The ongoing search of Major Acree’s ancestors.

It has been awhile since my last post, but I am still searching for my 4th great-grandfather Major Acree’s ancestors. Since the last post, I found a 3rd cousin Acree on 23andme  DNA. He is a male from a lineage of Acree men.  We share Robert Acree as our 2nd great grandfather.  His paternal haplogroup is E1b1b1a4, which is found in Morroco and Libya. The haplogroup did not confirm the father to son lineage to William Acree (c1710-c1767) of Hanover Co., Virginia. This leads me to believe that the Acree name was the surname of  Major’s mother and not the actual surname of Major’s father. So why do I still think I am a descendant of William Acree (c1710-c1767) of Hanover Co., Virginia. Due to DNA testing, my Major Acree’s descendants are sharing DNA with several descendants of his sons John, Abraham, and William Acree 1 in the chart below.

The first five men are presumed sons of William Acree (c1710-c1767) of Hanover Co., Virginia.

John Acree Joshua Acree Abraham Acree Isaac Acree William Acree 1 William Acree 2 Jacob Acra
will will Bible record will will Pension record Church record
Sons: Sons: Sons: Sons: Sons: Sons: Sons:
Edward* William* John* Isaac Jr. William Jr. John* John
John Jr.* Joshua Jr. James* Joshua* Shearin William Jr.* William
William* David* William Abraham John* Ephraim* Thomas*
Henly* Carter Ambrose* Peter
Leonard John* Joel
Amos

Courtesy  Charles Acree.  A Family Tree  Acree/Sachse/Hoover/Ogden/ Skipworth/Nelson/TenEyck/Williamson & Associated Families

There are two scenarios, Major’s mother might have been one of the men above daughter of European descent or his mulatto daughter. Mulatto being that her mother was of Native American/ African descent/European combination.  Major was listed as multiple race on his marriage license. Major and his family lived as Native American.

Thanks to my cousins Oscar “Bunky” Chapman Jr and his daughter Deybra Chapman, I  received a picture of my great-grandfather William Oliver Acree.

                             Acree real WilliamOliverdea60da7-108e-43c0-87ed-06c453a57805

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ETHNIC INTERMARRIAGE IN COLONIAL AMERICA

Excerpts from Malungu: The African Origin of the American Melungeons from Tim Hashaw

Mixed descendants of the first African-Americans entered all walks of life. Many are world famous. Among the offspring of colonial-era Angolan Americans; the mother of Abraham Lincoln Nancy Hanks, Tom Hanks, Ava Gardner, Elvis Presley, Heather Locklear, Rich Mullins, and comedian Steve Martin from Waco, Texas.

Many of the patriarchal surnames of these 17th century Angolan-Americans survive today because, more often than not, Angolan men married white women of English, Irish and Scottish ancestry. White men also married Angolan women but not as frequently. The un-even ratio of black men to black women caused the imbalance. Had there been more black women in America in the 17th century, there would have been less black and white intermarriage.

In Virginia and other colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and even into the 19th century, white women showed no repugnance to Africans of equal status. Lerone Bennett Jr. in “Before the Mayflower” quotes Edward Long, a contemporary witness who observed that, “…the lower class of women in England, are remarkably fond of the blacks, for reasons to brutal to mention.”

Genealogist Paul Heinegg found many early mixed marriages in colonial Virginia, between free African-Americans and white Europeans. Cases he gives:

“Francis Payne was married to a white woman named Amy by September 1656 when he gave her a mare by deed of jointure. [DW 1655-68, fol.19].

“Francis Skiper was married to Ann, an African American woman, before February 1667 when they sold land in Norfolk County.” [W&D E:1666-75; Orders 1666-75,73]

“Elizabeth Kay, a “Mulatto” woman whose father had been free, successfully sued for her freedom in Northumberland County in 1690, and married her white attorney, William Greensted”. [WMQ, 3rd ser, XXX, 467-74]

Sometimes white planters promoted mixed marriages of African men and white women for economic reasons; hoping to reap the servitude of the offspring as legal chattel.

King and Queen County, Virginia

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I was in high school and my first impromptu interview about my ancestors was with my paternal grandmother Mary Grace Acree. We were in her sitting room and I started to ask her questions. I don’t remember how it came up, but she told me that her father Oliver Acree was Cherokee Indian. Since my father nor neither one of the vast amount of paternal family members had never mention this to me, I pretty much disregard it, I even remember telling her that just because your father had straight black hair did not make him Indian. Everybody and his brother insist that they have Cherokee in them. I told her that most likely that you have a White overseer as an ancestor, Years had past and all my elders had died, when I heard the whispers again to find my ancestors. I was not listening when they were whispering when I was younger and my elders were living. No I had to tune my ears, when there was no one to ask. Two years ago I google my grandmother’s great-grandfather Ruffin Acree,  I found an old post on  Acree Family Genealogy Forum dated December 25, 1998,

Merry Christmas greetings from Canada.

I am doing Powhatan genealogy, and I am looking for ancestors/ descendants of Ruffin Acree (b. 1821) of King and Queen County, Virginia, and his wife Peggy Ann (b. 1830). They had one son, Leroy/Lee (b. 1861 – d. 1910) who had two marriages, both with women named Byrd. I see a lot of Acrees today named Cathy Lee and Deborah Lee, etc., which curiously indicates some affinity for “Lee” among the Acrees. Any information you have will be gladly received and reciprocated. Best regards.

Rarihokwats

There it was my first connection to what my grandmother had told me. So I doubted that the email address that Rarihowats had left was still valid. But I wrote him anyways. To my surprise he wrote me back. Rarihowats is the Powhatan nation’s historian/genealogist, He had enlighten me that the expression that someone has Native American in them is not correct. The expression is that I had ancestors that lived the life as Native Americans. My Acree lineage was of the Rappahannock nation, Most live in Essex, Caroline and King and Queen counties.  The next few blogs will be about my voyage with the Acrees.