52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Week 28 – Saunders Part I
The 1850 Lawrence County, Alabama Slave Census, 8th District enumerated by J. B. Speaks, Assistant Marshal recorded James E. Saunders as owning forty-one slaves. The question challenge for my research journey is whether a branch of my family was own by the Saunders family in Lawrence or Colbert Counties in northwest Alabama. Interesting enough is that most of my family branches that lived in that area carried the surnames of slave owners in the area.
The challenge of the journey is to reconstruct the African-American family with the Saunders/Sanders surname that is connected to our known family.
1. First there is Alex Saunders, known by a cousin that lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for years. Alex and my living cousin were both born in Lawrence/Colbert county Alabama, recognized that they were cousins and yet didn’t know how they were related.
2. The first step was to learn as much about Alex Saunders as possible. Alex Saunders died according Ohio Death Records, 1938-2007, on 15 Aug 1972 in Daniel Drake Memorial Hospital in Cincinnati at the age of 80. WWII draft registration card 1942 recorded his birthdate as 20 April 1893 in Courtland, Alabama, his work place as Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. Person who will know your address is his sister, Alice Bullock, 250 St. Peters Street, Cincinnati.
a. Result in reconstructing the Alex Saunders’s family:
i. Alex Saunders and Alice Bullock are siblings
ii. Alex was born in Lawrence Co., AL in 1893. Note: Making progress.
iii. 1935, 1936, US City Directory 1821-1989, Alex Saunders is living at 2738 Hoff St. Cincinnati. Later in 1942 WWII Draft Record, his address was 3096 Gilbert Ave. same city. Nick Saunders had the same address prior to 1938 when he is living with his wife, Ruth. No relationship defined for Nick although he is working at the same company as Alex.
iv. In the 1958 City Directory, Alex is living at 530 W. Liberty with a spouse, Mattie.
v. 24 May 1923 one Alex Saunders married Mattie Lee in Jefferson County, AL.
vi. 1942 Draft Register Card stated his race was Negro, Height 5’ 9””, weight 163, eyes Brown, hair Black, complexion Dark Brown, Wears glasses.
Note: Records found revealed a fair amount of information about Alex. Sometimes the name was Saunders while other times it was Sanders. Other than marriage records in Jefferson County, most linked back to Lawrence County Alabama.
3. Second steps led me to his younger years and here are some of the results.
a. 1929 Atlanta City Directory, Alex and Mattie are listed living at 65 Richmond St. SE and he is listed as a labor. Not definite yet could be my Alex.
b. 1910 US Census Courtland Lawrence County, on 15 April lived Alic Sanders, age 49 with his wife Jennie, age 49 and their children: Ilmer 20, George 14, Alice 12 and a nephew, Emett Johnson 16. Jennie had 9 children living of 10 she gave birth.
c. Next to these Sanders was Ellen Bynum 38 a widower. Interesting for we have a Bynum family connection.
d. 1900 US Census Town Creek, Lawrence Co., Township 4, Range 8. Bingo – definitely the area where my family lived during that period. Father: Alexander Sanders, born 1853 AL Mother: Virginia
Children: Willie, son, 18; Laura, daughter 16; Salinah, daughter, 11; Alexander, son, 10; Ilmer, son, 8; Allace (?Alice), daughter 8; George, son 8 and Harris Saunders 32 Boarder. Living next door was Elles Bynum and Eliza.
Summary: Jennie/Virginia Sherrod married Alex Saunders (1) in Lawrence County, AL on 17 Dec 1879. Virginia is a sister of my second great grandmother that married Henry Carroll/Cal in 1882. Now I know the Alex Saunders connection to our family and have another path of the journey to explore. I’ve accounted for eight of the nine children living in 1900 and now need to see how Nicolas Saunders fit in with Alex.
Oh, what an ongoing journey and loving every bit of it.