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Anita Talks Genealogy

  • Broadcast in History
Anita Wills

Anita Wills


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This episode reflects on the lives of Four Generations of Females living in Colonial Virginia. Beginning with Lydia Hilliard, who was born in 1690. She was a servant to William Monroe, the Grandfather of President James Monroe. The excerpts are taken from the book, Pieces of the Quilt: The Mosaic of An African American Family (available at Amazon.com). Mary Bowden, was born in Westmoreland County Virginia, the daughter of William Monroe Junior, on February 20, 1730. Her Grandmother was a white woman, Lydia Hilliard (born 1690), the servant of William Monroe (Senior). Lydia had a daughter Mary, who was born in 1710. The father of the child was an an unidentified Negro man. There were laws on the books against the union of Whites and People of Color. However, in setting up a Patriarchy based on White males, the laws were written to exclude them from punishment. The women and children were dealt with severely by the courts (even if the child was a product of rape). The laws covered the Mulatto child's Indenture, and the mother being jailed and/or fined. The Children were to be Indentured our, and serve twenty years (males), and thirty years (female). William Monroe Senior was awarded the Indenture for Lydia's child, Mary. However the child was in the possession of a Reverend St. Shropshire. William went to court against the good Reverend, and demanded that Shropshire turn her over to him. The courts agreed and the child was returned to William Monroe's house, where her mother was a live in Servant. As a white woman, Lydia was probably serving a seven year Indenture. However, her Indenture may have had years added on after the birth of the Mulatto child. The episode will include an update on documents found relating to Lydia Hilliard and her descendants in Westmoreland County Virginia.