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2016 Newell Family Reunion

Back Ground History


Our ancestors, the Newell, Mcdonald Hosey and Lindsey families, lived for the most part in Jasper County, Mississippi.  Jasper County formed in 1833 out of Jones and Wayne Counites.  The parent county was Inidan lands and Jasper County had Bay springs as it's county seat.


In the Federal Cenuses searched, they lived along side many families tht may certainly have been absorbed into our family. Thier neighbors were Gavins' Jones', Thomas' Harvells', Barnetts, Knights', and Weathersby's to name just a few 1870 was the first year tht blacks were listed by name in any census that was taken.  Before this they appeared on Slve Schedules, they were only identifiable by race, sex, and age. This fact makes it very difficult to trace families before this time.

In 1890 there was a fire in at the Commerce Building in Washington DC. THE fire destroyed all of the censuses taken for that year. There is some debate as to whether this fire was and accident or deliberate.  In any case these records would have been vital in reseaching our family history.  Since there was a 20 year gap from 1900 census to the 1880 census, I lost track of the Newell's and Lindsey's.  For this reason I will have to go to Mississippi in order to reseach alternative records for 1890, that may hvwe been kept by the state rather than federal records.
To further compicate matters, research information states that former slves could have changed their surnames several times, before settling on one they may have liked. Also they may have not chosen to use the last name of former slave owners.
The spelling of our family surname change from Newel to Newell sometime after 1920. And the surname Linsey was also revised to Lindsey in 1920. Why the change? I hjave no idea other than most blacks used the first spellings while the majority of whites used the latter. It is also beleived that the way our ancestors may have pronounced thier names, could have also added to the confusion.--------------------Patricia Moffet   2002   Erie, PA