Friday, October 2, 2020

African American Tufts

 Is anyone else working on African-American Tufts families from Georgia? I recently started researching this family group and discovered a classic census taker error. Jefferson Tufts is noted in the 1930 census with his mother and her new husband and family. In the 1940 census he is noted again but with her new husbands name. He was married later that year with his correct Tufts name and 2 years later his draft card also issues his Tufts name.:

1930 and 1940 Cleveland census
(Apparently Jefferson graduated from a step-son to son with the name change)

This line of Tufts originates in Georgia and shows up in available records after the Civil War. The census of 1870 and 1880 show several Tufts families in Jones County Georgia post war.
1880 Jones County Georgia census
There were both white and African American families in Georgia then. The families descended from Francis and Gardner Tufts were there. The story of brothers Francis and Gardner leaving Brookfield, Massachusetts for Savannah, Georgia is a remarkable one and will follow this story. They were descended from Peter Tufts of Charlestown, Massachusetts through Jonathan Tufts, Joseph and John. It is assumed the African-American families took the Tufts name from their owners, the descendants of this family.

I am just beginning to research these families and would appreciate any information anyone wishes to share. I discovered about 15 trees on ancestry with these families. There are over one hundred that include Francis and Gardner's families.
Stephen Tufts 1830-? Georgia
Frank Tufts 1870-1966 Georgia-Cleveland, Ohio
Jefferson Tufts Sr. 1898-1922 Ohio
Jefferson Tufts 1921-2009 Ohio