Most recently, I have discovered more important details in the story of our own Clara Mabry.
Several 1856 newspaper articles referred to Clara as an “emancipated” woman, who was beholden to the “benevolent gentleman” for her “happy lot being cast.”
While Clara was indeed fiscally indebted, per the historical records, by the same token, the records show that Clara was born free. Well, she was as free as a person of color could be in ever tenuous times.
According to Greensville’s Register of Free Persons of Color, Clara’s mother was Amy Mabry, who, per the 14 Oct 1794 last will of Nathaniel Mabry, was set to be emancipated at the death of his daughter, Frances Mabry, was duly freed in 1814.
With this new information, a huge genealogical brick wall has been broken. I have shared how finding pre-1870 records can be a challenge in researching Black history in the United States. That Clara’s mother, Amy was born about 1778, we are very close to Colonial Virginia. It is more than powerful to consider that this knowledge is possible at all, let alone accessible via online records.
I take particular interest in Clara Mabry and her life story because I do believe her to be a blood relative of my maternal 4th great-grandmother, Emeline Potts Eppes.
As I continue to look for conclusive evidence about Clara’s familial relationship with Emeline, it is simply wonderful to have been able to discover so much about Clara.
Here’s a word about the unindexed records at FamilySearch, as I close out this chapter. Be sure to have a look and run a search for the location that you are seeking more genealogical information on. Treasures await. Treasures that you will need to pore over, but treasures nonetheless. I sourced each of the above original documents from those FamilySearch unindexed records. The efforts of FamilySearch, in terms of providing access to these genealogical gems, are very much appreciated.
This is our situation.
The Genealogy Situation Room