Tag Archives: family distribution

Distribution of the black Roane family in 19th Century Virginia

Following on from the previous post, here’s a map showing the distribution, by county, of the black Roane family in Virginia.  Again, the period covered runs from 1800 – 1880.

As with the previous map, the counties shaded in light grey didn’t have any Sheffey’s resident in them.

Leave a comment

Filed under family history, Roane family, virginia

Distribution of the black Sheffey family in 19th Century Virginia

I thought I’d do something visual for a change.  The below is a PDF file showing the distribution of the black branches of the Sheffey family n Virginia – by county. The period covered runs from 1800 to 1880.

And FYI – the counties shaded in light grey didn’t have any Sheffey’s resident in them.

For the most part – and no surprises here – African American Sheffeys were largely resident in the same counties where white Sheffeys had their estates and farms.

Leave a comment

Filed under family history, Sheffey family, virginia

Family migration patterns: Roane family migration to: Connecticut, Massachusetts & Arkansas

It seems unfair that I’ve Maryland out of this series of blog posts covering the Roane family exodus from Virginia to points (mostly) north in the USA. The number leaving for Maryland was so great that I would have been writing about it for days. Literally hundreds arrived in Maryland from 1880 to 1930. Not that it should come as ay surprise…but Baltimore was the top Maryland destination.

Below are some interesting smaller migrations to points further north…and west.

Family migration patterns: Roane migration to Connecticut & Massachusetts
Thomas Roane (1865-?), son of Jacob Roane (1832-?) and wife Fanny of Charles City, VA, was resident in Hartford, Connecticut at the time of his marriage in 1889. This move established the Roanes in Connecticut.

Thomas Roane (1877-?), son of Arthur Roane (1853-) and wife Mary of King William County, VA, moved to Boston around 1920 (census) with his family. This move established the Roanes in MA.


Family migration patterns: Roane migration to Arkansas

Katie (1825-?), widow of Daniel Roane of Henrico County, moved with their children to Philips County, Arkansas around 1880 (Census). As far as I can tell, this established the Roanes in Arkansas.

The next couple of posts will be the last posts in this series. They will cover the Josey and Matthews/Mathis families move to Washington D.C.

Leave a comment

Filed under family history, Roane family, virginia

Family migration patterns: Roane family migration to Delaware, New Jersey & New York

This post follows on from yesterday’s post which covered African-American Roanes’ relocation to Philadelphia. It also generally covered the impact this move had upon them.

Today I’ll be outlining other branches of the Roane family which moved to Delaware, New Jersey and New York. The move to these states doesn’t appear to have had an adverse affect on these Roane family groups. Unlike the early arrivals in Philadelphia, the groups of Roanes covered in this post thrived in their adopted states.


Family migration patterns: Roane migration to Delaware

Baylor Roane (1858-?) and wife Betty Williams of King William County, VA had nearly half of their children move to Delaware:

  • Curtis Elbert Roane (1897-1977) was resident in Wilmington at the time of his marriage in 1919.
  • James A Roane (1895-?) was resident in Wilmington at the time of the 1920 Census
  • Forest Roane (1896-1986) was also resident in Wilmington at the time of the 1920 Census
  • Livius Roane (1899-?) was resident in Wilmington at the time of his WWI Draft Card (1919)

Turner Roane (1850-1894) and wife Molly Payne of Essex County, VA had 2 children leave for Delaware:

  • Daniel Roane (1865-1936) and John H Roane (1894-?) are both resident in Delaware. However, it’s unclear when they arrived.

William Edward Roane (1896-1933), son of Bacchus Roane (1869-?) and wife Josephine Harris of Warwick County, VA, was resident in Kings County, New York in 1920 (census) and then New Castle County, Delaware at the time of his death.


Family migration patterns: Roane migration to New York & New Jersey

Oscar Roane (1877-?), son of James Roane (1856-1927) of Aquiton, King William County,VA was resident in Monmouth County, NJ at the time of his marriage in 1900 and Manhattan, NY by the time of the 1910 NY State Census.

James Roane (1877-?), son of Patrick Henry Roane (1857-?) and wife Betty Brooks of Essex County, VA, moved to Manhattan, NY around 1920 (Census) with his family.

James Roane (1886-?), son of Patrick Henry Roane (1862-1888) and wife Martha E Edmunds of Newport News City, Warwick County, VA, moved to Monmouth County, NJ around 1930 (census) with his family.

Thomas E Roane (1902-1970), son of Colonius L Roane (1878-1941) and wife Emma Blanche Bundy of Essex County, VA, was resident in Gloucester County, NJ at the time of his death. It’s unclear when he moved to NJ.

James B Roane (1906-?), son of James Baylor Roane (1883-?) and wife Minnie R Green of King and Queen County, VA, moved to Thorofare, NJ around 1935 (State Census) with his family.

William Roane (1887-1971), son of John Nicholas Roane (1841-?) and wife Betty of Richmond, VA, was resident in Newark, NJ at the time of his death.

Carter Roane and wife Matilda of Westmoreland County, VA, had 2 children leave for New Jersey:

  • Annie Roane (1879-?) was resident in Atlantic City, NJ in 1930 (census).
  • Frederick Roane (1888-?) was resident in Cumberland County, NJ at the time of his WWII Draft Registration Card (1942)

My grandmother, Susan Julia Roane from Charles City, VA was resident in Richmond, VA with her first husband Emmett Nathaniel Thomas and their children in 1920. She arrived in Essex County, NJ just prior to 1930 with her second husband, my grandfather, Joseph Sheffey from Wytheville, VA.

Leave a comment

Filed under family history, Roane family, virginia

Family migration patterns: Sheffey family distribution 1840, 1880 & 1920

The previous three posts covered the migration of Sheffeys from Virginia to other states. The pictures below depict the same process. This is for all of you who prefer pictures to words 🙂

The States where there are Sheffeys are colour coded by density. That’s a fancy way of saying the more Sheffey families there are in a State, the darker the colour.

So here’s how it works:

Any states in Green: There are no Sheffey families recorded.

Dark Red = a lot of Sheffey families

Orange: = quite a few Sheffey families – but not as many as the dark red states

Yellow = only a handful of Sheffey families

The distribution of the Sheffey family in 1840

The distribution of the Sheffey family in 1840

The distribution of the Sheffey family in 1880

The distribution of the Sheffey family in 1880

The distribution of the Sheffey family in 1920

The distribution of the Sheffey family in 1920

Leave a comment

Filed under family history, Sheffey family

Family migration patterns: Sheffey migration to Michigan, Ohio, Maryland

This post wraps up the other notable migrations of the Virginia-based, African-American Sheffeys.

One notable migration I won’t be covering (or at least not yet) is the movement of entire family groups from Virginia to Maryland – Baltimore in particular. One small migration which also won’t be covered in this post is the small migration of Virginia Sheffeys to Washington D.C. For the most part, the Sheffey family groups which moved to Maryland and Washington D.C. maintained active links with their cousins in Virginia.

Another reason to not address these migrations is I have a better understanding of why so m any Sheffey family groups moved to Baltimore in particular. Their migration stated early – from the mid 1880s onwards. Baltimore simply offered more opportunities of work and, arguably, better pay than their native Virginia. It was a thriving port, a ship building hub and the city offered vast construction and building-related opportunities as it expanded during this period.
So let’s cast a glance at some of the migrations which took Virginian Sheffeys further afield…

Family migration patterns: Sheffey migration to Michigan
Glen Sheffey (1909-1970), son of Horace Sheffey (1855-?) and Sarah J Carpenter of Wythe County, VA, is the founding father of the Michigan branch of the Sheffey family. He’s another who has been difficult to trace through the records. However, in 1920 he was resident in Wythe County, VA. However, he was resident in Michigan at the time of his death.

Fontaine Sheffey (1925-1992), son of Adam Sheffey, Jr (1896-1962) and wife Anna D Cullins of Indiana, was resident of Detroit, MI at the time of his death. I’ve been unable to trace his move to Michigan in the census records.

Both men had roots in Wytheville, Virginia and were cousins related through two different branches of the family. However, with Fontaine Sheffey’s father, Adam Sheffey, moving from Virginia to Indiana around 1920 (see the Indiana section of this post below), it’s difficult to know whether Fontaine Sheffey had any contact with his Virginian cousins.

A few recent Facebook messages between me and one of my newly found Michigan relations confirmed that these two families didn’t know of each other’s existence. She’s a descendant of Glen Sheffey. A few years ago, quite by chance, she bumped into one of Fontaine Sheffey’s descendants. They both were amazed when they said their surnames. Over the course of the conversation they both talked about their families’ Wytheville, VA roots and had quite a laugh.

Family migration patterns: Sheffey migration to Ohio
Clarence T Sheffey (1886-1947), son of Giles P Sheffey (1831-?) and wife Sarah C Stephens of Wythe County, Virginia, settled in Columbus, Ohio by the time of the 1920 Census.

Franklin Sheffey (1892-1948), son of Harvey Sheffey (1857-?) and wife Anna Summons of Augusta County, Virginia, first settled in Dayton, Ohio (1929 State census) and was resident in Cuyahoga County, Ohio at the time of his death.

This is another instance of two distantly related cousins moving from Virginia to Ohio at roughly the same time. As with Michigan, it‘s more than likely that this was a coincidence. Roughly 140 miles apart, their families could have been unaware of other’s existence.

Further afield:
There are a few instances where Sheffeys left Virginia between 1920 and 1930, striking out entirely on their own. And the Midwest seemed to be the location of choice for these pioneering types who settled in Indiana and Arkansas. Perhaps it was in search of better land to farm, more land to own, a better life…you could speculate for days about the whys and wherefores. However, like many of the Sheffeys who moved as family groups, ties with Virginia ceased. All knowledge of the family’s Virginian roots disappeared within one to two generations.

2 Comments

Filed under family history, Sheffey family

Family migration patterns: Sheffey migration to West Virginia

In the previous post, I outlined the migration of some of branches of the Sheffey family to Pennsylvania.  In this post, I’ll cover those who made the move to West Virginia.

Samuel Sheffey (1839-?), from an unknown county in Virginia, moved his family to Greenbrier County, WV by the time of the 1880 census. While one could be forgiven for believing he is the same Samuel as the one who follows below, they are different individuals. At present, this Samuel Sheffey would appear to be the first to have left Virginia for West Virginia.

Picking up the theme from my previous post, another 1910-1920 family Diaspora involved Virginian Sheffeys moving to West Virginia.

Mitchell Sheffey (1856-?) and wife Leona Moby had 1 child move from Wythe Couty, Virginia to West Virginia: Giles L Sheffey (1888-1927) moved his family to Kanawha, Fayette County, WV around 1910 (Census).

Adam Sheffey (1846-?) and wife Julia Davis of Wythe County, VA had 2 children who moved to West Virginia:

  • Wade Hampton Sheffey (1879-1965) was resident in Wood County, WV at the time of his marriage in 1904.
  • Norton Sheffey (1889-1976) was resident in McDowell County, WV in the 1920 Census and then Kanawha County, WV by 1930 (Census). At the time of his death, he was resident in Wayne County, Michigan (another Sheffey family post-Diaspora hub).

Annie Sheffey (1898-?), daughter of Ellis Mitchell W V Sheffey (1871-?) and wife Rosa Walker of Wythe County, Virginia, was resident in McDowell County, WV by the time of 1920 Census.

Alice Elizabeth Sheffey (1894-?), daughter of Giles P Sheffey (1831-?) and wife Sarah C Stephens of Wythe County, Virginia, settled in Harrison County, WV by the time of her marriage to Frank Lestinor Hicks in 1913.

These were all Wythe County VA cousins, direct descendants of Jacob Sheffey and Elsey George’s children.

Interestingly, William Robert Sheffey (from the white side of the family in Wythe County, VA) also moved his family to McDowell County, WV between 1910 and 1920. Coincidence? Or did he offer new opportunities and work for his black kin when he moved? Grandson of the famous progressive wilderness preacher Robert Sayers Sheffey, perhaps his perceptions of race differed from the traditionally held, negative perceptions of the day.

Whether it was through the connection with Samuel Sheffey, who moved to West Virginia a generation before them, or through a connection with Robert White Sheffey, the African-American Wythe County Sheffeys forged their way in Pennsylvania as a family group.

2 Comments

Filed under family history, Sheffey family, virginia, wythe

Family migration patterns: Sheffey migration to Pennsylvania

The next series of posts will cover family migration patterns for the various families I’m researching.  Again, it’s a means of pulling information out of dry census returns as well as marriage and death records. It’s a way of telling a story from dates and facts.

So here we go…

While I haven’t figured out what may have prompted ancestral family groups to move from one state to another…I have noticed that they tended to follow in the footsteps of others who went before them. They moved to places where their kin had established themselves.

Augusta County, VA Sheffey family groups
Samuel Sheffey (1835-1895) and wife Hester (or Esther) Bates had 2 children leave their place of birth for Pennsylvania:

  • Samuel Luther Sheffey (1875-?) settled in Lower Tyrone Township, Fayette County, PA at some point between 1897 (when he married) and 1910 (Census). The 1920 census has his family living in Alleghany County, PA until the time of his death.
  • Fred Clinton Sheffey, Sr (1890 – ?). While I haven’t been successful in tracing Fred Sheffey through the census records, his death is recorded in Pittsburgh.

Charles Sheffey (1849-?) and wife Hester had 1 child leave their place of birth for Pennsylvania: John Sheffey (1879-?) moved his family to Lawrence County, Pennsylvania between 1910 and 1920.

Harvey Sheffey (1857-?) and wife Anna Summons had 1 child leave for Pennsylvania: Gladys Sheffey (1895-1915) who was resident in Philadelphia at the time of her death.

Newton Sheffey (1846-?) and wife Millie/Minnie had 1 child leave for Pennsylvania: Charles Sheffey (1871-?) moved his family to Alleghany County, Pennsylvania by the time of the 1910 Census.

Samuel Sheffey, Charles Sheffey, Newton Sheffey and Harvey Sheffey were brothers. This means the first generation of Sheffeys who migrated from Augusta County, VA to Pennsylvania were all first cousins.

Pulaski County, VA Sheffey family groups
Craig Sheffey (b.1847) and wife Emma Lawrence Zett had 2 children who left the county to live in Pennsylvania:

  • Henry “Harry” Sheffey (1890-1974) moved to Pennsylvania with his large family sometime between 1920 and 1930. They initially settled in Alleghany County (1930). He was resident in Pittsburgh at the time of his death. A number of his children resided in Pittsburgh.
  • John William Sheffey (1893-1969) was resident in Lebanon, PA at the time of his death. It’s unclear when he left Virginia for Pennsylvania.

While the exact relationship between these two family groups to one another is unknown at the moment, the Sheffey families of Augusta County and Pulaski County were related. What seems to be apparent is the Augusta County Sheffeys moved to Pennsylvania first and were followed by their Pulaski County cousins. This is based on dates of birth (the Augusta County cousins were much older) and indications in the census records.

The question remains why. Did the first Sheffey to make the move from VA to PA do so in search of work or because of work or just in search of a better life for his family? There doesn’t appear to have been a Sheffey who moved to Pennsylvania prior to 1910, so what made Pennsylvania the destination of choice for these branches of the family?

What’s interesting is the timing of the move. Something happened between 1910 and 1920 that prompted a significant migration of my African-American ancestors to leave the South. Whatever the reason, it was strong enough to break the bonds between my ancestors and their places of birth and break the bonds between the family branches that moved and those which stayed behind. This is a theme I’ll be picking up in future posts.

All that’s known for certain is that in 1900 all of these Sheffeys were still resident in their native Virginian counties of birth. By 1920, they had moved to Pennsylvania.

Leave a comment

Filed under family history, Sheffey family, virginia