Flanagan, Hayes, Kelley, Jones, Brooks, Edwards, Strother

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By , June 17, 1999 7:27 pm

Need leads on Flanagan, Hayes, Kelley, Jones, Brooks, Edwards and Strother in Wilcox and Marengo counties. Possibly also in Dallas or Perry counties.

Hi folks. After another long hard period of researching my g-grandparents and gg-grandparents (I work in bouts until I plateau), I found what looked to be info on them only to discover yet anther surname that needs to be followed. In addition I’m interested where they lived just after emancipation and who the land belonged to (they were slaves then tenant farmers their entire lives). I’m hoping that armed with this info I can find the names of their last slaveowners.

Although I’m not asking for anyone to do my work for me, I’d like to hear from anyone researching the lines mentioned below. I need help to make sense of all this conflicting data so that I can do as directed and focused research as possible.

So!, here’s where I am right now on this line:

While researching my paternal grandmother’s THOMAS-EDWARDS line (Julia Thomas Norris, Clark Thomas – Caroline ?, Mary ? m. Philip Jones – Calvin Edwards m. Susie ?), I found what appears to be my g-grandparents’ marriage license dated 10 Nov 1867 in the Wilcox County Colored Marriages 1868-1869, p.14-15: “…between Clark Thomas a freedman and Miss Caroline Brooks”. This is the first time I’ve ever come across the surname Brooks. Had previously thought my g-grandmother’s maiden name was Edwards. Tried to verify Brooks so looked for a record of her mother’s marriage to her last known husband. Found nothing in the Colored Marriage records but while searching the index of what was labelled White marriages, I came across: Philip Jones and Mrs. Mary Brooks on p.27 who were married “…at the Flanagan Plantation” on 11 July 1868.

Everything but race seemed to fit and when I checked the 1860 Census to see whether there was a Flanagan Plantation in the area where I know my grands and g-grands last lived, I found the household of Bennett Flanagan. What’s more, it was listed just before the household of W.S.W. Hayes.

This is significant because on g-grandma Caroline Thomas’s death certificate, it says she was buried on the old Hayes place! That was circa 1930 but today that land including the little African American cemetery belongs to a Black Shaw family, and before that it was owned by White Strothers.

This land is in the Catherine-Boiling Spring-Consul area, on either side of Hwy 28 (the road to Consul and Thomaston) and straddles the Marengo-Wilcox county line and borders Perry and Dallas counties. Three Black churches closely associated with my ancestors are situated on these properties: Bethel AME on Boiling Spring Rd in Catherine, Boiling Spring Baptist on Hwy 28, and Sidney Chapel AME in Consul. Boiling Spring Baptist was originally located on the road to Gastonburg.

Other landowners in this area whose names have popped up from time to time in my research are Kelley, as in the old Kelley place (which today is next to the Shaw place) on Hwy 28, and Jones.

ANY, ANY leads beyond the census enumeration appreciated. Especially interested in land, property and slave records and inventories. Will be researching in Wilcox, Marengo and Dallas counties this summer. My goal is to find these ancestors listed in some record prior to 1870 and to find the families that brought them from South Carolina (and possibly Georgia) circa 1830-1860.

Thanks for reading this far,

B.J. Smothers

Source: Reposted 6/15/2014 from ALDALLAS-L Archives: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/ALDALLAS/1999-06/0929641395

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