It's funny when legend becomes reality. Family legend speaks of our patriarch, Ned Minnis, a red haired Irish man who married a Cherokee woman. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate a Ned Minnis; however, I did find Edward Minnis from the following websites. I don't know how much of this information is accurate. Please help out with any information you can provide.
My ancestry goes something like this:
Edward (Ned) Minnis born about 1830 in Kentucky married Emily Minnis born about 1835 in Kentucky
I found an Edward Minis who married Elizabeth Ann Lee in Cole County, Illinois in 1848. Maybe this is them; however, they were listed in the 1850 census with two children William and Lucy Ann. There was also a Lucy Ann Minis who married Iram Bryant in Coles in 1849 who may be related to Edward. I need help with this connection (anybody?)
Edward and Emily's children were born in Oakland, Douglas County (Coles), Illinois as listed in the 1860 census where Edward was not listed and Emily was head of household. This was during the Civil War so perhaps Edward was at war; however, I have not found proof of enlistment. Both were in the 1870 census and in the 1880 census I believe both Emily and Edward were dead.
The children are:
Mary Minnis b:1852, Ruth Minnis b: 1857, Alonzo Minnis b:1859, Permelia Minnis b:1861(my ancestor who was not on the census due to marriage to William D. Roberts in 1875)
Fannie Minnis (unknown DOB), John Minnis b:1865, Jeanette Minnis b:1867, Charles Edward Minnis b: 1869, and Willie Minnis (unknown DOB)
William Roberts married Permelia A. Minniss (how spelled on record) on November 4,1875, in Douglas County, Illinois.
Now, this is where it gets interesting:
William Roberts parents were Archable, born in 1840, NC and Eveline Roberts, born in 1814, NC. They were married on February 5, 1852 in Linton, Vigo County, Indiana. Eveline and Archable had three children together Eveline, Levina, and William and raised the children from Eveline's first marriage.
Eveline (Artis) married her first husband, William B. Thomas on March 11, 1841, in Vigo County. William died January 2, 1850, and is buried in the Underwood Cemetary, in Linton, Vigo Co. Indiana. They had three children Francis, Sarah A., and John W. Thomas.
Also listed in the Underwood Cemetery were Joseph and Sarah Artis, both born in North Carolina. They settled in Prairie Creek, Indiana and can be found in the 1840 census.
So, at this point I was stymied. Then I located the website: http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/ by Paul Heinegg which details the colonial history of free African American families in Virginia and North Carolina. This is a wonderful source of information and I'm extremely grateful to Mr. Heinegg for all his work because without him I would not know my ancestors:
Kate Anderson, born 1670 who was a slave freed in the will of John Fulcher of Norfolk County, Virginia. Her daughter Hester Artis (aka Anderson), born 1687 was also freed in the will. Hester's son was John Artis, born 1723, married Sarah Artis. Their son Archibald Artis, born say 1753, died before November 1782 fought and possibly died in the Revolutionary War. His wife was Delilah Artis, and their son was Joseph Artis, born in 1782, father to Eveline Artis Roberts, mother of William Roberts.
William and Permelia Roberts
William and Permelia Roberts had the following children:
Norman Roberts, Carrie Roberts, Jennie Roberts, Sadie Roberts, Maude Roberts, Eva Roberts
Edward Roberts, Dollie Roberts, Mary Belle Roberts, Chas Roberts and my great-grandmother, Ida Roberts Dotson, born 1890.
In the article about the Tuscola "Negro Cemetery", it mentions the great exodus of 1877, to Kansas. In the article it mentions that in 1876, Edward Minnis and others bought land to build the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1877, Edward Minnis and his second wife, Susan Minnis sold their land in Douglas County, Illinois. After leaving Illinois they first settled in Sterling, Rice County, Kansas. Then they moved to Saint John, Stafford, Kansas. By the 1880 census, in St. John, Stafford County, Kansas, Edward was deceased and his wife Susan was raising the children. Also in the 1880 census, it mentions Albert and Mary Cogman. Mary was the daughter of Edward and Emily Minnis. The Cogman's lived in an adjacent farm to Archable and Eveline Roberts.
Reseach by my mother in the early 1990's turned up a burial record for William and Archable who were buried together at the Fairview Park Cemetary in Stafford, County, Ks.
Ida Roberts, born in 1890 who married Thomas Dotson, born in 1883. Their child Drusilla (Dotson) Mounger b:1910 born in Edmond, Kansas.
These pictures are of my great grandparents Thomas and Ida Roberts Dotson.
Thomas Dotson's father was
Jordan Dotson, born in 1843. His wife was Charlotte (Buzby?), born in 1853, who we were told was Blackfoot. I found a Jordan and Charlotte Dotson in Edmond, Ks. cemetery. They were in the 1885 census in Norton County, and may have lived in Solomon, Edmond Ks. Jordan was born in Columbus, Lowndes Co. Mississipi and Charlotte was living with him in the 1870 census. I have no record of them prior this.
Their children: 1910 census
William 1872, Della J, Eddie, James (married Idoline), Jersey, Jesse, Cora, Thomas, Shadrach (married Elizabeth), Eva, Robert, Arthur and my great, grandfather Thomas Dotson, father to my grandmother Drusilla Dotson Mounger.
Edward Mounger was born on February 22, 1884 and died October 25, 1960. His wife was Mary Finley who was born on June 15, 1888 and she died on August 6, 1955. Mary's father was Jackson Finley, born in 1865 and died March 10, 1932. His wife was Celia A. Finley (I found a Celia Sadler in 1870 census who lived with a John and Mary Nelson, and was listed as their daughter in Cairo, Alexander Co. Illinois. Legend has it she was Chocktaw. Jackson was supposed to be 7ft tall, very dark complexion. He was born in Kentucky. They lived in Sedan, Kansas, and had a son, William A. Finley and my great grandmother Mary Finley Mounger.
Drusilla Dotson, born in 1910 married Henry Mounger, born in 1907
Henry's father was listed as Edmond Mounger, born February 22, 1884. On his marriage certificate to Mary Finley; however, he went as Edward later in life. I can't find any further on his side of the family. He supposedly was born in Cairo, Illinois. Some of his children may still be living so I will not list them.
The picture on the right is Edward Mounger and on the left is his son, Henry Mounger.