Monthly Archives: May 2015

NYC Acknowledges Slave Market


 Photo via WNYC.ORG (Brad Horrigan/WNYC)

New York City has finally acknowledged that from 1711 to 1762, Wall Street was once the site of a slave market. On June 19th 2015 (Juneteenth) the city plans to place a 16-inch-by-24-inch metal marker one block from where the original market on the corner of Wall and Pearl Streets. For more information about the slave market visit

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I’m I related To Hester Ann Blevins?

Ancestry DNA has this new feature which allows you to discover possible ancestors, they do so by grouping together individuals with similar DNA and connecting it to a common ancestor. (I hope I said that right)  Ancestry DNA has evidence suggesting that I am related to a group well more like a couple of Hester Ann Blevins descendants. Since the two people are related to a group of people sharing the same DNA to Hester Ann Blevins descendants Ancestry DNA says there is a good chance I am also related to Hester Ann Blevins. Let me tell you a little about Hester according to information complied from 936 family trees on According to the inscription on her headstone Hester Ann Blevins was born May 8th 1812 (wow if this is accurate she would be 203 years ago today) in Ashe, North Carolina to James Blevins and Sarah Ann Sally Sizemore. She married Andrew Pennington around the 1830s and had several children together. The 1860s census has  Hester, Andrew and their children were living in Washington, Virginia.  Hester lived in Virginia until her death on October 19th 1890 and she is buried in Laurel Valley Cemetery located in Smyth County, Virginia with her husband and other family members. I haven’t researched Hester or anybody in her family as of yet so I don’t know how I am connected to her. I do know she is Caucasian and I believe majority if not all of her descendants on Ancestry DNA are as well, so this is definitely going to be interesting.

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A Family With Southern Roots

Above are pictures of four out of seven children belonging to Scott Cox and Jessie Belle Moorer as well as  eight out of fifteen of Wardie Cox Sr. and Jessie Lee Soles children.

Eliza was born about the mid 1850s according to census and vital records, not much is known about her upbringing but from her death certificate which was filled out by her son Scott (my great grandfather).Eliza or Liza was born in Alabama to parents Jessie and Ann Smiley or Smyly. Eliza married Richard Cox and gave birth to seven children but only six survived. The children were William, Matthew, Richard Jr., Scott, Wardie and Ada. Richard Cox Sr. passed away before the 1900 U.S. Census, leaving Eliza a to raise six children on her own. According to the 1900 U.S. Census Eliza and her children all lived in Lowndes County, Alabama and worked as farm laborers to support themselves. It is not known what happened to Matthew and Richard Jr. but son William married Lula and made his way down to Bay Minette, Alabama, Scott married Jessie Belle Moorer and followed suit.Younger brother Wardie married Jessie Lee Soles and the baby of the family Ada married Rufus Hale and followed in their brother’s footsteps to Bay Minette. Eventually Eliza moved to Bay Minette where she later died on Jan 6th 1924. Today not only does the Cox family still have strong roots in Bay Minette but they are now spread throughout the U.S.and in countries like Germany and Japan.

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Four Ancestors In One Place

Some people may see some old headstones but I see my maternal linage, my ancestors, my history. I only wish I had pictures of these women to go along with their headstones. In 2008 I found out some of my mother’s maternal and paternal ancestors were buried in Westview Cemetery, a small hidden cemetery located in Bromley Baldwin County, Alabama, talk about hitting a genealogy jackpot with this one. The first headstone belongs to my mother’s father’s side, great grandmother Lillie Rauzy Walker died just six months after my grandfather Wilson was born. Next is my great great grandmother and Lillie’s mother Emma Rauzy Watson, she married James Watson Sr. in 1877 in Mobile County, Alabama. Now to my mother’s maternal side, Minnie Belle Burke Stacks is my great great grandmother and the woman who raised my grandma Clittee in East Youngstown, Ohio. Last but not least Diniah Johnson Burke also known as Mother Burke is my great great great grandmother and Minnie’s mother, she was born in Wilcox County, Alabama.

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