Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Slave Narrative of Catherine Slim

Interviewer: Bishop & Isleman Person Interviewed: Catherine Slim Location: Steubenville, Ohio Place of Birth: Rockingham, Virginia Age: 87 Place of Residence: 939 N. 6th St., Steubenville, Ohio WPA in Ohio Federal Writers’ Project Bishop & Isleman Jun 9, 1937 Topic: Ex-Slaves Jefferson County, District #2 MRS. CATHERINE SLIM Ex-slave, 87 years, 939 N. 6th St., Steubenville I wuz born in Rockingham, Virginny; a beautiful place where I cum from. My age is en de courthouse, Harrisonburg, Virginny. I dunno de date of my birth, our massa’s wouldn’t tell us our age. My mother’s name wuz Sally. She wuz a colored woman and she died when I wuz a little infant. I don’t remember her. She had four chillun by my father who wuz a white man. His name wuz Jack Rose. He made caskets for de dead people. My mother had six chillun altogether. De name of de four by my father wuz, Frances de oldest sister, Sarah wuz next, den Mary. I am de baby, all three are dead cept me. I am very last one livin’. I had two half-brudders, dey were slaves too, John and Berwin. Berwin wuz drowned in W. Va. He wuz bound out to Hamsburger and drowned just after he got free. Dey did not sold infant slaves. Den dey bound out by de court. John got free and went to Liberia and died after he got there. He wuz my oldest brudder. I wuz bound out by de court to Marse Barley and Miss Sally. I had to git up fore daylight and look at de clock wid de candle. I held...

Slave Narrative of John W. Matheus

Interviewer: Bishop & Isleman Person Interviewed: John Williams Matheus Location: Steubenville, Ohio Age: 77 Place of Residence: 203 Dock Street WPA in Ohio Federal Writers’ Project Bishop & Isleman Reporter: Bishop (Revision) July 8, 1937 Topic: Ex-Slaves Jefferson County, District #5 JOHN WILLIAMS MATHEUS Ex-Slave, 77 years “My mothers name was Martha. She died when I was eleven months old. My mother was owned by Racer Blue and his wife Scotty. When I was bout eleven or twelve they put me out with Michael Blue and his wife Mary. Michael Blue was a brother to Racer Blue. Racer Blue died when I was three or four. I have a faint rememberance of him dying suddenly one night and see him laying out. He was the first dead person I saw and it seemed funny to me to see him laying there so stiff and still.” “I remember the Yankee Soldier, a string of them on horses, coming through Springfield, W. Va. It was like a circus parade. What made me remember that, was a colored man standing near me who had a new hat on his head. A soldier came by and saw the hat and he took it off the colored man’s head, and put his old dirty one on the colored man’s head and put the nice new one on his own head.” “I think Abraham Lincoln the greatest man that ever lived. He belonged to no church; but he sure was Christian. I think he was born for the time and if he lived longer he would have done lots of good for the colored people.”...

Slave Narrative of Reverend Williams

Interviewer: Miriam Logan Person Interviewed: Rev. Williams Location: Lebanon, Ohio Place of Birth: Greenbriar County, West Virginia Date of Birth: 1859 Age: 76 Occupation: Methodist minister Miriam Logan Lebanon, Ohio July 8th Warren County, District 2 Story of REVEREND WILLIAMS, Aged 76, Colored Methodist Minister, Born Greenbriar County, West Virginia (Born 1859) “I was born on the estate of Miss Frances Cree, my mother’s mistress. She had set my grandmother Delilah free with her sixteen children, so my mother was free when I was born, but my father was not. “My father was butler to General Davis, nephew of Jefferson Davis. General Davis was wounded in the Civil War and came home to die. My father, Allen Williams was not free until the Emancipation.” “Grandmother Delilah belonged to Dr. Cree. Upon his death and the division of his estate, his maiden daughter came into possession of my grandmother, you understand. Miss Frances nor her brother Mr. Cam. ever married. Miss Frances was very religious, a Methodist, and she believed Grandmother Delilah should be free, and that we colored children should have schooling.” “Yes ma’m, we colored people had a church down there in West Virginia, and grandmother Delilah had a family Bible of her own. She had fourteen boys and two girls. My mother had sixteen children, two boys, fourteen girls. Of them-mother’s children, you understand, there were seven teachers and two ministers; all were educated-thanks to Miss Frances and to Miss Sands of Gallipolice. Mother lived to be ninety-seven years old. No, she was not a cook.” “In the south, you understand-there is the COLORED M.E. CHURCH, and...

Slave Narrative of Nan Stewart

Interviewer: Sarah Probst Person Interviewed: Nan Stewart Location: Ohio Place of Birth: Charleston, West Virginia Date of Birth: February 1850 Age: 87 Sarah Probst, Reporter Audrey Meighen, Author-Editor Jun 9, 1937 Folklore Meigs County, District Three [HW: Middeport] “I’se bawned Charl’stun, West Virginia in February 1850.” “My mammy’s name? Hur name wuz Kath’run Paine an’ she wuz bawned down Jackson County, Virginia. My pappy wuz John James, a coopah an’ he wuz bawned at Rock Creek, West Virginia. He cum’d ovah heah with Lightburn’s Retreat. Dey all crossed de ribah at Buffington Island. Yes, I had two bruthahs and three sistahs. Deir wuz Jim, Thomas, he refugeed from Charl’stun to Pum’roy and it tuk him fo’ months, den de wuz sistah Adah, Carrie an’ Ella. When I rite young I wurked as hous’ maid fo’ numbah quality white folks an’ latah on I wuz nurs’ fo’ de chilluns in sum homes, heah abouts.” “Oh, de slaves quartahs, dey wuz undah de sam’ ruf with Marse Hunt’s big hous’ but in de back. When I’se littl’ I sleeped in a trun’l bed. My mammy wuz mighty ‘ticlar an’ clean, why she made us chilluns wash ouah feets ebry night fo’ we git into de bed.” “When Marse Hunt muved up to Charl’stun, my mammy and pappy liv’ in log cabin.” “My gran’ mammy, duz I ‘member hur? Honey chile, I shure duz. She wuz my pappy’s mammy. She wuz one hun’erd and fo’ yeahs ol’ when she die rite in hur cheer. Dat mawhin’ she eat a big hearty brekfast. One day I ‘member she sezs to Marse Hunt, ‘I...

Slave Narrative of Sarah Woods Burke

Interviewer: James Immel Person Interviewed: Sarah Woods Burke Location: Washington County, Ohio Place of Birth: Grayson County, West Virginia Age: 85 “Yessir, I guess you all would call me an ex-slave cause I was born in Grayson County, West Virginia and on a plantation I lived for quite a spell, that is until when I was seven years old when we all moved up here to Washington county.” “My Pappy’s old Mammy was supposed to have been sold into slavery when my Pappy was one month old and some poor white people took him ter raise. We worked for them until he was a growed up man, also ’til they give him his free papers and ‘lowed him to leave the plantation and come up here to the North.” “How did we live on the plantation? Well you see it was like this we lived in a log cabin with the ground for floors and the beds were built against the walls jus’ like bunks. I ‘member that the slaves had a hard time getting food, most times they got just what was left over or whatever the slaveholder wanted to give them so at night they would slip outa their cabins on to the plantation and kill a pig, a sheep or some cattle which they would butcher in the woods and cut up. The wimmin folks would carry the pieces back to the cabins in their aprons while the men would stay behind and bury the head, skin and feet.” “Whenever they killed a pig they would have to skin it, because they didn’t dare to build...

Slave Narrative of James Campbell

Interviewer: Hallie Miller Person Interviewed: James Campbell Location: Gallipolis, Ohio Place of Birth: Monroe County WV Date of Birth: January 15, 1852 “Well, I’se bo’n Monro’ County, West Virginia, on January 15, 1852, jes’ few miles from Union, West Virginia.” “My mammy wuz Dinnah Alexander Campbell an’ my pappy wuz Levi Campbell an’ dey bof cum frum Monro’ County. Dat’s ’bout only place I heerd dem speak ’bout.” “Der wuz Levi, Floyd, Henry, Noah, an’ Nancy, jes’ my haf brudders an’ sistahs, but I neber knowed no diffrunce but whut dey wuz my sistahs an’ brudders.” “Where we liv? On Marsa John Alexander’s farm, he wuz a good Marsa too. All Marsa John want wuz plenty wurk dun and we dun it too, so der wuz no trubble on ouah plantashun. I neber reclec’ anyone gittin’ whipped or bad treatment frum him. I does ‘members, dat sum de neighbers say dey wuz treated prutty mean, but I don’t ‘member much ’bout it ‘caise I’se leetle den.” “Wher’d I sleep? I neber fergit dat trun’l bed, dat I sleep in. “Marsa John’s place kinda stock farm an’ I dun de milkin’. You all know dat wuz easy like so I jes’ keep busy milkin’ an’ gits out de hard work. Nudder thing I lik to do wuz pick berries, dat wuz easy too, so I dun my shar’ pickin’.” “Money? Lawsy chile, I neber dun seen eny money ’til aftah I dun cum to Gallipolis aftah der war. An’ how I lik’ to heah it jingle, if I jes’ had two cents, I’d make it jingle.” “We all had plenty...

Genealogy of Ezekiel French

6 EZEKIEL FRENCH (Aaron1), b. June 17, 1775, Essex Co., New Jersey; d. Jan. 1, 1861, Miami Co., Ohio; m. (1st) Mar. 4, 1795, Phebe Bates (b. Jan. 18, 1775; d. Sep. 4, 1843), dau. of Ephraim Bates; m. (2nd) Jan. 16, 1845, Martha Jones (b. Mar. 21, 1773; d.) ; m. (3rd) Elizabeth (b. May, 1777, in N. J.; d. Feb., 1860, Miami Co., O.), widow of Enoch Sutton. Ezekiel French a moved from Pennsylvania to West Virginia, 1798, and to Miami Co., Ohio, 1811. Children of first marriage (none of second or third): 47 ISAAC FRENCH, b. Feb. 28, 1796, Amity, Pa.; d. Aug. 1850, Miami Co., O.; m. 1817, Wheeling (W.) Va., Elizabeth Ryan (b. 1800, in Pa.; d. 1852, Piqua, O.). Ten ch. were b. to them, most of whom d. young; their dau. MARY ANN FRENCH (b. July 20, 1821, now living, Sidney, O., in 90th yr.), m. Jan. 28, 1840, Alexander Clark (b. Feb. 20, 1818, near Cincinnati, O.), s. of James Clark, and had ch.: James Ezekiel (d. m.), Thomas Creighton (d.), Isaac Alexander (m.), and Laura Bell (m. Daniel Zelith Clark). 48 EPHRAIM FRENCH, b. Aug. 30, 1798; d. same year. 49 ELIZABETH FRENCH, b. Feb. 23, 1800; d. young. 50 MARY FRENCH, b. Feb. 23, 1801; d. 1838, unmarried. 51 ASA FRENCH, b. Mar. 29, 1803; d. Feb. 26, 1844, Mt. Pulaski, Ill.; m. Mar. 10, 1825, Piqua, O., Hannah Clark (b. Nov. 25, 1805, in Ky.; d. Oct. 23, 1866), dau. of John Clark and Nancy Isgrig, his w. Ch.: NANCY, d. m. PHEBE JANE, d. m. DANIEL ISGRIG,...

Biography of Robert Fulton Ellison, M. D.

Coming from Virginian ancestry, of English lineage and imbued with the spirit of western enterprise and progress, Dr. Robert Fulton Ellison has won a prominent place in professional circles of St. Louis and made a most creditable record in connection with his service in the World war. Born in Douglas, West Virginia, on the 26th of October, 1889, he is a son of William Madison Ellison, who is also a native of that state and comes of English ancestry. The family was founded in America by James B. Ellison, who in early colonial days settled in Virginia. An ancestor of Dr. Ellison in the maternal line participated in the Revolutionary war. His father, William Madison Ellison, was in early life an educator and taught in leading universities of West Virginia, while subsequently he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, ground up and from every conceivable angle. One of the local papers, commenting upon his career, said: “Naturally, therefore, when the chance came for him to secure control of this business, he was fully equipped to handle every detail and to win success. Back of this experience he had the benefit of the traditions of the old house of William O. Langan, established at Tenth and Morgan streets, away back in 1879. That store was the foundation of the splendid business at Eighteenth and Washington today. Mr. Langan is a firm believer in advertising and in clever slogans. Three of his best known slogans are: `Our Location Means a Saving to You,’ ‘See Us if You Wish to Save Money,’ ‘Out of the High Rent District.’ This is the way...

Biography of Edwin R. Christman

Edwin R. Christman, secretary of the Silurian Oil Company of St. Louis, was born September 6, 1887, in Wheeling, West Virginia, a son of Edwin A. Christman, a native of Tennessee and a representative of one of the old Pennsylvania families of Dutch descent and also of early American Quaker ancestry living in Pennsylvania. Edwin Christman was united in marriage to Margaret Cahill, a native of Tennessee and of Irish lineage. They have become the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters. Edwin R. Christman, the second in order of birth, was educated in the public schools of Washington, Pennsylvania, and completed a high school course there. His first employment was in the tin plate business, as a representative of the McClure Company at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was employed in a clerical capacity and when eighteen years of age began to earn his own livelihood, altogether continuing with the McClure Company for three years. He next became associated with the Silurian Oil Company at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, accepting the position of clerk in 1908, while in 1910 he was advanced to office manager and made secretary of the St. Louis office. This position he has since filled and the success of the enterprise in the middle Mississippi valley is attributable in large measure to his efforts, his enterprise, his thorough understanding of the business and his fidelity to the interests which he represents. He is also the secretary of the W. C. McBride Company, Inc., of St. Louis. In the Silurian Oil Company he is connected with J. R. McCune, who is the president and treasurer of the...

Biography of George Ewing

George Ewing, commonly called during his residence in the county Lieut. Ewing, was, it is believed, the first white settler within the bounds of what is now Ames township. A native of Salem, New Jersey, he entered the continental army at the beginning of the revolutionary war, and served with credit during its whole course. For his bravery and good conduct he received, soon after entering the service, a commission as first lieutenant of the Jersey Line, which position he held till the return of peace. Shortly after the conclusion of the war he emigrated to what is now Ohio county, West Virginia, which then constituted the very frontier of civilization, and was, with the surrounding region, the scene of many a bloody conflict between the “LongKnives” and the red men. After a few years’ residence here he removed with his wife and young family, in 1793, to the Waterford settlement, on the Muskingum river, where he passed a year or two in the block house, until the danger from Indian attacks, then imminent, had passed. In the spring of 1798, Lieutenant Ewing, encouraged and assisted by Judge Cutler, removed his family to a place seventeen miles northwest of the frontier settlements, in what is now Ames township, and became the pioneer of that section of country. He settled on what is now known as the Thomas Gardiner farm. During the period of his residence here he was an active supporter of schools and every means of developing and improving the community. He was chosen township trustee at the first election, in 1802, and in after years filled that...
Page 5 of 2012345678910...20...Last »

Pin It on Pinterest