One of the items on display at the Tennessee State Museum exhibit Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation will be a family tree of an enslaved family. The tree spans eleven generations from 1760 to 2012 and includes more than 1,000 direct descendants. In 1814, Wessyngton’s founder Joseph Washington (1770-1848) purchased six slaves from James Thompson: Tom born 1783, his wife Jenny born 1785, their four children Frank born 1806, Hannah born 1808, Sarah born 1810 and Henny born 1814. This was the first nuclear family Washington purchased. Washington later purchased Jenny’s mother, also named Jenny, born in 1760. By the Civil War, this was one of the largest families on Wessyngton Plantation. Many of their descendants still remain in the area. Hundreds of other descendants are spread throughout the United States.
Posts Tagged ‘family tree’
African American Family Tree on Display at Tennessee State Museum Exhibit Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton PlantationSaturday, January 4th, 2014
On August 13th the Terry family will celebrate their bi-annual family reunion in Springfield, Tennessee. The reunion festivities will include a tour of Wessyngton Plantation. Hundreds of descendants across the country will attend the reunion. The Terry family is one of the largest families from Wessyngton with over 1,000 descendants, spanning eleven generations from their first ancestors, Dick Terry and Aggie Washington Terry.
The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation reviewed in Nashville City Paper by Todd Dills. Click here to see review.
I just returned from a very exciting event—The first International Black Genealogy Summit held in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on October 29-31, 2009. Several hundred people participated. Throughout the conference I shared my research experience with genealogists. It was wonderful to speak with many people who had already read my book. The give and take of ideas illustrates that we are just at the beginning of a long and interesting journey to learn about our roots.
At the Meet the Authors event everyone could talk to the authors of books related to African American genealogy. The authors posed together for this photo. (L-R) Tony Burroughs who wrote Black Roots: A Beginners Guide To Tracing the African American Family Tree; myself; Tim Pinnick, author of Finding and Using African American Newspapers; and (Seated) Frazine Taylor, with her book Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama.
My presentation at the Missouri History Museum was followed by a book signing, which was well attended. I enjoyed meeting the members of the St. Louis African American History and Genealogy Society who sponsored the event.
On May 23rd I gave a presentation about my book The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom to the St. Louis African American History and Genealogy Society at the Missouri History Museum. I made many new friends among avid genealogical researchers. I had a great time in St. Louis and look forward to visiting again.
One of the most exciting things about genealogical research is meeting new family members. In conducting research for more than thirty years I’ve found hundreds of relatives. I created this tree which spans ten generations and includes more than 600 names of descendants from my great-great-grandparents Emanuel and Henny Washington. I have genealogical information on all the families that came from Wessyngton including: Washington, Blow, Gardner, Terry, White, Williams, Lewis, Scott, Green and many others.
In 2008 the Gardners celebrated their 75th annual family reunion. As part of the reunion festivities I led them on a tour of Wessyngton Plantation. The tour included the Wessyngton mansion, Washington family cemetery, slave cemetery and a restored slave cabin. The Gardner earliest ancestors, Aaron Gardner, his wife Betty and their three sons, Daniel, George and Jackson came to Wessyngton in the late 1830s. There are more African Americans in Robertson County, Tennessee with the Gardner surname than any other family.
My half-hour television interview with John Seigenthaler Sr, A Word on Words, is available as a free downloadable Podcast.
Mr. Seigenthaler asked me many in-depth thought-provoking questions. At the end, he said, “I learned more from your book than I learned from reading my friend Alex Haley’s book called Roots.” I hope you enjoy the interview. Leave a comment with your reaction.
On March 31st I was honored to have Tuwanda Coleman interview me for the Plus Side of Nashville about the release of my book The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom. I really enjoyed being on the show. Mrs. Coleman asked how my research started more than thirty years ago, how I got a book deal with Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster and my future plans.