During research of African American Ancestors, sometimes we come up against all kinds of brick walls, because our ancestors were property and were not enumerated until 1870.
One of my easiest lines to research after 1870 was the ROBERTSONS. Only because the family literally stayed in the same area in Webster Parish, LA. I was able to find to all the sisters, sisters children, sisters children-children, etc…(still no info on Henry or Thomas), but the other ROBERTSON boy Corneilus, stayed in the area and Mandy was living with him in 1910. She was living alone by 1920.
Makes for such easy research, but at some point we do have to go back further and it can be difficult at times(I will say 85% of the time).
I previously wrote a post on Edmund W HODGES as being a possible owner of my ancestors, boy was I so wrong. Although he was a neighbor to Ben and Mandy, thats all he was. Could not find anything further.
The real problem was that I was thinking that the HODGES owned Ben not Mandy. One day on one of my long trips home from work, I thought lets look at the research that way and see what happens. So my research began.
First I revisited my notes and emails between myself and LCAfricana. We both were able to see that the HODGES name was all over Bossier Parish as slave owners during the 1950s and 1960s (I believe this family were the biggest slaveowners and witnessed a lot of Bill of Sales) in the area.
I concentrated more on the 1860s since Mandy was born abt 1850(GA). There were 4 HODGES slaveowners in Bossier Parish in 1860:
John L HODGES owned 129 slaves
John C HODGES owned 9 slaves
E W HODGES owned 50 slaves
E W HODGES JR and his partner D P BECK together owned 15 slaves.
E W HODGES did not come to the area until 1858 (source: thunder88 public tree on Ancestry.com named Edmund Kennedy HODGES), so those two HODGES were eliminated from my list. That left John L and J C HODGES, which J C only owned 9 slaves and none of their ages matched with Mandy. That leaves JOHN LITTLE HODGES!
John L HODGES was born September 1, 1803 and died March 24, 1866 in Haughton, Bossier Parish, LA.
Father was: Edmund K HODGES: 1765-1843
Mother: Patience HODGES: 1763-1835
John L was brother of Mathew and Robert HODGES. Mathew was father to E W and grandfather to E W Jr., which were neighbors to the ROBERTSONS in 1870.
What really caught my attention was that John was married to a Mary Bryan Hamilton HODGES and Bryan was Mandy’s maiden name.
There were 3 Bryan slaveowners in 1860:
J N Bryan owned 55 slaves
J J Bryan owned 79 slaves
J D Bryan owned 23 slaves
They all were neighbors to John L HODGES in 1860.
I remembered seeing some notes that I had written up on the HODGES from NO LAND…, ONLY SLAVES!! (by: Edith Smith & Vivan Lehman), they were as follows:
Book 4 page 455 18 Dec 1858/21 Dec 1858 nr Hodges, Edmund W to Hodges, John L abt 9 or 10 slaves, $6,900.00 witnessed by Hodges, John L Jr., and Hodges, John C, and Hodges Nat
Book 2 page 255 nr 25 Apr 1851/5 Dec 1851 Bryan, Joseph D to Hodges, Robert and Hodges John. Bill of Sale for 45 slaves, $23,000.00 one named ELIZA(Mandy was listed on 1870 census with this name).
There you have it, I believe JOHN LITTLE HODGES was my true ancestor owner of Mandy not Ben. Oh Yeah!, John was also neighbors in 1860 to: Lewis Monzingo and John F Applewhite. These names will only make since to LCAfricana. Thanks so much Toni. I really appreciate all of your time and support and truly letting me figure this out on my own. I DID IT!! Will be sending the book and my notes soon.
There also was an M C ROBERTSON that was a slaveowner in Bossier Parish, LA in 1860(New research project).
Now that I have all this information: WHATS NEXT?