Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Joseph Tilley Papers Pt.1

In the bulletins entitled " Black Families of the Ozarks " compiled by Greene County Archives & Record Center,  Under the heading "Slave/Freedman Material in Greene County Circuit Court Documents", I found this tidbit about my 4th great grandfather Joseph Tilley :
Tilley, Joseph*[recently freed] 1865 S/F005
*Claiming damages from John B. Dent who may be from Washington Co., Arkansas. Dent may have been Joseph Tilley's owner at one time.
HIS CHILDREN
Frank 1865 S/F005
Ned 1865 S/F005
Mariah 1865 S/F005 ( <---My 3rd gr- Granny)                                                       Charlotte 1865 S/F005
I was ecstatic! To think that one of MY grandfathers had the "nerve" or "audacity" to sue a white man in 1865 in Missouri was astounding to me! I was proud and in awe of the courage it must have taken for him to decide to do so, in that place and time in history. Even though I had heard of  recently freed slaves that sued their former masters after the Civil War, to find one of  my own ancestors that had the (insert synonyms for courage, bravery, awesome sauce) to do so really touched me!

I found this years ago when I was relatively new to family history research, along with lots of other information on various family lines. I didn't know where to go to find out more, and eventually it just became a footnote in the "awesome facts about my ancestors list" scribbled in my notebook. I continued researching and learning and several years had passed.  I decided to go back to the beginning of my research and see what I'd missed ,or if I could use some of what I'd learned to further what I had already done. This time I realized I should find out who put the bulletin together (duh) and try to contact them. Again- I just wrote it in my notebook to save it for later...

Later came last night! Eight whole months after I had figured out who to contact.  For some reason I was drawn to this part of my tree and reminded that I had found who to contact. Last night I emailed the archives to find out how to obtain a copy of the records, as I cannot afford to travel from Los Angeles to Missouri. This morning I received an email response from a nice gentleman at the archives. He has copied what he could, as the papers were glued together at the top, and he is going to mail them to me.

Just that simple? Almost 8 yrs?!

I believe everything happens in it's own time... Now I will be watching for the mailman like a kid waiting on Santa!