Posted 16 June 2015 by Lori Miranda
We have a new request received tonight by email:
"Hi, I'm Ashon Mack. My inquiry is about the Sye and Perpena families, particularly the Sye family. My fourth great grand father was born between 1801and 1810 and was a part of the Floyd estate of Camden County before coming here. The 1880 census lists the his parents as being from Africa. If this is so then it's likely that General John Floyd bought his parents. My current hypothesis is that the Sye family is from Senegal and like to find more information to either confirm or reject it."
I asked Mr. Mack some additional questions about his 4X ggrandfather and received the following information:
"My 4X great grandfather's name was Sandy Sye and was going by the last name of Floyd in 1870. His daughter, Margaret married my 3X great grandfather Emanuel Perpena. I tried to find the male line, but the two grandsons had no children listed. There's a Sandy Floyd listed in the1864 census here, so 1863. I should be having [DNA] testing done soon.
"Also I would like to add that Emanuel is also listed in the 1864 census and that he's from Jacksonville and his last owner was Frank Hartman.
In addition, I asked Mr. Mack if Sandy Floyd later changed his name to 'Sye', and he replied:
"Yes, in 1880 he's listed under Sye, though it's been transcribed as Aye. He's listed as Sye in the Freedman's Bank Record for Betsey Sye. Margaret Perpena also has death record listing his last name as Sye in 1918.
If AIGS members have any insight, suggestions, or additional questions, please reply here.
Comments by Lori Miranda:
I've been poking around and trying to get up to speed on Sandy Floyd/Sye and the history surrounding Fernandina during the Civil War and before. As I have no family in the area, it is slow going, but I have noticed the following:
- In looking at Sandy Floyd/Sye in the post-CW Censuses, I notice that he is listed as having been born in Florida in both the 1870 and 1880 Census.
- In the 1864 Fernandina Census (Dec. 1963), Sandy 'Floyed' was listed as 'contraband', from Georgia, and his former owner as 'Gen. Floyed'.
- Wikipedia information on Gen. John Floyd says the family first moved to Darien, GA from the Beaufort District (around Hilton Head?) of SC then moved in 1800 to Camden Co., GA. So this would have been with his wife, Isabella Maria Hazzard, daughter of Richard Hazzard of SC and his wife Phoebe Loftin of Nassau Co., FL., and the children they (the Floyds) would have had at that time. There is a line somewhere that said Isabella might even have been born in Nassau Co., FL. Gen. John and Isabella Floyd had 12 children, the first four were born before 1800. When Gen. John Floyd died in 1839, his estate was divided within the family.
- Gen. John Floyd had two sons who also became Generals: Charles Rinaldo Floyd, who died in 1845 - the information mentions an 'extensive' diary now in the possession of GA Historical Society Library in Savannah, and Richard Ferdinand Floyd. RF moved to St. Augustine/St. John's Co., FL before 1850 and ran a plantation. He served as a Conf. Brigadier General apparently in the Appalachicola area in 1861/1862. I also saw mentioned (More Generals in Gray by Bruce S. Allardice) that after that group disbanded in March 1862, he was in Eastern Florida trying to raise guerilla forces. (Interestingly perhaps, Fernandina came under Union occupation in early March 1862). RF Floyd resigned his military position in October 1862 due to 'severe illness' and apparently did not serve again. He died in Green Cove Springs, FL in 1870.
So when your 4X ggrandfather Sandy Floyd/Sye answered the census taker in December of 1863 and he named his former owner as 'Gen. Floyed', did he mean John, Charles or Richard?
One scenario might be that, as you suspect, Gen. John may have purchased Sandy's parent(s). Sandy himself claims to have been born in Florida. It is possible that Sandy (with or without his parents) may have been purchased as the Camden Co. plantations grew - from Florida, or from another Camden Co. plantation. The Floyd family estate (both real and enslaved) seems rather fluid after John's death. Could Sandy have then had one or more of the other Floyds as master? Perhaps even one or more of the second generation generals?
Sandy, if we say he was born in 1800, was 39 by Gen. John's death and 45 by Charles'. Could he have gone with Richard to St. John's Co? The 1864 Fernandina Census only says that his last residence was Georgia, so the questions are: when did he go from being born in Florida to residing in Georgia? After his birth, but before daughter Margaret (b. GA) came along. And which Gen. Floyd was he giving as his former owner? I also wonder at the wording - although it doesn't say 'last owner', it is implied, but both John and Charles were long gone. I wonder if Richard retained real estate in Camden Co. at that time? I will have to look at the 1850 and 1860 Slave Censuses.
Anyhow, that's just me trying to get caught up with a fraction of the research you must have done. None of this negates the idea that Gen. John Floyd was in the picture or that the Sye family is Senagalese. I'm curious as to the oral history in your family about Sandy taking the 'Sye' name.
Please let me know if you have any additional comments for me to post.
I have since learned that:
- Gen. John Floyd's wife Isabella died in 1859 and her executor was Henry Floyd. Bellevue (Camden Co.) went to Samuel. Henry and family and Samuel and family seemed to have lived there simultaneously after Isabella died. Being a part of Isabella's estate might be a reason why Sandy answered 'Gen. Floyed' as past owner, although it would be another few years before he shows up in Fernandina. So what may have happened between?
-Both Bellevue and Fairfield were destroyed during the 1861-64 time period. I am really curious about this because we don't know what the circumstances were when Sandy Floyd/Sye came to Fernandina. In very brief reading, it is said that residents of Camden Co. went further inland due to Union forces along the coast. My initial assumption would be that this meant white residents, but perhaps not only. This is why I'm trying to find out more dates - would the destruction of Bellevue and/or Fairfield have led to an opportunity for Sandy to make his way to Fernandina? Possible. If the destruction was after the 1864 Census, that might point to a different scenario.
-Brig. Gen. Richard F. Floyd purchased from brother Henry a tract of land in 1866 described as Bellevue Place for $100. But he Richard F. Floyd did not appear in the Camden Co. 1860 Slave Census, so I find yet no evidence of RF owning property in Camden Co. after he moved to St. Augustine/St. John's Co. before 1850. I need to check the same for Florida.
And I had this thought - we know there was a Nassau Co. connection for Gen. John Floyd through his mother-in-law, Phoebe Loftin Hazzard. Perhaps we need to look into the estates of Isabella's parents, Richard and Phoebe. Could it be possible that Sandy came to the Floyds through the death of Isabella's parents? I wonder if they held any real estate in Fernandina or surrounds any time after Isabella's birth. Hm.
I'll keep digging...
After doing further research, Sandy states in the 1870 and 1880 census that he was born in FL. If this is true, the Sye family may have been owned originally by the Hazzard family. Then when Isabelle married, her slaves became part of the Floyd estate. The problem here is that Nassau County property records only go back to the 1840's when FL became a state. So the question here would be where do I look now?
On the Papino side of things, there's a Baptismal record for Crescenico Manuel Papi in 1822, who was the property of Miguel Papi. It's likely that this person if Emanuel Papino my 3x great grandfather. Unfortunately there's no further evidence on whether Crescenico and Emanuel are the same, but it's likely. In additon to that my sister took the DNA test and her trace markers points to Minorcan/Turnbull colony ancestry. I did look to see if Crescenico's parents were owned by Miguel's father, but in his passing there were mentions of a Magdalena or Manuel. Which leads to Miguel aquiring my ancestors from another source. It was brought to my attention that Crescenico's parents could have been owned by Maria Burgo, prior to her marriage to Miguel.
There's also the problem of how Margret and Emanuel met. Emanuel was sold to a man in Jacksonville after the death Miguel Papi. Then during the Civil War he made his was to Fernandina. Meanwhile all that is known about Margret is that she was born in St. Marys and started having children in the 1850's. Granted there's a chance that Margret's older children may not belong to Emanuel, given how families were torn apart due to the nature of slavery, but there's no evidence to the contrary.