Benjamin Dicken was my 6th great grandfather. His granddaughter, Martha "Patsey" Dicken married Thomas Bembry. I have had a dickens of a time researching this family for the past couple of weeks! The first problem was that the Dicken family (they were apparently literate, and consistently spelled it with no "s") properties straddled Fishing Creek, … Continue reading Will of Benjamin Dicken I, 1790
Catharine Walton Harris was the wife of Nathan Harris I, and my 7th great-grandmother. She outlived her husband by nearly 20 years, to about age 90. Like him, she took a very personal interest in her estate, and like him, she had no compunction about selling her "negroes," including several children. But, interestingly, she made … Continue reading Will of Catharine Walton Harris, 1810
Nathan Harris I was my 7th great-grandfather. He was born about 1712 and died about 1793 in Greensville County, Virginia. Like his son, Nathan II, he was very specific in his wishes. The will does not list all of his children: he had three additional children that have been documented in various sources, for a … Continue reading Will of Nathan Harris I, 1793
I've recently uncovered several wills relating to the Harris family, Thomas Bembry's in-laws. They seem to have been a pretty hard-nosed lot, being very specific about property in their wills and selling enslaved people without thinking twice about it. I had known for some time that the second Nathan Harris' will had resulted in a … Continue reading Will of Nathan Harris II, 1809
My DNA profile is mostly predictable. I am 99 percent European. But there were two little surprises in the mix. According to 23andMe, I have .06 percent South Asian (India, Pakistan, etc.) DNA, and .04 percent West African DNA. My parents recently tested as well, offering a great opportunity to sort out what came from … Continue reading The Other One Percent
Thinking about all the women who came before us on international women's day.