32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Hello Irby Family!

I had taken an indefinite break from my genealogy to…..do other stuff basically.  I was at a standstill right where the line from straight black folks crossed straight white folks.  At this here line, I found it difficult to find any data or information from a census for my relatives and this was about the year 1880.  So, I tried to call my older relatives who didn’t even know my name so they said “you the girl doing the family tree?” Yep, that would be me.  My mom’s side of the family has been quite welcoming when they answer the phone but never once calling me back when the person was not at home. It’s ok to stalk family, right?  My dad’s side of the family has nothing, no desire to answer my questions, and no contact info for me to stalk contact them.  But, that’s not the point of this post.  I received a message from someone on Ancestry (my tree is public except for any living relatives) who had information about the Buck side of my family.  This is what she sent me:

In 1833 or 1834, my g-g-g grandfather Thomas Mountjoy Buck, came down to Mississippi (from VA) to a plantation he inherited. When he arrived, he found that the overseer and a large number(40’ish?) of the slaves had died of cholera or malaria or typhus or something awful, so he sold the place to his Uncle JOHN BUCK who was his father’s 1/2 brother…and he went back to Kentucky to get married.  The place was just outside of Port Gibson, called Belle Mont, I think.  I have the info somewhere. If this is who you’re interested in, let me know & good luck.

I did send her a msg back and that is how I got back into doing my genealogy which lead me to uncover more info for the Bucks in my family who happen to be the only Black Bucks in MS at that time.  Eventually, I ran into another standstill so I tried to tie some loose ends on other branches one in particular was the Irby branch.  At some point (abt 1850) all names became initials on census records and race was not included.  All census reports up till this point stated Mulatto but one Irby male’s parents couldn’t be found….actually, I found his mom but couldn’t find his dad because the census said she was divorced and then it said widowed.  I matched initials and birth dates to another census which lead to an Irby white male born in Virginia who died in MS.  This is where the database just seems to offer a wealthy of information and I realize via stories, family trees already constructed, and census records that this particular Freeman (obvious irony in a couple seconds) Irby male came from Virginia to Mississippi with a slave woman in tow called Lou to become owner of Freeman Irby’s plantation in which he owned about 58 slaves and fathered several “mixed” children with his slave woman Lou.  This is apart of a story I found on Ancestry about Freeman Irby’s lineage which, it appears, is a huge deal because the point of this lil story was linking the Irby family to President George Washington.  That’s right.  After I traced the tree further back, it would appear and be assumed until further data is uncovered linking Lou (slave woman) to the Mulatto Washington Irby (my g-g-g-grandfather) of my tree, that my family may be related to President George Washington by marriage.  The Irby male married a woman who was a distant blood cousin of the former President.

Till I find the patience to unearth more information on my Black Irbys I decided to follow the male lineage of the White Irbys to see where and how far it would take (male lineage is easier to trace since they kept their last names).  Thus far, I have gone back to the year 1000 where the Irby eventually became DeIrbey then just Irbey and the country I am finding this information in is France.  My grandmother, before she died, told us that she was part French but I didn’t think she could be sure although she had a picture (which I can’t find) and is lighter than the new Sammy Sosa.  So, I have gone from Chicago – Mississippi – Virginia – England – Scotland (mothers) – France.  I feel bad for being so interested in my White side of the tree but I truly am and I have no idea what a Coat of Arms means but I am gonna Google it soon.  Still have to finish the Buck branch as well which, according to this lady who sent me that message, leads to her white family.  Now, as far as Lou, I need to trace Freeman Irby’s slave records and see if they have any information for her, her parents, her lineage, the names of the kids she bore, if she ever married, and whether she was working on a plantation for the Irbys or in-house with them.  I shall be back eventually with more information on my family tree but now I know I am of African European Scottish French descendant.  I won’t be satisfied till I can break down Africa from a continent to an actual country.


January 16, 2010 - Posted by | Life | , , , , , , ,


  1. I am also a black Irby trying to trace my lineage. I know my father (a black irby born in 1930) is from Coldwater, MS…near where Freeman Buckner Irby owned a large plantation and fathered several children with his slave, Big Lou. I ponder the question…could I possibly be related to Freeman? Can you help me or point me in the right direction?
    Vanessa Irby

    Comment by Vanessa Irby | July 25, 2011

  2. Hi Vanessa. I have done most of my research via Ancestry.com but there is a Irby Yahoo Group which I haven’t really participated in. Not because it’s not helpful but because I have not had the time to devote to my tree recently. If you read this soon, please email me at from32b@gmail.com – sorry I am just now checking this blog 😦

    Comment by 32B | October 9, 2011

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