I have been researching my Singleton Ancestry for some time. My 2X Great Grandmother Hannah D. Nelson Singleton Gilliam had been owned by the Singleton family in Craven County, North Carolina.
According to family oral history, Hannah was fathered by her owner Thomas Singleton and her oldest son Leander Singleton Gilliam was fathered by William G. Singleton who was Thomas' son. So this would make William G. Singleton my 2x Great Grandfather, Thomas Singleton my 3x Great Grandfather and Spyers Singleton my 4x Great Grandfather. I don't want to cause a ruckus, but this intermingling between master and slave was common and I have no doubt that these folks are a part of my ancestry. My goal is to trace the Singleton's that were in Craven County, NC and learn more about the slave master & slave relationship within my family. I hope that the white descendants and the black descendants will do DNA testing to confirm the generational relationship.
So what I do know is that the Singleton Male Ancestry is this:
William G. Singleton
Leander Singleton Gilliam
Leander carried his father's surname as a middle name and his mother's husband's last name "Gilliam". Leander's step-father was born into slavery and was possibly owned by the Singleton's also or by a nearby plantation. I am not clear if Hannah had any children by Daniel Gilliam, however, she did have quite a few. I understand dates can be off, however based on what I know so far, Daniel died in 1867 and Hannah's other children were born in the 1870's. More research will be done to figure this one out. The Singleton surname was carried down to each male in the Leander S. Gilliam household. Leander's sons were William Singleton Gilliam, Eugene Singleton Gilliam and Lawrence Singleton Gilliam.
Here is a photo of my Great Grand Uncle Leander S. Gilliam, a Black man, who passed as a White man. He was born into slavery in 1860, of which he probably did not have any remembrance. His descendants recently acquired new knowledge of their African Ancestry. Leander's mother, Hannah was also fair in complexion. However, Hannah never attempted to pass.
|Leander Singleton Gilliam|
Spyers Singleton was a Legislator and businessman of Craven County, North Carolina and the son of Samuel and Hannah Singleton. Spyers was born in 1745 and died in 1814. He was one of the main families to settle and develop New Bern, NC.
According to the 1800 U.S. Census, there were 24 Slaves in the Spyers Singleton Household.
I have decided to begin my research of the Singleton Ancestry by transcribing Spyers Singleton's Estate Records.
|Courtesy of FamilySearch|
North Carolina, Estate Files 1663-1979 S, Singleton Spyers (1815)
Inventory of the personal property of Spyers Singleton deceased which came to the hands of Thomas S. Singleton his executor.