Toomer Family BLOG

Our goal is to celebrate ALL Toomer family members today and yesterday. This blog will include history, genealogy, and reunion news. Additionally we will share our talent in poetry and prose, along with spotlight news on family members.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jean Toomer Ancestors On Our Slave Deed?

In an earlier comment on this blog, Georgia Toomer cousin, Ricardo asked Floyd about Kit, the grandmother of famous Harlem Renaissance writer Jean Toomer. His question was whether the slave Kit, listed on the deed with our Caroline, is the grandmother of Jean Toomer. Caroline is the grandmother of Poppa, Henry Toomer, our Ancestor.

While fooling around on the net, I googled John Toomer. One item of interest found was the passage below.

  • In 1892 Dickson married Nathan Toomer of Perry. Toomer was born in 1839 in Chatham County, North Carolina, the slave of Richard Pilkinson. As a child Toomer was purchased by John Toomer, who moved to Houston County, Georgia, in the 1850s. Upon John Toomer_s death in 1859, his brother Colonel Henry Toomer purchased Nathan_s mother, Kit, and seven of her children from the estate. As Henry Toomer_s personal assistant, Nathan Toomer learned the manner of the white upper class. Toomer and Dickson's marriage lasted until her death on June 11, 1893, of neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion. Shortly thereafter Nathan Toomer married Nina Pinchback. The son of this marriage was Jean Toomer, the author of the novel Cane (1923). Extract, New Georgia Encyclopedia: Amanda America Dickson (1849-1893)

Immediately I thought about cousin Ricardo and his question. This led me to the Toomer family web site to view what we call OUR slave deed . In fact there is a Kit, with a son Nathan. (Nathan is the name of Jean Toomer_s father.) Could this be the Kit and the Nathan, ancestors of Jean Toomer? Is this document of even greater importance that we thought? The researcher in me wonders if Kit and Caroline are related. Are there living DNA subjects who could prove or disprove this connection? If we do not share a close ancestral connection, could we come from the same people, which our African Ancestry DNA test will reveal?

Cousin Floyd has known for decades that we were on the same plantation as the ancestors of Jean. He may have even told me that this Kit is the grandmother of the famous author. Set the record straight Cousin Floyd, the walking Toomer BGMI (Biographical and Genealogical Master Index).

3 Comments:

  • At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, Our ancestor Caroline is listed on the same slave deed as the grandmother of the Harlem Renaissance writer, Jean Toomer. His father, Nathan is listed as one of Kitt's children. This information has been previously shared with the family but probably forgotten. So far there has not been a bloodline connection made between Caroline and Kitt. I have often wondered if there is a relationship.

    I am also aware of the quote you cited regarding Nathan Toomer. However, you have to be careful. The Pilkinson connection has not been proven and although I have personally spoken to the author of that particular text, she has not offered an explanation that is 'solid'. Although I have several documents, I cannot say with confidence that this is a fact. I'll explain later.

    Now, getting back to Ricardo... according to family oral history and a family document, he is a direct descendant of the plantation owner, John S. Toomer.
    To determine whether there is a direct bloodline connection to Ricardo's branch of Toomers and ours will probably only be determined by DNA testing.

    Floyd

     
  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger horace steward grand said…

    This is very interesting...

    Are there any surviving decendents of Jean Toomer, but more specificially of Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback oor his mother Ella Stewart. My grandfather was named Horace Steward (Stewart). His father was named King Stewart. (Bridge builder). We were able to trace the Stewarts back to Carolina. However, around the 1900's, they were in the Marion, Bibb, Schley, Sumter, Terrell and Lee Counties of Georgia. It was noted that Horace Steward was born Stewart, but changed his last name to Steward because he wanted to be different. Horace Stewart(d) was the father of 26 children. We are looking for decedents of the Steward(t)Family. Some characteristics are: Skin color ranges from Whit to Navyblue/ Black,Most are tall and long. There's something unique about the walk... and yes the eyes... they are somewhat slanted.
    So, if there are decedents remaining, please contact coneyro@hotmail.com. Also, the Toomer's were close to the Steward Families.

     
  • At 2:24 PM, Blogger horace steward grand said…

    This is very interesting...

    Are there any surviving decendents of Jean Toomer, but more specificially of Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback oor his mother Ella Stewart. My grandfather was named Horace Steward (Stewart). His father was named King Stewart. (Bridge builder). We were able to trace the Stewarts back to Carolina. However, around the 1900's, they were in the Marion, Bibb, Schley, Sumter, Terrell and Lee Counties of Georgia. It was noted that Horace Steward was born Stewart, but changed his last name to Steward because he wanted to be different.
    So, if there are decedents remaining, please contact coneyro@hotmail.com. Also, the Toomer's were close to the Steward Families.

     

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