Very interesting! I must digest all that--like that Grief was born in Ohio, which means that his father's grave, as well as his mother's, should be in OH. That Priscilla could have been part Cherokee opens up another set of hints, though I don't know if it follows that her children were free, since Cherokees also kept slaves (http://www.cornsilks.com/freedmenstory.html
I love the walkabout idea! In an email to Keck late last night, I suggested a leaf-peeping and peeps-seeking trip with you some October.
According to a history of Jefferson Township, Logan Co., OH on Wikipedia, “Because a large percentage of the early settlers were Quakers, the township was once home to a large number of African Americans.” It is “the location of Goshen Friends Church, the oldest church in Logan County” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Township,_Logan_Count...
). Alas, there is no sign of Fords in the inscriptions for Goshen Cemetery (http://logan.ohiogenealogy.info/cem/jego.html#f
). Another Web site also asserts that a “large free black community . . . migrated to Logan Co. from VA and NC” and that in 1842, one black migrant, a Soloman Day (b. 1788 in VA) donated ½ acre of land in Jefferson Township that was eventually used as a cemetery for African Americans, Day Cemetery (http://africanamericancemeteries.com/oh/daycem-aa.html
). Day Cemetery is the only specifically African-American cemetery identified in Logan County, OH on this site: http://africanamericancemeteries.com/oh/
. Alas, burials don’t seem to have begun there until the 1860s (too late for L&G’s parents), and there are no Fords among the inscriptions (or Asberrys either—supposing that the appearance of this name and the initial “A.” among her descendants might indicate that L&G’s mother could have had, and returned to, that maiden name): http://logan.ohiogenealogy.info/cem/jeda.html
. In the online inscriptions for other cemeteries in Jefferson Township, the only Fords listed have dates that are wrong for our ancestors. (At Mt. Zion Cemetery there is a Peter Ford [Co. K, 118 Ohio Inf.]; and a Pheby Jane Ford, 21 Jun 1851–20 Aug 1895 [wife of Elisha Ford]. At Tharp’s Run Cemetery there is a Ford, d 13 Sep 1878 [infant daughter of E. & P.J. Ford]; a Ford, d 11 Oct 1879 [infant son of E. & P.J. Ford]; Elisha Ford d 20 Aug 1875, ae 69y 2m 9d; and a Mary E. Ford, 1818–1893.) (No Asberrys.) There’s lots of work done on Elisha Ford, and it’s tempting to think that he’s related, but I see no evidence of it: http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Elisha_Ford_%283%29
Those Fords seem thoroughly white, thoroughly ensconced in mainstream Colonial and Revolutionary culture.
But there are other cemeteries in Jefferson Township that do not have online resources (http://logan.ohiogenealogy.info/cemje.html
). Maybe L&G’s parents are buried in one of them, along with Elizabeth A. Ford (b. 1841) and Thomas A. Ford (b. 1846), the children of Lideral and Irene Priscilla who died before 1860. Those could be on the walkabout tour.
“Ford” would be a logical enough name to adopt after leaving slavery (though our marginally literate ancestors may not have known it): “Ford is an English surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the earliest topographical surnames still in existence. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "ford", a shallow place in a river of water where men and animals could wade across” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_%28surname%29
I found two unrelated instances of a freed slave adopting the name “Ford.”
George Washington’s brother had a slave who went by “West Ford” after his emancipation. West's mother told him that George Washington’s was his father (!): http://mulattodiaries.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/gum-springs/
How’s this for intriguing? http://www.westfordlegacy.com/descendants/famlist.html#a
Barney L. Ford also adopted that surname after escaping slavery: http://www.historycolorado.org/sites/default/files/files/Edu...
There are a number of online resources for researching one's African American forbears: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Virginia_African_Amer...
I plugged "Lideral," "Grief," and "Ford" into the "Unknown No Longer" database with no hits at all, but considering that "Ford" could have been invented, that may not be a surprise. (I tried "Asberry" and "Asbury" too with the same result.) It could also be that “Lideral” and “Grief” are misspellings for something else. What if “Lideral” is a simplification of “Little Earl”? What if “Grief” is “Griff,” short for “Griffin”? Are we looking for an Earl Asbury in Virginia? If the father’s name were “Earl Griffin,” it might make sense that his first son’s name was Earl Griffin, his second’s Griffin.