It is a saga of a African American family with remarkable men and women who came out of bondage into the new world of America into positions that brought them personal dignity , pride and independence. They have made significant contributions which has helped to built and preserved this county and it's way of life, with some serving their country in uniform including the Civil War, World War I & II, Korean, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts. The family includes 1,213 individuals and 348 marriages. The average lifespan of the family member is 62.4, the earliest birth date is 1797 and the most recent birth date is 2014. Using census records, death certificates, marriage certificates and interviews with family members, the history can now be documented for a period covering over 200 years.
The abolishment of slavery raised the question of the Negro marriages. In 1866, the General Assembly passed "An Act Concerning Negroes and Persons of Color or of Mixed Blood." Those persons who wished to register their pre-emancipation marriages were required to appear before the clerk of the county court or justice of the peace to acknowledge their marital status. Cloey Howard (1858- 1955) parents Clint Howard and Celia Francis were among those that registered their marriage. Their names which are in the bound volumes bearing the titles as Negro Cohabitation Certificates may be found in offices of registers of deeds. This is the earliest known record of our ancestors. Their names are also recorded in a book title "Somebody Knows My Name" compiled by Barnette McGhee White.