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An Invitation for Descendants of Plantation Owners and Descendants of Slaves to Collaborate to Rediscover Lowcountry African American Heritage

Genealogical Research in the Lowcountry - Descendants of Plantation Owners and Descendants of Slaves Collaborate to Rediscover Lowcountry African American Heritage

For the past two years, descendants of the slaveholding Drayton family and descendants of families formerly enslaved on Drayton family plantations have worked side-by-side to rediscover the genealogy of African American families on Drayton family plantations. The full research results will be posted on Lowcountry Africana in the near future (we are compiling now). You may follow our blog to view research updates:

With this forum, we would like to broaden that scope to begin collaborative research between descendants of all Lowcountry slaveholding families and all Lowcountry African American families.

Did your family own plantations and hold slaves? Would you like to share documents which name the enslaved or free families who worked on your family's plantations? Please do join this research and share documents and information, photos...

Are you a descendant of enslaved or free African Americans in the Lowcountry? Please join the research effort and share your family history, photos, life experiences...

GenealogyWise gives us an enormous opportunity to use the reach of the Internet to begin a large-scale collaborative research project to rediscover family heritage in the Lowcountry! We hope you will join this research effort!

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I just joined and am very new at this Africana. Are there any such groups doing same research in Alabama area?
Hi Cheryl,
There are indeed! You can visit the Alabama Roots Diggers group here on GenealogyWise, they are doing some awesome work.
Thank you so much for responding and contributing, it is wonderful to hear from you!

My father's family extends from SC to GA. I do know that an ancestor (not certain if direct or an uncle/cousin yet) named Samuel Flynt of Metter, GA owned slaves he acquired for his role in the Revolutionary War. I'm currently trying to work on the Brown/Shuler side of the family (Berkeley County, SC) as that has been a brick wall for me. I'm finding more Browns of African American descent than I am of European, so I am wondering if there is a connection.

Another book that deals with modern research and discussion across these lines is Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball. I did find a Flynt married to a Ball.
Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Our Africana Heritage website has quite a few Berkeley County, SC records that might be helpful for tracing your Brown and Shuler lines.

I see the we have a Freedmen's Labor contract between Mrs.Sarah E. Brown with Freedmen in Goose Creek, and several between James C. Brown and Freedmen in Berkeley County:

There are also two labor contracts between J.C. Shuler of Goose Creek with Freedmen here:

Here is a link to our document database where you can search for more records:

Thanks again for joining the discussion and please continue to participate!

Toni :0)
Very interesting. Are your Freedmen Dawes Rolls Freedmen? (Cherokee connected...we have Cherokee in our line also). I will take a look at the links.
Hope this helps as another stepping stone along the way ;)
Hi Michael,
Thank you so much for posting these resources!


I recently discovered that my great grandmother, Elsie Simpson, was probably mulatto. She was born in 1862 and had three children with Luther B Dickerson in Nicholasville, Jessamine County, KY. The children were born between 1888 and 1892. The Dickerson's owned slaves, I'm not sure when, but their house has slave quarters. I have her death certificate which lists her father as, "Unknown Simpson, born in Scotland". Her mother is listed as, "Unknown, born in USA".
I have been searching for several years and cannot find her or the children in any census before 1920. No births, no baptisms, no marriage records.
I have found a lot of Simpsons. but no Elsie born around 1862. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Update - 9/10/2017

I have found Elsie - she is not mulatto.

However, I have had no luck finding any documentation of my grandmother and her two brothers.

No birth certificates, baptism records....

I will keep searching.

I'm just beginning. I know that my family has a Kay-Mattison connection originating in Andersen South Carolina. My great grandfather was Jerry I. Kay (b. mid 1800's). He married a Mattison and had 11 children. When she passed he married Leela Smith and had one child, Columbus Kay. Jerry I. Kay relocated to Conway Ark. I don't know his mother, father or siblings' names.
Hi Vicki,
Thank you for posting here. I hope it opens new research avenues!

I've discovered that my ancestor Abner Averitt from Early Co GA had a number of slaves on the 1860 census. And I believe William Harrison Fitzgerald from Pittsylvania Co, VA was a slave owner as well. I don't know much more than this other than information on the census records on William's daughter Elizabeth (Bettie) Calland Fitzgerald married Charles Carrollton Carroll who was a confederate in the Civil War.



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