I am researching the Family of Thomas West and Susan Barnhill (Barnell). They are my fourth great grandparents. Thomas was born approx. 1794 (1792?)in Virginia (VA) and Susan was born approx. 1798 in Pennsylvania (PA). Susan's parents may have been William Barnhill of Maryland (MD) and Nancy Ann Packer. Thomas and Susan's children included Enos, Nancy, Susan, Delilah, Ephraim, Aaron, Thomas, Mary and John. They resided in Greene and Elkrun Columbiana Ohio (OH) in 1830 and 1840. In 1850 they were living in Independence Cuyahoga Ohio (OH).
The Barnhill and West families are listed as free people of color and mulatto on their census documents. Until recently I was not aware I had any African American ancestors.
Ephraim is my third great grandfather and his son William is my second. Tragically, William was killed while working on the RailRoad; he was only 29. Perhaps this event helped to limit my great grandmother's knowledge of her father's family. But, I will never know for certain.
Finally, I have read on many message boards that there are pictures of this family still in existence. Specifically there is mention of one that includes Ephraim and his family. I never imagined I would be able to see the family I have been researching for almost two years. But, now that I know there is a chance I will not give up searching.
I have hope there is a distant cousin who still holds these precious photos and would be kind enough to contact me. I would be more than happy to share any information I have about this family.
Thank you and take care
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