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i am an african american descendant of walton co. ga My maternal Great Great Grandmother was a slave by the name of Harriett born about 1830? It has been passed that her slavemaster was irish and had a plantation in morgan co ga My Great Grandfather's name was Tyler Martin raised in Walton Co.GA Any help in this matter will be appreciated.

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Hi Stella!

You should definitely visit the Georgia Roots Diggers Group ( I know there are other queries for Walton Co. already.

Just find the "Walton County" Discussion & enter your Surnames & family details. This way, researchers interested in Walton Co. can find your information easily.

Good luck,

Hi Stella,

We're here to help you, for sure!

First, try not to skip around.
Work your way back one generation at a time. Research your parents and their siblings, cousins, and closest friends.
Do the same for your grandparents, and so on. You may be surprised at what you find. Someone just might have the answers to your questions.

I was asking my Uncle about the family history; pumping him with questions, big time. Finally, he tells me that I have some cousins in South Carolina who might be able to help me.

WHAT?!? I'm 52 years old and hearing about these cousins for the first time!

Moral: I could have easily skipped over my Uncle and never learned the name of my Mother's Grandmother. Go back in time generation by generation.

Hope this helps

"Guided by the Ancestors"
If you are a beginner, then George's advice is right on target! First step conduct your oral history. Find the elders in the family and sit down and talk to them. For a list of good questions to ask your elders we have some oral history questions for you on the AfriGeneas beginners guide.( Then with the data that you have, you will be ready to go to get records.

For assistance, check out Tony Burroughs book Black Roots, and Emily Croom's book Unpuzzling Your Past. There is a very good version of Croom's book for African American researchers as well. You won't go looking for slave records if you are just starting out. But of course if you are well into the process then you will be at the stage of identifying a slave owner. But that is after you have documented the family through the census from 1930 working your way back to 1870.

Hope this helps. Take care.
The Beginner's Guide on Afrigeneas is an awesome resource. Another published resource that is a step-by-step with case studies is A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors by Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Anne Croom, ISBN # 978-0-8063-1788-5. It really examines different record types in detail, and what information they are likely to contain. --- toni

My great grand children are decendants of Slaves owned by the McGarity's of Gonzales & Guadalupe Counties, Texas. I know I found a review of one of Smith and Croom's books showing the McGarity Case Study. But I cannot remember which book. I feel like a "cheater" for trying to find the Case Study, instead of finding the primary documentation myself... I have been researching my pre-Colonial family and Lithuanian Lines for over 30 years. Beginning another Family Line that is already documented is somewhat intimidating, especially with the amount of research that is involved with Slaveowners/holders and Slaves. If someone can help me with the name of the book... I would be ever so grateful. Kristina San Antonio, Texas

Stella, seems as if you have a good start. You have worked your way back to 1870. By 1870 Harreit (spelling in the 1870 census)would be about 35-40. The 1870 Walton Co. GA census show a Harreit 39 with children India 20, Tyler 17, Mary 12 and Isabella 4. Families lived close to each other during that time period so there is likely another older child or relative, her sister or brother so look carefully at the names listed nearby on the same census.

Your family history states that the plantation she was from was in Morgan Co. GA. You will have to work two family trees at this time one for your family and one for the possible owner family. We do have to do extra work, but it is ok the end justifies the means. I found several Harreit Martin of GA in the Freeman Bank Records. Since I am not formiliar with the family or the cities in Walton co or counties around Walton you might know which one relates to you.

Find and research the Walton County early history that includes old families in the area. If the slaveowner was irish it will be listed in his family bio. Search the obvious first in the 1860 census and the slave census the name martin. You will have to eliminate that name first before moving on. You have a lot more then you think.
When I asked my Mother & my Aunt Sarah, the last two living Martins, about whether Great Granddad Tyler Martin had any silblings, they don't remember if he did have any. But I will look into the 1860 census of Walton Co GA & see if I can come up with any anthing further. Thank u for your suggestions.
Go to LDS Family Search Labs It is a free site and type in Harriett Martin Georgia, united states. It came up with the 1870 census and freeman bank information that I gave. But as i said before you know the abt birthdate of Tyler. You just have to figure out why and who they came with to another county either before or after slavery ended. Don't give up on the ladies(Mother and Aunt Sarah) you just have to say something that will click the memory.
Forgive me if you already have this information but you should try, the census records there have helped me piece together who lived around my family, where it was etc. I then used this information and put the owners name in the internet with my relatives names and then "negroes" or "slaves". Through this I have found 4 cousins and they had more information on me than their own section! Good Luck!

Hi Stella

   I don't know if this will be helpful or not but on Facebook there is a group called Ancestorville, they have chats and boards available.   There is a guy there that runs a chat and the Walton Co GA Expert his name is Joe.  I hope that this is helpful. 

Best Wishes




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