Tracing Your Ancestors[Part 3]

We hope tracing your ancestors of color (black, African-American, mixed,colored,mulatto, free persons of color, Negro) has been fruitful. Let's continue on our quest.

What have we learned so far about Mattie Stuckey from census records?

Since Mattie was not born until 1909, there was no need to search for her in the 1900 census. Instead, we looked for her parents. A search of the 1900 Wilkinson County census turned up Sherman M. Stuckey as head of this household:

Stuckey, Sherman, Black, male, born 1868, age 32, farmer, widower, Sherman and his parents born in Georgia.
Chapman, Tobe, Black, male, born 1872, age 28, widow, farm laborer.

From the 1900-1920 censuses we can construct the following account of Mattie's father, Sherman Stuckey:

Next, we concentrated on locating marriage documents. A search of Wilkinson County marriage records turned up the following certificate:

Marriage license
of Sherman Stuckey and Willie A. Sherry

Sherman Stuckey married Willie Ann Sherry April 21, 1901. Reverend Shade Freeman united the couple in the "holy state of matrimony". A certificate of his first marriage has not been found.

Interesting enough, living near Sherman Stuckey in 1900 was 21 year old Willie A. Surry in a household headed by Frederick Surry. Was she the Willie Ann Sherry listed on the marriage certificate?

A closer search of Wilkinson County records and a little "family tree shaking" confirmed that Willie Ann's maiden name was Surry and not Sherry. In 1910 a man named Jonas Surry lived next door to her. Dock and Dave Surry lived next door to her in 1920. Their relationship to Willie A. can only be determined by further research, but for now, circumstantial evidence suggests they were her siblings. After consulting Mr. Walker, we learned he had never heard the name Sherry, but definitely had cousins named Surry.

We will return to Willie Ann later, but for now let's just focus on Sherman Stuckey.

Georgia's 1890 census records were reportedly destroyed by fire for all but a few counties. Therefore, 1880 is the next available census. A search of Wilkinson County 1880 census failed to turn up Sherman Stuckey. Even a computerized statewide search failed to locate Sherman Stuckey in 1880. He would have been a young man between 12 and 15 years of age, probably still in his parents' household.

However, several Stuckey households appeared in the 1880 Wilkinson County census:

Ellick Stuckey, 82 year old black male, head of household.
Burton Stuckey, year old black male, head of household.

Given that the surname is uncommon, an association probably existed between Sherman and the above named persons. For future reference, we made copies of these census entries and jotted down any faint or hard to read information.

Next, we continued our "ancestors of color" search by taking a look at the 1870 Wilkinson County census. Once again, no Sherman Stuckey. However, entries were found for Ellick (now spelled Alex) and Burton Stuckey.

Fortunately, there are numerous other records that can be utilized to trace ancestors of color. Next time, we will show you how we found Sherman Stuckey's roots.

Tips for Tracing Your Ancestors:

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