Charged by the Clerk of Court to take the records into hiding, Randall Boothe, an African-American slave, took them by wagon to Greenville & Southampton. After the war he returned them, was freed, and asked to serve as Caretaker of the Courthouse. https://www.virginia.org/listings/SuggestedItinerary/TheContributionofAfricanAmericansinSmithfieldIsleofWightCounty/I plan to interrogate these records in order to learn as much as I can about the African Americans enslaved in early Isle of Wight County. I want to know if they too are my ancestors. I cannot find my African ancestors without learning about my European ancestors. Their records hold the key to my family history. I started the study of my family history in my Alabama Blackbelt homeplace. I then expanded my study to the entire Mississippi Territory. I am now following the migration of both sets of ancestors from the coastal plains of Virginia and Maryland into North Carolina and through Georgia, and into the Mississippi Territory. If you share these ancestors, take the journey with me. There are more resources, but these are a great place to start. https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Isle_of_Wight_County,_Virginia_Genealogy http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/gos/index.html
A recent attempt to discover how I am connected to another member of a DNA genealogy working group lead me to Isle of Wight County, Virginia. My DNA indicates that I am a descendant of three Europeans who were early landowners in isle of Wight County: Jeremiah Exum, Michael Mackquinney, and William Pope. These are the ancestors of my paternal grandmother, Mary Aquilla Pope. Her grandfather, a white slaveholding Lewis Pope gave his name to his only son, Lee Pope. Lee’s mother was an enslaved African descended Melvina Hill (aka Melvina Pope). Lewis Pope was involved in making sure that Lee Pope was a landowner. I inherited some of that land and relatively large amount of Pope DNA. Isle of Wight County was established in 1634. Much of its history can be traced because its records were not destroyed during the Civil War.