Treasure Chest Thursday: Six Degrees of Slave Owner Separation

It’s nice to be back from a great vacation where I unplugged from my computer and soaked up the surf and sun.

Even though I wasn’t blogging or researching, genealogy was never too far from me.  As we made our way down to Hilton Head, South Carolina,  we passed a town named Burtonville (Burton is my great, great-grandmother’s surname) and saw a sign for Nash County, NC where many of my ancestor’s slave owners were from.  If there is one thing I’ve learned on this journey, it’s that the genealogy world is small, and all relative.  And my ancestors’ world was just as small if not smaller and it seems their owners really were related.

A few months back when I realized that one of the women who owned my great, great-grandmother, Tempy was Judith Boddie, I started searching for information about the prominent North Carolina Boddie family and found a Google book with extensive information about their lineage.   The book, Lineage and Tradition of the Herring, Conyers, Hendrick, Boddie, Perry, Crudup, Denson and Hilliard Families shows the interconnection of all these families through marriage.  When I found it,  I didn’t know that another family listed in this book also owned my ancestors.  While Tempy was owned by the Boddies, her sisters, Polly and Liberia were owned by Dr. Robert Hilliard. Hilliard settled in Louisiana but was originally from Nash, NC.  The Google book shows generations of intermarriage between the Boddies and Hilliards.  There is even one family member named Tempe Boddie Hilliard!  (Tempe was a popular name among both families).

Six degrees of separation?  I think a lot less.

Can you connect yourself to the president through six people or less?  A woman at my gym works for him.  Your turn.



Filed under ancestry, Boddie, Hilliard, slavery, vacation

8 responses to “Treasure Chest Thursday: Six Degrees of Slave Owner Separation

  1. djk

    We’re both tall, slim, good looking men married to gorgeous strong African American women. Done!

  2. Interesting. How about my babysitter growing up is a chef who knows Rick Bayless who was the chef for the Obamas’ state dinner for the president of Mexico? Three degrees. Or, I met President (then Governor) Clinton when he visited my boss in the ’70s. He knows President Obama. Two degrees, but I like the Bayless connection better. Tastier.
    I’d like to do something like this for Six Degrees to slave owners. It might surprise a few of us non-slave descendants how close we still are.

  3. Robert Stuart Smith

    The circle of ancestors are getting smaller and it seems more likley than not to connect and intertwine at some place very close that’s not yet been suggested, mentioned or unveiled…I can almost hear the skeletons rattling in that closet waiting to be freed.

  4. Nope, can’t do it in 6 people or less, me and the President are 11th cousins.

  5. Ann

    I met you by taking picture of ,Tempe Burton, for your cousin, Monique Anderson ,That connected me to all your relatives in Evergreen Cemetery, which I am familar with. Does this count? Ann

  6. AMY

    Another great post, Dionne. I am still working on the Obama connection! (-: Thanks for sharing.

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