Roots – Back in 1805

I have been doing some research into my family’s family tree, and I have made it back in time 200+ years! I am back in 1805, and the White people in my family tree are starting to pop up. They’re popping up in both the South (North Carolina: father’s side) and the Caribbean (Barbados: mother’s side). Now it’s getting hard to identify individuals, because White slave masters didn’t claim their progeny by black women, and in the Census the children, even the mulattos, are identified as the children of the Negro husband (“relationship to head of household) and Negro wife — now tell me how that’s possible! One striking thing I encountered is the number of children women had. I’m seeing as many as 14, 10 surviving.

One thing you can say for the Old South: it kept good records, keeping track of African slaves (their chattel “property”). I bet this had something to do with the Three-Fifths Compromise, where every five slaves were counted as three for purposes of representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Census records have been invaluable in tracking my ancestors.


About William Eric Waters, aka Easy Waters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on
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1 Response to Roots – Back in 1805

  1. jeff says:

    Awesome my cuz speak the truth in love as you always have. love you


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