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Freed Slaves
in the Extended Meinert-Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Clan

 

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The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln effective New Year's Day 1863. It legally set free more than 3.5 million slaves and effectively changed the purpose of the war to "freeing the slaves" from "preserving the Union." Two known former slaves married into our extended family.

William "Alexander" Hunter - husband of Mary (Mayle) Croston - Born in Augusta County, VA in 1829, he would have been age 36 at the war's end. After the war, he migrated to Philippi, WV, where in the 1920s he was known as "Uncle" and considered "the most familiar figure of Philippi," said the Barbour Democrat, conveying a very mixed message. "During his youthful days he was one of the sturdiest specimens of humanity that ever walked.... [He] came here from Virginia many years ago, and [has] befriended and done more unpleasant tasks for the citizens of Philippi than any other man.... The Virginia Scout, as he was familiarly called, was colored, and came here in the employe of I.H. Stricker."

Fleming Woody - husband of Susanna Minerd - Born in February 1855, he was a native of Virginia, as were both of his parents. His story is heavily shrouded by the veil of the past. Born someone else's property (likely in what is now West Virginia), he was "freed from the bonds of slavery, when about 15 years old," said the Athens (OH) Messenger. According to family legend, as a boy he witnessed the agony of watching as his mother was sold. After emancipation, he migrated to southeastern Ohio, settling near Stewart.

 

Copyright 2019 Mark A. Miner. Reproduction forbidden without permission.