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Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1368845016000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sanders, Sowders
I am looking for information about my 2XGreat-Grandfather Willie Sanders from Jackson, Mississippi.

Only information that I know is he was born about 1891 in Mississippi (more than likely Jackson, Mississippi). He had my great-grandmother, Beatrice Rose Sanders (born March 16th,1918), with Rosie Sanders (maiden name unknwon. born about 1893).

The story goes when my great-grandmother was 2 years old he left the family and wasn't heard or seen from again. I was also able to find a 1920 census for him, with Beatrice and Rosie, but nothing before or after that. I don't know his parent's name or if he had any siblings, either.

If anyone has any information about Willie Sanders I would love to hear from you. My great-grandmother is alive, 95, and is the last surviving member of that generation of my family, and I feel it would be great news to give her and share with her.

Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1368892464000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sanders
would suggest you might being by checkin both the 1860 slave Schedule and Federal Census to see whether or not there was a slave owner by that surname, there could be more than one. After emancipation people actually tended to stay in the area for a while often working as share croppers for their earlier owner. If the owner died prior to emancipation chances are he may have left a will and inventory. If that is the case, it might be on file either at the local court house or a copy at the MS His. Society. It could be that slaves may have been named in both the inventory and or will.

You will probably find that you have several people with the same first and last names, so don't be surprised if that occurs. If you have access to, besure and check the WWI Draft and Civilian Draft cards as they give quite a bit of information also.

Sanders was also spelled Saunders, so keep that in mind also. The census takers were pretty good about getting around to all the farms and homes in 1870 as the Federal Government was still active but by 1880 on ward things got sloppy. Many people who were listed as Mulatto in 1870 were simply listed as black or Negro in 1880. Your ancestor may not have had a family as such, so he might be living with other ex-slaves in 1870 also.


Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369000823000
Classification: Query
You might look at the labor contracts between land owners, some who were previous slave owners, and the ex-slaves right after emancipation. Most of the workers are listed only by given name and age, but you may be able to determine an identity. The Freedmen's Bureau was the agency tasked with assisting the freed slaves; you can search by state and county. If you are not familiar with AfriGeneas, you might find some resources and ideas there:

Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369238261000
Classification: Query
Thank you both. That information will help me out in regards to other parts of my family tree,that date back to that era, since this particular member was born after the slave era.

But do either of you have any clues or other resources as to find marriage, birth or any other documents that might list his parents on it? Time period would be from 1891 to 1920.

Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369239632000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sanders/Sowder
Sometimes parents were listed on WWI Civilian and Military Draft cards, also on a death certificate. Marriage certificates normally only had those people who were married, the minister and if there were witnesses.

If you are looking for a parent that was a former slave or even the child of a former slave, your best bet is to go to the 1870 census first and put in the surname you are seeking and then simply look at everyone that comes up, compare names and dates.

Did they share crop for their former owners, if so, in the County deeds should be Deeds of Trust for this. It is really important that you understand that for the most part, former slaves were invisible people excepting for the census, right after the war. The 1870 census is the first one where all former slaves and their children are named. But not everyone knew who their parents were, or their names, so you need to take that into account also. Births were not recorded except in bibles and if they belonged to a church, then when they were baptized. Was their a local church with a cemetery where they might have attended, that might help.

You will be building a case so to speak, one block at a time and moving around information because black genealogy is not like white genealogy in this era. That is why I suggested you check the 1860 Federal Census and then the 1860 Slave schedule to see if there were any owners with the surname you are seeking. By doing so, you can then pinpoint a location and check that location in 1870 for former slaves living in that area. Also see if there are any either working for that owner or living close by. If their are, then follow those names to the 1880 census. Also remember that the census taker wrote what he heard or was told. If the parents were not home, then the information may have been given by a child or other relative who might not know all the information.

You will also note that a person might say he was born in VA one year and NC the next. So flexability is really important. The ages may not always be the same, often people did not know how old they were or when they were born, so they guessed.

It takes being a history detective but it really is worth it. I don't know if you live close to this area of the country or are at a distance. If close, then drive over to the State Historical Society in Jackson and the County Courthouse, if at a distance, you might have to try something else. Also don't toss information because you think it might not relate to your family, at some point you might find that it does.

Sometimes slaves were given to a daughter as a wedding gift that their surname changed to that of the daughters husband. They may have continued working for that family after they were freed.

Let if know if any of this works for you. Since this is posted on Ancestry, I assume that you have done a search starting with the names that you do know. So then you work backwards with the father or grandparents if they are listed.

Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369242022000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sanders, Saunders
I looked at both census, and the only Sanders in 1860 who had slaves was N. D. Sanders age 26 from TN who was apparently farming in the same land as J. J. Briscoe and others. N. D. had four slaves who seem to have been a family:

1 Male 47- Black
1 Female - 35 Mulatto
1 Male - 6 Black
1 Female 4 1/2 Mulatto

By 1860 Norvall D. Sanders is listed as age 46, so he was probaby 36 in 1870, and living with is wife and children. There were many Sanders, Saunders in Hinds County in 1860, 1870 and 1880. But he was apparently the only one listed as a slave owner, unless the others were spelling their names differently.

The oldest seemed to be a Robert Sanders born in 1787m and M. E. in Twp. 5 born in 1807 etc.



Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369279252000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sanders, Saunders
Using Willie as the focal point, Perhaps this is his family listed in the 1900 Census, Shubuta, Beat 2, Clark Co., MS was:
Hampton Sanders 31, born June 1868
Celllia 25
Willie 8, born Dec. 1891
Irien 5
Quillie 3
Idella 2
Hampton 7/12

1910, Shubuta Clark Co.

Willie Sanders 18
Emma 18
Melly Horne 20
Katie 0

1920, Jackson, Hinds Co.
Willie Sanders 29
Rosie b. 1893
Beatrice Rose b. Mar. 16, 1918

1930 Census, Tallahatchee MS

Wilie b. 1891, 30 Widowed
Lena W. Spearman, daughter
Luther Spearman 10 son
Man Twice 5 son.

Now it is possible that Willie had more than one wife and he might have had more than one family. If Willie left early on, as mentioned, it is possible that this might be the reason, he could have been killed, or he just moved on to a different location. In the 1900's many former slaves and their families moved to Chicago as there were jobs available. Of course the depression might have sent them on back to MS also when it occurred.

But if Hampton Sanders is his father, then that is a step for you. Hampton would have been born after slavery ended.


Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369443450000
Classification: Query
Thank you for the explanation. It truly helps.

Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369444080000
Classification: Query
That 1920 census record is him. That's the only record I've been able to find for him and it is also the only record were he is with my Great-Grandmother Beatrice and her mother Rosie.

I don't know his parents names or if he had any sibling's. But I do know, from his marriage with Rosie, they only had one child Beatrice.

I know it's possible he could have had another family, died, moved, but with my great-grandmother being 2 years old around the time he left.... I guess there's really no way for me to confirm what information I know.

It's possible that Hampton from that record is his father, the years of Will's birth are about the same, but once again, I don't have any way (through family at least) to confirm if the information's accurate or not.

Re: Missing Sanders/Sowders in Jackson Mississippi

Posted: 1369453225000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sanders
Sometimes the best that we can do is to speculate. I would try and find out more about Hampton and his other children. You will probably have to follow them on out all the census, but it could be that perhaps Rosie and her daughter might have lived with one of them for a time and that could show up or they could show up as neighbors or living near by. Did Hampton leave his children anything, this can be information that is found years later when the youngest becomes of adult age and what ever they were left is divided amongst them. Siblings are very important in these cases. You should also check for deeds of trust, so there is a lot you can do.

During times of racial strife, it is possible that he didn't leave his family but was killed or died or left because of another woman or it wasn't safe for him to remain in the area. Unfortunately Willie Sanders is a very common name, and that is why it is important to check the other members of his family also.
The process does take time but in the end it is worth it.

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