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Athabascan GG Slave VA

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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:54 pm

Athabascan GG Slave VA

Postby Shari » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:18 pm

My great aunt (in the 1930s) told my mother that the family had a “Canadian Indian grandmother.”

I was quite hesitant to confront the subject of Native American slavery but, with family tree research and DNA results, I began to believe our Athabascan great…grandmother MISS NELSON (1774-1811) might have been born into slavery or might have descended from slaves who were Athabascans taken from their homes in Alberta, Canada, according to two bright green dots on my mother’s Fingerprint Plus map. This is far from Virginia where her father’s family, the NELSONS, lived.

My mother’s 8th World Population Match is “Native American - Alaskan Athabaskan.” My same match is 24th.

Our great…grandmother MISS NELSON married a Revolutionary War soldier in 1794 (JAMES PATTERSON). She had 11 children before dying in 1811 at 37 years of age. Her father was a member of a large, prominent family in Virginia - the NELSONS - who were very involved in the Revolutionary War. Her mother seems to have been Alaskan Athabascan.

MISS NELSON’S son, Joshua Patterson, in his family history stated that “Miss Nelson is a kinswoman of General Nelson of Revolutionary War fame. Brigadier General Thomas Nelson… a Virginia signer of the Declaration of Independence.”
With preponderance of evidence, I believe her father NELSON was a cousin to General Thomas.

Miss Nelson’s father NELSON did not stay with Miss Nelson’s Athabascan mother. He married a white woman soon after Miss Nelson was born. Interestingly, their sons were close to Miss Nelson. According to an 1812 Tax List of Maury County, Tennessee, they were living there along with Miss Nelson’s husband James Patterson and family. This is where she died in 1811.

I could find no records online suggesting that any Athabascan tribes chose to migrate from Canada to live in the Southeastern American Colonies. Were our ancestors forced into slavery, transported and sold, possibly to the Nelsons who were slave owners in Virginia?

Online sources suggest that Native American slavery was quite extensive in North America, but “covered up” by historians. However, more research is being done currently.

From Wikipedia - Slavery Among Native Americans in the United States:
…In a Virginia General Assembly declaration of 1705, some terms were defined:
And also be in [sic.] enacted, by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, That all servants imported and brought into the Country... who were not christians in their native country, (except... Turks and Moors in amity with her majesty, and others that can make due proof of their being free in England, or any other christian country, before they were shipped...) shall be accounted and be slaves, and such be here bought and sold notwithstanding a conversion to christianity afterward. [Section IV.]
And if any slave resists his master, or owner, or other person, by his or her order, correcting such slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction, it shall not be accounted felony; but the master, owner, and every such other person so giving correction, shall be free and acquit of all punishment and accusation for the same, as if such incident had never happened… [Section XXXIV.][25][26]

Also, from Wikipedia - Slavery Among Native Americans in the United States:
…Both Native American and African-American slaves were at risk of sexual abuse by slaveholders and other white men of power…

How sad that Miss Nelson was likely born into slavery and that none of her children honored her appropriately by revealing her full name and true identity.


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Re: Athabascan GG Slave VA

Postby dpyates » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:13 pm

Fascinating! Indian slavery was particularly acute among the "Cherokee," who often kept a very pretty female slave as their concubine. It may be one of the sources of the incredible diversity of Cherokee people.
Donald N. Yates, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, http://dnaconsultants.com

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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:54 pm

Re: Athabascan GG Slave VA

Postby Shari » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:15 pm

I wrote a family history about Miss Nelson, her family and descendants but, of course, I couldn’t find anything in NELSON family online records in Virginia or nearby states about Nelson female slaves.

Two others with similar stories as Miss Nelson’s are - KERANHAPPUCH NELSON and JANE SPURLOCK. I found nothing showing that Miss Nelson was related to either.

- KERANHAPPUCH NELSON married the year Miss Nelson was born - 1774. Her story is very similar to that of Miss Nelson. Kerranhappuch was understood, also, to have been related to Thomas Nelson Jr. who signed the Declaration of Independence.

This is from Jan Biard Thomas’ history:
Kerranhappuch (Nelson?) b. before 1760, d. on or before January 2nd, 1822 Dallas County, Alabama; Married probably before 1774, Buckingham Co., VA; Henry Beard/Baird b. before 1752, d. 07/07/1794 to 12/31/1794 possibly in Virginia. Speculative list of Children: 7 sons and 6 daughters, exact order not known. They were born between 1774 and 1792…. Our family legend is that Kerranhappuch’s maiden name is Nelson. She is supposed to be the sister of or related to Thomas Nelson Jr. who signed the Declaration of Independence. I have not found any evidence to support that so far. What I have found regarding the Nelson surname in connection with our Biards is an 1801 land transaction in Buckingham Co., Virginia between Archibald Baird and Abraham and Elijah Nelson. These Nelsons also wind up in Halifax Co., Virginia.
I think it is possible that they are related to Kerranhappuch and may be related to Thomas Nelson Jr., but I haven’t found anything to support that yet either. However, there were some of the Nelson family in our general vicinity which should be looked at, Robert Nelson, owning land in Albemarle is the son of President William Nelson of Yorktown. Robert Nelson sold all his land in Albemarle in 1778. Hugh Nelson, owning land in Albemarle is the son of Gov. Thomas Nelson, and the grandson of Pres. William Nelson of Yorktown.

- JANE SPURLOCK - Thomas Nelson III (King William County) had a relationship with a slave named JANE SPURLOCK who was known to have been at least part Native American. He left land to Jane and her children in a willing the early 1800s (1804?).

These four messages give some details:
Re: Thomas Nelson - vonley1 (View posts), Posted: 04 Aug 2003 09:32AM:
“Also in the will he names Jinny/Jane Spurlock as his Mulato woman. Hence the connection. Now the Spurlock name we know is well known in Barbados. We also known that the Nelsons lived and had plantations in Barbados. Also the Spurlock name is of Indian descent…”

Re: Thomas Nelson - calawyer (View posts), Posted: 12 Oct 2002 10:35PM,
Surnames: Nelson, Spurlock:
“I have been trying to ascertain the relationship between Thomas Nelson of King William County Va to Thomas Nelson, Jr., signer of the Declaration. Thomas Nelson (III) of King William County freed my ancestors the Spurlocks upon his death in 1803.”

Re: Thomas Nelson - kenhaas27 (View posts), Posted: 07 May 2010 01:32PM:
“…Much is now known of Jane Spurlock and her descendants but her own background is murky. It seemed clear that Jane had children by Capt. Thomas Nelson born 1748 "of Washington's staff". He left land and other benefits to Jane's children in his will and charged his brother William to carry out the will's provisions….Jane’s descendants were a mixture of African-American, Native-American and white with different ones variously described over the decades down to today.

Thomas "Scotch Tom" Nelson had a brother, William, who migrated to Barbados from their home in Penrith, Cumberland Co., England. William engaged in the sugar trade. William and "Scotch Tom" Nelson owned a sloop named "Marha" and there was a trade route from Barbados to Yorktown, VA. Tobacco from Virginia for sugar in Barbados.

Re: Thomas Nelson - Diane Nelson (View posts), Posted: 26 Sep 2016 01:15PM:
“I'm wondering if my Nelson family were slaves on the Nelson Plantation. I'm researching Patsy Halley Nelson born about 1795. Patsy and her sister were freed around 1807. John Lemon Nelson was born around 1830. They were in the Alexandria County some of the time.”


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