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Rhoda Pierce/Peirce/Pearce - Born about 1820, probably Eastern NC

Replies: 12

Re: Rhoda Pierce/Peirce/Pearce - Born about 1820, probably Eastern NC

Posted: 1373578116000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Pierce, Pearce, Peirce, Moore, Keys, Keyes, Keese, Kee, Key, Keeyse, Keis

I'm really enjoying reading your posts and learning more about the way society operated in Eastern NC. I read in Paul Heinegg's book that slaves were not permitted to legally marry, but were allowed to cohabitate. Based on upon this premise, I believed that if I found marriage licenses for my family members prior to emancipation, and they were listed in the Federal census, these were indeed free people of color.

I know in theory that the census is only supposed to count a person at their place of residence. However, as I reviewed census records for Beaufort County in 1850 for every person surnamed Keys, I found that apprenticed and/or bonded children were often counted at their family residences and at the residences where they worked. I also notice that both the parents may be called Mulatto, but the children may be called Black; I have come to disregard this information to a degree, because it was probably a function of appearance (complexion, hair color/texture, facial features) and perception (my 2GGpa was categorized differently many times over his 100+ year lifespan) versus strict application of the 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 rules used in other slave states. My 2GGpa was very fair in complexion with straight hair, according to his family and my grandmother who married into the family.

I will keep plugging away online, but I may not be able to get to the court documents you recommend until I visit NC next spring or summer. I am working on determining whether Washington Keys was my 2GGpa's brother and trying to definitively rule out the Mulatto Rhoda Pierce.

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
KimDorineFati... 1373396723000 
CJROBERTS 1373432493000 
KimDorineFati... 1373435701000 
KimDorineFati... 1373466889000 
CJROBERTS 1373479862000 
KimDorineFati... 1373486479000 
CJROBERTS 1373568649000 
KimDorineFati... 1373578116000 
francis1611 1373581616000 
CJROBERTS 1373588083000 
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