finding your roots

Who Am I Descended From?

Marilyn Elliott Lewis May 30, 2012

Family history on my maternal grandmother’s side goes back to Ayr and Dundee Scotland. I have a letter that a great, great uncle wrote about the Laird’s, Scott’s and Crawford’s coming over here to America in the 1700′s. They owned slaves in Milledgeville , Georgia but lived mostly in Texas. I wish I could send the letter but it’s about 8 pages long. Tells so much of the beliefs and the way things were back then. George Crawford is the man who wrote it. It’s truly a historical document.

Josiah Scott Crawford in Roswell, NM, 1908

Josiah Scott Crawford in Roswell, NM, 1908

Isabell Crawford Coons

Isabell Crawford Coons

As far as my paternal grandfather’s side I have some information about it but what truly fascinates me is my paternal grandmother who I know nothing about. She was supposedly Choctaw according to a book that my cousin Bonnie has on the history of folks from Arkansas but I asked my grandmother one time when I was about 9 years old if we were part Indian and I was cussed out and told to shut up and never ask that again. I’ve always heard rumors that we were part black on both sides of the family and some of my maternal grandmothers cousins, aunts and such are recorded as being mulatto. I finally found my great grandfather on my mom’s side, W.P. Coons listed on a Texas “A List” fugitive roll and he was on the run for stealing cattle. Other than the fact that me married my great grandmother Isabelle Coons I know nothing about them either. He is said to have become a music teacher and his carriage went into a frozen river and he died from pneumonia. Isabelle Crawford Coons died 3 years later and my grandmother and three of her brothers were raised in an orphanage in Texas in abominable conditions until Hulon escaped and brought back Aunt Ella Crawford with the sheriff and he made the orphanage release them in to her custody. I’d like to have a referral to someone who can help me find out more. Thank You, Marilyn

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  • misty

    June 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Try contacting the historical society in that area. They may have the resources you can research or have a certified genealogist on board who you may engage on an hourly basis, is a terrific source – census records are gold., quite honestly, is less reliable but can furnish good leads,

  • misty

    June 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    BTW – great photographs. What treasures! I catalog collections for an historical society and it’s heartbreaking that the hundreds of old photos and tintypes I sort through are not identified or dated. The latter one may determine by the style of clothing but the names – gone forever,

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About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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