I finally cracked the 1870 brick wall! With the help of author, lecturer, and librarian, Franklin Smith. He got me out of my 1870 brick wall rut when we found an entry for my Great-grandfather, Thacker MABLE, in the 1867 Return of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Book for Cobb County, GA. At his lecture on African American genealogy, I took a lot of notes; but came away with two things that I could put into practice immediately with respect to Thacker:
- Frank’s Rule of 70: Look at everything very closely in 1870 (lose the tunnel vision); and
- Pay attention to given names.
Afterwards, I became reacquainted with the facility; but I couldn’t wait to talk to him about Thack. Sure enough, the following weekend, he spent all of ten minutes with me; and I was looking at the document below. I am still amazed. I thought I had seen every possible misspelling of Thacker’s name. But, as I scanned the index — seeking Thacker — there he was in all his misspelled glory: “Shack MABLE.” I knew that was him. A careful handwriting comparison — not only of his entry, but of the one above his — indicated he signed with an “X.” Two areas of the document include handwritten notes of his race: simply, “(Col” (Colored). Then I finally deciphered the words above and below the “X” as, “his mark.”
State of Georgia No. 80 County of Cobb PERSONALLY APPEARED before me this 17th day of July, 1867 Thack Mable (Col who states that he resides in the 895 Election Precinct of Cobb COUNTY, GEORGIA, and who makes oath as follows:”I, Thack Mable do solemnly swear
in the presence of Almighty God, that I am a citizen of the STATE OF GEORGIA; that I have resided in said state for 12 months next preceding this day, and now reside in County of Cobb Coxes Prect in said State; that I am 21 years old; that I have not been disfranchised for participation in any rebellion or civil war against the United States, nor for felony committed against the laws of any state or the United States; that I have never been a member of any State Legislature, nor held any executive or judicial office in any State and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; that I have never taken oath as a member of Congress of the United States, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State to support the Constitution of the United States and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or given aid and comfort to the members thereof; that I will faithfully support the Constitution of the United States and will to the best of my ability encourage others to do so. So help me God. The said Thack Mable further swears that he has not been previously registered under the provisions of “An Act supplementary to ‘an act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States’ passed March 2, 1867–and to facilitate restoration,” under this or any other Election District; and further, that he was born in ___ and naturalized by ____ on the ____ day of ____________ in the ____________. /s/ Thack X Mable [The notation, “his mark” written above and below X ] (Col SWORN AND SUBSCRIBED before me [undecipherable] Spalding Register of the 35th Registration District
|Green font denotes handwritten text|
It’s unfortunate that the birth, residency, and naturalization spaces are vacant for Thacker and Mr. Jordan. I’m going back over the book to see if a pattern exists for all “colored” registrants. I’m the optimist; so it could be that way for everyone. We’ll see.
So, even though I still haven’t found Thacker in the 1870 Census, I’m thankful for Frank’s knowledge and experience. He asked the key questions that led me to this document.
My next step will be to learn more about Mr. Jordan who signed his “X” mark on the entry above Thack’s. I suspect he’s Thack’s in-law because, reviewing my Legacy Family Tree database this weekend, I was reminded that Susan Jordan is probably Seuk.
I recently learned that Sook, Sookie, and Sukey are all nicknames for Susan. I knew her name was pronounced, “Sook” — and that she was sometimes called by the above variations. But, having limited knowledge of slave nicknames, I didn’t think it was spelled that way. I’ve also seen it spelled, “Seuk”; and accepted that spelling because I thought she may have been the Cherokee that I’ve heard about from my mother and aunts. And I imagined the spelling would have been along those lines. Honestly, I was probably going for the more ethnic spelling.