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Hammond family is associated with Lumbee Indian Tribe

Although some descendants of the Hammond family being review today migrated to Covington County, Ala., most of them settled in Georgia or remained in Roberson County, N.C.  The Hammond name also appeared in some records as Hammonds, and Hammon. In Roberson County they were associated and intermarried with several families who were reported to have some Lumbee Indian ancestry.

There are various writings about the Lumbee Indian Tribe explaining their potential origin and ancestry. In a brief explanation, the Lumbees were described as a mixed racial group. One theory is that they were descendants of members of the Lost Colony who intermarried with the Indians of the area. Although they were never recognized by the government as an official Indian Tribe, they tended to have a culture all their own. On census records, they were usually listed as mulattos, which meant they were not of full-blooded Caucasian descent. In fact, the term Mulatto/Mulatta was used in census records to denote American Indian or mixed between white and American Indian. It also meant the individual had papers stating he was indeed free and could not be bought, sold or indentured.  The term Mulatto was sometimes used for persons of dark skin.

The earliest Hammond ancestor found by this writer was John Hammond Sr. who was born in 1685 in Richmond, Va. He was married to Katherine Dobyne who was born in 1688 in Old Essex, Va. He died in 1764 in Richmond, and she, in 1746 in Old Essex. They were the parents of a son named Jacob Ambrose Hammond who was born in 1722 in Goochland, Va. He was married to Ann Morgan who was born in 1720 in Northampton, Va. They migrated to North Carolina where he died in 1794 in Wilkes, N.C., and she, in 1661 in Bertie, N.C.

Ambrose and Ann Hammond had a son named John B. Hammond Sr. whose lineage will be followed in today’s story. His name most often appeared in records as Hammon. In later years, genealogists referred to him as John B. Hammonds. He was listed as free Mulatto, and there are at least four documents supporting him being a Lumbee Indian. He and his wife appear to be of mixed heritage—American Indian and white, and there are some hints of him having German ancestry. His descendants who married into the Thomas Jackson family and who migrated to Covington County were tall and had dark skin characteristic of Indians.

Descendants of John B. Hammonds and a few other families including the Jacksons migrated together to South Alabama to escape persecution or prosecution for conflicts with law enforcement agencies. Some had also received very favorable reports from relatives who had already moved and settled in the area. As John B.’s descendants made their migration, some settled in the current Geneva County, and others located in eastern Covington County. Family stories indicate how some of the male relatives would travel by walking or riding horses back to North Carolina to visit relative. This would have been done during the winter months after their crops were gathered.

John B. Hammonds was born in 1747 in either Virginia or North Carolina, and he was first married to Christine Stradford. She was born in 1775 in Colony, Ky., and died in 1811 in Roberson County, N.C. where the family would remain for many years. Records suggest John B. sometime later was married a second time to Christine Norfleet.

Available records suggest John B. and Christine Stradford were the parents of the following children: John B. Jr., b. 1754, m. Dicey ?; Jacob, b. ca 1767, d. ca 1840; Azenith, b. 1769, d. 1840, m. Thomas J. Jackson Jr. (1765-1828); Enoch, b. 1770, d. aft. 1810, m. Elizabeth ?; Elijah, b. 1771; and Harvey, b. 1776, d. 1797.

Assuming John B. Hammond’s second wife was Christine Norfleet, they appear to be the parents of the following children: Norfleet, b. 1805 Lumberton, N.C., d. 1881 Sumter, Ga., m. (1) 1826 Dorcas Israel, b. 1810 (2) 1855 Martha Williams; Helen, b. 1808, m. 1865 Alexander Bullard; Elias (twin), b. 1809, d. ca 1865, m. Rebecca ?; and Stradford Haman, b. 1809, d. 1893 in Hinds, Miss., m. Elizabeth Allen. 

John B. Hammonds Jr. served as a private in the American Revolutionary War. He and his wife, Dicey, had a son named Lewis Hammonds who was born circa 1780 in Roberson Co., N.C. 

The second son, Jacob Hammonds, was born circa 1767 in Roberson County. He and his wife had a daughter, Pheribee, who was born there as well circa 1790. Jacob is one who migrated to Covington County where he died circa 1840.

The son, Samuel Hammonds, was born in 1768 in Roberson County, N.C., where he died in 1815. He married a lady named Deborah who died in 1832. They were the parents of the following nine children: Samuel Jr., b. ca 1789; Elias, b. ca 1790; James, b. ca 1800; Sarah, b. ca 1800, m. 1826 Bryant Bowen (ca 1806-1877); Nancy Anna, b. ca 1803, m. Guilford Best; Dorcas, b. ca 1805, d. after 1882, m. 1831 Owen Revels (1804-1882); Rebecca, b. ca 1805, m. 1828 James Paul; Delilah, b. ca 1806, m. 1828 Wright Ivy (b. 1805); and Mary, b. ca 1808, m. 1825 James Jacobs.

The oldest daughter, Azenith/Asenath Hammonds, was born in 1769 in Roberson County. She was married to Thomas J. Jackson Jr., son of Thomas L. Jackson and Susannah Roberts. They were the parents of the following children: Cornelius Asbury, b. 1795, d. 1880, m. (1) 1815 Elizabeth Green (1797-1880), a native of Clarke County, Ga. (2) 1824 Lucretia Scroggins (1880-1865), daughter of John Scroggins and Sarah Carter; Thomas, b. 1799, m. 1822 Susan Roberts; John A., b. 1804, m. Betsy ?; Willis, b. 1808, m. 1840 Delila Bryant; and James, b. 1810.

Norfleet Hammonds was the oldest son of John B. Hammonds and his second wife, Christine Norfleet. He was born in 1805 in Lumberton, N.C., and was married first to Dorcas Israel, b. 1810, daughter of Lemuel Israel, which probably indicates some Jewish heritage for her. Family legend contends this couple along with Dorcas’s two brothers, George and Newit Israel, walked from Roberson County, N.C., to Sumter County, Ga. There they presented themselves as members of the Primitive Baptist Church trusting they would be accepted with no questions about any possible Indian heritage. They wanted to abandon their previous identities as well as the associated customs and traditions of their past.

In next week’s column, the families of those Hammonds descendants who migrated to South Alabama will be featured.

The source for today’s story were the genealogical records of Larry Jordan on his Hammonds family heritage. He has researched his family for many years and has an extensive collection from which he has published a book for his family members. He partnered with Jeanette Henderson of the Baker Museum in Baker, Fla., for much of the research. Larry is a native of Opp, Ala., who is currently a Professional Engineer and President of Jordan Engineering, Inc., in Inverness, Fla. 

Anyone who finds an error in the above writing is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.