Seeking information on Windham slave named Charity

I am researching the Windham slave name Charity.  She is mentioned in the testimony of her grandson before the Dept. of Interior after filing to be declared a Choctaw Indian.  I want to learn about the Windham family and how she got from Alabama to Mississippi.  In the Census her son appears to be owned by Quincy Windham however I am unable to connect him to any family information at this time. The Windham slave owners lived in Neshoba County, Mississippi.

  • I can find no slave owner in Neshoba Co, Mississippi named Quincy Windham in the 1850 or 1860 slave schedules or regular censuses.  There is a woman, named Unicy Windham, who owned 20 slaves in 1850, including a 45 year old mulatto female.  In the 1860 slave schedule she is listed as U P Windham and she owned 14 slaves, including a 50 year old Black female.  Looking at the regular census for 1850 Unicy is 43 years old and born in Georgia.  Living with her is Jeptha Windham, age 20, born in Alabama.  I would assume that Jeptha is her son and his birth in Alabama might explain how Charity got from Alabama to Mississippi.  She came with her owners.  I looked for probate records in Neshoba Co in hopes that I could find them for whoever Unicy's husband was.  Probate records usually list slaves by name, age, and value.  The probate records for the county are not available on-line prior to 1860.  I also tried to find probate records for Unicy (she does not appear in the 1870 census), but could not find them.  She was selling land at least into 1864, according to land records for the county.

  • Thank you.  I saw the mulatto female and thought this could be Charity but I missed Unicy was the name I had as Qunicy.  THANK YOU!  I will one day go to Neshoba and I will look for probate records.

  • I am researching Charity as well. Please contact me if you'd like to join forces.

  • I found a probate record for John Sutton that lists Nicy and Dicey Windom as his daughters and Sarah Sutton as his wife. There are a number of other children listed including names of enslaved. I can't find additional information on Nicy and Dicey to determine there Windom connection. There is a John Sutton born 1825 with a homestead application. Thoughts?

  • Have you checked C:\Users\kchasteen\Desktop\Search the Dawes Final Rolls _ Oklahoma Historical Society_files

    One of the five tribes in the Creek Nation is Choctaw.

  • I found a couple of things that might point you in the right direction (or a different direction).

    First I would check out all the land records for Neshoba County as Unicy sold land after 1864 which was to a Davis family which I found to be her daughter (Eleanor Windham Davis). The deeds refer to Kemper and Neshoba Counties so you might want to broaden your search slightly to the east as Kemper adjoins Neshoba. The Grantor-Grantee indexes are very poor reading in some spots. They are on under Neshoba County. There was a land transaction between Benjamin Windham and Charlotte his wife to Unicy which you might want to look at.

    I believe Unicy Patterson Windham's husband to be Houston Windham (also found Hartis Windom, Hughston Windham) who supposedly died in 1842. There is no real indication where he died that I could see and the people researching did not have supporting documents for this date. The census index lists him as Hartis Windom who had 9 slaves 1830 in Lowndes Co., AL, then in 1840 enumerated 16 slaves in Butler County.  Lowndes and Butler are next to each other so searching both for records is important. Huston Windham made cash land purchase from the U.S. Government in both counties prior to 1837. Those land files would  be available from the NARA in Washington, D.C.

    Other Windham's in Neshoba County: Patterson Windham born 1823 in Alabama who had a son name Jepthe in 1846, and a daughter Nicy born in 1865. I think Patterson's first name must have came from his mother's last name. There is also Benj. Windham born 1805 in Georgia.

    It looks like WIndhams are an extensive family so it will not be easy. Keep digging you will find that record you need.

  • You must remember not all slaves listed as Mulatto were of black/ white decent. (Colonial records) Many American Indians were RECLASSIFIED as Mulatto according to the skin pigmentation

    Wishing you the best in your search

  • It is interesting that I have found a relative named Charity Windham, who is listed in the 1880 Census for Neshoba County, MS as age 20. She is the daughter of Levi Windham and Tenner Harrison Windham. She is the sister of my Great-Grandfather Levi Davis who was born in Alabama in the 1800s.

  • Hi

    My name is Hunter Harris, and I descend from Unicy Windham through her son Jeptha.  I am an avid genealogist and have been tracing the Windham family for over 20 years.  Unfortunately, it is a somewhat remote branch of my tree, and very little in the way of "family lore" has made its way down to me.  Almost everything I know has been based on research, and I have quite a bit of info about Charity and her descendants.  I have been (and currently am) in touch with a group of researchers that descend from Charity, and would suggest you link up with them!

    There is a rather obscure, but very important, court case from 1854 that provides some clues as to Charity's origins.  It is Unicy Windham v. John Williams, Administrator & Co. and was tried in the High Court of Appeals of Mississippi (basically the "Supreme Court" of Mississippi).  The case involved multiple slaves belonging to Unicy Windham.  In particular, it mentions Charity, Peter, Levi, Rainey (with unnamed child), and Edy.  The case summary implies that Charity was the mother of the other slaves mentioned (though there may be some room for interpretation). 

    The case furthermore states that Unicy Windham inherited a slave named Viney from her father John Sutton, who died testate in Monroe County, Alabama in 1819.  John Sutton's Will (a copy of which is on file on file in both Monroe County, AL and Neshoba County, MS) mandated that the inheritance was subject to the life estate of his widow, Sarah Sutton (in essence this means that Unicy's inheritance would become "official" only after the death of her mother Sarah Sutton).  Viney was exchanged for Charity in "1825 or 1826," by agreement of all the heirs of John Sutton, with the understanding that Charity would belong to Unicy upon the death of her mother Sarah Sutton.  The case summary does not state with whom the exchange took place.  Unicy's husband (Houston Windham) pre-deceased Sarah Sutton.  And the implication of the case is that Unicy's right to the inherited slaves died with him.  The administrator of Sarah Sutton's estate originally sued Unicy Windham for the slaves in Neshoba County Court, and the case made its way through the appeals process to the highest authority of Mississippi.  It is a rather a brutal example of conservative views of women's rights combined with the morally reprehensible idea of humans as property.  Blech.

    Unfortunately, the original case files from both Neshoba County and the High Court - which would presumably contain testimony, evidence, etc. - have not been found.  It is only a summary of the case, published prior to the Civil War, which survives today.  I hope someday the case files will be found - as they may provide more detail (for example they may identify additional detail related to the "exchange" of Viney and Charity). 

    John Sutton had 5 daughters.  The oldest daughter (Levicy), married John Hays and they moved from Alabama to St. Tammany Parish, LA prior to 1820.  They both died in 1835 and left a substantial paper trail, inclusive of a "succession file" that contains many receipts (including a receipt of slave exchange with John Sutton - which shows that the families exchanged slaves amongst themselves).  The next oldest daughters (Polly and Priscilla) married into the Talbert family and remained in Alabama.  The youngest daughters (Unicy & Dicey) both married into the Windham family (Unicy married Houston Windham and Dicey married Houston's brother Thomas B. Windham).  After the death of John Sutton, it would appear (based on census records) that his widow Sarah Sutton lived with the Windham family.  In 1830 she was living in the household of Thomas B. Windham and in 1840 she was living with Houston Windham.  It is not clear which family Charity would have been living with at this time.  Both Windham households owned slaves that could have been Charity.  But in the mid-1820s - when the slave exchange (Viney for Charity) took place - they were living in Lowndes and/or Butler County Alabama.

    Hope this helps!  Happy to connect you with other researchers of Charity, if you have not already linked up with them.