Hi Janet, My name is Laura Layton and I live in Washington State.The Lightsey family that I am searching for is also African American. For some reason I think they may have been in Saluda Co., SC prior to 1820 or so, but so far I have only found them in Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama. and then they went to Cleveland after 1930. This is what I have, and it's not very much. William (called Willie) Lightsey b.Ala. he m)abt 1893 at Birmingham to Annie Brown (b.abt 1878 Birmingham).
I am not sure that his name was actually William. There was a George Lightsey that was working in Birmingham (1889 at Alice Furnace, 1890 at Williamson Furnace). From "Early American Marriages, Alabama, 1800 to 1920", by Jordon R. Dodd: Will Lightsy & Minnie Sharp m) 30 Nov 1899 at Etowah County. Performed by Minister of Gospel, P. H. Sewell p.124 Comment: colored
I have gathered information from these census reports: CENSUS:1880 Federal for Twp.17,Jefferson, Alabama CENSUS:1920 Federal Birmingham,Jefferson,AL. (14-15 Jan) ED 182, sheet 4B. Annie, (age 42) was a widow by this time. They resided on North 11th Ave.in the city of Birmingham. CENSUS:1930 Federal Birmingham,Jefferson,Alabama. Her occupation was a Laundress. I believe that Annie Brown was the daughter of Calvin Brown (b.1852 Ala.) and Hannah Burrell (b.1856 Ala.) Calvin & Hannah Brown were m)abt.1874 in Birmingham and had these children: 1. Mary Brown b.1875 Birmingham, Jefferson, Ala. *2. Annie Brown b.1878 Birmingham 3. Charles O. Brown b.1879/1880 Birmingham Mr. Lightsey & Annie Brown Lightsey had this child (and possibly more I don't know about): 1. William Harold Lightsey b.10 DEC 1907 Birmingham. He d.20 SEP 1999 at Jacksonville, Onslow, NC. He resided for many years in Cleveland,Cuyahoga,OH and was living in NC during his retirement. He m1)Rosa ______ abt. 1936 and had these children: 1. William Lightsey, Jr. b.Abt 1937 *2. Theodore Roosevelt Lightsey b.3 DEC 1939 d.19 NOV 1980 Cleveland,Cuyahoga,OH Theodore (Ted) Lightsey was my son-in-law's father and he died when Mark was about 13. I don't have much information on this family and what little I have is mostly gotten from what I could find on the census reports.
As I'm sure you have found out, researching AA Ancestry is much more challenging when you get back prior to 1860. There is a gentleman who has done an emense amount of AA genaloogical research.His name is Dr. Grey (or Gray?) and he is (or was) a professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Well, I guess he did a lot of his research by looking through the Bank Records. Apparently they identified the slaves more by a genealogical nature and he was able to put together quite a large database of his ancestors. Since the slaves were considered 'property' and the banks gave loans for their purchase, the banks kept excellent records. They would include birthdates, birthplaces, parents, children (if they had any) and siblings. I did purchase the Bank Records and unfortunately, I haven't had much luck. They are called the "Freedman's Bank Records" and are apparently what he was using, but I sure haven't been very lucky with the families I have been looking for. I may not go back far enough. I only have 1 back to 1825 and I don't know what her maiden name was. You say that your family is from Texas. They had to have come from the east before they went to Texas since Texas wasn't much prior to the 1830's. If you can get some basic information on your Lightsey family, I would be glad to search my records for any family members that you would like.What I would need to have is grandparents names, birthdates (or approx) and (if possible)where they were born and lived and died. Depending on your age, it might even have to be great grandparents. The latest census that can be searched right now is 1930, so if you know where they were in 1930, then I can probably help you find out where they actually came from. If any of these people look familiar to you, or if you run across anything that looks like it may be of interest to me, I would love to hear from you. Good Luck in your search and let me know if I can be of any help! Sincerely, Laura Layton