52 Ancestors #9: Nancy CARR PRUITT – Is she really a Creek Indian?

Nancy CARR PRUITT is my paternal great grandmother.  She the wife of Henry Bristol PRUITT and is the mother to my grandfather, Samuel Wilson PRUITT.  I will just say that I don’t know as much as I would like to know about her.  I was able to obtain her death certificate1, thanks to the work of the Rankin County Historical Society in Rankin County, Mississippi and their documentation of the cemeteries there2.  I was excited to find her death certificate, because it was one of the first ones that I was able to find during my first research trip to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  When reviewing the document, it seemed to be riddled with a lot of ‘I don’t knows’, but that could have just been my frustration making those words more noticeable on the paper.  Either way, it didn’t give me very much new information to go on.

I did find her on the census the 19103 and 19204 census with Grandpa Britt and their children, but I have yet to find her in the other census years.  The thing that has lingered in the back of my mind is a question of her really being a Black Creek Indian.  That is really the only thing that my family members remember being told about her, other than that she was from Alabama.  I know, I know!  Everyone says that they have Indian in their family and yes, I have read Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr’s article on “Why most black people aren’t “part Indian,” despite family lore.”   But I don’t want to count the Indian out just yet.  It is something that I want to research, but haven’t gotten enough information on her to even know where to start.  It would definitely help to have some documented evidence to corroborate family stories. In the meantime, I will work on trying to get all the information I can find about her during the period of 1870 – 1943.

This is my ninth post as a part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

Footnotes:

1. Mississippi State Board of Health, death certificate 4442 (1943), Nancy Pruitt; Death Certificates and Indexes; Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Jackson.

2. Rankin County Historical Society, Rankin County, Mississippi Cemetery Records, 1824-1980 (Brandon,MS: Rankin County Historical Society, 1981), 120.

3. 1910 U.S. census, Clarke County, Mississippi, population schedule, Enterprise, p. 3, dwelling 31, family 33, Nancy Pruitt; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2014); citing Family History Library microfilm: 1374749

4. 1920 U.S. census, Clarke County, Mississippi, population schedule, Enterprise, p. 6, dwelling 55, family 58, Nancy Pruitt; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 2014); citing Family History Library microfilm: 2340876.

© 2014 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey. All rights reserved.

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The Debut of Tracing Amy

Welcome to my first blog post!  My name is Amy L. Cole.  I am the 4th child born to Lee Roy Pruitt & Jerlean Edwards Pruitt of Quitman, Clarke County, Mississippi.  Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey is about my quest to learn more about my family history.

I started the blog after reading the appeal by Luckie Daniels, founder of African American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research, to make more of the research of African-American ancestry available online.  After much consideration and a nod from my family, I decided to start blogging!  My goal is to be able to provide a space where family members can follow and participate in my research.

Now that the blog history is out of the way, I think I should tell you a little about the names and places that I am researching.  I decided that I wanted to do research on both my paternal and maternal lines.  From what I know, both lines have deep roots in Clarke and Jasper Counties in Mississippi, post emancipation.  My paternal lines are Pruitt, Dukes, & Carr and the maternal lines are Edwards, Sterling, Shanks & Stokes.  I will tell you more about what I have found for each line in other post.

I have been able to take 3 of the 4 maternal lines back to the 1870 Federal Census giving me the names of ancestors that were possibly born into slavery.  I was able to accomplish this by sifting through family records, conducting interviews with family members, visiting cemeteries, and collecting obituaries.  Although I believe I have the name of the ancestors who would have been born into slavery, I have not yet started slavery research for my maternal line.   I want to ensure that all of my information post civil war is correct.  So, I am busy collecting birth marriage and death records as well as other records that will assist the search for my grandparents and great grand parents generation.  I plan to continue to go back one generation at a time collecting these records and learning as much as I can so that I have a solid beginning to enter into slavery research.

On my paternal line, I have only been able to get back to the generation of my great grandparents.  I will have to gather more information on this side because not much is remembered by those still living.  So I have some…..lets call them speed bumps on the paternal side, they haven’t turned into brick walls just yet. 🙂

So that is a summary of how far I have gotten on the family tree as a whole.  I have a couple of family reunions coming up in 2014, so I will probably focus on those lines the most in the coming months.  I will try to keep you posted along the way.

~AmyC.

© 2013 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey.  All rights reserved.