Amazing Story of William B. Shields Family (Perry County, Alabama)

August 19, 2017 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

I was looking through some records online for Perry County, Alabama and came across this startling record:

William B. Shields executed a deed in trust to Henry Chambers on the 28th day of August 1849. In the trust, Shields emancipated his children and all of the Mulatto children listed in this census and another named Sarah who is not listed. This deed in trust was filed in Perry County, Alabama on June 10, 1857.” 1850 Federal Census Perry County, Alabama – USGENWEB Archives

In June 2013, The Victoria Advocate, Texas, wrote a story about one of the descendants and offers the rest of the story: Victoria man learns he is a descendant of slaves, looks for relatives

For most of his life, Daryl Ewers believed he was white, but two years ago, he learned he is a descendant of slaves.

“I just found out a few years ago that I am part black. I did not know this,” he said.

He learned his family’s history from discussions with family members and a 2010 book titled “Positos/Oakley Texas 1886,” by Mammie L. Ballard.

In 1848, Shields moved to Mexico with his family, where slavery was already abolished, and began negotiating with Alabama legislators. He wanted to will his plantation to his children, but the state of Alabama wouldn’t allow it.

He also wanted to free them, so the state of Alabama did a special legislation on it where they could be free – but only in three or four counties,” said Ewers. Eventually, he did manage to gain legal title for his children as “free blacks” within the United States. Shields bought 3,300 acres in Polk County, Texas.

He taught his children to marry white to avoid having their families kidnapped and sold into slavery. He also taught his children how to read and write and gave them an education. They lived in Mexico until the Civil War ended…”

You can also read more family history from descendants of the Shields family at this genealogy blogRobert’s Children: Researching the Robert Norris family of Selma and Wilcox County, Alabama

William B. SHIELDS – Our Family Genealogy Pages

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