This site contains a historical and genealogical overview of the Great Dismal Swamp. The primary focus is people of color who lived in Norfolk, Princess Anne, Pasquotank, Camden, and Currituck (with relationships extending throughout southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina). I am a Washington, DC-based scientist, an advocate for responsible research, and a Descendant of the Great Dismal. Thank you for reading.
Although Joel Newsom is documented as a son of Moses Newsom, information about his life is relatively sparse. In the 1810 Federal Census, Joel was the head of a household of 7 other free persons in Northampton County, North Carolina. By the 1820 Federal Census, his household increased to 9 other free persons including 4 males under 14, 1 male 14-25, 1 male 26-44, 2 females 14-25, and 1 female 26-44. Based on this… Read More
Henry Newsom (b. 1812) is my third great grandfather and the journey to locate his family has taught me more about genealogy than any other ancestor I have researched so far. If you want to learn about Revolutionary War Patriots, bounty land warrants, estate distributions, Quaker relationships with free people of color and more, this series of posts is for you. In the 1850 Federal Census, there were three Newsoms living along the… Read More
After a few productive research trips in North Carolina, I finally had enough information to extend my search into Virginia. From a physical perspective, it is closer to where I was raised but, from a chronological perspective, Virginia has always been a little further from my documented family relationships. It was exciting to have specific people to research, so I spent a day at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The Library… Read More
After discovering the 1786 marriage bond between William Bass and Ann Sammon, learning more about the Sammon family became one of my highest research priorities. Rather than wait until I have resolution in this area, I decided to write a post about the research process. I am far from an expert, but I have traveled hundreds of miles to collect information and, through trial and error, I have learned enough to share about strategy and efficiency. These… Read More