Once again, it has been over year since I last blogged and there is much to be told. As I am connecting the dots in my own family, I all to well understand there are many others researching as well and like me are asking "How does it all connect?" and this is just a small porting on my many connections through my maternal Great-Grandparents, Mitchell Heath and Anna Lue Barrow-Heath.
Where did the families originate? Where did the trail begin? Who are the Ancestors? And just how did they all connect over decades of southern exploration, slavery, westward expansion, and placing down roots and establishing families? There is one key indentifying factor between the Heath, Hubert, Barrow, Wright, Searcy, Flewellyn, Barksdale, Battle, Ivey, Searcy, Dickson, Lynn, Felts/Phelps, and Chappell/Chapple families, and they key remains the same through generations of bloodlines -FAMILY!
The Searcy Connection of the South
One of the early families of exploration is the Searcy family of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. The Searcy family is unique in nature that it is connected to the Heath, Hubert, Ivey, Dickson, Chappell/Chapple, and Theawtt families also of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. For more information, go to the following link: http://www.searcyfea.com/5601.html. Of special note is the Daniel Searcy family and William Searcy which both have ties and dealings with the Hiram Hubert family and Thomas Heath family, both of North Carolina and Georgia. The Searcy family connection lies within Warren, Wilkes, Talbot, Taylor, and Harris counties in Georgia. There are many marriages among the Heath and Searcy slaves with connections to the Ivey and Dickson families as well.
Let's Explore the Heaths and the Huberts
Another interesting early family explored heavily within my online family tree is the Heath and Hubert families and the clear connection with the Ivey, Barksdale, and Battle families as they all come together in old Wilkes County in towns known as Old Mill, Barnett, Warrenton, Powellton, White Plains, Mayfield, Goose Pond, Red Lick, Norwood, and Sharon Town in what are now present day Warren County, Hancock County and Taliaferro County. My Heath lineage begins with my maternal Great-Grandfather, Mitchell Heath, who was the son of Phelps Tug Heath (Phelps Heath III) and Eunice "Eunie" Frazier-Heath. Mitchell's paternal grandmother is, Jane "Jincy" Hubert-Heath, wife of Phelps Heath I and daughter of Paul Hubert and Jennie "Jincy" Hubert. I have been researching the Heath family for quite sometime to include both the white and black families from the late 1700s to present day. It has been an incredible journey. Just recently in late spring of 2014, I began the journey of unraveling a mystery with understanding who my Jane Heath was and what her connection was to the Hubert family in Hancock County as well as Warren County. This Hubert ancestral journey began to morph into something even greater than I ever imagined as well as taking a step back and really evaluating " what is my purpose" and "what do I have to offer our present generations and generations of the future" along with fully reviewing everything without leaving no stone uncovered. Thanks to my Cousins @Powell_88 and @bettyjharris53, we are on the move upward and onward making our Ancestors proud! With the help of Cousin @Powell_88 and other archived data, we have uncovered a huge ancestry find with the Heath and Hubert families of Warren County and adjacent counties. And it was all based on discovering my Jane (Jincy Hubert). The Heath and Hubert slaves at many times after the slavery were using both the Heath and Hubert names sending us family historians in a frenzy trying to find our Ancestors. After tracing back the Heath and Hubert family origins coupled with land and plantation locations, the Heath and Hubert families were side by side for several generations along with the Barksdale, Battle, Ivey, Dickson, Harrell, Felts, Johnson, and Flewellyn families. In some instances, the slaves were shared among the plantations because of the skills. For example, Clack Heath (brother to Elisha "Lige" Heath, Phelps Heath II, Hezekiah Heath, Jefferson "Jeff" Heath, and others) was a very skilled worker and often loaned out to the Barksdale, Battle, Felts, Hubert, Johnson, and Ivey plantations which were all connected or side by side with one another. His work and wages paid for his service was documented in the estate of Henry Heath in 1855 (a descendant of Abraham Heath and Winnifred Cotton-Heath).
So one may ask, how do all the other families fit into the mix? Well, it is very interesting!!! There are numerous marriages between the Heath, Hubert, Ivey, and Searcy families within Warren, Hancock, Taliaferro, Taylor, Talbot, Harris, and Muscogee counties in Georgia. There was a great deal of migration among the family members as well along the Georgia railroad expansion which relocated several of the white and black families from east Georgia (Wilkes, Warren, Taliaferro, and Hancock counties) to west Georgia (Talbot, Taylor, Muscogee, and Harris counties). And from Georgia, we see a great deal of migration into Alabama in Russell, Lee, Chambers, Randolph, and Henry counties. Through the slave ancestry research by reviewing wills, inventories and appraisements, deeds, tax records, and census records, we are seeing a clear distinct pattern in the migratory patterns of the white families which ultimately involved our Slave Ancestors and their families in leaving Georgia for Alabama and Texas. TEXAS....oh what a connection!!!
The Texas Connection: It's Just the Beginning
The Texas connection has become very interesting to say the least as there are so many families that migrated together but seperated by county and occupation. In Texas, Camp, Morris, Cass (originally Davis County), Titus, Upshur, Sabine, and Marion counties were of interest where the families seem to have settled in the mid 1800s and later traveling to Collin, Tarrant, Harris, and Dallas counties as well. The Texas migration has brought about a great deal of discussions as we have found a significant greater picture with linkage among the white planter families and their slave workers. We are finding in the slave ancestry research a key connection within the Slave Owner (Master) and our Slave Ancestors' relationship, they were not only owner and slave but they indeed formed a bond. Another interesting piece to the puzzle is there was significant migration between the 1880s and 1900s where many families reunited with their brethren families from Georgia in Texas by relocating when the white families relocated after slavery, houston....we have proved the theory of a bonded relationship. The white Heath, Hubert, Searcy, Barrow, Wright, Lynn, and Chappell families settled many great towns in Georgia and Alabama, and subsequently Texas. It was a part of the great westward expansion movement. Were they all friends? Were there other mitigating circumstances? Was it strictly Slave Owner and Slave Ancestor relationships exemplifying no bond at all, I am sure it is all of the above. There were some good and some bad, but we the descendants of these great unions are coming into an understanding of a long history which all began in Virginia along the James River.
Understanding the Family Connections
The Barrow, Wright, and Chappell/Chapple family connections to one another as well as to the Heath, Hubert, Flewellyn, Ivey, and Barksdale families is another great story of "what did I just uncover" and "did I read that right", the plot thickens. Some of the white Heaths took Barrow, Wright, and Chappell family members as their spouses such as Nancy Heath-Wright (daughter of Richard Heath and Rebecca Chappell) married William D. Wright, Rebecca Heath-Barrow (another daughter of Richard and Rebecca) married William Barrow, Patsy Heath-Wright (another daughter of Richard and Rebecca) married Lewis Wright, Sally Heath-Chappell (daughter of Abraham Heath and Winnifred Cotton) married John Chappell, Polly Heath-Barrow (another daughter of Abraham and Winnifred) married Warren Barrow. Many of these marriages and further estate slave distributions are the direct links to Troup County, Georgia and Chambers, Lee, Russell, and Randolph counties in Alabama. Why is this so fascinating and important? My maternal Great-Grandmother is Anna Lue Barrow-Heath, daughter of John Erwin "Jack/Pete" Barrow, Sr. and Annie Elizabeth (Hunter) Nelloms-Barrow. Anna's paternal great-grandmother was Rena Rose Wright-Barrow (as of February 2016, I'm running to ground a Sampson family connection). And there we have a full circle of common family names associated with white planters from Georgia settling in Lee, Russell, Chambers, and Randolph counties in Alabama and Troup County, Georgia. But not only is there the possible link to my great-grandparents, the link among the Hubert, Heath, Barrow, Wright, Searcy, Hugeley/Hughley, Sibley, and Chappell families extends over into Texas immensely with ties back to the Alabama, Georgia and ultimately back to North and South Carolina as well. There are many towns within Texas that are the same name and affiliated with the same families from Alabama.
William Barrow and his wife, Rebecca Heath-Barrow, were married in Warren County, Georgia and relocated to Putnam County, Georgia and ultimately migrated over to Chambers County, Alabama. This is a huge piece of information in the Barrow and Heath family as Granddaddy Mitchell's Ancestors were Heath slaves of Abraham Heath (Rebecca's Uncle) and Richard Heath (Rebecca's father). While my Granny Anna Lue's Ancestors were slaves of the Barrow family which is directly tied back to the Barrow families of Halifax County and Edgecombe County in North Carolina. In addtion to the North Carolina connection of the Barrow family, we also can clearly see the connections of the white families from state to state which began in the Surry and Sussex County areas of Virginia, down to through North Carolina, then to Georgia, over into Alabama, and then onto Louisianna and Texas. This is another proven fact that the white families and the black families have been tied together for centuries. Good or bad, our stories are the woven fabric of our nation.
More To Unravel: Family Connections Worth Exploring
As time passes, I will add more to this ancestry research pertaining to the Ivey, Barksdale, Battle, Dickson, and Chappell families as well as the Lynn, Harrel, Ruff, and Felts/Phelps families. The Ruff family was recorded in the 1850 Census as free blacks beginning with Julia Ruff and her children. Lucretia "Cretia" Ruff is a prominent planter with wealth and documented in the 1850 and 1860 Census' as well with all her many children with some marrying into the Barksdale, Heath, Battle, Ivey, and Hubert families in later generations. The Harrell families were intertwined with the Heath, Bacon, Norflett/Norfleet, and Ivey families in Warren County and surrounding counties. What is interesting about the black Harrell families is that there are several which seem to connect to the Heath, Ivey, Bacon, Hubert, Barksdale, Norflett/Norfleet, Brinkley, and Dickson families which all seem to lead back to the white families and possible marriage connections of the Slave Owners.
Another interesting twist to the many family puzzles is the Dickson families of Talbot and Taylor counties in east Georgia and Warren and Hancock counties in West Georgia and there subsequent connection to Texas as well. Many of the descendants of the Dickson family are using both spellings of Dickson and Dixon today. In addition to the variation in spelling, there is also Dickerson which is primarily in Texas. The Texas Dickerson family can be traced to one Tillman Heath Dickerson, who was a Heath slave descandant willed to John Heath in the 1807 will of Abraham Heath (husband of Winnifred Cotton-Heath)*. Tillman migrated with Benjamin Heath's (son of Abraham and Winnifred) family to Monroe County, Georgia and ultimately to Texas where he is found under the assumed name as Tillman Dickerson. There is indeed a great story to be told, a great genelogical mystery to unravel.
In addition to this story of family relationships, we will expand more on the Lynn family connection as they definitely tie back to the Heath and Hubert families in many ways to also include the Flewellyn/Fluellen and Dozier families. Although I have not fully explored the Dickson and Lynn families respectively, the family lines are becoming more and more clear and yet more and more intertwined with one another. The white Lynn family and their migratory patterns and marriages into the families listed in the first paragraph continues to open up new doors of information as to how some Slave Ancestors were Heath, Hubert, Ivey, and Dickson slaves throughout various time periods during their lifespan. It should also be noted that many Slave Ancestors were skilled workers which was used to benefit building of towns and communities as well as used as leverage between families during and after slavery.
Stay tuned as the Ancestors are leading the way and I am following their path in which they are lighting!! I am grateful for the Ancestors, grateful for this incredible journey, and grateful to share our rich legacy!
Originally Shared via my Ancestry.com Family Tree
September 2014 (Original), October 23, 2014 (Update), March 3, 2015 (Update), April 14, 2016 (Update)