Daughter of the American Revolution & Slave

If you followed the two sides of my family tree up, up, up to about 160 years ago, here's what you'd find:

On one side, the women were Daughters of the American Revolution. My mother's family - the Coxes - can trace itself back all the way to Bishop Richard Cox of Ely Cathedral in England in the 1500s. After a stop in Ireland in the 1600s, ye olde ancestors finally made it to Virginia in the 1700s. My mother's dad, Granpa Charlie as we knew him, was a Son of the American Revolution. I guess it's not surprising that he temporarily cut my mom off when she married a Black guy. What would the Bishop say?!

On the other side, we've got Billy, the slave. Billy escaped. I don't say he ran away because that sounds cowardly and condemn-able. He escaped, which seems like the smart thing to do when conditions are a lifetime of "12 Years a Slave." Anyway, Billy made his way to Canada, married a nice French-Canadian girl and started a family line where twins and freckles pop up every other generation. Blame Canada.

Many, many generations later, the Bishop and Billy met, in the form of my parents, Sarah and Spencer.
Bishop Cox rocks 16th-century shoulder pads

My great-grandfather, grandfather and dad (the baby) on the family farm

So what do you get when you combine a could-be Daughter of the American Revolution and a coulda-been-a slave?

Me in Morocco

1 comment:

  1. Billie Lewis wasn't an escape slave. And he didn't go to Canada. He was the offspring of a slave woman and a white plantation owner in Mississippi, and was made a house servant. He remained in Mississippi and eventually had a son named Tobias. Tobias and his wife, Beulah, had two sons: Henderson and Alonzo. When their boys were young, they moved the family from Mississippi to Michigan, where Tobias worked on the railroad.

    During the same time period: In Windsor, Canada, a Dutch-Canadian (Caucasian) woman and a Black Canadian fur trapper with the last name of Carmichael started their family. They had fraternal twins, Mary and George. Mary married a man with the last name of Smith and they had a son named Guy Smith. Guy married a fraternal twin named Jessie (ne Green). Jessie and Guy had one child, Wanda. It is from the Smith family line that we have fraternal twins and freckled skin.

    Alonzo and Wanda married, having five children who are our fathers, aunt, and uncles. That is our heritage.