Dungy Family History
Since our last family genealogy update, we have uncovered many interesting leads that may, with more in-depth research, finally connect Mary Ann Dungy Mayo (our great, great, great grandmother). If our continued research bears fruit, we can trace our ancestry in America back to 1707, pre-Revolutionary War. One of the most promising leads comes from a book entitled, Free Blacks in Virginia, p. 345, “Dungee/Dungill Family. Tracing our Dungy roots is made more difficult because of the numerous spelling or misspellings of the name perpetuated by census takers who were barely literate themselves; however, when we couple the census, free black records, wills and other primary sources, we are somewhat encouraged by the same “given names” which was definitely a tradition in our family. Our ancestors felt it was an honor to carry the name of a dearly-beloved sibling, aunt, uncle or even cousin. We are noticing that a few of us are honoring that tradition even in this generation, as we see names such as Georgia, Jordan, and Victoria pop up.
The First mention of a Dungee/Dungy in our geographic area (Cumberland, Brunswick, Prince Edward, New Kent, King and Queen, and King William) was Frances Dungee, born circa 1707. Frances was a servant woman and the mother of two children, John and Millison Dungey, who were bound apprentices to John Douglass by the Brunswick Count, Virginia Court in December 1735 until they reacehed the age of twenty-one. This process was called indenture, which leads us to believe that the Dungy, Dungee, Dungey, Dungill, Dungoe, family was never enslaved in the same manner as our Agee ancestors…in other words, though we still consider it a form of enslavement, they could petition the court for release from indenture after a certain period of time. Whereas, our enslaved ancestors were enslaved for life and even their offsprings, born and unborn would be enslaved.
Frances Dungey (no mention of husband) had three children
Rebecca, born say 1723
John, born June 23, 1729
Millison, born June 12, 1731
1740 Frances petitioned the Brunswick County Court for her freedom
from servitude to Douglass.
1741 Petition denied in March 1741/2. St. Andrew’s Parrish wardens
were ordered to bind her children Rebecca and John.
There is much work to do, but at least this introduces us to one of the surnames of our family that have been heretofore obscured. Thanks God for each lead that brings us closer to being able to celebrating our “true” identity!!!
We promise to keep digging…