I hope I will learn enough to help others too. Thank you again. Karen

You are most welcome. Karen. I also found a death notice for Lizzie's father, Rufus Rufty.

"Rufty, Rufus - Died Nov 7, 1892, Gwaltney Township, Alexander Co. Burial in Pilgrim Church Cemetery. Survived by his wife and four small children."

The above would seem to indicate that Lizzie was born before 1895. Her sister Addie was born in Mar 1888. I am going to guess they were listed in order of birth on the court petition and that would make Lizzie the third child. If Addie was born first in 1888 then I would put Lizzie's birth not later than 1891. Just guesswork, but worth considering. 

Rufus Rufty and Samantha Ellen Kemp were married on 29 Jul 1887 in Iredell Co, NC.

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