Friday, June 15, 2012

Irvin & Louisa Brumfield

         Irvin Brumfield and wife Louisa McEwen (Ellzey)  born about 1846 and 1849 respectively are thought to be former slaves in Mississippi.  In the Federal 1880 Pike County, Mississippi census, Irvin Brumfield is listed as Louis Brumfield.  I have been unable to verify if Irvin and Louis Brumfield is the same individual.  It was not uncommon for former slaves as freedmen to change their names and Irvin may have become the preferred name.   I was able to identify Irvin (Louis) based on the family members listed.  Irvin and Louisa are listed as a family in the Federal 1880 census with 5 children Martha Ann, Sherman,   Irvin Jr., William and Louis.  The quality of the census record is very poor and I cannot read all the details recorded. HIs occupation was a farmer.   Irvin Brumfield and both parents place of birth are listed in the 1880 census as Mississippi.  Louisa McEwen was born in Mississippi and parents were born Virginia.    I have not been able to find Irvin or Louisa in the 1870 census for Pike County, Mississippi but a  22 years old Louis Brumfield is listed.   Their oldest child Martha Ann was born in 1872 therefore Irvin and Louisa may have not been together in 1870.

         My older relatives told me that my Brumfield ancestors owned over 300 acres of land known as the Brumfield Settlement.  This was initially incredible to me. During slavery the family structure was destroyed.     In 1865, Irvin may have been probably 19 years old and Louisa 16 years old.  After the Civil War, former slaves without money, housing, clothes or food of their own were freedmen.  They had nothing to start a new existence apart from life experiences and a will to survive.    How could a former slave buy land?    It took more research to determine if the information was fact or fiction.------Tree Gardener

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