Seeking Thacker 2: 1867

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:

  1. Frank’s Rule of 70: Look at everything very closely in 1870 (lose the tunnel vision); and
  2. 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.”

Thack - 1867 RQVRO Book

Ancestry.com. Georgia, Returns of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original Data: Georgia, Office of the Governor. Reconstruction registration oath books, 1867, Georgia State Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

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. Thackers_Mark copy

Follow the series:

Seeking Thacker 1: Born on This Day in 1844

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Chronicles: Resurrecting My Genealogy Research

I’ve finally gotten around to resuming my family history research. And I know my research toolbox will need to be refreshed. So this blog is my genealogy commonplace and my preferred means of sharing PALMER/MABLE ancestry.

During my interim, I joined a few genealogy groups on facebook.  But I prefer to share my discoveries, along with my process, on a platform that allows my creative expression to come through as well.  Daughter will be my primary means of searching and sharing — with social media as a secondary resource. And I’m encouraged to find that my data management system was so efficient that I can actually pick up right where I left off.

Highlighted excerpt from 1940 Census

1920 Pulaski County, IL Census: Floreta [sic] V. MABLE enumerated at age 4 with her parents, William and Essie MABLE.
(Source: archive.org. Reel 393 – 1920 Illinois Federal Population Schedules – . . . Pulaski Co. (EDs 92-103) . . .

I notice many bloggers post images of the census pages. I will, more than likely, do the same at some point. And while I do have the 11×17 printouts of library microfiche scans, I’m glad that I also took the extra step of extracting these enumerations onto 8.5 x 11 forms.

I admit there’s nothing like seeing the names and details of my ancestors in the handwriting of the enumerator on the official census form (Details about my Mother at age 4 are captured on line 60.) But, in the interest of research — and to minimize scrolling — I will be referencing carefully-extracted data on my utilitarian census extraction forms in my posts. It’s the same data — just extracted onto standard-sized paper for ease of reading. Plus reading my own handwriting keeps me grounded. We can always satisfy our waves of nostalgia by viewing the actual census forms — and using them to create conversation pieces, memorabilia, and works of art.

I hope having these extracts and other documents at my immediate disposal will prompt more questions. In my analog Census Binder, I keep the slaveholder census forms behind those of my ancestors. An asterisk in front of the surname indicates data related to a slaveholder family member.

My most elusive ancestors, as of this writing, continue to be my maternal great grandparents, Thacker and Seuk MABLE. “Thack” was pretty easy to track back to 1850. And legend has it that he came into the MABLE fold when his owner, Pheriby AYCOCK of Newton County, GA, married Robert MABLE of Cobb County, GA. I came about this information in a most serendipitous manner which I will share in future posts. For now, I plan to scout out the Deed of Gift from Joel AYCOCK to Phereby AYCOCK that contains Thack’s name and search through probate records to learn more about our connection with the AYCOCKs. I don’t think Seuk was an AYCOCK slave.

I have an unfounded suspicion of who “Thack’s” mother is — just a hunch based on an observation. But we all know how that could turn out. And I have yet to locate the last slave in my paternal line.

Like countless others, I haven’t been able to track my paternal ancestor, Montgomery PALMER, beyond the 1870 census. Early in my research, I came across specific details in the (maternal) MABLE line that all but consumed my research time and efforts. Since the (paternal) PALMER line will carry the surname through posterity, I will make a greater effort to restore this surname to the same authority level for future generations.

So this is the beginning of my Chronicles series at Daughter of Slave Ancestry. I’m happy to return to ancestor sleuthing. This time I’m able to share as I go and, hopefully, pick up some virtual friends and research tips in the process.

I won’t mar my debut with what caused me to lay my ancestors aside.  For now, I’m comfortable with the realization that it happens.  I may become sentimental enough to share a few details in a future post. I’m just glad to find Thack and Seuk right where I left them.

See also: Beginnings