Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Word Up Wednesday Class Rolls Douglass High Ardmore, Oklahoma

The information contained in the Douglass High School of Ardmore, Oklahoma contains some significant genealogical information. One of the more difficult task of genealogist can be determining a woman's maiden name; well a high school book or in this case an alumni book contains the very information that can be useful when doing genealogical research.

I believe another significant roll an information source like this can provide is the book is a snapshot of the community in which all of these people were born, grew up, attended school and married. As a result, a publication like this provides a wealth of information with an added bonus of photographs of the people in most cases.

I am grateful my cousin Cheryl allowed me to use her copy of the Douglass High Alumni directory so I could go through it and extract information about the descendants of Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen descendants. Admittedly once I began looking I came to the realization that most of the freedmen descendants attended little church schools "out in the country" and only later did they or their children began to attend Douglass High which was located in the city of Ardmore.

This migration from the "country" to the city was illustrative of the blending of people and families that began following the Civil War but escalated in the years following statehood when the black community became one whether Freedmen or "State Negro."

Hester Marie Brown is in her 90's and a Chickasaw citizen
These men and women are in their 70's including my Aunt Barbara
Evelyn Brown (front 2nd L) was bused from the "country" to attend Douglass, she is 81 and going strong

In 1948 and 49 more Freedmen descendants appear at Douglass, Freeman & Ligon(s) I'm sure there more.

These documents serve to illustrate the robust community that was once part of segregated Ardmore, Oklahoma. This community established institutions based on the education of their children; one of the most important aspects the Chickasaw and Choctaw Freedmen Associations fought to establish. It is important that their legacy be preserved from the little church schools to Douglass High.

1 comment:

  1. I had family in Ardmore in the 1880s through at least 1910. Went there from Kentucky. Thought I'd never find them and in some cases I had to search whole towns one census page at a time. Enjoyed the article!