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A Family Affair


I’ve been curious about the life and times of Ann “Annie” Frazier, born about 1838, since she was the most distant relative for one of my DNA matches ( 2nd-3rd).

Starting with the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Blocker Township, I found Ann Frazier living in the household (dwelling 58, census taken 22 June) of Jerry Bush, 48. The family included: Stephen Bush 9, Ann Bush 7, Sally Williams 18, Ann Frazier 32, Joseph Frazier 13, Susan Frazier 12 and Washington George Frazier, 6/12. While researching another DNA match, I was surprised to find living in Gray Township also in 1870, another listing for Jerry Bush! This census was taken on August 2nd. In this household were: Jerry Bush 45, Sally Bush 25, Stephen Bush 12, Ann Bush 6 and Washington George 6/12.

Apparently, Jerry was recorded twice and had two very different households in 1870.

Ann/ Annie, 35, was also listed in the nearby home of Ransom Timmerman (dwelling 98), as a domestic servant on 23rd August. So, although a common name, it is possible that Ann/Annie Frazier was recorded twice in the 1870 census. When it comes to parentage, it seems that Jerry Bush was the father of Stephen and Ann, but who was their mother? It certainly couldn’t have been 18 year old Sally Williams. Then there are Ann’s children. Who was their father? Is it possible that Jerry fathered them when he and Ann were enslaved?

By 1880, in Pine Grove Township, Jerry Bush’s household (405), had changed in a most curious way. They had all re-grouped under one household. The census record now identified his wife as Sally 28, ( but in 1870 it was implied), George Bush 10 ( he was Washington George Frazier Bush in 1870), Ann Bush 16, Jenny Bush 8, Palmer Bush 6, Sam Bush 5, David Bush 2 and Effit Bush 6/12. It appears that Jerry and Sally were probably the parents of George Frazier Bush. Clearly Jerry and Sally were the parents of five children within ten years. Oddly, Ann Frazier, identified as mulatto and servant, also lived in this household along with her children Joseph Frazier, (black) servant, Susan Frazier, (mulatto) servant, Alvin Frazier 1 (mulatto), Leora Frazier 4(mulatto), and Arthur McManus 1 (black), grandson. Who was the father of Alvin and Leora? A strong possibility is Jerry. Another question, who was the mother of Arthur McManus? Possibly Ann’s daughter Susan, about 22? I don’t think we will ever figure out what was going on in this household. Anna ?, who stated she was a widow, also served as a cook for Ransom Timmerman’s widow, Georgeann Timmerman, now living in Ward Township with her sons in dwelling 56. Next door, Anna Frazier lived in dwelling 55, alone. Now it appears there may be two different Ann/Annie/Anna Fraziers. Or, is it possible that she was recorded in three homes in 1880? The writing on the record was not clear, because the second “a” was somewhat flat. Could it have been a sloppily written Ann? I just don’t know for sure. The information on the census in Jerry Bush’s household was taken in June of 1880, no day noted, whereas, the Timmerman and Frazier households were done on 3 June 1880. How far was Pine Grove Township from Ward Township? Was the distance too far that it required her to have a residence near her employer? If so, how was she a servant in Jerry Bush’s household?

Next door to Jerry lived the family of Benjamin Ouzts, dwelling 404, and a few houses away, dwelling 401 lived Isaac Ouzts, 70 and his family. The significance of this fact will be explained a later.

In 1900, Ann Frazier was listed as the head of household in Elmwood Township. The census record stated that she was born in January of 1840 and worked as a washer woman. Living with her were: Arthur McManus 20, Alvin Bush 19 ( he was Alvin Frazier in 1880), Ella Stevens 18, William Bush18, Mary L. Richardson 14 and Memage Hart 13 and Tishug Hart 20, servants. I believe most of these young people were related in some way. I am particularly curious about the origins of the servants with the odd names.

Still living in Elmwood Township in 1910, Ann now lived in the household of her son-in-law Albert Dobbs and daughter Leora, and their children James 4, Marshall 2, and Roosevelt 1.

By 1920, Ann had moved to Saluda and lived in the household of her daughter Leora and grandchildren James, Marshall and Roosevelt. It is through Roosevelt that I have a close match with “RH.” ( 1.12.shared cMs, 6 segments) on 23and Me. I also have European Ouzts matches on Ancestry.com. So it appears that Jerry Bush and Ann Frazier , and Isaac Ouzts are among my distant ancestors. Jerry Bush who was first enslaved by Jonathan Wever, then was sold in1841 as a boy, when Jonathan died. I believe him to be a half brother of my great grandfather Alfred Bush. I met one of his direct descendants named after him at a family reunion in the 1970s in South Carolina. He and my father knew each other well, and bore a striking resemblance.

On 3 July 1928, Ann Frazier died and was buried in the cemetery at Willow Spring. Her death certificate stated that her mother was unknown, but her father was Isaac Ouzts ( 1809-1889), a slaveholder, Trustee and Steward at the McKendree Methodist Church. What she could never acknowledge while living was included on her final record, by an unknown informant still concerned about any possible backlash from the white community for telling the truth.

1870 United States Federal Census, Blocker Township, Edgefield County, South Carolina

1870 United States Federal Census, Gray Township, Edgefied County, South Carolina

1880 United States Federal Census, Pine Grove Township, Edgefield County, South Carolina

1900 United States Federal Census, Elmwood Township, Edgefield County, South Carolina

1910 United States Federal Census, Elmwood Township, Edgefield County, South Carolina

1920 United States Federal Census, Saluda, South Carolina

1928 Certificate of Death, Elmwood Township, Edgefield County, South Carolina, Reg.District 1804, file #12312

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