The  Sears, Dungees, Colemans  and Pattersons of Appomattox, Virginia

    As with my Dudley slave ancestry, I have been thus far unable to penetrate the “brick wall “ of  Mama Ethel’s ancestors, the Sears and Coleman slaves of Appomattox, Va.  The biggest hurdle is the fact that there were several Sears and several Coleman slave-owning families; with neither folklore nor public records linking my ancestors to a specific plantation, there is little likelihood of advancing further in my search. Mama Ethel was a renowned cook on both sides of the tracks. I often wonder about her heritage, but I am certain she was descended for house slaves. Everything about her, including professional cooking and housekeeping skills, as well as her lifetime affinity and associations with affluent white families as a chef and caterer extra-ordinaire suggests that heritage. But, I will probably never learn anything more. I firmly believe that Mama Ethel was an innocent victim of a strange by-product of the American slave trade. Many early Virginia slaves had significantly more generations of  “Americanization” than Africans captured much later. That usually meant white bloodlines, house training and language skills not available to the others.  That alone accounted for tensions between descendents of house and field slaves today.  

   I share below a few fascinating Appomattox slave stories of Colemans and Pattersons, both related families of the Sears.

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Sears,George c1910 1.jpg Coleman, Virginia & Bettie 1.jpg Sears, Thomas 1.jpg Sears,Betty Coleman  c1947 1.jpg Sears,Ernest Sr 1904-c1980 1.jpg Sears,Alfred 1.jpg Sears,Edward c1930 1.jpg Sears Daughters.jpg Sears,Hattie MULLINS 1.jpg Sears,Arceal 1924-2008 1.jpg Sears,Ernest 1.jpg Sears,Evelyn 1.jpg Dungee Girls cXXXX 1.jpg Dungee,Billy 1.jpg Dungee,Fannie 1.jpg Dungee,Louise 1.jpg Dungee,Annie May c1945 1.jpg

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Dudley,Harvey,Gray 1921-1981.JPG Vance,Dick 1.jpg Sears,Sadie 1.jpg