Monthly Archives: January 2016

Bill JONES – Basketball Pioneer

While looking up different topics to write about, I came across the Toledo’s Attics post regarding African American’s in Toledo Sports. In the basketball section, there was a short article about William (Bill) McNeill JONES who was a great basketball player from Toledo and one of the first black players to integrate professional basketball. Bill JONES was born in Toledo in 1914, which made me wonder if he was related to one of my JONES lines.  Bill JONES was a basketball star when he attended Woodward High School here in Toledo.  He also was a player for the University of Toledo and is currently in their athletic hall of fame.  After college he was on a team that integrated the National Basketball League in the 1940s which later merge with the Basketball Association of America and became the National Basketball Association (NBA).

picture

 

Of course JONES is a very common surname, but due to the year of his birth being prior to 1920, I felt that maybe there was a connection due to there not being many black people in Northwest Ohio during that time period.

I also remembered that I do have a William A. JONES in my genealogy.  He is a part of the “other” JONES family in my ancestry.  As shared in the JONES/ROBINSON post, I have two lines of JONES families who are not related to each other.  Both of them are on my maternal line and confusingly, they married into each others families rather early on.  Harold WHITFIELD, whose mother was Martha (Mattie) JONES WHITFIELD, went on to marry Florence ROBINSON WHITFIELD, whose mother was Nancy JONES ROBINSON mentioned in that post.  So both individuals in this couple had mother’s who were from a family with the surname JONES.  I know, I know, it is confusing!!  But this post will be about the line of Martha (Mattie) JONES WHITFIELD.

Mattie JONES was born in Ohio in approximately 1865 (d. 1949 Toledo, Ohio).  Her father was John A. JONES (b. approx 1835, d. approx 1890) who on census records indicated he was from Mississippi.  Her mother was Amy BLICK(S)/BLECK(S) JONES  (b. approx 1846, d. 1903) who stated she was from Virginia.  This JONES family moved to the Northwest Ohio area around 1876-1880.  On the 1870 census the JONES family was living in Berlin Township, Delaware County, Ohio.  Delaware County is in Central Ohio and has an interesting history being that it was home to two union camps during the Civil War.  One for white troops and the other for black troops.  I have found some information linking John A. JONES with being a Civil War soldier in the US Colored Infantry, but I cannot confirm this as even halfway true due to the very common name of John JONES, I intend to delve into military genealogy hopefully later this year for all known/suspected veterans in my family tree.  In 1870, John A. JONES was a farm laborer and had real estate valued at $300 and had a personal estate listed at $200 in Berlin Township, which I felt was pretty rich for that day and time, especially for a black man.  Amy JONES stated that she was “uncertain” about her age, which lead me to conclude that she was a formerly enslaved person, though I feel both were more than likely former slaves.  As an aside, I am working on finding out more about Amy JONES.  Her maiden name was spelled horrendously on various documents pertaining to her children’s marriages and deaths but I am going to attempt to link her with a family in Virginia to conduct some slavery research and see if I can find out more about her.

On the 1880 census, the JONES family were living in Swan Creek, Fulton County, Ohio, which is in Northwest Ohio.  They were the only black family living in the county at that time according to the book mentioned in the JONES/ROBINSON post “Blacks in Ohio in 1880.” This was a book that listed all the black people in Ohio according to the 1880 Census.

John A. JONES was listed as a farmer on the census.  All of the children, except the two youngest William JONES (4 years old) and Hattie JONES (1 year old) were marked as having attended school within the year.  Neither John A. JONES nor Amy JONES could read or write.

According to Toledo city directories, this JONES family lived in the City of Toledo by 1886.  John JONES became a “drayman” the same occupation as Elias WHITFIELD who married Mattie JONES and became his son-in-law.

Due to John A JONES and Amy JONES having a son named William, I wondered if Bill JONES was the grandson of John A. and Amy JONES.  Further research into his background, using Bill JONES’ birth date and pulling up records for the 1920 census showed that Bill JONES was the son of William A. JONES and Jessie GATLIFF/GATLEFF JONES.  William A. JONES and Jessie GATLIFF/GATLEFF were married in Toledo on April 27, 1907.  Jessie listed her parents as John GATLIFF and Amanda GOENS/GOINS.  She was born in Ross County, Ohio.  William A. JONES listed his parents as John A. JONES and Amy BLICK/BLECK.  He was born in 1875 in Delaware County, Ohio!

So the basketball pioneer (William) Bill McNeil JONES was my 5th cousin!  Pretty far removed but for me, not by much in the genealogy world.

William A. JONES and Jessie GATLIFF/GATLEFF JONES went on to have 7 known children.  Three of those children had the same names as members of my “other” JONES family.  Bill JONES was named after his father William of course.  Bill’s sister Elizabeth was named after their aunt and Bill’s older brother John was named after their grandfather John A. JONES.

Due to their longevity in Ohio with a documented family history since the 1860s, the JONES family would qualify as a “Century Family” with the Ohio Genealogical Society.

I will also look further into the genealogy of Jessie GATLIFF/GATLEFF since she was from Ross County, Ohio.  Ross County had a pretty large, long presence of free people of color and GOINS/GOENS especially is a very familiar name for Ross County and warrants additional research.

REFERENCES USED FOR THIS POST:

Toledo’s Attic:  http://toledosattic.org/104-essays/sportshistory/174-afroamintoledosports?showall=&start=4

1870 Census – www.familysearch.org

1880 Census – www.familysearch.org

1920Census – www.familysearch.org

Ohio, County Marriages 1789-2013 – www.familysearch.org

 

Early Black Toledoans 1850 Census

After creating the post “Early Black Toledoans 1840 Census” I became interested in reviewing other early census records of NW Ohio and SE Michigan.

I perused both the 1820 Census and 1830 Census of Monroe County, Michigan Territory due to Toledo, prior to its official formation, being a part of Michigan until the conclusion of the “Toledo War” and the it subsequently became an Ohio city.

I also decided to look up the 1850 Census and see if I could find more black/colored residents who may have been listed on 1840 like the NICHOLS/NICKOLAS family of 1840. I’ll write more about (very interesting) findings on the 1820 and 1830 censuses on a later post and after additional information, but wanted to share the data I pulled from the 1850 Census on this entry.

The 1850 Census was the first which listed out every household member by name and age. For those who worked (particularly males) it also listed an occupation.

Other information found on the 1850 Census was the state or origin of every resident, whether or not the resident was married in 1850, whether the resident could read and write, or if the resident attended school that year.

I created a spreadsheet of the black/colored families listed on the 1850 census, which I will post on this blog in the future along with the spreadsheet I made for 1840. Hopefully this will give other genealogist and local historians more information regarding the earliest black Toledoans or just provide some interesting reading material.

On the 1850 Census there were 43 black/colored families listed with a total of 121 residents within those families.

As on the 1840 Census, not all people were actually African American, many were multi-racial and there were whites who had married a black spouse who I included due to them being a part of the 43 families.

During this time period, the City of Toledo was not the same size and distance that it is today, as such, I included different areas that now make up the city. I was unsure of a few of the areas that were listed and I will have to research them more and if there are any changes to this data in the future I will update this post.

Some raw information from the 1850 Census is as follows:

RACIAL/GENDER DESCRIPTION OF RESIDENTS

  • There were 54 resident labeled as “black”
  • There were 62 residents labeled as “mullatto”
  • There were 5 residents who were labeled as “white” who lived with black or mullatto heads of households
  • There were 50 females
  • There were 71 males

AGE OF RESIDENTS

  • The average age of all individuals was 21
  • The average age of males was 19.26
  • The average age of females was 23.14
  • The oldest male on the 1850 census was William NICKOLAS  who was 59 years old
    • Remember, he was on the 1840 Census as well as a black head of household
  • There were two females who were the oldest females – Peggy CRUMMEL and Alice LUCAS were both 60 years old
    • Note – There was a white male with the surname CROMWELL on the 1840 Census who was tallied as having a black female aged 36-55 living with him in his home.  Peggy CRUMMEL may have been a part of the CROMWELL household of 1840.
  • There were two males who were the youngest male babies in Toledo – James AMBROS and James KINES(HINES) were both 8 months old
  • The youngest female was Sarah WILSON who was also 8 months old

WARD/TOWNSHIP OF RESIDENTS

On the 1850 Census the residents were listed by residence in Wards and in certain townships that now make up the City of Toledo.  In 1850 there were 4 Wards.  Townships which are included in this tally are Manhattan (now North Toledo/The Old North End), Washington Township, Port Lawrence (downtown), and Oregon (includes current Oregon and East Toledo).

  • Ward 1 contained 24 residents
  • Ward 2 contained 22 residents
  • Ward 3 contained 0 residents
  • Ward 4 contained 67 residents
  • Manhattan contained 8 residents
  • Oregon contained 0 residents
  • Washington Township contained 0 residents
  • Port Lawrence contained 0 residents

BIRTHPLACE OF RESIDENTS

There were 17 states/countries listed that residents stated they were from.  Please note that during this era, Toledo was a part of the Underground Railroad system and as such, many black or mullato (mixed with black or lighter skinned) residents who may have been escaped slaves, would have been hesitant to share their state of origin for fear of being recaptured and sent back to slavery.  Other research material I have read regarding Ohio and Pennsylvania relatives indicates that lying about their state of origin was very common for escaped slaves and that many of them would not provide a location.  This can be seen in Toledo’s black residents of 1850 being that 11 individuals stated that their place of origin was “unknown.”  Residents on later census records I have reviewed changed their states of origin on later census dates.

Below are only listed the top 10 places that black/mullatto residents stated that they were from:

  • 31 individuals stated they were born in Ohio (this included a large amount of children/babies)
  • 11 individuals stated they were born in New York (this included the large NICHOLS/NICKOLAS family)
  • 9 individuals stated they were born in Canada
  • 9 individuals stated they were born in Michigan
  • 8 individuals stated they were born in Virginia
  • 7 individuals stated they were born in Tennessee
  • 7 individuals stated they were born in Pennsylvania
  • 6 individuals stated they were born in North Carolina
  • 6 individuals stated they were born in Indiana

Some locations of note are as follows:

  • 1 individual stated that he was born in Massachuesetts
    • His name was Harvey FIELDS, a barber by trade
    • The 3 oldest FIELDS children (William, Julius, and Robert) were the only black/colored children who attended school in 1850.  They were listed as born in Canada.
  • 1 individual stated that she was born in Ireland
    • Her name was Mary Ann CAMPBELL a white woman married to James CAMPBELL a black man from Virginia working as a Drayman
    • They had 3 mullatto children on the census (Castillia, 7; William, 5; and Mahala, 2)

OCCUPATIONS OF RESIDENTS

As stated above, women’s occupations were usually not described on early census records unless they were heads of household.  Though there were some single women who would have been considered heads of household in Toledo, their occupations were not listed.  Not all of the men had occupations listed either even though in 1850 all men aged 15 and older should have had their occupations listed.  Two men had occupations listed as “none” – George FRENCH an 18 year old mullatto and William NICHOLS/NICKOLAS who was the oldest man in the black/colored community in Toledo in 1850.

  • 11 men stated that they were a Barber
    • Black/mullatto men who were barbers during this period had a much higher rate of socio-economic mobility due to being businessmen.  They were some of the most influential and well off members of the black community though not all had the same amount of prestige.
  • 6 men stated that they were a Cook
  • 4 men stated that they were a Waiter
  • 3 men stated that they were a Drayman
  • 3 men stated that they were a Laborer
  • 3 men stated that they were a Teamster
  • 2 men stated that they were a Porter
  • 2 men stated that they were a Painter
  • 1 man stated that he was a Cooper

Some of the more interesting occupations only had one man who worked in that position:

  • 1 man stated he was a Musician
  • 1 man stated that he was a “Reseller of Old Clothes”
  • 1 man stated that he was a Store Maker
  • 1 man stated that he was a “Recef”
    • I have seen this occupation before on old census records but don’t know what it is so I will have to do some more research on this one
  • 1 man stated that he was a “Gurny”
    • I have also seen this one but don’t know what it was.  Information I have come across inclines me to believe that a Gurny was a man who carried things around or was a delivery man of some sort

Some other interesting items taken from this research was that the most popular surname amongst Toledo’s black/colored population was WILSON.  There were 2 households with the surname WILSON.  The second most populous was NICHOLS/NICKOLAS as was on the previous 1840 census.  There were 4 households with the surname NICHOLS/NICKOLAS.

The lone black/mullatto family that lived in Manhattan/North Toledo were called the LEBLEW family.  I am thinking that this is a mis-spelling and it may have been a French name.  The male head of household’s name was Arvill/Orville and he was a mullatto who stated he was from Canada.  He could not read or write.  He was married to a white woman named Jane who stated she was from Michigan.  Their household included 6 children who were labeled as both white and mullatto.  Many times the skin color of the individual dictacted whether or not a census taker labeled an individual a particular race.  The older children of the family were labeled as “white” – Margaret, 15; Mary, 12, and Cyril, 10.  The younger children were all labeled as “mullatto” – Tabatha, 8; Francis, 5; Catharine, 2.  The older children may have had lighter skin than the younger children or may have had a different father who was white.

One individual would not provide their first name.  His last name was DEASE and he was a Cook.  He stated he was born in “unknown.”  His wife – Celia DEASE provided her name and that she was born in Ohio.  Mr. DEASE may have been a runaway slave hesitant to give out his information.  Mrs. DEASE, due to being born in Ohio was more than likely free born so would not have had to fear the release of her name like her husband.

There was a MANLY family listed as well, which was very interesting being that the same family looks to have become “white” by the 1860 Census.  In 1850 the MANLY family, living in Ward 2 of Toledo was headed by “mullatto” Levi MANLY and his wife Sarah MANLY with their 4 children.  By 1860 Levi MANLY was living in Springfield and was a farmer and was listed as “white.”  The entire family was labeled as “mullatto” in 1850 by in 1860 they were “white.”

UPDATE:  Another interesting tidbit regarding this census is the entry for James E. FRANKLIN and his wife Clarkie FRANKLIN.  The information found stated that Clarkie FRANKLIN was initially Cynthia PETTIFORD and that she married James FRANKLIN on July 12, 1834 in Wake County, North Carolina.  James E. FRANKLIN stated he was from North Carolina.  He was 39 years old in 1850 and was working as a Carpenter.  He lived in Ward 1.  Additional reading for pleasure on the Afrigeneas website stated  about this family as follows:

James E. Franklin & his wife Cynthia Pettiford were married in Wake County, NC per mar. bond dated 12 July 1834. By 1850, they resided in Toledo, Ohio. Three known descendants are Anne (1839), Bill (1856) and Sarah (1857).

Cynthia’s father William Pettiford served in the Revolutionary War

Another interesting tidbit on this census for me personally was that there was a WHITFIELD family on the 1850 Census.  As indicated in a previous post, I have a line of WHITFIELDs on my maternal side.  I am not sure if this earlier line of WHITFIELDs are related to me and more digging will be necessary.  My early ancestor Elias WHITFIELD may have come to Toledo due to having a relative already living in the area.  The 1850 WHITFIELDs were headed by John WHITFIELD and his wife Hannah.  Hannah and the oldest of the WHITFIELD children in 1850 were all born in Canada.  John stated that he was born in Virginia but he may not have told the truth if he were an escaped slave.  I have done some earlier vital records searches on the WHITFIELD family looking up my known family members and I did find out that two of the 1850 WHITFIELD children died and were buried in Toledo.  Jacob and James WHITFIELD were the only twins in the black/colored community of Toledo in 1850 and were 4 years old at the time.  Information I have found has shown that Jacob WHITFIELD was one of the known Civil War soldiers from Lucas County, Ohio.

Some information about his service is below:

Jacob Whitfield was the third child born to John and Hannah Whitfield in 1846 in Ohio. In 1850, Whitfield was residing in Toledo, Ohio, with his parents and four other siblings.

At the age of 18, Whitfield enlisted on September 8, 1863, in Lucas County. He was mustered in on September 20, 1863, at Camp Delaware, Ohio. He was described at 5′2″ with black hair and eyes. He was a laborer.

In November and December 1864 Whitfield was hospitalized and entitled to back pay and a bounty. From January to August 1865, he was detached to the division’s ambulance train. He was mustered out on September 20, 1865 having received his last pay on that April. Whitfield was due a $100 bounty, and owed a sutler $35.

There is no further information about Whitfield after he was discharged. He possibly died in June 1866 and was buried in Forrest Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio. Plot: section OC, lot 39, grave 199.

 

UPDATE:  January 2017 – there were no updates to this Census for additional persons with inclusion of different areas referenced in 1870 Census post.  However, notes regarding some individuals listed are as follows:

Toledo Ward 2 15 Price, B. A. 35 M Black Musician Illinois Mentioned in Warren AME History (http://warren-ame.org/church-history/)
Toledo Ward 4 19 Rice, Henry 15 M Black Waiter unknown Mentioned in Warren AME History (http://warren-ame.org/church-history/)
Toledo Ward 4 29 Richmond, Alfred 30 M Mullatto Barber Tennessee Mentioned in Warren AME History (http://warren-ame.org/church-history/)

 

Below is a copy of the spreadsheet for the 1850 Census:

Family# Name Age Gender Race Occupation Birthplace Attended School Cannot Read Condition Ward/Township
1 Hall, William 26 M Mullatto Cook Unknown Ward 1
1 Hall, Eliza 37 F Mullatto New York Ward 1
2 Washington, Eli 0.67 M Mullatto Ohio Ward 1
2 Washington, Estera (?) 3 M Mullatto Ohio Ward 1
2 Washington, Henry 21 M Black Barber Unknown Ward 1
2 Washington, Josephine 21 F Mullatto Michigan Ward 1
3 Stanton, Nancy J 24 F Mullatto Tennessee Ward 1
3 Stanton, Henry 26 M Mullatto Barber Pennsylvania Ward 1
4 Frilds(Fields), John 1 M Mullatto Ohio Ward 1
4 Frilds(Fields), Anna 4 F Mullatto Ohio Ward 1
4 Frilds(Fields), William A 6 M Mullatto Canada X Ward 1
4 Frilds(Fields), Junius(Julius) 8 M Mullatto Canada X Ward 1
4 Frilds(Fields), Robert 11 M Mullatto Canada X Ward 1
4 Frilds(Fields), Harvey 35 M Mullatto Barber Massachuesetts Ward 1
4 Frilds(Fields), Jane 35 F Mullatto Georgia Ward 1
5 Mitchel, Jane 35 F Black Unknown Ward 1
5 Mitchel, ______ 40 M Black Cook Unknown Ward 1
6 Franklin, Clarkie 39 F Mullatto North Carolina X Ward 1
6 Franklin, James E 39 M Mullatto Carpenter North Carolina Ward 1
7 Nickolas, George 38 M Mullatto Painter New York Ward 1
8 French, Julia 16 F Mullatto Canada Ward 1
8 French, George 18 M Mullatto None Canada Ward 1
8 French, Spencer 56 M Mullatto Teamster Unknown X Ward 1
8 French, Mary 57 F Mullatto Michigan X Ward 1
9 Rolp(Ross), Robert 23 M Mullatto Labor Unknown Ward 1
10 Nickolas, Wilson 17 M Mullatto Painter New York Ward 2
10 Nickolas, Elizabeth 18 F Mullatto New York Ward 2
10 Nickolas, Edward 22 M Mullatto Drayman New York Ward 2
10 Nickolas, Marlon 24 M Mullatto Drayman New York Ward 2
10 Nickolas, Calvin 27 M Mullatto Carpenter New York Ward 2
10 Nickolas, William 59 M Mullatto None Virginia Ward 2
11 Anthony, Maria 36 F Black Maryland Ward 2
12 Kines(Hines, James 0.58 M Mullatto Ohio Ward 2
12 Kines(Hines), Mary 5 F Mullatto Indiana Ward 2
12 Kines(Hines), Sarah 25 F Mullatto North Carolina X Ward 2
12 Kines(Hines), James 31 M Mullatto Teamster North Carolina Ward 2
13 Manly, William 2 M Mullatto Indiana Ward 2
13 Manly, Roxana 4 F Mullatto Indiana Ward 2
13 Manly, Malinda 5 F Mullatto Illinois Ward 2
13 Manly, Obadiah 15 M Mullatto Tennessee Ward 2
13 Manly, Sarah 24 F Mullatto Tennessee Ward 2
13 Manly, Levi 45 M Mullatto Teamster Tennessee Ward 2
14 Crummell, Jane 11 F Mullatto Ohio Ward 2
14 Crummell, Peggy 60 F Black Maryland X Ward 2
15 Price, Albertina 1 F Mullatto Ohio Ward 2
15 Price, Louisa 3 F Mullatto Ohio Ward 2
15 Stanton, Harriet 18 F Mullatto Tennessee Ward 2
15 Price, Caroline 27 F Mullatto Ohio Ward 2
15 Price, B. A. 35 M Black Musician Illinois Ward 2
16 Wilson, Sarah 0.58 F Black Ohio Ward 4
16 Wilson, Robert 2 M Black Ohio Ward 4
16 Wilson, Maria 22 F Black Conneticut Ward 4
16 Wilson, Francis 24 M Black Barber Pennsylvania Ward 4
17 Nickolas, George N. 27 M Black Barber Virginia Ward 4
18 Williams, Harvey 19 M Black Barber Michigan Ward 4
19 Rice, Henry 15 M Black Waiter unknown Ward 4
20 Graves, Ann 28 F Mullatto Ohio Ward 4
20 Graves, John 31 M Black Porter Virginia Ward 4
21 Van Pelt, Louisa 24 F Mullatto Ward 4
21 Van Pelt, Henry 34 M Mullatto Barber New York Ward 4
22 Walker, Nancy 26 F Black Mississippi Ward 4
22 Walker, Elias 30 M Black Barber Virginia Ward 4
23 Williams, John 24 M Black Waiter Virginia Ward 4
24 Alexander, Thomas 38 M Black Waiter Kentucky Ward 4
25 Matthews, Benjamin 23 M Black Waiter Louisiana Ward 4
26 Coleman, Alfred 26 M Black Porter Kentucky Ward 4
27 Watkins, John 25 M Black Cook Tennessee Ward 4
28 Rivers, Frank 30 M Black Barber Ohio Ward 4
29 Richmond, Marcus A. 8 M Mullatto Indiana Ward 4
29 Richmond, Catherine 28 F Mullatto Pennsylvania Ward 4
29 Richmond, Alfred 30 M Mullatto Barber Tennessee Ward 4
30 Bartlett, Elizabeth 22 F Black New York Ward 4
30 Bartlett, Anderson 30 M Black Cook North Carolina Ward 4
31 Whitfield, Robert 0.83 M Black Ohio Ward 4
31 Whitfield, Jacob 4 M Black Ohio Ward 4
31 Whitfield, James 4 M Black Ohio Ward 4
31 Whitfield, John W. 5 M Black Canada Ward 4
31 Whitfield, Ann M 7 F Black Canada Ward 4
31 Whitfield, Hannah 22 F Black Ohio Ward 4
31 Whitfield, John 26 M Black Recefs Virginia Ward 4
32 Dease, Celia 25 F Black Ohio Ward 4
32 Dease, ________ 28 M Black Cook unknown Ward 4
33 Nickolas, Charles 25 M Black Butcher unknown Ward 4
34 Lucas, Alice 60 F Black unknown Ward 4
35 Buck, James L 2 M Black Michigan Ward 4
35 Buck, Alice 5 F Black Ohio Ward 4
35 Buck, Miles 6 M Black Ohio Ward 4
35 Buck, Alice 26 F Black Pennsylvania Ward 4
35 Buck, Miles 40 M Black Barber Pennsylvania Ward 4
36 Campbell, Mahala 2 F Mullatto Ohio Ward 4
36 Campbell, William 5 M Mullatto Michigan Ward 4
36 Campbell, Castillia 7 F Mullatto Michigan Ward 4
36 Campbell, Mary Ann (White) 31 W White Ireland Ward 4
36 Campbell, James 33 M Black Drayman Virgina Ward 4
37 Pule, Franklin 18 M Black Labor Pennsylvania Ward 4
37 Smith, Nancy 22 F Mullatto Canada Ward 4
37 Smith, George 25 M Mullatto Store Maker Canada Ward 4
38 Smith, William 1 M Mullatto Michigan Ward 4
38 Smith, George 5 M Mullatto Michigan Ward 4
39 Ambros, James 0.58 M Black Ohio Ward 4
39 Ambros, Julia Ann 23 F Black unknown Ward 4
39 Ambros, James 35 M Black Reseller of old clothes Pennsylvania Ward 4
40 Lynn, Mary 33 F Mullatto North Carolina Ward 4
40 Lynn, Henry 38 M Black Cooper Virginia Ward 4
41 Wilson, Charles S 2 M Black Ohio Ward 4
41 Wilson, Lovejoy 3 M Black Ohio Ward 4
41 Wilson, George H 6 M Black Ohio Ward 4
41 Wilson, Henrietta J 9 F Black Ohio Ward 4
41 Wilson, Cassandria S 12 F Black Ohio Ward 4
41 Wilson, Frances C 14 F Black New York Ward 4
41 Wilson, Julia Ann 36 F Black Conneticut Ward 4
41 Wilson, William H. 42 M Black Grower(sp?) Maryland Ward 4
42 Griswold, Daniel 25 M Black Cook New York Ward 4
43 LeBlew, Catharine 2 F Mullatto Ohio Manhattan (North End)
43 LeBlew, Francis 5 M Mullatto Ohio Manhattan (North End)
43 LeBlew, Tabatha 8 F Mullatto Ohio Manhattan (North End)
43 LeBlew, Cyril 10 M White Ohio Manhattan (North End)
43 LeBlew, Mary 12 F White Ohio Manhattan (North End)
43 LeBlew, Margaret 15 F White Indiana Manhattan (North End)
43 LeBlew, Arvilla 36 M Mullatto Labor Canada X Manhattan (North End)
43 LeBlew, Jane 39 F White Michigan Manhattan (North End)
Total Number of Individuals 121
Number labled “Black” 54
Number labeled “White” 5
Number labeled “Mullatto” 62
Number of Mixed Race Families (white wife) 2
Average Age 21.00206612
Average Age of Males 19.26760563
Average Age of Females 23.14795918
Number of Females 50
Number of Males 71
Age of Oldest Male (William Nickolas) 59
Age of Oldest Female (Peggy Crummel & Alice Lucas) 60
Age of Youngest Male (James Abros & James Kines(Hines) 0.58
Age of Youngest Female (Sarah Wilson) 0.58
Number of children who attended school in 1850
(Frilds/Fields) children in Ward 1.   Father was only Mass born resident.
3
Number Older than 15 74
Number 15 or Younger 47
Ward 1 Residents 24
Ward 2 Residents 22
Ward 3 Residents 0
Ward 4 Residents 68
Manhattan (North End) Residents 7
Oregon (East Side) Residents 0
Washington Township Residents 0
Port Lawrence Residents 0
Birthplace of Canada 9
Birthplace of Conneticut 2
Birthplace of Georgia 1
Birthplace of Illinois 2
Birthplace of Indiana 5
Birthplace of Ireland 1
Birthplace of Kentucky 2
Birthplace of Louisiana 1
Birthplace of Maryland 3
Birthplace of Massachuesetts 1
Birthplace of Michigan 9
Birthplace of Mississippi 1
Birthplace of New York 11
Birthplace of North Carolina 6
Birthplace of Ohio 31
Birthplace of Pennsylvania 7
Birthplace of Tennessee 7
Birthplace of Virginia 8
Birthplace Unknown 11
Occupation of Barber 11
Occupation of Butcher 1
Occupation of Carpenter 2
Occupation of Cook 6
Occupation of Cooper 1
Occupation of Drayman 3
Occupation of Grower(Gourny) 1
Occupation of Laborer 3
Occupation of Musician 1
Occupation of Painter 2
Occupation of Porter 2
Occupation of Recep/Recef 1
Occupation of Reseller of Old Clothes 1
Occupation of Store Maker 1
Occupation of Teamster 3
Occupation of Waiter 4
First Most Popular Surname – WILSON (2 households) 12
Second Most Popular Surname – NICKOLAS (4 households) 9

Early Black Toledoans 1840 Census

Though I haven’t posted here in a while, I have been, as usual, reading a lot about black history in Toledo both on the web and at the library.

I have been reviewing a lot of old census records in trying to find early Pennsylvania ancestors but it has become rather tedious and when I get bored, I decide to give myself a new tasks.

Due to there being a lack of published information regarding the earliest known black Toledoans, I decided to make a spreadsheet of all of the identified black residents on the 1840 census.

Both Toledo and Lucas County were incorporated in the late 1830s. As a result, the 1840 census is the first federal census that included Toledo and Lucas County.

Toledo was formed in 1836 by the combining of two towns already in existence here in the swampy area that was northwest Ohio. The town of Vistula was where the present day Vistula neighborhood stands, hence it being referred to as Toledo’s “first” neighborhood. Port Lawrence was where the current downtown of Toledo now stands. Cherry Street was the divider between the two towns. In order to increase their economic prowess, both towns decided to join and incorporate as the City of Toledo. Know one really knows for sure why the name “Toledo” was chosen, but Toledo it was and still is today.

Upon formation, Toledo was just a small city with a little over 1000 residents. Of those residents, only 37 were listed on the 1840 census as being “free persons of color.”

Please note that during this era a “free person of color” could be any sort of person that was not classified as “white” so we cannot know for sure if all of the 37 listed were black. They could have been “mullato,” which would be a bi-racial or multi-racial person, they could have been Native American or Asian or even Jewish or Irish depending on how the census taker classified different types of people. There were no strict guidelines and it was mostly left up to the census takers to classify as they desired.

The 1840 census did not list out all members who lived in a household like later censuses did. Only the head of household was listed and there were tally marks indicating how many people in that household of a particular age group resided in the home. Many of the free persons of color who lived in Toledo lived with white persons and so we do not know their names.

The names listed below were headed by a person who was a free “colored” person:

Phillip LEWIS- 3 household members
Edward SHOTO- 2 household members
William NICHOLS- 11 household members
Charles WILLIAMS – 2 household members
George WASHINGTON – 4 household members
John JOINER – 1 household member

The names in the following list were white heads of household who had free persons of color who resided in heir household and we cannot be sure of their identities:

N. W. LAWTON – 3 colored males in household between 24 and 36 years of age
Washington CROMWELL- 1 colored male between 24 and 36 years, one female 36-55 years, one female 24-36 years, one female under 10 years for a total of 4 free persons of color
Robert NICHOLAS – 1 colored male between 24 and 36 years of age
D.V. MORTON – 1 colored female between 24 and 36 years of age
C. H. Ryder – 2 colored males between 24 and 36 years of age
Robert SIMS – 1 colored male between 36 and 55 years of age
Peter LEWIS – 1 colored male between 24 and 36 years of age
Oliver WHITE – 1 colored male between 24 and 36 years of age

From the above figures one can see that the majority of Toledo’s earliest “colored” population lived in their own households (23 out of 37). The remainder lived with whites, probably their employers. Many black Americans and other persons classified as “colored” performed domestic servant work and many times would live with their employers.

For what its worth, I was happy I didn’t find any slaves in Toledo. Even though Ohio was a “free” state, a slave master’s rights were protected wherever he or she traveled and it is not unheard of to find slaves in “free” states or territories in census records of this era.

I looked up the heads of households labeled as “free persons of color” as detailed above and only found solid info regarding the largest of the families listed in 1840.

William NICHOLS was listed on the 1850 census as William NICHOLAS. The 1850 census had much more data than the 1840 census. He was still living in “Ward 2” of Toledo. William had a year of birth listed as 1791. He stated he was born in Virginia. He was still listed as a head of household and was listed as a “mullatto” living with persons who look to be his adult children all of whom were born in New York (Elizabeth, 18; Calvin, 27; Marlon, 24; Edward, 22; and Wilson, 17 NICHOLAS)

It was interesting reviewing all of this information as the period between 1800 and 1860 is of great interest to me at the moment for both Ohio and Pennsylvania history.  It was very interesting to see how much the population of Toledo grew between 1840 and 1850 on the census records.  There were many more pages in 1850 versus 1840 and even additional “wards” and “districts” enumerated by the census takers.