Last week, I wrote about Henry's mother Emma who was a young slave girl in Georgia that had a mulatto child by a Dutch Sea Captain. Of course, this is verbal history with no supporting documentation other than Henry has been listed as a mulatto in serval records. Fast forward to today and the new DNA world. My brother, John Henry Carroll's DNA should help prove this verbal history or not. Now at the time I coaxed him into the DNA testing, I had no knowledge of Henry Carroll-Cal. The results came back on my brother before I made a connection with a cousin in our Carroll-Cal line that I hadn't seen for fifty years. The results had me frighten that my brother and I might have a break up. His response to the DNA results were how can a big black man like me have 80% European and 20% African in his results. Of course, I didn't have the answer. After all our verbal history up to to this date was that my dad's side of the family had Cherokee in it and never was there a mention of European.
Now I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and it turned out that within a week or two of my brother's results, Henry Louis Gates' special on PBS came on and followed history of South America. Part of the program interviewed a number of various shades of South Americans and it was surprising how some of the dark skin ones had mostly European and the light skin ones had African. This show saved my relationship with my brother for he watched it and received the information from the show. This verified that Henry Carroll/Ca could have very well been the mulatto son of a Dutch Sea Captain.
Henry was born 1858 in Georgia and all records are consistent on this information. By 1870, he is living in Town Creek, Alabama with his mother, Emma and her husband, Joseph Austin. Henry's surname is listed as Austin and clearly he went by the Austin surname for years. By 1880, he is listed twice in the same area, first in the home of Emma and Joseph and again with his employee, James Pullen. Alabama record show he married Celia Sherrod in 1982 in Lawrence County, Alabama. By the 1900 Census, the family name is CARROLL along with nine sons and one daughter. Verbal history an proven in the records, Henry purchased over 1,000 acres of land with the first acres given to him by his employee, Mr. Pullen, for work done. Henry's land and the details is another story and an important one at that but I want to stay focused on what's in name. No marriage record was found for his mother Emma and Joseph Austin which would have been prior to the 1870 Census. Several of Henry's other siblings were born in Georgia with some later records stating Joseph was a stepfather. Now the big question is where on earth did the CARROLL come from? Henry's sons that moved "North" Robert, Percy, Dallas, all were listed as Carroll outside of Alabama. John, Charles, Otis, Henry, Earnest, Silas bounced back and forth from Carroll to Cal. In 1930, Henry purchased a home in Florence, Alabama on Seminary Street with his new wife, Mary Alice Fennel who didn't like living in the country, Town Creek.
Much is yet to be discovered about Henry Austin Carroll Cal and I can't wait to find the information!