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Re: Molly Horniblow & Harriet Jacobs
Posted by: J. Gilleland-Rasheed (ID *****2368) Date: May 05, 2006 at 13:45:34
In Reply to: Re: Molly Horniblow & Harriet Jacobs by Linda (Noland) Layman of 4

Thanks for the information. I have read Harriet Jacobs autobiography--and the research pertaining to her life as a slave. In her autobiography, she identifies Molly Horniblow as her grandmother. Her mother was Delilah Horniblow. (She gave them different names--but researchers have given the appropriate names to the characters in the book.)

In her autobiography, Harriet Jacobs states that her grandmother worked for a family that owned a hotel. I believe this was the Horniblow family of Edenton--they had a tavern (which in those days--meant hotel), she also describes how her Grandmother earned enough money to buy her own freedom--and her son's freedon--but was not able to free all of her children. In 1840, Molly Horniblow, had nine (9) people living with her in Edenton--only two were listed as free--herself and her son--the others were all listed as slaves.

Harriet Jacob's Uncle, Mark Ramsey or Ramsay, a Barber, appears on the 1850 Census with his Mother, Molly Horniblow (mis-spelled in all indexes as Horniblise or Horniblue, et al.), and his wife Ann Ramsey, and an eight year old male named George Horniblow (they are all listed as "mu" for mulatto).

By 1860, Molly and Mark were dead--but the widow, Ann is living with Elizabeth Ramsey (their child) and a 23 year old male (noted as an idiot).

I've found Harriet Jacobs on the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 Census records (she moved from Rochester, New York to Washington, D.C. with her daughter, Louisa (Louesa)Jacobs.

Through the autobiography I have been able to identify three of Molly's children:

Mark Ramsey
Delilah Horniblow
Nancy Horniblow

I believe she had 5-9 children--not just the three--and I believe Thomas Hornablue of Marengo County, Alabama is her brother or son--but to prove that?? I'm not sure it can ever be done. African-American research is very frustrating because you're dealing with first names only in the Bills of Sale (Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina) and some of the ages on the later censuses were simply guesses by the individuals.

Thanks for your input--I've ordered more Bills of Sale from Edenton--and I'm hoping to find some record of Molly's children. There was one record at the archive where Molly plead for her son Mark's emancipation in the early 1850s--I have that.



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