Saturday, October 5, 2013

Yassedi- Finding My 8th Grandmother Through DNA and Genealogy

Finding My 8th-Grandmother Through DNA and Genealogy

Regina J. Vaughn

On September 28, 2013, I traveled to Columbia, MD to hear Melvin Collier present "Slave Ancestral Research: Breaking Down That 1870 Brick Wall." The talk was excellent and Melvin is a knowledgeable and engaging speaker.   I knew Mom had researched our maternal line to Milly Floyd Tribble 
(b.1822) to a plantation owned by Charles Floyd in Newberry District, South Carolina.    I said to self,” Go you will learn something new and meet fellow researchers."  My DNA cousin  invited me to the talk.  She always says,  "We have to figure out how we are related."  I would reply I do not have family from North Carolina.  She explained to me that her family was from a county on the Virginia/ North Carolina border and also Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
My retirement project is to organize, digitize, and talk with Mom about her research while she yet lives.  In Mom's family history book, "Sankofa" (pub. 1986), she poses the following questions:  Where did Milly Floyd Tribble come from?  What was her real name?  Through attending workshops, knowledge of early white settlers migration patterns, and speaking with the ancestors, I developed a research theory.  "Milly's mother and/or grandmother were first enslaved in the United States through a Virginia slave port @1800."  In 2011, I participated in an emotionally moving experience of being "sold down river" at the City of Richmond, VA Slave Trail. (Contact:
Participants walked the path were  enslaved Africans were sold further south.   The slavery system in the United States took away all vestiges of culture and names  from the enslaved Africans.  I named my @8th great-grandmother  Yassedi.  Yassedi means "don't call her name."  Yassedi was a forced participant of first the Atlantic Slave Trade and then the Internal Slave Trade (The Second Middle Passage).  Enslaved Africans from the Chesapeake were sold or taken as property further south to South Carolina and Georgia. (Ison)
At the workshop Melvin Collier encouraged participants to pick up papers again for another review.  My friend who rode with me to Maryland said "Put the slave owner's name in ancestry."  I did that once but there are too many Charles Floyds.  I was overwhelmed and just stopped.   Well, I had a single sheet of Mom's research papers on my desk and I kept looking at it.  "What does the paper mean?  This paper is talking to me."  When I returned home I immediately looked at the paper again and what did I notice?... a birth date for Charles Floyd!  (His wife name was Margaret "Peggy" Spearman.)  He instantly appeared on but more importantly his male line goes back at least three generations in Virginia.  (I found 5 male generations but that information needs verification.)  And where do you ask was Charles Floyd's father, Captain John Floyd III, born (on October 28, 1753)?...MECKLENBURG, County, VA!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Captain Floyd married Nancy Ann Andrews on July 4, 1783 in Lunenburg, County Virginia.  All I have to say check out the Virginia County map:
Captain John Floyd and his wife Nancy Andrews moved to Belfast, SC., presently known as Silverstreet, in Newberry County in December, 1783.  Then John Floyd appears on the 1790 Census in Newberry, South Carolina with 3 enslaved Africans.  Was Yassedi among them?  Is she Milly's mother?  Is she Milly's grandmother?   Notice how tight my timeline is now 1783-1790

I posted this blog on and was sent gift deeds and the will of Captain John Floyd (Charles Floyd's) father.

More research to do.......

·      Ancestry: com

Capt. John Floyd III: Memorial # 86470892
Nancy Ann Andrews: Memorial # 52002731
  • Migration Patterns:  An Alternative for Locating African Origins by James Ison

Asante to all of the encouragers, followers but most of all my Mom, Othella Hababa Vaughn and Yassedi

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