Friday, April 9, 2021
Wiley A. Branton, Civil Rights Attorney, Danny K. Davis, Congressional Representative, IL-7 District, Amanda Davis, Missionary to Liberia, 1898, Lawrence A. Davis, Sr., Educator, Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., Educator, Jeff Donaldson, Artist, L.C. Greenwood, American Football Player, Dorothy McFadden Hoover, Physicist and Mathematician (NASA), John Gray Lucas, Attorney, James “Jimmy” McKissic, Musician, International Pianist, Samuel Massie, Jr., Chemist, Ray Jean Jordan Montague, Naval Engineer, Charlie Nelms, Educator, Smokie Norful, Gospel Singer and Pianist, Dr. Samuel Koontz, Surgeon-Kidney Transplant Pioneer, Pearlie Sylvester Reed, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, John W. Walker, Civil Rights Attorney, Henry Wilkins, III, Arkansas Legislator, Josetta Wilkins, Educator and Arkansas Legislator,
Thursday, March 18, 2021
Opinion and Thoughts About U.S. Reparation for Slavery By Dr. Gladys Turner Finney
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Stolen Congressional Election (1888 Plumerville, Arkansas) Leads to Unsolved Murder of John Middleton Clayton
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
By Gladys Turner Finney
Mary Hill, Grady
Mamie Freeman, Grady
Ellie York, Yorktown
Carrie Berry, delivered Ora Dean White Donaldson
Hester Collins, delivered Gladys Turner Finney
Thursday, May 21, 2020
By Gladys Turner Finney
Researching my Bluford and Turner families was a labor of love. It was my intent
to connect my family from 1870 when African-Americans first appeared in U.S.
Population Census, by name, to my generation. And, so I have done. Perhaps, more
research could have been done, were resources available, as seen on popular television
programs: African-American Lives, Who do you think you are, Researching Your
Only one branch of the Bluford Family was researchable and that was George Bluford,
my maternal great grandfather, who was born in South Carolina about 1866, migrated
to Louisiana, and eventually to Arkansas about 1909.
I can only imagine how great the the research was hindered by lack of the 1890
Federal Population Census, destroyed by fire. The disconnect of 20 years 1880 to
1900 is a very long time in the lives of families. Many were lost, died or disappeared.
My disappointment was the inability to connect with present day descendants of
other lines of the Bluford Family.
The oldest family member found on the Bluford Family Tree was Betsey Simkins,
born about 1820 in South Carolina, 200 years ago.
I had the good fortune to know 3 of 4 of my grandparents and 4 of my great
grandparents. This is a blessing when one consider the impact of slavery on the
African-American family. I represent the third generation post slavery.
Biography of James "Jim" Bluford
James, "Jim" Bluford is believed to have been born in the state of South Carolina.
The county of his birth is unknown. He is the earliest known progenitor of my Bluford
family. His birth may have been, 1830, 1832 or 1840. His parents and siblings are
unknown, as well as any events pertaining to their lives, birth or death. His wife
Mary Bluford's maiden name is inferred to have been Simkins, based on her mother's
name, Betsey Simkins.
In 1870, James and Mary, according to the Federal Population Census for South Carolina,
lived in Saluda Division, Edgefield County South Carolina with their children, Jessie 14;
Harry or Horry, 12, Emma 10; Jim 8; Will 6; and George 4.
Mary Bluford was born about 1840 in South Carolina. There is no history of her family. In
the 1900 Louisiana Federal Population census, she is recorded as "Mary Bliffard," a sixty
year old widow, living in Madison Parish, Ward 4 with her son, his wife Savannah, and two
grandsons, Ebbie and James Bluford. The census worker reported that she was the mother
of thirteen children but only four were still living. George Bluford and his descendants
are the only known descendants of James, "Jim," Bluford and Mary Simkins Bluford.
It is unknown when and under what circumstances the Bluford Family migrated to
Louisiana from South Carolina and what family members migrated with them. It
seems that James "Jim" Bluford is deceased by the time of the 1900 Louisiana Census.
He is not reported as part of the family. It is also unknown if any other Bluford family
members migrated to Lincoln County Arkansas in 1907 with George Bluford besides his
James "Jim" Bluford was born during slavery and the question of his slave master has been
an ongoing matter of research. There were no Blufords listed in the 1850 South Carolina
census records. There were six caucasians, "white," Bluford families listed in the 1860
South Carolina Census. I've been told the Bluford name is "not"common in South
Not until 2019, I learned a Bluford Plantation existed in Pineville, St Stephens Parish,
now Berkeley County. The Bluford Plantation dated back to the 1700s, owned by
Philip Williams and later purchased by Peter Sinkler. Peter Sinkler died childless and
left the plantation to his sister, Elizabeth Sinkler Dubose and or/her son, William Dubose.
Julian Dubose was the next owner. In 1903 the house was purchased and developed into
a Hunt Club. Library of Congress (HABS-SC-236. South Carolina Historical Society.
James Bluford Timeline:
Slavery-1830-1863- Bluford Plantation? No documentation.
Berkley County, South Carolina
1870-Saluda, Edgefield County, S.C.
1880 Cooper, Edgefield County S.C.
Monday, May 18, 2020
By Dr. Gladys Turner Finney
Mrs. Humphery (President L.A. Davis, Sr. Sister
Mrs. Mamie Holmes
Mrs. Berthala Austin
Miss Emma Bell Lee
Rose Marie Ward
Mrs. Molette, wife of Dr. Molette
Miss Marshall, wife of Dr. Marshall, UAPB Dean of Freshman
Silver T. Holmes Smith
Miss Ruby Phillips
Mr. Jim Phillips (Principal)
Mr. Lawson (Principal)
Mr. Nixon (Principal)
Professor C.F. West (Principal
Source: Ivory Donaldson
November 19, 2018
The Bend School Teachers
Mrs. Alphanie Murphy
Mrs. Ella Moore
Consolidated with Grady Colored School
Source: Mrs. Jearline Williams, May 13, 2020
Dr. Charles O. Davidson, May 15, 2020