The House of Huff

The House of Huff

“They might Huff and Puff but this house they will never blow down.” That was the closing words of the July 1989 banquet dinner that closed our national family reunion. It was held in Milledgeville, Georgia at the Georgia College State banquet hall. Every two years our family gathers every July, on the second weekend for four days. We come from the East, West, North and South. It is scheduled at varying locales throughout the nation. Like clock work just about every ten years we go back to our ancestral land Georgia, Milledgeville Township-Baldwin County the land of our ancestors.

Now there are three particular family surnames that are foundational to the family (Huff, Arnold, Reeves) and according to the tradition and family lore it all begins with the House of Huff. Although there are two other family names that are foundational and fundamental to the family line but for the purpose of this blog, I shall track the House of Huff.

The ancestral line that is the focus of this blog is my dad’s family (Richard Arnold Lewis). More specifically, it is my dad’s maternal family. It is the family of my grandmother Fleta Arnold Lewis on her pa’s mother’s side. Forgive me if I am starting this story with what seems to be somewhat of a detachment. Trust me there is a deep familial bond with my dad’s family and with my grandmother Fleta and all of her kin. It is just that the point where this family story may have initiated in one context, dredges up some painful and unresolved emotions for me. Although the experiences are not direct experiences of my own, I have experienced the feelings and the hurt precariously through my grandmother (b. 1917-d.1999) and her elder sister my great aunt Theo (b.1915- d. 2009). It is also the knowing and awareness of the historical context that I struggle with knowing that the ancestor of origin connected to my story was an overseer a participant in the horrible business of slavery.

One might say this should come as no surprise. It should be the expectation that one of African American ancestry would find an ancestor connected to slavery, particularly when those ancestral roots are generations deep in Georgia. Yet it is not a matter of finding him through some long search or digging through records. My grandmother Fleta and her siblings always knew the circumstance of their ancestry.

My grandmother Fleta and I were very close. As an infant and toddler, I lived in the house with my parents, my grandmother Fleta Arnold Lewis and granddad Orian Lewis, and my great uncle Otto Lewis and great gran Corrine Borgus Lewis, who is the subject of my inaugural blog “Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville’s Borgus & Lewis family”…Being the eldest grandchild and a granddaughter no less who shared the same birth month as Grandma Fleta and grand dad Orian (February) we had a special attraction for each other as if we could sometimes read each others mind and spirit.

Even after my parents moved out of the family home, I spent most of my time during the summers and on weekends at my grandparents’ home. Even as an adolescent and teenager I could always be found sitting in my grandmother Fleta’s kitchen,always talking and asking questions. Listening to her oral narrative of where she was from in Georgia and watching and learning as she baked biscuits, mixed lemonade and fried slab bacon. Milledgeville had become like a common name on my lips although it would be many many years before I would ever travel south, (More about this later). Early in my childhood I knew the family names, of my grandmother’s parents and grandparents and yes even her great grandparents. Grandmother Fleta was the daughter of Tom Arnold and Rosetta Reeves Arnold. She was one of their many children. Grandma Fleta told me often of her days in Milledgeville. She shared the stories of her dad’s large farm and of her grandfather Eldar Arnold (who I later came to know was Alec Edlar Arnold and more on that later when I cover the Arnold branch). It was her grandfather Edlar Arnold who lived in Milledgeville, Georgia who was married to Catherine Huff. You see it was my grandma’s father, Tom Arnold, who was the son of Catherine Huff Arnold and Edlar Arnold. Whenever Granma Fleta spoke of her father Tom Arnold or her grandfather Edlar Arnold there was always obvious affection associated with those conversations.

I began to sense early on in my conversations with Granma Fleta, that when ever Granma mentioned the name of her grandmother Catherine Huff Arnold, there was an edge or some level of disturbance in her spirit. The tone of her voice always had some masked hostility. The few words that she spoke of Catherine never contained the gentleness or loving spirit that I knew to be my grandmother. It was not only my grandmother. Her sister my great Aunt Theo (who was about a year or two older than Granma Fleta), also had the same abrupt and edgy tone when they spoke of Catherine Huff Arnold. As a matter of fact whenever they spoke of her they never referenced her as their grandmother. They referenced her as their father’s mother. I initially thought that this emotional disconnect was related to the fact that their grandmother was not known to them directly, because she had died either before their birth or in their infancy. Although that was how I tried to make since of it for many years, I always sensed there was more to this hostility. Hostility yes! As I matured and had these same conversations over and over as is the nature of family elders telling their story, it was always obvious that it was not only the tone. It was also some of the words used that communicated some definite emotional conflict. It was evident that something was amiss between my grandmother and her sister Theo and their oral account or reference to their father’s mother Catherine Huff.

It was during my late teens that my grandmother began to reveal that her father’s mother Catherine Huff Arnold did not necessarily care or mother her children that they may have been mentored and cared for in the home of close family and friends. Granma Fleta and Aunt Theo always seemed to infer that Catherine Huff Arnold may have abandoned the children when she remarried. I recall my Gran and aunt on more than one occasion stating that “she had all those babies and could not care for them.” My Gran often told the story that her father Tom Arnold named her “Fleta” after the German woman “Freta Brown” who carried and mentored her father as a young adolescent or teen when he lived with Mrs. Brown and her husband and family. Granma said the midwives messed up the name and called her Fleta. The interesting thing is that many years later when it was time for Gran to retire and she sent for her birth certificate from Milledgeville, it did indeed say Freta and she had to legally change her name to what she had been called all of her life “Fleta”.

Gran was a pretty good historian on family matters. It was her recounting of the various family names that has made it easy for me to track and document the research in my family genealogy.

So let us get to the matter of Granma Fleta’s ancestry. Yes I am huffing and puffing in the telling of this narrative. You see I have always known most of the facts and even the names. I have also battled with the history and just like my grandmother I gravitated to the narrative of her mom’s family, the Duvals and Reeves or her granddad Edlar Arnold or that of her cousins and siblings. You may ask why? I will share the circumstance but let me share the lived experience that put the whole matter in the public family square.

I must acknowledge my Huff family lineage is probably the one that is most extensively documented across the generations by name, birth dates, marriages and even deaths across eight, nine and ten generations. By the diligence of my first cousin once removed “Fran” our family has a master database with the Huff descendants and their many generations and family names.

If you will remember that I began this blog discussing the 1989 family reunion in Milledgeville. The national family reunion was resumed in 1979. The family in generations past gathered in Georgia in mid August at what was called the “Big Meet”. It was a gathering of the Arnold and Reeves and Huff that celebrated the family and even their close friends each year with a Bar B Que, a roast of a whole pig and other traditional foods of our family and culture. (Those Georgia girls sure can cook and more of this as well).

As the family moved North as a result of the Great Migration many of the family branches settled in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indiana, Philadelphia and other parts. Those families in those geographical locales would gather in their areas for celebrations but it was not until 1979 that the entire family returned to Georgia for the national family reunion. It was in this mass return of our family to Georgia that I traveled south to Milledgeville, Georgia for the very first time. I was twenty two. I had just graduated from College with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and I was heading to Georgia, with many of our family from New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia celebrating the national gathering of our massive family of Huff Arnold Reeves. It was here at this gathering that I really gained an appreciation for the massive oral narrative of the family told by Granma her sisters, her first cousins the women who seemed to be the keepers and tellers of the family narrative. It was so engrained in them who the family elders were and what names were to be called as families of origin that when one of the families became sensitive that their name was not called (Myrick) Great Aunt Corrine Arnold Baker the eldest sister, Aunt Theo, Grandma and Aunt Chris broke it down so that the family could understand that Myrick was the name of their Aunt Tweet Arnold their father’s sister. Myrick was her name by marriage.

They taught with great power the importance of being able to call the family tree by names of origin of parentage and then know how the names from marriage then connected the families. They taught us that Aunt Tweet although married and named Myrick by marriage was an Arnold and her children although Myrick by their father’s name were celebrating their mother’s paternal Arnold roots at this family reunion. It was the first strong lesson on the accuracy of referencing a family tree correctly. In my Grandma’s words “you will be like a bird flying to a tree and not able to find your nest.”

It was also at this same family reunion that I for the first time heard the town of Eatonton of Putnam County referenced. All of my childhood, I had only heard of Milledgeville Baldwin County, Georgia. Yet it was here that I began to know the connection of both Eatonton and Milledgeville in the legacy of my family tree. It was on this very first trip south, that I traveled with my second cousin Kevin to Eatonton to check on the property of his grandparents in Eatonton. It was a farm house in the country and that summer night sky twinkled like navy midnight blue with diamond stars and the moon the only illumination. I felt a strange stirring. I could not understand it. What was it about this Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia that was stirring something deep within me? There was a familiarity although I had never been south or here. Even my presence in Milledgeville did not seem to produce this same sense of familiarity.

It was some time later that I learned that although my Granma Fleta spoke of Milledgeville as her ancestral home, Eatonton Putnam County was the location of my granddad Orian Lewis’ family beginnings as well as the beginnings of Grandma Fleta’s grandmother Catherine Huff Arnold.

I tell this story fleetingly. Having all of the names for the Huff line there is actually only one name that I was invested in tracing and learning more about. Huff actually would not even be her family of origin name. It was the name she assumed. You see her name was Jane and she was the one who I had questions about and wanted to know her story, her narrative and her name.

I was prodded and poked to tell this story. But you know as the saying goes, “only you can tell your story and you can only tell it when it is your time to tell it.” My hesitancy in telling this story was out of my concern for paying respect to the spirit of my Grandma Fleta and my Great Aunt Theo. You see their feelings on this Huff story lineage ran quite deep. I knew this based on years of listening to them and their narrative. Yet it played its self out in a big way at the 1989 family reunion in Milledgeville, at the Georgia College State banquet hall. So I do tell this story huffing and puffing. Not to blow down the House of Huff but to bring some context to the feelings of my Grandma Fleta and Aunt Theo about having their Huff ancestry put in the public square at the family reunion.

Having received their spiritual permission to tell their story about their Huff lineage, I share it with all due respect. Ashe Ashe.

At the close of the 1989 family reunion the roll call for the oldest living elder was made and with that, the calling out the name of the ancestors and the lineage. We were accustomed to them calling out the ancestral names of Huff, Arnold, Reeves; 1: the names of the Arnold children, of Catherine Huff Arnold and Edlar Alec Arnold, 2: the names of Catherine Huff Arnold’s brothers and sisters of the Huff line and their descendants. 3: They also called the names of the siblings and their descendants of Tom Arnold’s wife Rosetta Reeves Arnold. The Reeves descendants were called because of the double marriages within the Arnold and Reeves family. (Tom Arnold and his sister Lottie Arnold married into the Reeves family with the marriage to Rosetta Reeves and her brother Crawford “Booker” Reeves). This made many of the family double first cousins and they as well were descendants from the Huff line.

As I sat at the table with my Grandma Fleta and Aunt Theo during the roll call, I began to sense their ire. Mind you, we were in a large banquet room. There was easily three hundred plus family members present. Grandma started tapping her foot and humming and Aunt Theo began not so quietly whispering a few choice words into Grandma Fleta’s ear. They were quickly becoming quite agitated and the entire family knew it. Now if it had been just Aunt Theo, it would have been overlooked. “Auntie Theo had a way a making a disturbance that was not a surprise to anyone. Grandma Fleta was the more gentle diplomatic sister. So when it was obvious to their children and nieces and nephews that something was wrong everyone began gesturing to me “asking what is wrong?” I did not know and I was not about to ask in the heat of their ire. I did gather from what I heard that they were very angry that the cousin who was the chairperson was naming a Huff man of white ancestry as the head ancestor. They took this as a great slap in the face and disrespect to their father and grandfathers on the Arnold and Reeves line.

It was later in the evening that I learned from my grandmother that the woman named as the female ancestor Jane (was an African slave) who was the mother of 14 children that she birthed for the white overseer William Huff. My grandmother and her sister were angry because their niece “the chairperson” tried to whitewash the situation by referencing to Jane as a West Indian wife. In their words she was not West Indian she was African a slave who had fourteen babies for the white overseer. “A Georgia Cracker” sic( not my words but theirs). According to them “Cracker” was an old name that the slaves and southern Blacks called the Overseer. It derived from the sound that the whip made a “cracking sound” when the slaves were beat and whipped by the overseer. Grandma Fleta and Aunt Theo were down right angry that in their opinion, their niece was glorifying this relationship as if it was entered into willingly. They were very angry that their niece (one of their sister’s daughters) was making grand of this man who in their eyes was a “slaver”. In their anger they began to reveal what was a mind blowing revelation. Grandmother and Auntie shared with me that as little children and even as early teens they had attempted to embrace and engage their aunts and uncles who lived in Eatonton who were Huffs. In a child’s mind they new that these were their father’s relatives even though they were white. My grandmother even as she was then in her 72 years teared up at the rejection they suffered on more than one occasion. Later in my blog on the Arnold’s I will give more detail on these particular events.

Grandma Fleta and Aunt Theo were very aware of William Huff as a white overseer and his connection to the woman Jane the African Slave, who they acknowledged as their great grandmother and who was the mother of Catherine Huff Arnold and the grandmother of their father Tom Arnold. I had heard in a subtle way my Grandma reference her white Huff family, particularly when she mentioned one time that there was a white Judge in Georgia who was a Huff descendant of her family. She would not discuss to much more.

Grandma and Aunt Theo, weeks later when we were sitting in her kitchen shared that even after all those years later, it was humiliating to have the overseer shoved down their throat as someone they had to accept. It was still a source of humiliation. They lovingly embraced the circumstance of the woman Jane the African Slave woman, who was their ancestor but they refused to embrace the white overseer as their greatgrandfather to them he was that “Georgia Cracker” sic.

It was out of this whole situation that I also learned from Grandma and Auntie that their niece (who was the daughter of their sister) carried her husband’s name of Huff had “unknowingly” married her own cousin. To my grandmother and my aunt they felt they got the last laugh. Their neice had constructed a detailed genealogy but did not seem to realize her great grandmother Catherine Huff Arnold was the sister to her husband’s great grandfather. She had traced her family but did not think to see if there was a common link with her husband’s Huff line. Grandmother and Aunt Theo said even if their niece did not know, her mother knew and her husband’s father had to know. For surely Grandma and Aunt Theo realized it when they went south years ago and realized their niece had married their second cousin’s son….

Oh, the importance of knowing who your people are! Now, I ain’t casting no stones for I truly live in a glass house but that is a story for another family tree.

Now all the huffing and puffing on my part is because I still struggle with the idea that I know the name of the overseer. Yes that is what I have called him all these years, but up until recently I did not know the possible surname of Jane. Interestingly enough on the 1870 census she is listed on the census as the wife of William Huff. William Huff and Jane and all of their children are all listed as white, although Jane and her children were Mulatoo. The multi generational existence of my family throughout their time in Georgia has been rich with the passing down of the oral narrative of the ancestors. The census online research, that I enacted to check the validity of the oral narrative passed down to me, has been on point every signal time. It as well has a been filled with some surprises.

One of the family oral narratives that was repeated regularly is that William Huff was born in Germany (one other account was England) He was supposed to have come to the USA sometime after the 1848 Spanish American War. He was befriended by a Charles Humble and the two worked on the supposed Humber or Humble plantation. William was said to have been an overseer. It is said that it was on this Humble (Humber) plantation that William met Jane who was a slave on this plantation. It is here that the family lore states that they became companions but Grandma Fleta and Aunt Theo have always questioned how much ability did Jane have to agree or disagree to be the companion? There are family members who over the years have fostered the idea that this was a mutual relationship.

I stand on the side of unknowing since it was a time and era when an African woman who was a slave had no agency and no voice to act within her own free will. The 1870 census list them as husband and wife with thirteen children. Yet the 1880 census notes that Jane Huff is living alone with her children. It is interesting to note that I was able to track that William Huff was still living on the 1880 census but he was no longer in the household with Jane and his large number of children with her as noted on the 1870 census. On the 1880 census William Huff is living with his “white wife Anna and their infant son Lucious, who is the half brother to the children William sired with Jane. It is interesting to note that Jane on the 1880 census in the household with her children is noted as Mulatoo. It is my conjecture that William Huff after slavery and after the 1870 census needed a white heir.

It is noted that the child Lucious, William Huff had with his wife Anna was in relationship with his older half brothers and sisters. Catherine Huff Arnold (my great great grandmother the daughter of William and Jane) named one of her sons Lucious after her half brother. Several of the other siblings as well named a son after their half brother Lucious. Lucious is a name that has repeated across the Huff Arnold and Reeves lines.
The 1870 census page notes William and Jane in same household together with the following children… *their names are listed below*

The 1880 census page notes Jane age 40 living with her children alone.

The 1880 census page notes William Huff 56 living with his (white) wife Anne age 28 and their infant son Lucious Huff.

The United States Naturalization Record Index 1794-1995 for the U.S, Supreme Court of the District of Columbia (Recorded on page 81 of 219 of the Ancestry.com index) notes both a Charles J. Hubble and a William Huff receiving their naturalization citizenship. The family oral narrative was supported by this document that shows these two men in relationship with each other and receiving citizenship together. N.R. 3 page 323 noted for the Index for Charles J. Hubble on July 31, 1890 and on the same index William Huff N.R. 3 page 322 July 24, 1890.

The oral narrative was supported consistently with the census records and the naturalization records. I actually came across this naturalization record over the past two years. I was definitely surprised to find it. I had searched for many years for corroborative data that supported the oral narrative of a friendship between William Huff and this Charlie Humble/Humber.

It was not that I was that interested in learning anything more about William Huff. His abandoning Jane (that is how I see it) after all of those children to marry a white wife spoke to continued opportunistic behavior. I wanted to find the Hubble connection to track the plantation and maybe find out more about my great great great grandmother Jane and her surname and something about her narrative. The oldest two children that Jane had with William were born in Putnam County Eatonton Georgia. Could this be the stirring in my being I experienced when I first visited Eatonton? Was it the nudging of my ancestor Jane to look for her? William acquired property in Baldwin county and became a farmer according to the family accounting but I speak to the dates of his childrens’ birth. He continued to be a slaver an overseer as the first seven of his children with Jane were born prior to the Emancipation Proclamation.
These are the names of his children with Jane noted by our family database and oral narrative and documented on the 1870 census.
(1.) Albert abt. 1855/ (2.) Catherine abt. 1856/ (3.) Charlie abt. 1857/ (4.) Polly abt. 1860/ (5.) Minta(Pinkey) abt.1860/ (6.) Delois abt.1861/ (7.) Louis abt. 1862/ (8.) Johnny 1865/ (9.) Nancy abt. 1865/ (10.)Ella abt./ 1868/ (11.)William II abt. 1868/
(12.) Susan abt. 1869/ (13.) Julia abt. 1871/ (14.) Camilla abt. 1877.
They all carried the surname name of Huff. It is interested to note that the third child was named after William Huff’s friend Charlie Hubble. In upcoming Blogs I will discuss my great great great Grandmother Jane and the surprise revelation from my first cousin once removed “Fran”. It is my hope that I will be able to insert the various censuses and the naturalization records noted above. Particularly the 1900 census that confirms the other children of William Huff and Ana Huff (Sarfting possibly her remarried name or her maiden name still uncertain) their children Lucious Huff, Benjamin Huff, daughter Gertrude Huff, and the son William Huff born 1885. These names are important because they are the aunt and uncles that Grandma Fleta and Aunt Theo references as having rejected and humiliated them when they were children. Something to Huff and Puff about.

1870 census with William Huff and Jane in same household.

Name:

William Huff

Age in 1870:

30

Birth Year:

abt 1840

Birthplace:

Georgia

Home in 1870:

Baldwin, Georgia

Race:

White

Gender:

Male

Post Office:

Milledgeville

Value of real estate:

View Image

Household Members:

 

1880 census with Jane Huff and her children note marital status is single Race Black

Name:

Jan Huff

Age:

40

Birth Year:

abt 1840

Birthplace:

Georgia

Home in 1880:

District 318, Baldwin, Georgia

Race:

Black

Gender:

Female

Relation to Head of House:

Self (Head)

Marital status:

Single

Father’s Birthplace:

Georgia

Mother’s Birthplace:

Georgia

Neighbors:

View others on page

Occupation:

Farmer

Cannot read/write:

Blind:

Deaf and Dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View Image

Household Members:

 

 

1880 census William Huff married to wife Anna with infant Lucious,

Name:

Anna Huff

Age:

28

Birth Year:

abt 1852

Birthplace:

Georgia

Home in 1880:

District 318, Baldwin, Georgia

Race:

White

Gender:

Female

Relation to Head of House:

Wife

Marital status:

Married

Spouse’s Name:

William Huff

Father’s Birthplace:

Georgia

Mother’s Birthplace:

Georgia

Neighbors:

View others on page

Occupation:

Keeping House

Cannot read/write:

Blind:

Deaf and Dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View Image

Household Members:

 

1890 United States Naturalization Record Index for the Citizenship for Charlie J. Hubble top of page left side William Huff line eleven,

1900 Census of the children of William Huff with Ann Huff (Sarfting) half siblings of Catherine Huff Arnold and the other Children of Jane. These would be my white Huff connections. The Uncles and Aunt to my great Grandfather Tom Arnold. The Aunt and Uncles Who Grandma Fleta Arnold Lewis and Aunt Theo stated rejected them as children.

Name:

Ann Sarfting
[Ann Strfting] 

Age:

47

Birth Date:

Aug 1872

Birthplace:

Georgia

Home in 1900:

Militia District 322, Baldwin, Georgia

Race:

White

Gender:

Female

Relation to Head of House:

Head

Marital status:

Married

Marriage Year:

1897

Years Married:

3

Father’s Birthplace:

Georgia

Mother’s Birthplace:

Georgia

Mother: number of living children:

3

Mother: How many children:

3

Occupation:

View on Image

Neighbors:

View others on page

Household Members:

 

Winking and Fielding My Borgus and Abrams Connections: Family Family Everywhere!

Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville’s Borgus & Lewis Family A Descendant’s Journey continues with some groundbreaking revelations. The Abrams and Borgus Family Tree Three Branches. What’s in a Name? The Meaning of It All! Those are the questions I raised with my blog dated January 23, 2014. In that blog I tracked my journey on the Borgus paternal line of my family. I came across a number of answers after my peeking around in my ancestors’ closets. I closed out the blog with two questions still looming in my Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville’s Borgus & Lewis Family: A Descendant’s Journey ~Reeves, Duval, Jones, Arnold, Huff.

In the course of tracking the ancestral line of Borgus, I found there was another family name that I needed to review. It was with some detective work that I now have an additional name to add to my paternal line “Abrams” and as well Winkfield. I had some limited knowledge of “Winkfield” as it was noted on the Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia 1930 census. It was noted as the married name of my widowed great great grandmother Jennie Borgus (Winkfield) when she lived in the household of her one and only child Corrine Borgus Lewis married to John Tom Lewis, (I came across the Winkfield link July 2009 but had been unsuccessful in finding any documentation beyond the name on the 1930 census). Ancestry.com was the online source of my research and census data.

Initially I was tracking “Winkfield” to see if I could locate the first name of Jennie’s spouse. It was initially a mystery. Because I was somewhat uncertain if “Winkfield” was blood relationship or if it was a marriage that occurred many years after great grandmother had her daughter Corrine Borgus, I did not include it.  My interest was to see if I could find the father of my great grandmother Corrine. What began to develop as noted in the previous blog was a surprise. I found out that Jennie Borgus had been married and widowed twice. The first marriage was to Isaac Abrams (aka Abrahams) on January 3, 1884. (It was through my use of familysearch.org that I found this elusive marriage documentation). As noted previously Isaac Abrams turned out to be a childhood neighbor on the 1870 census. Jennie Abrams is noted as the wife of Isaac Abrams on the 1900 BaldwinCounty, Milledgeville Georgia census page 23 of 31.Census information courtesy of Ancestry.com.

     It was in tracing the name Jennie Abrams noted to be a widow (Baldwin County, Milledgeville, Georgia 1910 census page 17 of 41) that I directed my search for Mr. Winkfield between 1910 and 1930 to look for the marriage certificate and census documentation for Jennie’s second marriage to Mr. Winkfield, first name still unknown. It was when I inputted the data of the widow Jennie Abrams married to a “Winkfield” that the information popped up. It was a February 16, 1919 marriage certificate in Baldwin County, Milledgeville, Georgia for a Randal Winkfield married to Gennie Abrams. This documented the first name of the second husband of Jennie Borgus Abrams Winkfield. “Randal” wow after all of these years and I had finally found him. It was also further documented when the Baldwin County Georgia 1920 census also noted a Randal Winfield married to Jennie Winfield. Courtesy of Ancestry.com 1920 census page 56 of 60. (Georgia Marriage Records from select Counties, years 1828-1978 for Gennie Abrams /Baldwin Marriages, White and Colored, years 1916-1920: page 188 of 313)

     It had taken me five years to finally track down the documentation. In the search for information on Corrine Borgus Lewis my paternal great grandmother, I found out that great grandmother Corrine had been born to a sixteen year old single mother. I learned of her mother’s name Jennie Borgus and her grandparents who raised her, Andrew and Missouri Borgus as noted on the 1870 and 1880 census. I also found out that Corrine’s mom was the widow, Jennie Winkfield noted on the 1930 census. I further learned that her mom Jennie Winkfield had been married previously to Isaac Abrams a childhood neighbor. They were married on January 3, 1884 three years after Corrine’s birth. It is highly suspect that Isaac Abrams was the natural birth father of Corrine Borgus. In the midst of these finds it was also noted that Isaac Abrams had a sister Martha Ann Abrams who married Henry Borgus the younger brother of Jennie. This is noted on the Putnam County, Georgia marriage license for January 22, 1897.(Courtesy Ancestry.com Georgia Marriage Record from selected counties 1828-1978 for Henry Borgus page 294 of 329).The Abrams and Borgus families were connected by the marriage their children. It was also further noted on a 1900 census that in the household of Abraham Abrams (the older brother of Isaac Abrams as noted on the 1870 and 1880 census) Abraham Abrams and his wife Fannie were raising a granddaughter named Anna B. Borgus age three… It seems that the Abrams and Borgus families are connected through at least three different relations. The various censuses, marriage certificates and even gravesites provided the answer to my question, What’s in a Name? The Meaning of It All!

As I complete the first saga I am now left with additional questions on the next generation of Borgus. The Abram and Borgus connections pose new questions. Who are the parents to the baby Anna B. Borgus noted above? With so many links, I am amazed that I am just finding out about the Abrams name in my family tree. I must add the following information. In my search for Borgus family connections, a few years ago I received a hint on my ancestry.com family tree. It led me to a group of Borgus descendants in Cape May, New Jersey. They were the descendants of Henry Borgus. Henry Borgus is the younger brother of my great -great grandmother “Jennie Borgus Abrams Winkfield.” I am still attempting to finalize a connection with the descendants of this Borgus branch. It is a work in progress.

Now for the drum role of a surprise! I received a post and an inquiry on my blog. It was from L.Abrams. He is a descendant searching for information on the Abrams family connections out of Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia. Yes, ain’t that a peach. So I am off to a new branch. I am searching for where our connections may be linked. Now I know that the ancestors are shaking this Borgus-Abrams tree so that I can find my long lost family members. As I begin this new search in the Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville’s Borgus & Lewis Family: A Descendant’s Journey ~Reeves, Duval, Jones, Arnold, Huff I salute my ancestors.  I say Ashe Ashe to the Borgus, Abrams (Abraham) ancestors for all of their guidance. Note I use both Abrams and Abraham as the last name “the surname” is used interchangeably on the earlier census and marriage certificates. One lesson that I found very vital is to enter with a sense of unknowing when engaging the ancestors. They will always surprise you. Included in my continued search of the Borgus Abram connection, I will extend the journey into Alabama. Andrew Borgus the father of Jennie Borgus and the grandfather of Corrine is noted on the 1920 Census Eatonton Putnam County, Georgia (page 1 of 51) as an 80 year old widower. He is living in the household of his daughter Lily Borgus Cobb and her husband George Cobb. Andrew Borgus (Sr.) notes on this census that his parents were born in Alabama. So when I return to the trail of the Borgus extended family I will be searching in the state of Alabama.

While I unravel the next set of mysteries on the Borgus and Abrams line, I will begin my next blog on my Huff ancestors before they Huff and Puff and blow my ancestral tree down. Hasn’t this been a peach of a story?

Borgus: What’s In A Name? The Meaning of It All! Missouri Borgus, A Georgia Peach A Seed Out Of Africa

Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville's Borgus & Lewis Family

A Descendant’s Journey
As I reflect on the status of my blog Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville’s Borgus & Lewis Family: A Descendant’s Journey- Reeves, Duval, Jones, Arnold, Huff
BORGUS: What’s In A Name? January 6, 2014,
What’s In A Name? Continuation on Corrine Borgus, January 14, 2014

I think about the journey as a descendant of these various family names and the intersecting paths that have contributed to my being who I am and whose I am! Coming up with the topic line “Georgia On My Mind” was not difficult considering that both of my paternal grandparents (Orian Ulysses Lewis and Fleta Arnold Lewis) and their ancestors, going back three and four generations, are all documented in Georgia particularly in the Eatonton Opposition, Putnam County, Baldwin County Milledgeville, Georgia as noted in the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 census. I make no reference to the 1890 census…

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Borgus: What’s In A Name? The Meaning of It All! Missouri Borgus, A Georgia Peach A Seed Out Of Africa

A Descendant’s Journey
As I reflect on the status of my blog Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville’s Borgus & Lewis Family: A Descendant’s Journey- Reeves, Duval, Jones, Arnold, Huff
BORGUS: What’s In A Name? January 6, 2014,
What’s In A Name? Continuation on Corrine Borgus, January 14, 2014

I think about the journey as a descendant of these various family names and the intersecting paths that have contributed to my being who I am and whose I am! Coming up with the topic line “Georgia On My Mind” was not difficult considering that both of my paternal grandparents (Orian Ulysses Lewis and Fleta Arnold Lewis) and their ancestors, going back three and four generations, are all documented in Georgia particularly in the Eatonton Opposition, Putnam County, Baldwin County Milledgeville, Georgia as noted in the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 census. I make no reference to the 1890 census simply because it was destroyed in a fire and is not available. Yet one can surmise that these families noted above were present in 1890 Putnam County/Baldwin County Eatonton and Milledgeville, Georgia. It is also more than likely that they were present prior to 1870. This data is not readily noted due to the nature of the Slave Schedules, which do not document by name but only by description. It is my hope in future blogs to make the connections verifying their presence and hopefully even the particular plantations where they may have lived.

As you may recall I begin my journey discussing BORGUS “What’s In A Name”? I chose this beginning because as I noted it was the family name that I had the least background data. I begin today mapping some of the trajectory of my journey documenting my family tree and genealogy adventure. The reason that I did not have a great deal of data on Borgus is as I noted in the previous two blogs my granddad Orian Lewis and his mother Corrine Borgus Lewis were very closed mouth about their family narratives. It was because I did not know anything of the Borgus line prior to my great-grandmother Corrine that initiated my online research once the opportunity presented itself, that was in 2006.
I initially began the journey to see how good or accurate my two grandmothers were in transmitting the oral history of their family trees (narratives). It was to my absolute delight that the online search through Ancestry.com proved my grandmothers to be the true Griots that I have come to know them to be. It is because of the gaps in the Borgus line that I began telling my oral narrative with that particular branch. It is only because of my paternal grandmother Fleta Arnold Lewis that I even had the most limited of information re my Greatgran Corrine Borgus Lewis. Gram Fleta knew some of the family narrative of her husband’s (Orian Ulysses Lewis) family. According to Gram Fleta my grandfather Orian’s grandmothers (on his Lewis branch) were the midwives who cared for Grandma Fleta’s mother (Rosetta Reeves Arnold) when she delivered her children.

I knew my great-grand mother Corrine as noted in my previous blogs. It was Grandmother Fleta who provided me with the maiden name Borgus for my Great-grand Corrine and the first name Tom for her husband. I never heard my granddad Orian Lewis ever mention his father by name. As a matter of fact I rarely heard him speak ever of his life in Georgia. Now mind you I was very close with my grandparents and grand dad passed May 5, 2005 and I was 48 years old at his passing. So I had spent many many conversations with him but he never disclosed anything of his family of origin. I must also say it was understood by way of my grandmother that this was a closed subject so not to even engage it. Grandmother Fleta would often begin to share some data but would always get cut short. My granddad has this uncanny radar of showing up just as Grandma was about to reveal some tidbit of his family legacy. It never failed and Grandma would go closed mouth yet again about the Lewis/Borgus family narrative.

Great-Grandmother Corrine lived to be three months shy of her 95th birthday. I was 18 years of age when she died and I knew nothing of her life her parentage or her narrative. Not for lack of trying. As I noted in previous blogs, I questioned her with great curiosity but to no avail. So it is with great sadness, I always felt at a loss for not knowing anything about her story. I began my journey on the Borgus line not expecting to find very much because of the limited data that I had.

It was with great surprise that I noted on the 1930 census in Milledgeville, Georgia my great grandparents Corrine Borgus Lewis and her husband (John)Tom Lewis. What’s In A Name? I will touch on that later as to the circumstances surrounding the (John) in the Tom Lewis naming situation. In any event on this 1930 census there are three teenage sons of Corrine and Tom in the household along with a 7 year old grandson as well as, are you ready for this, a mother in law of the head of household, 65 year old widow who was the mother of Corrine Borgus Lewis. The name of this woman my great great grandmother was Jennie Winkfieild (spelled incorrectly on the initial posted census of Ancestory.com) sic Winkfield. It is important to note that in the household among the three teenage boys was my “GRANDFATHER ORIAN LEWIS” age 17. He actually was living in the presence of his great grandmother. He actually knew her and her name and he never ever made any reference of this in all my years around him WOW. I found this out one year after his passing. Also in the house was my great uncle Cee Cee 11 years of age and my great uncle Otto 15 years of age and my first cousin once removed at 7yrs old Rogers Campbell. Rogers Campbell is significant in that he was the fourth generation in the household. His mom was my great aunt Geneva (Jeneva) my granddad’s oldest sibling and sister. A family generation pattern of four generations living under one roof was current in 1930, just as it was when I was a little girl in the late 1950’s and the fourth generation in the household.

Noting the name of Jennie Winkfield, I realized that my great Aunt Geneva (Jeneva) was named after her grandmother. Corrine Borgus Lewis named the first of her living children after her very own mother. Wait! If Corrine Borgus was great-grand mother’s maiden name, why was great great-grandmother Jennie’s married name, “Winkfield” and Corrine’s maiden name Borgus? Now my search was complicated by the fact that great- grand Corrine Borgus was born November 4, 1881 after the 1880 census and before the 1890 census. The absence of the 1890 census due to a fire made it impossible to note whose household great-grand Corrine was raised in during her childhood and teen years. The next census of 1900 when she was 19 years old, great-grand Corrine Borgus was married carrying the name “Lewis” of her husband Tom Lewis. The 1900 census has her in the household with her husband Tom and her new born infant Jennie Lewis.

I hope I have not confused you! Although I know Borgus to be the maiden name of my great-grand mother Corrine, in the year of 2006, I do not have any paper trail to prove such when I began my online search in 2006. The notation of Winkfieild misspelled as the marriage name of the widow Jennie on the 1930 census did not help. As I tried to track Jennie Winkfieild on previous census of 1920, 1910, 1900, and even 1880, I came up short. I note on those previous census, a Wingfield surname on the 1920 or 1910 census. I am not sure what this relationship is to Jennie Winkfieild. I suspected from the beginning that the spelling of Winkfieild was incorrect or a type error in the transmission of the census. It is later proven to be so when the ancestry.com updates the data. It is actually Winkfield. Even with the corrected spelling, I am left at a crossroads because I am not able to find a Mr. Winkfield’s first name so I have no idea of who the husband is of Jennie Winkfield.

I searched the earlier census of 1870 and 1880 for Borgus. Since I knew that Borgus was the name of great-grand Corrine, I search for a families connected to that name. I make the presumption that Jennie Winkfield will have the maiden name of Borgus. Based on the 65 years and estimated birth year of 1864 on Jennie Winkfield’s demographics of the 1930 census I am looking for a Jennie Borgus about 6 years old for the available 1870 census. I found an Andrew Borgus and his wife Missouri Borgus on the 1870 with a daughter named “Jane Borgus” (I wondered if is this was a variation in the spelling of Jennie) age 6. This would correlate with a birth date of about 1864 as noted for Jennie Winkfield on the 1930 census. It is also noted that on the census of 1880 in the household of Andrew and Missouri Borgus, the daughter was now noted as Jennie Borgus 16 years of age. It is these two censuses that document that Corrine Borgus’ mother Jennie Winkfield is Jennie Borgus. Important to note that there are no other Borgus families of color (Black, Colored, Negro or Mulatoo) noted in Putnam County, Georgia of 1870 or 1880.

What’s In A Name? Where are all the Borgus family outside of the Andrew and Missouri household? This is a question that I asked then and continued to ask throughout the years as the name Borgus after the 1880 census seems to diminish from Putnam County. I will shine on more light about this later. Now if you recall that I mentioned earlier that my Great Aunt Geneva was named after her grandmother Jennie (Borgus) Winkfield. The 1900 census shows that Corrine and Tom Lewis named their daughter Jennie. So how did she become Geneva (Jeneva)? Remember the boy child Rogers Campbell of 7yrs old on the 1930 census. Well his daughter, my second cousin Cynthia revealed to me just in the past few months that her grandmother (my great aunt Geneva) was named Jennie but that when she began school her teacher made her spell her name as J-E-N-E-V-A (Geneva). My cousin stated she was told this by her grand mother Geneva. This really set me off! I embrace the principle of Kujichagulia/Self Determination, naming self; defining self and speaking with ones own voice and agency. So this, even all these generations later did not sit well with me. My cousin Cynthia shared this as I informed her of the name of our great great-grandmother Jennie Borgus Winkfield. We both appreciated the gravity of the teacher changing the name of the child “Jennie Lewis” who was named after her grandmother, Jennie Borgus (Winkfield).

What’s In A Name? What is the meaning of it all? Now why was Corrine Borgus carrying the maiden name of her mother and the name of her grandparents Andrew and Missouri Borgus? It was obvious by doing the math that Jennie Borgus was sixteen years of age when she gave birth to Corrine Borgus in 1881. Who was the father of Corrine Borgus and what was his surname? This question has not been answered. I attempted to see if Winkfield was a family living in proximity to the Borgus family on the1870 or the 1880 census in Georgia. This was not the case. It was my hope to maybe track a teen Winkfield who may have been the teen sweetheart of the Jennie Borgus of 1881. It was becoming obvious that Corrine Borgus carried the name of her grandparents because she was born out of wedlock to a teenage mother. Was this the reason of all the secrecy? Although I know that even during those times that unwed pregnancy may have carried some embarrassment, my inner spirit felt this was not the core cause of the secrecy. Something resonated in my spirit that there existed a more involved cause. Supposition maybe, but my spirit is being led to this deduction by what I call my ancestor antennae.

So great-grand mother the child of an unwed single teenager! I knew it was time to call the other family elders, my Aunt Loretta and “my first cousin once removed” Brenda. Cousin Brenda is the daughter of my grand dad Orian’s sister Gussie Lewis (Simmons). Thank goodness my great aunt Gussie did share with her daughter the legacy of her mother’s paternity. Cousin Brenda did confirm that her grandmother Corrine was the daughter of a single teenage mother. This was told to Cousin Brenda by her mother Gussie who was Corrine’s second living daughter. My Aunt Loretta my dad’s youngest sister and the daughter of Orian Lewis also noted that she had heard the whispers that her grandmother Corrine was the child of a single teenage mother.

What’s In A Name? The Meaning of It All! Now the search was on how to find the father of great-grand mother Corrine. There were not Winkfield families in the vicinity. I looked to see if there was a household in close proximity that might have a teenage son or a son in reasonable age range who could have been the possible beau or teenage sweetheart of Jennie Borgus! I so wanted to believe in a teenage love affair that led to the circumstance of a sixteen year old pregnant with child. There was nothing that rationally could lead me to such a connection. Although I did not see any links in houses in close proximity yet I kept being drawn to a household with the surname of Abrams…Cannot explain why but even without any teen male in this household the surname house hold of Abrams kept tugging at me.

As I a moved on with my search and left the hunt for Corrine’s father I picked up some other data that began to generate excitement. The 1900 census noted the parentage of Missouri Borgus. It noted that her parents were from Africa. This was not a common notation. As a matter of fact from the 1870, 1880, 1900 censuses this was not noted on any of the households for pages and pages of the census. It is noted only in three other circumstances and the correlation of this astounded me. On the 1870 Putnam County, Georgia census it was noted for a Caesar Walker on page 5 of 139, household 259 and on a Valentin Walker page 6 of 139 household 269, these two households were neighbors and in close proximity to each other and in close proximity to the household of the Andrew and Missouri Borgus who lived in household 272 noted also on page 6 of 139 of the Putnam County, Georgia 1870 census. They were neighbors. As a matter of fact Valentin Walker lived three properties down from the Borgus property. Now in the many years of doing this research, one thing I came to know was true, that many of the families, sibling, children and parents lived within doors of each other in very close proximity on the same plot of land. I noted this on all of my family relations particularly in Putnam County and Baldwin County of Eatonton and Milledgeville of Georgia.

I was beginning to get that ancestor antennae buzz. It made me sense that the Caesar and Valentin Walker (from Africa with parents from Africa) are male relations (brothers?) possibly even twins since they are both noted as 75 years old with birth year abt.1798. The ancestor antennae buzz also vibrated that they were the male relations (brothers ?) of Missouri maiden name yet unknown, whose parents were also from Africa. Although Missouri’s demographic data on the 1870 and the 1880 census does not note parentage from Africa the 1900 census clearly states it. It would not be unusual that the data in the earlier censuses were not reflective of Missouri’s voice but that of someone else. The later census of 1900 may be more reflective of Missouri’s own awareness and oral narrative. The continued research to mine out others who list Africa as origin of birth of their parents or self is limited to only a few individuals five in fact Caesar Walker and Valentin Walker, Sylvia Cummings, Gabe Williams and Missouri Borgus. All who live within doors of each other on either the 1870, 1880 or 1900 census. Out of Africa is particular to only these individuals on the many pages of the census for Putnam Opposition Eatonton or Baldwin County of Milledgeville Georgia.

The 1880 census for Putnam County Georgia on page 5 of 16 notes a Sylvia Cummings born abt. 1810 age 70 who lists her parents as being from Africa. The census notes that she is born in Virginia. Sylvia Cummings is the mother of “the head of the household” John Harris who is noted as head of household on page 4 of 16 of the census in the household number 31. Sylvia Cummings is living within doors of Missouri Borgus and Andrew Borgus who are in household 38 noted on page 5 of 16 on the 1880 census. Finally on the 1900 census page 1 of 17 Gabe Williams is the other individual who lists his father as being from Africa, his mother from Virginia and his self from Georgia. Now note Gabe Williams lives next door to Missouri Borgus and Andrew Borgus on the 1900 census.

The consistency of these individuals being the only individuals listing Africa as the origin of the birth of one or both parents and self is too much of a coincidence or co existing occurrences since I do not believed in happenstance of coincidences. The continued proximity of their dwellings reinforces my ancestor antennae buzz that these folk out of Africa are all related. This is why I call Missouri Borgus “A Georgia Peach a Seed out of Africa.” Now I do not have a definite paper trail but I have let the head limitation give way to the spirit buzz of the ancestors (as my fellow genealogist Luckie Daniels of AAGSAR African American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research, keeps telling me follow the voice of the ancestors do not over think it.)

I surmise with supposition that the Walker men born 1798 are the oldest of the Out of Africa Clan, both parents and themselves born in Africa. Sylvie Cummings is the next in order born about 1810 in Virginia to parents who are Out of Africa. Missouri Borgus born about 1847 in Georgia re census with both parents Out of AFrica and Gabe Williams the last of the bunch born about 1836 whose Father is noted out of Africa but mother out of Virginia and his status is born in Georgia.

I will have to begin to mine the Virginia census for any relevant data on the possibilities of what may be a link between the Walkers, Missouri Borgus Sylvia Cummings and Gabe Williams.

Now I noted earlier that for years I kept gravitating to the ancestor spirit resonating in my ear that the Abram surname household had some connection to Jennie Borgus. This feeling continued for years as I searched out the possible father for Jennie Borgus’ baby girl Corrine. The immediate Abrams/Abraham household next to the Borgus (who lived two doors away in house number 38) did not have a teen or male son in proximity of Jennie’s age of 16. This was on based on the 1880 census, page 5 of 16, house house number 36 for Lucious Abraham age 28 and his wife Emily 23. Yet I could not let go of the idea and feeling that there was a connection. I even wondered if there had been some inappropriate contact between this Abraham male and the young teen Jennie Borgus. So strong was this sensation that there was a connection between Jennie Borgus and this Abraham surname. This I must note was a lasting resonating feeling for several years.

Well on January 3, 2014 shortly after joining the familysearch.org, I did find a connection to the Abraham/Abram surname. I found out that great great grandmother Jennie Borgus Winkfield had been married and widowed twice. Winkfield was her second marriage. I found a marriage certificate for her first marriage to one ISAAC ABRAHAM/ABRAMS. The name and its variation is noted on two different census. The marriage certificate noted January 3, 1884 as the date of marriage between a Isaac Abrams and one Jennie Borgus. I found this exactly 130 years to the day. This marriage certificate is posted on my previous blog of January 14, 2014. Now that piece of information had me flying for the past two weeks.If that was not enough, something else was revealed. I was coordinating the data for this blog. I retrieved and reviewed the censuses for 1870, 1880, 1900 in order to give factual data on the Caesar and Valentin Walker households and Sylvia Cummings and Gabe Williams the highly suspected “family of origin members” of Missouri Borgus.
In the course of reviewing those censuses, I noted an additional Abrams household number 290 on the 1870 census. In the household of Abram Abrams was noted one “Isaac Abrams” born 1861 he was 9 years old on the 1870 census page 9 of 139. The parents are Nepton and Catherine Abram in household number 290 that begins on the bottom of page 8 of 139 of the 1870 census. This household continues on page 9 of 139 of the 1870 census. Andrew and Missouri Borgus and their then 6 year old daughter Jennie Borgus lived at house number 272 on page 6 of 139 of the 1870 Putnam County Eatonton Georgia Census. Yes the Borgus and Abram families were neighbors when Isaac Abram age 9 and Jennie Borgus age 6 were children. I am laughing out loud. It was right in front of my nose the entire time. The connection is on the 1870 census for Borgus and Abrams. Yet it took until this month for me to find it. The marriage certificate find for (Isaac Abraham /Abrams married on January 3, 1884 to Jennie Borgus) caused me to retrace and track my records because the name Abrams rang the proverbial bell.

Considering that they married in 1884 when Jennie Borgus was 20 and Isaac 23 would it be too much of a jump to think that Isaac might be the father of Jennie’s daughter Corrine born three years prior to their marriage? The same resonating ancestor voice that pushed and pushed until I confirmed this Abram/Abraham connection continues to resonate that this is the father of Corrine Borgus. I will continue with this resonating ancestor antennae buzz. Until such time as it manifests the proof that my “in my head mode” will continue to want. Yet my “in the spirit self” knows, this to be “spirit ancestor in my bones truth.”

It is this same resonating ancestor antennae that keeps me centered in the idea of a Walker family and Missouri Borgus “blood” out of Africa connection. Point of information on the 1900 census next door to Missouri Borgus and Andrew lived her possible relative Gabe Williams. Guess who lives on the other side of (Gabe) Missouri’s possible blood connection out of Africa? None other than her granddaughter Corrine Borgus Lewis and hubby Tom Lewis and infant daughter “Jennie Lewis” Now ain’t this a peach of a story! It is Truly something to blog about.

Now as to the spirit vibes, I can not say why but I have always had a mind-thought that great-grand mother Corrine’s and my grandfather Orian’s lineage was somehow connected to Hebrew/Jewish lineage. I have no way to explain this mind thought that resonates in my spirit. I have no way of validating this feeling or this thought. Yet this connection to this name Abram/Abraham came with the same feeling and it has proven to have had merit. All the similarly situated Hebrew/Jewish first names; Abrams, Levy, Samuel/Saul, Rachael to name a few, (noted on the 1870 census) feels more than coincidental. I will continue to allow the ancestors to lead and guide me on this venture.

Now can you handle one more What’s In A Name? What Is the Meaning of It All?

I initially intended to look up the name Borgus for a literal and cultural translation. What I found made me laugh. I was trying to see how to fit it into the Blog in a contextual manner to provoke a thought or response from the ancestors. I will type the translation I found and I will let you ponder it as I go brew my peach tea. Lord knows I will need it since I have been up all night communicating this story.

I learned one lesson in the course of this. If you do not tell your journey step by step according to the ancestors, it will disappear literally. I had completed most of this dialogue and some tech issue wiped it off the Word Press page. I could not retrieve. I had to start anew. Yet this time I put it into a Word Document first and saved it to prevent it from disappearing again. It is worded a little differently but with the same factual data. I believe it was so I could find the piece on Isaac Abrams and Jennie Borgus living next to each other as children on the 1870 census. At the time of the initial typing I was not aware of that and may have not retrieved that data if the original blog had not disappeared off the page. I tell you the truth the ancestors are doing a ring shout that I have finally put these pieces together.

Now for the conclusion of BORGUS: What’s In A Name? What Is the Meaning of It All?

BORGUS web definition: Borgu is a region in Western Nigeria and in the northern Republic of Benin.
BORGUS urban dictionary: concept that a global human consciousness will form manifested as the nexus of all written knowledge on Earth and the inter-connectivity of that information through computer networks. (Luckie Daniels of AAGSAR are you hearing this did you plant this definition just to tease me and encourage me re online communication). This concept spawned the fictional Borg species on the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation which are a race of interconnected beings with a single mind.

Well that is it for now. I need some sleep and the ancestors are telling me to rest now. No peach cobbler today but I have a piping hot peach pie that is ready and the peach tea is brewed. Maybe the ancestors will treat me to the first name of Mr. Winkfield the second hubby of Jennie Borgus Abrams. I have some more searching to do also on Missouri. It says her marriage date to Andrew Borgus is 1870 maybe if I can track down that marriage certificate I just might locate her maiden name. While that story unravels I will peak around in the Lewis closet and see how that bond of Corrine Borgus and (John)Tom Lewis fairs. Also will have to tend to some of those Huff ancestors. I hear them Huffing and Puffing that their names are not being called.

What’s in a Name? Continuation on Corrine Borgus

Georgia On My Mind: Milledgeville's Borgus & Lewis Family

Well the Cobbler is hot and the tea is sweet as peaches, so let us continue with our conversation on “Mother” my great gran Corrine Borgus Lewis. As I noted in my blog of last week, Mother was an only child. I always thought that my grandfather’s (Orian Ullyses Lewis, I just love his name)relative who we called Aunt Babe was my great grandmother’s sister but it turns out that she was my grand dad’s relation on his father’s side (John Tom Lewis) we will talk about dem Lewis’ later.
Mother Corrine was an only child. She was the daughter of Jenny (aka Jane) Borgus and her father as of yet is Patria Ignatio to me. ( later in the blog I will share a funny joke re Patria Ignatio). Mother Corrine was raised by her mom’s parents. According to census records Corrine Borgus carried the name of her maternal…

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What’s in a Name? Continuation on Corrine Borgus

Well the Cobbler is hot and the tea is sweet as peaches, so let us continue with our conversation on “Mother” my great gran Corrine Borgus Lewis. As I noted in my blog of last week, Mother was an only child. I always thought that my grandfather’s (Orian Ullyses Lewis, I just love his name)relative who we called Aunt Babe was my great grandmother’s sister but it turns out that she was my grand dad’s relation on his father’s side (John Tom Lewis) we will talk about dem Lewis’ later.
Mother Corrine was an only child. She was the daughter of Jenny (aka Jane) Borgus and her father as of yet is Patria Ignatio to me. ( later in the blog I will share a funny joke re Patria Ignatio). Mother Corrine was raised by her mom’s parents. According to census records Corrine Borgus carried the name of her maternal Granddad “Andrew Borgus” and Missouri Borgus her grandmother. Why? Well it appears as if her mom Jennie Borgus was a sixteen year old mother living in her parents’ home and single when she gave birth to her one and only child Corrine Borgus on November 4, 1881. Jennie herself was born 1865 in Putnam County Georgia as noted on the 1870 and 1880 census.
Jennie Borgus was a teenage single mom. Knowing my great Grandmother Corrine and her calm and dignified manner, I wondered how did this impact her as a child and throughout her life? Now this is information I unearthed as I was sleuthing through my ancestors’ closets. My maternal grandmother(Fleta Arnold Lewis) who is the one who gave me the limited data on my Lewis/Borgus clan always alluded that her husband, my grand daddy Orian Ullyses Lewis, was closed mouth about his family matters as was his mother Great gran Corrine Borgus (Lewis).
Upon tracking down the census of 1870, 1880 and 1900 and piecing together who Mother Corrine’s people were this is how I learned Corrine’s mom’s name and her grandparents names. It was as well the source my discovery of the circumstance of my great Gran Mother being born out of wedlock. I wondered about the circumstance. Was it the result of young love or was there some other circumstance at hand. I so wanted to believe in the idea of young love and searched the neighboring households on the 1880 census for a young male close in age to Jennie Borgus. No youthful teen male in age proximity appeared in any of the neighboring homes. I began to wonder? Now I must say that there was one family name and household that I gravitated to on that 1880 census as having some potential. Now I can not explain why, I can only say that it is the uncanny energy that engulfs me when the ancestors drop cues and clues in my energy zone. More about this circumstance later.
So for quite sometime I am left pondering this information. I came across this information after my grand parents had transitioned so I had to depend on my ancestor guides. It is only recently that my aunt and a first cousin once removed have also begun to recall the very private whispers and acknowledge that there was knowledge of Mother Corrine being born out side of marriage to a sixteen year old mother. They also allude to the belief that there existed more to the story that seemed to be steeped in shame beyond a teen pregnancy. The fact that Mother was the only child of her teenage mother raised my professional obstetrical inquisitiveness as to this solitary pregnancy.
Try as I may I cannot track any information on the possible father of my great gran Corrine Borgus. Because of the absence of the 1890 census I actually lose track of Mother Corrine’s mom Jennie Borgus after 1880 census. Now I have to admit all of my information I gather from back tracking from my searching Mother Corrine on the 1930 census. On that 1930 census she is married to great gran John Tom Lewis and her mother Jennie is living in the household with them at 65 years of age. Yes! This was my first breakthrough some years back. Although the search of Jennie under her widow status of Jennie Winkfield yielded no data as to the paternity of her daughter Corrine. Even my search of the Winkfield name in Georgia was not forth coming for I did not have the first name of Jennie Borgus Winkfield’s husband…..and after all these years later searching on Ancestry.com, I still do not know but I am getting close. You see in the past few weeks after joining AAGSAR, I have been blessed by so many others sharing other resources such as familysearch.org. The first visit to this site and I am astounded to find out that Winkfield was the name of Jennie Borgus’ second husband! She was married previously and then she was widowed early in her life. Jennie never had any children out of either of these two marriages. The census notes Jennie only had one pregnancy her entire life and that was her daughter Corrine. Jennie married for the first time in 1884, three years after the birth of her one and only child. Now are you ready to know the name of her first husband well hold on to your hat. Remember earlier I noted that my intuitive sense was leading me to a particular household whenever I tried to decipher possible connections for the Teen mother Jennie. Well the household that I gravitated to was a household of Abram/Abraham yet there was not a teen male in this household….Well on January 3,2014 I find the marriage certificate for Jennie Borgus who marries a Isaac Abraham on get this JANUARY 3,1884! I locate her first marriage certificate on the exact anniversary date of her marriage 130 years to the date…And with the surname of the Abraham/Abram household I was peeking into. But there was no Isaac in that household on the 1880 census…that is okay for I am too overjoyed with these ancestral connections. Now armed with this first Marriage I will track Jennie Borgus Abram or Abraham to see if I can locate her second Marriage to the elusive Mr. Winkfield to find his first name.
Unfortunately I still have no data on the paternity of Mother Corrine’s father. I could surmise the possibility that Jennie Borgus’ first husband could have been her daughter’s father yet the fact that Corrine’s name remained Borgus, her mom’s maiden name, leads me to believe that Isaac Abraham/Abrams was not the dad. The search for these answers continue. Now I will leave you with something to ponder. Corrine was raised in her grandparents’ home for at least the first formative years of her life. Yet again the absence of the 1890 census does not allow us definitive data as to whose household Corrine was in after the marriage of Jennie Borgus to Isaac Abraham. The following is known. Corrine as a young bride to Tom Lewis lives within a few homes to her grandparents Andrew and Missouri Borgus (1900 census). Also from family information, a written journal from one of Corrine’s daughters,(Gussie Lewis Simmons) notes that Corrine was often referenced as a sister to the younger siblings of Jennie Borgus as opposed to being their niece. Well, now you have it! These are some of the details as to what’s in a name, but oh so much more to tell…..
Let me clear these empty cobbler dishes and tea cups so that I can begin the process for my peach preserves…I will be back in a moment with more exciting news about Missouri Borgus A Georgia Peach A Seed out of Africa.

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BORGUS: What’s In A Name?

A New Year and a new venture. “Borgus” the ancestral name of my paternal grandfather’s mother. She carried the name of her maternal grandparents. This is the first eye opener that I experienced as I began to track the ancestors of my paternal grandfather, Orian Ullysses Lewis born February 4, 1913 in Putnam County, Eatonton, Georgia and later lived in Baldwin County ( Milledgeville).

I have always been fascinated by the names of my paternal grandfather and his siblings as well as the uncommon maiden name of my paternal great grandmother Corrine Borgus. Mother as we called her was a very refined and dignified woman. She was statuesque standing close to six feet tall which was extraordinary for a woman born November 4, 1881.

I remember Mother quite well. Let me digress for a moment. I was blessed to be born into a multigenerational family with all four of my grandparents, three great grand mothers and two great grand fathers. My great grand dads were alive for the early beginnings of my formative years, my three great grand mothers alive and well into my early adult years and my grandparents well into my middle age years.

I lived in the family home with my great grands and grand parents at various stages of my early life. I recall from my earliest memories “Mother”. She was 96 years of age when she died in August 1975 and I was called home from my first months away at College to attend her funeral services.

As an infant and a young toddler I spent many hours with Mother. I slept in the same Black Spanish Oak four poster bed with her….I always climbed into her matching rocking chair rocking myself as fast as I could. I would sit at her feet as she pinched her snuff and chewed it daily each morning…The small snuff tin with the picture of a Georgia Peach on the label. The very picture of the Peach would entice me each time to ask “Mother” if I could have some peaches…. thinking in a little child’s mind that the tobacco were peach leaves  that must certainly taste like peaches, since Mother chewed them regularly…In any event I knew and loved my great grand mother Corrine Borgus Lewis. It fascinated me even as a young child that she was born in a century other than the twentieth century or that her birth year was 1881. I would often pester her with questions, “was your mother a slave did you know your grand parents or even your great grand mother ” ….Can you tell me what it was like ….She would never answer the questions ….Her response always “Baby you do not have to concern yourself with those old ways”…. ” you keep your eyes forward do not look backward you just study do well in school advance yourself….No concern about old ways.”

It is this unknowing about my great grand mother’s life that motivated me to track her familial name to see who her people were. I had her name, her birth date, her place of birth and approximate marriage date to Grand dad John Tom Lewis… Just as closed mouth as my great grand mother was my grandfather Orian. He lived to be 92 he died May 5, 2005 and as much time as I spent with him he shed very little light on his life in Georgia or his family ancestors on either the Borgus line or the Lewis line. So it is this silence that has fueled my years of sleuthing through my ancestors closets to find out their story…..Journey with me as I share what the Ancestors revealed to me on this long long journey……5 plus decades of harvesting this Borgus Peach of A Story…Let me prepare a peach cobbler and brew a cup of peach tea and I will be back in a Moment!

I did not realize that Mother was an only child until I began to survey countless census records to gather information on the Borgus ancestors.

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